The Beckoning of God's Reality

Articles about "Bible"

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Holy Week – Palm Sunday

The Christian celebration of Easter begins a week prior, the first day of Holy Week. The Sunday before Easter Sunday is known as Palm Sunday and is the day on which Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem took place. On this day Jesus entered Jerusalem sitting on a donkey amidst the waving of palm branches and on top of those laid on the road for him. The event is recorded in all four gospels (Matthew 21:1, Mark 11:1, Luke 19:29, John 12:12). (more…)

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All the Names of Jesus of Nazareth

It may surprise some to find that Jesus is actually referred to in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament of the biblical writings. What follows is as complete a list as can be formed of all the names of Jesus of Nazareth used in the Bible. Taking all the names of Jesus used in the Bible into consideration, it would ironically be quite a stretch to consider him a mere good moral human teacher. The incarnation means that God took on human flesh as an innocent human being, lived the perfect life and dies for our sins to reconcile us with a God from whom we’ve been alienated by our own meanderings and our will. What follows is a comprehensive list of the names of Jesus used in the Bible. (more…)

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Are Biblical Testimonies Inadmissible Because of Christian Bias?

Are biblical testimonies inadmissible because the writers had biases informed by personal convictions? So goes the charge frequently made against the biblical narratives – that what the authors of the New Testament documents were expounding were lies they were holding on to because of their prior personal convictions. But just how reasonable is this claim? Are prior personal convictions by themselves sufficient to lead people to espouse certain truth claims? And would those claims on their own be justification for their beliefs? Can we not trust the historical contents of the biblical narratives because its writers were committed to the ideas they espoused, and would be in favor of the propagation of those ideas? (more…)

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Christmas and the Prophecies about Jesus

One of the reasons that the Bible is thought by so many to be the inspired word of God is because it has writings which predict events far future from the dates of those writings. Through linguistics, archaeology and general historical analysis of various kinds, we can determine the approximate dates (sometimes very precise dates) of certain Old Testament (OT) writings, and we can clearly see the writings to have taken place long before the events they predict. To then be confronted by writings which predict things hundreds of years into the future is quite extraordinary. As they pertain to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the writings of the OT demonstrate the amazing quality and accuracy.

The OT writings, which were also canonized as the inspired word of God, contain many predictions of events to come. The main focus of these predictions rests on one central figure – the Messiah, the coming Savior. Judaism expected and continues to expect a future Messiah. However, those closest to Jesus, who became the earliest Christians, did at one point or another see the fulfillment of these prophecies in Jesus of Nazareth. The prophecies written centuries before were being fulfilled in their presence, and though they mostly recognized them in hindsight because of their otherwise inaccurate expectations of what the Messiah would accomplish, the fulfillment of the multitudes of OT prophecies were nonetheless quite staggering. So what were some of these predictions about the Messiah that they found compelling reasons to identify Jesus as that foretold Messiah? There are far more than we can look at. For this specific piece let’s look at some of the ones that pertain to his birth, the celebration that we’ve come to know as Christmas. (more…)

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Christian Perspective on Terrorism, Death, and the Middle East

On September 11, 2001, seemingly out of nowhere (at least to the majority of people) an incredibly organized group of terrorists orchestrated the murder of thousands of Americans. As the horrific images danced in the heads of the watching world, with even a more fervent pace, came some profound questions. Who were these people? Why were they flying their planes into buildings? What was this all about? Among people who engage in discussions about the conflicts in the Middle East, there are various perspectives on the source of tension, the reasons for violence, and just why the hostility keeps inflamed. But now, the hostility had moved into the Americas. Depending on the particular perspective, asking some of these important questions is bound to provide us with just as many variations in answers. Ask a sociologist you’ll get one type of answer. Ask a psychiatrist, you’ll get something different. Ask a philosopher, you’re bound to get something completely different. But perhaps the most important people to help us make sense of all of this are people who are intimately involved with and have a full perspective of the history of the people occupying the Middle East. Since we are well within the land of the Bible, the biblical perspective could offer us a fairly comprehensive understanding of the continued conflict. (more…)

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The Flood and Noah’s Ark – Part 2

Is the story of the great flood and Noah’s ark a myth? Or are there good reasons to think them to be true? Previously we looked at the first challenged leveraged against the story of the flood and Noah’s ark. We continue with challenge #2: God is irrational for whimsically exterminating all humanity and wiping away all life for some immoral acts of a few individuals. Since God is demonstrated to be irrational and God cannot by nature be irrational, then it is said that God does not exist, and therefore, the biblical account of the flood is simply untrue.

This claim is charged with quite a few preconceptions. First, God is not so capricious in His judgment of humanity and nature to suddenly call for a mass extermination of all living things without any warrant, and this is precisely what we find in the flood account. What had humanity done to deserve this judgment?

Well, for one, in the initial chapters of Genesis after Cain slays Abel, he is banished by God, perhaps not only for practical reasons of being away from the victim’s bloodline but also because it was not God’s intent for the two bloodlines to intermarry. Ironically one interpretation of Genesis 6:2 (“the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose”) suggests this to be one of the final straws for the reasons for judgment. This interpretation, which also echoes other interpretations of its kind equates “sons of God” with godly men (perhaps Abel’s worthy line), and “daughters of men” with the wicked line of Cain. (more…)

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The Flood and Noah’s Ark – Part 1

The biblical text gives us an account of a catastrophic flood that is said to have wiped away all humanity from the face of the earth and Noah’s ark which is said to be the only thing to have survived it. Throughout the ages, the core events surrounding this account have been fairly consistently told by various people across the world at various times. The flood has never really been looked at with skepticism throughout the ages, that is until the modern age. The modern era has seen scientific advances shaping the way in which we think, and we now start to question such biblical historical narratives as that of Noah and the ark. But are these charges against the veracity of the flood narrative really warranted? Let’s dissect some of these charges and see if there are indeed logical reasons to hold that the flood never actually took place. Just one thing we have to keep in mind – the flood is a supernatural judgment of God.

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