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Tag Archives: birth of Jesus

Paul’s First Defense

With the Roman fortress behind him and the Temple of God before him, in chains and surrounded by a Jewish mob crying out for his death and Roman soldiers holding him in a precarious protective custody, Paul began his first of four final addresses. This one is before his countrymen, the Jews. I already discussed Paul’s main defense in a previous blog, but I wish to emphasize the logic behind Paul’s defense in this one. The mob grew silent as Paul lifted his hand in a gesture to speak, and when he spoke in Hebrew, the silence became even more pronounced (Acts 22:1-2). Paul’s defense was a simple narration of his life from birth to his embracing Messianic Judaism and his vision of Jesus in the Temple of God. Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

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Why the Silence?

Aside from Jesus’ birth accounts and his trip to Jerusalem at age twelve, these are the only records we have of his early childhood and youth. Why? Why didn’t the apostles record anything for us about how he grew up? Wouldn’t this also be of use to us, if we are supposed to follow his example? Well, actually, the accounts of the early years of Jesus are in perfect harmony with similar accounts of people of the Old Testament like Jacob, Joseph, Moses and David. Aside from a few snapshots of their lives as babes or their youth, we have nothing concerning them either! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in Christianity, Jesus, Religion

 

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Three Trips to Jerusalem

Luke records three trips to Jerusalem made by Mary and Joseph in the second chapter of his Gospel. During the first trip, Jesus was born and presented before the Lord, being the first male child of Mary who opened her womb. While Mary and Joseph were in the Temple performing the duties of the Law, they marveled at the words of prophecy spoken by Simeon and Anna. Jesus’ parents learned about their Son, while they obeyed the commands of the Law. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2010 in Christianity, Gospel, Religion

 

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How Did You Come to Know Jesus?

Jesus tells us in the Scriptures that we have not chosen him, but he has chosen us (John 15:16)! He goes on to say that no one can actually come to him unless the Father draws him (John 6:44), implying that we are unable to come to Jesus on our own. In other words, our coming to know Jesus is really a supernatural event. We may respond, but our response itself is prompted by God (Ephesians 2:4-10) So, how is it that you have come to know Jesus? Have you ever really asked yourself this question? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Silent Night

La vierge aux raisins
Image via Wikipedia

Matthew is quite unlike Luke in his presentation of the birth account of Jesus. In Matthew Jesus’ birth is shrouded in mystery! In his first chapter he presents Jesus ancestry in a manner that both offends the reader and compels him to decide one way or another about Jesus. He is the King in a manger—God become man—the response to the curse of God or he is none of these. Chapter one brings us to Jesus’ birth, and chapter two begins with: “Now when Jesus was born…”, leaving this silent night in which the birth had taken place without a word of explanation. Luke fills in the gap, but Matthew leaves the reader at the gap which turns out to be a kind of gate through which only the believer may pass through.[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Jesus’ Roots!

I remember watching the TV miniseries “Roots” ~ a dramatization of author Alex Haley’s family line beginning with Kunta Kinte’s enslavement to his descendants’ liberation. My family watched each of the eight programs with great interest. I think one’s family history is not only interesting to one’s self, but to many others as well. One’s genealogy seems to personalize history, makes it more real, I think. I believe one or two of the episodes of “Roots” held ratings records for the most watched program for a few years afterward. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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God’s Love Letter to You!

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Merry Christmas!

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given:

And the government shall be upon His shoulder:

And His name shall be called

Wonderful,

Counselor,

The Mighty God,

The Everlasting Father,

The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end,

Upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment

And with justice from henceforth even forever.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

(Isaiah 9:6-7 KJV)

YouTube – Jesus’ Loveletter.

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Immanuel—God with Us!

It has been claimed by some that Matthew’s reference to Isaiah 7:14 in Matthew 1:23 is out of context, that Isaiah’s sign to appear centuries later would mean nothing to King Ahaz during his then present trouble. The kings of Syria and Samaria were allied and had plotted to destroy the Judean monarchy and set up a puppet government friendly to their own interests (2Kings 16:5). But, is this conclusion correct, namely, if a virgin didn’t conceive in the days of Ahaz, how can Matthew’s reference to Isaiah be correct for Jesus? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Fleshing Out the Invisible God!

We are told in John 1:14 that God (John 1:1) became a human being. To say that God became a man implies that he was not a man prior to his becoming one. It also implies a prior existence in some other form, before his becoming man. Basically, this is what Paul tells us in chapter two of his epistle to the Philippians. Jesus was equal with God (the Father), but did not retain equality with him and thus emptied himself (i.e. his divine form) in order to take a human form (Philippians 2:6-7). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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The Shepherds’ Rumor Ends in Tragedy

As the shepherds watched their flocks during the night of Jesus’ birth, an angelic host appeared to them, telling them that the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. These shepherds were rugged men and not held in high esteem socially. Yet, they were chosen by God and invited to witness Jesus’ birth while kings and the privileged of society slept. Indeed, not even the scribes or Pharisees, or any of Jewish religious leaders were consulted or told of what had transpired, unless they heard the rumor that was begun by these chosen shepherds. Yes, this is how they had to have found out, for the shepherds repeated what the angel had told them to all who would listen and all who heard were astonished (Luke 2:17-18). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Did the Jews Expect the Virgin Birth?

Inspirational Bible Verses
Image by Isolino via Flickr

What do you think? Did the Jews believe when the Messiah would come that he would be Virgin-Born? If not, is the virgin birth a correct interpretation of the Scriptures? Many think that if the Jews couldn’t imagine something to be true, how could they have understood the thing to be true once it occurred? In other words, if they weren’t expecting a Messiah like Jesus, how could they be judged for not receiving him? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Jesus ~ Born of a Virgin or a Young Girl?

c. 1560-1565
Image via Wikipedia

I have heard a great deal of talk denying the virgin birth of Jesus. One of the most interesting points made says the New Testament draws the validity of its doctrine from an Old Testament text that does not support the idea that a virgin would both conceive and give birth. If the foundation for the doctrine of the Virgin Birth isn’t there, then how could its substance be true? Wouldn’t it be mere opinion, if it were not fulfilling an actual Scripture in the older Testament? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2010 in Christianity, Christmas, Religion

 

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Should We Celebrate “Christmas”?

Christmas lights on Aleksanterinkatu.
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I’m sure some of us have heard the argument showing Jesus was not born on December 25th, and this would be true. I have even said as much in some of my earlier blogs pertaining to modern false charges that the Gospel narratives are myths and mere copies of stories of pagan gods whose births some claim to celebrate on this date. Jesus was actually born in late summer on what is called by the Jews: Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets). However, my blog today is not to prove the truth of this statement but to ask what many critics who know when Jesus was born are asking: should we celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25th? The long-story-short is: yes! We should celebrate December 25th at least to point to Jesus’ becoming man, and now I’ll explain why. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2010 in Christianity, Jesus, Religion

 

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The New Testament and Syncretism

There is absolutely no question that the world out of which the New Testament was born was syncretistic. I believe all modern scholarship would agree that there was extensive borrowing going on between all of what we term pagan religions of the 1st century CE. The real question is: did the Apostles or the writers of the New Testament borrow from the religions around them in order to sell Jesus to the gentile world? Personally, I don’t see a shred of real evidence to support the theory that they did. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2010 in Christianity, Religion, Syncretism

 

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Jesus, the Mithras and December 25th

Have you ever run across people who believe the apostles simply copied similarities from the Mithras religion in order to gain a following? Well, I have run across a few on the discussion forums, and they try to say the Christian faith is based upon this Persian religion that the Roman military popularized in the West. Well, it just isn’t so. There isn’t a shred of solid evidence to prove their case. For example, a few people have tried to tell me that the god, Mithras, was born on December 25th just like Christianity says about Jesus. Well, there are two obvious things wrong with their conclusion. First of all, the Mithraic scholarship of today is undecided about when Mithras was supposed to have been born, and, secondly, several pagan religions celebrated the birth of their god about this time of year. It is winter solstice, after all! So, even if it could be shown that Mithras was born at this time, what makes folks believe Christianity copied him? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2010 in Christianity, Religion, Syncretism

 

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