Archive for the ‘Principles of Biblical Interpretation’ Category


COPYRIGHT WARNING

There is an error that many people make today, regarding God and whether evidence for His Being can be observed. I have had conversations with individuals who have brought forth accusations of contradictions that they assert, exist in the Bible. Rather than focussing on what the purpose of the particular verses are saying, the person looks closely at the differences between the gospel writers; as evidence that the text is not truthful.

I recently finished translating my own version of the four gospels for a new book: “One Gospel,” which required a great amount of time to correctly create a version of the New Testament text that is both accurate and reliable. The reason for this new version is that major publishers of the existing translations, do not allow the extent of use for this text that I am accessing, without paying a sizable royalty payment.

As I was trying to meticulously ensure that the text was true to the original, I became aware of multiple places where the four writers of Jesus Gospel, recorded different observations from one another. All of these men were telling the same story, while recording their own particular view of what took place. I have written about this before and have stated that this difference between the four writers is evidence of authenticity, not contradiction. When four people are at the scene of an event, they will always write different aspects of the same story; if the account genuinely took place. If four people write an account that matches each other, precisely, this is evidence of coercion between the writers and likely reveals that the story is not true. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARINING

Your word above your name

This morning, I was watching the Festival of Families service in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with Pope Frances. Mark Wahlberg was at the podium to introduce Herbert Lusk, famous running back for the Eagles, 1976-1978. On October 9, 1977, Mr. Lusk was the first NFL player to kneel at the end zone after a touchdown and pray. Now pastor Herbert Lusk of the Greater Exodus Baptist Church since 1982, he picked up his Bible and began to read the words of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15, regarding the Prodigal Son.

As Mr. Wahlberg left the podium, he cried out: “Go Eagles.”

Forgetting that he had just told us that God’s word would be spoken, Mr. Wahlberg instead exalted a football team, above the words of the One True God.

Pastor Lusk began to read the Words of Jesus, and by the end of the first sentence, Fox News interrupted the reading of God’s word to break for a commercial.

Fox News, chose their commercial interests, above a respect for God and His word. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Those who view gay marriage as a right, often misuse Bible verses for their assertions. The basis for their argument is that certain strange moral behaviors are endorsed by God and the Bible, therefore, no Christian should have any problem with gay marriage.

The following chart illustrates the lack of knowledge that many atheists, critics of the Bible and the LGBT community have, regarding what the Bible teaches:[1]

Gay Marriage Argument Graphic (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Those Who Deny God, Cannot Understand Him

A human being is made up of three components; body, soul, and Spirit. When a person is born, the body is preeminent, it rules the life of the person. Whatever the body wants, it expresses through the desires of the flesh. The soul is the inhabitation of the emotions, where a person expresses their thoughts, feelings and emotions. The spirit, which is the only part of man that can know and understand God, is dead because of sin.[1]

When Jesus told Nicodemus, in John chapter 3, that “you must be “born again,” He was describing the spirit. In order for any person to understand God, or to comprehend His word, first his spirit must be born again, into a new relationship with God. Until our sins are dealt with and removed by God, it is impossible for us to have a relationship with God.[2]

Jesus death on the cross, paid for the sins of all people, for all time. All those who are willing to repent from their sins and come to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, are born again—into this new spiritual life.[3]

This is one of the preeminent differences between Biblical Christianity and religion. The religions of man ignore the spiritual side of man, regarding sin, repentance and the need to experience a new life in the spirit. Man’s religion requires conformance into a set of rules or conduct. The Bible reveals that there are no rules that any person can keep that will make them acceptable to God. It is by a reliance upon what Jesus has accomplish that God will accept any person.[4]

To those who do not know God, who have yet to experience this new birth of the spirit, these things are difficult to comprehend. Some even scoff at this possibility and find it impossible to believe. Nevertheless, this is what the text of the New Testament reveals. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Criticism is often put forth regarding whether certain scriptures from the Hebrew scriptures, are in fact prophetic. From the vantage point of the Jew who does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah, none of the events of Jesus life, death, and resurrection are held as fulfillments of the ancient prophets.

The atheist and agnostic refuse to believe that anything in the Bible is credible; particularly the application of scriptures which assert that Jesus is the object of these verses.

What we find, is that those who are predisposed to a non belief in God, or doubt the validity of scripture as God’s word, are less likely to believe that the Prophecies of the Messiah are genuine. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Upon a search of the internet for Messianic Prophecies, there are several sources that assert that the Bible does not contain prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Further, critics of Hebrew prophecy claim that none of the claimed prophecies of the scriptures were intended as prophetic during their writing.

These arguments are primarily asserted, due to a lack of knowledge in Biblical prophecy and Hermeneutic application. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Prophecy is an advanced look at what has already taken place.

This is the unique capacity that God alone possesses. Only an eternal being, who has Himself made all that exists, can experience everything that is yet to happen, as if it has already taken place. For God, there is no future; all things exist in the present.

When all of the linear events in the history of man on earth have concluded, they will be funneled down into a single arrival at eternity. In heaven, every event of human history has already happened, and you and I who love Jesus are already there with the Lord in heaven. Only as we live out our lives and wait for the conclusion of these events—in the process of time, have these events yet to take place.

God speaks of things in prophecy as if they already exist, because they do. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

In the present modern age of the internet and computer technology, the world has the largest assembly of information ever known. The ability to search or write on any subject has become commonplace amongst those who have a laptop or handheld device. Research into the subject of Jesus life, death, and resurrection, is as easy as a few clicks of the keyboard. Adversaries of the Bible and Jesus Christ have written extensively in rebuttal of the historical Jesus, as well as the New Testament narrative which describes His resurrection from the dead. Many claims have been made by critics who assert that Jesus is a myth, the Bible is full of inaccuracies, and the resurrection never happened. To the untrained, these articles put forth by critics may appear, on examination, credible and factual. In fact, they are not.

To begin, most articles which claim that the Bible is inaccurate, or that Jesus is a myth, are based on the opinions of the writer and have no historical or factual basis. It is common amongst atheists and non-believers that they often espouse statements that have come to them from other atheists or non believers. Very rarely do any of those who take an adversarial position to the Bible or Jesus Christ, ever investigate whether the statements they are making–have a factual basis. Those who do posit facts, have invalid or inaccurate facts, and are not trained in the subjects that they claim to have knowledge of.

Upon a thorough examination of these positions against the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ, we find that these individuals did not begin with the idea that the facts are likely true, but commenced  upon their investigation with the assumption that the Bible is an assembly of stories–written by men and the person of Jesus Christ is a fabrication of history. When any person begins with an assumption that something is not true, this bias will cloud every part of their investigation. It is impossible to arrive at a truly impartial conclusion when we have determined ahead of time that something must not be true.

The only way in which any honest person can truly know what is true and what is false–is when we begin with the premise: “I don’t know,” and then follow the evidence where it leads. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

The prophet Isaiah wrote nearly 2,700 years ago that when the Messiah makes His appearance in Jerusalem, He will be beaten, crucified, and rise from the dead. The leaders of Israel will see Him as He is dying on the cross and determine that He is suffering for His own sins. The prophet further describes the truth of the Messiah’s sacrifice as substitutionary and securing the salvation of every person who will embrace and accept it personally.[1]

To the present day, many Jews have been taught that Jesus died due to His own errors and that His death occurred as a result of sins which He committed against God and His word. Isaiah describes the exact opposite: Messiah will not sin Himself, but will bear the sins of the world during His sacrifice upon the cross.

Why is it that a person will hear the opinions of others and immediately accept the conclusions as accurate–without having investigated the assertions themselves? It seems that in matters of eternal significance–which is the case with Messiah, the claims of Jesus should be examined with the record of Hebrew prophecy, as well as the historical record of the New Testament narrative. The men who were present at the time Jesus conducted His three and one-half year ministry here on earth, testified that He had committed no sin, and that His death on the cross was determined in advance–for the entire world. Jesus came in fulfillment of 55 prophecies from Isaiah and the 22nd Psalm, which all described His crucifixion and death in vivid detail. (more…)


COPYRIGHT WARNING

Isaiah 49:6a Indeed He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.”

The question we should ask in this prophecy is: “Who is this servant?” At times, in the Book of Isaiah, it is difficult but not completely impossible to tell which servant Isaiah is speaking of.

There are three servants who are mentioned in the Book of Isaiah:

1. David-Isaiah 37:35
2. Israel-Isaiah 41:8-16, 42:18-20, 43:1, 44:1-8, 44:21-23, 45:4, 48:20
3. Messiah-Isaiah 42:1-12, chapter 49

There is also a section in Isaiah where the Messiah as the Servant restores Israel, the servant: 50:4-6, 52:13-15, 53:1-12

This particular prophecy is easier than many to identify who the servant is, because of the language Isaiah 42:5-7 uses. Here in verse 6, the Servant Messiah is to restore Israel, the servant of God.

You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel

The Messiah of Isaiah Chapter 49 will also be a light to the Gentiles (Prophecy 205), in that God will use the gospel of the Messiah to save people from every tribe, tongue, nation, and people. We see this completed work of the Messiah in the Book of Revelation, where the redeemed are all together before the throne of God, worshipping Him.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation…”

It was always the purpose of God to offer salvation to every person. First, this great work of redemption was offered to Israel who so often ignored, rejected and disobeyed God’s command. When Peter first brought the message of Jesus’ cross, he went to Israel. Upon their rejection of Jesus as their Messiah, God expanded His grace to all the nations and people of the earth.

Isaiah contains what has been called “The Servant Songs,” so named by Berhard Duhm in 1892.[1] (more…)