Why think that (3) … Jesus rose from the dead

The central event of the Christian faith is the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus stayed dead then his own predictions proved false – he was nothing more than a good man with some interesting teaching. But if Jesus rose from the dead then he is someone really special – someone worth believing. What’s more if Jesus rose from the dead then perhaps death isn’t the end – perhaps there is a way for others to overcome death too.

Jesus Resurrection 1778

Jesus Resurrection 1778 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now resurrection isn’t usual. This sort of things doesn’t just happen. Dead people do not come back to life again. So I know full well asking you to believe that Jesus rose from the dead is asking a lot – its asking you to believe in miracles. That’s a problem for some people – we’ll come back to that in Part Two. For now just consider two things: (1) if God created life then surely he is able recreate life, even after it has died, and (2) there is good reason why God might want to be resurrect Jesus, so as to prove that Jesus is God’s representative and to prove that there is life after death. So perhaps you’ll allow that this kind of miracle is a possibility. Now let’s look at the historical evidence. We can summarise the case in four points:

Firstly, Jesus died on the cross. This is not particularly controversial. It was accepted by non-Christians like Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian and the writers of the Talmud. It is, of course, also the unanimous testimony of Christian sources, like the gospels and the letters. Modern medical appraisals of crucifixion have concluded that Jesus could not have survived what he suffered and, in any case, the Romans had ways of ensuring their victims died.

14th century Byzantine Icon of the Descent from the Cross from the Church of Saint Marina in Kalopanagiotis, Cyprus. St. Joseph of Arimathea is the figure standing in the center, in blue-green robes holding the Body of Christ.

14th century Byzantine Icon of the Descent from the Cross from the Church of Saint Marina in Kalopanagiotis, Cyprus. St. Joseph of Arimathea is the figure standing in the center, in blue-green robes holding the Body of Christ.Secondly, Jesus was buried in a tomb. This is also not particularly controversial. The earliest Christian preachers described Jesus being laid in a tomb (Acts 13:28-29). The gospels record how Joseph of Arimathea took the body of Jesus and laid it in his tomb (Mark 15:46; Matt 27:59-60; Luke 23:53; John 19:41-42). The early reverence of a tomb in Jerusalem (whether or not this is actually the tomb of Jesus) is another witness of the type of burial given to Jesus. And no ancient critic of Christianity – whether Jewish or pagan – ever suggested that Jesus was buried somewhere else.

Thirdly, three days later the tomb of Jesus was empty. This is important because for both Jews and pagans “resurrection” (anastasis) meant bodily resurrection – if Jesus was alive again, his tomb must be empty. Again this is a feature of the earliest Christian preaching (cf. Acts 2:29-32) and the gospel records (Mark 16:1-8; Matt 28:1-10; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10). But it is also a feature of the early Jewish accounts of Jesus – from the first century onwards they claimed that the disciple stole the body (Matt 28:11-15; Justin, Dialogue 108; Tertullian, De Spectaculis 30; Toledoth Yeshu 9-10). This story presupposes that they thought the tomb was empty (they would hardly tell such a story if Jesus was still in the tomb). The fact that Caesar issued a decree against moving bodies from sealed tombs and had it inscribed on a stone in Nazareth probably indicates that he too had heard the story that the tomb of Jesus was empty (this decree is known as The Nazareth Inscription).

Fourthly, the early Christians claimed to have seen the risen Jesus. When writing a letter to the church at Corinth in the mid-50s, Paul lists those who saw Jesus after his resurrection, including the twelve disciples and Jesus’ brother James. He even says there are over five hundred other witnesses, many of whom were still alive when he wrote (1 Cor 15:5-8). These claims are also a feature of the earliest Christian preaching (Acts 2:32, 3:15, 10:39-40), the gospels (John 20:11-18; Luke 24:34; Matt 28:15-17, etc.), other New Testament texts (e.g. 1 Pet 1:3; Rom 1:4; Phil 3:10; Heb 13:20; Rev 1:18) and other first century Christian texts (Didache 10:2; 1 Clement 24:1; Barnabas 5:7).

ANGELICO, Fra Resurrection of Christ and Women...

Angelico, Fra Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb Fresco, 189 x 164 cm Convento di San Marco, Florence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This evidence is early, based upon eyewitness testimony and has a consistent core – that Jesus died, was buried and rose again. The resurrection of Jesus is, by far, the simplest explanation of the historical evidence.

What about the alternatives? Well, a number of alternative theories have been suggested to explain the evidence but none has managed to convince the majority of scholars. Those scholars who deny the resurrection generally tend to not give a verdict on the evidence. But, for completeness, let us consider briefly just one oft-repeated alternative. It goes something like this: the disciples stole the body and then pretended Jesus was alive again to promote their new religion. After all, the first century Jews claimed that the disciples stole the body.

However, this alternative theory just does not work for a number of reasons. Firstly, if this was a conspiracy then it was a huge conspiracy (over 500 witnesses). Secondly, the disciples had no motivation for the deception – when other Jewish cult leaders and “messiahs” had met gruesome ends their followers had just disbanded. The early disciples gained neither money, status or fame from their preaching. Thirdly, the disciples had everything to lose from such a deception. They were persecuted, imprisoned and executed by both Jewish and Roman authorities. Early witnesses, like Peter and Paul, met their deaths refusing to renounce their faith. Would you die for a lie?

The simple fact is that the historical evidence is clear and consistent. And if the event in question wasn’t so controversial then I don’t think anybody would doubt it. Unfortunately it is controversial. Because if the resurrection is false then Christianity is false. And if the resurrection is true then Christianity (or at least its core claims) are also true. So a lot hangs on this question. And at the end of the day you’re going to have to make up your own mind for yourself. But if you think that resurrection is possible and if, like me, you think the historical evidence is strong, then you have good reason for thinking that Jesus rose from the dead.

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Note: Lucian of Samosata

 

Preceding articles:

Why think that (1) … Jesus existed?

Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special

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  2. Glory of God appearing in our character
  3. On the Nature of Christ
  4. Certainty in a troubled world
  5. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  6. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms
  7. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
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  • What criteria do historians use to get to the minimal facts about the historical Jesus? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever heard Gary Habermas, Michael Licona or William Lane Craig defend the resurrection of Jesus as the best explanation for the “minimal facts” about Jesus? The lists of minimal facts that they use are typically agreed to by their opponents during the debates.
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    There are actually a few more reasons for believing in the empty tomb that he doesn’t go into in the debate, but you can find them in his written work. For example, in his essay on Gerd Ludemann’s “vision” hypothesis. That essay covers the reasons for all four of his minimal facts.
  • Rationality of The Resurrection of Jesus (withalliamgod.wordpress.com)
    Moving from historical data to the best explanation of that data Crossan and Ehrman robustly rejects resurrections hypothesis. Their rejection is not based on historical data, but on what best explain these data. It is not a historical based rejection but a philosophical one, the impossibility of miracles.
  • The Resurrection is Believable (burrissblog.wordpress.com)
    Opponents of Christianity and skeptical minds have always questioned the resurrection, just as they question many other teachings of Christianity. Such skeptics are more common in contemporary America, but they have always been around. What is surprising is that more and more Christians are stating their skepticism about the resurrection.
  • William Lane Craig’s case for the resurrection of Jesus (winteryknight.wordpress.com)

    Certain appearances have earmarks of historicity. For example, we have good evidence from the gospels that neither James nor any of Jesus’ younger brothers believed in him during his lifetime. There is no reason to think that the early church would generate fictitious stories concerning the unbelief of Jesus’ family had they been faithful followers all along. But it is indisputable that James and his brothers did become active Christian believers following Jesus’ death. James was considered an apostle and eventually rose to the position of leadership of the Jerusalem church. According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, James was martyred for his faith in Christ in the late AD 60s. Now most of us have brothers. What would it take to convince you that your brother is the Lord, such that you would be ready to die for that belief? Can there be any doubt that this remarkable transformation in Jesus’ younger brother took place because, in Paul’s words, “then he appeared to James”?

    Even Gert Ludemann, the leading German critic of the resurrection, himself admits, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”
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    Gerd Ludemann is actually an atheist new Testament historian, and he has even debated Dr. Craig on the resurrection – not once, but twice. That’s the kind of evidence Dr. Craig uses in his case. Not just what your pastor will give you, but what atheists will give you. We need to learn to debate like that.

     

  • ‘Jesus Discovery:’ Jerusalem Archeology Reveals Birth Of Christianity (fourbluehills.com)
  • What are the arguments for the histority of the empty tomb? (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    The concept of resurrection in use among the first converts to Christianity was a Jewish concept of resurrection. And that concept of resurrection is unequivocally in favor of a bodily resurrection. The body (soma) that went into the grave is the body (soma) that came out.
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    It’s significant that the belief in the resurrection started off in the city where the tomb was located. Anyone, such as the Romans or Jewish high priests, who wanted to nip the movement in the bud could easily have produced the body to end it all. They did not do so, because they could not do so, although they had every reason to do so.
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    The phrase “on the third day” probably points to the discovery of the empty tomb. Very briefly summarized, the point is that since no one actually witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, how did Christians come to date it “on the third day?” The most probable answer is that they did so because this was the day of the discovery of the empty tomb by Jesus’ women followers. Hence, the resurrection itself came to be dated on that day. Thus, in the old Christian formula quoted by Paul we have extremely early evidence for the existence of Jesus’ empty tomb.
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    Note how careful Craig is not to imply that the guard tradition is historical, because we can’t prove the guard as a “minimal fact”, since it doesn’t pass the standard historical criteria.
  • William Lane Craig debates James Crossley on the resurrection of Jesus (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    The burial story supports the empty tomb

    • the site of Jesus’ grave was known
    • the disciples could not proclaim a resurrection if the body were still in it
    • the antagonists to the early Christians could have produced the body

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    Paul was hostile to the early church when he got his appearance
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    there is multiple independent attestation, then it cannot be a creative fiction invented in Mark alone
    regarding the women, even though Jesus respected the women, their testimony would not be convincing to others, so why invent a story where they are the witnesses
    the male disciples did not flee the scene, for example, Peter was there to deny Jesus three times

  • the angel is not authoritative, because the angel cannot be questioned, but the women can be questioned
    there was no response on the lack of embellishment
    there was no response to the earliest Jewish response implying that the tomb was empty
  • The Significance of the Resurrection (spyghana.com)
    The religious leaders would certainly have had enough reason for doing so. They had heard that Jesus had talked of resurrection, and were afraid of hanky-panky. So the argument runs, in order to forestall trickery, they took the precaution of confiscating the corpse. But when this is put into scrutiny, this conjecture also falls into pieces.Having placed the guards at the tomb, what would be their reason for moving the body of Jesus? If the authorities moved the body of Jesus, why didn’t they bring it when the apostles were boldly preaching about the resurrection in Jerusalem? The religious leaders did everything in their power to suppress the preaching on the resurrection. They even arrested Peter and John (Acts 4) and beat them, and threatened them in an effort to silence them.A few weeks of Jesus’ death, the disciples were boldly proclaiming the resurrection. The news spread rapidly. The new Christian movement threatened to undermine the stronghold of Judaism and disturb the peace of Jerusalem. The Jews feared conversion and the Romans detested riots. The authorities had before them one course of action. The Religious leaders could have produced the remains of the corpse of Jesus and published a statement of what they had done. They could have paraded the body of Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem, if indeed, they had it, and that would have smothered Christianity in its cradle. 
  • Guest Post – Jesus’ resurrection and the empty tomb (bennasmith.wordpress.com)
    Why would Matthew fabricate a Jewish cover-story and falsely suggest that it “has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day” (Matt 28:15 NIV)?  He wouldn’t.  Clearly his Jewish audience would have already heard the cover-story.  This is probably why Matthew seeks to rebut it.
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    It is wholly implausible that Jesus’ disciples stole his body.  They were broken and confused.  Their Messiah was dead and they had nothing to gain from stealing his body and then claiming he rose from the dead.  Indeed, they suffered greatly for this claim.No amount of cognitive dissonance could possibly motivate every disciple to claim their Messiah was alive when they knew he wasn’t.  We might at most expect them to find a new Messiah, but they didn’t.The second suspects are grave robbers hoping to make a profit.  However, the Gospels of Luke and John record that Jesus’ grave clothes remaining in the tomb. Why would any grave robbers leave the clothes behind?  Moving a body by itself would be incredibly messy.  Those looking for burial spices would almost certainly simply have carried off the wrapped body and removed the spices in a safe place. Even the clothes themselves could have been sold later on.Perhaps instead the robbers wanted body parts for magic practices.  This is unlikely since there is no evidence that stealing bodies for magical purposes was much of a problem in first-century Palestine.

     

  • John, when he reached the tomb, saw and believed (fggam.org)
    John in his first epistle testifies: What we have seen, heard, and touched we proclaim as the word of life which existed “from the beginning” (1 John 1:1-4). John bears witness to what has existed from all eternity.  This “Word of Life” is Jesus the Word incarnate, but also Jesus as the Word announced by the prophets and Jesus the Word now preached throughout the Christian church for all ages to come. One thing is certain, if Jesus had not risen from the dead and appeared to his disciples, we would never have heard of him.  Nothing else could have changed sad and despairing men and women into people radiant with joy and courage. The reality of the resurrection is the central fact of the Christian faith. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Lord gives us “eyes of faith” to know him and the power of his resurrection. The greatest joy we can have is to encounter the living Christ and to know him personally as our Savior and Lord.the witnesses were in Jerusalem, so they were in a position to knowif the story is made up, who cares what the male disciples did, just invent them on the scene anyway

 

Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special

As discussed in the previous post, Jesus is mentioned here and there by some non-Christians, like the Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus. But our main source of information is that provided by the early Christians themselves. This evidence comes in two main types. There are the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), which are conventionally dated from around 70 AD but may well be earlier. Then there are letters that early Christians sent to individuals or churches. There are a number of these in the Bible, many of which were probably written before the gospels. Taken together these provide us with a lot of information about Jesus and who he claimed to be.

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

Gospel sources – First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak, a Medieval Armenian scribe and miniaturist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should comment at this point about the way we’re using these sources. Though they come from the Bible, they are also historical sources and we’re going to treat them in that way. So at this point we’re not too bothered about whether every last detail of the gospels is correct or not. Nor need we be concerned about whether these documents also contain messages from God. We can leave such issues till later. For now we can just look these documents for what they are – ancient documents, which contain information about Jesus, written by people who were in a position to know. So what do these sources say about who Jesus claimed to be?

Well, the most obvious one is that Jesus was called “Christ” (or more properly, the Christ) – that’s where the name “Christians” come from. “Christ” is the Greek word meaning “anointed” , equivalent of the Hebrew word “Messiah”. The concept of being “anointed” refers to the ceremony by which someone was made king in ancient Israel. (There is a good example of this in the Old Testament when David is anointed as king – see 1 Samuel 16). By the time of Jesus the kingdom of Israel had long since been destroyed and the Jews were essentially living under Roman rule. But the Old Testament prophets had predicted that the royal line of the ancient kings of Israel would be restored and that there would be a king again. Many Jews living at the time of Jesus expected the Messiah to be someone who would lead them to overthrow the Romans so they could be an independent nation again. What is interesting about Jesus is that, though he claimed to be the Messiah – the promised king, he did not attempt to lead an armed rebellion against Rome. So whilst Jesus was claiming to be a king, he was not the king they were expecting.

The most common phrase Jesus used to describe himself as “Son of Man”. That may sound like an odd way to describe yourself, and it was even at the time. In the language of the day – Aramaic – the expression “son of man” was used to refer to humanity in general. But that’s not the way Jesus uses it. He doesn’t describe himself as a son of man but as the Son of Man. So what was he getting at? The Old Testament prophet Daniel presents a picture of human history, where nations are represented by vicious beasts (Daniel 7). But this succession of beast-nations does not last forever. At the end of the vision, a court is held with God seated as judge. Power and authority is taken away from the beasts and given to a new character who is described as “one like the son of man”. This character receives a kingdom from God that will last forever. So when Jesus describes himself as the Son of Man, he is claiming to be the future king, the one who will receive a kingdom from God. But not a kingdom like the human kingdoms that preceded it. Instead this is good kingdom that will last forever.

Jesus is often described as being the Son of God. And frequently Jesus presents himself as having a unique father-son relationship with God. He is not saying that he is a child of God in the sense that all God’s creatures are his children. He is claiming that he has a relationship with God that is entirely unique. The gospels include the stories about Jesus’ birth, whereby his mother, Mary, becomes pregnant despite being a virgin. According to the gospels Jesus had no biological father (though no doubt Joseph cared for Jesus as his own son). So in a very real sense God was Jesus’ father. But being the Son of God is not just about parentage. Jesus claimed to have a very special relationship with God. The gospel writers describe Jesus has having special power to perform miracles, special wisdom to teach people God’s ways and special authority to forgive sins. Jesus was not simply claiming to be a prophet or holy man, but God’s special representative on earth.

Lastly, Jesus took the remarkable step of claiming that he was going to die. And not in battle, or by murder, but that he was going to die to free people from sin. He says:

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)

Westvorhalle der Stiftsbasilika St. Vitus, Ell...

The King of the Jews (INRI) Nailed to death – Westvorhalle der Stiftsbasilika St. Vitus, Ellwangen (Jagst) Kreuzaltar, Hans und Matthäus Schamm (Ottobeuren) zugeschrieben, um 1610; detail: Christushaupt und INRI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And the early Christians reflecting on the death of Jesus also recognised it as a special death. A preacher named Paul wrote to a church explaining the things he had learnt from talking to those who knew Jesus. He writes:

What I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3)

Now Jesus did die. He was executed. He was nailed to a cross by Roman soldiers and died gasping for air. He died the death of a criminal. He should have been forgotten by history. But his followers understood his death differently. This was not the last disgrace of a failed prophet. This was the turning point of history. When God’s representative on earth made the ultimate sacrifice to so that people could be forgiven for the things they’d done wrong and start a new life.

So that’s what Jesus claimed about who he was and what he would achieve. But is it true? Was Jesus a future king? Was Jesus God’s representative on earth? And did Jesus’ death provide a way for us to change our relationship with God? Well there is one more thing that the early Christians claimed about Jesus: that he rose from the dead – that he stopped being dead and came alive again. And if that is true then we’re no longer dealing with the claims of a human man but with a moment when God intervened in history to change the world.

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 Preceding: Why think that (1) … Jesus existed?

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Related articles:

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  2. Written to recognise the Promissed One
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  4. Story of Jesus’ birth begins long before the New Testament
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  6. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:13-17 – Jesus Declared God’s Son at His Baptism
  7. Servant of his Father
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  10. The Anointed One and the first day of No Fermentation
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  12. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  13. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  14. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  15. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  16. Wishing to do the will of God
  17. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  18. Imprisonment and execution of Jesus Christ
  19. Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled
  20. A Messiah to die
  21. Death of Christ on the day of preparation
  22. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  23. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
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  25. After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  26. The Song of The Lamb #6 Revelation 14
  27. Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom
  28. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  29. Signs of the Last Days
  30. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  31. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  32. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
  33. A Living Faith #6 Sacrifice
  34. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  35. Miracles of revelation and of providence 1 Golden Thread and Revelation

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  • Sunday (August 24): “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (shechina.wordpress.com)
    At an opportune time Jesus tested his disciples with a crucial question: “Who do the people say that I am and who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13). Jesus was widely recognized in Israel as a mighty man of God, even being compared with the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah. Peter, always quick to respond, exclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.
  • Jesus is the Messiah (darnellbarkman.wordpress.com)
    ‘Christ’ in early Christianity was a title, and only gradually became an alternative proper name for Jesus. In practice ‘Messiah’ is mostly restricted to the notion, which took various forms in ancient Judaism, of the coming King who would be David’s true heir, through whom YAHWEH [The Creator God’s proper name] would rescue Israel from pagan enemies.
  • Christianity Fast Facts (wdsu.com)
    Followers of the Christian religion base their beliefs on the life, teachings, and death of Jesus Christ.Christians believe in one God that created heaven, earth, and the universe.
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    On the third day after his crucifixion, Jesus Christ arose from the dead.
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    The first Christians were Jews who came to believe Jesus was the Messiah. Gentiles (non-Jews) also made up a large majority of its followers, as is the case today.
  • Secular Israel vs Biblical Israel: Are they the Same? (endtimesprophecyreport.wordpress.com)
    With the Gaza War resuming in earnest, now seems to be the time for a few observations about the secular state of Israel, biblical Israel, Jews, the synagogue of Satan and the deliberate Corporate (and other) Media smokescreens which obscure these subjects.
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    Of course, the largest mistake–and there are quite a few in the linked piece, which is relatively short–is that one cannot separate the Jews as a people from the actions taken by the leadership of the secular state of Israel.  But we know that is a lie.
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    We’re commanded to warn about deception; that deception includes the secular, man-created state of Israel which is NOT biblical Israel. There are observant Jews in Israel.  They are often the victims of violence. God promises He will save His remnant–and He will.  However, make no mistake: secular Israel is not biblical Israel.  Those who confuse the two will reap the unfortunate harvest of deception.  The Christian ignores Jesus’ clear warnings in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 at his own risk.
  • Matthew 1-7 (apologistmike.wordpress.com)
    The gospel of Matthew was written by an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus. He was Jewish, which accounts for his emphasis on the Jewish scriptures in the work, and he was a tax collector for the Roman government. This would have enabled him to write effectively. Many early fathers such as Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and Origen recognized Matthew as the author of the gospel.
  • FFOZ TV Review: Messiah (mymorningmeditations.com)
    The term Christ is one of the most important terms in all of Scripture and yet is seldom fully understood by followers of Jesus. In episode two we will explore the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures and learn about the Jewish people’s expectation of the coming messiah. We will study the Hebrew Scriptures and learn that they speak of a coming anointed one, a king who will come to redeem mankind, defeat Israel’s enemies, and set up his kingdom.
  • Simple Truth: Jesus is not the Messiah (leavingjesus.wordpress.com)
    “Christ” is the Greek word for “Messiah”
    “Messiah” is the transliteration of a Hebrew word that means “anointed”
  • “The Christ is the Son of David” (worryisuseless.wordpress.com)
    Why did Jesus question the Jews on the claim that their Messiah or Christ would be the son of David? After all the New Testament makes clear that Jesus himself is a direct descendant from the line of David’s throne (Romans 1:3, 2 Timothy 2:8, Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38). Jesus posed the question to make his hearers understand that the Messiah is more than the son of David. Jesus makes his point in dramatic fashion by quoting from one of David’s prophetic psalms, Psalm 110: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet. How can the son be the lord of his father?
  • Michele Bachmann Waiting to be Annointed Messiah (politicususa.com)
    What’s in a messiah, you ask? Like many terms it is problematic. Contrary to what many people may think, despite the origins of our word messianism is not unique to Judaism. In fact, in historical terms we can’t even speak of “Judaism” singular because there were in fact many Judaisms with different ways of life and different worldviews.[1] So not only is there not one Jewish idea (or Christian idea) of what a messiah is but not all ideas of messiahs are Jewish (or Christian).

 

The wrong hero

In the Western World we can find people who love to honour a creator that is far beyond any human person. In the East people worship other gods, but also do have three or two headed divinities. The clergy and followers of the many sects or cults of Christendom worship also such more than one in one God, but they prefer not to give them a specific name. A lot of those worshippers give preference to have a nameless triune lord or do not know the name of their God. though the one who created the earth, heaven and everything around us, has a name that He picked out Himself – YaHuWhah = Jehovah.

It is ‘that god’, the God of all, Jehovah the Elohim, who is the Maker of everything, the Provider, the Father of us all.

 

Madonna of humility by Fra Angelico, c. 1430.

Madonna of humility by Fra Angelico, c. 1430. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly two thousand years ago a son to Him was born, who was taken by many to be their god. For them that man of Nazareth became their Hero who they could worship like the vast majority of people prefer to worship some one. Worshipping some one or something is as old as the street. We can find Hindu gods but to us mostly the Germanic or Celtic gods are know. People also know folks who like to worship Allah, Buddha, Jesus; Mary, the mother of Jesus, but even money and sex do not escape the line of fame. Mostly a name is given to the subject to be worshipped, but in Christendom we can find also a nameless lord; almost anything but Jehovah. Then, these very people who ignore Jehovah wonder why He ignores them.

Though the Holy Scriptures, they say they take as their guide, tell us enough about the Lord of lords, His Name and His position as well what He wants. But it looks like most of the people do not read those Book of Books because they prefer to read the theological works of people from the past and present. The main character of the Biblical Books is YHWH or Jehovah, the Elohim Hashem, who explained how He wanted to be worshipped and we have His directions written down in the Bible so that future generations can follow this Spirit who has given us enough information so that we can find Him and understand Him.

“I have let Myself be inquired of, not by those who asked; I was found, not by those who sought Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ to a nation not calling on My Name.” (Isaiah 65:1 The Scriptures 1998+)

“Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

To those who really want to follow God and give honour to the right persons, it is not always made easy, because through history some translators and copyists have altered and changed the
wording of various scriptures in order to support false beliefs such as the Trinity Dogma.  That happened as they did not seem to be afraid for the important warning that nothing should be to add to, nor taken away from the words of the Holy Scriptures.

“For I witness to everyone hearing the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, Elohim shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, Elohim shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and out of the set-apart city, which are written in this Book. ” (Revelation 22:18-19 The Scriptures 1998+)

The confusion wanted to be created could by the removing of Gods Name easily be hold between two heroes of the Bible, namely the Father of the Old Testament (Jehovah God) and the son of the New Testament (Jeshua/Jesus son of God).  According to this transfer could one furrow each other easier to fall in the trap of the notion “God the son“.  The principle of the Holy Trinity could then be kept more easily. The omitting of the Name of God or the changing of the word-order opened the doors to mis-interpretation or mistranslation, errors in textual transmission which could give grounds to the idea of the imposed Trinity doctrine. Added texts like the one not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century for 1 John 5:8 where late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify “in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that testify on earth”. If you look carefully in the translation you can even sometimes find outright forgery. These can often be exposed by even a cursory glance at an English/Greek interlinear Bible or a Greek concordance.

Luckily, but also strangely enough, God’s Word has been amazingly well preserved, no matter what people tried to do with it to destroy it or to bring it in oblivion.  In the world there are many translations and/or versions available and people can compare those translations and the wording used in it. Comparisons between the English versions and the oldest existing manuscripts (The Old Testament‘s “Dead Sea Scrolls” date to around 100 B.C., and the oldest New Testament fragments date to around A.D. 120!), prove that the vast majority of the original meaning is still intact and easily perceivable from most any Bible by the average Christian. So if you know which word is been used in a translation for a certain thing or person, you always can find the clue to understand it fully. The Truth comes always to the forefront, no matter which version you use. So, please do take up your favourite Bible translation and read it from begin to end. Then you shall be able, if you read carefully and listen to the Words of the Holy Scriptures, to find all solutions and sea clear no matter which fog churches want to spread over the world.

You shall be able to recognise the characters presented in the different Books of the Bible. Their positive as well as their negative points shall become visible. You also shall be able to see the relation between all the figures. You shall get to know all the heroes of the past and of the People of God, Israel.

One of the most mistaken heroes is Jesus or Jeshua/Jashua/Jehoshua. In the Bible’s second part, the New Testament, we can find the story of his life. there we can find that in Bethlehem Jesus of Nazareth was born. So he had a beginning and had to grow up. He lived on this earth and died to redeem mankind from the curse of sin brought on by the first man, Adam. But this son, Jesus Christ was not God himself, but fully 100% man, the perfect agent and representative of God, one who always did his father’s will, and could therefore rightfully say “He who has seen me has seen the father” (John 14:9). Because in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, we can see several characteristics of his Father.

In about 68 places we are told that Jesus is the son of the Father, our Hashem Elohim God. Being a child of someone does not make it in being the same person as the father, even when there are so many things the same as that person. As we can look like our father and do like our father, it does not make us an incarnation of our father. Even when people say “He is just his father”, it does not mean that we are the father.

To “beget” something means to “give rise to” it, to “generate” some new thing out of nothing. If God begat Jesus, then God was the source of Jesus’ “beginning”, who could not have been around until he was “begotten“. Also along these same lines, contrary to the statement that Jesus was part of the Trinity as “God the Son” through all eternity, Luke said that the very reason he “shall be (future tense) called the son of God” would be his divine conception and his birth from Mary (Miriam) (Luke 1:35). So if this was to be the reason he would thereafter be called the Son of God, then he was not the Son of God before his birth. We might also consider the implications of the word “birth” in places such as Matthew 1:18. It is the Greek word “gennesis”, which means “beginning”.

While Jesus was on earth he truly worshipped God, and God listened to his prayers.

” who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and petitions with strong crying and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His reverent fear, though being a Son, He learned obedience by what He suffered. ” (Hebrews 5:7-8 The Scriptures 1998+)

The Television serial saga Heroes about people all over the world discovering that they have superpowers and trying to deal with how this change affects their lives is as fictitious as giving Jesus superpowers of his own. A hero (heroine) (Ancient Greek: ἥρως, hḗrōs), in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion. Some people take it that Jesus was half man half God. they do seem to forget that God is a spirit who can not die, while Jesus really died. Making Jesus not just as a god but as The God who is eternal would take the essence of his action away. Making him the God of gods, would not give him the full honour of his  and his Fathers saying.

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic (Photo credit: jakebouma)

 

Jesus was not exactly a hero in the sense of “ἥρως” (heros), “hero, warrior” but he did something enormous for humankind. His deed of giving his self for all sinners was great, because he did it voluntary and for his Father to whom he obeyed. In the literal sense literally “protector” or “defender” he came up for those who could not speak up, the poor ones, the sinful ones, the illiterate, the ones who are willing to go into the footsteps of the son of God. Jesus has become the defender of man and women and so can be our hero too. The Indo-European root of Hero is *ser meaning “to protect” and that is what Jesus did with his blood-offering. By his action, and following his lessons, we are protected and can count on it to be saved. The Greek word Hērōs “is akin to” the Latin seruāre, meaning to safeguard and that is what Jesus is wiling to do.

Osiris, Prometheus, Theseus, Dionysus, Moses, Buddha may be the heroes of very ancient times. Rabindranath Tagore, Mohandas, Karamchand Gandhi, Che Guevara, Nelson Mandela, Bob Dylan, a..o. could be heroes who played a key role in a whole generation some years ago. Today there are other new heroes and persons who are given the role of being the god of this or that. The real heroes are the modest ones who never claim to be Thé Hero. Jesus also never claimed to be the hero nor a god or the God. He knew that he knew less than his Father and that everything what he did was done by the Father, who had revealed His name also to His son.

We find about two thousand years ago Yahshua/Jehsua/Jeshua Jesus the Messiah, made lower than the angels for the suffering of death, but by doing this heroic deed he earned to be crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

“But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the messengers, יהושע, because of the suffering of death crowned with esteem and respect, that by the favour of Elohim He should taste death for everyone. ” (Hebrews 2:9 The Scriptures 1998+)

“And I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Set-apart Father, guard them in Your Name which You have given Me, so that they might be one, as We are. (John 17:11 The Scriptures 1998+)

“When I was with them in the world, I was guarding them in Your Name which You have given Me, and I watched over them, and not one of them perished except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be filled.” (John 17:12 The Scriptures 1998+)

“As You sent Me into the world, I also sent them into the world. (John 17:18 The Scriptures 1998+)

“I have much to say and to judge concerning you. But He who sent Me is true, and what I heard from Him, these Words I speak to the world.” They did not know that He spoke to them of the Father. So  יהושע said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Ad?am, then you shall know that I am He, and that I do none at all of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, these words I speak. “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.” (John 8:26-29 The Scriptures 1998+)

“יהושע {Jeshua} said to her, “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father. But go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My Elohim and your Elohim.’ ” (John 20:17 The Scriptures 1998+)

“There were indeed many other signs that  יהושע did in the presence of His taught ones, which are not written in this book, but these have been written so that you believe that  יהושע is the Messiah, the Son of Elohim,1 and that, believing, you might possess life in His Name. Footnote: 1See Mt. 16:16. “(John 20:30-31 The Scriptures 1998+)

“You heard that I said to you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you did love Me, you would have rejoiced that I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. “And now I have told you before it takes place, that when it does take place, you shall believe. (John 14:28-29 The Scriptures 1998+)

“For, let this mind be in you which was also in Messiah יהושע, who, being in the form of Elohim, did not regard equality with Elohim a matter to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, and came to be in the likeness of men. And having been found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, death even of a stake. Elohim, therefore, has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name, that at the Name of יהושע every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue should confess that יהושע Messiah is Master, to the esteem of Elohim the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11 The Scriptures 1998+)

“And I wish you to know that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the head of woman is the man, and the head of Messiah is Elohim. ” (1 Corinthians 11:3 The Scriptures 1998+)

This hero is even going to be so humble and honest to give the Kingdom of God back to his Father.

” And when all are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself shall also be subject to Him who put all under Him, in order that Elohim be all in all. ” (1 Corinthians 15:28 The Scriptures 1998+)

It is only after all the work he had done that Jesus was placed higher and received a position above all created things and persons.

“… יהושע Messiah,  who, having gone into heaven, is at the right hand of Elohim, messengers and authorities and powers having been subjected to Him.” (1 Peter 3:22 The Scriptures 1998+)

You may take Jesus as your hero, but do not make him more important than he is and do not give him a higher position than he himself would want to take. Listen carefully to his words and those of his Father. In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways. He also had given us his son, the Master teacher. Because in these last days God has spoken to us by his Son, we better take note of what that son said.

“Elohim, having of old spoken in many portions and many ways to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by the Son, whom He has appointed heir of all, through whom also He made the ages, who being the brightness of the esteem and the exact representation of His substance, and sustaining all by the word of His power, having made a cleansing of our sins through Himself, sat down at the right hand of the Greatness on high, ” (Hebrews 1:1-3 The Scriptures 1998+)

For Jeshua/Jesus has given to us the words which his Father had given to him, we should have to known surely that this hero Jesus came out from God, and we should believe that He the Only One God, Elohim Hashem Jehovah did send him.

“I have esteemed You on the earth, having accomplished the work You have given Me that I should do. “And now, esteem Me with Yourself, Father, with the esteem which I had with You before the world was. “I have revealed Your Name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have guarded Your Word.1 Footnote: 1See Ps. 138:2. “Now they have come to know that all You gave to Me, is from You. “Because the Words which You gave to Me, I have given to them. And they have received them, and have truly known that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. “And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I have been esteemed in them.” (John 17:4-10 The Scriptures 1998+)

The Hero Jesus is the Servant of the greatest Hero, Creator of all.

“See, My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My being did delight. I shall put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall declare right-ruling to the nations.” (Matthew 12:18 The Scriptures 1998+)

Let us listen to this humble man, who did not mind becoming a servant for us all and who sits at the right hand of his Father and like Jesus obeyed always to this Father, we should listen and obey to Jesus, the son of God, and obey his Father, the Only One God Jehovah.

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The Dutch version of this article can be found under: Nederlandse versie:  De verkeerde held

Excerpt of the book of Exodus from the The Gre...

Excerpt of the book of Exodus from the The Great Bible (entitled The Byble in Englyshe), publ. 1540. The English form Iehovah (Jehovah as the “J” stands for both I and the later J) is used for the Tetragrammaton at Exodus 6:3. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Additional literature:

Read more about and why most people in the world do not worship Jehovah and do find out who we have to give the worship to.

  1. Idolatry or idol worship
  2. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  3. God is one
  4. God of gods
  5. Only one God
  6. Attributes to God
  7. Full authority belongs to God
  8. God about His name “יהוה“
  9. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  10. Who Is Jehovah?
  11. Why Is God’s Name Missing From Many Bibles?
  12. The Bible and names in it
  13. Will God’s People Be Stumbled By The Name Of Jehoshua?
  14. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  15. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  16. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  17. Jesus – The Promised Messiah
  18. Jesus spitting image of his father
  19. Servant of his Father
  20. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  21. Seeing Jesus
  22. Is Jesus God?
  23. Jesus Christ and God – Some Basic Considerations
  24. Pre-existence of Christ
  25. Around pre-existence of Christ
  26. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  27. The Trinity – the truth
  28. The Trinity – A Doctrine Overdue for Extinction
  29. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  30. Trinity Proof Texts Considered
  31. God – helper and deliverer
  32. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  33. The World framed by the Word of God
  34. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  35. Video – Worshipping God
  36. Video – Commandments of God
  37. Self inflicted misery #4 To whom to listen
  38. Self inflicted misery #5 A prophet without a hedge around him
  39. Self inflicted misery #7 Good news to our suffering
  40. A small company of Jesus’ footstep follower
  41. Heroes and saints
  42. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  43. Breaking up with a cult
  44. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  45. Childish or reasonable ways
  46. People are turning their back on Christianity
  47. Clergy not contributing enough to America

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  • Who is the True Worshipper according to Bible ? (answeringchristian.wordpress.com)
    Jesus made it very clear that “True” Worshipers would be those that worshiped his Father in heaven.
  • What About Those Who Do Not Know The Name of God? (bereanreport.wordpress.com)
    The most common question I hear among those that I share the truth of the name is “Doesn’t Yahweh know who I’m talking to? Why does it matter what I call Him, He answers me anyway?”
    +
    I do not think there is anything wrong with calling Yahweh our Father, Master, Creator, etc. which are all fitting titles. What I think Yahweh would have a real problem with is changing His name from Yahweh to “Lord” It is extremely ironic, if not prophetic what Yahweh declared to Jeremiah when we understand that the word “Baal” means “Lord.”
  • God loves me – He sent me 2 Jehovah’s Witnesses (lisagodfrees.com)
    Simply put, they believe that God the Father alone is God. Jesus is His Son (but not God), and the Holy Spirit is God’s force (but not God).
  • Rob responds to Mushtaq (jessicahof.wordpress.com)
    You are probably aware various branches of Christians take different approaches in establishing the reliability of their beliefs. This also applies to the concept of the trinity. For some the fact their church tradition has established a concept as truth is adequate for them.
  • He Is Our Peace (devosfromthehill.org)
    “I Am Who I Am” is the closest translation (or more exactly, transliteration) of a Hebrew word that cannot actually be pronounced. The closest Latin transliteration is actually YHWH. Notice, there are no vowels, only consonants. This name of God cannot be pronounced. Still in order to make this word accessible, scholars eventually added vowels and this word became Yahweh, or for some, Jehovah.

    Throughout scripture, this unpronounceable name of God is used in conjunction with descriptive words to help us understand who God is.
    For instance . . .

    “Jehovah” Jireh – The LORD our Provider (Gen. 22:13-14)
    “Jehovah” Rapha – The LORD our Healer (Exo. 15:26)
    “Jehovah” Nissi -The LORD our Banner (Exo. 17:8-15)
    “Jehovah” Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness (Jer. 23:6)
    and of course . . . “Jehovah” Shalom – The LORD our Peace (Judges 6:24)

  • Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy (bijbelvorser.wordpress.com)
    The Holy One making Scriptures Holy “for I [am] Jehovah your god, and you shall sanctify yourselves, and you shall be holy, for I [am] holy. neither shall you defile yourselves with any kind of swarming thing that swarms on the earth.” ( Leviticus 11:44 MKJV)
  • Take a walk through Amos 5 (quietbuck.wordpress.com)
    So much so, it should shake a modern day Christian to the core!!!
    But, alas, few will listen to YHWH. It appears that most would rather have fun and “good company” than follow our Heavenly Father above…
    who needs nothing but your obedience and devotion to Him!!!

    How many churches celebrate things from Halloween, Thanksgiving and from Christmas, Valentines Day through to having Easter egg hunts on Easter etc?
    Is that your church? Then they are NOT teaching you properly! They are ignoring YHWH’s Word completely!

    From Malachi to Jeremiah to 1Kings to Matthew and more, each book has witnesses, within their verses, showing us what our eyes must see to come out of her.  Perhaps a good study into Amos will help one to witness to the lost flock.

  • Vision for Selah (quaystoneworship.wordpress.com)
    We believe it is important to spend time worshiping and seeking the Lord together…after all, the Bible tells us that God says “where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst”. At Selah, we gather together with a heart of worship, to spend time together, in fellowship, seeking God, praising Him and praying.

    The vision for Selah, is for it to become a space where people feel freely able to worship in an informal, and Christ-focused environment.

  • Five Minute Friday: Worship (writingcanvas.wordpress.com)
    how I worship, or I how I look, is not a grading of my relationship with God.
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    It can  be scary when we follow others, that almost become like our idols in the way Christians should be rather than how our Father God wants us to be.