Monday, October 4, 2010

It's History, Not Just a Religion (Replay)

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February 28, 2007

Good morning family.

I pray that everyone is doing well. I missed you guys & gals last week, but I'm back this week.  For some reason, the Holy Spirit will not let me leave the historical significance of the Bible alone.  No matter how you spin it, I can no longer look at the Word of God as a bunch of pages in a binder.  I can't help but to look at it as historical.  Obviously there is something that I need to either ingrain into my brain or something someone else needs to read.

Let's look at a few definitions:

  • Religion:  "..sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system—is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the moral codes, practices and institutions associated with such belief. In its broadest sense some have defined it as the sum total of answers given to explain humankind's relationship with the universe. In the course of the development of religion, it has taken a huge number of forms in various cultures and individuals..."1
  • Historical:  "having once lived or existed or taken place in the real world as distinct from being legendary; "the historical Jesus"; "doubt that a historical Camelot every existed"; "actual historical events""2.  "History is a term for information about the past. When used as the name of a field of study, history refers to the study and interpretation of the record of human societies."3
See the problem with the word religion is that it can be refuted by someone.  You can place some other religion next to it and try to say, "mines is true, yours is not".  Notice that it says it is a belief system or a set of moral codes.  That's great as the Bible is the ultimate source on how we as people should live and interact.  But what I'm more focused on is the historical part.  With history, it is factual.  You could put your hands on it...or at least someone at some point and time could.  Let's look at something.

If anyone knows anything about the history of Jerusalem (or has read a little bit of the bible :-) ), one would know that the city stayed in constant battle.  The walls of Jerusalem being destroyed and repaired and destroyed and repaired.....Let's look at the book of Nehemiah:

(5) And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.
The walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed and Nehemiah put in a request to his king to be excused to go back home to repair the walls.  Long story short, Nehemiah and some men rebuilt the wall with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other (about 440-446 BC4).  Now look at the old city of Jerusalem today.  Some of the walls still stand. (And as a side bar, passed under President Clinton's administration, the Nehemiah Program made affording a home a reality for those who would otherwise be able to afford one.  Hence building up a people...but I digress).

Now fast forward to the New Testament.  I like the definition of Historical above because it says, "the historical Jesus".  Whether people like it or not, Jesus was a real person and at the same time the Son of God. We know that Jesus came here to this earth to pay the debt for our sins, died and ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God (and to intercede on our behalf). 

Looking at the Gospels (Matthew, Luke, Mark, & John), one would note that they seem pretty repetitive.  Some of the same accounts appear in each one.  What one have to realize is that the New Testament is not meant to read like a story from beginning to end (that can be a WFTD in itself).  However, what it does is give an account of the life of Jesus Christ, how He affected his disciples and how they preached and carried on the work of Jesus and the gospel.  Matthew, Luke, Mark & John were of course some of his disciples.  Now let's look at some comparisons.
  • Matthew 21:8-10  "(8) And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.   (9) And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.   (10) And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?"

  • Mark 11:9-11 "(9) And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: (10) Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.  (11) And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve."

  • John 12:12-16  "(12) On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,  (13) Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (14And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, (15) Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt."
Why did you type all of this Antoine.  Well glad you asked.  What these very similar verses from different books show us is corroboration.  It's like putting together a crime scene investigation and what you get is eye witness accounts of Jesus in action.  That's one thing about the Bible that makes it so historical and true.  It's not just a mention of an event, but you have many different eye witnesses of the same account. 

Look at after Jesus' death.  He appeared before all of the apostles and Mary Magdalene.  Not to mention others witnessed the same account of Jesus after his death.  Why in the world would someone play off the resurrection of Christ for the sake of "covering up a story"?  It makes no sense.  If you look at the books of Acts, the apostles begin to blossom and do the things that Jesus did:  preach, heal, pray.  They carried on the church to which it spread vastly throughout the world today.  Greek Mythology was nice, but it didn't last.  Even the "trueness" of Christianity trumped it's existence despite the rulers of the Roman empire.

Religion. It's a nice word. But Jesus and the Word of God is History.  You can't take anything from history, because it stands on it's own.

Be blessed gang and sorry for the length.  I got so excited because I missed you all.  We had a lot to catch up on :-) .

Happy Hump Day!

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Antoine E. Hall


"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." - 2 Samuel 22:33
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