Marks of Authenticity for the Original Christian Message

Marks of Authenticity for the Bible

Do marks of authenticity support the core Christian message? Here is a study that can deepen the understanding and convictions of those who read the Bible. For the Christian and the critic, both perceive the need to historically affirm what was the message of the first Christians. The Gospels rely upon sources. Critical and believing scholars observe sources behind biblical texts. Some practical points from academic criteria can help the casual observer to examine the Christian Bible. The critical method can authenticate and illuminate the original Gospel message from among Jesus’s first followers. The sources of the four Gospels and the biblical epistles reflect that Gospel message. Continue reading

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Bible Verses about the Resurrection of the Body

Resurrection of the Body on the Last Day

1 Corinthians 15:16–17, “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

The Nature of the Resurrection Body

Romans 8:11, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (cf. Luke 24:39–42).             

Romans 8:23–24, “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

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Overcoming Sin through Hope of the Resurrection

OVERCOME SIN BY HOPE

Can hope of eternal life change believers to live holy lives? That depends on the hope of the eternal life and the source. Have you ever wondered why many who essentially believe are yet unfaithful? Many have a very shallow concept of the Christian faith. Many believe that “good people go to heaven,” and that shallow hope does nothing to help anyone but to subtly deny hope of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. Many cannot see past Jesus’s death to why the Gospel message includes Jesus rising from the dead. Many churches are struggling with hopelessness, and the world can see themselves reflected in these groups.

Why has the Christian hope of eternal life through Jesus rising from the dead changed those entrust their whole heart to loving God and others through Jesus’s sacrifice and new life? The apostle John revealed, “And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). This scripture and more have application to all sins. However, those who read these scriptures will see the emphasis upon the holiness of the body. The appeal to the resurrection of the body for holy living is throughout the New Testament Scriptures.

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Why Jesus’s Resurrection is Essential

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The Resurrection of the Body

Raised on the Last Day - Resurrection

The resurrection of the dead is an elementary teaching of Christ (Heb 6:2). An in-depth study can reveal more or even uncover holes in understanding this biblical teaching. Many have rejected the resurrection of bodies on the last day for a belief in immortality of bodiless spirits as eternal life. According to Paul, those who reject the resurrection reject the resurrection of Christ (1 Cor 15:12–19). The resurrection is so essential to faith that Paul proclaimed, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1 Cor 15:13–14 NASB).

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All Sins Are NOT Equal

Are All Sins Equal

Jesus’s trial revealed whether all sins are equal. Seeing Jesus bearing a crown thorns and a scarlet robe, the Jews cried, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” pleading to crucify Jesus making himself the Son of God (John 19:6). When Pontius Pilate heard that Jesus was the Son of God, he became afraid yet having found no guilt in him. In his headquarters, Pilate questioned Jesus, “Where are you from?” When Jesus did not answer, Pilate asked again, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” (John 19:10). Jesus revealed, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin” (John 19:11 ESV). Jesus revealed that some sins are greater than others.

Some Sins are Greater than Other Sins

Jesus confirmed that some sins are greater than other sins. Are all sins equal? No. The one who delivered Jesus to Pontius Pilate had the greater sin than Pilate condemning Jesus to crucifixion. How is one sin greater than another is? Continue reading

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Did the Apocrypha Influence Jesus and Paul?

Introducing the Apocrypha - deSilva

David. A. deSilva is a very well educated and intelligent scholar. This writer appreciates his contributions, but this reader was disappointed in this end with his introduction to the Apocrypha. I am critical of critical scholarship. I wrote a short and inadequate review of his text on Amazon, because Amazon offered and its Amazon not JBL or JETS. DeSilva responded with humor that I “returned disappointment for disappointment” (Amazon Review).

I was disappointed when I read deSilva’s text, Introducing the Apocrypha, to inform evangelicals (39–41). In deSilva’s intro to the chapter “Additions to Daniel,” he spoke of the legends and tales of Daniel in Daniel 1–12 (deSilva, 222 ). That is an appropriate position for a critical scholar, but not really evangelical. I must stand by Jesus’s attribution of the prophet Daniel to the book of Daniel (Matt 24:15).

In “Third Isaiah” of the Anchor Bible Dictionary, Christopher Seitz noted that critical analysis is speculation. He revealed, “It is one of the ironies of historical analysis in biblical studies that while skepticism over historical veracity rules in one part of the canon, other literary witnesses are accorded absolute historical reliability; the nature and dosage of selectivity is what produces different results” (3:502).

Are There Strengths to deSilva’s Introductions?

DeSilva’s introductions are very useful for presenting the author, date, and setting of each apocryphal writing. DeSilva provided more than simple dates. He explained how scholars date each document. He did not avoid admitting the limitations and difficulties of scholarship to date texts. A strength of deSilva’s book is that he provided the breadth of academic positions to become familiar. For instance, deSilva noted that the Jewish writer believed in the cessation of prophecy (1 Macc 4:46; 9:27; 14:41). Josephus also understood that prophecy ceased (Ag. Ap. 1.40–41).

Disappointment in deSilva’s Rejection of Biblical Inerrancy

What is so disappointing about deSilva’s introductions? DeSilva wrote to inform evangelicals (40). However, many of deSilva’s points appear to disregard

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