New Testament

Millennial outreach #5

New Testament history

There are elements out there that call the Bible a lie, a myth. Most of those in your age group have listened to these inaccuracies. What you are about to read is to help you see facts very few know or even care to know, which I find very unfortunate, but I have come to expect it in the way people are raised and taught in this time.
From the moment the four gospels and the letters of the apostles were written they have been studied, debated, analyzed and questioned. Commentaries have been written and studied and again debated from early in the second century to today. Men like Chrysostom, Clement of Alexandria, Epiphanius, Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeous, Jerome and Justin Martyr to name the most notable of these early scholars.
All twenty seven books of the New Testament have been copied into different languages not only by professional scribes but by average and devoted followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Many have been lost, many others have not. In fact out of all historical documents the Bible has the most surviving copies that date back all the way to the first century when they were originally written, even though an original version has not been found that I am aware of.
The gospels and the letters can be dated to a range of twenty to twenty five years after the resurrection of Jesus. If you do not like the word “resurrection” please see last week’s outreach. (Millennial outreach #4) Now as I have stated before those that say that an item can be called a “myth” is when it is written 150 years after the original event. This as I have just shown does not apply to the New Testament. The first I have just shown, which is the date the gospels and letters were written. Well within the range for survivors of the actual events to have questioned any inaccuracy within them. The second is something the Jewish people have prided themselves for centuries. That being the oral tradition. The earliest oral tradition that is known within the letters of the apostles is within 1 Corinthians. (1 Corinthians 15:3-9), which is dated to have been taught within eight years after the resurrection (38-41 A.D.).
Now as I mentioned above what we call the books of the New Testament were copied into different languages. Two languages become the dominant ones, Latin and Greek. There are many factors for this, which is an entire history lesson in itself, but the basics is due to the split in the Rome Empire itself when it broke in two. The western empire based in Rome, the eastern empire based in Constantinople, which is now known as Istanbul, Turkey.
As Islam spread violently throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East it finally threatened to overrun Constantinople, which in fact fell into their hands in 1453. As a result the Biblical scholars, priest and monks fled this area as the threat become more and more obvious. They carried with them their copies of the New Testament books to the west. Here they fell into the hands of the western scholars, like Martin Luther (1483-1546).
It is due in fact to the Islamic conquest that caused what we now call the Reformation to take place, in addition to the creation of the printing press (1440). For men like Luther saw the difference between the Latin versions from the Greek of the gospels and apostolic letters that led him to question and challenge the Catholic Church. For those within the Catholic Church has changed and perverted these documents for their own glory and riches. So Martin Luther called them out for it which was shown to be in the right. This is the main reason that when you seek to learn the original meaning of the words within the New Testament you must look to the Greek not the Latin.
The first fully “approved” English version of the Bible come into being in 1611. There are those that point to this date as the creation of the Bible and say that since it was made at this point that the resurrection of Jesus is a myth. But as I have just shown above this is the furthest thing from the truth. As I also have shown that since this idea was made even after 1611 it is those stating this theory are in actuality the ones creating their own myth. A myth that God is not real and that His Son did not exist nor raise from the dead.
So this is a brief overview of the history of the New Testament. It is now up to you to think and decide for yourself what you wish to think and believe. For that is something that can only come from each person on their own to decide. You cannot depend on what others or even I say. You must look, think, challenge and learn what is real and what is true on your own. I challenge you as those early scholars did all the way to the point these books were written in the first place.

The hippie Jesus is alive and well but the true Christ is hard to find.

People have this misconception of Jesus Christ. They think He is all love and tolerance. This is a false narrative. It is a narrative designed to allow people to do as they please and think they are one with God when in reality they are not. Jesus said this about who he is:
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Yet today many think that He came to destroy the law. They believe that to live in sin is fine and dandy. Not giving up anything that was called a sin in the Old Testament, but if Christ truly came to fulfill the law and the prophets then we must still adhere to what is written in the Old Testament.
Yet that is not how most think, feel or behave. I am once again reminded of 1 Peter 2 and my heart is saddened and I do not know what to do other then write these words. Hoping and praying they will allow the scales to fall from the eyes of someone and to see the truth.
A truth that is a painful pill to swallow, but a truth that must be said and given. The other day I mentioned Leviticus to someone and they did not understand. Yes it is true that there is no longer a need to make the blood sacrifices as were shown within that book for yes Jesus Christ taking our place upon the cross made that no longer necessary, but the list of actual sins has not gone away. They are still present for human beings are still corrupt and we shall remain so until we are given our new and eternal bodies.
Yet people go about thinking they are now within these bodies just because they asked Jesus into their heart. This is the furthest thing from the truth. Time and again we are warned with the New Testament to watch our steps and to keep God ever present and first above all else.
When you place God first you must follow what is taught by His Son. Do not sin, turn from sin. I have mentioned John 15, I have mentioned 1 Peter 2 and I have shown people Revelation 3:14-22.
Yet people still come back and say “It is not black and white.” I am sorry to once again say this, but yes it is. Christ Himself, within His glorified body told this to John:
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
So if Christ Himself says that you must be cold (black) or hot (white), then how can you possibly tell me it is not what Christ Himself said it should be?

Why is the Bible so big?

First, it must be said that it is not as big as it could be. When King James made his commission to make the Bible we now use today, several books were not included. What is left per the commission was deemed to be the core elements required to teach Christianity.
Two verses need to be stated.
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
The commission found that not only the New Testament, but as well the Old Testament was and is required to teach someone in the faith of Christianity. There are those that feel that calling themselves Christian makes them exempt to follow the teaching found within the older books of the Bible. Now one must understand one important fact about the second book of Timothy. The letter of what is now called the book of Timothy were letters written in the first century of Christianity, many scholars say by a follower or followers of Paul. So what scriptures are being referred to within this letter? None other than what is now called the Old Testament.
Then the commission of King James came to the same conclusion. Therefore, those that are ignoring these books of the Bible are in violation of these two verses in second Timothy. Especially since Jesus stated very clearly that, He is in fact fulfillment of the Old Testament.
It is also important to realize something else. To be a disciple of Christ he must be chosen by Jesus’ Himself. All recognize that those twelve that walked with Jesus before His crucifixion are in fact disciples. Well there was one other that was called by Jesus. His name was Saul, which became Paul, and he was tasked by Christ to preach and welcome all gentiles into the fold. This is the full creation of Christianity and also the making of the thirteenth disciple of Jesus.
Since each disciple represent each of the twelve tribes of Israel that then makes Christians, as I call it, the thirteenth tribe of Israel. This comparison, to me, magnifies statements directed at Israel to also include Christians. This is simplistic I admit, but at the same time logical. Anyway, no matter my suggestion here, being Christian and accepting that we must use the Old Testament as a guide then we should read it. Understand and where fitting in a Christian aspect follow what it teaches for that is its purpose. To deny its teaching is to deny what we have been told to do and in so doing deny God.
Now back on the main topic. There are those that call themselves Christian that seem to display an attitude that they are better than those that do not accept Christianity. They feel they must direct all their attention only to those in their little click of purity. That is against the teaching of Jesus and the entire Bible.
Matthew 28:19 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Matthew 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
We are also to be humble.
Philippians Chapter 2: 3-5 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
This means to all not just fellow Christians. For you cannot convince someone you are sincere if you have an attitude of superiority, which we should never have, because there is only one being worthy of such a placement and adoration, and He is God. And not to desire to share God with any willing to follow and worship Him is the ultimate act of selfishness there would ever be.