The Life of Jesus – Appendix 3: The Gospels

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story

Appendix 3: The Gospels

 

The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

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The Life of Jesus provides a brief overview of history’s great love story. It gives a summary of the birth and boyhood of Jesus and describes his ministry through three Passover Festivals.
The book includes a detailed chart of a chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry and examines why such a popular, loving, and compassionate young leader would encounter intense hostility and opposition causing his crucifixion.
The mystery and wonder deepen because his resurrection transformed his followers and millions of lives. We date our diaries and calendars from the time of his birth.
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story

Contents

Preface
Introduction
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels  
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   


Model of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time

Appendix 3: The Gospels

The Gospels are not a biography, although much of their good news is biographical. They tell the story of God’s love revealed perfectly in Jesus.

Matthew tells the love story

A despised, hated tax collector for Rome, Matthew admired Jesus and left his lucrative business to travel on foot with Jesus and the growing crowd of his followers. A staunch Jew, Matthew likely wrote his love story in Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Middle East at that time.

They copied their Scriptures (our Old Testament) in Hebrew scrolls, but from the time of the Jews return from captivity in Babylon, around 538 BC, they spoke Aramaic, a dialect of Hebrew, which spread through the Middle East. It became the native language of Palestine used by Jesus and his followers.[1] Matthew quotes liberally from the Hebrew Scriptures, showing that Jesus fulfilled their prophecies. Matthew’s story was reproduced in common Greek, used widely at that time following Alexander the Great’s conquests.

Matthew the evangelist wrote especially for Jews.  He begins his gospel presenting Jesus Christ as the son of David, the son of Abraham.  He ends his gospel with the Great Commission declaring that Jesus sends his followers into all nations.  In Jesus, God’s covenant embraces the whole world.

This radical evangelistic missionary gospel shocked traditional Jews.  Matthew insists that Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, backing up his claims with many quotations from the Old Testament.  He argues that Jesus did not do away with the Scriptures, but fulfilled them.[2]  He emphasizes the missionary nature of Jesus’s ministry and of his church.

This gospel continually confronted the Jewish Christian community as well as other Jews.  Here is a persistent and urgent call to mission.  The good news is for all people, not only for Jews. Matthew begins his Gospel telling of the coming of Jesus the Messiah who proclaims God’s kingdom.  The figure of Jesus the Messiah is announced by John the Baptist, as prophesied.

The beginning of the ministry in Galilee shows Christ’s design for life in God’s kingdom, again fulfilling prophecy.  Chapters 5-7 gather the words of Jesus together in The Sermon on the Mount in which we are challenged to seek first the kingdom of God.  Here is the kingdom charter, the ethics of kingdom living.  The chapters that follow demonstrate God’s kingdom in the works of Jesus.

Matthew gathers the discourses of Jesus as teaching segments throughout his narrative.  He often uses the phrase “kingdom of heaven” for kingdom of God in typical Jewish reverence for the word God.

Jesus’s ministry is summarised in Matthew 4:23 as teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness.  This statement introduces the words and works of Jesus in chapters 5-9.  Then in Matthew 9:35, the same statement is repeated.  Here it introduces the mission of Jesus’s followers.

The mission discourse, commencing from Matthew 9:35, tells of Jesus’s plan for the spread of God’s kingdom.  His disciples will continue his ministry.  They will proclaim the kingdom of God.

The chapters following the mission discourse show the radical nature of the mystery of God’s kingdom.  This mystery is revealed by Jesus to those committed to him, but concealed from others, as indicated in the parable discourses of chapter 13.

Matthew, the only gospel writer to use the word church, points out that Jesus’s church has his authority.[3] The church is the agent of God’s kingdom, and manifests the kingdom in the world.

Tensions with the keepers of Israel’s traditions reached flash point and boiled over into Jesus’s arrest and execution.  That is the volatile setting in which Jesus pressed his authority and invitation as the ministry ends.  The king is crowned with thorns and crucified.  Apparent defeat in death is then turned into the amazing victory of resurrection.  Christ the King reigns.  We all ultimately acknowledge his reign in the end.  In Jesus’s victory we see God’s kingdom fulfilled.

Mark tells the love story

Probably as a young man in Jerusalem he knew and hung around Jesus and his followers. His love story is a condensed version, the shortest account, and possibly the first cab off the rank. It’s likely that Matthew and Luke both used much of Mark’s story in their similar stories, now called the three Synoptic Gospels.

Mark may have been the young man he alone refers to who ran off leaving his linen sheet with the mob who grabbed him in Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested late at night. His family may have lived in a big house where many met to pray and it may have had the large upper room where Jesus ate the Passover. Mark, possibly known as John Mark, joined Paul and Mark’s cousin Barnabas and then joined Barnabas again on missionary journeys, and was with Paul in Rome. He travelled with Peter who called him ‘my son’ and most likely gave him most of the information he used in his Gospel. Jerome, a leader in the early church, told how Mark established the church in Alexandria in Egypt. [4]

Mark gives a vigorous, concise account of Jesus.  The narrative moves swiftly.  A brief prologue leads immediately into Jesus’s ministry as he appears proclaiming and demonstrating the kingdom of God.  Kingdom life fills the pages.

Central to that drama is the cross.  Mark has been described as a passion narrative with an introduction.  Jesus is introduced as the Son of God in the first verse.  Chapters 1‑8 reveal the mystery of the Son of God seen in Jesus’s three year ministry, based in Galilee.

Then the drama shifts in chapter 8, with Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah.  Jesus immediately predicts his death and prepares his disciples for it.  The Messiah must sacrifice his life.  The way of the Son of Man is the way of the cross.  Chapters 11‑16 describe that final week in Jerusalem.

Holy Week, the last week of the earthly life of Jesus, may be summarized this way as a general guide.  The different Gospels record different events, each one telling the Gospel, the good news, in their own way.  So this arrangement is just an estimate of the sequence of the momentous developments in Holy Week.

This summary of events in Holy Week follows the outline in Mark’s Gospel:

Palm Sunday  –  Day of Demonstration
Mark 11:1-11 (Zech 9:9)  –  Jesus enters Jerusalem

Monday  –  Day of Authority
Mark 11:12-19  –  fig tree rebuked, temple cleansed

Tuesday  –  Day of Conflict
Mark 11:20  –  13:36  –  debates with leaders

Wednesday  –  Day of Preparation
Mark 14:1-11  –  anointed at Bethany

Thursday  –  Day of Farewell
Mark 14:12-42  –  last supper

Good Friday  –  Day of Crucifixion
Mark 14:43 – 15:47  –  trials and death

Saturday  –  Day of Sabbath
Mark 15:46-47  –  tomb sealed

Easter Sunday  –  Day of Resurrection
Mark 16:1-18  –  resurrection appearances

These passages remind us of events from the most momentous week in all history, and indeed in all eternity.  The Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world, took our sin upon himself, died in our place, and conquered death. He alone is the Saviour of the World.  All who believe in him, all who trust him, will not die but live for ever with him.

Luke tells the love story

Physician and historian, Luke gives us unique accounts of the earliest days in Jesus’ life. The only Gentile author in the Bible, he addressed his two books, Luke-Acts, to his Gentile friend Theophilus. He provides carefully researched historical insights into Jesus and his followers. He alone records Jesus’ famous and confronting parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son.[5]

Dr Luke carefully researched the accounts of healing and miracles. He joined the teams on Paul’s second and third missionary journeys though Turkey (then called Asia or Asia Minor) and Greece, and on their fateful trip to Rome which included being shipwrecked on Malta. He carefully described those adventures in the ‘we passages’ in Acts. Paul valued him highly.[6]

Luke wrote with a different emphasis from the other writers of the New Testament who all grew up steeped in Israel’s traditions.  He writes especially for his community.

Luke the historian describes Jesus’s central place in human events.  Jesus is the Saviour of the whole world.  No one is excluded from God’s offer of salvation in Jesus.  The poor, despised and outcasts (such as Gentiles) are especially invited into the kingdom of God.  Luke gives a clear, ordered account of the spread of God’s kingdom in the ministry of Jesus (Luke’s Gospel) and in the early church (The Acts of the Apostles).

Luke the traveller makes “journey” a strong theme in both his books.  He tells of events along the way, on the road.  This especially applies to Jesus’s final journey to Jerusalem.  That last journey began after Peter’s declaration that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus explained that terms of his death and resurrection.

Luke the missionary, who often accompanied Paul, tells of the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, first in Jesus, then in his followers, and then in the church’s missionary expansion. Luke refers to the Holy Spirit often in both his gospel and The Acts of the Apostles.

Luke the doctor, emphasizes Jesus’s compassion and healing power for all who came to him.  His gospel abounds with stories of Jesus’s care for people.  He includes many accounts of Jesus’s compassion for the poor and for outcasts.

Luke the evangelist, tells of Jesus’s saving power and includes some of the most famous parables which summarise the good news of God’s kingdom.  Parables of the prodigal son, the lost coin, the good Samaritan, the rich man and Lazarus, and the rich fool are unique to Luke’s evangelism story.  So are the accounts of the Samaritan leper, the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’s feet, and Zacchaeus.  These were despised people who responded to Jesus.

If you have a Bible with section headings containing cross-references, as in the Good News Bible and New Revised Standard Version, you can easily locate the passages unique to Luke.  They have no cross-references.  Those passages give a feel for Luke’s emphasis in telling the good news about the kingdom of God.

John tells the love story

He may have been Jesus’ young cousin, a son with his older brother James of the successful fisherman Zebedee who employed others in his business in partnership with Simon and Andrew. John’s mother may have been a sister to Jesus’ mother Mary, identified by early church leaders as Salome. She wanted Jesus to allow her sons to sit beside him in his new kingdom. She was with John and with Mary at the crucifixion where Jesus committed his mother into John’s care. John writes about the disciple whom Jesus loved, usually identified as John himself, who reclined on Jesus’ chest at the last supper.[7]

John’s Gospel and his three letters emphasize God’s love revealed in Jesus. Famous verses like John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16 describe that love:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” (1 John 3:16)

John was an eye-witness to the ministry of Jesus.  He belonged to the inner circle of disciples with his brother James and with Peter the natural leader.  John may have been the youngest of the disciples.

Throughout his Gospel, John emphasized that he recorded what he had seen and heard.  He states early in the Gospel that he, with others, witnessed the life of Jesus the Christ, the Logos, the living Word of God.

John describes how he was there at the crucifixion witnessing that stupendous, agonizing death. He emphasizes that he wrote so that his readers would believe in Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God.

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.  But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30-31)

 [1] Matthew 1:21, The Passion Translation.

[2] Matthew 5:17.

[3] Matthew 16:18-19; 18:17-18.

[4] Mark 14:12-16, 50-52; Acts 1:12-14; 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15:36-39; Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11; 1 Peter 5:13; and http://www.ldolphin.org/johnmark.html.

[5] Luke 1-2; 10:25-37; 15:11-32.

[6] Acts 16:10-17, & 20:5-21:18, & 27:1-28:16; Colossians 4;14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 24.

[7] Matthew 20:20-21; 27:56; John 13:23; 19:25.

See also


Kingdom Life in the Gospels


The Life of Jesus

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Biblical Feast Days from The Life of Jesus

Biblical Feast Days from The Life of Jesus

History’s Great Love Story

 

The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF
The full Feast Days overview is in the PDF Appendix

A Brief Overview

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
A Chronology adapted from The Life of Jesus

Free PDF books on the Main Page
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com

The Life of Jesus provides a brief overview of history’s great love story. It gives a summary of the birth and boyhood of Jesus and describes his ministry through three Passover Festivals.
The book includes a detailed chart of a chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry and examines why such a popular, loving, and compassionate young leader would encounter intense hostility and opposition causing his crucifixion.
The mystery and wonder deepen because his resurrection transformed his followers and millions of lives. We now date our diaries and calendars from the time of his birth.

Contents

Preface
Introduction
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

Appendix 2

The Feast Days

Leviticus 23 briefly covers all of the feasts of the Lord. There are three annual feasts that the Lord commanded all Israel to celebrate in Jerusalem — Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. Here is Leviticus 23 from the Easy-to-Read Version (biblegateway.com).

The Special Festivals

23 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites: You will announce the Lord’s chosen festivals as holy meetings. These are my special festivals.

Sabbath

“Work for six days, but the seventh day, the Sabbath, will be a special day of rest, a holy meeting. You must not do any work. It is a day of rest to honour the Lord in all your homes.

Festival of Passover  (Exodus 12:1-11;  Numbers 28:16-25)

“These are the Lord’s chosen festivals. You will announce the holy meetings at the times chosen for them. The Lord’s Passover is on the 14th day of the first month just before dark.

Festival of Unleavened Bread

“The Lord’s Festival of Unleavened Bread is on the 15th day of the same month. You will eat unleavened bread for seven days. On the first day of this festival, you will have a special meeting. You must not do any work on that day. For seven days, you will bring sacrifices offered as gifts to the Lord. Then there will be another special meeting on the seventh day. You must not do any work on that day.”

Festival of the First Harvests  (First Fruits)

The Lord said to Moses, 10 “Tell the Israelites: You will enter the land that I will give you and reap its harvest. At that time you must bring in the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest. 11 The priest will lift the sheaf to show it was offered before the Lord. Then you will be accepted. The priest will present the sheaf on Sunday morning.

12 “On the day when you present the sheaf, you will offer a one-year-old male lamb. There must be nothing wrong with that lamb. That lamb will be a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 You must also offer a grain offering of 16 cups of fine flour mixed with olive oil. You must also offer 1 quart of wine. The smell of that offering will please the Lord. 14 You must not eat any of the new grain, or fruit, or bread made from the new grain until you bring that offering to your God. This law will always continue through your generations, wherever you live.

Festival of Harvest or Weeks  (Pentecost, Numbers 28:26-31)

15 “From that Sunday morning (the day you bring the sheaf to be presented to God), count seven weeks. 16 On the Sunday following the seventh week (that is, 50 days later), you will bring a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 On that day bring two loaves of bread from your homes. That bread will be lifted up to show it was offered to God. Use yeast and 16 cups of flour to make those loaves of bread. That will be your gift to the Lord from your first harvest.

18 “With these grain offerings bring one bull, one ram, and seven one-year-old male lambs for burnt offerings to the Lord. There must be nothing wrong with these animals. Offer them together with the grain offerings and the drink offerings. The smell of these offerings made by fire will be pleasing to the Lord. 19 You will also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering.

20 “The priest will lift them up with the bread from the first harvest to show they were offered with the two lambs before the Lord. They are holy to the Lord. They will belong to the priest. 21 On that same day you will call a holy meeting. You must not do any work. This law continues forever in all your homes.

22 “Also, when you harvest the crops on your land, don’t cut all the way to the corners of your field. Don’t pick up the grain that falls on the ground. Leave it for poor people and for foreigners traveling through your country. I am the Lord your God.”

Festival of Trumpets  (Numbers 29:1-6)

23 Again the Lord said to Moses, 24 “Tell the Israelites: On the first day of the seventh month, you must have a special day of rest. Blow the trumpet to remind the people that this is a holy meeting. 25 You must not do any work. You must bring an offering as a gift to the Lord.”

Day of Atonement  (Leviticus 16:1-34; Numbers 29:7-11)

26 The Lord said to Moses, 27 “The Day of Atonement will be on the tenth day of the seventh month. There will be a holy meeting. You must not eat food, and you must bring an offering as a gift to the Lord. 28 You must not do any work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement. On that day the priests will go before the Lord and perform the ceremony that makes you pure.

29 “Anyone who refuses to fast on this day must be separated from their people. 30 If anyone does any work on this day, I will destroy that person from among the people. 31 You must not do any work at all. This is a law that continues forever for you, wherever you live. 32 It will be a special day of rest for you. You must not eat food. You will start this special day of rest on the evening following the ninth day of the month. This special day of rest continues from that evening until the next evening.”

Festival of Tabernacles  (Booths, Numbers 29:12-40)

33 Again the Lord said to Moses, 34 “Tell the Israelites: On the 15th day of the seventh month is the Festival of Shelters. This festival to the Lord will continue for seven days. 35 There will be a holy meeting on the first day. You must not do any work. 36 You will bring offerings as gifts to the Lord for seven days. On the eighth day, you will have another holy meeting. You must not do any work. You will bring an offering as a gift to the Lord.

37 “These are the Lord’s special festivals. There will be holy meetings during these festivals. You will bring offerings as gifts to the Lord—burnt offerings, grain offerings, sacrifices, and drink offerings. You will bring these gifts at the right time. 38 You will celebrate these festivals in addition to remembering the Lord’s Sabbath days. You will offer these gifts in addition to your other gifts and any offerings you give as payment for your special promises. They will be in addition to any special offerings you want to give to the Lord.

39 “On the 15th day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you will celebrate the Lord’s festival for seven days. The first day will be a special day of rest, and then the eighth day will also be a special day of rest. 40 On the first day you will take good fruit from fruit trees. And you will take branches from palm trees, poplar trees, and willow trees by the brook. You will celebrate before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You will celebrate this festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This law will continue forever. You will celebrate this festival in the seventh month. 42 You will live in temporary shelters for seven days. All the people born in Israel will live in them. 43 Why? So all your descendants will know that I made the Israelites live in temporary shelters during the time I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”

44 So Moses told the Israelites about all the special meetings to honour the Lord.

 

An Overview

God gave Moses the dates and details of the annual festivals.

  1. Passover(Pesach) – Nisan 14-15
  2. Unleavened Bread(Chag Hamotzi) – Nisan 15-22
  3. First Fruits(Yom Habikkurim) – Nisan 16-17
  4. Pentecost(Shavuot) – Sivan 6-7
  5. Trumpets(Yom Teruah) – Tishri 1
  6. Atonement(Yom Kippur) – Tishri 10
  7. Tabernacles(Sukkot) – Tishri 15-22

Each month began with a new moon. Passover fell on the first full moon of spring. The first three feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits in March/April included the spring harvests of wheat and barley. The fourth one, Pentecost, marked the start of the summer harvest in late May or early June. The last three feasts, Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles in September/October included the autumn/fall harvests of grapes, figs, and olives.

The Spring Festivals

(1) Passover. The festival year began with Passover on the 14th day of the first month (Nisan 14) when the unblemished lamb was slain. The angel of death “passed over” the Jewish homes with the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. Our Lord was sacrificed on Passover, the Day of Preparation.

(2) Unleavened Bread – a week. This feast began on the next day (Nisan 15) beginning at sunset and lasted for seven days. Today the unleavened bread (Matzah) is striped and pierced, as was Jesus’ body.

(3) First Fruits. Celebrated on the day after the Sabbath, they brought the early crops of wheat and barley to wave the sheaf before the Lord. They sacrificed Passover lambs on the 14th of Nisan; then the first day of Unleavened Bread was the 15th; with the Feast of First Fruits celebrated the third day on the 16th of Nisan. This third-day celebration points to Jesus’ resurrection.

(4) Pentecost. On the Sunday after the seventh Sabbath (50 days after Passover) they offered two loaves of bread with leaven/yeast and new meat offerings, marking the beginning of the summer harvest. The Holy Spirit was first poured out at this festival in Jerusalem.

The Autumn/Fall Festivals

(5) Trumpets. The 1st day of the seventh month was celebrated with blowing the ram’s horn. The trumpet was the signal for the field workers to come into the Temple. It reminds some people of the ram caught in the thorn bush that became a substitute sacrifice for Isaac, Abraham’s son, on Mount Moriah.

(6) Atonement. This highest of holy days fell on the 10th day of the seventh month. A day of fasting and sacrifices, it was the only time once a year when the High Priest sprinkled blood on the golden mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies behind the thick curtain in the tabernacle and then later in the temple. Our atonement is found in Jesus’ blood shed for us.

(7) Tabernacles – a week. The 15th day of the seventh month commenced a week of celebrating in booths, a reminder of God’s care during the 40 years of Israel’s wandering in the wilderness. He led them there with a pillar of fire and smoke above the tabernacle. He leads us by his Spirit.

A Winter Festival: The Feast of Dedication (Hanukah) in December celebrated the cleansing of the temple in 165 BC when olive oil burned for eight days during the Maccabean revolt against the Greek empire. Jesus attended this optional feast before his final Passover sacrifice the following April.

Related Books

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection 
– PDF
3 books in 1

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Popular Books – by Geoff Waugh

Revival Books – gift ideas

Renewal Books – gift ideas

General Books – gift ideas

Devotional Books – gift ideas

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival:
www.renewaljournal.com

A Chronology from The Life of Jesus

A Chronology adapted from The Life of Jesus

History’s Great Love Story

 
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

A full chronology is in the PDF Appendix

A Brief Overview

Share good news  –  Share this and any page freely. Over 100,000 blog views annually.
Share this link on your media, eg Facebook, Instagram, Emails:
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
A Chronology adapted from The Life of Jesus

Free PDF books on the Main Page
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com

The Life of Jesus provides a brief overview of history’s great love story. It gives a summary of the birth and boyhood of Jesus and describes his ministry through three Passover Festivals.
The book includes a detailed chart of a chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry and examines why such a popular, loving, and compassionate young leader would encounter intense hostility and opposition causing his crucifixion.
The mystery and wonder deepen because his resurrection transformed his followers and millions of lives. We now date our diaries and calendars from the time of his birth.

Contents

Preface
Introduction
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

Appendix 1 – Chronology

A full chronology of The Life of Jesus is in the PDF Appendix 

The Last Supper
Preparation of the Passover – Mt 26:17-19; Mk 14:12-16; Lk 22:7-13
Washing the disciples’ feet – Jn 13:1-17
The breaking of bread – Mt 26:26; Mk 14:22; Lk 22:19
‘One of you shall betray me’ – Mt 26:21; Mk 14:18; Lk 22:21; Jn 13:21
‘Is it I?’ – Mt 26:22-25; Mk 14:19
Giving of the dipped bread – Jn 13:26,27
Departure of Judas Iscariot – Jn 13:30
Peter warned – Mt 26:34; Mk 14:30; Lk 22:34; Jn 13:38
Blessing the cup – Mt 26:27,28; Mk 14:23,24; Lk 22:17
The discourses after supper – Jn 14:1-16:33
Christ’s prayer for his apostles – Jn 17:1-17:26
The hymn – Mt 26:30; Mk 14:26

Gethsemane and Trials
The agony – Mt 26:37: Mk 14:33; Lk 22:39; Jn 18:1
The thrice-repeated prayer – Mt 26:39-44; Mk 14:36-39; Lk 22:42
Sweat and angel support – Lk 22:43,44
The sleep of the apostles – Mt 26:40-45; Mk 14:37-41; Lk 22:45,46
Betrayal by Judas – Mt 26:47-50; Mk 14:34,44; Lk 22:47; Jn 18:2-5
Peter smites Malchus – Mt 26:51; Mk 14:47; Lk 22:50; Jn 18:10
Jesus heals the ear of Malchus – Lk 22:51
Jesus forsaken by disciples – Mt 26:56; Mk 14:50
1) Trial with Annas – Jn 18:12,13
2) Trial with Caiaphas – Mt 26:57; Mk 14:53; Lk 22:54; Jn 18:15
Peter follows Jesus – Mt 26:58; Mk 14:54; Lk 22:55; Jn 18:15
The high priest’s adjuration – Mt 26:63; Mk 14:61
Jesus condemned, buffeted, mocked – Mt 26:66-67; Mk 14:64-65; Lk 22:63-65
Peter’s denial of Christ – Mt 26:69-75; Mk 14:66-72; Lk 22:54-62; Jn 18:17-27
3) Trial with Pilate – Mt 27:1,2;  Mk 15:1; Lk 23:1-4; Jn 18:28
Repentance of Judas – Mt 27:3
Pilate comes out to the people – Jn 18:29-32
Pilate speaks to Jesus privately – Jn 18:33-38
4) Trial with  Herod – Lk 23:5-11
Jesus mocked, arrayed in purple – Lk 23:5-11
5) Trial with Pilate, scourged – Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Jn 19:1
Jesus crowned with thorns – Mt 27:29; Mk 15:17; Jn 19:2
‘Behold the man’ – Jn 19:5
Jesus accused formally – Mt 27:11; Mk 15:2; Lk 23:2
‘Behold your King’ – Jn 19:14
Pilate desires to release him – Mt 27:15; Mk 15:6; Lk 23:17; Jn 19:12
Pilate’s wife message – Mt 27:19
Pilate washes his hands – Mt 27:24
Pilate releases Barabbas – Mt 27:26
Pilate delivers Jesus to be crucified – Mt 27:26; Mk 15:15; Lk 23:25; Jn 19:16

Crucifixion
Simon of Cyrene carries the cross – Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26
They give Jesus vinegar and gall – Mt 27:34; Mk 15:23; Lk 23:36
They nail him to the cross – Mt 27:35  Mk 15:24,25; Lk 23:33; Jn 19:18
The superscription – Mt 27:37; Mk 15:26; Lk 23:38; Jn 19:19
1) Father, forgive them – Lk 23:34
His garments parted and shared – Mt 27:35; Mk 15:24; Lk 23:34; Jn 19:23
Passers-by and the two thieves revile – Mt 27:39-44; Mk 15:29-32; Lk 23:35
The penitent thief – Lk 23:40
2) Today you will be with me in paradise – Lk 23:43
3) Woman, behold your son; son behold your mother – Jn 19:26,27
Darkness over all the land – Mt 27:45; Mk 15:33; Lk 23:44,45
4) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? – Mt 27:46: Mk 15:34
5) I thirst – Jn 19:28
The wine vinegar – Mt 27:48; Mk 15:36; Jn 19:29
6) It is finished – Jn 19:30
7) Father, into your hands I commit my spirit – Lk 23:46
Rending of the veil – Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38; Lk 23:45
Graves opened, saints resurrected – Mt 27:52
Testimony of the Centurion – Mt 27:54; Mk 15:39; Lk 23:47
Watching of the women – Mt 27:55; Mk 15:40; Lk 23:49
The piercing of his side – Jn 19:34
Taken down from the cross – Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53; Jn 19:38-42
Burial by Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus – Mt 27:57-60; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53; Jn 19:38-42
A guard is placed over the sealed stone – Mt 27:65-66

Resurrection
Women carry spices to the tomb – Mt 28:1  Mk 16:1,2  Lk 24:1
The angel had rolled away the stone – Mt 28:2
Women announce the resurrection – Mt 28:8  Lk 24:9,10  Jn 20:1,2
Peter and John run to the tomb – Lk 24:12  Jn 20:3
The women return to the tomb – Lk 24:1
The guards report to the chief priests – Mt 28:11-15

APPEARANCES OF CHRIST
1) To Mary Magdalene – Mk 16:9,10; Jn 20:11-18
2) To the women returning home – Mt 28:9-10
3) To two disciples going to Emmaus – Mk 16:12; Lk 24:13-35
4) To Peter – Lk 24:34; 1 Co 15:5
5) To ten Apostles in the upper room – Lk 24:33;  Jn 20:19-23
6) To eleven Apostles in the upper room – Mk 16:14; Jn 20:26-29
7) To 500 at once – 1 Cor 15:6
8) To James – 1 Cor 15:6
9) To disciples at the sea of Tiberias – Jn 21:1-23
10) To eleven disciples on a mountain – Mt 28:16-20
11) Eating together – Acts 1:4-5
12) The Ascension – Mk 16:19  Lk 24:50-51  Acts 1:6-9

 That chronology is included in Crucified and Risen

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection 
– PDF
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The Life of Jesus

The Life of Jesus

History’s Great Love Story

The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

You can see it in ‘Two-page view’ from the PDF top right corner.

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com
Geoff Waugh founding editor of the Renewal Journal
Free PDF books on the Main Page

Be enriched. A most helpful telling of the life of Jesus using the biblical text and adding some background and charts. Anyone using this book will be enriched. ~ John (Amazon 5-stars)
* The book is beautifully written and I have learned and understood a lot. I am recommending this book.
~ Kattie Mayson (Amazon 5-stars)
* I read your book last night. This is a great book. Thanks for writing this for all of us. ~ Nabeel Sharoon from Pakistan, now translating it into five languages: Urdu, Hindi, Pakistani Punjabi, Indian Punjabi, and Sindhi. This book will also be available in America from WestBow Press, a Christian arm of Harper and Zondervan, with this cover:

Amazon Links: I’d love to see your positive review comment there!
Australians can order from amazon.com.au – cheaper postage than from USA.
Paperback Print  ISBN: 9798820112546 – US$5
I can mail it in Australia for A$10 including postage (geoffwaugh2@gmail.com)

Hardcover Print ISBN: 9798820487781 – US$12

Paperback Colour ISBN: 9798820482212 – US$16
Hardcover Colour ISBN: 9798820621079 – US$24

Facebook Links:
https://www.facebook.com/LifeofJesus.GeoffWaugh
https://www.facebook.com/HistorysGreatLoveStory

The Life of Jesus provides a brief overview of history’s great love story. It gives a summary of the birth and boyhood of Jesus and describes his ministry through three Passover Festivals.
The book includes a detailed chart of a chronology of Jesus’ life and ministry and examines why such a popular, loving, and compassionate young leader would encounter intense hostility and opposition causing his crucifixion.
The mystery and wonder deepen because his resurrection transformed his followers and millions of lives. We date our diaries and calendars from the time of his birth.

Contents

Preface [see below]
Introduction [see below]
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions [see below]
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

Model of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time

Preface

Why would such a good man who loved so profoundly and helped so many people be killed? Why did he provoke opposition?

If God walked among us in the person of his Son, why would people want to kill him? Why did so many vehemently oppose him?

That puzzled me as a boy. It still does.

The greatest love story the world has ever seen led to the excruciating death of crucifixion.

Many people have given their lives for other people as soldiers do in war. They die for others, defending home and country. But Jesus’ death was different. God’s Son chose to die for us because of his immense love for us. He took our place. His death gives us life. He is the perfect, sinless, eternal sacrifice for us. His blood cleanses us from all our sin as we trust in him. We are forgiven.

But why did so many good people, good religious people, hate him? That puzzled and fascinated me, so I explore that mystery in this book. I wanted to write a summary overview that people of all ages could read.

I always believed in Jesus. Even as a small boy I loved to hear and then read stories about him. He was so unique, so different. I believed his story as a boy and trusted in him. I still do and I hope you do too.

Jesus did what was good. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, set people free from addictions and evil, performed miracles, and even raised dead people. Huge crowds followed him and wanted him to be their king.

Now billions follow him, captivated by his love, the greatest love story of all. You can do that also. I invite you to simply pray something like this: Thank you Lord for all you’ve done. Forgive me for any wrong in my life. I trust in you and give my life to you.

Introduction

The year on our calendar or diary reminds us of when Jesus was born, approximately. We count the years from his arrival. So when you look at your diary or calendar you can be reminded again of Jesus.

They called him Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) of Nazareth, the same name as Moses’ famous general who led God’s people into their Promised Land. Yeshua means God saves, or God is salvation.

That name comes to us in English through many translations from Yeshua or Y’shua in Hebrew and Aramaic, then translated into Iesous in Greek, then to IESVS in Latin and later as IESUS as printed in the first edition of the King James Bible in 1611. Later that century ‘J’ replaced the ‘I’ so the English name became Jesu (vocative) and Jesus (nominative) but eventually just Jesus in English. Other languages have translations such as Jesu, Yesu, and Isa.

English translations of the Bible used the name Jesus for Joshua/Jesus of Nazareth, and the name Joshua for others with that same name.[1]  So in English, the name Jesus became unique and sacred for Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. The angel Gabriel announced his name before his birth to both Mary his mother and to Joseph who married Mary.[2] Gabriel explained that Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus) had that name because he would save his people from their sins.

The great love story had begun. Jesus came to save us and give us eternal life.

His followers recorded that story of his life and his love in the good news of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The rest of the New Testament explores the mystery and wonder of that amazing life and love.

Scholars have a bewildering array of theories about the Bible and about who wrote what, and when, and where, and why. I’m content to run with traditional explanations that have been used throughout most of history.

Jesus’ unique and wonderful life, his brutal death for us, and his powerful resurrection, all reveal his and God’s eternal love for us all. You could pause and thank him right now even as you read this.

John’s Gospel emphasizes God’s eternal love revealed in Jesus. It includes the most famous passage in the Bible:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17, NKJV).

That love, powerfully shown on the cross, has transformed billions of lives, restoring believers to an intimate and eternal relationship with God and with others.

Three physical metaphors help me to be constantly aware of, and grateful for, God’s presence with us always:

(1) Light surrounds you. By it you can read this. The sun always shines, even when it’s hidden from us. Light shines around us though we may be unaware of it. God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. We can live in his light.

(2) Blood pumps through your body right now, cleansing and healing. We may be unaware of it until reactions like alarm alert us to our beating heart. Jesus’ blood cleanses from all sin, always. We can trust him for he is with us.

(3) We may breathe without being aware of it, or we can be aware and take deep breaths, as you may have done just now! Breath purifies our lungs and body. God is Spirit and like breath or fresh breeze, he can purify us.

May the light of God’s love breathe life in you right now.

We’ve been made in God’s image to have an eternal, loving relationship with him that even transcends death. We can know and experience God’s unconditional love no matter how far we stray from him. Those who stray most are often the most grateful for his forgiveness and love. We all stray in many ways and we all need forgiveness and we can and should be truly grateful.

God knows and loves us as we are. That makes praying or talking to him easy because he already knows our failures and struggles and welcomes us just as we are. The more honestly we come to him the more he can transform us.

If we have trouble believing we can at least say, “God if you’re there, help me.”

Some thoughts may get in the way when we pray or want to talk to God. Just give him those thoughts. He already knows all about it and loves us as we are.

If we reject God’s love and mercy by ignoring him and going our own way, we condemn ourselves to eternal darkness away from his light and love.

If we accept his love and forgiveness by believing in him, by trusting him, he gives us life, his eternal life. That makes us new. We are transformed.

Vast numbers of people worldwide of all faiths, and of none, have prayed the prayer in the popular hymn by Charlotte Elliot, ‘Just as I am’ which includes these adapted verses:

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Your blood was shed for me
And that You bid me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fighting and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

God welcomes us and we can all pray that prayer. A title for Jesus, as in that song, is the sacrificial Lamb of God who takes away our sin.

The Life of Jesus is a vast topic with millions of books written about it. I hope my small contribution gives you a helpful overview. I quote from the New Revised Standard Version unless indicated otherwise, and include many footnotes that you can explore to discover more.

Best of all, of course, are the inspired Gospels now in over 700 different languages in Bible translations and a further 3,500 languages have Bible portions, especially the Gospels. Read and respond to those Gospels.

[1] Iesous (Yeshua) is translated as Joshua in these verses: Luke 3:29; Acts 7:45; Hebrews 4:8.

[2] Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21.

Start of Chapter 1

It began at the beginning, this great love story, for “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”[1]

Why did he do that?  For us.

He did it for you. He loved you so much he created you to know and enjoy him now as you read this, and forever. He offers you intimate, infinite love. He created you through the wondrous union of your parents’ ecstasy.

He made the earth for us to inhabit and care for and rule. He made the heavens (plural) for us to inherit, the physical firmament and also the realms of vast, eternal glory prepared especially for us.[2]

He created us free to accept or reject his astounding love. Sadly we went our own way. We all, like sheep, went astray. We all turned to our own way. So God laid on his Servant, his Son, all our iniquity.[3] God saves us through his Son in their great love for us all. You could pause and thank him now as you read this.

In the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed intimate, unashamed relationship with God and each other. Then, like us, they believed lies and went their own way, losing Paradise. But God still blessed and sustained them and their descendants who chose to love him and live for him. Sadly only a few did.

Noah and his family loved and obeyed God and he rescued them from the great flood. People ridiculed him for obeying God and building a huge boat on dry ground – not even in a dry dock. The rainbow became the sign of God’s covenant to Noah and his descendants including us.

Abram, a wealthy sheik from the wide fertile Tigris and Euphrates valleys in western Asia, north-west of the Arabian Peninsula (now Iraq), loved and obeyed God. Renamed Abraham (God’s friend) he journeyed to the Promised Land, now called Israel, from the name given to his grandson who wrestled with an angel or with the Lord.[4] Circumcision became the covenant sign for them and for their descendants through whom God would provide his salvation for us all.

Abraham and his descendants walked that verdant Promised Land, as did Jesus and his followers. So did our family for a month in December-January, 1981-82.[5]

[1] Genesis 1:1.

[2] John 14:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:9.

[3] Isaiah 53:6. See Isaiah 52:13-53:12, the fourth Servant Song, along with Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-7.

[4] Genesis 17:5; 32:28; 35:9-10.

[5] See Exploring Israel in General Books and Biography on renewaljournal.com

 

        

Discussion Questions (for use in groups)

Chapter 1: Birth and Boyhood
1. What is one of your favourite Christmas carols and why?
2. What surprises you most about the Christmas story?
3. What challenges you about the boyhood and youth of Jesus?
What would you like people to pray about for you?

Chapter 2: Ministry Begins
1. Why do you think Jesus’ public ministry began after his baptism?
2. What puzzles you most about Jesus’ ministry? (eg casting out spirits)
3. What challenges you about being a disciple of Jesus?
What prayer would you appreciate receiving?

Chapter 3: First to Second Passovers
1. Why do you think John 3:16 is so popular and well known?
2. Who can you identify with in Jesus’ early ministry (eg Nicodemus, Samaritan woman, disciples, religious leaders)
3. What do you think challenged Jesus’ disciples?
What prayer would encourage you just now?

Chapter 4: Second to Third Passovers
1. What impresses you most about Jesus?
2. What challenges you most about Jesus?
3. What surprises you most about Jesus?
What prayer would help you just now?

Chapter 5: Passover to Pentecost
1. What shocks you most about the crucifixion?
2. What helps or challenges you about Jesus’ death and resurrection?
3. What interests you most about the Holy Spirit?
What prayer support would you like now?

Map in the book

See also Devotional Books

A 7 Lion
(7) The Lion of Judah – Blog
The Lion of Judah – PDF
6 books in one volume
READ SAMPLE
* Looking for a great book to help you meditate on the wonder of Jesus in all his richness and grandeur and love? Geoff Waugh has helpfully and thoughtfully brought together wide-ranging biblical passages… Read this book prayerfully and you will not be the same! ~ John Olley.
* This book is full of information, biblical information. I have learned so much from it … If you want to learn more from the Bible, this is the book to read.
 ~ A. Aldridge

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF
The Easter Story
READ SAMPLE

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection
– PDF
3 books in 1
READ SAMPLE

A Christian Passover All
Christian Passover Service – Blog
Christian Passover Service – PDF
A Retelling of the Last Supper
READ SAMPLE


RISEN: long version – Blog
Risen! –_PDF
12 resurrection appearances
READ SAMPLE

0 A Mysterious Month All3
Mysterious Month – Blog
Mysterious Month – PDF
Jesus’ resurrection appearances & our month in Israel
READ SAMPLE

A Kingdom Life
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – Blog
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – PDF
4 books in 1
READ SAMPLE

FREE SUBSCRIPTION for new Blogs and free offers

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BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

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BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

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The Lord’s Prayer – various versions

The Lord’s Prayer

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History’s most famous prayer, taught by our Lord, is usually called The Lord’s Prayer.
Pray as you read!

Here are various versions of Matthew 6:9-13 (from the Sermon on the Mount).
See more on Bible Gatewayhttps://www.biblegateway.com/

 

King James Version (1611)

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

(KJV)

 

New King James Version

In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
(NKJV)

 

New International Version

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[1]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[2]

  1. Matthew 6:13 The Greek for temptation can also mean testing.
  2. Matthew 6:13 Or from evil; some late manuscripts one, / for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
    (NIV)

 

Good News Bible

This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven:
    May your holy name be honored;
10 may your Kingdom come;
    may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need.[1]
12 Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
    as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.
13 Do not bring us to hard testing,
    but keep us safe from the Evil One.’[2]

  1. Matthew 6:11 we need; or for today, or for tomorrow.
  2. Matthew 6:13 Some manuscripts add For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

 

The Passion Translation

Pray like this:

‘Our Beloved Father,[1] dwelling in the heavenly realms,
    may the glory of your name
    be the center on which our lives turn.[2]
10 Manifest your kingdom realm,[3]
    and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth,
    just as it is in heaven.
11 We acknowledge you as our Provider
    of all we need each day.[4]
12 Forgive us the wrongs we have done[5] as we ourselves
    release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
13 Rescue us every time we face tribulation[6]
    and set us free from evil.[7]
    For you are the King who rules
    with power and glory forever. Amen.’[8]

  1. 6:9 Jesus invites us into the same relationship with the Father, as His Abba.
  2. 6:9 An alternate reading of the Aramaic text. The Aramaic word for “name” is shema (the Hebrew word, shem), a word with multiple meanings. It can also be translated “light,” “sound,” or “atmosphere.” Placing a light, like a lantern, in an enclosed space magnifies that light. This is the meaning here of God’s name being made sacred and magnified as we focus our lives on him. The Greek is “treated as holy.”
  3. 6:10 Or “Come and begin your kingdom reign.”
  4. 6:11 Or “Give us bread [or life] today for the coming day.” Bread becomes a metaphor of our needs (physically, spiritually, and emotionally). Jesus is teaching us to acknowledge Father God as our Provider of all we need each day. Both the Greek and Hebrew Matthew can be translated “Give us this day our bread for tomorrow” (or “our continual bread”).
  5. 6:12 Or “Send away the results of our debts (shortcomings),” used as a metaphor for our sins. The Aramaic can be translated “Give us serenity as we also allow others serenity.”
  6. 6:13 Or “Do not let us be put into the ordeal of testing.” God never tempts man. See James 1:13–14.
  7. 6:13 Or “the Evil One.”
  8. 6:13 As translated from the Aramaic, Hebrew Matthew, and most Greek manuscripts. The Aramaic word for “forever” means “until the end of all the universes.”
    (TPT)

See Also

Herrnhut
24/7 Worship & Prayer


Israeli research – prayer is good for the body as well as the soul

IB prayer passionLet’s Pray
Ideas for studies
*
*

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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The Lord’s Prayer – various versions

Streams of Living Water

Streams of Living Water

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On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the Scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’”
Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive …
(John 7:37-39)

The Feast of Tabernacles lasted one week, beginning on the fifteenth day of the month of Tishri (September or October), five days after the Day of Atonement, at the end of the harvest. The Jewish people built temporary shelters for the feast to remember their deliverance from Egypt by the hand of God.

Jesus revealed himself at this Feast as the prophesied Messiah, the Anointed One sent by God. This caused conflict among his listeners, some believing in him and many not. Temple police had been sent to arrest him. He pointed to Scripture which he came to fulfil. The Living Water he spoke of is the Holy Spirit (John 7:39). Here are some of those Scriptures.

Moses said: The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you shall heed such a prophet. …  Then the Lord replied to me: “They are right in what they have said. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command.
(Deuteronomy 18:15, 17-18)

Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets.  Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the people.’ And all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days.
(Acts 3:22-24. Peter preaching on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out.)

As Scripture has said …

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
    and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
    and my blessing on your offspring.
They shall spring up like a green tamarisk,
    like willows by flowing streams.
(Isaiah 44:3-4)

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
(Isaiah 55:1)

The Lord will guide you continually,
    and satisfy your needs in parched places,
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters never fail.
(Isaiah 58:11)

Then he brought me back to the entrance of the temple; there, water was flowing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar. Then he brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and the water was coming out on the south side.
(Ezekiel 47:1-2. and the rest of the chapter)

Jesus cried out in a loud voice in the temple when he spoke about the Living Water.

Ultimate fulfilment in the last chapter of the Bible:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
(Revelation 22:1-2)

Some examples of streams of living water today are in Renewal Journal blogs:
Blogs Index 1: Revivals (also Revivals Index)
Blogs Index 2: Mission (international stories)
Blogs Index 3: Miracles (supernatural events)
Blogs Index 4: Devotional (including Testimonies)
Blogs index 5: Church (Christianity in action)
Blogs Index 6: Chapters (Blogs from Books)
Blogs Index 7: Images (Photos & videos)

See also Revival Blogs
See also Blogs Index 1: Revivals

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BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

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Cherishing the book he once feared

Cherishing the book he once feared

The Voice of the Martyrs

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Also: Evangelization in North Korea
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Border guard kneeling in front of woman

Cherishing the Book He Once Feared

Before he escaped across the Yalu River into China, Park Chin-Mae was a border guard, tasked with keeping North Korea’s citizens locked inside their own country and keeping contraband — especially Bibles — out of the country.

“They know the Bible is the enemy,” Chin-Mae said of his fellow border guards.

But once he fled to South Korea, Chin-Mae began attending Christian services at a resettlement center. He was tasked with laying out Bibles before the service began. As he did so, he realized he was safely holding in his hands the same book that could have gotten him killed on the other side of the border.

He started to read the Bible and soon found himself drawn to follow the Christ he had encountered in its pages. “I didn’t just read it like any other book; I read it and I took every word of the Bible into my heart,” he said.

Give to Help Persecuted Christians
Man reading Bible
Chin-Mae is safely out of North Korea, but many followers of Christ are still trapped and suffering inside the secretive nation. And it’s not only North Korea where our Christian brothers and sisters suffer. Believers face persecution in more than 70 other nations.

For more than 50 years, The Voice of the Martyrs has helped Christians persecuted for their witness around the world. VOM founder Richard Wurmbrand said of this work, “Our duty is to give a piece of bread to the wives and families of persecuted and jailed believers.”

That need still exists today. When Christians’ homes and churches are burned, or pastors and evangelists are beaten, imprisoned or killed, families are often left without financial support. VOM responds by helping persecuted Christians with living expenses, children’s educational needs, relocation within their nation, vocational training and other forms of assistance.

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BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

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Alternative Chronology of the Crucifixion of Jesus

The Greatest Gift of all

“For God loved the world so much that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) 

Alternative Chronology of the Crucifixion of Jesus

Like Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ birth, we may celebrate these events of the crucifixion on symbolic days which remind us of the literal events, even though we may not be following their exact chronology or dates.

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

Contents of The Life of Jesus

Preface
Introduction
1 Birth and Boyhood
2 Ministry Begins
3 First to Second Passover
4 Second to Third Passover
5 Passover to Pentecost
Conclusion
Discussion Questions
Appendix 1: Chronology Chart
Appendix 2: The Feast Days
Appendix 3: The Gospels
Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology 
Appendix 5: The Shroud of Turin 
Appendix 6: Publications   

Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology

Some scholars argue for a crucifixion on the Thursday of Holy Week followed by two Sabbath days, the Passover Sabbath on Friday and the regular Sabbath on the Saturday of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Passover is one day while the Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts for seven days.

Jesus led the Last Supper with his disciples on the same Jewish day, after sunset, that he died, the day the Passover lambs were killed, to be eaten that night on the special Passover Sabbath (the next Jewish day, as the day ended at sunset).

A literal translation of Matthew 28:1 has Sabbaths in the plural (in Greek), allowing for two:  After the Sabbaths, around dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to take a look at the burial site. (International Standard Version© 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation.)

John also allows for this: Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath (John 19:31, see also John 13:1).

This chronology correlates with Jesus’ predictions:

For just as Jonah was for three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).

Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. 32  For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. 33  After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again’ (Luke 18:31-33).

James Tabor examines the gospel accounts of the last supper in his article ‘The Last Days of Jesus: A Final “Messianic” Meal’, reproduced by the Biblical Archaeology Society (https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/the-last-days-of-jesus-a-final-messianic-meal/). He writes:

The confusion arose because all the gospels say that there was a rush to get his body off the cross and buried before sundown because the “Sabbath” was near. Everyone assumed the reference to “the Sabbath” had to be Saturday so the crucifixion must have been on a Friday. However, as Jews know, the day of Passover itself is also a “Sabbath” or rest day no matter what weekday it falls on. In the year 30 AD Friday, the 15th of the Jewish month Nisan was also a Sabbath so two Sabbaths occurred back to back Friday and Saturday. Matthew seems to know this as he says that the women who visited Jesus’ tomb came early Sunday morning “after the Sabbaths” (Matthew 28:1).

As is often the case, the gospel of John preserves a more accurate chronology of what went on. John specifies that the Wednesday night “last supper” was “before the festival of Passover.” He also notes that when Jesus’ accusers delivered him to be crucified on Thursday morning they would not enter Pilate’s courtyard because they would be defiled and would not be able to eat the Passover that evening (John 18:28). John knows that the Jews would be eating their traditional Seder meal Thursday evening.

That discussion sent me checking the plural Sabbaths in Matthew 28:1. It is plural and can be used for either Sabbaths or Sabbath, as also in Matthew 12:1. Most translators opt for singular, but a few retain the literal plural, such as these for Matthew 12:1 and 28:1.

At that time Jesus went through the grain on the Sabbath days. And his disciples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears of grain and to eat.
(New Matthew Bible,© 2016 by Ruth Magnusson (Davis))

At that time did Jesus go on the sabbaths through the corn, and his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck ears, and to eat,
(Young’s Literal Translation, by Robert Young who compiled Young’s Analytical Concordance.)

After the Sabbaths, around dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to take a look at the burial site.
(International Standard Version, © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation.)

The Bible passages allow for a crucifixion on the Thursday of Holy Week, and even where Sabbath is used in the singular it does indicate that they found the stone rolled away on the first day of the week after that Sabbath. The first day of the week had begun at the previous sunset.

That Friday may have been a special Passover Sabbath, not just the Saturday. Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down (John 19:31).

Irrespective of the day, the great significance is that the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world was crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover, the day on which the Passover lamb was killed so that after sunset the Passover could be celebrated on the next Jewish day beginning after sunset.

John suggests this:  Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.  And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:1-5)

However, most scholars see the special Passover Sabbath as on the Saturday. Many point out that there is no Nisan 14 (the day of preparation) on a Thursday, and that from the celestial calendars Nisan 14 fell on Friday April 7 in AD 30, and Friday April 3 in AD 33, the most likely dates for the crucifixion, based on the dates from the new moon of those years.

Irrespective of the day, the great significance is that the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world was crucified on the Day of Preparation for the Passover, the day on which the Passover lamb was killed so that after sunset the Passover could be celebrated on the next Jewish day beginning after sunset.

The synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) describe how the meal with Jesus was celebrated as a Passover meal and Jesus gave it new meaning, telling us to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-25).

Like Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ birth, we may celebrate these events of the crucifixion on symbolic days which remind us of the literal events, even though we are not following their exact chronology or dates.

I’m content to follow the traditional chronology and dates, as in our diaries, as symbolic and liturgical reminders of the greatest events in human history.

See also:


The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

*
Crucified and Risen – Blog
Crucified & Risen – PDF
The Easter Story

 

A Holy Week, Passover & Resurrection All1
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – 
PDF
3 books in 1

 

A Holy Week All
Holy Week – Blog
Holy Week – PDF

Summary of the events of Holy Week

 


The Shroud of Turin

Medical-Forensic Explanation of the Shroud of Turin
English translation of Model of the wounded Shroud of Turin image

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BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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How December 25 became Christmas

How December 25 became Christmas.

The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. There is another way to account for the origins of Christmas on December 25: Strange as it may seem, the key to dating Jesus’ birth may lie in the dating of Jesus’ death at Passover.

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bruegel-bethlehem
A blanket of snow covers the little town of Bethlehem, in Pieter Bruegel’s oil painting from 1566. Although Jesus’ birth is celebrated every year on December 25, Luke and the other gospel writers offer no hint about the specific time of year he was born. Photo: Scala/Art Resource, NY.

 

The earliest mention of December 25 as Jesus’ birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs. The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae: “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea.”3 In about 400 C.E., Augustine of Hippo mentions a local dissident Christian group, the Donatists, who apparently kept Christmas festivals on December 25, but refused to celebrate the Epiphany on January 6, regarding it as an innovation. Since the Donatist group only emerged during the persecution under Diocletian in 312 C.E. and then remained stubbornly attached to the practices of that moment in time, they seem to represent an older North African Christian tradition.

In the East, January 6 [now Epiphany] was at first not associated with the magi alone, but with the Christmas story as a whole.

So, almost 300 years after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in mid-winter. But how had they settled on the dates December 25 and January 6?

There are two theories today: one extremely popular, the other less often heard outside scholarly circles (though far more ancient).4

The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday, more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.   …

Connection between the traditional date of Jesus’ death and his birth.

There is another way to account for the origins of Christmas on December 25: Strange as it may seem, the key to dating Jesus’ birth may lie in the dating of Jesus’ death at Passover. This view was first suggested to the modern world by French scholar Louis Duchesne in the early 20th century and fully developed by American Thomas Talley in more recent years.8 But they were certainly not the first to note a connection between the traditional date of Jesus’ death and his birth.


The baby Jesus flies down from heaven on the back of a cross, in this detail from Master Bertram’s 14th-century Annunciation scene. Jesus’ conception carried with it the promise of salvation through his death. It may be no coincidence, then, that the early church celebrated Jesus’ conception and death on the same calendar day: March 25, exactly nine months before December 25. Kunsthalle, Hamburg/Bridgeman Art Library, NY

Around 200 C.E. Tertullian of Carthage reported the calculation that the 14th of Nisan (the day of the crucifixion according to the Gospel of John) in the year Jesus diedc was equivalent to March 25 in the Roman (solar) calendar.9 March 25 is, of course, nine months before December 25; it was later recognized as the Feast of the Annunciation—the commemoration of Jesus’ conception.10 Thus, Jesus was believed to have been conceived and crucified on the same day of the year. Exactly nine months later, Jesus was born, on December 25.d

This idea appears in an anonymous Christian treatise titled On Solstices and Equinoxes, which appears to come from fourth-century North Africa. The treatise states: “Therefore our Lord was conceived on the eighth of the kalends of April in the month of March [March 25], which is the day of the passion of the Lord and of his conception. For on that day he was conceived on the same he suffered.”11 Based on this, the treatise dates Jesus’ birth to the winter solstice.

Augustine, too, was familiar with this association. In On the Trinity (c. 399–419) he writes: “For he [Jesus] is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since. But he was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.”12


Learn about the magi in art and literature in “Witnessing the Divine” by Robin M. Jensen, originally published in Bible Review and now available for free in Bible History Daily.


In the East, too, the dates of Jesus’ conception and death were linked. But instead of working from the 14th of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, the easterners used the 14th of the first spring month (Artemisios) in their local Greek calendar—April 6 to us. April 6 is, of course, exactly nine months before January 6—the eastern date for Christmas. In the East, too, we have evidence that April was associated with Jesus’ conception and crucifixion. Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis writes that on April 6, “The lamb was shut up in the spotless womb of the holy virgin, he who took away and takes away in perpetual sacrifice the sins of the world.”13 Even today, the Armenian Church celebrates the Annunciation in early April (on the 7th, not the 6th) and Christmas on January 6.e

Thus, we have Christians in two parts of the world calculating Jesus’ birth on the basis that his death and conception took place on the same day (March 25 or April 6) and coming up with two close but different results (December 25 and January 6).

Connecting Jesus’ conception and death in this way will certainly seem odd to modern readers, but it reflects ancient and medieval understandings of the whole of salvation being bound up together. One of the most poignant expressions of this belief is found in Christian art. In numerous paintings of the angel’s Annunciation to Mary—the moment of Jesus’ conception—the baby Jesus is shown gliding down from heaven on or with a small cross (see photo above of detail from Master Bertram’s Annunciation scene); a visual reminder that the conception brings the promise of salvation through Jesus’ death.

The notion that creation and redemption should occur at the same time of year is also reflected in ancient Jewish tradition, recorded in the Talmud. The Babylonian Talmud preserves a dispute between two early-second-century C.E. rabbis who share this view, but disagree on the date: Rabbi Eliezer states: “In Nisan the world was created; in Nisan the Patriarchs were born; on Passover Isaac was born … and in Nisan they [our ancestors] will be redeemed in time to come.” (The other rabbi, Joshua, dates these same events to the following month, Tishri.)14 Thus, the dates of Christmas and Epiphany may well have resulted from Christian theological reflection on such chronologies: Jesus would have been conceived on the same date he died, and born nine months later.15

In the end we are left with a question: How did December 25 become Christmas? We cannot be entirely sure. Elements of the festival that developed from the fourth century until modern times may well derive from pagan traditions. Yet the actual date might really derive more from Judaism—from Jesus’ death at Passover, and from the rabbinic notion that great things might be expected, again and again, at the same time of the year—than from paganism. Then again, in this notion of cycles and the return of God’s redemption, we may perhaps also be touching upon something that the pagan Romans who celebrated Sol Invictus, and many other peoples since, would have understood and claimed for their own, too.16

Source: How December 25 became Christmas, by Andrew McGowan in Bible History Daily, September 24, 2020.

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Scripture in Aramaic

Scripture in Aramaic

Aramaic insights into the New Testament

Some highlights from The Passion Translation (TPT)

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Scripture in Aramaic: https://renewaljournal.com/2020/10/09/scripture-in-aramaic/
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com

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Aramaic, a Semitic language, was the common language of the Near East from the 6th century BC. It replaced Hebrew locally as the language of the Jews from 450BC when the Jews returned from exile in Babylon. Most of the Old Testament is in Hebrew, but some later passages are in Aramaic as in Daniel and Ezra. The Passion Translation often refers to Aramaic texts of the New Testament.

I began reading The Passion Translation (TPT) as an interesting paraphrase and then discovered it is indeed a careful dynamic translation with detailed notes citing the earliest available Aramaic and Hebrew versions as well as the Greek.


Photo: The oldest complete Bible, c350.
Codex Sinaiticus, a manuscript of the Christian Bible written in the middle of the fourth century, contains the Old Testament translated into Greek and the earliest complete copy of the Christian New Testament. The hand-written text is in Greek.

Matthew

Take Matthew, for example. TPT’s Introduction to Matthew’s Gospel says:

“There continues to be debate over the original language of Matthew’s account. In AD 170 Eusebius quoted Irenaeus as saying, “Matthew published his gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul in Rome were preaching and founding the church.”

Irenaeus, a disciple of the apostle John, wrote extensively about Scripture. He comments on how Matthew wrote especially for Jewish Christians and Jews. Matthew quotes 60 times from the Old Testament. He shows how Jesus, the Son of David (a Hebrew Messianic title), fulfilled the Hebrew Scriptures.

It is widely known that Aramaic was the language that Jesus, the apostles, and the earliest Christians spoke. It was the dominant language in most settings Jesus taught, probably the first language of most Galileans outside urban areas and the common tongue of most Judeans. It was the lingua franca of the Middle East until around the third century. Recent biblical scholarship has begun tracing many of Jesus’ teachings back to an original Aramaic source. Some even argue the original Greek manuscripts were translations of even more original Aramaic sources. For instance, Jesus’ famous “Son of Man” reference doesn’t make sense in the Greek; it’s a downright Semitic, non-Hellenized, Aramaic figure of speech if there ever was one. And an ironic wordplay can be discerned in Matthew 23:24, where “gnat” (qamla) and “camel” (gamla) are in obvious parallelism, signifying an Aramaic layer beneath the Bible. (https://www.thepassiontranslation.com/faqs)

As I began reading through The Passion Translation (TPT), I found its footnotes very interesting. TPT constantly refers to the earliest known Hebrew and Aramaic texts as well as Greek manuscripts. So I started noting some of those intriguing references.

Parables and Allegories

Let’s begin with that reference to Matthew 23:24 – “What blind guides! Nitpickers! You will spoon out a gnat from your drink, yet at the same time you’ve gulped down a camel without realizing it!” (TPT) The note for that verse says that this is best seen as an Aramaic pun. It’s even more interesting that this accusation by Jesus is part of his indictment and denunciation of the religious scholars and leaders. That was part of his provocative teaching and parables leading to his arrest, trials, and execution.

Jesus often used parables, allegories, and even hyperbole. Take, for example, his confusing and apparently extreme statement in Matthew 19:24 about being rich, translated in TPT as “In fact, it’s easier to stuff a heavy rope through the eye of a needle than it is for the wealthy to enter into God’s kingdom realm.” The Note on that verse says, “As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is ‘to stuff a camel through the eye of a needle.’ The Aramaic word for both ‘rope’ and ‘camel’ is the homonym gamla. This could be an instance of the Aramaic text being misread by the Greek translators as ‘camel’ instead of ‘rope.’ Regardless, this becomes a metaphor for something impossible.”

Then I had to look up ‘homonym’. It means each of two or more words having the same spelling or pronunciation but with different meanings. So the Aramaic gamla can be translated as gnat, rope, camel, or more! That’s just one example of the challenges facing Bible translators.

Similarly, I also had to look up ‘hendiadys’ (one through two – a figure of speech used for emphasis) in TPT’s note on Matthew 3:11, Holy Spirit and fire – ‘This last clause is a hendiadys and could be translated “He will baptize you in the raging fire of the Holy Spirit.”‘

Likewise, the Hebrew Matthew clarifies some difficult passages like Matthew 11:12 – “The kingdom of heaven is entered into by force, and violent ones take hold of it” – translated in TPT as “the realm of heaven’s kingdom is bursting forth, and passionate people have taken hold of its power.” The note on that verse adds, “This is one of the most difficult passages in Matthew to translate from the Greek. When the Greek words are translated into Hebrew it becomes a clear reference to Mic. 2:12-13 and includes the ‘breaking forth (Hb. peretz).'” Micah 2:13 (NKJV) includes:

The one who breaks open will come up before them;
They will break out,
Pass through the gate,
And go out by it;
Their king will pass before them,
With the Lord at their head.

I found Matthew 13:3, 34-35 especially interesting in TPT, in that chapter of parables:

“He taught them many things by using stories, parables that would illustrate spiritual truths” (Mt 13:3) with the note: “The Aramaic and Greek use a word for ‘parable’ that means ‘a metaphor, allegory, simile, illustration, comparison, figure of speech, riddle, or enigmatic saying that is meant to stimulate intense thought.'”

“Whenever Jesus addressed the crowds, he always spoke in allegories. He never spoke without using parables. He did this in order to fulfill the prophecy:
I will speak to you in allegories.
I will reveal secrets that have been concealed
since before the foundation of the world.” (Mt 13:34-35)
That quote is from Psalm 78:2 – “A parable and a proverb are hidden in what I say – an intriguing riddle from the past.”
See also Proverbs 25:2 – “God conceals the revelation of his word in the hiding place of his glory.”
The note concerning ‘word’ in TPT adds: “the Hebrew is dabar, which is translated more than 800 times in the Old Testament as ‘word’. There is a beautiful poetry in the Hebrew text. The word for ‘hide’ is cahar and the word for ‘word’ is dabar. The Hebrew is actually ‘Kabod (glory) cathar (hidden) dabar (word).”

Arabs or ravens?

I remember being surprised to learn at college that the Hebrew for Arab and raven have the same consonants. Did Arabs or ravens feed Elijah (1 Kings 17:1-7)? After Elijah confronted King Ahab and Jezebel, God told him to hide by the Wadi Cherith east of the Jordan. There they brought him bread and meat, morning and evening, and he drank from the wadi till it dried up in the drought. Who fed him? It’s a miracle, either way!

Hermeneutics – interpretation and meaning – can be tricky! Most scholars go for ‘ravens’ here, but there may be wriggle room.

“A couple of commentaries mention that scholars dispute that Elijah was fed by ravens and instead think the word in 1 Kings 17:4-6 ought to be translated black arabs or perhaps “Orbites, i.e., inhabitants of Orbo.” …

“What is meant by ‘the ravens’ [‘orevim]?  The problem is the consonantal text allows for the reading of ‘Arab’ instead of raven.  …

“Rabbi Joseph Kara makes a novel suggestion in his commentary to 1 Kings 17:4, that these were people from the nearby town of Oreb (he understands that it is situated near the Jordan river, based on Judges 7:25, see additional commentaries there for their takes on the location of the ‘Rock of Oreb’). Therefore, there would be merit to such a translation being that the city of Oreb was geographically close.”
(https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4066/in-1-kings-174-6-is-elijah-fed-by-ravens-or-arabians, 2020)

Some translations use the word ‘crows’. So possibilities may range among ravens, crows, Orbites, Orebites, or Arabs!

Jesus and Aramaic

Jesus spoke Aramaic, living among Aramaic-speaking people, and would also have known Egyptian from his youth in Egypt, and also Greek, the common language of the Roman Empire. The widely used common Koine Greek, different from classical Greek, became the language of early New Testament manuscripts.

Most New Testament translations derive from Greek manuscripts copied from earlier manuscripts. Notes in TPT often refer to Aramaic and Hebrew manuscripts, and I found those Notes fresh and often surprising.

The Word.  TPT translates Luke 1:2 (those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word (AV)) as “his early disciples, who became loving servants of the Living Word.” The Note adds, “Translated literally from the Aramaic text. The Greek word is logos. Some have translated this rich term as ‘Word.’  It could also be translated ‘Message’ or ‘Blueprint.’ Jesus Christ is the eternal Word, the creative Word, and the Word made visible. He is the divine self-expression of all that God is, contains, and reveals in incarnated flesh. … God has perfectly expressed himself in Christ.”  See also John 1:1-4.

The Manger.  TPT Notes on Luke 2:7, 11-12 add interesting insights. “After wrapping the newborn baby in strips of cloth, they laid him in a feeding trough since there was no available space in any upper room in the village” (Luke 2:7). The Note adds, “This is the Greek word kataluma. This is not an ‘inn’ but simply the upstairs level of a home where guests would stay. ..  It is likely that Joseph and Mary had to sleep downstairs in the main room of a relative’s house. The downstairs of a village home in that day was like an all-purpose room that served as a workshop during the day, and at night was used to shelter frail animals, while the rest of the flock was left outdoors. The kataluma was not a full-fledged barn or stable, but it did contain a drinking trough or manger cut in the bedrock. This was the likely place where the baby Jesus was placed after his birth.”  The upper room, kataluma, is the word used for the room where Jesus ate his final Passover (Luke 22:12, 14).

“He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough!” (Luke 2:11-12).  The Note on verse 11 adds, “Translated literally from the Aramaic text. This is one of the most amazing statements found in the Gospels declaring the deity of Jesus Christ.”  And the note on verse 12 adds, “The shepherds that night were possibly near Bethlehem at Migdal Eder, ‘the [watch] tower of the flock.’ This would fulfill both the prophecies of Mic. 5:2 and Mic. 4:8, which say ‘to you it [he] will come, your dominion [kingdom] from old will arrive.’ It was at the lower floor of the watchtower (Migdal Eder) that the birthing of the Passover lambs would take place. Selected ewes that were about to give birth would be brought there. After the birth of the lambs, the priestly shepherds would wrap the lambs in cloth and lay them in a manger lined with soft hay to prevent them from hurting themselves, for Passover lambs must be unblemished with no bruise or broken bone. The miracle sign for these priestly shepherds would be a baby boy lying where the Passover lamb should be – in a manger, wrapped in strips of cloth. It was at the cradle of Jesus Christ that the kingdom from ancient times arrived on earth.”  Bethlehem, David’s town where he was a shepherd, is only 8 miles from Jerusalem, now like a southern suburb.

Beatitudes. Many of us are familiar with “Blessed are the …” at the beginning of the chapters called the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. A TPT Note adds, “The Aramaic word toowayhon means ‘enriched, happy, fortunate, delighted, blissful, content, blessed.’ Our English word blessed can indeed fit here, but toowayhon implies more – great happiness, prosperity, abundant goodness, and delight! The word also carries all of this meaning.  Toowayhon means to have the capacity to enjoy union and communion with God. Because the meaning of the word goes beyond merely being ‘blessed,’ this translation uses different phrases for each of the Beatitudes.”

Prayer. The prayer Jesus taught, often called The Lord’s Prayer, has an enriched translation in TPT in Matthew 6:9-13:

Our Father, dwelling in the heavenly realms,
may the glory of your name
be the center on which our lives turn.*
Manifest your kingdom realm,
and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth,
just as it is fulfilled in heaven.
We acknowledge you as our Provider
of all we need each day.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we ourselves
release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
Rescue us every time we face tribulation
and set us free from evil.
For you are the King who rules
with power and glory forever.
Amen.

* The Note on 6:9 adds: “An alternate reading of the Aramaic text. The Aramaic word for ‘name’ is shema (the Hebrew word shem), a word with multiple meanings. It can also be translated ‘light,’ ‘sound,’ or ‘atmosphere.’ … The Greek is ‘treated as holy.'”

Healing.  Matthew 14:14 says, “So when Jesus landed he had a huge crowd waiting for him. Seeing so many people, his heart was deeply moved with compassion toward them, so he healed all the sick who were in the crowd.” A note in TPT adds, “The Aramaic is “he nurtured them in love and cured their frailties.” 

Parables. Similarly, TPT Notes on parables are interesting and often surprising. “Whenever Jesus addressed the crowds, he always spoke in allegories. He never spoke without using parables” (Matthew 13:34 TPT). The Note on Mark 4:2, “He taught them many things by using parables to illustrate spiritual truths” (TPT) adds:

The Aramaic and Greek use a word for ‘parable’ that means “a metaphor,” “allegory,” ”simile,” ”illustration,” ”comparison,” “figure of speech,” “riddle.” “or enigmatic saying that is meant to stimulate intense thought.” Throughout Hebrew history, wise men, prophets, and teachers used parables and allegories as a preferred method of teaching spiritual truths. Poets would write their riddles and musicians would sing their proverbs with verbal imagery. Jesus always taught the people by using allegory and parables (Matt. 13:34; Mark 4:34).

I AM. This name for God is well known from Moses’ encounter with God. Jesus also used it for himself, after walking on the lake at night. He called out to his terrified disciples who thought they saw a ghost, “Don’t yield to fear. Have courage. It’s really me – I Am” (Mark 6:50). The TPT Note explains, “In both Greek and Aramaic, this reads ‘I Am’ (the living God), an obvious statement that Jesus is ‘the great I AM’ and there is nothing to be afraid of. This is the same statement God made to Moses in front of the burning bush. See also Matt. 14:27; John 8:58.”

Beloved. See Luke 3:22, “My Son, you are my beloved one. Through you I am fulfilled.”  See Matt. 19:14, “I want little children to come to me, so never interfere with them when they want to come, for heaven’s kingdom realm is composed of beloved ones like these.” The note for Matt 19:14 adds, “As translated from the Aramaic, which uses the word ‘beloved’ found only twice in the New Testament. The Greek is ‘little children.'”

Highest honour. The Mark 10 passage about James (Jacob originally) and John wanting to sit beside Jesus in his kingdom includes verse 40: “it is for those for whom it has been prepared” (NRSV). The Aramaic elaborates as in TPT: “It is reserved for those whom grace has prepared them to have it.”  The extensive note on this verse `describes how after each of the three times that Jesus prophesied his death and resurrection he had to rebuke his disciples: Mark 8:31 to Peter, and Mark 9:31 to the disciples arguing about being the greatest, and Mark 10:33 to James (Jacob) and John.

Hosanna. The Note for Mark 11:9 explains that Hosanna is an Aramaic word that means “O, save us now” or “bring the victory” adding “The crowds were recognizing Jesus as Yahweh’s Messiah. It is obvious that the people were expecting Jesus to immediately overthrow the Roman oppression and set the nation free.” That’s a key reason, along with him tossing traders out of the temple and his denouncing religious leaders, for the intense opposition from national leaders and his swift execution a few days later.

The End. Matt 24:13-14 TPT says about the coming trials, “But keep your hope to the end and you will experience life and deliverance.” The note on verse 13 adds, “As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is ‘endure.'”

The Note on Mark 13:30 – “I assure you, this family will not pass away until all I have spoken comes to pass” adds, “As translated from the Aramaic, which employs a homonym that can be translated either ‘this generation will not pass away,’ or ‘this family will not pass away.’ The generation in which Jesus lived on earth had indeed passed away, but the Christian ‘family’ of believers remains and endures.” [homonym – each of two or more words having the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings and origins.]

Passover. The Aramaic for Mark 14:23 “Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them” gives more description: “Then taking the cup of wine and giving praises to the Father, he declared the new covenant with them” (TPT). They shared the Passover meal. “Then they sang a psalm and afterwards left for the Mount of Olives” (Mark 14:26 TPT). The Note adds, “The Aramaic is ‘They offered praise.’ It was the custom after celebrating the Passover seder to conclude with singing one of the Hallel psalms (Pss. 115-118).”

Gethsemane. The word Gethsemane is Aramaic for ‘oil press’. TPT translates Mark 14:32 as “Then Jesus led his disciples to an orchard called ‘The Oil Press.'” Located on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, this olive grove offered shade in the day and Jesus often went there with his disciples.

Praying in agony, “Jesus called for an angel of glory to strengthen him, and the angel appeared. He prayed even more passionately, like one being sacrificed, until he was in such intense agony of spirit that his sweat became drops of blood, dripping onto the ground” (Luke 22:43-44 TPT). The Notes add, “22:43 Translated from the Aramaic text. 22:44 The Aramaic text is literally ‘He prayed sacrificially.'”

“He prayed, ‘Abba, my Father, all things are possible for you. Please – don’t allow me to drink this cup of suffering! Yet what I want is not important, for I only desire to fulfill your plan for me'” (Mark 14:36 TPT). The Note adds: “The cup becomes a metaphor of the great suffering that Jesus had to endure that night in the garden. However, Jesus was not asking the Father for a way around the cross. Rather, he was asking God to keep him alive through this night of suffering so that he could carry the cross and take away our sins. According to the prophecies of the Old Testament, Jesus was to be pierced on a cross. We learn from Heb. 5:7 that Jesus’ prayer was answered that night as the cup was indeed taken from him. An angel of God came to strengthen him and deliver him from premature death (Matt. 26:39).”

Hebrews 5:7 states: “During Christ’s days on earth he pleaded with God, praying with passion and with tearful agony that God would spare him from death. And because of his perfect devotion his prayer was answered and he was delivered” (TPT).

The Cross.  I found TPT’s Note on Matthew 27:37 surprising. It’s about the sign on the cross written in Aramaic/Hebrew, Greek and Latin.

“The words were ‘Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.’ The first letters of each of the four words written on the sign in Aramaic (Hebrew) were Y-H-W-H (Y’shua Hanozi Wumelech a Yehudim). To write these letters, YHWH (also known as the Tetragrammaton), was the Hebrew form of writing the sacred name ‘Yahweh.’ No wonder the chief priests were so offended by this sign and insisted that Pilate change it.”


Ancient inscription reputedly found in a Golgotha tomb by St Helena, 326AD,
25cm walnut wood sign (top), enhanced script (bottom).
In Aramaic, Greek and Latin, JESUS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE JEWS

Mark 15:34 in TPT reads: “About three o’clock, Jesus shouted with a mighty voice in Aramaic, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ – that is, ‘My God, My God, why have you turned your back on me?'” The Notes add: “See Pss. 22:1; 42:9. The Aramaic can be translated ‘For this purpose you have spared me.’ … Every Greek text gives a transliteration of the Aramaic words and then translates them back into Greek.”

Resurrection. The risen Messiah appeared many times to his astounded and often unbelieving followers. He rebuked them for their lack of faith when he appeared to them as they ate at a meal (Mark 15:14). The passage in Mark 16:9-20 is omitted from some early manuscripts but included in the Aramaic and many Greek translations. It includes difficult statements such as “They will be supernaturally protected from snakes and from drinking anything poisonous. And they will lay hands on the sick and heal them” (Mark 15:18, see eg. Acts 28:1-10). Notes in PTP add: “Some scholars believe that this sentence contains two Aramaic idioms. To pick up snakes could be a picture of overcoming one’s enemies (‘snakes’), and drinking poison may be speaking of dealing with attacks on one’s character (poisonous words). The image is from Ps. 91:13.” That Psalm is especially interesting for the devil quoted it to tempt Jesus (Matt 4:6), but the verse following that quote speaks of trampling snakes under foot. Psalm 91:9-13:

Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
    the Most High your dwelling-place,
10 no evil shall befall you,
    no scourge come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder,
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. (NRSV)

Jesus commissioned his followers to go into all the world and preach the wonderful news of the gospel to everyone (Mark 15:15). They did. “And the apostles went out announcing the good news everywhere, as the Lord himself consistently worked with them, validating the message they preached with miracle-signs that accompanied them” (Mark 16:20 TPT).

The Early Church

Acts 2 tells the story of the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus’ followers. TPT translates verse 1 as “On the day Pentecost was being fulfilled” and Notes: “Or ‘came to be fuilfilled.’ The Greek means ‘to fill completely (to be fulfilled).’

Then in verse 2, “Suddenly they heard the sound of a violent blast of wind rushing into the house from out of the heavenly realm.” TPT Notes add, “The Aramaic can be translated ‘like the roar of a groaning spirit.’ This mighty wind is for power; the breath of Jesus breathed into his disciples in John 20:22 was for life. … Although most believe this was in an upper room, it is possible to conclude from the Aramaic that it was the House of the Lord (the temple), where they all gathered to celebrate Pentecost.  See also Luke 24:53.” That last verse of Luke’s Gospel says that following Jesus’ ascension, “Every day they went to the temple, praising and worshipping God” (TPT).

Certainly, Peter would have preached there to the huge crowds at the Pentecost festival. “When the people of the city heard the roaring sound, crowds came running to where it was coming from, stunned over what was happening because each one could hear the disciples speaking in his or her own language” (Acts 2:6 TPT).

The astonished crowds at the Passover festival were confused. “Bewildered, they said to one another, ‘Aren’t these all Galileans?'” (Acts 2:7 TPT)  The Note adds, “It is likely they knew they were Galileans by their Aramaic dialect common in Galilee.”

“Peter stood up with the eleven apostles and shouted to the crowd” (Acts 2:14 TPT). The Note adds, “Peter was speaking under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The tongues being spoken, along with the sound of the wind, drew the crowd. Peter would have spoken to them in the common language of Aramaic. Even with Galilean and Judean dialects, nearly all of the Jewish people present would understand his words.”

Peter declared that they had witnessed how God resurrected Jesus, and poured out his Spirit.  “Now everyone in Israel can know for certain that Jesus, whom you crucified, is the one God has made both Lord and the Messiah” (Acts 2:36 TPT). The Note adds, “The Aramaic is ‘Lord Yahweh made him [from birth] to be both Elohim and Messiah.’ The Greek verb used for ‘made’ can also mean ‘brought forth.’ This is a clear statement of both Jesus’ humanity (God brought him forth by human birth) and his deity.”

Peter’s anointed preaching convicted thousands. He said, “Repent and return to God, and each one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One, to have your sins removed. Then you may take hold of the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 23:38 TPT). The Note explains, “Peter was likely saying these words from the steps of the temple. Below him were dozens of mikveh (immersion pools used for the ceremonial cleanings of Jewish worshippers). Peter was pointing them to the cleansing that comes through the name and authority of Jesus Christ. The Aramaic is startling: ‘Be immersed in the name of Lord Yahweh Y’shua.’ Peter is clearly saying that Lord Yahweh and Jesus are one and the same.”  3,000 among the huge festival crowds believed Peter that day, repented, and were baptized.

Acts 2:42 tells how the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, mutual fellowship, sharing communion and prayer. The Note adds, “Or ‘breaking of bread.’ this was more than sharing meals, but participating together in observing the Lord’s Table. The Aramaic, which can be translated ‘the Eucharist’ or ‘holy communion,’ makes it even more explicit.

Acts 2:42-47 tells how the early church lived in awe of God and in mutual fellowship, sharing together, meeting needs, and meeting together daily to worship in the temple courts and in their homes. “And the Lord kept adding to their number daily those who were coming to life” (Acts 2:47 TPT). The Note explains, “As translated from the Aramaic. The Aramaic word for ‘church’ is the joining of ‘meet’ and ‘come.’ This word is an invitation to enter into fellowship with Christ and his people. The Greek word for ‘church’ is ekklesia, which means ‘called-out ones.‘”

The book of Acts tells the story of the supernatural and miraculous ways in which the Lord worked among them, adding to their number daily.

See also

Bible – the most popular book worldwide

Bible translated into 700th language (2020)
And portions into over 3,500 other languages

The Bible is the most read book in the Philippines

God’s love – changed a culture

Bookmark this page to return. I occasionally add new discoveries!

 

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