The Story of Jesus

The Story of Jesus

History’s Great Love Story

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Review Comments

* This is a very informative, amazing, and powerful book. Thanks to the author for investing hours of research, expressed with his masterful command of language. ~ Alex Johnson (5-stars)
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.
~ Rev Dr John Olley (Amazon 5-stars)
* This is a wonderful book and can be read over and over. Thank you. ~ Kerry Rawson
* Good clear language for a seeker to read and understand the life of Jesus. ~ Duncan Gibb
* Geoff Waugh has written a very helpful devotional book about the Saviour of the world who is also the loving presence in believers. Having known Geoff for over sixty years I can testify that every word written proceeds from his own heart of love for Jesus and for all God’s children. Geoff has avoided trying to manufacture some theory or new twist to make the book more colourful. He has used Scripture as his main source and has been faithful to both the divinity and humanity of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. His use of chronology for headings and the many sub-headings makes the book simpler to absorb, even for an enquirer or new believer. It reminds me a little of Leon Morris’s beautiful book The Lord from Heaven. I warmly commend this book. ~ Rev Dr Tony Cupit, Former Director of the Baptist World Alliance.
* I keep this book with my Bible. It is especially helpful when reading through the Gospels. ~ Cathy Hartwig
* This book is for those who question Jesus’ reality as the Son of God, and for those who search for the details of His amazing life on this earth. ~ Judith Abrey
* 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. A gifted translator, Nabeel works on his phone, so if you can donate towards him serving God with a laptop, add a comment.
Other Translations in preparation.
The Life of Jesus in Sindhi, Pakistani Punjabi, and Indian Punjabi.
 
Video

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

 

Conclusion

The life of Jesus is history’s great love story. The overview in this brief book points you to the great good news of who Jesus is and what he did. That story is told best in the Bible, God’s inspired word.

I hope this brief commentary points you again to that God-breathed living word. It gave me fresh insights as I researched the harmonized story of these gospels.

Many writers discuss the popular five love languages: affirmation, service, gifts, time, and touch. Jesus demonstrated all these in various ways.

He affirmed and admired faith, especially faith in him for healing and help.
He served daily and showed it dramatically by washing his disciples’ feet.
He gave his life for us and ultimately he gives eternal life to all who believe.
His three years of quality time with his followers prepared them to serve.
His touch brought physical and spiritual healing and freedom to multitudes.

I love the way John summed up the reason for writing his Gospel: “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 20:31)

That is my prayer for you, my reader. Here is my echoing sonnet, penned over fifty years ago.

Sin stalks the soul, and permeates the whole
Of life lived here where we, while bound by fear,
Hunt far and near for freedom to appear
From pole to pole with our minds in control.
That worthy goal seems mockery.  Sin stole
Our freedom dear, left pain and woe to sear
Each life, a mere heartache, or sob, or tear,
Like a lost mole, blind, dirty in its hole.
God’s love stepped in to fight and conquer sin
Through Christ who bled and died and rose as Head
Supreme of all who claim Him Lord.  Our fall,
Clamour and din may end in Him.  We win
Release from dread, freedom, life from the dead,
Unbound from gall, in answer to His call.

        

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
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Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection – Blog
Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection
– PDF
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A Christian Passover All
Christian Passover Service – Blog
Christian Passover Service – PDF
A Retelling of the Last Supper
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RISEN: long version – Blog
Risen! –_PDF
12 resurrection appearances
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0 A Mysterious Month All3
Mysterious Month – Blog
Mysterious Month – PDF
Jesus’ resurrection appearances & our month in Israel
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A Kingdom Life
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – Blog
Kingdom Life in The Gospels – PDF
4 books in 1
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The Life of Jesus in English and Indian Punjabi

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Translator: Nabeel Sharoon
Nabeel Sharoon in Pakistan is translating my book The Life of Jesus into 5 languages: Indian Punjabi & Hindi & Urdu are done. He works on his phone, then takes it to an internet shop for layout! I hope to raise funds to help him get a laptop. That’s beyond me, but if you’d like to help please message me. Blessings, Geoff

 
Renewal Journal and WestBow Press versions

Blog: The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – English
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF – English
Now available from the Renewal Journal and from WestBow Press (a division of Zondervan and Thoms Nelson)

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The Life of Jesus in Hindi, Urdu, Sindhi, Pakistani Punjabi, and Indian Punjabi.

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The Life of Jesus in English and Hindi
The Life of Jesus in English and Urdu
The Life of Jesus in Indian Punjabi
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – English
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com
Geoff Waugh – founding editor of the Renewal Journal

This book is available in from WestBow Press, a division of Zondervan with this cover:

* This is a very informative, amazing, and powerful book. Thanks to the author for investing hours of research, expressed with his masterful command of language. ~ Alex Johnson (5-stars)
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. 
~ Rev Dr John Olley (Amazon 5-stars)
Geoff Waugh has written a very helpful devotional book about the Saviour of the world who is also the loving presence in believers. Having known Geoff for over sixty years I can testify that every word written proceeds from his own heart of love for Jesus and for all God’s children. Geoff has avoided trying to manufacture some theory or new twist to make the book more colourful. He has used Scripture as his main source and has been faithful to both the divinity and humanity of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. His use of chronology for headings and the many sub-headings makes the book simpler to absorb, even for an enquirer or new believer. It reminds me a little of Leon Morris’s beautiful book The Lord from Heaven. I warmly commend this book. ~ Rev Dr Tony Cupit, Former Director of the Baptist World Alliance.
* 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 (Pakistan)

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

 

Conclusion

The life of Jesus is history’s great love story. The overview in this brief book points you to the great good news of who Jesus is and what he did. That story is told best in the Bible, God’s inspired word.

I hope this brief commentary points you again to that God-breathed living word. It gave me fresh insights as I researched the harmonized story of these gospels.

Many writers discuss the popular five love languages: affirmation, service, gifts, time, and touch. Jesus demonstrated all these in various ways.

He affirmed and admired faith, especially faith in him for healing and help.
He served daily and showed it dramatically by washing his disciples’ feet.
He gave his life for us and ultimately he gives eternal life to all who believe.
His three years of quality time with his followers prepared them to serve.
His touch brought physical and spiritual healing and freedom to multitudes.

I love the way John summed up the reason for writing his Gospel: “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 20:31)

That is my prayer for you, my reader. Here is my echoing sonnet, penned over fifty years ago.

Sin stalks the soul, and permeates the whole
Of life lived here where we, while bound by fear,
Hunt far and near for freedom to appear
From pole to pole with our minds in control.
That worthy goal seems mockery.  Sin stole
Our freedom dear, left pain and woe to sear
Each life, a mere heartache, or sob, or tear,
Like a lost mole, blind, dirty in its hole.
God’s love stepped in to fight and conquer sin
Through Christ who bled and died and rose as Head
Supreme of all who claim Him Lord.  Our fall,
Clamour and din may end in Him.  We win
Release from dread, freedom, life from the dead,
Unbound from gall, in answer to His call.

        

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

* 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

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

A Christian Passover All
Christian Passover Service – Blog
Christian Passover Service – PDF

A Retelling of the Last Supper


RISEN: long version – Blog
Risen! –_PDF

12 resurrection appearances

0 A Mysterious Month All3
Mysterious Month – Blog
Mysterious Month – PDF

Jesus’ resurrection appearances & our month in Israel

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

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival:
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When was Jesus crucified? Article by Kevin Woodbridge

When was Jesus crucified?
Evidence pointing to the year 31 AD

Dr. Kevin P. Woodbridge, University of Hull, UK
E-mail: kevinpaulwoodbridge@gmail.com

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When was Jesus Crucified? Article by Kevin Woodbridge
Alternate Chronology of the Crucifixion of Jesus:
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com

Kevin Woodridge, Ph.D., gives details pointing to a crucifixion date in AD 31 on Thursday, 14th Nisan, including a blood moon on Wednesday night, the beginning of Nisan 14 on the Thursday. Friday 15th Nisan, a special Sabbath, was followed by the normal Sabbath on Saturday 16th Nisan, and the resurrection on Sunday 17th Nisan, the first day of the Feast of First Fruits.

A selection from his article is included in Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology in The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story.  This is his article:

When was Jesus crucified? Evidence pointing to the year 31 AD

Abstract

In which year was Jesus crucified? Many scholars consider that he died some time between 29 AD and 34 AD. A partial lunar eclipse (as described by St. Peter on the Day of Pentecost) on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (evening/night on 14th Day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar) corresponds well with the Gospels, if the Last Supper were a private “eve of Passover” meal eaten as a Teacher with his disciples one day earlier than others in Jerusalem, followed by Jesus praying and being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. The crucifixion of Jesus on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan) corresponds well with the New Testament, if this were followed by a “special Sabbath” for the Passover on 15th Day of Nisan, then a regular weekly Sabbath on 16th Day of Nisan, then the resurrection of Jesus on 17th Day of Nisan (the First Day of the Feast of First Fruits), with descriptions of fig trees in bloom and bearing “early figs” being suggestive of a late Passover. This chronology, with the death of Jesus on 14th Day of Nisan, would account for the “Quartodeciman Controversy” in the 2nd Century AD.

Key words: crucifixion, 31 AD, lunar eclipse, Passover, 14th Nisan.

Introduction

Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ is at the very centre of the Christian faith and is the world’s most famous person. Almost all historians consider him to be a historical figure who lived in the Holy Land in the 1st Century AD (Ehrman, 2011). Yet the precise details of the date of his death are not known. The position of many scholars is that he died some time between approximately 29 AD and 34 AD. Any earlier, and the chronology of the life of Pontius Pilate becomes problematic (Flavius Josephus, a Romano-Jewish historian, stated in “Antiquities of the Jews” (written in about 93 AD) that Jesus was crucified on the orders of Pontius Pilate and that he was the Roman governor of the province of Judaea from 26 AD until summoned to Rome in 36 AD) (Theissen and Merz, 1998; Köstenberger et al., 2009). Any later, and the chronology of the life of the apostle Paul becomes problematic (St. Paul was on trial by Junius Gallio in Achaea, Greece around 51-52 AD, approximately seventeen years after his conversion, which was after Jesus’ death) (Jewett, 2012; Bond, 2012, 2013).

In many ways this lack of knowledge does not matter, as it demonstrates that Jesus was a rather ordinary man in his time – a Galilean carpenter and itinerant preacher, who met his end by being executed in the Roman province of Judaea by crucifixion. He was a Mediterranean Jewish peasant (Crossan, 1991). Yet, as we approach two thousand years since this event, it is perhaps frustrating that we cannot be more precise. The year in which Jesus died is a very important year in history, as it was the year of Christian beginnings – the year in which Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead and the Holy Spirit was poured out on his disciples.

When did Jesus die? I believe we can identify the likely year, by a careful reconsideration of descriptions of nature and events given in the New Testament. These descriptions are mostly already known to scholars, though the way that these descriptions have been analysed and reconsidered together here is different.

Partial eclipse of the moon on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (evening/night on 14th Day of Nisan)

In ancient history, there is frequently uncertainty as to the exact dates of events and, where available, descriptions of lunar and solar eclipses have been used to provide precise dates for events and to construct chronological frameworks for antiquity. This is because eclipses are natural astronomical phenomena that can be interpreted with a precision of the nearest hour or better, even over a time interval of 2,000 years (Morrison and Stephenson, 2004). It has long been suspected (at least since the times of Sir Isaac Newton, who considered the dates of Friday 3 April 33 AD and Friday 23 April 34 AD) that there was a lunar eclipse in the year that Jesus died (Pratt, 1991). The main difficulties, as is frequently the case with ancient history, have been determining whether the ancient descriptions definitely refer to a lunar eclipse and relating these ancient descriptions to the correct lunar eclipse within the astronomical record.

The main reason for considering a lunar eclipse around the time of the death of Jesus is the wording of the sermon given by the apostle Peter in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-22):

“Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.”

St. Peter quoted the prophet Joel who spoke of the moon being turned to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord, and stated that this was one of the wonders in the heavens above which his fellow Jews knew God had done among them. The moon being turned to blood, that is a “blood moon”, is particularly significant as it is the description that is frequently used for a total lunar eclipse in which the moon usually takes on a reddish hue (though it may occasionally be used to describe a moon that appears reddish because of dust, smoke or haze in the sky) (Kher, 2021). Peter was clearly saying that the prophecy of Joel was being fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But was Peter also saying that one of the wonders seen in the heavens above around this time, known to both him and his fellow Israelites, was a lunar eclipse? Probably. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) record that that there was darkness over Jerusalem for several hours on the day that Jesus died, so Peter probably meant “the Sun was turned to darkness” literally. Hence, Peter probably meant “the moon was turned to blood” literally, as well. In antiquity, lunar eclipses often have been described in this way. For instance, the total lunar eclipse of 20 September 331 BC (two days after Alexander the Great crossed the River Tigris) was described by the Roman historian Quintus Curtius as “suffused with the colour of blood” (Ginzel, 1899), and the partial lunar eclipse of 18 October 69 AD (before the second battle of Cremona) was described by the Roman historian Dio Cassius as causing great confusion in the camp of Vitellius as the moon “appeared both blood coloured and black” (Humphreys, 2011).

If the sermon of St. Peter was referring to a lunar eclipse visible in the Roman province of Judaea in the early spring (the time of the Passover) between 26 AD and 36 AD, then there are only three possible lunar eclipses, as given in Table 1.

Table 1. Lunar eclipses visible in Judaea in March or April between 26 AD and 36 AD (From NavSoft.Com, 2012)

 

Date

(Julian calendar)

Type of eclipse Approximate time using Universal Time +2 hours 20 mins for Jerusalem
Sunset Start of civil twilight Start of astronomical twilight Moonrise Start of eclipse (start of penumbral phase) Start of partial phase Maximum eclipse End of partial phase End of eclipse (end of penumbral phase)
Wednesday 25 April 31 AD Partial lunar eclipse 18.31 18.56 19.58 18.15 20.02 21.17 22.17 23.18 00.32 (Thursday 26 April 31 AD)
Friday 3 April 33 AD Partial lunar eclipse 18.18 18.42 19.41 18.17 14.07 15.29 16.55 18.20 19.42
Tuesday 23 March 34 AD Penumbral lunar eclipse 18.12 18.36 19.33 18.09 16.00 17.22 18.44

At first sight, each of these lunar eclipses look quite promising candidates for the “moon being turned to blood”, but that is not the case when their appearance from Jerusalem is carefully considered. The lunar eclipse of Tuesday 23 March 34 AD ended several minutes after the start of civil twilight in Jerusalem, meaning that the eclipse would have had no discernible effect. The lunar eclipse of Friday 3 April 33 AD had a partial phase that ended at 18.20, before the start of civil twilight, meaning that the eclipse would probably not even have been noticeable in Jerusalem and certainly any reddish colouration of the moon associated with the eclipse would not have been visible (Schaefer, 1990; NavSoft.Com, 2012).

Which leaves the partial lunar eclipse on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (evening/night on 14th Day of Nisan). This eclipse took place entirely within astronomical twilight and so would have been clearly visible from Jerusalem, weather permitting. Further details of the appearance of this partial lunar eclipse are given in Figure 1 (NASA, 2011).

Figure 1. Appearance of the partial lunar eclipse of Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (From NASA, 2011)

Note: TD (Terrestrial Time, also known as Dynamical Time) of 23.02 & 48 secs for Time of Greatest Eclipse = 20.12 & 27 secs UT (Universal Time) (NASA, 2007, 2011)

This eclipse of the moon on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD could have been the cause of the “moon turning to blood” that the apostle Peter described in his sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:20). It was a partial lunar eclipse with about one quarter of the moon totally immersed in the Earth’s shadow, so the moon would have appeared dimmed with part of the moon having a reddish hue. Cloud and atmospheric dust may have accentuated the redness and dimming of the moon. Indeed, the appearance of lunar eclipses can vary, and may range in colour from nearly black to grey, brown, rust coloured, brick red, copper red, orange, yellow, or gold, with red being the most frequent colour. The amount of dust particles, water droplets, clouds, and mist can all have an effect on the shade of red, and volcanic ash and dust can cause the moon to turn dark during an eclipse (Link, 1969; Kher, 2021). There is a Danjon Scale for lunar eclipse brightness that demonstrates this range (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The Danjon Scale for lunar eclipse brightness (From Kher, 2021)

It is interesting that a lunar eclipse on the evening and night of Wednesday 25 April 31 AD fits in well with descriptions in the Gospels, if that was the night that Jesus was betrayed and arrested. According to the Gospel of Luke, after the Last Supper Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives, where he prayed earnestly and “his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44). This description might have arisen if Jesus were facing towards the eclipsed moon as he prayed and his sweat took on a blood red tinge in the red moonlight. Also, more prosaically, if Judas Iscariot and a band of men came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives at around the hour of 10.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m., this would have been the time of maximum eclipse and could explain why they came carrying torches, lanterns and weapons (John 18:3) on the night of a full moon. As they approached, Jesus said “Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns” (Luke 22:53). On a night of a full moon, Jesus said it was the hour of darkness. Whilst these descriptions could have applied if the night were overcast or the band of men routinely carried torches and lanterns for searches, they have particular significance if the moon were at the maximum of an eclipse. Even though Jesus had been seen regularly in the Temple, the men needed Judas Iscariot to point Jesus out in the reddish darkness of the eclipse (Hage, 2014). Furthermore, this darkness and blood red moon would have been etched in St. Peter’s memory, as the night that he fell asleep instead of keeping watch, struck out with his sword, and then deserted and denied Jesus (Mark 14:32-72).

There are a few difficulties with assigning the arrest of Jesus to Wednesday 25 April 31 AD. One issue is that this was only a partial eclipse, so the appearance of the moon might not have been as red as “the moon turned to blood”, though other partial eclipses, such as that on 2 March 462 AD observed by Hydatius, bishop of Chaves (in Portugal), have been described in this way (Stephenson, 2021). Another issue is that the verses Luke 22:43-44 are not in all early manuscripts and may have been an interpolation into the Gospel of Luke made sometime prior to 160 AD (Ehrman and Plunkett, 2006). If Jesus were crucified on the day after his arrest, this would mean that Jesus died on Thursday 26 April 31 AD, whereas traditions of the established church assign the crucifixion of Jesus to a Friday. This is not such a great difficulty as it first seems, especially since there may not have been an unbroken cycle of weekdays from the 1st Century AD to modern times (Schaefer, 1990).

Crucifixion of Jesus on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan)

It is reasonable to assert that Jesus was crucified on the day after his arrest. All four Gospels indicate this, and the priests would have wanted swift action before the Passover and before Pilate left Jerusalem, as the consent of Pilate was needed to inflict capital punishment (Freeman, 2011). If that were the case, then Jesus was crucified on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan). Whilst this is contrary to church traditions which assign the crucifixion to a Friday, dates for the crucifixion of Jesus on a Thursday and the resurrection of Jesus on a Sunday fit in very well with certain interpretations of the Gospels and the New Testament.

It is worth noting that the word “Sabbaths” – the Greek word is σαββάτων (sabbaton), which is clearly plural (Nestle et al., 1988) – is used in certain places in the Gospel accounts of the burial and resurrection of Jesus, as shown by Young’s Literal Translation:

“And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths, came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre,” (Matthew 28:1)

“And the sabbath having past, Mary the Magdalene, and Mary of James, and Salome, bought spices, that having come, they may anoint him, and early in the morning of the first of the sabbaths, they came unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun, and they said among themselves, ‘Who shall roll away for us the stone out of the door of the sepulchre?’” (Mark 16:1-3)

“And the day was a preparation, and sabbath was approaching, and the women also who have come with him out of Galilee having followed after, beheld the tomb, and how his body was placed, and having turned back, they made ready spices and ointments, and on the sabbath, indeed, they rested, according to the command. And on the first of the sabbaths, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bearing the spices they made ready, and certain [others] with them, and they found the stone having been rolled away from the tomb, and having gone in, they found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 23:54-24:3)

“And on the first of the sabbaths, Mary the Magdalene doth come early (there being yet darkness) to the tomb, and she seeth the stone having been taken away out of the tomb, she runneth, therefore, and cometh unto Simon Peter, and unto the other disciple whom Jesus was loving, and saith to them, ‘They took away the Lord out of the tomb, and we have not known where they laid him.’” (John 20:1-2)

Interpreting the use of the plural Greek word “Sabbaths” is very difficult, not least because σαββάτων can be translated as “the seventh day of the week on which the Jews abstained from all work – the Sabbath”, or as “seven days – a week” (Thayer, 1995). The Jews simply numbered the days of the week rather than giving them names, except for the Sabbath (and “Sabbath” literally means “seven”, as it is the seventh day of the week). Furthermore, the word “Sabbaths” could mean that Jesus’ resurrection took place following the sabbaths of the last week of his life. In short, this use of the plural “Sabbaths” is puzzling, as is the chronology of the death and resurrection of Jesus in general. In particular, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) apparently assign the crucifixion of Jesus to the daytime after the Passover meal – on the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (daytime on 15th Day of Nisan, the first month of the year in the Jewish calendar, with Jewish days running from sunset to sunset). By contrast, the Gospel of John assigns the crucifixion of Jesus to one day earlier to the daytime before the Passover meal – on the Preparation Day for the Passover (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar) – with Jesus crucified at the same time as the lambs were slaughtered. Whilst this may have been a literary construct by the Gospel of John to portray Jesus as the Passover lamb taking away the sin of the world (Barclay, 2001; Ehrman 2009), the imagery is quite subtle, though strong. For instance, after death, Jesus’ legs were not broken (John 19:31-33), just as none of the bones of the Passover lamb were to be broken (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12), and the Passover lamb was traditionally roasted on two transverse spits of dry wood arranged like a cross (one spit from the lower limbs to the head, and another at the shoulder, to which the paws were fastened) (Tabory, 1996).

Nevertheless, especially since the Gospels used some sources in the Semitic language of Aramaic (Grant, 1943; Missick, 2006), the use of the plural “first of the Sabbaths” for the Sunday of the resurrection may be an indicator that the original oral traditions referred to two consecutive Sabbaths prior to the Sunday of the resurrection. These two consecutive Sabbaths could have been a “special Sabbath” on the Friday that was the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (daytime on 15th Day of Nisan), on which no regular or ordinary work was to be done (Leviticus 23:6-7), followed by the regular weekly Sabbath on the Saturday (daytime on 16th Day of Nisan). This appears to be borne out by Luke 23:54-24:1, with the women preparing spices and ointments (to anoint the body that had been prepared and buried by Joseph of Arimathea on the Thursday), on the first Sabbath on the Friday, the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread (Figure 3). This was a day on which no regular or ordinary work was to be done, and the preparing of spices and ointments by the women was not “ordinary” work. The next day, the regular weekly Sabbath on the Saturday, the women rested according to the commandment. Then on the Sunday, after the two Sabbaths, they went to the tomb (Biblical Hermeneutics, 2016). Furthermore, the Gospel of John clearly specifies that the day after Jesus’ crucifixion was a “special Sabbath”: “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). It would have been highly objectionable to the Jewish leaders to allow crucified bodies to remain on the crosses overnight during this special Sabbath (Deuteronomy 21:22-23). All of this indicates that Jesus was crucified on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan) and was resurrected on Sunday 29 April 31 AD (daytime on 17th Day of Nisan).

This is contrary to the traditions of the established church, which ascribe the death of Jesus to the Friday, but is in keeping with various aspects of the Gospels which indicate that Jesus was three nights in the tomb. For instance, when speaking about the sign of Jonah, Jesus said “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). Also, on the day of the resurrection, two disciples on the road to Emmaus said “The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place” (Luke 24: 20-21). It is also consistent with the apocryphal Gospel of Peter which indicates that Jesus’ crucifixion was on the day before the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, that is in the daytime on the 14th Day of Nisan (Mattison, 2018). However, there are some aspects of the Gospels which appear consistent with the crucifixion of Jesus being on a Friday, such as when Jesus said to some Pharisees regarding Herod Antipas: “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!” (Luke 13:32-33).

A date for the crucifixion of Jesus of Thursday 26 April 31 AD is quite late in the year. Does it fit in with the Passover date for that year? The official Jewish calendar was designed with the intent that the spring equinox always fell either in the month of Adar (the last month of the Jewish year), or at the latest on the 1st Day of Nisan (the first month of the Jewish year). The Jewish calendar (which was comprised of 12 0r 13 lunar months with lengths of 29 or 30 days) in the 1st Century AD was variable. This was due to factors such as the start of each lunar month being dependent on the visibility of the crescent new moon and the insertion of an intercalary or “leap” month (an additional Adar I month with a length 30 days) every two to three years, aiming to keep this lunar calendar in step with the Sun (Humphreys and Waddington, 1992; Reis, 2019). In the 1st Century AD, the Jewish authorities had a fairly detailed knowledge of astronomy, such as the average length of time between each lunar conjunction (or molad), and calculations were made; though Jewish writings indicate that the purpose of the calculations were to assess the reliability of witnesses of the visible new moon crescents, not to determine when months and years began. The “calendar” that was held sacred by both the Jews and the Babylonians was the one determined by the clock in the sky, not that created by the calculations of men. The practice of establishing Jewish calendar dates by calculation alone was not instigated until about 358 AD (Beattie, 2012). Hence, there is some uncertainty as to the exact date of the Passover in each year in the 1st Century AD. In the year 31 AD, the spring equinox was on Friday 23 March 31 AD, so, whilst some scholars have assigned the Passover in that year to the time around Tuesday 27 March 31 AD (Humphreys and Waddington, 1992), others have assigned it to the time around Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (Nelte, 1998).

Assuming the late April Passover date, the actual 1st Day of Nisan would have been determined by the first sighting of the crescent moon after the new moon at time 14.14 on Tuesday 10 April 31 AD. Since this new moon was in the daytime, the first opportunity for seeing the crescent moon in Jerusalem would have been on the evening of Wednesday 11 April 31 AD. However, if the sky had been obscured by cloud or dust in Jerusalem on the evening of Wednesday 11 April 31 AD, such that the new moon crescent was not sighted until the following evening, then the 1st Day of Nisan would have been on Friday 13 April 31 AD, and the 15th Day of Nisan (the First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread) would have been on Friday 27 April 31 AD (Hage, 2014). This would be consistent with people in Jerusalem having eaten the Passover meal on the evening of Thursday 26 April 31 AD. It would also be consistent with Jesus and his disciples having eaten the Last Supper as a private meal “before the Passover” on the previous evening of Wednesday 25 April 31 AD.

Hence, the apparent confusion regarding dates and whether or not the Last Supper was a Passover meal may have been because Jesus and his disciples ate the Last Supper as a private meal in preparation for the Passover, such as one of a Teacher or Rabbi eaten with his disciples or pupils. Such a meal would have taken place on the “eve of Passover” after sunset of the 14th Day of Nissan, or on the evening of Wednesday 25 April 31 AD by the chronology proposed here. Indeed, there is some evidence that the Last Supper in the early church was celebrated as an “Agape Meal” with fellow Christians (Reis, 2019). This would account for the Last Supper having some, though not all, of the characteristics of a Passover meal. There was bread, wine, and the singing of a hymn (Mark 14:16-26); though, crucially, no mention of a lamb being sacrificed at the Temple, nor of it being brought home and roasted. It would also account for how the Synoptic Gospels state that Jesus and his disciples prepared the Passover (Matthew 26:19; Mark 14:16; Luke 22:13), rather than stating that they actually “ate” the Passover (Reis, 2019). Jesus’ instructions for preparation were quite elaborate and implied an element of covertness – going into the city, following a man carrying a water jar to a house, asking the owner ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’, and being shown a large upper room, furnished and ready, as the place to prepare the Passover (Mark 14:13-15). Interestingly, a few groups, most notably the Samaritans and the Essenes, probably ate the Passover meal on a different day to most people in Jerusalem, due to them still using a pre-exilic calendar (using a day that ran from sunrise to sunrise and the conjunction of the new moon to determine the 1st Day of Nisan) that was one to four days earlier than the post-exilic calendar that was the official Jewish calendar in the 1st century AD. The instructions to follow a man carrying a water jar (a task that celibate Essene men often did out of necessity) may have been a sign to enter the city through the Essene Gate and use an upper room of the Essene community for the “before the Passover” meal (Humphreys, 2011).

The key events of spring 31 AD are summarised in Table 2. From this table it can be seen that dates in spring 31 AD fit in well with events and beliefs expressed in the Gospels, the book of Acts, and the early letters of St. Paul.

Table 2. Key events in Jerusalem and its environs in April – June 31 AD

Date (Julian calendar, year 31 AD) – Approx. time using Universal Time + 2 hours 20 mins for Jerusalem Event (with date in Jewish calendar, year 3792 Am, each day in the official Jewish calendar running from sunset to sunset or nightfall to nightfall)
Tuesday 10 April 31 AD – Time 14.14 Conjunction of new moon (the molad) – First new moon after the spring equinox
Wednesday 11 April 31 AD – Early evening First opportunity to sight crescent new moon in Jerusalem missed due to cloudy or dusty sky
Thursday 12 April 31 AD – Early evening Crescent new moon sighted by religious authorities in Jerusalem
Friday 13 April 31 AD 1st Day of Nisan (first month of the Jewish year)
Sunday 22 April 31 AD 10th Day of Nisan (five days before the Passover) – Probable date of triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (John 12:1 & 12)
Wednesday 25 April 31 AD

 

13th Day of Nisan – Jesus and his disciples prepared the Passover during the day and ate the Last Supper after sunset during 14th Day of Nisan as a private “eve of Passover” meal, eaten as a Teacher with his disciples (one day before most people in Jerusalem ate the Passover) (Mark 14:12-26; John 13:1-2)
Wednesday 25 April 31 AD – Time 21.17 to 23.18

 

14th Day of Nisan (evening/night) – Partial phase (darkest phase) of partial lunar eclipse – Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives and Jesus arrested by a band of men guided by Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:39-53)
Thursday 26 April 31 AD 14th Day of Nisan (daytime) – Preparation Day for the Passover, with sacrificial lambs for the Passover meal killed in Jerusalem in the afternoon and eaten after sunset during 15th Day of Nisan (Leviticus 23:4-6) – Trial of Jesus during night and morning (Jews did not enter Pilate’s palace on the morning of 14th Day of Nisan, as they wanted to be able to eat the Passover after sunset on 15th Day of Nisan) (John 18:28) – Crucifixion of Jesus (the Passover lamb, 1 Corinthians 5:7) – As evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for Jesus’ body, wrapped it in linen cloth, and placed it in a new rock-cut tomb (Matthew 27:57-61)
Friday 27 April 31 AD 15th Day of Nisan – First Day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, a “special Sabbath” for the Passover festival on which no regular or ordinary work was to be done (Leviticus 23:5-8) – Women who had come with Jesus from Galilee went home and prepared spices and perfumes (Luke 23:55-56)
Saturday 28 April 31 AD 16th Day of Nisan – Regular weekly Sabbath – Women rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment (Luke 23:56)
Sunday 29 April 31 AD – Early morning 17th Day of Nisan – First Day of the Feast of First Fruits, first harvested barley sheaf waved by the priest before Yahweh (Leviticus 23:9-14) – Resurrection of Jesus (the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23) – Women found an empty tomb (Luke 24:1-3)
Sunday 29 April 31 AD 17th Day of Nisan – Two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus on the third day since his crucifixion (Luke 24:20-21)
Sunday 17 June 31 AD 7th Day of Sivan (third month of the Jewish year) – Feast of Shavuot/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost (Greek meaning “50th day”) – Final Day of the Feast of First Fruits, two lambs waved by the priest before Yahweh together with baked wheat bread of firstfruits, celebration of the revealing of the Torah to the people of Israel on Mt. Sinai (Leviticus 23:15-22) – Holy Spirit came to the disciples in Jerusalem (Acts 2:1-5) (the firstfruits of the Spirit, Romans 8:23)

Fig trees already in bloom and bearing “early figs” suggest a Passover during late April in the year Jesus died

A further aspect of the Synoptic Gospels which indirectly supports the late spring date of Thursday 26 April 31 AD for the crucifixion of Jesus, is the description of fig trees that they provide. Like all deciduous trees, fig trees change with the seasons. In Jerusalem and the uplands of Judaea, fig trees shed all their leaves by December and remain bare until the spring. Generally, from about the end of March onwards they put forth buds, followed by the appearance of larger green leaves in early April. When these leaves appear, every fig tree which is going to bear fruit from the “new wood” in August, will have some knob-like “early figs” on them, small figs that are also known as “taqsh” or “breba” figs (Figure 3) (Masterman, 1939; Bruce, 2003). These taqsh can

be eaten if one is hungry and are an indicator that a specific fig tree is not barren, as sometimes the entirety of this first crop may abort so that by May there are no figs at all on the fig tree. It was a crop of taqsh figs that Jesus was most probably looking for when he was hungry and cursed the fig tree, causing it whither (Mark 11:12-14 & 20-25); particularly since the writer of the Gospel of Mark commented: “When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs” (Mark 11:13) (Masterman, 1939; Bruce, 2003).

Figure 3. Taqsh or breba figs

This happened shortly after the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, which, if Table 2 is correct, would place it in late April 31 AD. To find a fig tree with leaves and be looking for taqsh or early figs on it makes good sense in late April, but considerably less sense in late March, unless it were an especially mild year. Also, at around the same time, Jesus said “Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near” (Mark 13:28). Fig trees usually bloom in early to mid-spring, so the crucifixion of Jesus was probably in a year of a late Passover during late April, as the fig trees were already in bloom and summer was near. In Jerusalem and the Holy Land spring and autumn are only very short seasons, with the hot, dry summer effectively extending from about May to September (Alon, 1969).

Summary

In summary, this careful interpretation of the New Testament and nature strongly suggests that Jesus was crucified on Thursday 26 April 31 AD. This is a challenge to the view of those who consider that the memory of the precise details of the last days of Jesus’ life had been lost to the collective memory by the time the Gospels were written (approximately 66 AD – 110 AD) (Perkins, 1998; Lincoln, 2005), meaning that the year of Jesus’ death is probably not recoverable other than that it was around the time of the Passover between about 29 AD and 34 AD (Bond, 2012, 2013). Whether the good coincidence of dates in 31 AD arises due to the Gospels being written mainly from eyewitness accounts, or due to the Gospels being written mainly to emphasise fulfilment of prophecy and theology, depends on one’s point of view (Crossan, 1991; Martin, 1996; Wright, 2003; Beilby and Eddy, 2009; Ehrman, 2009; Bond, 2012; Bauckham, 2017). Either way, the year 31 AD is a good fit. Other dates for the death of Jesus, particularly Friday 7 April 30 AD (Dunn, 2003) and Friday 3 April 33 AD (Humphreys and Waddington, 1992), have been carefully researched and proposed. However, they do not fully account for the evidence given here, particularly a lunar eclipse that would have been clearly visible from Jerusalem. A chronology can be constructed for the spring of 31 AD which fits in very well with the New Testament accounts and theology (Table 2), including Jesus being crucified as the Passover lamb and rising from the dead as the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. The key exception to this is the assigning of the death of Jesus to a Thursday, whereas churches commemorate the death of Jesus on a Friday.

Why does the established church commemorate the death of Jesus on Good Friday? Most probably, the early church in the 1st Century AD celebrated the Passover, with the interpretation of Jesus as the Passover lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7; John 1:29), sacrificed on the 14th Day of Nisan (Exodus 12:6; John 18:28), and resurrected on the 16th or 17th Day of Nisan (the day after the Sabbath after Passover, the initial day of the Feast of First Fruits, when the first harvested barley sheaf was waved by the priest before Yahweh) (Leviticus 23:9-22). St. Paul described the resurrection as being firstly of Christ, the firstfruits of the harvest (as on the First Day of the Feast of First Fruits), then of those who belong to Christ, at his Second Coming at the completion of the harvest (as on the Final Day of the Feast of First Fruits) (1 Corinthians 15:20-28) (White, 2015).

The practice of celebrating Easter on a Sunday started around the time of Pope Sixtus I (c. 126 AD), as a repressive change from the Jewish lunar calendar to the Roman Julian solar calendar, and became a major issue during the “Quartodeciman Controversy” in which Pope Victor I (189 – 198 AD) threatened to excommunicate Polycrates, and other bishops in Asia Minor and Jerusalem, who celebrated the Passover for Christians on the 14th Day of Nisan. After the Council of Nicaea (325 AD), Quartodecimanism was outlawed under the Roman emperor Constantine I (306 – 337 AD) and persecuted under the Roman emperor Theodosius I (379 – 395 AD), and it was ruled that all churches should follow a single rule for Easter Sunday, computed independently of the Jewish calendar (Freeman, 2011). It seems probable that during this long, unedifying struggle to separate Christianity from its Jewish roots, the correct, historical tradition of Jesus dying on a Thursday was lost.

References

Bible quotations are from The Holy Bible, New International Version © 2011 by Biblica, Inc., and from The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, Young’s Literal Translation (1862) by Robert Young.

Alon, A. (1969) The Natural History Of The Land Of The Bible. Jerusalem Publishing House, Jerusalem, Israel.

Barclay, W. (2001) The Gospel of John, Volume Two. The New Daily Study Bible. Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.

Bauckham, R. (2017) Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Second Edition. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Beattie, M. J. (2012) How Accurate is the Calendar at this Website? Web page of CGSF about the Hebrew Calendar: http://www.cgsf.org/dbeattie/calendar/about

Beilby, J. K. and Eddy, P. R. (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five views. SPCK, London, UK.

Biblical Hermeneutics (2016) Greek – Sabbath, Sabbaths or week? Matthew 28:1. Web page of Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange:

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/21961/sabbath-sabbaths-or-week-matthew-281

Bond, H. K. (2012) The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed. T&T Clark, London, UK.

Bond, H. K. (2013) ‘Dating the Death of Jesus’: Memory and the Religious Imagination. New Testament Studies, 59 (4), 461-475.

Bruce, F. F. (2003) The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Crossan, J. D. (1991) The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant. HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Ehrman, B. D. (2009) Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don’t Know About Them). HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Ehrman, B. D. (2011) Forged: Writing in the Name of God–Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. HarperCollins, New York, USA.

Ehrman, B. D. and Plunkett, M. A. (2006) The Angel and the Agony: The Textual Problem of Luke 22:43-44. In: Ehrman, B. D. (ed.) Studies in the Textual Criticism of the New Testament. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, 178-195.

Freeman, C. (2011) A New History of Early Christianity. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Ginzel, F. K. (1899) Spezieller kanon der sonnen- und mondfinsternisse für das ländergebiet der klassischen altertumswissenschaften und den zeitraum von 900 vor Chr. bis 600 nach Chr. Mayer & Müller, Berlin, Germany.

Grant, F. C. (1943) The Earliest Gospel. Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York, USA.

Hage, O. H. (2014) Jesus History: The Crucifixion of Jesus. Web page of Hage Productions: https://petragrail.tripod.com/tree.html

Humphreys, C. J. (2011) The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Humphreys, C. J. and Waddington, W. G. (1992) The Jewish calendar, a lunar eclipse and the date of Christ’s Crucifixion. Tyndale Bulletin, 43.2 (1992), 331-351.

Jewett, R. (2012) Dating Paul’s Life. SCM Press, London, UK.

Kher, A. (2021) Why Does the Moon Turn Red? Web page of timeanddate.com: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/why-does-moon-look-red-lunar-eclipse.html

Köstenberger, A. J., Kellum, L. S. and Quarles, C. L. (2009) The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, USA.

Lincoln, A. T. (2005) The Gospel According to St John (Black’s New Testament Commentaries). Bloomsbury Publishing, London, UK.

Link, F. (1969) Eclipse Phenomena in Astronomy. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany.

Martin, E. L. (1996) Secrets of Golgotha (Second Edition): The Lost History of Jesus’ Crucifixion. Associates for Scriptural Knowledge, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Masterman, E. W. G. (1939) Fig, Fig-tree. In: Orr, J. (general ed.) The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia. W. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Mattison, M. M. (2018) The Gospel of Peter: Revisiting Jesus’ Death and Resurrection. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Scotts Valley, California, USA.

Missick, S. A. (2006) The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic: Discovering the Semitic Roots of Christianity. Xulon Press, Maitland, Florida, USA.

Morrison, L. and Stephenson, F. R. (2004) Historical Values of the Earth’s Clock Error ΔT and the Calculation of Eclipses. Journal for the History of Astronomy, 35 (3), August 2004, 327-336.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (2007) Historical Values of Delta T (ΔT). Adapted from “Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses” [Espenak and Meeus]. Web page of NASA: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/deltat2004.html

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (2011) Five Millennium Catalog of Lunar Eclipses: 0001 to 0100 (1 CE to 100 CE). NASA TP-2009-214172. Web page of NASA: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat5/LE0001-0100.html

NavSoft.Com (2012) Historical Events: Death of Jesus. Web page of NavSoft.Com: http://navsoft.com/html/___death_of_jesus.html

Nelte, F. W. (1998) Passover dates for 30 A.D. and for 31 A.D. Web page of Frank W. Nelte: https://www.franknelte.net/article.php?article_id=111

Nestle, E., Marshall, A. and Phillips, J. B. (1988) The Zondervan Parallel New Testament in Greek and English. Tenth Printing. Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

Perkins, P. (1998). The Synoptic Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles: Telling the Christian Story. In: Barton, J (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Interpretation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 241-258.

Pratt, J. P. (1991). Newton’s Date for the Crucifixion. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 32 (No. 3), 301-304.

Reis, A. (2019) The Chronology of the Crucifixion: An Updated Adventist View. Paper on website of Academia.edu:

https://www.academia.edu/39331184/_The_Chronology_of_the_Crucifixion_An_Updated_Adventist_View_

Schaefer, B. E. (1990) Lunar visibility and the crucifixion. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 31, 53-67.

Stephenson, F. R. (2021) Eclipses in history: Medieval European. Article on website of Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/science/eclipse/Medieval-European

Tabory, J. (1996) The Crucifixion of the Paschal Lamb. The Jewish Quarterly Review, 86 (No. 3/4), 395-406.

Thayer, J. H. (1995) Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Coded with Strong’s Concordance Numbers. Hendrickson, Peabody, Massachusetts, USA (Originally published in 1889).

Theissen, G. and Merz, A. (1998) The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide. Fortress Press, Minneapolis, USA.

White, J. (2015) ‘He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures’ (1 Corinthians 15:4): A typological interpretation based on the cultic calendar in Leviticus 23. Tyndale Bulletin, 66.1 (2015), 103-119.

Wright, N. T. (2003) The Resurrection of the Son of God (Christian Origins and the Question of God, Volume 3). SPCK, London, UK.

______________________________

The following excerpt here is from Kevin Woodridge’s article, now included in Appendix 4: Alternative Chronology in The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story. The excerpt begins this way:

Blood Moon AD 31 on Nisan 14

Kevin Woodridge, Ph.D., gives details pointing to a crucifixion date in AD 31 on Thursday, 14th Nisan, including a blood moon on Wednesday night, the beginning of Nisan 14 which continued on the Thursday. Friday 15th Nisan, a special Sabbath, was followed by the normal Sabbath on Saturday 16th Nisan, and the resurrection on Sunday 17th Nisan, the first day of the Feast of First Fruits.

His PDF article is When was Jesus crucified? Evidence pointing to 31 AD. His Abstract says:

In which year was Jesus crucified? Many scholars consider that he died sometime between 29 AD and 34 AD. A partial lunar eclipse (as described by St. Peter on the Day of Pentecost) on Wednesday 25 April 31 AD (evening/night on 14th Day of Nisan in the Jewish calendar) corresponds well with the Gospels, if the Last Supper were a private “eve of Passover” meal eaten as a Teacher with his disciples one day earlier than others in Jerusalem, followed by Jesus praying and being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. The crucifixion of Jesus on Thursday 26 April 31 AD (daytime on 14th Day of Nisan) corresponds well with the New Testament, if this were followed by a “special Sabbath” for the Passover on 15th Day of Nisan, then a regular weekly Sabbath on 16th Day of Nisan, then the resurrection of Jesus on 17th Day of Nisan (the First Day of the Feast of First Fruits), with descriptions of fig trees in bloom and bearing “early figs” being suggestive of a late Passover.


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   

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 Life of Jesus  –  in English and Urdu

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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.
~ Rev Dr John Olley (Amazon 5-stars)
* Geoff Waugh has written a very helpful devotional book about the Saviour of the world who is also the loving presence in believers. Having known Geoff for over sixty years I can testify that every word written proceeds from his own heart of love for Jesus and for all God’s children. Geoff has avoided trying to manufacture some theory or new twist to make the book more colourful. He has used Scripture as his main source and has been faithful to both the divinity and humanity of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. His use of chronology for headings and the many sub-headings makes the book simpler to absorb, even for an enquirer or new believer. It reminds me a little of Leon Morris’s beautiful book The Lord from Heaven. I warmly commend this book. ~ Rev Dr Tony Cupit, Former Director of the Baptist World Alliance.
* 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 (Pakistan)

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

 

Conclusion

The life of Jesus is history’s great love story. The overview in this brief book points you to the great good news of who Jesus is and what he did. That story is told best in the Bible, God’s inspired word.

I hope this brief commentary points you again to that God-breathed living word. It gave me fresh insights as I researched the harmonized story of these gospels.

Many writers discuss the popular five love languages: affirmation, service, gifts, time, and touch. Jesus demonstrated all these in various ways.

He affirmed and admired faith, especially faith in him for healing and help.
He served daily and showed it dramatically by washing his disciples’ feet.
He gave his life for us and ultimately he gives eternal life to all who believe.
His three years of quality time with his followers prepared them to serve.
His touch brought physical and spiritual healing and freedom to multitudes.

I love the way John summed up the reason for writing his Gospel: “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 20:31)

That is my prayer for you, my reader. Here is my echoing sonnet, penned over fifty years ago.

Sin stalks the soul, and permeates the whole
Of life lived here where we, while bound by fear,
Hunt far and near for freedom to appear
From pole to pole with our minds in control.
That worthy goal seems mockery.  Sin stole
Our freedom dear, left pain and woe to sear
Each life, a mere heartache, or sob, or tear,
Like a lost mole, blind, dirty in its hole.
God’s love stepped in to fight and conquer sin
Through Christ who bled and died and rose as Head
Supreme of all who claim Him Lord.  Our fall,
Clamour and din may end in Him.  We win
Release from dread, freedom, life from the dead,
Unbound from gall, in answer to His call.

        

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
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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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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

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story

Appendix 3: The Gospels

 

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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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BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
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God Healing in Ukraine

God Healing in Ukraine

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God Healing in Ukraine
Renewal Journal – a chronicle of renewal and revival: www.renewaljournal.com

Powerful healing testimony from Ukraine conference in May 26-28, 2022.

UKRAINE: Awesome testimony of Jesus healing the people in Ukraine during the Presence Ukraine conference with Mattheus van der Steen of Harvest Field International, in Lviv, May 26-28, 2022 ❤️‍🔥

Testimony

Vadim is 28 years old. From childhood, his spine, muscles, and pelvis began to curve. As a result, his spine looked like the letter “s”. In December 2021, they decided to see a doctor and took a photo.
His wife, Anya, a believer from the Church of Lviv, persuaded him to go to the conference, because two months before the conference, the Lord showed her a vision that such services would be held in Lviv. Vadim did not agree very much because he was not a believer. He did not go to church often. But when he heard about his wife’s vision, he agreed to go.
On Saturday at the first service, when Martin Koornstra prayed for healing, Vadim put his hand on his back and felt the need to move in different directions. Immediately he heard a crunch in his spine, and felt changes in his muscles and pelvis. His wife wrote:
“When we got home we saw that the spine was completely flattened and the muscles were in place!” This can be seen in the photo. Because of this testimony, his parents, who were against the living faith, began to read the Bible and ask for salvation.
*
Remember Elisha receiving the mantle of Elijah!
They all sing the tune of
Forever you will be the Lamb upon the throne,
I gladly bow my knee and worship you alone.
*

Other healing links:


Renewal Journal 4: Healing

 
The Ministry of Jesus – Healing

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
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BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story
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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

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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 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
3 books in 1

FREE SUBSCRIPTION for new Blogs and free offers

The Book Depository – free worldwide airmail

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:
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The Life of Jesus

The Life of Jesus

History’s Great Love Story


The Life of Jesus – WestBow Press – PDF
WestBow Press version – The Life of Jesus
Softcover, Hardcover, & E-Book $3.99


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This PDF is The Life of Jesus with extra Bible passages included
The same Contents and Chapters with more detail added
Page 4 of the PDF lists the additional passages

An expanded version of The Life of Jesus
with extra biographical Bible passages added

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Review Comments

* This is a very informative, amazing, and powerful book. Thanks to the author for investing hours of research, expressed with his masterful command of language. ~ Alex Johnson (5-stars)
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.
~ Rev Dr John Olley (Amazon 5-stars)
* This is a wonderful book and can be read over and over. Thank you. ~ Kerry Rawson
* This is a great read. Simple and easy language that even my children can read as a guide, and have a better understanding of the Life Journey of Christ, as they read it in the Gospels. Thank You. ~ Florence
* Good clear language for a seeker to read and understand the life of Jesus. ~ Duncan Gibb
* Geoff Waugh has written a very helpful devotional book about the Saviour of the world who is also the loving presence in believers. Having known Geoff for over sixty years I can testify that every word written proceeds from his own heart of love for Jesus and for all God’s children. Geoff has avoided trying to manufacture some theory or new twist to make the book more colourful. He has used Scripture as his main source and has been faithful to both the divinity and humanity of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. His use of chronology for headings and the many sub-headings makes the book simpler to absorb, even for an enquirer or new believer. It reminds me a little of Leon Morris’s beautiful book The Lord from Heaven. I warmly commend this book. ~ Rev Dr Tony Cupit, Former Director of the Baptist World Alliance.
* I keep this book with my Bible. It is especially helpful when reading through the Gospels. ~ Cathy Hartwig
* This book is for those who question Jesus’ reality as the Son of God, and for those who search for the details of His amazing life on this earth. ~ Judith Abrey
* 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. A gifted translator, Nabeel works on his phone, so if you can donate towards him serving God with a laptop, add a comment.
Other Translations in preparation.
The Life of Jesus in Sindhi, Pakistani Punjabi, and Indian Punjabi.
 
Video

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

 

Conclusion

The life of Jesus is history’s great love story. The overview in this brief book points you to the great good news of who Jesus is and what he did. That story is told best in the Bible, God’s inspired word.

I hope this brief commentary points you again to that God-breathed living word. It gave me fresh insights as I researched the harmonized story of these gospels.

Many writers discuss the popular five love languages: affirmation, service, gifts, time, and touch. Jesus demonstrated all these in various ways.

He affirmed and admired faith, especially faith in him for healing and help.
He served daily and showed it dramatically by washing his disciples’ feet.
He gave his life for us and ultimately he gives eternal life to all who believe.
His three years of quality time with his followers prepared them to serve.
His touch brought physical and spiritual healing and freedom to multitudes.

I love the way John summed up the reason for writing his Gospel: “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 20:31)

That is my prayer for you, my reader. Here is my echoing sonnet, penned over fifty years ago.

Sin stalks the soul, and permeates the whole
Of life lived here where we, while bound by fear,
Hunt far and near for freedom to appear
From pole to pole with our minds in control.
That worthy goal seems mockery.  Sin stole
Our freedom dear, left pain and woe to sear
Each life, a mere heartache, or sob, or tear,
Like a lost mole, blind, dirty in its hole.
God’s love stepped in to fight and conquer sin
Through Christ who bled and died and rose as Head
Supreme of all who claim Him Lord.  Our fall,
Clamour and din may end in Him.  We win
Release from dread, freedom, life from the dead,
Unbound from gall, in answer to His call.

        

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

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The Lion of Judah – PDF
6 books in one volume

* 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
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Holy Week, Christian Passover & Resurrection
– PDF
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Christian Passover Service – PDF
A Retelling of the Last Supper


RISEN: long version – Blog
Risen! –_PDF
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0 A Mysterious Month All3
Mysterious Month – Blog
Mysterious Month – PDF
Jesus’ resurrection appearances & our month in Israel

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

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

Click image to see Blog

A Inspiration (Colour) All Mod
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Inspiration – PDF
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* I really enjoyed this book. It helped me to understand more about what I have been going through.  ~ James Bird


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The Queen’s Faith – PDF  Platinum Jubilee edition 2022
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The Queen’s Christmas and Easter Messages – PDF
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2-page view at the top right of the PDF.
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* The Queen’s Christmas & Easter Messages is an appealing, highly unusual and very creative anthology. ~ Alison Sherrington
* What an amazing collection! This has so many wonderful Christmas messages and is a great addition to any family during the holiday season.  ~ Jenny & Benny

 


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New Christian’s Guide – PDF
A basic guide for new Christians

 


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100 Bible Quotes – PDF
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Bible Story Pictures & Models – PDF
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* Bible Story Pictures & Models stands out above the rest, looks and sounds original, fun and very inspirational … Your stories are great for teaching children basic bible stories. Your illustrations and models are all terrific for them to color and create. It is all very well done and inviting for your targeted young readers.  ~ Ellery Alouette.

 


Discovering Aslan
– Blog
Discovering Aslan – PDF
Devotional commentary about Jesus
The Lion of Judah

from The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
* This is a remarkable work and something quite unique that I’ve not come across before ~ Russ Burg
* One of the most interesting devotionals ever! As a huge fan of all things Narnia, I am so grateful for this deeper aspect of the truths in C.S. Lewis’ stories. ~ Belinda S.
* Best companion work I know of. … Either for a young person who is interested in exploring more, or as a resource on a pastor’s desk, it is an invaluable companion to the original series.  ~ Amazon Customer
* This is a great companion when you read, and is a stand-alone teaching on the depths of teaching that C.S. Lewis weaves into Aslan’s character. Definitely worth your time.  ~ Steve Loopstra

Books on each Narnia story;

Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’Blog
Discovering ASLAN in ‘Prince Caspian’Blog
Discovering ASLAN in The Voyage of the ‘Dawn Treader’Blog

Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Silver Chair’Blog
Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Horse and His Boy’Blog
Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Magician’s Nephew’Blog
Discovering ASLAN in ‘The Last Battle’Blog

The Lion of Judah Series

A 1 Titles
(1) The Titles of Jesus – Blog
The Titles of Jesus – PDF*

A 2 Reign of Jesus
(2) The Reign of Jesus – Blog
The Reign of Jesus – PDF*

A 3 Life
(3) The Life of Jesus – Blog
The Life of Jesus – PDF*

A 4 Death of Jesus
(4) The Death of Jesus – Blog
The Death of Jesus – PDF

*

A 5 Resurrection
(5) The Resurrection of Jesus – Blog
The Resurrection of Jesus – PDF

*

A 6 Spirit of Jesus
(6) The Spirit of Jesus – Blog
The Spirit of Jesus – PDF

*

A 7 Lion
(7) The Lion of Judah – Blog
The Lion of Judah – PDF
6 books in one volume
* 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

*

More Devotional Books


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Jesus on Dying Regrets – PDF
Advice about the top 5 regrets of the dying

 

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

 

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

 

A Holy Week All
Holy Week – Blog
Holy Week – PDF
Summary of the events of Holy Week

 

A Christian Passover All
Christian Passover Service – Blog
Christian Passover Service – PDF
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RISEN: long version – Blog
Risen! –_PDF
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*

Shorter version
RISEN: short version – Blog
Risen –_PDF

 

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

*

Kingdom Life Series


Kingdom Life in Matthew – Blog
Kingdom Life in Matthew – PDF
Personal and group studies
*


Kingdom Life in Mark – Blog
Kingdom Life in Mark – PDF
Personal and group studies
*


Kingdom Life in Luke – Blog
Kingdom Life in Luke – PDF
Personal and group studies*

Kingdom Life: John
Kingdom Life in John – Blog
Kingdom Life in John – PDF
Personal and group studies*

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

A A Preface to The Acts
A Preface to The Acts – Blog
A Preface to The Acts – PDF
An introduction to the book of The Acts

20 Renewal Journals – with links

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,
3 Community,   4 Healing,  
5 Signs & Wonders,
  
6  Worship
7  Blessing,
   8  Awakening,  
9  Mission
,   10  Evangelism

11  Discipleship
,   12  Harvest,  
13  Ministry
,   14  Anointing,
15  Wineskins,   
16  Vision,  
17  Unity
,   18  Servant Leadership,  
19  Church
,   20 Life

*

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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