Questions About the Bible – Part 2

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

First page of Gospel of Mark, by Armenian Sargis Pitsak

More on the New Testament:

The Twelve, the closest and first disciples of Jesus, or their close associates, wrote the New Testament, inspired by the indwelling Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. They wrote what they saw and heard because it was too precious to them to let it go, forgotten.

And because it was the Truth.

These writers also wrote from quite different backgrounds: tax collectors, fishermen, physicians, lawyers—quite a motley crew. Their styles differed, from intimate, highly personal account, to historical record, to the flowery sentences popular among the legal circles of the day.

Although they wrote from sometimes totally differing perspectives, everything they wrote jives. I mean, one was a killer of Christians before he saw the light and began writing about the glory of Jesus. One was a social mis-fit, working with the wrong political party just for personal gain, before he heard the call to follow Jesus. Another was exiled to a deserted island when he produced some of his writings—far from any contact, any library, yet totally in sync with the rest of what was going on in Christendom at the time.

Christianity, always persecuted from Day One until today, forced people to hide in caves and meet in homes, only to be captured and drug away, on trumped-up charges. Therefore, every scrap of communication from the ones who actually knew and learned from Jesus was and is precious to Christians.

They preserved these writings with their lives, copying them repeatedly, in the days before Internet, word processors, typewriters, ballpoint pens, pencils, or even decent paper. They used homemade ink and quill feathers on chemically-treated sheep skins, rolled up on sticks. They were used to it.

As attacks grew, and began coming from within the followers, Christians even had to devise ways to let people know when writings were authentic. They met, even, to be sure everyone was in agreement on which writings were from the original few followers and which were bogus.

Perilous times.

Like today.

Although we cannot know, for sure, what was said in most of these gatherings, we can read what they preserved. What we notice, again, is a consistent agreement with the writings of the Old Testament, although some of the writers were not scholars, sometimes not even very nice guys, before they met Jesus Christ. We notice gorgeous poetic prose, crystal logic, and heart-rending appeals from men, most of whom had never been to college, indeed, who lived where college happened abroad.

And we find amazing willingness to die.

NOT TO KILL.

To die.

To die for the Truth.

Because He had died for them.

And because they knew Him and, as the Truth, He had set them free.

 

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Image via Wikipedia

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7 thoughts on “Questions About the Bible – Part 2

  1. Ruth Bailey says:

    Isn’t it wonderful that we have eyewitness reports of Jesus’ life? Your post raises the question for me: Am I willing to die for my faith? I haven’t been tested in this way, but I hope the answer would be yes.

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Hello, Ruth! Thanks for raising this point! I used to sort of worry about that question. The body does not naturally desire to die, does it! However, I decided that was worrying about tomorrow, and we have a hundred chances to “die” today, when we decide if we will lay down our will for someone else’s will, even just to fetch someone’s jacket for him, or something. Also, I think the grace to be brave in any situation only comes with the opportunity, not before. Took me ages to figure that out, though. 😉 Thanks for stopping by and for this excellent comment!

  2. Step On a Crack says:

    Kathy I learn so much from you.

    I am thinking that I do die a bit every day when I pray or let my God take care or somehow (by the Grace of God is the answer) let go of resentment. I figure it is my ego dying in order for my soul to grow.

    I love how you walk us through the gospels. YOU know this stuff!!

    XO Jen

    • katharinetrauger says:

      Oh, yes, Jen! Dropping resentment, and forgiving are death to self. Self wants the world to know “I was right and I was hurt and it wasn’t fair.”
      Trouble is, Jesus was right, was killed, and it wasn’t fair, and He forgave.
      Forgave us.
      And requires us to forgive others.
      And that cannot happen unless first they sin against us.
      So, we ache and we forgive and we grow more like Him, by His grace.
      Each time it pops up.
      Again.
      Daily.

      Love your honesty.

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