OPEN: Hey, good morning and welcome to STAG, I'm Jack. I'm going to start a series today called "Understanding the Bible." Today we'll start with some general principles. As they say at the ball game, you can't know the players without a program. Then we'll spend a few minutes showing that we can know the exact ddy that Jesus was born. And it wasn't December 25th. But first...
UW: The following hour of RCR....
DISC: The views you hear are mine and not meant to reflect.....
DON'T READ THE BIBLE
The trouble with our Bible is it's written in English. English being our mother tongue, it is easy for us to think that by just reading the Bible we will know what it says. Not so. Let me give you a clear example why just reading the Bible doesn't mean that a person will understand it.
Not long ago someone commented that they didn't go along with everything the Bible had to say. The context of the remark showed me that the person didn't really understand what the Word was saying in regard to the topic of our conversation.
Not wanting to offend, I asked if he had studied the Bible. I don't like to start out by telling people that they are speaking from ignorance.
The reply that came to my question was, "I've read the Bible; a couple times." That kind of prideful answer only confirms my point: that you can't understand the Bible by just reading. When someone says in that prideful way he's read the Bible, it sounds just like someone saying he's read War and Peace, "the whole thing." It must have been a real chore to get all the way through the Bible if that's the kind of reply that's given. Additionally, there must have been many passages that had to be waded through in spite of not understanding the meaning.
Maybe you've heard me tell of another person I heard talking about the Bible. This person has an image that must be maintained, if you get my meaning. This was the statement, "I tried to read Revelation, but couldn't understand it. It's probably not important anyway."
Listen. You can't understand the Bible by reading it. You need a whole bag of tools to get into the meaning of the written word, even though it's written in an understandable language.
Is there anyone out there who thinks that by just reading and being able to pronounce the vocabulary of a foreign language that one can learn that language? My guess is that a person would have an extremely difficult time learning a language by even reading the dictionary for that language. Where's the syntax, the grammar, etc.?
Don't be trapped into thinking that because you understand the language you can understand the writing. I understand English pretty well, but can hardly read, let alone understand some things that come my way. Have you ever tried to decipher a doctor's prescription, even when it was written legibly? Our world is filled with things that we can read well enough, but have no hope of understanding; without some additional work.
What I want to do is to give you some tools to use in your research of the Bible. I don't say that these are all the tools that exist. I'm sure that these are just the beginning of a long list of things that can help a person understand what they read in the Bible. These are some of the basic things that MUST be considered when trying to understand Scripture.
Just to keep things nice and orderly, we'll break the tools down to two categories: physical and "mental."
Let's take the physical tools first. I'll start simple. After you have a Bible, you'll need a pencil and paper. How can any reinforcement take place if you don't take notes on what you learn along the way?
I'm trying to prioritize these tools, so next you should have a book called Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. There are a lot of concordances around, but most do no more for you than allow you to find a certain verse easily. These are of virtually no use in coming to understand what's written. Let me take a minute to explain how a concordance works.
If you want to find a verse, but can't remember where it lives, you can look in your concordance for any word that you're sure is in that verse. The bigger the concordance, the more words it will list. Most Bibles have some kind of concordance in the back of the book, but the list of words will be very small.
The next step is a published concordance like "Guden's Complete Concordance." This thick work has seven hundred pages of words found in the Bible. It also contains some other useful information. The cover states that the book contains a "thorough coverage of every Bible word." But as good as Guden's might be for looking up verses, it won't tell you what the words are translated from or the meaning of the translated word. In other words, you can't go back to the original language with Guden's.
Well, if you can't find out what words the writer used, how can you ever know what he or she really said? That gets us back to Strong's.
Strong's Concordance not only has EVERY word used in the King James Version of the Bible, including the a's, the's and and's, but each word has a number assigned to it. The number refers one to the back of the book where are located a Hebrew and Greek dictionary. After looking up the word you want to find and its location in the Bible, you can go to the dictionary to find out what Greek or Hebrew word is found in the original and what that word means along with any possible derivation; which will help fill out the meaning for you. Let me give you a few examples.
The word "faith," as you've heard me say on many occasions, is not defined in the way we generally think of it. Contrary to the Greek verb pistis, we usually think of faith as more of a noun than anything else. Pistis comes directly from a primary verb. So when we read the word faith in ANY Bible, there's an action taking place.
The next word I've mentioned a number of times also, but it still surprises me. The word is "believe." Every time, without exception, we see the word "believe," it is being translated from that same primary verb that we had in pistis. The only difference between "faith" and "belief" is that "belief" is taken first from pistis before it goes back to the primary verb. Incredibly, every time we read "believe," an action is taking place, just like faith.
Just one more example. The word "gentile." Now I grew up thinking that the word "gentile" referred to anyone who wasn't a Jew, but I also held the erroneous belief (the noun kind, not the verb) that all twelve tribes of the nation of Israel were Jews. Therefore, anyone not descended from the man called Jacob, or Israel, was a gentile. I was only partially right in my thinking, and that's what was confusing. While it's always true that non-Jews can be called gentiles, a vast majority of Jacob's descendants, or Israelites, are also gentiles.
To further confuse the issue, one has to know at what time in history the reference is being made. This becomes clear when we research the different words that are translated "gentile" in the Bible. The Hebrew word found in the Old Testament means foreign nation. In Old Testament times, a foreign nation literally meant foreign to the nation of the tribes of Israel (the man).
So until the nation of Israel split in two to become the nations of Israel and Judah, a non-Israelite was a gentile. But after that split, the opportunity appeared for the ten-tribed nation of Israel to be also called gentiles, seeing that they were now separated from the tribe of Judah. It was this tribe of Judah which had its name contracted to "Jew" by the nation of Israel and others. The word for "Jew" in the Old Testament is Jehudite or Judah-ite, and first appears in the second book of Kings in the context of Israel and Syria warring with the nation of Judah. They just shortened the name to Jews, they way people shorten names today.
The New Testament is a bit different situation. In the Greek, the word being translated "gentile" has the same basis, but also adds a variable. The Greek word means a race, i.e. a tribe; specifically a foreign (non-Jewish) one. The main reason for the specificity is because by that time the other ten tribes had been lost to history; if not to certain of their cousins, the Jews.
By now I'm sure you can see that just reading certain words in the Bible will not automatically give one the proper understanding of the author's meaning. And at the same time I've given you a useful tool to use toward understanding Scripture. If at least you remember that Jew, Gentile, faith, and belief are not what we have traditionally thought them to be, you'll be aware that you may not know exactly what or who is being written about.
I'll leave the subject of concordances with a last comment. I know of no other concordance that lists all the words contained in the King James (or any other) version and has listed the words being translated from the original language. One other large concordance, Young's, gives some definitions, but is very incomplete.
I think that anyone intent upon understanding the Bible should have a large Bible dictionary. The Bible is full of repetition; so much so, it can be maddening. Confusion abounds when we read a passage that refers only to one person, but makes mention of him with three or four different names. I know one chapter in the book of Jeremiah that talks about the Nation of Israel, the ten-tribed nation, using six different names: Israel, Samaria, Mount Ephraim, Jacob, Ephraim, and House of Israel. These different names refer to only one group of people! That's where a good dictionary can be helpful. By looking up all these names, one would find several definitions for the same English word.
For instance, if you look up Israel, you'll find the whole nation, the House, the man and the geographical land listed. It may be a lot to remember, but at least you won't confuse the terms and misunderstand.
The last of the physical tools that I'll bring to your attention is the commentary. I have mixed feelings about commentaries. I've read some commentaries that haven't the slightest idea of what is being said. Some commentators seem to have lifted the subject matter of their work completely out of the context of the rest of the Bible.
I know of one commentator that is right on target where the House of Israel, the ten-tribed Kingdom, is concerned. But then he gets conjectural and twists Scripture and historical dates when commenting on end-times prophecy.
The point I'm trying to make is that you have to know a lot about the Bible before you can get anything out of commentaries. You can do just fine without commentaries if you can get to the original language, and also keep the many repetitious terms in order.
Now for the non-physical tools. There are thousands of these tools available for understanding the Bible. I only know a relative few. Even at that, I can't take the time to list them here. Some are way more important than others, so I'll try to pass on the ones that have the broadest applications.
I'd like to expand on the previously mentioned tool having to do with the words "Jew" and "gentile." The names for the people of God in the Bible are many. We've already heard Israelites and Jews. We'll add to that Hebrews. Until not so many years ago I would have put all three of these names in the same hat, but they are not all the same. We already know that all Jews are Israelites. We also know that all Israelites are not Jews. At the same time, we must fit into place the fact that all Israelites and Jews are Hebrews. Here's the chronology. A man called Eber was the grandfather, nine times removed, of the man called Jacob. Everyone descended from Eber is a Hebrew. That makes Jacob and all his descendants Hebrews. But Jacob's name gets changed to Israel, which means "he rules with or prevails with God." Instead of his children being called Jacobites, they are called Israelites. Still being descended from Eber, all Israelites are Hebrews. Last come the Hebrew, Israelite Jews. These folks are the descendants of Jacob's fourth son, Judah. These Judahites are Israelite Hebrews. If you want to go completely insane, add to this list the modern-day Israelis.
This tool, in short, is one I've mentioned often. The Jews are not all twelve tribes of the nation Israel. When you read in the Bible, mostly the Old Testament, "House of Judah" and "House of Israel," these are two very separate peoples; the Israelites and the Jews.
Here's a tool concerning prophecy which includes the above tool: practically all prophecy in the Bible is about the House of Israel. Don't try to apply "Jew" to the many statements about what will happen to the House of Israel or any of its other names already mentioned. Understand that you can take the Bible literally when it says in Genesis that the descendants of Abraham will become a company (empire) of nations.
There are numerous references to the captivity of Israel returning to the Holy Land. The context will tell you very clearly in some places that this is not referring to the people of Judah, the Jews. The people who have been returning to the land of Israel since 1948 and before are not the House of Israel, they are Jewish Israelites, not Israelite-ish Israelites.
Just so you can understand how this happened, I'll direct you to Genesis, chapters 48 and 49. Jacob, when dying, adopts the two sons of his son Joseph. They are Ephraim and Manasseh. That's in chapter 48. In chapter 49, Jacob prophesies over all the boys telling them things that will come to pass in the distant future about their descendants. At the same time, Jacob passes out the family belongings. He gives Judah the right to rule the family after Joseph dies. Joseph happens to be ruling over Egypt, and the family is living there. Jacob then proceeds to give everything else to his favorite son, Joseph.
Joseph not only gets all the cattle, gold, and other physical possessions, he gets all the blessings and prophecies that belonged to Jacob. Joseph gets the prophecy that Abraham's descendants will become a company of nations. In fact, as if to clarify the matter, when Jacob adopts Joseph's sons, he tells Ephraim that he will become a multitude of nations. That cinches it.
Joseph's descendants, embodied in Ephraim and Manasseh, are going to be the most prosperous, be the nobility of the whole nation, even though the top post of king belongs to Judah. This is the reason why you can't find a Jewish world empire. This is why Jeremiah can be taken literally when he says that Israel would be a nation as long as the sun, moon and stars were extant. The Jews weren't a nation for almost two thousand years.
This leads me to the next concept tool. Know that England is the embodiment of the House of Israel. Ephraim's descendants are the people of England. I don't mean to imply that ALL the people of England are Ephraimites. No more are all the people of the U.S. Manassehites. But the fact still remains that Manassehites founded the first settlement in this country. They were the Pilgrims.
This tool will help you discern the fulfillment of many prophecies in the Bible, giving you a better understanding. When Isaac's wife-to-be is leaving home, her mother prophesies that Rebecca's descendants would possess the gates of their enemies. The Jews have always had to defend their own gates, let alone control the gates of their enemies. England and the U.S., on the other hand, have control of the major shipping portals of the world: Suez, Gibraltar, Cape of Good Hope, Panama, and many more. I know you've heard me say this stuff before.
Another tool to have in your bag is that of multiple fulfillment of prophecy. End times prophecy is a jumble if you don't use this tool. You'll start pinning the name of Anti-Christ of everyone from Antiochus Epiphanes to Hitler to Saddam Hussein. Or, as one person recently remarked, "What about Reagan?"
The Gulf War was one of the most complete fulfillments of the Armageddon scenario yet to arrive on the stage of history. The Bad Guy was from exactly the right geographical location. He made war on the state of Israel. He even rode a white horse at one point. The coalition was made up of mostly the House of Israel fighting for the Israeli state. I could go on.
The existence of multiple fulfillment means we have to do lots of work to find out all we can about a particular prophecy from the rest of the Bible. We then have to make ALL the pieces fit the picture we have in mind.
If Antiochus conquered the Jews, denied them the right to practice their sacrifices, set his statue up in the temple and called himself God, but didn't conquer three small nations and become the head of a ten-member confederacy, then he must be a partial fulfillment of the prophesied Anti-Christ. See how it works?
A similar tool to multiple fulfillment is types. Think of it this way. A partial fulfillment is a type of the real fulfillment. In this way we can find many types of Christ, or the church.
David was a type of Christ. He acted in trust of God. When the chips were down he always trusted God and acted against the apparent dangerous circumstances. Just like Christ.
This typing spills over into another tool area that we'll talk more about later. I'll only say here that types are often couched in symbol.
The last and most important tool concept that I'll pass on to you in this part is that the Bible is a message of faithing; acting in trust of God's Word. This faithing act is what the New Testament says will result in our salvation. It is the most important concept to understand in the Bible. The whole book is one big message of faithing.
So we can take almost every story, every happening, the deaths, the births, the wars, the peaces (sorry), the names, and more, and find the message that God wants us to trust Him. And when we do that we get on very well indeed. Faithing is the second name of the Bible. It comes right behind "God's Message of Salvation."
Now, to the last section of this presentation. I want to talk about three ways of approaching the written words in the Bible. I believe that all three of these ways are valid and of value for our lives. They are literal, symbolic, and what I call spiritual. First I want to address the spiritual method of approaching Scripture.
If the Bible is really the inspired word of God, then we will all be able to just read a certain passage and have it touch our spirit in some way. It makes little difference what the author meant, when he was writing or to whom the words were addressed. There just seem to be times when we read along and the words get into our hearts and open our minds to personal insights. I believe that this "touching" is one way that the Holy Spirit gives us direction and understanding of our inner workings.
As real and as valid as this experience may be to us personally, that's just exactly what it is, a personal experience. There is no transfer to anyone else except on the most basic human levels. By no means may we suggest that the insight we received is the true meaning of the passage, and that it applies to anyone else.
This is a very common pitfall that catches numerous Bible readers. I sympathize with them. I've had that same thing happen to me. I'm reading along and suddenly there's this almost supernatural feeling, almost a stasis, and I learn something about myself or life in general. No matter how much it means to me, I can't say that it means the same for you or anyone else. I can't be too emphatic about this. DON'T SPIRITUALIZE SCRIPTURE FOR ANYONE BUT YOURSELF!!
I wanted to talk about spiritualizing Scripture first for paradoxical reasons: one, it's the least important approach to understanding the Bible, and two, because it's so personal we tend to make it the most important approach.
In reality, there are only two methods of getting to the meaning of God's Word: symbolic and literal.
The most important and most prevalent method used by the writers of Scripture is literalism. When you consider the volume of Scripture in the Bible, the amount of symbolism used is almost minuscule.
One caution before we get into literalism. This literalistic way of interpreting Scripture must not be confused with the current mindset about taking the Bible literally. Some denominations cling with fearful tenacity to "The Inerrant Word of God." These folks will even argue about the commas and semicolons. But then fear always produces intractability. If these folks would only open a Strong's and get to the original they'd find plenty of literalism to go around. It would be the sensible, not the laughable kind.
Now, this taking the words at face value is one of the main reasons people get into trouble when trying to understand the Bible. The problem is that the face-value words don't seem to make sense sometimes, and we want to go off into conjecture to "make things fit."
Conjecture to a precise thing like the Bible can be deadly. It can literally kill a person. Anyone who goes around thinking they know what the words mean can easily miss the true message and lose out on God's salvation. That person will stay dead forever.
I think a good rule of thumb to use when a confusing passage comes up is to not guess, but put the passage aside to a later time, trusting that at some point the meaning will be clarified. After all, there is so much of the Bible that can be made clear we shouldn't have trouble getting the message right.
One additional problem with literalism is that the writers often don't seem to pay much attention to chronology. One chapter can start out by giving the whole gestalt, then jump back to the beginning and go over it again in detail. This happens a lot in prophetic writing. Psalm 89 is a perfect example. It is also a good example of mixing symbolism with literalism. Let's take a look.
In verses three and four we find the meat of the prophecy about David. It says his bloodline will never run out and will rule forever. That means, even today, if God keeps His Word, we should be able to find some descendant of David ruling somewhere. Then, after extolling the virtues of God for fourteen verses, the writer gets back to David.
He tells of David's anointing. That happened when David was a boy. Verses twenty-two through twenty-eight list some other things God says He'll do for David. But verse twenty-seven is confusing. It says, "I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth." The reason that this is confusing is that when David is first given the prophecy about his bloodline and ruling, he is already king of the whole prosperous nation. That means this Psalm must have followed his coronation by many years; he was king for forty years.
So how, then, the remark about over the kings of the earth? David had a big kingdom, but he never ruled Greece or Persia. The explanation can only be that this part of the prophecy will be fulfilled when David's most notable "seed," Christ, will become the king of the earth. It says this very thing in many other places in the Bible; that Christ would rule the earth.
While we're in this Psalm, let me point out an often-used symbol in verse twenty-four. The symbolic word there is "horn." David's horn is to be exalted. The symbolic meaning for horn is strength of leadership, governing power, his throne. This word "horn" is sometimes used in conjunction with the word "mount," which symbolically means the seat of the ruling power. Mount Ephraim would be the national capital of either the province of Ephraim or of the House of Israel.
Lastly, although Psalm 89 is more important as a demonstration of God's ability to fulfill prophecy, toward the end of the Psalm, in verses twenty-nine through thirty-seven, God repeats the forever part of the promise about the bloodline and throne. He ends by giving a qualification. He says that as long as a person can go out and see the sun or the moon, that this promise will be kept to David. Perhaps you'll remember God saying the same thing about the House of Israel being a nation forever. That's in Jeremiah thirty-one.
The result of both these prophecies is the existence, at this very moment, of a nation made up of the descendants of the House of Israel ruled over by a bloodline descendant of King David. Selah!
One last consideration of literalism, and we'll get on to symbolism.
First let me state that conjecture as to the meaning of some passage of Scripture comes more easily out of symbolism than an actual account. When the writer is dealing in symbols we're more apt to say, "I think it means this." This is what tends to happen in some prophecy that is the report of actual events.
We must take into account the writer's context: which includes education, geography, etc. The writer can only express his "vision" in concepts familiar to him. Ben Hur probably would have described the Space Shuttle as a fiery chariot.
The point I make is that some of the prophetic writings are talking about actual events, but describe them in current terms. Reading that account today, from the context of our technology, makes it appear to be written in symbolism. The moment we let the concept of symbolism creep into an actual account, we're off to the conjectural races, and we'll probably never get to a true understanding of what's written, and thereby be unaware of the fulfillment of the prophecy when it comes.
Anyone who has put symbolic meanings on the prophecies to the House of Israel because they are judging those prophecies by what current history teaches has totally missed the fulfillment of those promises in England and the United States.
One last example of actual events being taken for symbol. In the book of Ezekiel there is the famous vision of the Wheels. It's extremely hard to visualize this picture told by Ezekiel. Some people just give up, like with the book of Revelation. Others have jokingly suggested that these wheels within wheels are UFOs. Put yourself in the place of Ezekiel. How else might you describe flying saucers given his grasp of technology? I might add the instance of a native tribe which was alarmed when one of the conquering white cavalrymen fell off his horse. They had thought that the man and the horse were one creature. How would we interpret their description of this strange "God" many centuries later?
Now to symbolism. There is no way to even touch on all the Bible's symbolism, even though it's a small percentage of the whole book. We've already discussed Horn and mount.
I think that most of the Bible's symbolism is very apparent. Sometimes the account is an obvious construct, as in Jesus' parables. Other times visions are being reported and are stated in obviously symbolic terms like, "… it appeared as fire."
In some cases even the historical accounts use symbols, but I think the majority of symbolism will be found in the prophecies, especially end times prophecy. The Whore of Babylon in the Book of Revelation is a good case in point.
I can't go into the necessary background, but suffice it to say that this is not an actual woman but a religious belief system that has existed for millennia. Revelation is full of symbol. That's why it's so widely misunderstood.
In fact, Revelation is a microcosm of this whole discussion. I might say you can't just read Revelation. You've got to do some outside study. You have to take into consideration the rest of end times prophecy to understand the whats and whos of the book. Without Daniel you can't begin to understand Revelation.
So there are the three ways to look at Scripture: the personally exclusive "spiritual" way, the symbolic, and the way which overwhelmingly dominates the Bible, literalism. If people would keep these three in their own little boxes so that one didn't affect the others, much of the misunderstanding concerning the Bible would be eliminated.
Additionally, the use of Strong's Concordance, a good Bible dictionary, and some of the key concepts I've listed above will help clear up most of the remaining mysteries of Scripture.
I've told you the what; now here's the why. Why try to understand the Bible?
Understanding is a spiritual experience. When new understanding comes, lives are changed. Of course, with understanding comes responsibility. Perhaps that's why some don't want to understand the Bible.
The Bible is impeccably true. Maybe that's the reason why it's the world's greatest book. The Bible as a source for a religious belief system is unique. The religion of the God of the Bible is the only belief system extant that has concrete, objective evidence to ground it. Most of the major world religions are based on the words of the founder.
Although Christianity appears to have a founder like other religions, it must be remembered that Christ was no more than an expression of God's religion of Faithing. Millennia before Jesus, God was cultivating His belief system. All through the Bible God has required trust of His people. Even Adam and Eve were meant to trust that God knew best when He told them not to touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If I can make up a word, I'll call my belief system Trust-ianity.
When you get into the Bible and really understand that it is a True document, you'll be confronted by the fact that the God of the Bible is also Real. Understanding brings responsibility. But the understanding of God's reality also brings blessings too numerous to list here.
Remember that the Bible is a book of faithing. When we faithe, God has promised to put some of His Life Force inside our bodies. That's what saves us from the final death. It's the same Life Force that brought Jesus back to life after three days.
The only thing that allows me to continue faithing is the sure knowledge that every time I've checked up on the Bible, it's been proven true. I hold on to that knowledge when acting on the things for which proof is impossible.
Oh ye of some, little or no faith, increase that faith by gaining a better understanding of the Bible.
Here we are again at Christmas. Supposedly celebrating the birth of Jesus. Well, at least those who call themselves Christians. But Jesus wasn't born any where near December 25th.
Many people, pastors included, will tell you that you can't find out in the Bible when Jesus was born. They do that out of ignorance. We can pin down the exact day Jesus was born. But it takes some study.
Jesus birth depends on the conception and birth of John the Baptist. We have an exact time frame when we check John's father in Luke 1:2. It says that John's dad worked in the temple for two weeks during the Course (time period) of Abia; which in 1Chronicles 24:10 is Abijah. We find that the course of Abijah was the eighth course. Each one of these courses ran for 15 days on the 360 day calendar.
What we have to do is find out the time of year that this work period occurred. All we need do is start at the beginning of the Religious year, which is Passover. If we go back 8 two-week periods we come out at sometime in August. And when we go forward nine months from there we wind up at Passover time.
The next thing to look at is written in Luke 1:26, 36 and 39-40.
26 tells us that John's mother, Elisabeth is six months pregnant when the Angel visits Mary. 36 tells us that the angel then tells Mary that Elisabeth was 6 months pregnant. She had kept her pregnancy a secret and Mary, even though she was Elisabeth's cousin, didn't know. So in 39-40 we see that Mary goes to visit Elisabeth and John leaps in Elisabeth's womb.
Mary conceives when Elisabeth is 6 months pregnant, meaning that Jesus would be born 6 months after John. Simple.
If John was born on Passover, a very natural time for God to have him born, we'll find that 6 months later is the time of Rosh Hashanah, Feast of the Trumpets.
A word about the trumpets. They blew two silver trumpets at that Feast. Silver in the Bible always symbolizes redemption. The world's greatest example of redemption is Jesus, who came to save the world, so to speak. How appropriate that the Redeemer of the world was born when they blew two silver trumpets.
If you demand precision, you can do some research and find the year around 2 BC, when Passover happened exactly six (360-day year) months before Rosh Hashanah.
And look at how Jesus other world-affecting events lined up with the other Feasts. He was crucified on Passover. Went into the tomb on Unleavened Bread. Arose on Firstfruits. His Spirit descended on Pentacost. The Atonement for his rejection is the Great Tribulation, after which, Jesus will rule the earth during the 1000 year Millennium. With all tate relativity, it's easy to say Jesus was born on Rosh Hashanah. Some have even postulated that Adam was also born on Rosh Hashanah. Others will postulate that the Rapture will happen on Rosh Hashanah, because it comes before Yom Kippur, the Atonement. And certainly, that makes perfect sense with what we know about the real timing of Jesus' brith.
But then, how do we explain the date that we've been honoring for these many centuries? More study, this time into Paganism, makes it clear that many Pagan religious rituals and festivals were grafted into the Roman Church starting around 300 AD. They just changed the names.
So, we have Christmas which is really the birthday of the Pagan Messiah, Tammuz; from ancient Babylon 3000 BC. And Lent is just the mourning period assigned to the death of that same person, Tammuz. Easter, same drill. And transubstantiation.
Most of our Christmas symbolism comes straight out of Paganism. The tree is a fertility symbol or the Mother of the Messiah. We have the yule log, misletoe, gifts and more, even the candles that were lit for the Pagan God. The Mother and Child are the same Semiramis and her son Tammuz.
If you want the total low down on Christmas, get Alexander Hislop's book, "The Two Babylons."
You want to celebrate Christmas? Go ahead. Just do it with knowledge of where it came from and what it really meant.
1-Well, again, you can't know the Bible by just reading it. It take looking up a lot of word to find out what the writer wrote and not what the translators translated. There in't one bible tranlation that can be counted on to be true to the original.
2-In order to say truthfully that any translation is a good one, you'd have to know the Greek and Hebrew first.
3-If you want to talk about the Bible or anything else, STAG is a comfortable place to do that. We're at 88 Briceland Rd. in Redway. The number is 707 923 ALLY(2559). On the web it's STAG.WS. Don't forget the radio archive and 72 video on YouTube; including
this video, https://youtu.be/HR-PR8izKck on Jesus' birth.
I'll be back here on January 1st. I trust you'll be here, too.
5-In depth study of the Bible will how you that God i Real, and that He doe the thing He ay He will.
This is Jack, goodbye.
I love mail.