Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Names of Jesus

Prompted by a Facebook comment about the name of Jesus not being valid, I decided to share this teaching I have done on His name in the past.

The Tanakh, which is the Old Testament in Hebrew, was translated into Greek for the Jews of the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C.E. The translation was called the Septuagint or LXX. Septuagint means “Translation of the Seventy” because it was transcribed by 70 Jewish translators.

You must remember that this was a translation of the Masoretic Text, so even though it works great really for certain types of biblical research, it does not take authority over the original Hebrew. Now that I’ve added that caveat, let’s look at the Hebraic concepts that were translated into Greek.

The Greek equivalent of “Christ” comes from their word “christos,” which is the equivalent of the Hebrew “messiah” (masciach) meaning the “Anointed One.”

In the Septuagint, a short list of finding “christos” (Christ) and “christian” which are the the direct subjects of verbs takes us to these places in the Old Testament.

Leviticus 4:5, 6:15, 21:12
1 Samuel 24:7, 24:11; 26:9, 11, 16, 23
2 Samuel 1:14, 16; 2:5, 19:22, 23:1
2 Chronicles 22:7
Lamentations 4:20
Amos 4:13
Psalm 19:7, 20:6, 88:39

There is also textual evidence that before Jesus came, the Greek-speaking Jews of that day referred to the Maschiach as Christos…ergo “Christ.” During the time of Jesus, when he was considered the Messiah, they referred to him as ho christos “the Christ.”

Now for the name of Jesus. Yeshua originated from Joshua’s Hebrew name, Yehoshua, which when shortened was Yeshua, which when translated to Greek becomes Iesous (Yay-soos). In old English, the “y” sound was rendered as “j”, and so we get “Jesus.”

To argue that Yeshua’s name was incorrectly transliterated is like complaining that the Jews are called “Jews” rather than the exact term “Y’hudi” which was also transliterated from the Greek word Ioudaios and thusly became our English word “Judean.”

ROFLOL…So we should really be calling Judiasm by the name “Yoodiasm.”

The bottom line is that for those of us raised with the Latin alphabet in English speaking countries, our Lord’s name is Jesus Christ…and it’s all good. AMEN.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Friday, June 18, 2010

Son Of God Scroll

Today we're going to look at the "Son of God" scroll.

This was found in Cave Four known as 4Q246, and it refers to the hope of a future Messiah figure. Amazingly this scroll refers to the Messiah as "the son of God" and the "son of the Most High." These words are the exact words recorded in the Gospel of Luke.

The Text of Scroll 4Q246 – the Son of God Scroll

"He shall be called the son of God,
and they shall designate [call] him son of the Most High.
Like the appearance of comets, so shall be their kingdom.
For brief years they shall reign over the earth and shall trample on all;
one people shall trample on another and
one province on another until the people of God shall rise and all shall rest from the sword."

Compare the words in the scroll to the inspired words found in Luke 1:32 and 35!

Anyone comparing these two first century texts will be startled by the amazing similarity of concept and wording describing the Messianic leader. One of the great differences between Christians and Jewish conceptions of the promised Messiah revolves around His relationship to God.

While the Jews believe the Messiah will be a great man, such as Moses, with a divine mission, the Christians believe that the Bible teaches that the Messiah would be uniquely "the Son of God."

The Jewish view usually held that the concept of a "son of God" violated the primary truth of monotheism found in Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel" The Lord our God is one Lord."

The Christians believed that Jesus' claim to be the Son of God was not a violation of Deuteronomy 6:4. Rather, Christians believe in the Trinity, the doctrine that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are revealed in the Bible to be One God, revealed in three personalities.

As Christians, we do not believe in three separate Gods. Therefore, Christians understand the statement about Jesus as the Son of God to be in complete conformity to the truth of monotheism─there is only one God.

The presence of these statements in the Dead Sea scrolls suggests that some of the Essenes either accepted the Messianic claims of Jesus to be the Son of God or anticipated this concept. The discovery of the virtually identical wording "the Son of God" from Luke 1:32 and 35 with the scroll found buried in a cave in A.D.68, stands as a tremendous witness to the early existence and transmission of the Gospel record within thirty-five years of Christ.

If the Gospels were written and distributed within thirty-five years of the events of the life of Jesus, then they stand as the best witness historical records we could ever hope to possess.

In fact, all of these ancient historical records confirm the truth of the Gospels

To do personal study on the Dead Sea Scrolls, I recommend these two sites"

Portions of this article came from Grant R. Jeffries "The Signature of God"(but this is a revised edition not the original that we studied)

Scrolls from the Dead Sea

Dead Sea Scrolls

by Bonnie Calhoun

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Get Walking

Someone sent this to me today I couldn't resist sharing. It's written by Dan Miller of 48 Days.

"I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs."
-- Frederick Douglass

Far too many people who are 'praying' for solutions and answers, and simply living in that prayerful mode - hands folded and eyes closed, waiting on God to supernaturally give them the specific answer that will remove their challenge. So, just how does God answer our prayers?

Imagine any of these situations with me:
You really need a job
You'd like a better car
You want to make peace with your spouse
Your lawn mower is broken
You want to have a best-selling book
You would like to have a college degree
You want to be a more effective parent
You must have $5,000 for a new air conditioning unit

I believe God is the providential supplier of everything we need. But I also believe that his delivery system requires our active participation - 'praying with our legs.' If you need a job identify 30-40 target companies; contact them each three times and God will provide a job. If you want a best-selling book write something of value then be willing to persist through the rejection of 14 publishers as Max Lucado did with his first book (his books have now sold over 30 million copies.) - and watch God open doors. If you want a college degree explore six options for doing so that are possible even while you continue working. Block out 2 hours a day for focused study and see God allow that degree to be yours.

And can I find scripture to support faith and prayer that involve our legs? Oh yeah. My favorite is in Exodus 14:15. Moses is dealing with those whining, complaining children of Israel who see the Egyptians coming after them in the desert. I can just see them on their knees, praying and begging God to solve their problems. And the verse says - 'Then the Lord said to Moses, "Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward, march!" - (Living Bible)

God provides food for the birds - but he doesn't just show up and throw it in their nest. Sometimes the exercise of faith we need most may be to engage our spiritual quadriceps, stretch those hamstrings and use our gluteus maximus for something other than supporting our head while we pray.

by Bonnie S. Calhoun

Friday, June 11, 2010

This week and next week we're going to study the biblical evidence about Jesus, written in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

If someone had asked a minister in 1947 to prove that the original Hebrew Scriptures from the Old Testament were reliably copied without error throughout the last two thousand years, he might have had difficulty proving an answer.

The oldest Old Testament manuscript used by the King James translators was dated approximately A.D. 1100. Obviously, that old manuscript was a copy of a copy of a copy, for over two thousand years.

How could we be sure that the text in the A.D. 1100 copy was identical to the original text? An extraordinary discovery occurred in the turbulent years before Israel became a nation!

A Bedouin Arab found a cave in Qumran near the Dead Sea which ultimately yielded over a thousand priceless manuscripts dating back to A.D.68, when the Roman legions destroyed the Qumran village during the Jewish war against Rome.

When the ancient Hebrew scrolls, discovered by this Arab shepherd boy, were examined by scholars, they found that the Qumran site contained a library with hundreds of precious texts of both biblical and secular manuscripts that dated back before the destruction of the Second Temple and the death of Jesus Christ.

The most important discovery was the immense library of biblical texts in Cave Four. They found every single book of the Old Testament with the exception of the Book of Ester. Multiple copies of several biblical texts such as Genesis, Deuteronomy and Isaiah were found in Cave Four.

Scholars were able to reach back a further two thousand years in time to examine biblical texts that has lain undisturbed in the desert cave during all of the intervening centuries. The scholars discovered that the manuscripts copies of the most authoritative Hebrew text, Textus Recepticus, used by the King James translators in 1611, were virtually identical to these ancient Dead Sea Scrolls.

Aside from a tiny number of spelling variations, not a single word was altered from the original scrolls. How could the Bible have been copied so accurately and faithfully over the many centuries without human error entering into the text?

The answer is found in the overwhelming respect and fear of God that motivated Jewish and Christian scholars whose job was to faithfully copy the text of the Bible. In a later lesson I will show how the Masoretic scribes meticulously copied the text of the Scriptures over the centuries.

In 1991 the world was astonished to hear that one of the unpublished scrolls included incredible references to a "Messiah" who suffered crucifixion for the sins of men. The scroll was translated by Dr. Robert Eisenman, Professor of Middle East Religions of California State University.

This five line scroll contained fascinating information about the death of the Messiah. This exciting discovery reveals that the Essene writer of this scroll understood the dual role of the Messiah as Christians did.

This scroll identified the Messiah as the "Shoot of Jesse" [King David's father] the "Branch of David", and declared that he was the "pierced" and "wounded." The word "pierced reminds us of the Messianic prophecy in Psalm 22:16: "They pierced my hands and feet." The prophet Jeremiah [23:5] said, "I will raise unto David a righteous branch."

We will continue this study next week with the "Son of God" scroll!

by Bonnie Calhoun