What We Have Seen and Heard

Last week it was reported in the news that Mark Lewisohn, a British author, is writing a 3-volume set of books about the Beatles. This was met with great interest by Beatles fans because Mr. Lewishon is a trusted friend of the remaining members of the band. He said that most books about them are not well written, and he wants to write something more definitive and exact. What I found interesting are his thoughts about accuracy in writing such a set of books. “I think it’s an important book to write. I think it’s important that it’s done now whilst the paperwork is still around and whilst the witnesses to the history are still alive to tell it.”

The writers of the New Testament also took pains to be accurate and to consult with living witnesses of the things Jesus said and did. Luke explained his own methods in Luke 1:1-4. “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word have handed them down to us, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order…” Luke did careful research, consulted with living witnesses who knew their memories were important, and to write it out accurately.

In addition, the 12 apostles were all official witnesses of the resurrected Christ, and they had unique memories that contributed to the writing of the New Testament. John spoke of “what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1). Witnesses are vital to accurate authorship, and the inspired writers of the Bible consulted with many of them while they were still alive.

If people recognize the value of living witnesses to a historic band like the Beatles, we should feel even greater confidence about the carefully-written accounts of Jesus Christ.

– Tim Johnson

Dust

Dr. Edwin Slessor said, “The greatest miracle of the Bible is its chemical accuracy.” The Book of Genesis says, “The Lord formed man of the dust of the earth.” (Gen.2:7) This statement is literally true.

In the general area where the beginning of civilization is thought to have taken place, a soil sample consists of 16 different chemical elements. All these are found in the body of man. How could the writers Moses, Job and David have known this? Yet before the science of chemistry was born this truth was declared as a fact. Christians have no difficulty believing these Bible writers were inspired by God. Continue reading

Telltale Tablets

tablets about Babylon

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, newspapers around the world, including the Barrie Examiner, reported the opening of a new museum exhibition in Jerusalem of some ancient clay tablets written by Jews who were taken to Babylon in the 6th century B.C. Most Christians are very much aware of the Biblical accounts of their 70-year stay, as written by prophets such as Daniel, Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Apparently the hand-sized clay tablets were discovered in modern-day Iraq several years ago and have been carefully examined by archaeologists. Continue reading

Saints

It is a surprise to some people that Christians are often called saints in the Bible. The word doesn’t refer to exemplary people of the past who’ve been given sainthood by religious people. Such a notion was popular in the middle ages, a time when entire church buildings were designed to hold reliquaries (ornamental containers with physical remains of a saint inside, such as bits of hair, etc.). In the Scriptures, all Christians are saints.

The word means holy one, or one who has been made holy by God. In the Greek text, saint and holy come from the same word. One is a noun and the other an adverb. The verb form is sanctify. So what is the Bible telling us? Those who obey the gospel are made holy before God. Colossians 12 says that God qualified us to receive the inheritance of the saints. We don’t become saints by heroism or martyrdom; God makes us saints through Jesus Christ. Continue reading

The Church That Celebrates Jesus Every Sunday

Easter. Many people feel today is the highlight of the year. Churches swell on Easter Sunday, just as they do at Christmas time. While we enjoy having extra people this day, let’s think a little more about Easter.

The entire Bible revolves around the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is no doubt that these events are the heart of the faith. But isn’t it strange that the New Testament does not mention the celebration of Easter – as a specific yearly day above all others? Historically there was a debate over the date when the crucifixion took place; nobody really knew for sure. It grew into an early church squabble, so a date was chosen at the first church-wide council (Nicea) in 325 a.d. Even then the controversy continued. Two hundred years later the church had become more institutionalized and preferred to baptize people only on Easter Sunday. While Jesus Christ didn’t reveal in the New Testament a special yearly day to celebrate his death and resurrection, men chose one anyway. Continue reading