Apologetics - Defending our Faith

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Tsaphah, Jul 18, 2016.

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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    I recently watched a film made in 1921 by D.W. Griffith titled “Orphans of the Storm” It is a story about the French Revolution. The two main characters were Chevalier de Vaudrey and Robespierre. Two of the introductory titles states: “Strange that both these evil rulers were otherwise highly moral men except that they saw evil in all who did not THINK AS THEY DID.”

    “The lesson ⎯ the French Revolution RIGHTLY overthrew a BAD government. But we in America should be careful lest we with a GOOD government mistake fanatics for leaders and exchange our decent law and order for Anarchy and Bolshevism.”

    What I found ironic about this is that the two parties here, in America in 2016, are both claiming to be the “law and order” party. Bolshevism was the more radical majority of the Social Democratic Party, 1903–17, advocating immediate and forceful seizure of power by the proletariat, in Russia. Bolshevism and Nazism both desired a scapegoat to achieve their end goals. While Bolshevism was a dictatorship of the proletariat, Nazism was a dictatorship with a voting consensus behind it. On the other hand Anarchism is a doctrine urging the abolition of government or governmental restraint as the indispensable condition for full social and political liberty. Neither of these systems bring good results to the people of the world. It results in chaos.

    Yesterday, I did something I haven’t done since 1966. I went to a service at a Baptist Church. When I told my oldest daughter she asked me if the walls came down. A long time friend invited me to attend. I was very reluctant. He asked me why I did not want to attend and I said; “Because I don’t believe in the Trinity. I don’t believe in Hell Fire. I don’t believe in Once Saved Always Saved”. I gave him my word that I would attend. I did. The service was about Apologetics. The presentation was right on the money. Speaking of money, here is one of the examples that the Pastor used in proving the prophecies about Jesus. Read this example. The probability is 10 to the 17th power = 1 in 100 trillion. http://compass.org/articles/single/article1

    He also passed out a sheet with 44 prophecies about the messiah, from the Hebrew Scriptures (O.T.), that were fulfilled in the Greek Scriptures (N.T.). The probability of that occurring is a number so large that you can’t even pronounce it. I will attempt to post a pdf of the 2 pages.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    “The voice of all ancient, and all contemporaneous history, clearly attests that the religious principle is deeply seated in the nature of man; and that it has occupied the thought, and stirred the feelings of every rational man, in every age. It has interwoven itself with the entire framework of human society, and ramified into all the relations of human life. By its agency, nations have been revolutionized, and empires have been overthrown; and it has formed a mighty element in all the changes which have marked the history of man.”

    This universality of religious sentiment and religious worship must be conceded as a fact of human nature, and, as a universal fact, it demands an explanation. Every event must have a cause. Every phenomenon must have its ground, and reason, and law. The facts of religious history, the past and present religious phenomena of the world can be no exception to this fundamental principle; they press their imperious demand to be studied and explained, as much as the phenomena of the material or the events of the moral world. The phenomena of religion, being universally revealed wherever man is found, must be grounded in some universal principle, on some original law, which is connate with, and natural to man. At any rate, there must be something in the nature of man, or in the exterior conditions of humanity, which invariably leads man to worship, and which determines him, as by the force of an original instinct, or an outward, conditioning necessity, to recognize and bow down before a Superior Power. The full recognition and adequate explanation of the facts of religious history will constitute a philosophy of religion. (Christianity and Greek Philosophy by B.F. Cocker, D.D., 1870, pg. 54)

    “The hypotheses which have been offered in explanation of the religious phenomena of the world are widely divergent, and most of them are, in our judgment, eminently inadequate and unsatisfactory. The following enumeration may be regarded as embracing all that are deemed worthy of consideration.

    I. The phenomenon of religion had its origin in SUPERSTITION, that is, in a fear of invisible and supernatural powers, generated by ignorance of nature.
    II. The phenomenon of religion is part of that PROCESS OR EVOLUTION OF THE ABSOLUTE (i.e., the Deity), which gradually unfolding itself in nature, mind, history, and religion, attains to perfect self-consciousness in philosophy.
    III. The phenomenon of religion has its foundation in FEELING—the feeling of dependence and of obligation; and that to which the mind, by spontaneous intuition or instinctive faith, traces this dependence and obligation we call God.
    IV. The phenomenon of religion had its out-birth in the spontaneous apperceptions of REASON, that is, the necessary à priori ideas of the Infinite, the Perfect, the Unconditioned Cause, the Eternal Being, which are evoked into consciousness in presence of the changeful and contingent phenomena of the world.
    V. The phenomenon of religion had its origin in EXTERNAL REVELATION, to which reason is related as a purely passive organ, and heathenism as a feeble relic.

    As a philosophy of religion—an attempt to supply the rationale of the religious phenomena of the world, the first hypothesis is a skeptical philosophy, which necessarily leads to Atheism. The second is an idealistic philosophy (absolute idealism), which inevitably lands in Pantheism. The third is an intuitional or “faith-philosophy,” which finally ends in Mysticism. The fourth is a rationalistic or “spiritualistic” philosophy, which yields pure Theism. The last is an empirical philosophy, which derives all religion from instruction, and culminates in Dogmatic Theology.” (Christianity and Greek Philosophy by B.F. Cocker, D.D., 1870, pg. 55)

    In view of these diverse and conflicting theories, the question which now presents itself for our consideration is,—does any one of these hypotheses meet and satisfy the demands of the problem? does it fully account for and adequately explain all the facts of religious history? The answer to this question must not be hastily or dogmatically given. The arbitrary rejection of any theory that may be offered, without a fair and candid examination, will leave our minds in uncertainty and doubt as to the validity of our own position. A blind faith is only one remove from a pusillanimous skepticism. We can not render our own position secure except by comprehending, assaulting, and capturing the position of our foe. It is, therefore, due to ourselves and to the cause of truth, that we shall examine the evidence upon which each separate theory is based, and the arguments which are marshaled in its support, before we pronounce it inadequate and unphilosophical. Such a criticism of opposite theories will prepare the way for the presentation of a philosophy of religion which we flatter ourselves will be found most in harmony with all the facts of the case. (Christianity and Greek Philosophy by B.F. Cocker, D.D., 1870, pg. 55-56)

    To be continued.
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    Apologetics are one of our most powerful tools today; all Christians need to put some time into studying "why" we believe.

    Absolutely agreed - would have loved to hear the talk.

    Not to step over the line into the haughty and preposterous, but I've always been of the opinion that denying the Hebrew and Greek texts is akin to denying basic mathematics.

    Better to just admit defeat and accept that we're a crumb bum (humbly bow to the creator) than become an "atheist", which strikes me as an internal lie made external.

    --------------

    Good post.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    I thought of posting this as a PDF but, the results are fuzzy from the copy I have. The first 10 prophesies being fulfilled would take an astronomical number for the probability for just the first 8. There was an address made at the RNC (Republican National Convention) which I think most of those living in the USA are familiar with. It’s all over the News channels. Melania Trump was victimized by the team who plagiarized a speech given in 2008 by Michelle Obama. The probability of the speech not being plagiarized, according to statisticians is 1 in 87 billion. So, Yes, it was plagiarized!

    That 1 in 87 billion number is smaller than the numbers for the prophecies about Jesus Christ being true. Here are the first 10 prophesies fulfilled.

    1. Messiah would be born of a woman. (Gen 3:15) Fulfilled (Mt 1:20; Gal 4:4)
    2. Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2) Fulfilled (Mt 2:1; Lu 2:4-6)
    3. Messiah would be born of a virgin. (Isa 7:14) Fulfilled (Mt 1:22-23; Lu 1:26-31)
    4. Messiah would come from the line of Abraham. (Gen 12:3, 22:18) Fulfilled (Mt 1:1; Rom 9:5)
    5. Messiah would be a descendant of Isaac. (Gen 17:19, 21:12) Fulfilled (Lu 3:34)
    6. Messiah would be a descendant of Jacob. (Num 24:17) Fulfilled (Mt 1:2, Lu 3:34)
    7. Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah. (Gen 49:10) Fulfilled (Lu 3:33; Heb 7:14)
    8. Messiah would be heir to King David’s throne. (2 Sam 7:12-13; Isa 9:7) Fulfilled (Lu 1:32-33; Rom 1:3)
    9. Messiah’s throne will be anointed and eternal. (Ps 45:6-7; Dan 2:44) Fulfilled (Lu 1:33; Heb 1:8-12)
    10. Messiah would be called Immanuel. (Isa 7:14) Fulfilled (Mt 1:23)

    Those are 10 different prophesies by 9 different people. Yet, every one of them was accomplished many hundreds and thousands of years later. These are just 10 of 44 that are listed. I will list 10 more tomorrow if “the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” :)
     
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    Frank Conger

    Frank Conger Guest

    How long do you suppose Mary called her son Immanuel?
     
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    Frank Conger

    Frank Conger Guest

    Why do you suppose Gabriel told Joseph to name their child Jesus when he knew that Isaiah 7 informs us all that they would name him Immanuel? And if they named him Immanuel, when did he start to be known as Jesus?
     
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    Frank Conger

    Frank Conger Guest

    Isaiah then said: “Listen, please, O house of David. Is it not enough that you try the patience of men? Must you also try the patience of God?+ 14 Therefore, Jehovah himself will give you a sign: Look! The young woman* will become pregnant and will give birth to a son,+ and she will name him Im·manʹu·el.*+ Isaiah 7: 13, 14

    However, because her husband Joseph was righteous and did not want to make her a public spectacle, he intended to divorce her secretly.+ 20 But after he had thought these things over, look! Jehovah’s* angel appeared to him in a dream, saying: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take your wife Mary home, for what has been conceived* in her is by holy spirit.+ 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus,*+ for he will save his people from their sins.”+ 22 All of this actually came about to fulfill what was spoken by Jehovah* through his prophet, saying: 23 “Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will name him Im·manʹu·el,”+ which means, when translated, “With Us Is God.”+ 24 Then Joseph woke up from his sleep and did as the angel of Jehovah* had directed him, and he took his wife home. 25 But he did not have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son,+ and he named him Jesus.+ Matthew 1:19-25
     
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    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Prophesies about the Messiah; 11-20 of 44.

    11. Messiah would spend a season in Egypt. (Hosea 11:1) Fulfilled (Mt 2:14-15)
    12. A massacre of children would happen at Messiah’s birthplace. (Jer 31:15) Fulfilled (Mt 2:16-18)
    13. A messenger would prepare the way for Messiah. (Isa 40:3-5) Fulfilled (Lu 3:3-6)
    14. Messiah would be rejected by his own people. (Ps 69:9; Isa 53:3) Fulfilled (Joh 1:11, 7:5)
    15. Messiah would be a prophet. (Deut 18:15) Fulfilled (Acts 3:20-22)
    16. Messiah would be preceded by Elijah. (Mal 4:5-6) Fulfilled (Mt 11:13-14)
    17. Messiah would be declared the Son of God. (Ps 2:7) Fulfilled (Mt 3:16-17)
    18. Messiah would be called a Nazarene. (Isa 11:1) Fulfilled (Mt 2:23)
    19. Messiah would bring light to Galilee. (Isa 9:1-2) Fulfilled (Mt 4:13-16)
    20. Messiah would speak in parables. (Ps 78:2-4; Isa 6:9-10 ) Fulfilled Mt 13:10-15, 34-35)

    The following verses are from the Literal Translation Version LITV of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, aka Old and New Testaments, O.T. & N.T., by Jay Green. It is now available online at http://www.thewordnotes.com/litv/litv.htm It is also available for download as a PDF.
    The numbers below correspond to the numbers of prophesies listed above by O.T., then N.T.

    11. “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and I called My son out of Egypt.”(Hosea 11:1)

    11. “And rising up, he took along the child and His mother by night and withdrew into Egypt. And he was there until the end of Herod, that might be fulfilled that spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I have called My Son.’” (Mt 2:14-15)

    12. “So says Jehovah, A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing, bitter weeping: Rachel weeping over her sons; she refuses to be comforted for her sons, for they are not.” (Jer 31:15)

    12. “Then seeing that he was mocked by the wise men, Herod was greatly enraged, and having sent, he killed all the boys in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he exactly asked from the wise men. Then was fulfilled that spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, lament- ing and bitter wailing, and great mourn- ing, Rachel weeping for her children and would not be comforted, because they were not.’” (Mt 2:16-18)

    13. The voice of him crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of Jehovah; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the steep ground shall be a level place, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken.” (Isa 40:3-5)

    13. “And he came into the region around the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance for remission of sins, as it has been written in the scroll of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked places shall be made into straight, and the rough into smooth ways; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Lu 3:3-6)

    14. “For the zeal of Your house has consumed Me; and the reproaches of the ones who reproach You have fallen on Me.” (Isa 69:9) “He is despised and abandoned of men, a Man of pains, and known of sickness, and as hiding our faces from Him, He being despised, and we did not value Him.” (Isa 53:3)

    14. “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” (Joh 1:11) “For not even His brothers believed into Him. (Joh 7:5)

    15. “Jehovah your God shall raise up to you a Prophet from among you, of your brothers, One like me; you shall listen to Him,” (Deut 18:15)

    15. “and that He may send forth the One proclaimed to you before, Jesus Christ, whom Heaven truly needs to receive until the times of restoration of all things, of which God spoke through the mouth of all His holy prophets from the age. For Moses indeed said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up to you a Prophet from among your brothers, One like me; you shall hear Him according to all things,’ as many as He may speak to you.’” (Acts 3:20-22)

    16. “Behold, I am sending you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Jehovah. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with utter destruction.” (Mal 4:5-6)

    16. “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive, he is Elijah, the one going to come.” (Mt 11:13-14)

    17. “I will declare concerning the statute of Jehovah: He said to Me, You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.” (Ps 2:7)

    17. “And having been baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water. And, behold! The heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God coming down as a dove, and coming upon Him. And behold! A voice out of the heavens saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have been well-pleased.” (Mt 3:16-17)

    And a Shoot goes out from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch will bear fruit out of his roots.” (Isa 11:1) *I'm not sure of this one because Nazareth or Nazarene do not appear in the Hebrew/O.T., from all my searches.

    18. “And coming, he dwelt in a city called Nazareth, so as to fulfill that spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Mt 2:23)

    19. “Yet there shall not be gloom for which anguish is to her; as the former time made light the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, even afterwards He will glorify the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people walking in darkness have seen a great Light; they dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, Light has shone on them.” (Isa 9:1-2)

    19. “And having left Nazareth, having come He lived at Capernaum, beside the sea in the districts of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that might be fulfilled that spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations: the people sitting in darkness saw a great Light; and to those sitting in the region and shadow of death, Light arose to them.’” (Mt 4:13-16)

    20. “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will pour forth dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have recounted to us. We will not hide them from their sons; to declare to the coming generation the praises of Jehovah; yea, His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” (Ps 78:2-4) “And He said, Go and say to this people, Hearing you hear, but do not understand; and seeing you see, but do not know. Make the heart of this people fat, and make his ears heavy, and shut his eyes, that he not see with his eyes, and hear with his ears, and understand with his heart, and turn back, and one heals him.” (Isa 6:9-10)

    20. “And coming near, the disciples said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? And answering, He said to them, To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it has not been given to those. For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have overabundance. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. Because of this, I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled on them, which says, ‘In hearing you will hear and not understand, not ever; and seeing you will see yet not perceive, not ever. For the heart of this people has grown fat, and they heard heavily with the ears, and they have closed their eyes, that they not see with the eyes, or hear with the ears, and understand with the heart, and be converted, and I shall heal them.’” (Mt 13:10-15) “Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the crowds, and He did not speak to them without a parable, so that was fulfilled that spoken through the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will speak out things hidden from the foundation of the world.” (Mt 13:34-35)












     
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    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    I did some research on number 18. I missed placing a number on the reference to Isaiah 11:1. That scripture mentions “Branch”, which is supposed to refer to Jesus. Most scholars don't think that is correct, and point to Judges 13:5, 7 about Nazarites dedicated to Jehovah from birth. Amos also mentions Nazarites; “And I raised up from your sons for prophets, and for Nazarites from your young men. Is it not even this, O sons of Israel? a statement of Jehovah.” (Amos 3:11) The name for the town of Nazareth means “one separated”. So, I believe the correct reference should be Amos.
     
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    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    While searching for information about the city of Nazareth, I found a bit of information that I would like to share. It's quite long, but good information to share while witnessing to others.

    Nazareth
    A town in Galilee, in which the parents of Jesus were resident, and where in consequence he lived till the commencement of his ministry. It derives all its historical importance from this circumstance, for it is not even named in the Old Testament or by Josephus; which suffices to show that it could not have been a place of any consideration, and was probably no more than a village.

    (1) History. Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament nor by any classical author, nor by any writer before the time of Christ. It was for some unknown reason held in disrepute among the Jews of Judaea {John 1:46). It was situated in a mountain (Luke 4:29) within the province of Galilee (Mark 1:9), and near Cana, as John 2:1, 2, 11 seems to imply. There was a precipice near the town, down which the people purposed to cast Jesus (Luke 4:29). It is mentioned twenty-nine times in the New Testament.
    At Nazareth the angel appeared to Mary at the home of Joseph (Luke 1:26; 2:39), and to that place Joseph and Mary returned after their flight into Egypt (Matt. 2:23). The hills and places about the town possess a deep and hallowed interest to the Christian as the home of Jesus during his childhood and youth, until he entered upon his ministry, and had preached in the synagogue, and was rejected by his own townspeople. Even after Capernaum became “his own city” he was known as “Jesus of Nazareth” (Matt. 26:71-73; Mark 16:1-6; Acts 2:22; 3:6; 4:10; 6:14), and his disciples were called “Nazarenes.” In the days of Constantine, Nazareth was peopled by Samaritan Jews, but in the sixth century Christian pilgrimages began to be made to the town. In 1109, Tancred held Galilee, and Nazareth became the seat of a Christian bishopric. In 1160 a council was held at Nazareth, which made Alexander III pope of Rome. During the Middle Ages Christian pilgrims frequently visited Nazareth. When the Turks conquered Palestine, in 1517, the Christians were driven from the town. In 1620 the Franciscan monks gained a foothold there, and began to rebuild the village. At the battle of
    Mount Tabor, in 1799, Napoleon with his army encamped near Nazareth.
    (The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopædia V-2, 1910, pg. 1215)

    Another interesting subject came to mind about the Nazarite. This is first attested to at Numbers 6:1-21, where Moses is told by Jehovah about the vow of a Nazarite, who dedicates themselves to Jehovah. The other case of the Nazarite is when a child is dedicated to Jehovah before they are born. (Jud 13:5) The word denotes generally one who is separated from others and consecrated to God. Although there is no mention of any Nazarite before Samson. The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead.

    So, the question arises: Was Jesus a Nazarite? What about raising Lazarus? Did Jesus drink the wine at the Passover?

    Nazarite
    (1) Name.
    Hebrew = nawzeer’ and nehzeer eloheem’, Nazarite of God. The term comes from the verb naw-zar’, to separate; and as such separation from ordinary life to religious purposes must be by abstinence of some kind, so it denotes “to refrain from anything.” Hence the import of the term Nazarite: one, that is, who, by certain acts of self-denial, consecrated himself in a peculiar manner to the service, worship, and honor of God.
    We are here, it is clear, in the midst of a sphere of ideas totally dissimilar to the genius of the Christian system; a sphere of ideas in which the outward predominates, in which self-mortification is held pleasing to God, and in which man’s highest service is not enjoyment with gratitude, but privation with pain.
    (2) Origin. It may be questioned if at least so much of this set of notions as supposes the Deity to be gratified and conciliated by the privations of the creature is in harmony with the ideas of God which the books of Moses exhibit, or had their origin in the law he promulgated. The manner in which he speaks on the subject (Num. 6:1-21) would seem to imply that he was not introducing a new law, but regulating an old custom; for his words take for granted, that the subject was generally and well known, and that all that was needed was such directions as should bring existing observances into accordance with the Mosaic ritual. Winer, indeed, sees, in the minuteness and particularity of the Mosaic regulations, a proof that the Nazarite vow was of home origin in Mosaism; an argument whose force we cannot discern, for a foreign practice, once introduced, must of necessity be conformed to its new abode.

    (3) Meaning of the Vow. It is not least among the merits of Judaism that in general it is eminently of a practical character. Though admitting a multitude of observances, some of which, being of a very minute kind, and relating to everyday life, must have been troublesome, if not vexatious, yet the ordinary current of existence was allowed to run on unimpeded; energy was not directed from its proper channel; and life was spent in the active discharge of those offices which human wants require, and by which human happiness may be best advanced. There was no Indian self-renunciation; there was no monkish isolation; yet the vow of the Nazarite shows that personal privations were not unknown in the Mosaic polity. This vow we regard as an instance and an exemplification of that asceticism which, wherever human nature is left free to develop itself, will always manifest its tendencies and put forth its effects. No age, no nation, no religion has been without asceticism. Self-mortification is, with some minds, as natural as self-enjoyment with others. The proneness to ascetic practices is a sort of disorder of temperament. It is in part a question of original constitution. As some individuals are inclined to melancholy, to brood over their own states of mind, so they tend to become morbid in their feelings, intensely self-dissatisfied, over-thoughtful, full of personal solicitudes; then gloomy; then still more dissatisfied with themselves, till at length they are led to think that nothing but severe mortifications and self-inflicted penalties can atone for their guilt, and placate a justly offended God. This general tendency of a certain physical temperament may be checked or encouraged by religious opinions or social institutions, as well as by the peculiar hue which the fortune of an age or a country may bear. The disease, however, is eminently contagious; and if, owing to unknown circumstances, there was in the days of Moses a tendency, whether borrowed from Egypt or merely strengthened by Egyptian practices, which threatened, in its excess, to become in any degree epidemic, it was wise and patriotic in that lawgiver to take the subject into his own remedial hands, and to restrain and limit to individuals that which might otherwise infect large classes, if not reach and so weaken the national mind.

    (4) Law of the Nazarite. The law of the Nazarite, which may be found in Numbers 6, is, in effect, as follows: Male and female might assume the vow; on doing so a person was understood to separate himself unto the Lord; this separation consisted in abstinence from wine and all intoxicating liquors, and from everything made therefrom: ‘From vinegar or wine, and vinegar of strong drink; neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes or dried’; he was to ‘eat nothing of the vine-tree, from the kernels even to the husks.’ Nor was a razor to come upon his head all the time of his vow; he was to ‘be holy, and let the locks of the hair of his head grow.’ With special care was he to avoid touching any dead body whatever. Being holy unto the Lord, he was not to make himself unclean by touching the corpse even of a relative. Should he happen to do so, he was then to shave his head, and offer a sin-offering and a burnt offering; thus making an atonement for himself, ‘for that he sinned by the dead.’ A lamb, also, of the first year, was to be offered as a trespass-offering. The days, too, that had gone before his defilement were to be lost, not reckoned in the number of those during which his vow was to last. On the termination of the period of the vow the Nazarite himself was brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, there to offer a burnt-offering, a sin-offering, a peace offering, and a meat and a drink offering. The Nazarite also shaved his head at the door of the tabernacle, and put the hair grown during the time of separation into the fire which was under the sacrifice of the peace-offerings. ‘And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them in the hands of the Nazarite after the hair of his separation is shaven; and the priest shall wave them for a wave-offering.’ ‘After that the Nazarite may drink wine.’

    (5) Illustrations. There are not wanting individual instances which serve to illustrate this vow, and to show that the law in the case went into operation. Samson’s mother took the vow of a Nazarite that she might have a son. Samson himself was a Nazarite from the time of his birth (Judg. 13). In his history is found a fact which seems to present the reason why cutting the hair was forbidden to the Nazarite. The hair was considered the source of strength; it is, in fact, often connected with unusual strength of body, for the male has it in greater abundance than the female. Delilah urged Samson to tell her where his strength lay. After a time, ‘he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head, for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb; if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man’. Judg. 16:15, sq.) The secret was revealed; Samson was shorn and accordingly lost his strength and his life.
    From the language employed by Samson, as well as from the tenor of the law in this case, the retention of the hair seems to have been one essential feature in the vow. It is, therefore, somewhat singular that any case should have been considered as the Nazaritic vow in which the shaving of the head is put forth as the chief particular. St. Paul is supposed to have been under this vow, when (Acts 18:18) he is said to have ‘shorn his head in Cenchrea, for he had a vow’ (see also Acts 21:24). The head was not shaven till the vow was performed, when a person had not a vow.

    Figurative. The vow of the Nazarites indicates an entire consecration of the Lord, and is in the spirit of St. Paul’s exhortation to present the body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, unto God (Rom. 12:6) It is expressly said that during the days of his separation the Nazarite “is holy unto the Lord” (Num. 6:8).
    (1) Were not these Nazarites typical of Jesus Christ? Altogether holy he was solemnly devoted to the service of God. Never was he defiled with carnal pleasures, nor intoxicated with sinful lusts or earthly cares; never was he defiled by irregular affections towards his nearest relations, nor polluted by his gracious connections with men. His graces and good works increased more and more, and his people rooted in him, grow up and flourish in God’s holy place. Never did he break his vow, but finished it in giving himself for an all comprehensive offering for us; and in his resurrection, laid aside every token of continued subjection to an angry God or broken law, and purges and inflames the hearts of his people, by his bleeding love. (2) Were not these Nazarites emblems of ministers and saints, who, denying themselves, and mortifying the deeds of the body, consecrate themselves to God, renounce this world, and the pleasures of sin? (Brown. Bib. Dict.)
    (The Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopaedia V-2, 1910, pgs 1218-1219)
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    While doing some other research, a question arose and I wondered: How would you read and understand this scripture? “But I did not see any of the other apostles, only James the brother of the Lord.” (Gal 1:19 NWT)

    I will provide some information to think about later.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    A few statements came up the other day about Mary, the mother of Jesus.
    1. She was about 16 years old when she gave birth to Jesus and later, married Joseph, who happened to be about 50 years old.
    2. She did not give birth to other children. The brothers and sisters mentioned were “half brothers and sisters”, from a previous wife of Joseph.

    My research and information provided this information.

    Mary: (Maria, is the Greek form of the Hebrew Miriam, which occurs in Exodus 15:20; Numbers 12:1, Micah 6:4 as the name of the poetess and prophetess, sister of Moses)
    The mother of our Lord. She is not often spoken of in the Gospels; and the worship of which she afterwards became the subject has no foundation in the New Testament.*

    Therefore Jehovah himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” ( Isa 7:14 DNKJB ) Emmanuel = “God with us”, Jesus = “Jehovah is salvation”. From the NT, we know that the child was named Jesus, not Emmanuel. Why? Because His mission was “to save His people, and all mankind.” Emmanuel (‘Immanuw’el) was the symbolic and prophetic name of the Messiah. His given name was Jesus [English]. Jesus was also a Nazarite.

    The question whether, after the birth of Jesus, she lived in a real marriage with Joseph, and bore children to him, must be answered in the affirmative; and there is nothing in the Gospels, not even the angel’s greeting (Luke 1:28), which raises her above the purely human sphere. On the contrary, the words of Jesus (Luke 11:27-28) contain a warning against any exaggerated enthusiasm for her.*

    * (A Religious Encyclopaedia: Or Dictionary of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical Theology., Volume 3, pg 1423, 1891, Shaff, Herzog, Plitt & Hauck)

    While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.’ But He [Jesus] said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” ( Lu 11:27-28 NASB )

    You will not find any scripture(s) which provide information about Mary’s age, or Joseph’s age. Any mention of these are bogus/fake/lies. Mary was not a perpetual virgin. She had other children by Joseph. (Mt 1:16, 18-20, 24, 13:55); (Lu 1:27, 3:23-24, 4:22); (Joh 6:42) Read Mt 13:53-58.

    I’ll give you a million dollars if you can provide scripture(s) that prove 1. and 2., to be true.

    Actually, the million dollars will be as true as the scriptures you provide.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    I really meant that the million dollars is supposititious. :p
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Tsaphah, was this part of your recent visits to Christendom churches?
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Hi Joshuastone7,
    No, this was from a conversation I had several years ago with a Catholic lady. But, the subject came up from one of my daughters. She apparently read something on the internet that raised the issue. She said that it wasn’t necessarily from the scriptures. I told her, “If it’s not in the Bible, it’s BS!” If it’s not in the Canon, or existing manuscripts, it’s still a lie. It’s beginning was in the later 2nd or early 3rd century.

    In the majority of manuscripts, Mt 13:55 reads: “Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?” (KJV)

    The wording is a bit different in Mk 6:3, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” (KJV)

    “It is possible that brethren and sisters may mean here near relations, as the words are used among the Hebrews in this latitude of meaning; but I confess it does not appear to me likely. Why should the children of another family be brought in here to share a reproach which it is evident was designed for Joseph the carpenter, Mary his wife, Jesus their son, and their other children? Prejudice apart, would not any person of plain common sense suppose, from this account, that these were the children of Joseph and Mary, and the brothers and sisters of our Lord, according to the flesh? It seems odd that this should be doubted; but, through an unaccountable prejudice, Papists and Protestants are determined to maintain as a doctrine, that on which the Scriptures are totally silent, viz. the perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord. See Matthew 1:25.” ( The Adam Clarke Commentary on Mt 13, c.1830: His commentary, particularly that on Revelation, identified the Catholic Church with the Antichrist.)

    Here is the source of the lie: The Catholic Encyclopaedia says:“When forty years of age, Joseph married a woman called Melcha or Escha by some, Salome by others; they lived forty-nine years together and had six children, two daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom was James (the Less, “the Lord’s brother”). A year after his wife’s death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age. Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates; a miracle manifested the choice God had made of Joseph, and two years later the Annunciation took place.”
    “One thing needs to be remembered, although they say that she was 12 years old when she was betrothed to 90-year-old Joseph, most Christians of today reject this story, because Joseph would be labelled a ‘paedophile’.”

    Please don’t bust a gut, LYAO!!! :D:D:D
     
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    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    What? No takers? Maybe this small question got lost in the long posts.
    When reading this scripture, think about how it is worded. Is Paul saying that James is an apostle? Or is he just stating that James was the only one that Paul saw in Jerusalem?
     
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    Frank Conger

    Frank Conger Guest

    It's actually a very ambiguous statement and could possibly mean both, but I doubt that it does mean both. That is how ambiguity works!
     
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    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    The title was given to him in the wider sense in which it is applied to Paul and Barnabas.

    It means both, but lesser then the original twelve.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Frank hits the nail on the head. “It's actually a very ambiguous statement and could possibly mean both, but I doubt that it does mean both. That is how ambiguity works!”

    Joshuastone is also correct according to several of the providers of Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. If you really want to become confused on the matter, read a few of them. Several say that this James is a cousin of Jesus, or he is James the Less, or a half brother, whose father is Alphaeus. Or, he is also the writer of the book of James. WHAT???

    I personally think that Paul was only mentioning that he saw James, the brother of Jesus, and he saw no other apostles except Peter.
     

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