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These show how a passage is related to other parts of the Bible. To answer the questions most people ask when reading Scripture the “Quest Study Bible” is by far the best and for comments on the text and parallel scriptures I recommend “The NIV Study Bible”. “In the past, God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways / but in these last days He has spoken to us through His Son / He reflects the brightness of God’s glory and is the exact likeness of God’s own being. - Based largely on A.T. Robertson’s, “A Harmony of Scripture. The first is revelation. From Adam to Abraham (2000 BC) God revealed Himself through creation, conscience, and personal (Genesis 1-11). In Genesis 12 God formed whom He would personally interact for the This is Year 1 of weekly studies designed take you through the Bible chronologically in written around 400BC). He revealed Himself to them in mighty things like parting the Red Sea (Exodus 12-15) and small things like giving David the lyrics to a song (Psalm 23). Inspiration Paul said “All Scripture is inspired Bible history will be covered in the weekly (breathed out) by God.” (2 Timothy 3:15). God studies and will include daily Bible readings led men to write down an accurate record and from non historical places like the Psalms and interpretation of His dealings (revelations). New Testament Letters. This way the entire This produced the Old Testament Bible and To get the most from this study, one should take the time to look up not only the daily recognize which of their many writings were verses, but all the verses mentioned in the inspired, and should be included in the canon comments. You will need a Study Bible with (rule or standard). He did the same thing for good center (or side) column references. our 27 New Testament Books. Before the NT closed Peter already recognized some of Paul’s writings as being on the same level as in the churches when he and Peter left. He gives us short clips of Jesus the king of disease and nature, something busy Romans Preservation Through the centuries, God could identify with and read in a hurry. preserved His writings physically from Mark is the only gospel that tells of a destruction by time and tyrants, and textually “young” man in the Garden of Gethsemane
from serious errors by those who copied and re-copied the manuscripts. Not one of the soldier reached out to arrest him, he ran so thousands of differences found in old copies fast that he left his loin cloth in the man’s that are the basis of our translations alters the perhaps the youngest member of the disciples who were close to Jesus and the Twelve. He Dates and Background Not one Gospel writer gives us his name or appears about 5 years later in his mother the date of his writing. For these we rely on Mary’s home in Jerusalem, which was the the content of the Bible books themselves and gathering place for the Church (Acts 12:12). comments of early Christian leaders between Since he was in Gethsemane that last night, it is highly probable that his home was the “Upper Room” where Jesus spent his last night with His disciples (Jn.13:2). Matthew Early leaders believed this gospel was written in Hebrew, for the Jewish people and its author was Matthew the Apostle. It was in the AD 50’s while Peter and Mark Missionary Journey (Acts 13-14). Because he were preaching around Rome and Paul was in left them at the beginning of the journey, Paul jail in Acts 28 (See outline of NT history at journey (Acts 15). Sadly, this caused Paul and Barnabas to separate. But 15 years later, Scripture, and like devout Jews seldom uses when Paul was in prison awaiting death, he wanted to see Mark and called him “useful in about the “kingdom of heaven” and not, like the other gospels, of the kingdom of “God”. intervening years (53-67) ancient traditions The 2nd Century church put Matthew first in the New Testament, next to Malachi, because Luke Luke, the writer of Luke and Acts, was its roots are in the Old Testament. Jews cared a physician listed among Gentile Christians little for chronology, so Matthew organized (Col. 4:10-14). He joined Paul in the middle his gospel topically by subjects rather than in 50’s, on his second missionary journey (In Acts 16:11 he begins using “we”). He was with him to the end in 67 AD (2 Tim. 4). He Mark This Gospel was said to be made up of may have been his personal physician, and if the sermon notes of Simon Peter, when he
so, that makes him the first known Medical preached in Asia Minor and Rome in the 50’s and 60’s. John Mark, his secretary, left copies - If he was a Gentile, this is amazing, because The Four Gospels are not biographies. Jesus Christianity truly belongs not to the Jews, but ministered for three years in a tiny area, 100 miles by fifty miles, less than one fourth the - His style and use of the Greek language size of Florida which had several million reveals his superb scholarship. He was also a people. He seldom had a day off from the first rate historian. In the 1800’s Sir William pressing crowds. Yet, it is amazing how few events are recorded. Also, almost a third of historical references sometimes differed from the material is taken up with the final week of secular historians, set out to prove him His life. Most of his conversations were with wrong. Ramsay was so astounded at Luke’s purpose of the Gospels was to record those Probably, while Paul was under arrest for events and teachings needed by His followers three years (Acts 28) or after Paul’s death in 67 AD, Luke set out to know more about the Christianity. The most essential truth is not historical Jesus. In the 70’s there were many so much what He taught but what He did- “die accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry but Luke for our sins according to the Scriptures, and was not satisfied. He wanted to know more rise from the dead” (1 Cor. 15). James Denny things and he wanted to put them in some said, “Jesus did not come so much to preach the gospel as He did to die for our sins so More than half of Luke’s material is not there would be a gospel for us to preach”. found in the other Gospels. The Prodigal
Differences in the Gospels
Son, the Publican in the Temple, and many The Four Gospels often differ in the details. more wonderful images in Jesus’ life would They are like four witnesses of an automobile be lost to us without his efforts. He gathered accident. Put them all together and you get and studied the other accounts and talked to the accurate picture. Some differences appear eyewitnesses. His descriptions of Mary’s to be contradictions. These are few and each inner feelings (Lk. 2:19, etc), indicate that he has been addressed by Christian scholars carried on personal interviews with her or An example is the healing of Bartimeus. Matthew (Ch. 20) and Mark (Ch. 10) say it John John, one of the first follower of Jesus took place while Jesus was leaving the city of (John 1:35-42), was, according to traditions, Jericho, and Luke (Ch. 18) says it was when the last Apostle to die (AD 90’s). When He was entering Jericho. Matthew says there people in the churches (Gnostics) said Jesus could not be God and man at the same time, He wrote his Gospel and letters to challenge them. He portrays Jesus as both fully God
Jerichos in Jesus’ day, an old one and a new (Jn. 1:1 / 5:20) and fully human (Jn. 1:14/ one. As to Mark and Luke speaking of only 1Jn. 1:1-3). This is the deepest mystery of interested in giving primary truths and not all John A. Broadus’ commentary on Matthew says for almost every discrepancy we have practiced their religion, and since the Temple satisfactory explanations, and when we don’t was so far away, built synagogues (meeting have an answer, this does not mean there is places). These became preaching stations for Christian missionaries from the Atlantic to The great Presbyterian, Charles Hodge, says that if we find a few grains of sand in the Parthenon, we do not say the Parthenon is not politically. The Greeks (336-323 BC) gave the entire world a universal language. Between discrepancies we do find, he says, almost never deal with important teachings, and we may tread them under our feet as we stand on “Septuagint” or LXX). Christian preachers the trustworthiness of the Bible. (Systematic could go anywhere in the world and open the created a love of wisdom and learning; so a new religion would be welcomed for discussion (Acts 18). Our calendars are incorrect and Jesus was The Romans (63 BC) built roads that last
to this day and kept the peace with an iron
was, “in the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4). God fist. Thus preachers of the cross could travel prepared the world for the coming of His Son freely and preach the gospel from Persia in geographically. Palestine is a tiny strip 50 miles wide and one hundred miles long. But centuries earlier or later they would have it is a narrow land bridge connecting three been stopped on the sea by pirates and on the continents – Europe (NW), Asia (N) and land by national boundaries and robbers. Africa (S). It sat on the E. shore of the Med. Strangely there was finally, a universal hope, Sea, the super highway of the ancient world. among the major religions and even the Growing up in the central mountains, Jesus Philosophers, for some kind of universal watched caravans and ships from every nation Savior or revealer of Truth. That is why the Magi were looking for a “King” and came God prepared it religiously. The Jews gave 900 miles to find Him when He came (Mt. 2) the world the idea of one God and a religion characterized by morality and charity. People in the First Century were weary of idolatry and cruelty, and longed for what the Jews had to offer. We see this in the fact that no army officer who was a Captain (Centurion), is presented in an unfavorable light in the NT. building Jewish Churches (Luke 7), praying to one God and helping the poor (Acts 10). The Jews had also been dispersed throughout the world by the Assyrians and then the Babylonians. As they settled in; they through Joseph’s misfortunes led the people into Egypt where they stayed 400 years and At some time in their 400 years in Egypt the Jews became persecuted slaves (Exodus). The nation’s prayers for deliverance came in a Abraham’s call to be the father of God’s Princess of Egypt and learned to read and write, so he could begin recording what God legislator, punisher and savior (Gen. 1-3). At His first attempt to rescue his people at age some point He destroyed the world with a 40 failed and he spent 40 years in the desert flood but spared Noah and his family. When as a sheep herder before God led him to go back and free the people. God’s ten terrible enterprise that no doubt threatened God’s were free and on their way Pharaoh and his languages and the different groups spread all army went out to bring them back and were coastal route, a trip of two weeks; He sent them through the desert so they could get strong enough to capture Canaan from the fierce tribes who lived there in walled cities. through creation, conscience, and personal At Sinai He gave them His laws for life plus the sacrificial system (Leviticus) where they could find forgiveness for breaking His laws. Leaving Sinai they came through the desert from his descendents that would bless all to the southern border of Canaan. When they nations (Genesis 12). For the next 1600 years were afraid to go in and wanted to stone He interacted with them and enabled men to Moses, God made them wander in the desert write and accurate record and interpretation until all the adults of that time of failure were of His revelations. This produced the OT dead, a period of 38 ½ years. Before Moses died he preached the history and laws of God Genesis 12-50 is really the story of four victories, sins, weaknesses, strengths etc. we see how God deals with people then and now The Book of Joshua shows how the new nation of Jewish warriors under Joshua took the land swiftly. Once taken, the land was divided into twelve sections for the Twelve Tribes, much like our States in America. The disobeying God by leaving some Canaanites different nations or kingdoms- the ten tribes in the land. These vile, filthy, immoral people of “Israel” in the North and two tribes of influenced them to adopt their ways and when Joshua died they turned their backs on God Division to the Time of Prosperity 922- 786 The next generation of Israelites adopted the For its 200 year lifetime not one good king ruled and the nation went deeper and deeper horrible gods. This created a vicious cycle: into sin and idolatry. Fifty years after the repeated nine times over 180 years. (a) The division God began the marvelous ministry of people would give themselves to wickedness. the Prophets, and He began in the North, first with Elijah and then with his young pupil
cruel nations to attack them. (3) They would Elijah (who ministered for half a century).
repent and call on God to deliver them. (c) Each time God would send warrior leaders called Judges with the supernatural power to Of Judah’s twelve kings some were godly defeat their enemies. (4) Once they were delivered they would enjoy prosperity and prophet Joel ministered in this time.
then turn again to wickedness and the cycle At the close of the period of the Judges God As was the pattern in the OT, prosperity led brought spiritual revival through the prophet to increased wickedness. God used Assyria to destroy the Northern Kingdom in 722, exiling anointed Saul as Israel’s first king. In the 78 its people and replacing them in the land with years the Tribes were united in one kingdom Gentiles. They intermarried with the few under Saul, under David, and under Solomon. Saul displeased God from the beginning, and when David became his best warrior and Son in law, he tried for years to kill him, forcing him to live as a fugitive. When Saul died repentance – Hosea, Jonah and Amos.
David became king and grew the nation into one of the mightiest in the area. Solomon, his son, make the nation prosperous and famous Again Judah had good and bad kings, but its world wide, but his sin of idolatry in his old sins were as great as those in the north. They age resulted in God splitting the nation after were spared the Northern Kingdom’s fate because of their isolated location high in the opposed by their new Northern neighbors, the Assyria. God spared them so He could fulfill Samaritans, and God sent the prophets Haggai His promise to Abraham to bless all nations and Zechariah to encourage them. A small Temple was completed and the Passover was During the next 135 years Babylon replaced There are about 60 years of silence after this Assyria as the nation in power, and Judah, and all that is recorded is how God used Esther, a Jewish girl chosen to be Queen for rebellions against Babylon was overrun by Babylon. The city, its walls and its temple annihilated all over the world. God works in were destroyed. The finest people like Daniel
and Ezekiel had been carried of to Babylon
3) Return under Ezra 458 BC
devastation many more were carried to Babylon, leaving only the poorest and weakest Jews in the land. During this period of decline God sent His writing prophets - Isaiah / Micah / Zephaniah / Nahum – Habakkuk / Jeremiah / plus Ezekiel and Daniel (In Ezra leads a group to Judah and is said to be the first Jewish scribe as he gathered together the materials that help complete the Old The exile in Babylon was not bad. The Jews reformer. He attacked the disobedient Jews lived apart from the people and many had who had intermarried with the Samaritans. homes and vocations. Daniel was not only a
official in the Persian government, who led highest positions in the government. He and the people to rebuild the walls, despite Ezekiel are the only two prophets mentioned.
opposition from the surrounding neighbors. together, attacked intermarriage; violating the As Jeremiah predicted the exile only lasted promising that a forerunner would come and Cyrus allowed those Jews who wished to do so to return to the land. Many chose to remain champion, one they called “the anointed One” Greece, and Rome, they waited. The wait was over when God sent the angel Gabriel to an After the first return the people slowly old priest around 4 BC to announce that the began to rebuild, and part of this was making launched a viscous attack on Christians (It seems that the Apostles were not targeted, because this would have caused widespread rebellion, and brought down the wrath of Jesus ascended and after the Spirit came at Rome.) As believers went through Palestine Pentecost, converts by the thousands came they preached the gospel and churches were into the church. The Apostles began teaching established. Philip evangelized Samaria
the Christian faith in all the congregations just north of Judah and witnessed to a Eunoch that were formed. The people were poor and returning home to N. Africa.
believers shared what they had with each other. The Jewish religious leaders persecuted Not long after the persecution began God converted Saul the persecutor and he became Paul the missionary (Acts 9). Church has a (1) Christians saw themselves as still being a period of peace in all Palestine- Samaria Jewish laws, dietary rules, rituals, holy days, and even the Sabbath. We do not know when the church stopped observing the Sabbath. 1 God sent Peter to the NW coast of Palestine Cor. 16:2 implies it happened in Gentile areas in the 50’s, as the church became more and (2) Apostles performed miracles as a divine sign of the authenticity of their message (Heb. On the Northern border of Palestine where 2:4) Miracles are found throughout Acts (See 28:5); but after Acts, including Paul’s last together, a church with Jews and Gentiles was established in Antioch, the third greatest city days, they ceased (1 Tim. 5:23). There are in the world. It became the home base for only three times in the Bible when miracles came in clusters and were commonplace: The foreign missions for Paul. (Acts 11:19-37) time of Moses; Elijah, and Christ and the early years of His Church. God used miracles After his conversion Paul spent time in the to announce that He was giving a new type of desert and then in his home town in Eastern revelation of Himself and was going to lead Europe (Turkey). He is called to Antioch by men to write Scripture about it. A. H. Strong says they were like church bells calling Some in the Jerusalem churches felt Gentile Christians. They opposed Peter (11:2) would hound Paul and fight against him for teaching these are not necessary for salvation (See The Gospel Spreads through Palestine The powerful preaching of Stephen leads to Galatians). The issue was settled around AD 50 at a conference in Jerusalem- Acts 15) works, so we will enter heaven because of that faith, even if we keep on willfully doing Jerusalem and kills the Apostle James. The wrong. James says, “Faith without works is Apostles are force to leave and Jesus’ half dead” (Ch. 2); Paul says those who live in sin brother James leads the Jerusalem churches
will “not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5) and John says whoever “says he knows Him and does not keep his commands is a liar.” (1 John 2:4). All this is rooted in the teachings of Jesus who predicted this false We do not know what the Apostles did for the next twenty years. Except for Peter and Tradition speaks of them from England in the Matthew to convince the Jews that Jesus is West to Persia in the East. It also says all of their Messiah. Galatians is written by Paul to them except John died violent deaths because of their witness. Acts 13 to the end is the story of Paul and his missionary journeys convinced many to adopt Jewish rituals for true salvation. 1-2 Thessalonians .is written by Paul to a church that was confused about the churches were established primarily in Asia Sea. Acts 15 is a pause in the record telling how Paul and others persuaded the Church to 1-2 Corinthians A church in the most sinful allow Gentiles to become Christians without city in the world, was having many problems- having to observe Jewish rituals. Tradition taking each other to court; getting drunk at says Peter and his wife, accompanied by John the Lord’s Supper; tolerating a case of incest; Mark also carried on missionary journeys speaking in strange languages; and being confused about the resurrection of the body. After the first letter he learns that he is being Dating NT and determining authorship is a matter of educated guesswork but this is a Church teachers so he writes a second one and bares his soul about his integrity and his Paul goes to Corinth on his way to Jerusalem with money collected for the poor The Book of James is written by the Lord’s and writes Romans to the Christians in Rome, which is a systematic outline of the Christian faith and life. He also tells them he wants to visit them on his way to Spain. In Jerusalem he is attacked by a Jewish mob and makes an antinomianism- the belief that it is acceptable appeal as a Roman citizen to be tried by Nero to God for a Christian to continue sinning in Rome. After a long journey in which he after he is converted (See Romans 6:1-3). We are saved by faith, they say, and not by good almost died in a shipwreck, he arrived in recorded his preaching, and wrote them down for the churches to study in what is now Mark’s Gospel. Tradition says both Peter and Paul were executed by Nero in the latter part of the AD 60’s. Christians are being letters. He writes to Ephesus in another letter persecuted around Rome and someone writes that depicts the Christian faith and life. the Book of Hebrews to warn Jewish church
Philippians The church at Philippi is worried who were losing their faith and returning to about him and sends Epaphroditus with some money and with the assignment to stay with him. Paul writes a love letter to them, calming their fears, thanking them for the gift and Not long after the deaths of Paul and Peter illness. This is the most joy filled letter in the the Jews in Palestine foolishly rebelled against high taxes and the city of Jerusalem was destroyed, millions are killed, and the Colossians In the highly populated region around Ephesus more false teachings were Temple was leveled to the ground as Jesus predicted (Mark 13). With the Temple gone Christianity is now predominantly Gentile. Jesus could be either God or man but not both John is the only Apostle left alive and he leads Christianity from Ephesus (Tradition). (See 2:10). It seems to be combined at Colossae in a strange mixture with Jewish brother Jude writes, like Peter, against antinomianism. The Apostle John writes
Philemon This is a strange letter urging a slave owner to welcome back his runaway John’s Gospel and 1-3 John against the slave without punishing him because the are growing threat of Gnosticism, to state that Jesus is fully human (John. 1:14 / 1 John 1:1-3) and divine (John 1:1). This kind of Gnosticism Luke - Acts This could be when Luke wrote has in it the elements of either antinomianism further the cause of evangelizing Gentiles. (1 John 1:6 / 2:3) and perfectionism (1 John 1:8-10). Emperor Domitian demands Emperor Worship and launches horrible persecutions D. Paul’ Release to the Destruction of against Christians. John is exiled to the island It is likely that Paul was released and wrote literature (Apocalyptic), that encourages instruct two young Pastors he had placed over believers and predicts the coming fall of the churches in Ephesus and Crete. Peter may have written 1-2 Peter to encourage suffering picture and a preview of the fall of all evil accompanied Peter on his mission journeys,



Small Country, Big Picture 2000 The New Zealand Film and Television Industry Conference Auckland - Carlton Hotel - 9-11 November Mark these dates in your diary now! IN THIS ISSUE… PUBLIC BROADCASTING - THE MINISTER In a speech last week at the Unitec Forum on Public Broadcasting, theMinister of Broadcasting offered a summary of thinking and work to date. MsHobbs talked of t

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