YAHSHUA  BEHOLD, HE COMETH WITH CLOUDS; AND EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, AND THEY ALSO WHICH PIERCED HIM: AND ALL KINDREDS OF THE EARTH SHALL WAIL BECAUSE OF HIM.  EVEN SO, AMEN. REVELATION 1:7.

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THE WORD OF GOD

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT

Carlos Padilla, Christmas 2011

 

Jesus Christ, our Lord, who was born in that humble manger in Bethlehem, came to stay amongst us forever. Even though he became flesh in a human body that, lived, died, resurrected and ascended, His Words are forever: "...And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age... and ...For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. Matthew 28:20 and 18:20." In fact, Jesus Christ is with us because He is alive, and thousands of millions of Christians bear witness of this, two thousand years after those words were said. But the Word is also amongst us in the Sacred Book, God's encyclopaedia, which is the Bible, and this is the best Christmas present until He comes, because this Sacred Book speaks to us, it is alive. Let it speak for Itself! Give a Bible as a present this Christmas. Merry Christmas!

 

Jesus Christ is introduced to us by John as the Word of God: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1. "...All things were made through Him..." John 1:3. "...and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." John 1:14. These are relevant and revealing Words for humankind that go hand in hand with the following: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". John 3:16.

 

The Word "Logos" introduces us to two of God's essential revelations to mankind: His Son, as Son of Man and Son of God who was born in Bethlehem, and also The Bible. The Word is Jesus Christ, and the Word is the Bible, the Word revealed to humankind through the Spirit of God. When we open the Bible, we open God's mind. This is why the best present we can give to people is to introduce them to Christ, talking to them about our personal relationship with Him, about His love, about Salvation through His work on the Cross. But there is something else we can do at the same time: introducing them to the Bible so they can receive it as a gift, not just ours, but God's gift; since this is what The Bible is, a gift that we enjoy everyday, in God's presence.

 

This is why this Christmas I am writing about the wonders of the living Word of God, impressive, vivifying, spiritual, transforming, powerful, revealing, through the great privilege of being able to read The Bible anytime, and listen to God talking about all issues in life, here on earth, personal ones, religious and spiritual ones. Have you realized that none of the writers of this wonderful encyclopaedia and library of sacred books that we can carry in one hand, in one single book, or now even in digital format, were able to enjoy what is available for us on a daily basis?. So let us give love of God and The Bible as Christmas presents.

 

 

 

THE GUARANTEE THAT GOD IS THE AUTHOR OF THE BIBLE

 

The Word is the Son and the Scripture, both ways we access Jesus Christ, who is born in our heart through faith. The Bible emanates two guarantees that prove its origin is God. The first one emanates from the Texts; its historicity, its prophecy and its message. There is no encyclopaedia or library of books that is as old, consistent, historically accurate and reliable as The Bible. The continuity of each and every book between them, written centuries from each other, cannot be found elsewhere. From the origins until the end, God and man, even science, faith and reason, everything is found in the revealed Word. The Prophecies, all of them impeccably fulfilled, unique to the Bible in a mathematical way, and those to be fulfilled come to life before our eyes in the news of final events. And most important of all is its message of hope, forgiveness, love of God and mercy, redemption and resurrection of the dead for the Kingdom of God, eternal, and of true happiness for those who believe in the Word of God and His work in Jesus Christ, His eternal Son.

 

The second one is the transforming effect that The Bible has on everyone who reads it and receive it with faith in God, through its message: The Gospel, being born again in the Spirit, the change in the way we feel, in the way we live, something that does not happen to those who come to the Sacred Text with evil prejudices, for those the Bible itself says in Genesis 3:24 that God placed cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life, Jesus Christ.

 

Regarding the authenticity, we have the work of Christian copyists inspired by their faith, much more efficient than the pagan ones, because the first ones had fear of the Lord and love for the Lord. Real experts in the matter, such as Sir Frederik Keyon, former director of the British Museum, explains that the Texts we have, among 4000 copies like the Nestle Text, are almost identical to those autographed by the Apostles and the Evangelists themselves. The British Museum is now home to the Codex Sinaiticus, and the Codex Vaticanus is found in the Vatican. The Chester Beatty collection, copied in the 3rd century, or the fragments of the Gospel of John, from the 2nd century, in John Rylands Library, in Manchester.

 

No other written works, in the history of mankind, are as accurate and full of facts as the New Testament, and the four Gospels specifically. The Fathers of the Church in the 1st and 2nd centuries, who knew the Apostles personally, and who used and quoted their works as Holy Scripture provide a historical human experience. Papias, a disciple of John, 2nd century, Ignatius of Antioch of Syria, 114 AC.; Polycarp of Smyrna 156 AC. the Muratorian fragment. Tatian, 170 AC. and his Diatessaron. Ireneus of Lyons (Polycarp's disciple) "Against Heresies". But no matter how much evidence we provided, a humble and reconciling attitude before God will be how He will show us through His Word and His Spirit that the Bible comes from Him and it is infallible. How many times throughout history has the Bible been questioned by atheists and years later science has proved it right? and how many things that we think are not correct are later proved right due to lack of knowledge?. This is the challenge, the Biblical Truth, and it is available for everyone, beyond the Bible's apologetics, we can reach it with a clean heart before God, as the Lord Himself preached in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5: "...Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

 

 

 

THE GOSPELS. WHY FOUR?

 

The background of the Gospels takes us to the history of Christianity which is based on the Gospels, as well as Acts, the letters of the Apostles and Revelation. The Gospels, in addition to the history of the works of the Lord Jesus Christ, His birth and life, ministry, experiences, passion and resurrection, have a background that most readers do not see and that flows like living waters from the divine fountain once we study them in depth.

 

Of course nowadays, almost two thousand years later, we have access to many different sources, trustworthy and reputable, and technology that spreads information to the whole world through the internet in every language - which was the purpose of the Protestant Reform. And precisely the concept of free interpretation or to interpret for yourself of the Scriptures originated in the Protestant Reform, allows us to discover them, and this does not mean we can interpret them with licentiousness; the Bible interprets itself, not to suit anybody's preferences. This includes studying Texts in their original languages, Koine Greek and the Hebrew or Aramaic version of the Gospel of Matthew, which some Messianic Jews say was translated into Greek. In addition to contemporary sources, we have others such as the "Q" Manuscript which we will refer to later on, as well as others that could have been part of the sayings and teachings of the Master, the Son of God incarnated.

 

The New Testament is divided into three literary categories: historical, epistolary and prophetical. The four Gospels make for almost half; 60 per cent if we include Acts. Of course there could have been one single Gospel, but now that we are in the 3D and multidimensional era, we find it easier to understand why God shows us the greatest and most important history for humankind, His son Jesus Christ's, in four dimensions. By analyzing each of the Gospels we find they have an extremely rich background, both historical and spiritual. For example we find the similarities between the four Gospels and the four living beings in Ezekiel 1:5 and the four cherubim of Revelation 4:7. We find the shield designed by Ireaneus of Lyons in 120 AC. after compiling the canon of the Bible, which would later be re-interpreted by Augustine of Hippo and Jerome. According to the character of each Gospel they interpret each of the symbolic figures. The man is Matthew, according to Ireaneus and Jerome, but according to Augustine is Mark. The lion, according to Ireaneus is John, for Jerome is Mark but for Augustine it is Matthew. The ox is Luke for the three of them. And the eagle is Mark for Ireaneus, but it is John for Augustine and Jerome. Who was right?.

 

Matthew, direct disciple of Christ, roman tax collector in Israel, in Capharnaum, called to follow Him and whom the Messianic Jews say he wrote in Aramaic or Hebrew, shows us the Messiah-King (the lion). The lion of the tribe of Judah because he is addressing the Jews, to show them that Yahshua is the Messiah who was prophesised in the Old Testament. Rejected by the nation and crucified, the King left His tomb empty and gave the commandment of the Great Commission. Complete genealogy of Jesus (1:1-17). Matthew wrote twice, one in Aramaic and the other one in Greek. The famous "Kingdom of Heaven" is exclusive to Matthew in the New Testament referred to in Daniel 2:44 and 4:27, since the Jews do not use the word "God" due to respect for the Torah, since he was addressing the Jews. The rest of the Gospels use "Kingdom of God". Key words: Fulfillment, frequently used to portray the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies in Christ. Kingdom, is quoted 50 times and Kingdom of Heaven, 30. Jesus as King, 2:2, 21:5, 22:11, 25:34, 27:11, 37, 42. Matthew as author comes from the first fathers (Papias), or also MattithYah (gift of Yahweh) was an educated Jew, and as such he was bilingual, which was essential for him to be able to write in both languages, for Jews in Jerusalem and for those in dispersion in Greek. It is said to have been written before 70 AC since it does not mention the destruction of the Temple, but it does include Jesus Christ's prophecy about its destruction in Matthew 24. Written between Palestine and Syria, probably in Antioch. It covers from the birth of Jesus until His ascension after instructing the Great Commission, 33 AC.

 

Mark, disciple of Peter, shows us the Servant of God (the ox). The Servant of God who came to serve giving His life for us. Presumably addressed to the Romans, is the shortest of the four Gospels and it emphasizes the Passion of Christ. John Mark, Yohanan (Hebrew: Yahweh has granted grace) and Marcus (Latin: large hammer), son of Mary, Acts: 12:12, cousin of Bernabas, Colossians 4:10. As the author of this Gospel, he provides internal and external sources. He was one of the chosen twelve. He writes in Rome, according to tradition, with details that only him and Peter saw. Jewish, from a wealthy family. His mother had the house in Jerusalem where the Last Supper was held, the firs place where the Church gathered. It was written while Peter was alive, or just after he died as a martyr between 50 and 68 AC, according to the rolls in cave 7 in Qumran. It does not mention the destruction of the Temple, but it includes Jesus Christ's prophecy about its destruction in Mark 13:2. Without Jesus' genealogy, because it is not addressed to the Jews and it does not have to prove His ethnical ancestry. It is the shortest Gospel. Focused on the wonderful work of the Lord. It has many personal touches: with the wild beasts (1:13). To whom He gave the name Boanerges (3:17). He was greatly displeased (10:14), etc. It describes Jesus' human feelings, not only His divinity: His disappointment 3:5, exhaustion 4:38, love 10:21, etc. Nineteen miracles. Eight about His power over illnesses, five over nature, four over devils. It includes John the Baptist's ministry until Jesus Christ's ascension after the Great Commission, 33 AC.

 

Luke, Paul's doctor, shows us the Son of Man (the man). He shows us the Lord's true human condition, and the healing miracles in particular. He writes for the Gentiles, he uses Greek philosophy just as when he writes in Acts, Luke (Loukas in Greek and Lucanus in Latin). Luke "the beloved physician" friend of Paul, Colossians 4.14, Philemon 24, is the author of this Gospel, and of the book of Acts. From Antioch, Syria according to tradition, educated and erudite Greek doctor. He wrote the Gospel between Caesarea and/or Rome, around 57 and 59 AC; it does not mention the destruction of the Temple, but it does as Jesus Christ's prophecy in Luke 21. Luke is the Gospel of universal grace of God and the Son of Man (2:32, 6:20). Jesus is God's sent one who fulfills the prophecies about Him in Moses, the Prophets and Psalms. He shows Israel how the time of the promise, until the ministry and passion of the Lord Jesus Christ is the time of Christ, that opens the time of the Church with the work of the Holy Spirit. Exclusive parables, such as the "Friend at Night" (Luke 11:5-13) or the unjust judge "The Persistent Widow" (18:1-8) with an emphasis on Jesus and prayer, the example to follow whenever we have to face relevant issues (3:21, 5:16, 6:12). He honours women (23:27). He used many sources, he says, at the beginning of his Gospel, unique to he New Testament. There are 250 verses in common with Matthew, not with Mark, according to the "Q" Source. His excellent Greek, ideal for educated people of his time, inspire Christian music (Haendel's Messiah), art and paintings. The dramatic strength of its texts and its universality. The order and perfection of this Gospel make it a classical work known as "the most beautiful book ever written". Texts such as "goodwill toward men" instead of Jews (2:14), "a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles"(2:32) and the Lord's genealogy down to Adam, not just to Abraham, show us how much Luke has all nations in mind when he writes for whom he announces Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, creator of the world, as the only way to Salvation. It covers from the birth of John the Baptist until the ascension of Jesus Christ after the Great Commission, 33 AC.

 

John is the beloved disciple, and shows us the Son of God (the eagle) because he focuses on the Holy Spirit, on the deity of Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God. He talks about the new birth from the Spirit, about the internal transformation of the believer and he emphasizes the miracles and the message of spiritual life. John (Greek: Ioannes, Hebrew: Yohanan), the beloved disciple (John 13:23), is the author of the fourth Gospel (non-synoptic), three letters and Revelation. He was born in Bethsaida, Galilee, son of Zebedee, fisherman, and of Salome, a wealthy family, they owned the house where Jesus used to stay. Well educated and known by the High Priest. Disciple of John the Baptist. He wrote around 95 AC or before 70 AC. Many consider this book to be the most spiritual one in the Bible. For Calvin, it is the key that opens up the other three. Christ gives a more complete revelation of Himself and of God, powers, divinity, work of the Holy Spirit. His divine commission. God's fatherhood. Over half of the Gospel talks about the life of Christ and His last days. In John only: Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, Jews in the feast of Tabernacles, the parable of the good shepherd, instructions to his disciples and the prayer of intercession on 17. Holy Supper, Thursday or Wednesday: Great Holy annual Sabbath. Believe. The Word was God. Born again. The "I am" of Jesus. Fullness. You are the light. Rivers of living water will flow from inside you. The Lamb of God. The Holy Spirit and his work. Love, the New Commandment. Feed and pastor sheep of the Lord because we love Him. It covers from the ministry of John the Baptist until Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection, before His ascension, John 21, 33 AC.

 

The first three Gospels were written prior to 70 AC because they do not mention such a relevant event as the destruction of the Temple by the Roman troops led by Titus, according to Jesus Christ's prophecy in Matthew 24. John's Gospel could also be written at the same time, but it is agreed that it may have been written before 100 AC. The four Gospels also show us the four pillars of the grace of God in Christ due to His divine character: Sovereignty, humbleness, humanity and deity.

 

Although the four Gospels include the same message, the Gospel, each one of them has a different purpose. The three first ones seem to share a common source, Matthew, Mark and Luke are known as the "synoptic" Gospels. They share the story of the life of Jesus, the events and the order.

 

There are several theories regarding what is known as "the synoptic problem". A document that is known as the "protogospel" could be a document that has been lost and which was used by all the apostles as source of information. Other theory mentions Mark or Matthew as the first and the source for Mark and Luke. The most trustworthy theory, according to scholars, is the one known as the "Q" Manuscript. Jewish tradition was to spread tradition verbally, as well as in writing. It would be logical to think that a document should include the doctrines of Jesus Christ as Master, for the whole community. Another source could include facts, miracles. They could all be commonly known to Israel and to the primitive Church. It would be the Holy Spirit who would inspire each one to write their work, which is interlinked and complementary, uniting the four Gospels for the Church as four pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that fit between them and provide the answers to the four different approaches which they are addressing, to evangelize the whole of humankind. One way or the other, it is clear that God inspired the authors of these four treasures of Christianity, together with John, to build the foundations of Christianity. Four main pillars as the basis of two thousand years of the Gospel that continues to transform the lives of those who receive faith by hearing the word of God included in these four Gospels, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us, and as many as receive Him become children of God. John 1:1 and 1:12.

 

 

 

THE CANON OF THE BIBLE

 

As we have mentioned above, The Bible is not a book, but an encyclopaedia, a library of books concentrated in a unique and single format, thanks to the printing press. But right until Gutenberg, books were copied by scribes in scrolls. But that is not all, in Moses and Aaron's times, the Tables of Stone had the Ten Commandments. Afterwards, the Law was written in scrolls made of animal skin and rolled around precious rods that were kept by priests or in synagogues, then it was copied in scrolls of parchment until paper became in use.

 

The Canon of the Bible has two parts, one for each Testament. The Fathers of the Church agreed which books were to be included in the New Testament in the Bible. It is clear that we do not accept the 27 books of the New Testament as canonical just because is was so agreed in the Councils and they defend the sound doctrine, but because the unmistakeable presence of the Holy Spirit as the author emanates from them. On the other hand, the difference between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles is that the first ones included historical and non inspired books as part of the Old Testament, which have not been acknowledged as such by Rabbi scholars or Christian scholars. We must give credit to the Jews in the Old Testament and Christians in the New Testament. This is how we obtain the books in the Protestant Bibles: 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament - a total of 66.

 

The Hebrew Bible, the Tanach, only includes the Old Testament. They divide it in 3 parts: The Law in the Pentateuch, the Torah and The Prophets. And the other Writings that include the Psalms and Proverbs. The Prophets are classified into major and minor. 24 books altogether grouped in a different way but with the same contents as the 39 books of the canon for Jews and Protestants. It is very relevant to say that the Old Testament includes the Law of God, which includes the Ten Commandments. The history of creation, which is becoming more and more popular being defended by science and scientists from major universities throughout the world who believe in intelligent design. The plans for Noah's ark, that could be built today just as it was at the time and with the same materials. The life of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the history of Joseph in Egypt. Moses and the departure to the Promised Land. The archaeology of the Kingdom of David. The plans for the Temple of Jerusalem and the Constitution of the State of Israel.

 

The books of the Christian Bible were decided according to their authorship by the apostles, whether those that were written by the Lord's apostles or by their cover over the authors of some of them. They are all inspired by the Holy Spirit, all of then are consistent in their doctrines, in prophecies, in their references to the teachings of Jesus Christ, in their miracles and the people they refer to. Therefore, in every Christian Bible, Protestant and Catholic, the 27 books of the New Testament are the same and in the same order, with the same content. This is why books written by other authors, even those known as apocryphal gospels, are not included because they do not have the same inspiration and consistency, and they actually contradict each other. These are not part of the work of the Word of God.

 

The New Testament includes the history of the Word made flesh, the birth of the Son of God on earth coming down from Heaven. The Gospel, the Good News of the Salvation of God through faith in the work of His Son on the Cross, through our repentance and new birth from the Spirit of the Lord. The announcement of the Kingdom of God for eternity. The pillars of the Christian life and the Church which have survived 2000 years, since the apostles. The prophecies for the end of times in the book of Revelation, Greek "Apocalypse". The return of the Jews to Israel and all the nations against them. The return of Jesus Christ from heaven and every eye shall see Him. Resurrection of the dead and the rapture of the Church. A real work of spiritual craftsmanship, or prophetic architecture, of the engineering of the Holy Spirit throughout the centuries.

 

 

 

CODEX AND MANUSCRIPTS. THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS IN QUMRAN. THE Q MANUSCRIPTS.

 

The accuracy of the method used by the Old Testament scribes was such that they counted the letters in each copy. If one single mistake was found, a blotch of ink, a mistake or one letter more or less, the copy was buried or burnt. Likewise, the zealous attitude of the copyists of the New Testament allowed for this inheritance to be transmitted.

 

The Septuagint version was based on the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament, translating them into Greek in 250 AC in Alexandria. The Leningrad Codex is the oldest Hebrew Masoretic text of the X century AC. The oldest Bible Codex of the whole Bible are the Sinaiticus, IV century, the Alexandrinus, V century, and the Vaticanus, also from the IV century.

 

The Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran have been a very valuable discovery of our times where, just as announced in the prophecies, we are surrounded by atheism, apostasy and fight against Christianity. The manuscripts were kept in large vases inside caves to preserve them from temperature changes, humidity and exposure to light. They provide accurate and highly valuable information for both Old and New Testaments. The dates of the scrolls are between 200 BC and 70 AC.

 

The "Q" comes from the word "quelle" (source, in German). The scrolls include Jesus' sayings and some description of the stories which are now accepted to be the source of information for Matthew and Luke to write their own Gospels. This means that the Jews were surely able to compile and distribute amongst the primitive Church the teachings and works of the Messiah they had expected for so long. The fact that the four writers of the Gospels were able to refer to the same source and then add whatever the Holy Spirit led them to, together with their own personal experience, proves the guarantee and trustworthy procedure that the writers of the Bible have followed since the first words were revealed by God to man.

 

 

 

ENGLISH VERSIONS

 

It was the British Bible Society the one to distribute the Bible for the longest period of time to the world. First translations from the Latin Vulgate date from the IV century, but it was John Wycliffe who would finish the entire Bible in the XIV century. He would be called "Early Star of the Reform". William Tyndale would translate the New Testament from the Greek, and part of the Hebrew Old Testament in 1525 in Cologne. He would be burned alive in 1536 by the Inquisition as heretic. Miles Coverdale would receive the instruction of the King of England to translate the entire Bible. He would use the Tyndale's translation of the N.T. and Zwinglio's O.T., 1535. After all these version the Bishops Bible was translated and authorized although not popular. However it became the base of the famous King James Bible, which has become the most loved Bible in the English speaking world until today. Westcott and Hort would work on the Revised Version of King James in 1881, from which Standard Version in the US came from in 1901. From theses, amongst others we have Young's Literal Translation, New King James Bible, and New International Version, NIV. Link to them at Bible Gateway and Bible Societies from our website: The Bible.

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS GREETING

 

The Bible is number one bestseller every year, in every language on earth. There is no better book to give to anyone as a present, no matter the age, since there are versions for every taste, including internet links, digital formats or smartphone applications, and it is always Its content, alive, that leads us to the Kingdom of God and the Source through which the Lord speaks to us.

 

"...But the Word of the Lord endures forever..." 1Peter 1:25. Give a Bible for Christmas! Merry Christmas! Amen.

 

 

 

 

  • For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Prophecy of Isaiah 9:6.


  • I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6. Words of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.
  • You want to know God, but you know the way is not through organized religion, nor by sects, nor by society. The world has failed. ...I pray for them;  I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours... John 17:9. Prayer of Yahshua - Jesus Christ.


  • If you really seek God, begin today the new life though the true hand of God. The Gospel is the message for all nations, no matter their race, their origins or culture. God is the saviour of those from humanity who open their hearts to Him.


  • ...Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.  1Corinthians 15:58.

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