Posts Tagged ‘apostles’

He is Risen: Six Reasons to Believe

March 23, 2008

1.  If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, and the apostles knew it, the movement would have ended.   The successive waves of persecution for the early church lasted over 300 years.  There was everything to lose and nothing to gain for a Christian those first few centuries–hardly fertile ground for a religion, unless the members believed the truth of it.

2.  Matthew 28: 1-15 states the guards at the tomb took the story of a resurrection to the Pharisees.  The Pharisees paid the guards to circulate the story that Jesus body was stolen while they slept, while the leaders would keep them out of trouble (execution).  From this I can deduce that the body of Jesus was missing.  Since guards paid with their lives if something untoward happened on their watch, I would expect them to have their eyes glued open.   They were awake and certainly didn’t let the apostles steal the body under their noses.  I have always wondered–if they were asleep, how could they know what happened? 

3.  Even today the tomb is empty.  The body was never found.

4.  There are no writings from that time period disputing the Resurrection of Jesus.

5.  There are multiple testimonies from the period which could have been refuted by others who lived during that time.  The statement is made that more than 500 people saw him.  They touched him physically.

6.  The disciples risked their lives to spread the message of the resurrection, something they wouldn’t have done for something they knew to be a lie.  People will die for something they know to be true (or believe to be true).  They won’t willingly die for a lie.

 Someone facetiously asked me how many people claim to have seen Elvis.  Thats different.  There are no penalties for that claim.  If people had to pay with their lives for the claim of having seen a resurrected Elvis, that movement would die in a hurry.  See reason #1 above.

 Happy Easter!

 Nonni

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How I like to read the bible

February 23, 2008
Here is Nonni’s next post.   Michelle

People have often asked me how to start reading scripture and where to begin.  I have always believed its best to start with the stories about Jesus.  I also believe its best to start with a translation that makes sense for you.  I loved the JB Phillips translation of the New Testament, but then I’m British, and I understand that style of writing.  If you’re American, then the Living Bible translation is very good.  There’s even an updated New Living Bible translation.  If you’re new to reading the Bible, and you aren’t familiar with chapters and verses, I really like “The Message”.  It reads so much more like a book.  The language is so familiar too.

 Anyway, I just start with the gospel of Matthew.  Then I like to go to the gospel of Luke, and finally to the gospel of John.  John’s gospel is much more poetic, and contains symbolism and allusions to prophecy that are somewhat harder to grasp for a beginner, although, don’t get me wrong, there’s very, very much in it that is beautifully understandable for a beginner as well.  Just don’t worry about what you don’t understand.  Enjoy, savor and cherish what you do understand.  There’s more than enough spiritual food for everyone at every stage.

After reading the three gospels I love most, I then enjoy reading the Acts of the Apostles.  These are the historical accounts of the very early church–the first 20 years or so.  Very exciting reading.  From there I read the epistles, which are simply letters the early apostles wrote to the early churches.  Since these were the very first generation of Christians and most of them knew Jesus when he walked the earth, you get an even more detailed version of the things Jesus taught. 

All through the New Testament you will see footnotes referring to Old Testament passages.  Read these passages for yourself, and you will get a bigger picture of what you are reading in the New Testament passage.  When you have done all of this, its time to get a study bible.  When you read the Old Testament, its really helpful to have a study bible to help you get the historical context of the writing.  Unless you know who the writing was for and what was going on, you miss a lot.  I like to just read the Old Testament straight through.  Your study bible will help you get it all into historical order.  I have always kind of skimmed over all the ceremonial laws since they don’t apply to Christians (you learn all about this when you read the New Testament), and I also skim over the lists of geneologies.  I know they are there for a reason, but I haven’t felt led to read them for my own inspiration.

Happy reading!  Read with a pen or marker and underline things that jump off the page at you.  These are verses that will mean a lot to you personally and be an inspiration and encouragement to you.

 God bless you!  He WILL bless you as you read the book He has put together for you.

 Till next time…  Nonni