Notice that Jesus does not say here to pray in his name. Only nearer to His crucifixion does he say that.So what should we as Christians do with this ... Read more
Notice that Jesus does not say here to pray in his name. Only nearer to His crucifixion does he say that.So what should we as Christians do with this prayer? We should pray it our of obedience, but add our petitions in Jesus name. Read less
Video Lecture- listened to--
Canon- I'd never heard of the following NOT contained in the canon of the 27 books decided to be the New Testament: apocr... Read more
Video Lecture- listened to--
Canon- I'd never heard of the following NOT contained in the canon of the 27 books decided to be the New Testament: apocryphal books, written to "fill in the gaps" of the New Testament record during the intertestamental period, between Old and New Testament period but containing negligible historical value; apostolic fathers (authors realized they lived beyond the era of revelation of the apostles and their followers); pseudepigrapha (historical writings which enrich our understanding of history, religion, and literary forms from intertestamental period)...with this said, the purpose of this lesson, however, is to learn how the New Testament books were chosen- what was left out, what was included, and why? Early on, the 27 books we now call NEW TESTAMENT were thought to be "categorically" different from other writings.
Criteria was developed to decide which books had enough merit to be included consistency, catholicity, and apostolicity. Consistency- documents coherent with previous Scripture; Catholicity- widespread acceptance of documents, found accurate and helpful to wide cross section of the first Christians; Apostolicity-that document was written by one of the apostles or a close associate of an apostle
Books left out- In addition to apocryphal books and the apostolic fathers, a large group of false teachings called the Gnostics writings.
Accuracy- 97-99% textually secure...no doctrine disputed. We have the very books that God intended to form the New Testament.
Gospels- How they align with each other and the breadth and depth of the documents. John different from Matthew, Mark, Luke...Mark written first. Matthew and Luke used him in places. Read less
Reading the bible is so good for my perspective--often compelling me to see the nature and habit of God, to distinguish His character from my imaginat... Read more
Reading the bible is so good for my perspective--often compelling me to see the nature and habit of God, to distinguish His character from my imagination of what his character should look like, his works from what I might conceive to be.
The first few chapters of Ezra are especially interesting to me. God really shows himself in a way that is hard to fathom, a way completely contradictory to what our nature tells us he is. The ways that he brings out his plan are so miraculous, that it would be hard to dream them up, even for the best works of fiction.
So in Ezra chapter 1, we see the children of Israel living under the reign of the Persians. Historically, they had be captured by the Assyrians, then (I think?) the Babylonians (Nebechanezer, Daniel, etc.), and then they are eventually placed under the rule of the Persians (Esther also takes place under the rule of the Persians about 50 years later). Here is where our story begins.
The Israelites have been captive for over 200 years at this point. Their temple had been destroyed and their homeland had been desolated upon their capture. They had been moved from ruler to ruler, relocated, and made to integrate into different societies and cultures of their rulers. You can imagine their prayers, their cries for God, their disappointment when generations have gone by without help from God. I'm sure they dreamed of what it would be like when God took back Jerusalem-- maybe there'd be a battle, an uprising, maybe Israel would fight to gain their freedom.
But God has a different plan. He convinces the king of the Persians to relocate them back into their land, and to help them rebuild their town and their temple. What are the odds? Why? How? Its hard to believe. But verse 1 clearly says that "the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus". This was how God's plan was to be carried out. He moved the hearts of the people. Cyrus GAVE BACK temple relics. He actually provided for them, out of reverence to a God that wasn't even his.
This plan ultimately brought the most glory to God, because the puzzle doesn't make sense without him. Because this doesn't just happen. Because a war would be common, would make sense, wouldn't be astounding. And this is. And this has "God" written all over it. :) Read less