7/29/14

From Jim McGuiggan... A TICKING CLOCK?


A TICKING CLOCK?


Humans didn’t arrive by chance. The former atheist, Anthony Flew, finally admitted, as he listened to atheists like Richard Dawkins, it is “comical” to think we arrived by chance.
Humans didn’t create themselves! Enough said.

We’re here because God in holy love and out of the infinite fountain of his life-filled life he chose to share life with us. In making a choice to create us God chose to be our God; he chose not to be God in solitary existence; he chose not to be God without us. He chose to bring into being a human family to which he would relate as a Holy Father to his children.

He didn’t create us to exist independent of him. He purposed more than existence; he purposed life for us, life in fellowship with him. What he purposed for us couldn’t be experienced by us apart from him. He didn’t create us as a clockmaker creates a clock, winds it up and then walks away to leave the clock ticking its own way toward oblivion.

Seen in that way “life” would be existence but it wouldn’t be what God purposed; it wouldn’t be the destiny for which he made us.

We couldn’t tell from reading Genesis—Malachi that God had purposed to bring into being a glorious and deathless human family but in Jesus, who brings Genesis—Malachi to fullness, we have come to know about “life and immortality” (2 Timothy 1:10).

In and through Jesus, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45 and see Romans 5:14) we learn what God’s eternal purpose was that was hinted at throughout the early ages.

What would thwart that glorious and generous purpose would be the free human rejection of God’s intention and that rejection of God could only and would only result in death. But God’s creative purpose took that into account and in Jesus he purposed to deal with the sinful rejection and by his resurrection destroy the resultant death.

No lovely couple has a child just so they can receive praise and honour even though it’s true that fullness of life could not be enjoyed if mutual honour and respect is not offered. God didn’t purpose life for a glorious human family just so he could be praised and honoured forever. He didn’t need service or praise—he didn’t create us to fill some lack he experienced. Our life was/is a generous gift; he gives to us grand and profound possibilities as a loving couple does to a child they loved into existence. Because God purposed that the creation would come to its fullness in the glorious and immortal Jesus in whose image the human family will live (Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 2:10 and compare Romans 8:29-30) the future is assured. Not only is it assured, it will be inexpressible wonderful (Philippians 3:20-21) and my Ethel will experience it in its fullness.

What Kind of Bread did Jesus Use to Institute the Last Supper? by Kyle Butt, M.A.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1196

What Kind of Bread did Jesus Use to Institute the Last Supper?

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

As one of the three major Jewish feasts, the Passover came complete from God with strict regulations regarding the proper rituals to be observed. Exodus 12:1-28 detailed specifically that the Passover lamb was to be killed at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month (12:6). Furthermore, its blood was to be sprinkled upon the lintels of the houses in which the Israelites ate the meal (12:7), and the flesh of the lamb was to be roasted—not eaten boiled or raw (12:8-9).
Numerous additional regulations pertaining to the lamb’s preparation, the length of the feast, and various other such facets of the festival could be cited. The one other injunction most specifically pertaining to this discussion is found in verses 15, and 18-20. These verses explicitly state that no leavened bread should be eaten from the 14th day of the month to the 21st day of the month. Verse 15 explains that any person eating leavened bread would be “cut off from Israel” (a phase often implying the death penalty). Verses 18-20 read as follows:
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a sojourner, or one that is born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.
Simply put, God directly commanded Moses to warn the children of Israel that anyone caught eating leaven during the Feast of Unleavened Bread would be punished severely, possibly with death.
As we move approximately 1,500 years from the initial institution of the feast, we find the Jews of Jesus’ day bound to the same regulations and specificities as those ancient compatriots of Moses. In fact, we find Jesus—as a faithful Jew “born under the law” (Galatians 4:4), and abiding without sin under that same law (1 Peter 2:22)—adhering to the proper commands of the Law of Moses. On occasion, upon healing leprous people, Jesus instructed those individuals to present themselves to the priest as the Law of Moses commanded (Matthew 8:4; Luke 17:12-14). The Pharisees’ accusations of Jesus’ breaking the Sabbath notwithstanding, Jesus lived perfectly under the Law of Moses. Since He obeyed the Law consistently, when Jesus ate the Passover feast and celebrated the ensuing Feast of Unleavened bread, it is a fact that He would not have used any leaven from the 14th day of Nisan [originally, the first Jewish month was called Abib (see Deuteronomy 16:1-10), but its name eventually was changed to Nisan (Esther 3:7)] to the 21st day of that same month, as commanded in Exodus 12:15,18-20.
Therefore, it can be determined beyond any doubt that Jesus would have used unleavened bread during the Passover meal. This fact is of utmost importance, since the Last Supper (at which Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper) often is thought to have occurred on the 14th day of Nisan during the evening of the Passover, marking the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened bread. If Jesus did not institute the Lord’s Supper on the actual Passover, then there remains no biblical basis to insist upon the use of unleavened bread during the Lord’s Supper.
The original language provides no assistance in ascertaining whether the bread was leavened or not. The Greek word used to identify the bread distributed by Christ at the Last Supper is artos (Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24), which is the general word for any kind of bread (Arndt and Gingrich, 1967, p. 110). The use of this word does not exclude the possibility that it was unleavened bread, since the Septuagint translators the word artos to refer to unleavened bread (Leviticus 8:2,26). At the same time, use of the term does not demand that it was unleavened bread. In fact, another Greek word, azumos, could have been used to mean strictly unleavened bread (Arndt and Gingrich, p. 19). Therefore, from the word used to describe the bread eaten by Jesus at the Last Supper, we can deduce only that it could have been either leavened or unleavened. As noted earlier, the only way to prove from the Bible that the bread was unleavened is to verify that Jesus ate the Last Supper on the 14th of Nisan—the actual Passover.
This may, at first, seem quite easy to establish. Matthew’s account explicitly states: “Now on the first day of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Where wilt thou that we make ready for thee to eat the passover?’ ” (26:17). And also, “Now when even was come, he was sitting at meat with the twelve disciples” (26:20). According to Matthew, then, Jesus instituted the Last Supper “on the first day of unleavened bread.” Mark’s account is equally specific and descriptive: “And on the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the passover, his disciples say unto him, ‘Where wilt thou that we go and make ready that thou mayest eat the passover?’ ” (14:12). And, as in Matthew, Mark states: “[W]hen it was evening he cometh with the twelve” (14:17). Mark clearly declared that the Last Supper was instituted on the first day of unleavened bread. He further defined that day as the day when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, which would have been the evening of the 14th of Nisan according to Exodus 12. Furthermore, Luke’s account is equally definitive when it states: “And the day of unleavened bread came, on which the passover must be sacrificed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and make ready for us the passover, that we may eat’ ” (22:7).
Were the discussion to end at this point, it would be crystal clear that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper on the evening of the first day of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lamb was sacrificed. But when John’s account is consulted, the picture seems to get a little fuzzy. John’s record certainly is not as specific as the other three. In John 13:1-4, we read:
Now before the feast of the passover, Jesus knowing that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto his Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all the things into his hands, and that he came forth from God, and goeth unto God, riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments; and he took a towel, and girded himself.
Apparently, the thoughts of Jesus recorded in John 13:1 occurred sometime before the Feast of the Passover. How long before the feast is unknown, but some assume it means at least a day. That time frame is based upon other statements found in the book of John. In John 18:28, the chief priests and the leaders of the Jews “led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium: and it was early; and they themselves entered not into the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.” If “the passover” in this verse means the Feast of the Passover lamb, which was eaten on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened bread, then that would mean the Last Supper Jesus celebrated with His disciples occurred about 24 hours earlier. Furthermore, John 19:14-18 states:
Now it was the Preparation of the passover: it was about the sixth hour. And he saith unto the Jews, “Behold, your King!” They therefore cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate saith unto them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then therefore he delivered him unto them to be crucified. They took Jesus therefore: and he went out, bearing the cross for himself, unto the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha: where they crucified him, and with him two others, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst (emp. added).
Those who believe that the events of John 13 happened at least a day before the Passover generally base that belief on the idea that John 19:14-18 seems to indicate that Jesus was crucified before the actual Passover, since it was the “preparation of the passover.”
Several of the early church fathers held to the belief that Jesus was crucified on the Passover, which would mean that the Last Supper occurred before the Feast of Unleavened bread. Tertullian (An Answer to the Jews, Chapter 8) and Clement of Alexandria (Paschal Chronicle Fragment) both took this view. Furthermore, in the Talmud, early Jewish rabbis concluded that Jesus was “hanged on Passover Eve for heresy and misleading the people” (Bruce, 1960, p. 101). In more recent times, many have advocated this view. The editors of the Pulpit Commentary wrote: “It appears that our Lord was crucified on the 14th of Nisan, on the very day of the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, a few hours before the time of the Paschal Supper, and that his own Last Supper was eaten the night before, that is, twenty-four hours before the general time of eating the Passover Supper” (Spence and Exell, n.d., pp. 196-197, emp. in orig.).
In his book, Radical Restoration, F. LaGard Smith mentioned some things that, in his opinion, seem to conflict with the idea that Jesus ate the Passover on the actual first day of unleavened bread. He commented:
The emerging picture tends to suggest that we may have misinterpreted the words with which Jesus began the Last Supper. It may well be that Jesus was not expressing his eagerness to eat the actual Passover, but his desire to eat the only “Passover” he could share with his disciples before he suffered. Which is to say, ahead of time. The day before. On the only evening left before his crucifixion. (2001, p. 280, emp. in orig.).
To further bolster the idea that the Last Supper might not have been taken during the Feast of Unleavened bread, Smith cited The Crux of the Matter by Childers, Foster, and Reese, who suggested that “from the ninth century, the common bread, leavened bread, was replaced by unleavened bread. Using regular table bread had been the practice of the churches for centuries of Christian worship from very early days” (2001, p. 38). McClintock and Strong observed:
At the institution of the Lord’s Supper Christ used unleavened bread. The primitive Christians carried with them the bread and wine for the Lord’s Supper, and took the bread which was used at common meals, which was leavened bread. When this custom ceased, together with the Agapè, the Greeks retained the leavened bread, while in the Latin Church the unleavened bread became common since the 8th century. Out of this difference a dogmatic controversy in the 11th century arose, the Greek Church reproaching the Latin for the use of unleavened bread, making it heresy. At the Council of Florence, in 1439, which attempted to unite both churches, it was agreed that either might be used… (1969, 5:514, emp. in orig.).
Even though McClintock and Strong stated that Christ used unleavened bread, they also documented that many of those in the early period of the church did not use unleavened bread—a fact that could be used to add credence to the possibility that Christ also did not use unleavened bread.
Obviously, the battle over which type of bread Christ used when He instituted the Last Supper has been going on for centuries. Is there any way to reconcile the accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke with that of John? Can it be established, from the biblical text, on what day Christ and His disciples ate their final meal before His death? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper on the first day of unleavened bread, when the Passover lamb was to be killed—exactly as Matthew, Mark, and Luke plainly state.

THE PREPARATION DAY

In order to maintain that Christ ate the Last Supper on the first day of unleavened bread, a response must be formulated to the passage in John 19:14-18, which seems to indicate that Christ was crucified on the “Preparation of the Passover.” First, it must be noted that Matthew, Mark, and Luke each state that Christ was crucified on the “day of preparation.” Matthew, in speaking of the day after Jesus’ crucifixion, affirmed: “Now on the morrow, which is the day after the Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together unto Pilate, saying, ‘Sir, we remember that that deceiver said while he was yet alive, After three days I rise again’ ” (Matthew 27:62-63). Mark’s account, in dealing with the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, observed: “And when even was now come, because it was the Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a councillor of honorable estate, who also himself was looking for the kingdom of God; and he boldly went in unto Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus” (15:42-43). Not only did Mark specify the day of Jesus’ crucifixion as “the Preparation,” but he also defined that day for his readers as “the day before the Sabbath.” Finally, Luke related virtually the same facts in 23:50-54:
And behold, a man named Joseph, who was a councillor, a good and righteous man (he had not consented to their counsel and deed), a man of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews, who was looking for the kingdom of God: this man went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that was hewn in stone, where never man had yet lain. And it was the day of the Preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
Observe that Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe the day of Jesus’ death as the day of preparation of the Sabbath. Even John, in 19:31, stated: “The Jews therefore, because it was the Preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross upon the sabbath (for the day of that sabbath was a high day), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” Because the Jews could do no work on the Sabbath, the day before provided them with the only opportunity to prepare for the following day’s meals. In Exodus 16, the Lord, through Moses, instructed the Israelites regarding how and when they should gather the manna that He was sending from heaven. In verses 4 and 5 of that chapter, the Lord stated:
Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or not. And it shall come to pass on the sixth day, that they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
The “Preparation Day” was a well-known description used to speak of the day before the Sabbath. However, it was not used to describe a day before a festival or feast. Lenski accurately recorded:
Equally decisive is the fact that paraskeua [preparation—KB] is never used in the sense of “the preparation” or of “the day of preparation” for a festival but only in the sense of the preparation for the Sabbath. The law provided complete rest from work only on the Sabbath (Exodus 16:5); all preparation of food had to be made on the day before; but the law provided nothing of the kind for the great festival days, for on these days (save as one might occur on the Sabbath) food could be cooked as on any other day. The attempt to show that the festival days also had a paraskeua has failed completely (1998, p. 1272).
What, then, shall we make of John’s statement that Jesus was crucified on “the Preparation of the Passover?” At first glance, we assume that John means that the “preparation” concerns the actual Passover lamb. However, that assumption is not correct. The “preparation” described by John simply was the day before the Sabbath that fell during the Passover festival. Lenski noted: “When John uses the exceptional combination paraskuea tou pascha, ‘Preparation of the Passover,’ he simply has in mind the Friday of the Passover festival, the one that occurs during the festival week. The Sabbath of this great week was considered especially holy, and preparation was made accordingly” (p. 1271).
In fact, the translators of the NIV were so confident of this meaning that they rendered the verse: “It was the day of Preparation of Passover week, about the sixth hour.” In their commentary on the NIV passage, Bryant and Krause remarked:
The force of the NIV’s interpretation is that this is “Friday of Passover Week.” While this may be what John intends (and I believe he does), it is possible to interpret this as “Preparation for the Passover,” i.e., Thursday. This is the translation of the NRSV and others, but this is every bit as guilty as the NIV of overtranslation…. Actually, the text is ambiguous and cannot answer the day of the week by itself. It is from other considerations that we should conclude that this is Friday… (1998, p. 376).
If John 19:14-18 could mean simply the preparation day during the Passover feast, then John’s timetable would match perfectly with that of the other three Gospels—almost.

THAT THEY “MIGHT EAT THE PASSOVER”

In order to match John’s timetable perfectly with Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the passage in John 18:28 must be clarified. It states: “They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium: and it was early; and they themselves entered not into the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover.” If this reference to eating “the passover” refers to the actual Passover lamb that was sacrificed on the 14th day of Nisan, then John’s account would stand in direct opposition to those of the other three gospel writers. It can been shown conclusively, however, that John did not necessarily mean the actual Passover lamb, and that his statement can refer instead to the Feast of Unleavened bread directly following the Passover.
First, it should be noted that John was not nearly as specific as the other the gospel writers. As was discussed earlier, they defined the day of the Last Supper as the first day of unleavened bread on which the passover must be sacrificed. [It is interesting to observe that Luke 22:7 uses the Greek word dei, which the ASV translators render as must. Arndt and Gingrich noted that the word means “of compulsion of law or custom,” and then used Luke 22:7 to illustrate this usage. They translated the pertinent part of the verse under discussion: “when the paschal lamb had to be sacrificed” (1967, p. 172). Which law or custom compelled the Jews to sacrifice the Passover lamb on this particular day? The obvious answer is: the law set forth in Exodus 12.] John’s reference to the Jewish leaders’ eating the Passover certainly does not detail an exact day on which the Passover lamb “must” be sacrificed.
As further evidence that John’s reference does not necessarily mean the 14th day of Nisan, the term “Passover” sometimes was used to refer to the entire Feast of Unleavened bread, not just the eating of the Passover lamb. Luke 22:1 is an obvious and clear example of such usage: “Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.” Other passages that support this usage are John 2:13,23, 5:4, 11:55, and Acts 12:1-4. Josephus, in Antiquities of the Jews, wrote about an event happening “at the time when the feast of unleavened bread was celebrated, which we call the Passover” (14:2:1). Thus, the term “Passover” often had a more relaxed meaning, and could refer to the “feast of unleavened bread.” To add support to this conclusion, Lenski made an interesting observation:
In the present connection it is impossible to make the eating of the Passover mean the eating of the Paschal lamb. For the defilement which these Jews feared would not have debarred them from eating the Paschal lamb if this lamb was to be eaten on Friday evening. Defilement of this type lasted only until sundown and could then be removed by a bath. The Paschal Lamb was not eaten until some time after sundown (1998, p. 1213).
With a quick look back into the Old Testament, we find that many of the things that “defiled” people, or caused them to be “unclean,” lasted only until evening (see Leviticus chapters 11 and 15). From reading Numbers 9:10,13, it seems that, according to the Law of Moses, the only two reasons a man might be unable to keep the feast would be because he had touched a dead body or was away on a journey. Since neither of those two situations seems to apply to John 18:28, the passage certainly allows for the phrase “eat the passover” to mean something other than the Paschal lamb. In his concluding comments on John 18:28, Lenski summarized remarks from Zahn’s Introduction to the New Testament by stating:
It is quite incredible to believe that with an entirely incidental expression, not at all connected with the Passover as such or with the actions of Jesus but solely with the scruples of the Jews, John should wish to overthrow a view of his readers which he has left entirely undisturbed throughout all of his preceding chapters (p. 1214).
What, then, were the Jewish leaders specifically desiring to eat? Zahn observed: “Moreover, it is probable that the members of the Sanhedrin had specifically in mind the so-called Chagigah, the sacrificial meal of the 15th of Nisan, which, unlike the Passover meal, was held during the course of the day and not after sundown” (1953, 3:283). Thus, there remains nothing to require that the phrase “might eat the passover” in John 18:28 must mean the actual Passover lamb.

TWO MINOR DISAGREEMENTS ANSWERED

In concluding the discussion as to the actual time of the Passover, John 13:1 needs to be revisited. In the verse, John wrote, “Now before the feast of the Passover….” It already has been established that certain schools of thought take this verse to mean at least 24 hours before the Passover. This time frame often is based on assumptions regarding John 18:28 and 19:31—assumptions that I have shown to be incorrect. Therefore, based on the textual evidence of the actual verse, can the phrase “before the feast of the passover” mean only a few minutes before the actual feast, or must it mean several hours? Morris concisely commented: “It is not impossible to understand this as meaning that Jesus knew certain things long before the feast. But it can also be understood to mean that the events now to be described took place before the feast began” (1971, p. 776). Bryant and Krause further clarified the situation:
John notes the time of the next event as just before the Passover Feast. According to ancient Jewish reckoning, the Passover Feast day would have run from sundown Thursday until sundown on Friday. This has caused some scholars to take the position that John understands the “Last Supper” to have taken place on Wednesday evening, just before Passover. This cannot be reconciled with the Synoptic accounts, which clearly identify the Last Supper as a Passover meal (e.g., Luke 22:15). But this is an easily explained contradiction. John does not say “the day before Passover” but “just before.” The episode he relates next, Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, is done immediately before the meal really begins (1998, p. 285, emp. in orig.).
“Before the Passover” could mean months, days, hours, or seconds before the meal took place. Considering all the evidence, John 13:1 makes reference to only a few minutes before the actual Passover lamb was eaten.
The second minor disagreement that needs to be answered suggests that John placed Jesus’ death on the 14th of Nisan, the evening when the Passover lamb was to be killed, in order to symbolize the death of Jesus as the Passover Lamb. Other New Testament verses linking Christ to the Passover lamb often are used in support of this view. For instance, 1 Corinthians 5:7 states: “Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ.“
While it is true that various New Testament writers refer to Christ as our Passover Lamb, it is not true that the power of His atoning blood was conditioned on the actual day that it was shed. As Zahn stated:
The conception of Christ as the Paschal Lamb which is found throughout the N.T. is in no way based upon this alleged coincidence of the hour of Jesus’ death with the time of the slaying of the Passover lamb, but was involved in the view that redemption under the new covenant was the counterpart of the deliverance from Egypt, and found merely a natural point of connection in the fact that Jesus died at the time of the Jewish Passover, and not, for example, during the feast of Tabernacles (John 7:2-10) [1953, 3:276].
Furthermore, to suppose that there is a clash between John and the synoptics—based upon what a person assumes John was attempting to symbolize—is a less than desirable conclusion and fails to give John the benefit of the doubt.

A DISTANT POSSIBILITY MENTIONED,
BUT NOT DISCUSSED IN DETAIL

In an attempt to “help” John agree with the three other gospel writers, some have suggested that a difference in calendars might have caused the apparent confusion. In summarizing this view, Carson wrote:
These difficulties have led to a number of suggested resolutions that turn on calendrical disputes in the first century. The most important of these reconstructions, that of Jaubert, argues that Jesus and his disciples followed a solar calendar…. But the “official” calendar followed by the Pharisees and Sadducees in the Jerusalem establishment was lunar... (1991, p. 457).
After he summarized the main issues, Carson further noted: “these calendrical theories all involve delicate historical judgments or a paucity of hard evidence” (457). He concluded his section on the alleged calendar differences by saying:
More seriously, it is altogether unlikely that the Jewish authorities in the time of Jesus sanctioned the slaughter of paschal lambs on any day other than the official lunar day. Thus even if Jesus and his disciples followed a sectarian calendar—a very doubtful suggestion—they would not have been able to eat an early paschal meal, since the paschal lamb had to be slaughtered at the temple, and the priestly classes were not noted for affable flexibility (p. 457).
Furthermore, once the full meanings of the phrases “eat the Passover” in John 18:28 and “the Preparation of the Passover” in John 19:14 are explored, it becomes evident that the statements can be reconciled with the time table set forth in the other three gospels, without resorting to “calendrical theories.”

CONCLUSION

The exact day on which the Lord instituted the Last Supper is of utmost importance for two reasons: (1) If it was not on the 14th day of Nisan, when the Passover lamb was to be killed (marking the first day of the Feast of Unleavened bread), then very little (if any) textual evidence exists that would demand the use of unleavened bread for the Lord’s Supper; and (2) the failure to reconcile adequately the time frame given by Matthew, Mark, and Luke with that given by John would indicate that there might be a contradiction in the Bible, which would leave the door open for skeptics to attack the reliability of the New Testament.
Yet, when the arguments are laid bare, it is evident that Jesus and the disciples did eat the Last Supper on the 14th day of Nisan, when the Passover lamb was to be killed. Once this fact is established, no one can legitimately deny that Jesus broke unleavened bread for His disciples. Nor can anyone claim that a contradiction exists between John’s timetable and that of the other gospel writers.

REFERENCES

Arndt, William and F.W. Gingrich (1967), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Bruce, F.F. (1960), The New Testament Documents—Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), fifth edition.
Bryant, Beauford H. and Mark S. Krause (1998), John, The College Press NIV Commentary, ed. Jack Cottrell and Tony Ash (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Carson, D.A. (1991), The Gospel According to John, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, ed. D.A. Carson (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Childers, Jeff W., Douglas A. Foster, and Jack R. Reese (2001), The Crux of the Matter (Abilene, TX: ACU Press).
Clement of Alexandria (no date), Paschal Chronicle Fragment, [On-line], URL: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0211.htm.
Josephus, Flavius (1987 edition), The Works of Josephus, transl. William Whiston (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
Lenski, R.C.H. (1998 reprint), The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
McClintock, John and James Strong (1969 reprint), Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Morris, Leon (1971), The Gospel According to John, New International Commentary on the New Testament, ed. F.F. Bruce (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Smith, F. LaGard (2001), Radical Restoration (Nashville, TN: Cotswold).
Spence, H.D.M. and J.S. Exell, eds. (no date), “Mark/Luke,” The Pulpit Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Tertullian, (no date), An Answer to the Jews, [On-line], URL: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0308.htm.
Zahn, Theodor (1953), Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel).

From Mark Copeland... Righteousness, Self-Control, And The Judgment (Acts 24:25)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

          Righteousness, Self-Control, And The Judgment (24:25)

INTRODUCTION

1. After Paul's initial defense before Felix, he had another opportunity
   to speak to him...
   a. Along with his wife Drusilla who was Jewish (approximately age 16)
      - Ac 24:24
   b. Talking to them about "the faith in Christ" - ibid.

2. Felix and Drusilla had a marital history tainted by promiscuity
   (Kistemaker)...
   a. Drusilla was the third wife of Felix, according to the Roman
      historian Suetonius
   b. Drusilla married Azizus king of Emesa (Syria) at age 14, and soon
      after married Felix

[We're told Paul "reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the
judgment to come." (Ac 24:25).  From his epistles and sermons in Acts,
we can surmise what Paul may have said to them...]

I. CONCERNING RIGHTEOUSNESS

   A. GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS...
      1. I.e., God's way of making man righteous - Ro 3:21
      2. Through faith in Jesus Christ - Ro 3:22
      3. For all who believe, for all are sinners - Ro 3:22-23
      4. Justified by grace through redemption in Christ - Ro 3:24
      5. For Christ has been set forth as a propitiation by His blood
         - Ro 3:25
      6. Demonstrating God's own righteousness as being both Just and the
         Justifier - Ro 3:25-26
      -- Perhaps, then, Paul reasoned thus about God's system of
         righteousness in saving us

   B. OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS...
      1. We are made righteous in Christ, according to God's 
         righteousness - Ro 3:21-26
      2. And in baptism we die to sin, that we might rise to walk in
         newness of life - Ro 6:1-4
      3. Having died to sin, we are freed from sin, that we might now
         live with Christ - Ro 6:5-11
      4. Thus we must not let sin reign in our bodies, but let them be
         instruments of righteousness - Ro 6:12-14
      -- Perhaps, then, Paul reasoned that saved by grace, we must now 
         live righteously for God

[As Paul spoke about righteousness to Felix and Drusilla, I suspect their
consciences were made uneasy by their disregard for God's law on marriage
(cf. Mal 2:14-16).  Perhaps even more, as he spoke...] 

II. CONCERNING SELF-CONTROL

   A. BEFORE CONVERSION...
      1. The inability to live righteously as one carnal, sold under sin
         - Ro 7:14-20; cf. Jn 8:34
      2. The law of sin wages war against the law of one's mind, leading
         to slavery - Ro 7:21-24 
      -- Perhaps Paul reasoned that self-control was unattainable by
         sinners outside of Christ

   B. AFTER CONVERSION...
      1. In Christ, there is no condemnation and there is now freedom
         from sin! - Ro 8:1-4
      2. But only for those who live according to the Spirit, with minds
         set on the Spirit - Ro 8:5-8
      3. For if the Spirit indwells a person, by the Spirit they can put
         to death the deeds of the flesh
         - Ro 8:11-14; cf. Ep 3:16,20-21
      4. Thus walking by the Spirit, led by the Spirit, they can produce
         the fruit of the Spirit, which includes self-control! - Ga 5:16-18,22-23
      -- Perhaps Paul reasoned that Spirit-aided self-control would help
         them live righteously

[But why should Felix and Drusilla even be concerned about righteousness
and self-control?  Perhaps Paul made that very clear when he spoke to 
them...] 

III. CONCERNING THE JUDGMENT

   A. THE DAY OF JUDGMENT...
      1. To philosophers, Paul spoke of God's command for all men to
         repent - Ac 17:30
      2. Because God has appointed a day on which He will judge the
         world - Ac 17:31
      3. God will judge the world by His Son Jesus Christ - Ac 17:31;
         cf. Ro 14:9-12; 2Co 5:10
      -- Perhaps Paul reasoned that a righteous God will have to judge 
         mankind for their sins

   B. THE RESULT OF JUDGMENT...
      1. Knowing the terror of the Lord when He comes, Paul persuaded
         men - 2Co 5:11
      2. He warned of flaming fire for those who know not God, nor obey
         the gospel - 2Th 1:7-9
      -- Perhaps Paul reasoned that punishment would be fearful beyond 
         comprehension

CONCLUSION

1. We may not know exactly what Paul covered when he reasoned about
   righteousness, self-control, and the judgment...

2. We do know the effect it had on Felix...
   a. At first Felix was afraid - Ac 24:25
   b. But he put off making the right decision, looking for a more
      opportune time - ibid.

Sadly, Felix seemed hardened by his lust for money, and despite other
opportunities to hear Paul for two years, he never responded to gospel
of Christ (Ac 24:26-27). 

What about us today?  Have we given heed to the Biblical revelation and
reasoning concerning such things as righteousness, self-control, and the
judgment?  Or have we endangered our souls by saying like Felix, "When I
have a more convenient time..."  

Remember Paul's plea in his epistle to the Corinthians:

   We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to
   receive the grace of God in vain.  For He says:

     "In an acceptable time I have heard you,
      And in the day of salvation I have helped you."

   Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of 
   salvation.
                                                - 2Co 6:1-2

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

From Gary... Bible Reading July 29


Bible Reading  

July 29

The World English Bible


July 29
2 Chronicles 19-21

2Ch 19:1 Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem.
2Ch 19:2 Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Should you help the wicked, and love those who hate Yahweh? for this thing wrath is on you from before Yahweh.
2Ch 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have put away the Asheroth out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.
2Ch 19:4 Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 19:5 He set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city,
2Ch 19:6 and said to the judges, Consider what you do: for you don't judge for man, but for Yahweh; and he is with you in the judgment.
2Ch 19:7 Now therefore let the fear of Yahweh be on you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with Yahweh our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes.
2Ch 19:8 Moreover in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites and the priests, and of the heads of the fathers' houses of Israel, for the judgment of Yahweh, and for controversies. They returned to Jerusalem.
2Ch 19:9 He commanded them, saying, Thus you shall do in the fear of Yahweh, faithfully, and with a perfect heart.
2Ch 19:10 Whenever any controversy shall come to you from your brothers who dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them, that they not be guilty towards Yahweh, and so wrath come on you and on your brothers: this do, and you shall not be guilty.
2Ch 19:11 Behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of Yahweh; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all the king's matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and Yahweh be with the good.

2Ch 20:1 It happened after this, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them some of the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle.
2Ch 20:2 Then there came some who told Jehoshaphat, saying, There comes a great multitude against you from beyond the sea from Syria; and behold, they are in Hazazon Tamar (the same is En Gedi).
2Ch 20:3 Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek to Yahweh; and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
2Ch 20:4 Judah gathered themselves together, to seek help of Yahweh: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek Yahweh.
2Ch 20:5 Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of Yahweh, before the new court;
2Ch 20:6 and he said, Yahweh, the God of our fathers, aren't you God in heaven? and aren't you ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? and in your hand is power and might, so that none is able to withstand you.
2Ch 20:7 Did not you, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it to the seed of Abraham your friend forever?
2Ch 20:8 They lived therein, and have built you a sanctuary therein for your name, saying,
2Ch 20:9 If evil come on us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house, and before you, (for your name is in this house), and cry to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.
2Ch 20:10 Now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned aside from them, and didn't destroy them;
2Ch 20:11 behold, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit.
2Ch 20:12 Our God, will you not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that comes against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are on you.
2Ch 20:13 All Judah stood before Yahweh, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.
2Ch 20:14 Then on Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite, of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of Yahweh in the midst of the assembly;
2Ch 20:15 and he said, Listen, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat: Thus says Yahweh to you, Don't you be afraid, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.
2Ch 20:16 Tomorrow go down against them: behold, they come up by the ascent of Ziz; and you shall find them at the end of the valley, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
2Ch 20:17 You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh with you, O Judah and Jerusalem; don't be afraid, nor be dismayed: tomorrow go out against them: for Yahweh is with you.
2Ch 20:18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before Yahweh, worshipping Yahweh.
2Ch 20:19 The Levites, of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites, stood up to praise Yahweh, the God of Israel, with an exceeding loud voice.
2Ch 20:20 They rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: believe in Yahweh your God, so you shall be established; believe his prophets, so you shall prosper.
2Ch 20:21 When he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who should sing to Yahweh, and give praise in holy array, as they went out before the army, and say, Give thanks to Yahweh; for his loving kindness endures forever.
2Ch 20:22 When they began to sing and to praise, Yahweh set ambushers against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were struck.
2Ch 20:23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to kill and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another.
2Ch 20:24 When Judah came to the place overlooking the wilderness, they looked at the multitude; and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and there were none who escaped.
2Ch 20:25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches and dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much.
2Ch 20:26 On the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Beracah; for there they blessed Yahweh: therefore the name of that place was called The valley of Beracah to this day.
2Ch 20:27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for Yahweh had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
2Ch 20:28 They came to Jerusalem with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets to the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 20:29 The fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the countries, when they heard that Yahweh fought against the enemies of Israel.
2Ch 20:30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet; for his God gave him rest all around.
2Ch 20:31 Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah: he was thirty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
2Ch 20:32 He walked in the way of Asa his father, and didn't turn aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh.
2Ch 20:33 However the high places were not taken away; neither as yet had the people set their hearts to the God of their fathers.
2Ch 20:34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the book of the kings of Israel.
2Ch 20:35 After this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel; the same did very wickedly:
2Ch 20:36 and he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish; and they made the ships in Ezion Geber.
2Ch 20:37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, Yahweh has destroyed your works. The ships were broken, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
2Ch 21:1 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Jehoram his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 21:2 He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
2Ch 21:3 Their father gave them great gifts, of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn.
2Ch 21:4 Now when Jehoram was risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and various also of the princes of Israel.
2Ch 21:5 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 21:6 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab; for he had the daughter of Ahab as wife: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.
2Ch 21:7 However Yahweh would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a lamp to him and to his children always.
2Ch 21:8 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves.
2Ch 21:9 Then Jehoram passed over with his captains, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, along with the captains of the chariots.
2Ch 21:10 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day: then did Libnah revolt at the same time from under his hand, because he had forsaken Yahweh, the God of his fathers.
2Ch 21:11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and made the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, and led Judah astray.
2Ch 21:12 There came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
2Ch 21:13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, like as the house of Ahab did, and also have slain your brothers of your father's house, who were better than yourself:
2Ch 21:14 behold, Yahweh will strike with a great plague your people, and your children, and your wives, and all your substance;
2Ch 21:15 and you shall have great sickness by disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness, day by day.
2Ch 21:16 Yahweh stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians who are beside the Ethiopians:
2Ch 21:17 and they came up against Judah, and broke into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
2Ch 21:18 After all this Yahweh struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease.
2Ch 21:19 It happened, in process of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of sore diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.
2Ch 21:20 Thirty-two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years: and he departed without being desired; and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

From Gary... Who am I?



Who am I? This is one very good question. When you meet someone, how they respond to introduction says a great deal about them.  Most people respond by their given name, or perhaps a nickname such as "Scotty" or "Mitch" but you won't here them say "Stinky" or "Fatso"- at least most people won't.  But, who are you? In thinking about this, the following came to mind...

Exodus 3:13-15 NASB
(13)  Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?"
(14)  God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
(15)  God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

NASB
Joh_6:51  "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."
Joh_8:12  Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

Joh_10:9  "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
Joh_10:11  "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

Joh_10:36  do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?
Joh_11:25  Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
Joh_14:6  Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Joh_15:5  "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

NASB
Rev_1:8  "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

Now, if you and your spouse (for this just say its my wife who is talking) meet someone, she may introduce you as "my husband" or my "Gary". And if one of our grandchildren is with us, she may introduce them as "my grand-daughter Lizzie" or "my grand-son Alex".  Men are prone to think of themselves as their work, i.e. plumber, architect or store clerk. Someone might also say: "I am just a housewife".  What's the point of all this? Well, if you look at the picture at the top, you can see it as BOTH a profile and a frontal view. So, there are many ways to think of yourself; identity (Exo. 3), work (John passages) or relationship in time to someone or sometime (Rev. 1:8 above). But, foolish me- I have left out the best part; for in fact the greatest designation of oneself can be found from the book of Acts...

Acts 11:26 NASB
(26)  and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And for an entire year they met with the church and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

Why?

Acts 4:10-12 NASB
(10)  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by this name this man stands here before you in good health.
(11)  "He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone.
(12)  "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

With all this in mind, the next time when someone asks you who you are, just say- my name is ____, but I like to think of myself as a Christian first and everything else just describes that...