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Understanding What God Anointed Jesus to Do

  Before I address what God anointed Jesus to do, I want to make sure you know when he was anointed. The four Gospels agree on this; below is the account of Mark 1:9-11:   Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son , in whom I am well pleased.”   That was the moment Jesus became “ The Anointed One ” (“ The Christ ”) and “ The Son of God . ” Jesus announced what God anointed him to do at his hometown synagogue in Nazareth. The account of his announcement is found in Luke 4:16-21.   So Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Shabbat, and stood up to read. And he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. And when he had opened the scroll, he found the place where it was written:   “The Spirit of Yahweh is upon me, because He has anointed me to pr
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Discovering What “Christ” Means

  In my previous email I explained how we know the word “ Christ ” is a transliteration of a Greek word and what a transliteration is. ( Click here if you have not read it .) You understand that there is a big difference between a transliteration and a translation. A transliteration does not tell us what the Greek word that was transliterated meant . The graphic above traces the journey of English word “ Christ ” back to the Greek word “ Christos ” and provides its translation -- “ anointed .”   In another email I explained how we know that Jesus spoke and taught in the Hebrew language . ( Click here to read it .) Someone wrote down the Hebrew words of Jesus spoke, someone else translated them into Greek, others copied and recopied the Greek translations, and some of those copies were used by the people that made English translations of the New Testament. The next step is identifying the Hebrew words behind those Greek translations .   We used the Septuagint , a Greek translation of

Do You Know What Christ Is?

  The words “ Jesus Christ Son of God ” are known globally. Therefore, of all the words in the New Testament , “ Christ ” one word people around the world immediately recognize. If there is any word Christians ( Christ + ians ) should have an accurate understanding of, shouldn’t it be the word Christ ?   I have heard the words “ Jesus Christ ” all of my life. I guess I subconsciously thought “ Christ ” was the last name of Jesus. Jim Myers is my name, so wasn’t he Jesus Christ . Interestingly, I never thought of his mother as “ Mary Christ .”     The word “ Christ ” is an English word. The English language did not exist at the time Jesus lived and led his movement. Therefore, Jesus did not speak English . In my previous emails, I discussed how we know that Jesus spoke Hebrew . But the most ancient manuscripts of the books of the New Testament which contain his words were written in Greek . In order to understand how the Hebrew words of Jesus became Greek words and ended up i

America Without the Declaration of Independence and Constitution?

  It always amazes me at how many wisdom lessons are embedded in the Hebrew text of the Jewish Scriptures. When the teachings of Jesus are reconstructed and viewed through the Hebrew language he spoke, we discover stories related to situations we face in our lives. For many Christians today that sounds strange because the main purpose of the Bible is to prove their religious beliefs are right. Why is that important? Only people with the right beliefs will go to Heaven . What could be more important than that? So, most Christians would probably answer -- “Nothing is more important!”   But there is another question I believe everyone with a Christian Biblical Heritage should ask – “What is most important to God?” I was taught that “ believing in Jesus ” was most important. However, after thirty-five years of using science based linguistic models to understand what Jesus did and said, I know that what I had been taught was wrong. Instead of “ believing IN him , ” he wanted people

A Babylonian Myth Helps Us Understand the Story of Noah

  In my previous email, There is a Limit to Evil Actions , I described “ humans being like clouds of flies swarming to do violent and evil things .” For the exiles from Judea living in Babylon in the 6 th and 5 th centuries BCE, “ swarming like flies ” had a special meaning. They were familiar with a famous Babylonian myth called the Epic of Gilgamesh . It was very popular and part of public celebrations that they would have seen annually. T he history of the Babylonian story begins with five Sumerian poems dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2100 BCE) . [i] It was being told three hundred years before Abraham was born.   It also contains a “ Flood Story .” In this story, the flood happened because the “ council of gods ” simply decided to destroy mankind for no particular reason. They swore each other to secrecy and didn’t want people to know what was going to happen. But Ea , the god who made humans, warned a man from Shuruppak (a city on the Euphrates River). Ea also gav

There is a Limit to Evil Actions

  The first five stories in Genesis identify God in different ways. They also record interactions between God and people, and between people and people. These stories make it clear that there is a limit to how far people can stray from the path God created for them to follow. Below is a quick review of the stories.   In the first story (Genesis 1:1-2:4a), God is “ ruach elohim . ” He empowered humans fulfill this vision. Humans will reveal His image on earth by doing things that measure up to His TOV Standard ( things that protect lives, preserve lives, make lives more functional, and/or increase the quality of life ).   In the second story (Genesis 2:4b-3:24), God is “ yhvh elohim .” He gave humans a commandment to protect their lives by not eating fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of TOV and RAH . They disobeyed, were driven out of the Garden in Eden, lost access to the Tree of Life , and became mortal.   In the third story (Genesis 4:1-27), God is “ yhvh . ” Adam and Eve c

The Jewish Paradox of God

  Judaism has never been a religion of fixed doctrines or dogmas. It is, and has been, a complex system of evolving ideas and beliefs. This has created a diversity of Jewish views, but there is within those views an overarching rubric that unites Jews of every persuasion, from the most Orthodox to the most liberal or secular. This rubric, at once so dynamic and so compelling in its possibilities – it consists of Judaism’s “sacred narratives (stories).” The first two stories in Genesis are cornerstones of “ the rubric .” There is no one authoritative Jewish conception of God, although all Jewish thinkers agree on this:   God is one and invisible .   However, the Book of Genesis opens with two sacred stories about God that seem to be a paradox. A paradox is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true. This paradox is revealed in their references to God -- “ ruach elohim ” and “ yhvh