muslim-beauty_Esther_01

Authorship

One of the main characters in the book of Esther was Mordecai, is the likely candidate to be the author of the account as well. The author would have been one who had intimate details of all of the historical details, meaning that he lived through them at the palace of Susa. While it is true that Mordecai is not mentioned by any of the other biblical authors, he is a historical person. Robert Gordis has no reservations about an undated cuneiform text has been found.

A Persian text dating from the last years of Darius I or the early years of Xerxes I mentions a government official in Susa named Marduka, who served as an inspector on an official tour … [T]he phrase yøšēb bša‘ar hammelekh, ‘sitting in the king’s gate,’ which is applied to Mordecai repeatedly in the book, indicates his role as a judge or a minor official in the Persian court before his elevation to the viziership. That there were two officials with the same name at the same time in the same place is scarcely likely.[1]

Edwin M. Yamauchi offers his thoughts on this finding as well,

Mardukâ is listed as a sipîr (‘an accountant’) who makes an inspection tour of Susa during the last years of Darius or early years of Xerxes. It is Ungnad’s conviction that ‘it is improbable that there were two Mardukas serving as high officials in Susa.’ He, therefore, concludes that this individual is none other than Esther’s uncle. This conclusion has been widely accepted.[2]

Again, this text undoubtedly seems to refer to Mardukâ (Mordecai) as the court official of Susa at the end of the reign of Xerxes I. Thus, this places Mordecai there at Susa, where he penned the records of the events found in the book of Esther, just after they took place, sometime between 460 to 455 B.C.E.

Historical Setting (Bible Background)

We have the historical account of King Ahasuerus of the Persian Empire, also known outside of the Bible as Xerxes I, or Xerxes the Great, reigning from 486/5 to 465 B.C.E.[3] His queen Vashti was disobedient during a major banquet and was subsequently replaced by the Jewess Esther, who was the cousin of Mordecai. Haman, the Agagite was elevated to the highest position in the realm, next to the King, with orders from Ahasuerus that all should bow before him, to which Mordecai refused. Therefore, Haman went to the king with half-truths and lies, seeking to have all Jews in the Persian Empire annihilated, to which the king quickly gave his signet ring for the approval to be carried out eleven months later. In a turn of events, it is Haman, who is hung on his stake, while Mordecai gets advanced to be the head of all the satraps, publishing a new law to allow the Jews to defend themselves the day they are to be annihilated.

While God is not directly mentioned in the book of Esther, his personal name is found there four times in acrostic form of the Tetragrammaton, JHVH or YHWH, Jehovah or Yahweh. (1:20) “It … and all the women will give.” (Heb.) Hi’ Wekhol-Hannashim Yittenu is a reverse acrostic of the Tetragrammaton, (YHWH). Also, see 5:4, 13; 7:7. The appropriate acrostic letters of the Tetragrammaton are marked to stand out in no less than three ancient Hebrew manuscripts. In the Masora (margin of the Hebrew text), these same letters are marked in red letters. This is something that the Jewish people would easily recognize, but the Persians would have never noticed. In addition, God’s hand is very involved in Esther from beginning to end, which is all too clear to anyone who reads it.

The book of Esther is a historical account, authentic, and true. The Jewish people accepted it as canonical.[4] Bible scholar Adele Berlin dates “the book’s composition to the early fourth century B.C.E., and assumes that Purim was an accepted Jewish festival by that time, a second-century B.C.E. date for the canonization of Esther is completely acceptable, even preferable.”[5] Some of what establishes the book of Esther as authentic and genuine is that the information within Esther is accurate, and there is a detailed knowledge of Persian life, law, as well as manners and customs, the topography of Susa, and of the inside of the Persian palaces. Archaeology has provided us with information about the palace, which is meticulous to the smallest detail, not to mention it harmonizes with the reign of Xerxes, as the account depicts it. The Greek historian Herodotus gives us information that validates the banquet that took place in the third year. (1:3) In addition, there was a discovery of Persian tablets from the book’s time that contain the name of an official at the court of Susa, Marduka (Mordecai?), during the reign of Xerxes I. While it cannot be said with certainty that this is the Mordecai of the account, it certainly adds to its authenticity.

The internal evidence adds to the authenticity as well, with its exactness, in the naming of the officials and servants throughout, as well as the naming of Haman’s ten sons. The family line of Mordecai and Esther is given, which goes clear back to Kish of the tribe of Benjamin. (2:5-7) The account speaks of how several of the major events were “recorded in the book of the chronicles” of the Persian kingdom. (2:23; 6:1; 10:2) The language of the Book of Esther is late Biblical Hebrew, as well as many Persian and Aramaic words added, which also matches the style of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, suggesting that it fits well into the period when it was written.[6]

Literary Form

A narrative is a story or an account of a sequence of events, generally in the order in which they happened. The narrative is the literary form found most often in God’s Word, with the Old Testament being 40 percent narrative and the New Testament 60 percent narrative. Biblical narrative involves such people as Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samson, David, Isaiah, Ezra, Jesus, Paul and hundreds of others, in such books as Genesis, Exodus, Joshua to Esther, Matthew to Acts, in addition to large portions of Numbers, Deuteronomy, and the Prophets. The following texts provide ample support that even the narrative Scriptures can offer us a principle, implication, or an extended meaning that we can learn from the Biblical accounts.

Theme

A colorful historical account of how God used Esther, exalting Esther as queen of Persia, with direction from her older cousin Mordecai, who was made the court official in the palace of Susa, to deliver the Jews from annihilation. (4:14; 9:1).

Purpose

Why did God have Mordecai pen the book of Esther?

Romans 15:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

1 Corinthians 10:6, 11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not be desirers of evil things, as they desired them. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

The above statements offer God included historical narratives Old Testament Scripture. In Romans 15:4 that which was written was written “for our instruction,” while in Paul’s Corinthian letter, the information was written, “as examples for us.” Thus, the Old Testament was written as 2 Timothy 3:16 brings out, “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

Place and Date of Writing

When we consider the date of Esther being written, we must look at the internal evidence, because there is no reference to the book of Esther in other literature. As was mentioned above, the intimate details of the account demonstrate that the writer had access to the annals of the Persian kings (2:23; 6:1; 10:2). In addition, it is clear that he was a Jew, who was a high-ranking official in the Persian Empire, who also lived through the events that took place in Susa, the citadel. It is very likely that Mordecai himself penned the book of Esther. Others have suggested that the writer was a Persian Jew, which is mere speculation. The events of the book of Esther cover about ten years, from 483 to 473 B.C.E. The place of where it was written is Susa, Elam.[7] The reign of Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), which continued into the 21st year is usually counted from 486/5 to 465/4 B.CE.

Some Old Testament Scholars have dated Esther from as early as the fifth century B.C. E. to as late as the time of the Maccabees (second, even the first centuries B.C.E.). The internal evidence (historical setting and Persian words) suggests that the book was written shortly after the reign of Ahasuerus, as he is referred to in past tense, but not too long thereafter. Artaxerxes Longimanus, Ahasuerus’ successor first accession year was in 465 B.C.E. and his first regnal year began in 464 B.C.E.[8] The writer of Esther was adamant that the Jewish people commemorate their deliverance, which led to the celebration of Purim.[9] This would have been needed shortly after the death of Ahasuerus in 465 B.C.E., yet early in the reign of Artaxerxes. Therefore, it is likely that Esther was penned about 460 to 455 B.C.E.

Apocryphal Additions to the Book of Esther

These Apocryphal[10] additions to Esther make up six passages with 105 verses that were added to the Greek Septuagint, not found in the Hebrew Old Testament, most likely by an Egyptian Jew sometime around 100 B.C.E.

The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible produce between 280 – 150 B.C.E. to meet the needs of Greek-speaking Jews outside Palestine. The Septuagint contains some books, not in the Hebrew canon. The Apocrypha are “books [or additions to books] included in the Septuagint and Vulgate but excluded from the Jewish and Protestant canons of the Old Testament.”― (Mirriam-Webster 2003) They are not the inspired, inerrant Word of God, and in many cases, the person writing these books or additions, are often dishonest, trying to represent falsely that the work is of an inspired author. The content within these apocryphal works not only contradict the inspired canonical books of the Bible, but also many times contradict themselves. Moreover, they are filled with historical and geographic errors and anachronisms.

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES Esther Chapter 1

ESTHER 1:20; 5:4, 13; 7:7 Why is Esther a part of the Bible Canon, when it does not mention God, nor use the Tetragrammaton?[11]

While God is not directly mentioned in the book of Esther, his personal name is found there four times in acrostic form of the Tetragrammaton, JHVH or YHWH, Jehovah or Yahweh. (1:20) “It … and all the women will give.” (Heb.) Hi’ Wekhol-Hannashim Yittenu is the first acrostic of the Tetragrammaton, (YHWH). Also, see 5:4, 13; 7:7. The appropriate acrostic letters of the Tetragrammaton are marked to stand out in no less than three ancient Hebrew manuscripts. In the Masora (margin of the Hebrew text), these same letters are marked in red letters. This is something that the Jewish people would easily recognize, but the Persians would have never noticed. In addition, God’s hand is very involved in Esther’s life from beginning to end, which is all too clear to anyone who reads the account of it, in the book of Esther.

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES Esther Chapters 2

ESTHER 2:1-18 Was it not wrong for Esther to participate in a pagan contest to become queen?

First, Esther did not seek this out, “Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai.” (2:8) Second, nothing in this historical account suggests that any of the women had to commit some immoral action. If that had been the case, we can be assured that God would not have used her as an instrument to deliver Israel at the appointed time. Moreover, Esther herself would have declined based on what we know about her. Third, when the king chose Esther as his queen, she had no alternative but to be a part of his court. However, we must realize that she was doing all of this because she knew she was going to be called on to risk her life for the sake of God’s people.

ESTHER 2:5-6 Was Mordecai taken into captivity with Jeconiah over 120 years earlier?

Esther 2:5-6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

5 Now there was a Jew in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite, who had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away.

Bible critics and liberal scholarship do not accept the traditional historicity of the Bible book or that Mordecai was a real person. They interpret Esther 2:5-6 as saying that Mordecai was taken into captivity with Jeconiah, which would mean that he was over 120 years old at the time of the events in the book of Esther, also having a young beautiful cousin 100 years younger. This just is not the case, as the author of Esther is not trying to convey the history of Mordecai, but rather to give his lineage. It is likely that Kish was his grandfather, and it is he, who was “carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah.” On this Gleason L. Archer writes,

On the basis of Est. 2:5–6 some critics have alleged that the author must have regarded Xerxes as a near successor to King Nebuchadnezzar since he implies that Mordecai was carried off in the deportation of Jehoiachin in 597 and yet was still very much alive in the reign of Xerxes (485–464 B.C.). But this deduction is founded upon a mistaken interpretation of the Hebrew text; the true antecedent of the relative pronoun who in verse 6 is not Mordecai himself but rather Kish, his great-grandfather. If it was Kish who was Jehoiachin’s contemporary, as the author implies, three generations would have elapsed by the time of Mordecai—a proper interval between 597 and 483.[12]

ESTHER 2:14-17 Did Esther have sexual relations with the king?

No, she did not. Verse 14 says, “In the evening she would go in and in the morning she would return to the second harem, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not again go into the king unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.” The third person pronoun in this verse, “she,” is a reference to “the young women” of verse 13, not Esther. These young women became the king’s concubines or secondary wives. On the other hand, verse 17 says, “The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

Thus, with Esther, it says nothing about the next morning, or that she was taken to the house of the concubines. She did not find favor through sexual relations, but through her humble appearance, and the person that everyone else grew to love immediately. Verse 15 says, “Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her.” Unlike all the women that came before, as well as Vashti, she was not acting as though she were more important or special than everyone else because of her great beauty, nor was she after the King’s possessions. “When the turn came for Esther … to go into the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised.” Esther is selfless, so she does not look to make some showy display, and therefore does not ask for anything beyond what Hegai advised, while the other women picked many jewels, knowing that they were allowed to keep them after their night with the king.

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES Esther Chapter 3

ESTHER 3:2 What is the most likely reason for Mordecai refusing to bow before Haman?

As was stated in the coverage of the chapter, the Israelites had no problem accepting the sovereignty of a nation that they may have been under, if it did not violate their worship to their God, Jehovah. Thus, they had a history of bowing before leaders out of respect, not worship. The issue here between Mordecai and Haman is more involved. Haman was an Agagite, an Amalekite, to which the Scriptures below will address. Mordecai felt that his bowing before Haman was an act of disloyalty to Jehovah. His refusal is based on his being a Jew. (3:3-4)

Exodus 17:14-16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

14 Then Jehovah said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in the book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar, and he called its name Jehovah Is My Banner; 16 and he said, “Because a hand is against the throne of Jah; Jehovah will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.”

Deuteronomy 25:17-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Revenge on the Amalekites

17 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, 18 how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. 19 Therefore it shall come about when Jehovah your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which Jehovah your God gives you as an inheritance to possess it, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget.

Amalek was a grandson of Esau, who was one of the chieftains of Edom. (Gen. 36:15, 16) Amalek’s name also stood for his ancestral descendants, The Amalekites.[13] The two sources below help us appreciate the level of hatred that Haman must have carried for the Jewish people, especially Mordecai.

[The Amalekites were a] Nomadic tribe of formidable people that first [led an unprovoked] attacked the Israelites after the exodus at Rephidim. Descendants of Amalek, the grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:12), they inhabited the desolate wasteland of the northeast Sinai Peninsula and the Negev. They were the first to attack Israel after the exodus (Num. 24:20). Israel won the initial battle (Exod. 17:8–16), but later was driven back into the Sinai wilderness by a coalition of Amalekites and Canaanites (Num. 14:39–45). Thereafter the Amalekites waged a barbaric guerrilla war against Israel (Deut. 25:17–19). Fighting continued after Israel settled in Canaan. Because of their atrocities, God commanded Saul to exterminate the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:2–3). Saul disobeyed and the Amalekites were not defeated completely until late in the eighth century B.C. (1 Chron. 4:43). No archaeological data concerning the Amalekites has been discovered to date.[14]

The Amalekites were a nomadic people descended from Esau (Gen. 36:12, 16). They typically ranged through the Negev and Sinai Peninsula, where they clashed with Israel during the Exodus (Ex. 17:8–13; Deut. 25:17–18). But during the reign of King Saul, the conflict became fateful. God ordered Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites and to take no booty from them. But Saul saved some of the loot and took the Amalekite king, Agag, as a captive. The prophet Samuel killed Agag, but not before informing Saul that his disobedience would cost him his throne (1 Sam. 15). Since Mordecai is associated with the house of Saul, the clash between Mordecai and Haman is set up as a “rematch” of the Saul-Agag affair.[15]

As one would expect there is no love lost between the descendants of Amalek and the Jewish people, especially the house of Saul. Haman is filled with fury when he discovers that the one person, who fails to bow before him, is also a Jew, and is of the house of Saul. Haman has the perfect opportunity to exact revenge on the Jewish people. Verse 1 of chapter three begins with Haman’s promotion.

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES Chapter 4

ESTHER 3:2 Didn’t Esther disobey a governmental authority that had been allowed by God.

Persian law said that no one was to go into the king uninvited, with the penalty being the possibility of the death penalty. On this point, Freedman and Chadwick write, “Etiquette in the Persian court was very strict. Except for the ‘seven nobles’ (see Esther 1:4), no one could approach the king unless they were summoned by him. The punishment for entering without being summoned was death, the same punishment given for murder or rebellion. The intruder was instantly put to death by the court attendants unless the king extended his golden scepter to the person to show approval, or at least acceptance, of the act. It was well understood, therefore, that whoever so appeared before the king risked his life. The fact that Ahasuerus extended his scepter to Esther when she entered the court uninvited shows the influence she had gained with him.”[1]

Romans 13:1-2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

13 Let every soul[2] be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God, and those that exist have been placed[3] by God. Therefore the one setting himself against authority has taken a stand against the ordinance of God; and those who have taken a stand against it will receive judgment against themselves.

God’s servants are to be obedient and subject “to the governing authorities,” which have been left in place by God, to serve human protection against chaos and anarchy. In fact, to be disobedient, such as breaking laws, or refusing to pay taxes, resists what God has allowed, “and those who resist will incur judgment.” However, there has always been an exception to this rule, which Peter addressed nicely when the governments asked Christians to stop do something; God had commanded them to do. Peter said, “We must obey God rather than men.”

In other words, if the government, any kind of authority asks us to do something that is against God’s Word, we obey God, nor some man-made rule. For example, if the government made a law that it was illegal to evangelize, Christians would still evangelize. They would have to obey Jesus’ command to proclaim the Word of God, to teach and make disciples.―Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Acts 1:8.

[1] James M. Freeman and Harold J. Chadwick, Manners & Customs of the Bible (North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998), 297.

[2] Or person

[3] Or established, instituted

Review Questions/Assignments:

  • In short, what historical account do we find in the book of Esther?
  • How is God’s personal name found in the book of Esther?
  • What establishes the book of Esther as authentic and genuine?
  • What internal evidence adds to the authenticity as well?
  • When considering the date, writer, time covered, what must be considered? Who is likely the author of Esther, and what period was covered?
  • What is the likely date of writing?
  • What was added to Esther, by whom and when?
  • Why does the Apocrypha not belong in the canon of the book of Esther?

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REASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and MindREASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and Mind

If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, …

BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism?BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism

Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation …

BIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the BasicsBIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the Basics

Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical …

CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of PersuasionCHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion

APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of seventy-two books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan …

CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM: Defending the Faith, Reasoning from the Scriptures, Explaining and Proving, Instructing in Sound Doctrine, and Overturning False Reasoning, [Second Edition]CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM, [Second Edition]

Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the …

THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]

MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist words should always be seasoned with salt as we share the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example …

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God's Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God’s Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. Matthew 24:14; …

YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]

The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for …

THE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From WithinTHE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From Within 

The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the1960’s has permeated the Western culture and …

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus' Witnesses to the Ends of the EarthEARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus’ Witnesses to the Ends of the Earth

EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …

CRISIS OF FAITH: Saving Those Who DoubtCRISIS OF FAITH Saving Those Who Doubt 

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …

Investigating Jehovah's Witnesses: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s WitnessesINVESTIGATING JEHOVAH?S WITNESSES: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s Witnesses

The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …

Translation and Textual Criticism

THE COMPLETE GUIDE to BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition]THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition] 

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.

CHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation DifferencesCHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation Differences

There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT The Science and Art of Textual CriticismTHE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …

MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" [Third Edition]MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” [Third Edition]

Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …

Biblical Studies

HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of GodHOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of God

A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are …

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & ContentTHE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded] 

The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has …

THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded] 

Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of …

INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical HermeneuticsINTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …

HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to HermeneuticsHOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics

…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …

THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern PeopleTHE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People

Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …

DEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in RevelationDEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation

church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy ChurchesA Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …

DYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted SuicideDYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …

JOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK: Experience the Ministry of Jesus in a Spiritually Captivating WayJOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK

Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …

ANGELS & DEMONS: The Bible AnswersANGELS & DEMONS The Bible Answers

What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …

Bible Doctrines

WHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …

IDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast RevealedIDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast Revealed

Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …

UNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithUNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …

The SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithThe SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …

WHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …

Miracles? - Do They Still Happen Today?: God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith HealingMIRACLES – DO THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY? God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith Healing 

Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …

HOMOSEXUALITY - The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithHOMOSEXUALITY – The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …

Christian Fiction

THE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm's LengthTHE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length

…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …

THE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed WrathTHE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed Wrath

Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …

SEEKERS AND DECEIVERS: Which One are You? It Is Time to Join the Fight!

There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to  …

The Shadow Flames of Uluru: Book ONE in the CHAOS DOWN UNDER 

When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …

WRITE PLACE, RIGHT TIME: The Pre-Apocalyptic Misadventure of a Freelance Journalist 

“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.

[1] Robert Gordis, ‘Religion, Wisdom and History in the Book of Esther—ANew Solution to an Ancient Crux’, JBL 100 (1981), pp. 359-88 (384). The argu-ment is exactly that of Arthur Ungnad (see notes 14, 24). Gordis had already putforward his view of ‘sitting in the gate’ in his ‘Studies in the Esther Narrative’,  JBL 95 (1976), pp. 43-58 (47-48)

[2] Edwin M. Yamauchi, ‘The Archaeological Background of Esther: Archaeological Backgrounds of the Exilic and Postexilic Era’, BSac 127 (1980), pp. 99-117(107).

[3] For those unfamiliar, B.C.E. time counts with the numbers going down to go forward, such as the date above reign of Xerxes. There is no zero in Roman numerals, so time would be counted 3 B.C.E – 2 B.C.E. – 1 B.C.E – 1 C.E. – 2 C.E. – 3 C.E., as there is no zero year. As you can see, once you cross over in the Common Era (C.E.), the numbers go up to go forward in time.

[4] “Canon” originally meant “reed” and came to signify a ruler or measuring stick. In this sense, the Bible is the rule or standard of authority for Christians. The concept of “canon” and process of “canonization” refers to when the books gained the status of “Holy Scripture,” authoritative standards for faith and practice.― (Brand, Draper and Archie 2003, 200).

[5] (Berlin 2001, xliv).

[6] Linguistic analysis shows the language of the book to be Late Biblical Hebrew (like the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Chronicles, and some of the later prophets), with some Mishnaic Hebrew features. Typical of the Hebrew of the Persian period is the use of late vocabulary, words like birah, “capital, fortress”; keter, “crown”; ʾigeret, “letter”; malkhut instead of mamlakhah for “kingdom.” There are loanwords from Aramaic, like yekar, “honor,” and from Persian, like dat, “law.” Late syntactic features include an increased use of the infinitive construct for other forms of the verb (as in 1:17 and 9:14); reversed order for names and epithets (“Esther the queen” instead of “Queen Esther”); and the presence of elliptical sentences that lack a specific subject or verb (1:2).42 The use of the Babylonian names for the months (Adar, etc.) is also a late linguistic feature. The language of Esther is recognizably late, even though it has an archaizing tendency, to make it sound more like earlier parts of the Bible. (Berlin 2001, xli)

[7] The region of Elam is on the western edge of ancient Persia, modern Iran. The Zagros Mountains lie east and north while the Persian Gulf is to the south and the Tigris River is on the west. The ancient capital of the area is Susa.― (Brand, Draper and Archie 2003, 470).

[8] A regnal year is the official years of a king or queen, which usually ran from Nisan (March/April) to Nisan. The accession year would only cover part of a year. If a hypothetical king, say Dumas, died six months before a new year of say 686 B.C.E. The accession year of his successor would be 687 B.C.E., but his first regnal year would be 686 B.C.E.

[9] Purim is a Jewish festival marking the Jewish people’s deliverance from a plot to annihilate them, which is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar.

[10] Apocrypha (Greek apokryphos, “hidden”), a word coined by the 5th-century biblical scholar Saint Jerome for the biblical books received by the church of his time as part of the Greek version of the Old Testament (see Septuagint), but that were not included in the Hebrew Bible. In the Authorized, or King James, Version, the books are either printed as an appendix or are omitted altogether; they are not considered canonical by Protestants.―Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

[11] The Tetragrammaton is the Hebrew name for God and is found in the Old Testament 6828 times: a four-letter Hebrew name of God revealed to Moses, usually written JHVH or YHWH (Exodus 3:13-14).

[12] Gleason Archer Jr., A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 3rd. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), 465.

[13] Deuteronomy 25:17; Judges 7:12; 1 Samuel 15:2

[14] LeBron Matthews, “Amalekite”, in Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, ed. Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England et al., 54 (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003).

[15] John H Walton, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (Old Testament) Volume 3: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, 486-87 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009).

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