Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS BIBLICAL CRITICISM gift of prophecy

INTRODUCTION

Early Gospels

[a-pok’-ri-fal gos’-pels] The introduction to the third canonical Gospel shows that in the days of the writer, when the apostles of the Lord were still living, it was a common practice to write and publish accounts of the acts and words of Jesus. It has even been maintained (S. Baring-Gould, Lost and Hostile Gospels, xxiii, London, 1874) that at the close of the 1st century, almost every church had its own gospel with which alone it was acquainted. These were probably derived, or professed to be derived, from the oral reports of those who had seen, heard, and, it may be, conversed with our Lord. It was dissatisfaction with these compositions that moved Luke to write his Gospel. Whether any of these ante-Lukan documents are among those still known to us is hardly longer doubtful. Scholars of repute–Grotius, Grabe, Mill–were in earlier times disposed to place the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Gospel of the Ebionites, and the Gospel of the Egyptians among those alluded to by Luke, some holding the Gospel of the Hebrews to be as early as just after the middle of the 1st century. More recent criticism does not allow so early an appearance for those gospels, though a fairly early date is still postulated for the Gospel of the Hebrews. The Protevangelium of James (noticed below) is still held by some as possibly falling within the 1st century (EB, I, 259).

Canonical Gospels

However this may be, there can be no doubt that by the close of the 1st century and the early part of the 2nd century, opinion was practically unanimous in recognition of the authority of the four Gospels of the canonical Scriptures. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (180 AD), recognizes four, and only four Gospels, as “pillars” of the church. The Harmonies of Theophilus, bishop of Antioch (168-80 AD), and of Tatian, and the Apology of Justin Martyr carry back the tradition to a much earlier period of the century, and, as Liddon proves at considerable length (Bampton Lectures, 2nd ed., 210-19), “it is scarcely too much to assert that every decade of the 2nd century furnishes its share of proof that the four Gospels as a whole, and John’s in particular, were to the church of that age what they are to the church of the present.” The recent attempt of Professor Bacon of Yale to get rid of the important authority of Irenaeus (The Fourth Gospel in Research and Debate, New York, 1910) will not succeed; it has been shown to be merely assertive where there is no evidence and agnostic where evidence is apparently demonstrative. During the last century the Gospels, as regards their composition, credibility and historicity, were subjected to the most searching and unsparing criticism which, though intimations of it were previously not wanting, may be said to have begun when Strauss, to use Liddon’s words, “shocked the conscience of all that was Christian in Europe” by the publication of his first Life of Jesus. The methods pursued in this work consisted largely in the application to the sacred books, and especially to the Gospels, of the principles of criticism that had for forty years previously been used in estimating the structure and composition of some of the literary products of antiquity; and the controversy excited by this criticism can hardly yet be said to have subsided. This is not the place for entering upon an account of the controversy; it may be sufficient here to say that the traditional positions of the church have been ably defended, and in particular, that the claims of the canonical Gospels have been abundantly maintained.

Apocryphal Gospels

Whatever was the fate of the ante-Lukan and other possible 1st-century gospels, it is with the 2nd century and the formation of an authoritative canon that the apocryphal gospels, such as we now have, for the most part begin to appear. In the days of the reproduction of documents by manuscript, of restricted communications between different localities, and when the church was only as yet forming and completing its organization, the formation and spread of such gospels would be much easier than now. The number of such gospels is very considerable, amounting to about fifty. These exist mainly in fragments and scattered notices; though some, as pointed out below, are either entire or nearly so. The apparent number has probably been increased by the use of different names for the same document. Thirty are named by Hofmann with more or less explanation in RE, I, 511; a complete hat is given in Fabricius (Cod. Apocrypha New Testament, I, 355 ff). Ebionistic and Gnostic circles were specially prolific of such gospels. “It would be easy,” says Salmon (Intro, 1st ed., 239) “to make a long list of names of gospels said to have been in use in different Gnostic sects; but very little is known as to their contents, and that little is not such as to lead us to attribute to them the very slightest historical value.” Of many indeed no more is known than the names of the authors, such as the gospels of Basilides, of Cerinthus, of Apelles, of Matthias, of Barnabas, of Bartholomew, of Eve, of Philemon and many others. The scholars and authorities of the early church were quite well aware of the existence and aims of these productions. It is noteworthy also that they had no hesitation in characterizing them as they deserved. The Marcosians, according to Irenaeus, adduced “an unspeakable number of apocryphal and spurious writings, which they themselves had forged, to bewilder the minds of the foolish”; and Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 25) gives the following list of spurious and disputed books: “That we have it in our power to know both these books (the canonical) and those that are adduced by the heretics under the name of the apostles such, namely, as compose the gospels of Peter, of Thomas, and of Matthew, and certain others beside these or such as contain the Acts of Andrew and John, and of the other apostles, of which no one of those writers in the ecclesiastical succession has condescended to make any mention in his works: and, indeed, the character of the style itself is very different from that of the apostles, and the sentiments, and the purport of these things that are advanced in them, deviating as far as possible from sound orthodoxy, evidently prove they are the fictions of heretical men: whence they are not only to be ranked among the spurious writings but are to be rejected as altogether absurd and impious.” In the appendix to Westcott’s Introduction to the Study of the Gospels will be found, with the exception of those recently discovered in Egypt, a complete list of the non-canonical sayings and deeds ascribed to our Lord as recorded in the patristic writings; and also a list of the quotations from the non-canonical gospels where these are only known by quotations.

The aim of the apocryphal gospels may be regarded as (1) heretical or (2) supplemental or legendary: that is to say, such as either were framed in support of some heresy or such as assume the canonical gospels and try to make additions–largely legendary–to them. Before considering these it may be well to take separate account of the Gospel according to the Hebrews.

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Gospel According to the Hebrews

The undoubted early date of this gospel, the character of most of its not very numerous quotations, the respect with which it is uniformly mentioned by early writers, and the esteem in which it is at present held by scholars in general, entitle the Gospel according to the Hebrews to special notice. Apart from the tradition, to which it is not necessary to attach too great importance, that represented our Lord as commanding His disciples to remain for twelve years in Jerusalem, it is reasonable to suppose that for the Christian communities resident in Jerusalem and Palestine a written gospel in their own language (Western Aramaic) would soon be a necessity, and such a gospel would naturally be used by Jewish Christians of the Diaspora. Jewish Christians, for example, settled in Alexandria, might use this gospel, while native Christians, as suggested by Harnack, might use the Gospel of the Egyptians, till of course both were superseded by the four Gospels sanctioned by the church. There is no proof however that the gospel was earlier than the Synoptics, much less that it was among the ante-Lukan gospels. Harnack, indeed, by a filiation of documents for which there seems hardly sufficient warrant, placed it as early as between 65 and 100 AD. Salmon, on the other hand (Intro, Leer X) concludes that “the Nazarene gospel, so far from being the mother, or even the sister of one of our canonical four, can only claim to be a grand-daughter or grand-niece.” Jerome (400 AD) knew of the existence of this gospel and says that he translated it into Greek and Lat; quotations from it are found in his works and in those of Clement of Alexandria. Its relation to the Gospel of Matthew, which by almost universal consent is declared to have been originally written in Hebrew (i.e. Aramaic), has given rise to much controversy. The prevalent view among scholars is that it was not the original of which Matthew’s Gospel was a Greek translation, but still that it was a fairly early composition. Some, like Salmon and Harnack, are disposed to regard Jerome’s Hebrew Gospel as to all intents a fifth gospel originally composed for Palestinian Christians, but which became of comparatively insignificant value with the development of Christianity into a world-religion. Besides two references to the baptism of Jesus and a few of his sayings, such as–“Never be joyful except when ye shall look upon your brother in love”; “Just now my Mother, the Holy Spirit, took me by one of my hairs and bore me away to the great mountain Thabor”–it records the appearance of our Lord to James after the resurrection, adduced by Paul (1Co 15:7) as one of the proofs of that event; but of course Paul might have learned this from the lips of James himself as well as from ordinary tradition, and not necessarily from this gospel. This indeed is the principal detail of importance which the quotations from this gospel add to what we know from the Synoptics. In other divergences from the Synoptics where the same facts are recorded, it is possible that the Gospel according to the Hebrews may relate an earlier and more reliable tradition. On the other hand, the longest quotation, which gives a version of Christ’s interview with the Rich Young Ruler, would seem to show, as Westcott suggests, that the Synoptics give the simpler and therefore the earlier form of the common narrative. Many scholars, however, allow that the few surviving quotations of this gospel should be taken into account in constructing the life of Christ. The Ebionites gave the name of Gospel of the Hebrews to a mutilated gospel of Matthew. This brings us to the heretical gospels.

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HERETICAL GOSPELS

Gospel of the Ebionites

The Ebionites may be described generally as Jewish Christians who aimed at maintaining as far as possible the doctrines and practices of the Old Testament and may be taken as representing originally the extreme conservative section of the Council of Jerusalem mentioned in Ac 15:1-29. They are frequently mentioned in patristic literature from the 2nd to the 4th centuries, and the prolonged Gnostic controversies of those times may well have founded among them different sects or at least parties. Accordingly Jerome, a writer of the 4th century, states (Ep ad August. 122 13) that he found in Palestine Jewish Christians known as Nazarenes and Ebionites. Whether these were separate sects or simply supporters of more liberal or narrower views of the same sect cannot well be determined. Some, such as Harnack and Uhlhorn, have held that the two names are general designations for Jewish Christians; others regard the Ebionites as the most retrograde and the narrowest of Jewish Christians, while the Nazarenes were more tolerant of difference of belief and practice. The Gospel of the Ebionites or the Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, as it was also called, represented along with the Gospel of the Hebrews (noticed above) this Judeo-Christian spirit. Some fragments of the Gospel of the Ebionites are preserved in Epiphanius (d 376). He speaks of the Nazarenes as “having the Gospel according to Matthew in a most complete form, in Hebrew” (i.e. Aramaic), though he immediately adds that he does not know whether “they removed the genealogies from Abraham to Christ,” that is to say, whether they accepted or rejected the virgin birth of Christ. In contrast with this statement he says that the Ebionites had a gospel “called the Gospel according to Matthew, not entire and perfectly complete, but falsified and mutilated, which they call the Hebrew gospel.” The extant fragments from the gospel are given in Westcott (Intro, 437 f). They “show that its value is quite secondary and that the author has simply compiled it from the canonical, and especially from the Synoptic Gospels, adapting it at the same time to the views and practices of Gnostic Ebionism” (DCG, I, 505).

Gospel of the Egyptians

Three short and somewhat mystic verses are all that are left of what is known as the Gospel of the Egyptians. They occur in Book III of the Stromateis of Clement of Alexandria, who devoted that book to a refutation of Encratism, that is, the rejection, as absolutely unlawful, of the use of marriage, of flesh meat and of wine. Already in the Pauline Epistles are met parties with the cry (Col 2:21) “Handle not, nor taste, nor touch,” and (1Ti 4:3) “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats.” The verses in Clement read as follows: “When Salome asked how long will death prevail? The Lord said, As long as ye women bear children: for I have come to destroy the function of women. And Salome said to him. Did I not well then in not bearing children? And the Lord answered and said, Eat of every herb, but do not eat of that which is bitter. And when Salome asked when the things would be known about which she had inquired, the Lord said, When ye trample on the garment of shame, and when the two shall be one, and the male with the female neither male nor female.” The words assuredly vary much from the usual character of those of our Lord. Modern writers vary as to their encratite tendency and as to how far the Gospel of the Egyptians was practical. With so little to go upon, it is not easy to form a conclusion. It may have contained other passages on account of which Origen deemed it heretical. It was used by the Naassenes and Sabellians. The date of the Gospel is between 130 and 150.

Gospel of Marcion

The Gospel of Marcion would seem to have been intended as a direct counteractive to the Aramaic gospels. A native of Pontus and the son of a bishop, Marcion settled at Rome in the first half of the 2nd century and became the founder of the anti-Jewish sect that acknowledged no authoritative writings but those of Paul. This work forms a striking example of what liberties, in days before the final formation of the canon, could be taken with the most authoritative and the most revered documents of the faith, and also as showing the free and practically unlimited nature of the controversy, of which the canon as finally adopted was the result. He rejected the Old Testament entirely, and of the New Testament retained only the Gospel of Luke, as being of Pauline origin, with the omission of sections depending on the Old Testament and ten epistles of Paul, the pastoral epistles being omitted. The principal Church Fathers agree upon this corruption of Luke’s Gospel by Marcion; and the main importance of his gospel is that in modern controversy it was for some time assumed to be the original gospel of which Luke’s Gospel was regarded as merely an expansion. The theory was shown first in Germany and afterward independently in England to be quite untenable. It was lately revived by the author of Supernatural Religion; but Dr. Sanday’s work on The Gospels in the Second Century (chapter viii) may be said to have closed the controversy. (Compare also Salmon’s Intro, LectXI .)

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Gospel of Peter

Until about a quarter of a century ago no more was known of the Gospel of Peter than of the crowd of heretical gospels referred to above. From Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica, VI, 12, 2) it was known that a Gospel of Peter was in use in the church of Rhossus, a town in the diocese of Antioch at the end of the 2nd century, that controversy had arisen as to its character, and that after a careful examination of it Serapion, bishop of Antioch (190-203), had condemned it as docetic. Origen (died 253 AD), in his commentary on Mt 10:17, refers to the gospel as saying that “there are certain brothers of Jesus, the sons of Joseph by a former wife, who lived with him before Mary.” Eusebius further in Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 3, 2 knows nothing of the Gospel according to Peter being handed down as a catholic writing, and in Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 25, 6 he includes the Gospel of Peter among the forged heretical gospels. Theodoret, one of the Greek ecclesiastical historians (390-459), says that the Nazarenes used a gospel called “according to Peter.” The gospel is also referred to in Jerome (De Viris Illustr., chapter 1) and it is condemned by the Decretum Gelasianum (496?). Salmon (Intro, 231) remarks: “Of the book no extracts have been preserved, and apparently it never had a wide range of circulation.” These words were written in 1885. In the following year the French Archaeological Mission, working in upper Egypt, found in a tomb, supposed to be a monk’s, at Akhmim (Panopolis), a parchment containing portions of no less than three lost Christian works, the Book of Enoch, the Gospel of Peter and the Apocalypse of Peter. These were published in 1892 and have given rise to much discussion. The gospel has been carefully reproduced in facsimile and edited by competent scholars The fragment is estimated to contain about half of the original gospel. It begins in the middle of the history of the Passion, Just after Pilate has washed his hands from all responsibility and ends in the middle of a sentence when the disciples at the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were betaking themselves to their homes “But I (Simon Peter, the ostensible writer) and Andrew my brother took our nets and went to the sea; and there was with us Levi the son of Alpheus whom the Lord. ….” Harnack (Texte und Untersuchungen, IX, 2, 2nd edition, 76) exhibits about thirty new traits contained in the Petrine account of the Passion and burial. These are given in detail in an additional volume of the Ante-Nicene Library: Recently Discovered manuscripts, etc., Edinburgh, 1897. But Dr. Swete (Gospel of Peter, xv, London, 1893) shows that “even details which seem to be entirely new or which directly contradict the canonical narrative, may have been suggested by it”; and he concludes that notwithstanding the large amount of new matter which it contains, “there is nothing in this portion of the Petrine Gospel which compels us to assume the use of sources other than the canonical gospels.” To Professor Orr (NT Apocryphal Writings, xix f) the Gnostic origin of the gospel seems clear in the story given of the Resurrection; and its docetic character–that is, that it proceeded from those who held that Christ had only the semblance of a body–from the statement that on the cross Jesus was silent as one who felt no pain, and from the dying cry from the cross, “My power, my power, thou hast forsaken me,” the really Divine Christ having departed before the crucifixion. The date of the gospel has been placed by some in the first quarter, and by others in the third quarter, of the 2nd century.

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Gospel of Judas

The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel whose content consists of conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot. It is thought to have been composed in the second century by Gnostic Christians, not by Judas since it contains late-2nd-century theology. The only copy of it known to exist is a Coptic language text that has been carbon dated to AD 280, plus or minus 60 years. It has been suggested that the text derives from an earlier Greek version. A translation of the text was first published in early 2006 by the National Geographic Society.

In contrast to the canonical gospels, which paint Judas as a betrayer who delivered Jesus to the authorities for crucifixion in exchange for money, the Gospel of Judas portrays Judas’s actions as done in obedience to instructions given to him by Jesus of Nazareth. It does not claim that the other disciples knew about Jesus’s true teachings. On the contrary, it asserts that they had not learned the true Gospel, which Jesus taught only to Judas Iscariot, the sole follower belonging to the “holy generation” among the disciples.

A leather-bound Coptic language papyrus document that surfaced during the 1970s, near Beni Masar, Egypt, was named the Codex Tchacos after an antiquities dealer, Frieda Nussberger-Tchacos, who became concerned about the deteriorating condition of the manuscript. First translated in the early 2000s, the codex contains text that appears to be from the late 2nd century, and includes the self-titled “Gospel of Judas.” (Euangelion Ioudas) which relates the story of Jesus’s death from the viewpoint of Judas.

The manuscript was radiocarbon dated and described by the National Geographic as showing a likely date between AD 220-340.

Today the manuscript is in over a thousand pieces, with many sections missing due to poor handling and storage. Some passages are only scattered words; others contain many lines. According to Coptic scholar Rodolphe Kasser, the codex originally contained 31 pages, with writing on both sides; however, when it came to the market in 1999, only 13 pages remained. It is speculated that individual pages had been removed and sold.

It has also been speculated, on the basis of textual analysis concerning features of dialect and Greek loan words, that the Coptic text contained in the codex may be a translation from an older Greek manuscript dating, at the earliest, to approximately AD 130–170. Cited in support is the reference to a “Gospel of Judas” by the early Christian writer Irenaeus of Lyons, who, in arguing against Gnosticism, called the text a “fictitious history”. However, it is uncertain whether the text mentioned by Irenaeus is, in fact, the same text as the Coptic “Gospel of Judas” found in the Codex Tchachos.

The Gospel of Judas consists of 16 chapters which document Jesus’s teaching about spiritual matters and cosmology. According to the text, Judas is the only one of Jesus’s disciples who accurately understands the words of his master. This Gospel contains few narrative elements; essentially, the Gospel records how Judas was taught by Jesus the true meaning of his message.

The Gospel contains ideas which contradicted those circulating in the early Christian church. The author says that God is essentially a “luminous cloud of light” who exists in an imperishable realm. Adamas, the spiritual father of all humanity, was created in God’s image and dwelled in the imperishable realm.

At the beginning of time, God created a group of angels and lower gods. Twelve angels were willed to “come into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld]”. The angels of creation were tasked with creating a physical body for Adamas, which became known as the first man Adam. Gradually, humanity began to forget its divine origins and some of Adam’s descendants (Cain and Abel) became embroiled in the world’s first murder. Many humans came to think that the imperfect physical universe was the totality of creation, losing their knowledge of God and the imperishable realm.

Jesus was sent as the Son of the true God, not of one of the lesser gods. His mission was to show that salvation lies in connecting with the God within the man. Through embracing the internal God, the man can then return to the imperishable realm.

Eleven of the disciples Jesus chose to spread his message misunderstood the central tenets of his teaching. They were obsessed with the physical world of the senses. The author says that they continued to practice religious animal sacrifice, which pleased the lower gods but did not help to foster a connection with the true God. They wrongly taught that those martyred in the name of Christ would be bodily resurrected.

In contrast, Jesus is able to teach Judas the true meaning of his life, ministry, and death. Mankind can be divided into two races, or groups. Those who are furnished with the immortal soul, like Judas, can come to know the God within and enter the imperishable realm when they die. Those who belong to the same generation of the other eleven disciples cannot enter the realm of God and will die both spiritually and physically at the end of their lives. As practices that are intertwined with the physical world, animal sacrifice and a communion ceremony centered around “cannibalism” (the consumption of Jesus’ flesh and blood) are condemned as abhorrent. The other Gospels say that Jesus had to die in order to atone for the sins of humanity. The author of Judas expresses the view that this sort of substitutionary justice pleases the lower gods and angels. The true God is gracious and thus does not demand any sacrifice.

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As a Gnostic Text

Amy-Jill Levine, professor of New Testament Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, was on the team of scholars responsible for unveiling the work. She said that the Gospel of Judas contains no new historical information concerning Jesus or Judas. However, clearly, the Gnostic gospels are intended to undermine, rather than strengthen, faith in the Bible. (Acts 20:30) Unless verifiable, no historical information from an apocryphal Gospel should be trusted.

Liberal Historians Elaine Pagels and Karen Leigh King argue that a more nuanced, contextualized understanding of alternative interpretations of the Christian tradition should inform discussions of Gnosticism. In the centuries following Jesus’s death, many differing views of the meaning of his life and death existed. Nicene Christianity (i.e. the views which came to be summarized in the doctrines contained in the Nicene Creed) existed alongside various cults (one of which was labeled ‘Gnosticism’) for centuries, until the Nicenian interpretation became accepted as “mainstream” Christianity.

Best-selling authors, such as Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels, who are leading scholars of early Christianity and Gnosticism, rushing, published their analyses and commentaries of the “Gospel of Judas” that essentially followed the textual reconstruction by the original team. This was a mistake because, shortly thereafter, other scholars, such as April DeConick and Birger Pearson, communicated their concerns. The showed that the National Geographic Society was in a rush in its effort for a media exclusive. Moreover, they neglected the normal academic process of thorough analysis and pre-publication peer review, the team was forced to sign nondisclosure agreements.

Working separately, DeConick and Pearson both determined that some of the key sections of the fragmentary codex had been had not been properly translated by the previous scholars. According to DeConick’s reconstruction of the text, Jesus calls Judas the “Thirteenth Demon,” not the “thirteenth spirit.” Jesus also says to Judas in a way that leaves no doubt that he will not ascend to the “kingdom.” Instead of ‘exceeding’ the other disciples, Jesus says to Judas: “You will do worse than all of them. For the man that clothes me, you will sacrifice him.” In DeConick’s judgment, the “Gospel of Judas” is an ancient Gnostic distortion that mimics the canonical Gospels as it ridicules all the apostles. The final conclusion taken by DeConick and Pearson is that in the “Gospel of Judas,” Judas is definitely no hero. Rather than weakening, impairing, or undermining the Scripture, the “Gospel of Judas,” in reality, confirms apostolic warnings, such as that of Paul recorded at Acts 20:29:30: “I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

The Gospel of Judas was condemned by Irenaeus in his anti-Gnostic work Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies), written in about 180. Despite this, The Gospel of Judas differs from other non-Nicene Gospels in several ways. Far from arguing that the physical body is a prison which needs to be escaped from, the Gospel of Judas portrays Jesus as able to leave his body at will and take on other forms, appearing to be a child. In the text, Jesus is shown leaving his body, journeying to the imperishable realm and returning to his body. Unlike other non-Nicene Gospels, the Gospel of Judas is Sethian in orientation in that Adam’s son Seth is seen as a spiritual ancestor. As in other Sethian documents, Jesus is equated with Seth: “The first is Seth, who is called Christ”.

The initial translation of the Gospel of Judas was widely publicized but simply confirmed the account that was written in Irenaeus and known Gnostic beliefs, leading some scholars to simply summarize the discovery as nothing new. However, it is argued that a closer reading of the existent text, as presented in October 2006, shows Christianity in a new light. According to Elaine Pagels, for instance, Judas is portrayed as having a mission to hand Jesus over to the soldiers. She says that Bible translators have mistranslated the Greek word for “handing over” to “betrayal”.

Like many Gnostic works, the Gospel of Judas refers to itself as a secret account, specifically “The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot….”

The Gospel of Judas states that Jesus told Judas “You shall be cursed for generations” and then added, “You will come to rule over them” and “You will exceed all of them, for you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.”

Unlike the four canonical gospels, which employ narrative accounts of the last year of Jesus’s life (in the case of John, three years) and of his birth (in the case of Luke and Matthew), the Judas gospel takes the form of dialogues between Jesus and Judas, and Jesus and the twelve disciples, without being embedded in any narrative. Such “dialogue gospels” were popular during the early decades of Christianity and the New Testament apocrypha contains several examples, such as the Gospel of Mary.

Like the canonical gospels, the Gospel of Judas portrays the scribes as approaching Judas with the intention of arresting him, and Judas receiving money from them after handing Jesus over to them. But unlike Judas in the canonical gospels, who is portrayed as a villain, and excoriated by Jesus (“Alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born,” trans. The New English Bible) Mark 14:21; Matthew 26:24, the Judas gospel portrays Judas as a divinely appointed instrument of a grand and predetermined purpose. “In the last days they will curse your ascent to the holy (generation).”[9]

Elsewhere in the manuscript, Jesus favors Judas above other disciples by saying, “Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom,” and “Look, you have been told everything. Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star.”

“The Kiss of Judas” is a traditional depiction of Judas by Giotto di Bondone, c. 1306. Fresco in the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua.

The content of the gospel had been unknown until a Coptic Gospel of Judas turned up on the antiquities “grey market,” in Geneva in May 1983, when it was found among a mixed group of Greek and Coptic manuscripts offered to Stephen Emmel, a Yale Ph.D. candidate commissioned by Southern Methodist University to inspect the manuscripts. How this manuscript, Codex Tchacos, was found, maybe in the late 1970s, has not been clearly documented. However, it is believed that a now-deceased Egyptian “treasure-hunter” or prospector discovered the codex near El Minya, Egypt, in the neighbourhood of the village Beni Masar, and sold it to one Hanna, a dealer in antiquities resident in Cairo.[13]

In the 1970s, the manuscript and most of the dealer’s other artifacts were stolen by a Greek trader named Nikolas Koutoulakis, and smuggled into Geneva. Hanna, along with Swiss antiquity traders, paid Koutoulakis a sum rumoured to be between $3 million to $10 million, recovered the manuscript and introduced it to experts who recognized its significance.

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Gospel of the Twelve Apostles

A Gospel of the Twelve is mentioned by Origen (Hom. I, in Luc), and a few fragments of it are preserved by Epiphanius (Haerea, 39 13-16,22). It commenced with the baptism, and was used by the Ebionites. It was written, Zahn thinks, about 170 AD.

Gospel of Barnabas and Bartholomew

A Gospel of Barnabas and Gospel of Bartholomew are condemned in the decree of Pope Gelasius. The latter is mentioned by Jerome (Prooem ad Matt).

SUPPLEMENTARY OR LEGENDARY GOSPELS

In all of the gospels of this class it is noteworthy that considering the desire of the writers of non-canonical gospels to multiply miracles, no notice is taken of the period in the life of Christ that intervened between his twelfth year and his thirtieth. The main reason for the omission probably is that no special dogmatic end was to be served by the narrative of this period of the Saviour’s life. Where access cannot be had to these documents in their original languages, it may be useful to point out that a good and full translation of them may be found in Vol XVI of Clark’s Ante-Nicene Library, Edinburgh, 1870.

Gospels of the Nativity:

(a) The Protevangelium of James.

The earliest of these documents is the Protevangelium of James. James is supposed to be the Lord’s brother. The title “Protevangelium” or First Gospel–a catching title which assumes much and suggests more–was given to this document by Postellus, a Frenchman, who first published it in Latin in the year 1552. In the Greek and Syriac manuscripts, it is known by various other titles, such as, The History of James concerning the Birth of the All-Holy and Ever-Virgin Mother of God and of Her Son Jesus Christ. Tischendorf in the notes to chapter i of his Evang. Apocrypha gives a long list of the names descriptive of it in the various manuscripts. In the Gelasian Decree depriving it of canonical authority it is simply styled Evangelium nomine Jacobi minoris apocryphum. In this document the birth of Mary is foretold by angelic announcement to her parents, Joachim and Anna, as was that of Jesus to Mary. It contains in twenty-five chapters the period from this announcement to the Massacre of the Innocents, including accounts of the early training of Mary in the temple, the Lukan narrative of the birth of Christ with some legendary additions, and the death of Zacharias by order of Herod for refusing to give information regarding the place of concealment of Elisabeth and the child John who, in their flight during the massacre, are miraculously saved by the opening of a mountain. At chapter 18 a change takes place in the narrative from the third to the first person, which has been taken (NT Apocrypha Writings by Professor Orr, D.D., London, 1903) to suggest an Essenian-Ebionitic origin for the document, and at least to argue for it a composite character, which again may account for the great variety of view taken of its date. It has been assigned (EB, I, 259) to the 1st century. Zahn and Kruger place it in the first decade, many scholars in the second half of the 2nd century; while others (e.g. Harnack) place it in its present form as late as the middle of the 4th century. Good scholars (Sanday, The Gospels in the Second Century) admit references to it in Justin Martyr which would imply that possibly in some older form it was known in the first half of the 2nd century. In its latest forms the document indicates the obvious aim of the writer to promote the sanctity and veneration of the Virgin. It has been shown to contain a number of unhistorical statements. It was condemned in the western church by Popes Damasus (382), Innocent I (405) and by the Decretum Gelasianum (496?). It would seem as if the age thus deprived of the Protevangelium demanded some document of the same character to take its place.

(b) Pseudo-Matthew.

A forged correspondence between Jerome and two Italian bishops supplied a substitute in the Gospel of the Pseudo-Matthew, which Jerome was falsely represented to have rendered in Latin from the original Hebrew of Mt. The gospel is known only in Latin and, as already indicated, is not earlier than the 5th century. The Protevangelium is freely used and supplemented from some unknown (probably Gnostic) source, and further miracles especially connected with the sojourn in Egypt have been wrought into it with others added from the Childhood Gospel of Thomas. Some of the miracles recorded of Egypt are represented as fulfillments of Old Testament prophecy, as when (chapter 18) the adoration of the infant Jesus by dragons recalls the fulfillment of what was said by David the prophet: “Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons: ye dragons and all ye deeps”; or as when (chapter 19) lions and panthers adored them, showing the company the way in the desert, “bowing their heads and wagging their tails and adoring Him with great reverence,” which was regarded as a fulfillment of the prophecy: “Wolves shall feed with lambs and the lions and the ox shall eat straw together.” In this gospel, too, appears for the first time the notice of the ox and the ass adoring the child Jesus in the manger, of which much was made in Christian article The gospel is further eked out by the relation of several of the miracles connected with the Gospel of the Childhood.

(c) The Nativity of Mary.

The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary was written in Latin. It goes over much the same ground as the earlier portion of the Pseudo-Matthew, but so differs from it as to indicate a later date and a different author. It includes more of the miraculous element and daily angelic visits to Mary during her residence in the temple. This gospel makes Mary leave the temple in her 14th year; according to the gospel next described, where the narrator is represented as the Son of Mary Himself, she left the temple in her 12th year, having lived in it nine years. It was for long held to be the work of Jerome, and from this gospel was almost entirely formed the “Golden Legend” which largely took the place of the Scriptures in the 13th century. throughout Europe before the invention of printing. It was among the books early printed in some countries where (as in England) it might not be safe to print the Scriptures. Its services to medieval literature and art should not blind us to the fact that it was a forgery deliberately introduced into the service of the church about the 6th century, when the worship of Mary was specially promoted in the church.

(d) Gospel of Joseph the Carpenter.

To the same class of compositions belongs the Gospel of Joseph the Carpenter. Originally written in Coptic, it was translated into Arabic, in which language with a Latin version it was published in 1722. The composition is devoted to the glorification of Joseph, a cult which was specially favored by the monophysite Coptics. It dates from the 4th century. It contains in 22 chapters the whole history of Joseph and relates in the last part the circumstances of his death at the age of 111 years. These are of some importance for the history of dogma.

(e) The Passing of Mary.

Transitus Mariae: although not strictly a gospel of the Nativity notice may here be taken of the account of John the Theologian of the Falling Asleep (koimesis) of the Holy Mother of God or as it is more commonly called “the Passing of Mary” (transitus Mariae). It was originally written in Greek, but appears also in Latin and several other languages. Two years, it seems, after the ascension of Jesus, Mary, who paid frequent visits to the, “Holy tomb of our Lord to burn incense and pray” was persecuted by the Jews and prayed her Son that He would take her from the earth. The archangel Gabriel brings an answer to her prayers and announces that after three days she shall go to the heavenly places to her Son, into true and everlasting life. Apostles from their graves or from their dioceses are summoned to her bedside at Bethlehem and relate how they were occupied when the summons reached them. Miracles of healing are wrought round the dying bed; and after the instantaneous transportation of Mary and the attendant apostles to Jerusalem, on the Lord’s Day, amidst visions of angels Christ Himself appears and receives her soul to Himself. Her body is buried in Gethsemane and thereafter translated to Paradise. Judged by its contents which reveal an advanced stage of the worship of the Virgin and also of church ritual, the document cannot have been produced earlier than the end of the 4th or the beginning of the 5th century, and it has a place among the apocryphal documents condemned by the Gelasian Decree. By this time indeed it appears as if the writers of such documents assumed the most unrestricted license in imagining and embellishing the facts and situations regarding the gospel narrative.

REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES APOLOGETICS CONVERSATION EVANGELISM REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS

The Gospels of the Infancy or Childhood

(a) Gospel of Thomas.

Next, to the Protevangelium the oldest and the most widely spread of the apocryphal gospels is the Gospel of Thomas. It is mentioned by Origen and Irenaeus and seems to have been used by a Gnostic sect of the Nachashenes in the middle of the 2nd century. It was docetic as regards the miracles recorded in it and on this account was also acceptable to the Manichees. The author was one of the Marcosians referred to by Irenaeus. Great variations exist in the text, of which there are only late catholic recasts, two in Greek, one in Latin and one in Syriac. One of the Greek versions is considerably longer than the other, while the Latin is somewhat larger than either. They are very largely concerned with a record of miracles wrought by Jesus before He was 12 years of age. They depict Jesus as an extraordinary but by no means a lovable child. Unlike the miracles of the canonical Gospels those recorded in this gospel are mainly of a destructive nature and are whimsical and puerile in character. It rather shocks one to read them as recorded of the Lord Jesus Christ. The wonder-worker is described by Renan as “un gamin omnipotent et omniscient,” wielding the power of the Godhead with a child’s waywardness and petulance. Instead of being subject to His parents He is a serious trouble to them; and instead of growing in wisdom He is represented as forward and eager to teach. His instructors, and to be omniscient from the beginning. The parents of one of the children whose death He had caused entreat Joseph, “Take away that Jesus of thine from this place for he cannot dwell with us in this town; or at least teach him to bless and not to curse.” Three or four miracles of a beneficent nature are mentioned; and in the Latin gospel when Jesus was in Egypt and in his third year, it is written (chapter 1), “And seeing boys playing he began to play with them, and he took a dried fish and put it into a basin and ordered it to move about. And it began to move about. And he said again to the fish: `Throw out the salt which thou hast, and walk into the water.’ And it so came to pass, and the neighbors seeing what had been done, told it to the widowed woman in whose house Mary his mother lived. And as soon as she heard it she thrust them out of her house with great haste.” As Westcott points out in his Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, 444, “In the apocryphal miracles we find no worthy conception of the laws of providential interference; they are wrought to supply present wants or to gratify present feelings, and often are positively immoral; they are arbitrary displays of power, and without any spontaneity on our Lord’s part or on that of the recipient.” Possibly the compilers of the 1st-century narratives above mentioned had in many cases deemed it expedient to make the miraculous an essential–even a too prominent–part of their story; and this may be the reason why John in the opening of the Fourth Gospel declared all the reported miracles of the Childhood to be unauthorized by the statement that the first miracle was that performed, after the beginning of the public ministry, at the marriage at Cana of Galilee. “This beginning of his signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed on him” (Joh 2:11).

(b) Arabic Gospel of the Childhood.

The Arabic Gospel of the Childhood is a composite production. Though first published in Arabic with a Latin translation in 1697, its Syriac origin may be inferred from the use of the era of Alexander the Great in chapter 2, from the acquaintance of the writer with oriental learning, and from that of the child Jesus, when in Egypt, with astronomy and physics. The popularity of the book among the Arabs and Coptics in Egypt may also be explained by the fact that the most important of its miracles take place during the Sojourn in Egypt. It is noteworthy also that according to this gospel (chapter 7) it was on the ground of a prophecy of Zoroaster regarding the birth of the Messiah that the Magi undertook their journey to Bethlehem. Some of its stories also appear in the Koran and in other Mohammedan writings. Chapters 1 through 9 are based on the canonical Gospels of Matthew and Luke and on the Protevangelium of James, while chapters 26 to the end are derived from the Gospel of Thomas. The intermediate portion of the work is thoroughly oriental in character and reads like extracts from the Arabian Nights. It is not easy to treat seriously the proposal to set productions like these on anything approaching equality with the canonical Gospels. The gospel also has much to do with the growth of the veneration of the Virgin.

Gospels of the Passion and Resurrection

(a) Gospel of Peter (as above)

(b) Gospel of Nicodemus

The principal documents in this connection are the Gospel of Nicodemus and to some extent, as above shown, the Gospel of Peter. The Gospel of Nicodemus is a name given not earlier than the 13th century to a duplicate composition the two parts of which were (1) the Acta Pilati or Acts of Pilate and (2) the Descent of Christ to the Lower World. The document professes to be a translation into Greek from the Hebrew, and to have been made in the 17th year of the emperor Theodosius and the 6th of Valentinian. It exists in six forms, two Greek and one Latin of the Acts of Pilate, and two Latin and one Greek of the Descent to the Lower World. The general consensus of scholars places the composition in the 5th century, though Tischendorf, relying upon references in Justin and Tertullian, places it in the 2nd century, a date by which it is quite possible for the legend to have arisen. Possibly there has been some confusion between the report on the proceedings connected with the trial and crucifixion of Jesus that had to be furnished to the emperor, as required by the rules of the Roman civil service, and the extended record of the proceedings contained in the Gospel of Nicodemus. The writer was obviously a Jewish Christian. He wrote for this class and was anxious to establish his record by evidence from the mouths of the enemies of Jesus and especially of the officials connected with the events before and after the death of Jesus.

(1) Acts of Pilate

Pilate in particular is shown to be favorable to Jesus and–a gap that must have struck many readers of the canonical narratives–several of those on whom miracles of healing had been wrought come forward to give evidence in favor of Jesus–a most natural step for a late narrator to suppose as having taken place in a regular and formal trial, but one which, as may be gathered from the silence of the canonical writers, was omitted in the turbulent proceedings of the priestly conspiracy that ended with the crucifixion. With all the writer’s acquaintance with Jewish institutions “he shows himself in many points ignorant of the topography of Palestine; thinks, e.g. that Jesus was crucified in the garden in which he was seized (chapter 9) and places Mr. Mamilch or Malek (S. of Jerusalem) in Galilee, and confounds it with the Mount of Ascension” (Orr, op. cit., xix).

(2) Descent of Jesus into the Lower World

The second part of the gospel–The Descent of Christ to the Lower World–is an account of an early and widely accepted tradition not mentioned in any canonical Gospel but based upon 1Pe 3:19: “He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” Two saints who were raised at His resurrection relate how they had been confined in Hades when the Conqueror appeared at its entrance, how the gates of brass were broken and the prisoners released, Jesus taking with Him to Paradise the souls of Adam, Isaiah, John the Baptist and other holy men who had died before Him. The document is purely imaginary: its only importance is in showing how this article of the creed was regarded in the 4th century.

(c) Other Fabrications

Of even less importance are some late fabrications referring to Pilate sometimes in the manuscripts attached to the Gospel of Nicodemus, such as Pilate’s Letter to the emperor Tiberius; Pilate’s Official Report, above referred to; the Paradoses of Pilate and the Death of Pilate, who, after condemnation to the most disgraceful death, is represented as dying by his own hand. In the Narrative of Joseph of Arimathea the writer gives a loose rein to his imagination.

The study of the documents above described fully justifies the observation of the editors of the Ante-Nicene Library that while they afford us “curious glimpses of the state of the Christian conscience, and of modes of thought in the first centuries of our era, the predominant impression which they leave on our minds is a profound sense of the immeasurable superiority, the unapproachable simplicity, and majesty, of the Canonical Writings.”

by J. Hutchison; Gospel of Judas section is from Wikipedia and Edward D. Andrews

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In FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM, Edward D. Andrews offers practical and biblical insights on a host of Christian spiritual growth struggles, from the challenge of forgiveness to eating disorders, anger, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, pornography, masturbation, same-sex attraction, and many others. Based on Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” Andrews’ text works from the position that if we can change the way that we think, we can alter the way we feel, which will modify the way we behave. FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM offers far more than self-help to dozens of spiritual struggles, personal difficulties, and mental disorders. It will benefit Christian and non-Christian alike. The Scriptural advice and counsel coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy will be helpful even if every chapter is not one of your struggles. For As I Think in My Heart enables readers to examine the lies and half-truths …

APPLYING GODS WORD-1APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY: The Secret of a Successful Christian Life [Second Edition]

THERE IS A GENUINE HAPPINESS, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we have a moral law that was written on our heart. (Rom. 2:14-15) However, at the same time, we have a warring against the law of our mind and taking us captive in the law of sin, which is in our members. (Rom. 7:21-25) When we live by the moral law, it brings us joy, when we live by the law of sin; it brings about distress, anxiety, regrets to both mind and heart, creating a conflict between our two natures. In our study of the Bible, we can interact with a living God who wants a personal relationship with us. And in APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY, we will learn how to engage His words like never before. Andrews helps his readers …

Put Off the Old PersonPUT OFF THE OLD PERSON: Put On the New Person [Second Edition]

THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) From the moment that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, humans have been brought forth in sin, having become more and more mentally bent toward evil, having developed a heart (i.e., inner person) that is treacherous, and unknowable to them, with sin’s law dwelling within them. Sadly, many of us within the church have not been fully informed …

Walking With Your God_Second EditionWALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD: Putting God’s Purpose First in Your Life [Second Edition]

A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …

Wives_02WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS How Should Wives Treat Their Husbands?

This book is primarily for WIVES, but husbands will greatly benefit from it as well. WIVES will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS. It offers wives the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. WIVES learn that marriage is a gift from God. WIVEStake in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. WIVES will be able to make Christian marriage a success. WIVES will maintain an honorable marriage. WIVES will see how to submit correctly to Christ’s headship. WIVES will learn how to strengthen their marriage through good communication. 

HUSBANDS - Love Your WivesHUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES: How Should Husbands Treat Their Wives?

This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES. It offers husbands the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. HUSBANDS learn that marriage is a gift from God. HUSBANDS take in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. HUSBANDS will be able to make Christian marriage a success. HUSBANDS will maintain an honorable marriage. 

Technology and Social Trends-1TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL TRENDS: A Biblical Point of View

Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change. Some of the questions that Anderson will answer are: What are the technological challenges of the 21st century? How should we think about the new philosophies like transhumanism? Should we be concerned about big data? What about our privacy in a world where government and corporations have some much information about us? How should we think about a world experiencing exponential growth in data and knowledge? What social trends are affecting baby boomers, baby busters, and millennials?

Christians and GovernmentCHRISTIANS AND GOVERNMENT: A Biblical Point of View

Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. The thirteen chapters in this book not only look at the broad founding principles but also provide an in-depth look at other important political and governmental issues. One section explains the history and application of church and state issues. Another section describes aspects of political debate and discourse. A final section provides a brief overview of the Christian heritage of this nation that was important in the founding of this country and the framing of our founding documents.

Christians and EconomicsCHRISTIANS AND ECONOMICS A Biblical Point of View

Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day …

A Dangerous JourneyA DANGEROUS JOURNEY: Those Who Become Jesus’ Disciples

Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.

Prayer Life

Power Through PrayerPOWER THROUGH PRAYER A Healthy Prayer Life

Each of the twenty-five chapters in the POWER THROUGH PRAYER provides helpful methods and suggestions for growing and improving your prayer life with God through the power of prayer.  So, what can we expect if we make prayer a part of our life? Prayer can give you a peace of mind. Prayer can comfort and strength when facing trials. Prayer can help us make better life choices. The Bible says: “If any of you lacks wisdom [especially in dealing with trials], let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) Prayer can help to avoid temptation. Prayer is the path yo forgiveness of sins. Your prayers can help others. You will receive encouragement when your prayers are answered.

Powerful Weapon of PrayerTHE POWERFUL WEAPON OF PRAYER: A Healthy Prayer Life

DOZENS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED: Why is prayer necessary? What must we do to be heard by God? How does God answer our prayers? Does God listen to all prayers? Does God hear everyone’s prayers? What may we pray about? Does the Father truly grant everything we ask for? What kind of prayers would the Father reject? How long should our prayers be? How often should we pray? Why should we say “Amen” at the end of a prayer? Must we assume a special position or posture when praying? There are far more than this asked and answered.

How to Pray_Torrey_Half Cover-1HOW TO PRAY: The Importance of Prayer [Updated and Expanded]

What forms of prayer do you personally need to offer more often? Who benefits when you pray for others? Why is it important to pray regularly? Why should true Christians pray continually? To whom should we pray, and how? What are proper subjects for prayer? When should you pray? Does God listen to all prayers? Whose prayers is God willing to hear? What could make a person’s prayers unacceptable to God? When Jesus says, “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith,” an absolute guarantee that we will receive it? HOW TO PRAY by Torrey and Andrews is a spiritual gem that will answer all of these questions and far more. HOW TO PRAY is a practical guidebook covers the how, when, and most importantly, the way of praying. An excellent devotional resource for any Christian library.

Christian Apologetics and Evangelism

HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELSHOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS?

Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q?  Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source.  From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.

REASONABLE FAITHREASONABLE FAITH: Saving Those Who Doubt

Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, 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 truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.

THE GREAT TEACHER Jesus ChristTHE GREAT TEACHER JESUS CHRIST: What Made Jesus Christ’s Teaching, Preaching, Evangelism, and Apologetics Outstanding Effective?

How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.

THE APOSTLE PAULTHE TEACHER THE APOSTLE PAUL: What Made the Apostle Paul’s Teaching, Preaching, Evangelism, and Apologetics Outstanding Effective?

How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE TEACHER the Apostle Paul. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE TEACHER the Apostle Paul will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.

DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIPDEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP: The Word of God Is Authentic and True

How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?

Mosaic AuthorshipMOSAIC AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY: Who Really Wrote the First Five Books of the Bible?

Who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? If Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, then how was his own death and burial written in Deuteronomy Chapter 34? Many mainstream Bible scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch since he likely existed many centuries earlier than the development of the Hebrew language. When was the origin of the Hebrew language? Popular scholarship says that if Moses had written the Pentateuch, he would have written in the Egyptian language, not the Hebrew. Moreover, most of the Israelites and other people of the sixteenth century B.C.E. were illiteral, so who could have written the Torah, and for whom would it be written because the people of that period did not read?

Finally, analysis of the first five books demonstrates multiple authors, not just one, which explains the many discrepancies. Multiple authors also explain the many cases of telling of the same story twice, making the same events appear to happen more than once. The modern mainstream scholarship would argue that within the Pentateuch we see such things as preferences for certain words, differences in vocabulary, reoccurring expressions in Deuteronomy that are not found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, all evidence for their case for multiple authors.

What does the evidence say? What does archaeology, linguistic analysis, historical studies, textual analysis, and insights from Egyptologists tell us? Again, who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? Andrews offers his readers an objective view of the evidence.

Agabus CoverDEFENDING AGABUS AS A NEW TESTAMENT PROPHET: A Content-Based Study of His Predictions In Acts by Sung Cho

Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM-1UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of View

Islam is making a significant mark on our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.

is-the-quran-the-word-of-godIS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD?: Is Islam the One True Faith?

IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.

the guide to answering islamTHE GUIDE TO ISLAM: What Every Christian Needs to Know About Islam and the Rise of Radical Islam by Daniel Janosik

The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …

Reasons for FaithREASONS 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, … 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, straightforward style, Salisbury covers such issues as: Does God exist? Can I trust the Bible? Does Christianity oppress women? Can we know truth? Why would God allow evil and suffering? Was Jesus God and did He really rise from the dead? How does or should my faith guide my life?

a-time-to-speak-judy-salisburyA TIME TO SPEAK: PRACTICAL TRAINING for the CHRISTIAN PRESENTER Authored by Judy Salisbury, Foreword by Josh McDowell

A Time to Speak: Practical Training for the Christian Presenteris a complete guide for effective communication and presentation skills. Discuss any subject with credibility and confidence, from Christian apologetics to the sensitive moral issues of our day, when sharing a testimony, addressing a school board, a community meeting, or conference. This exceptional training is the perfect resource for Christians with any level of public speaking ability. With its easy, systematic format, A Time to Speak is also an excellent resource for home-schooled and college students. The reader, in addition to specific skills and techniques, will also learn how to construct their presentation content, diffuse hostility, guidance for a successful Q&A, effective ways to turn apathy into action, and tips on gaining their speaking invitation.

BIBLICAL CRITICISMBIBLICAL 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 (Historical Criticism), and why is historical criticism so popular among Bible scholars today? Its popularity is because biblical criticism is subjective, that is, based on or influenced by personal feelings or opinions and is dependent on the Bible scholar’s perception. In other words, biblical criticism allows the Bible scholar, teacher, or pastor the freedom to interpret the Scriptures, so that God’s Word it tells them things that they want to hear. Why is this book so critical for all Christians? Farnell and Andrews will inform the reader about Biblical criticism (historical criticism) and its weaknesses, helping you to defend God’s Word far better.

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 criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and is destructive in its very nature. Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …

APOLOGETICSCHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion

APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of over seventy 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 apologetics and evangelism. They will learn what Christian apologetics is. They will be given a biblical answer to the most demanding Bible question: Problem of Evil. The reader will learn how to reach hearts with are the art of persuasion. They will use persuasion to help others accept Christ. They will learn to teach with insight and persuasiveness. They will learn to use persuasion to reach the heart of those who listen to them.

REVIEWING 2013 New World TranslationREVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Examining the History of the Watchtower Translation and the Latest Revision

REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively. We can also have preconceived ideas that have been a part of our thinking for so long; we do not question them. Preconceived is an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth. If we are to be effective, we must season our words, so that they are received well. Then there is the term preconception, which means a preconceived idea or prejudice. Seasoned words, honesty, and accuracy are distinctive features of effective apologetic evangelism.

REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURESREASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES: Sharing CHRIST as You Help Others to Learn about the Mighty works of God

Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on the message of God’s Word that we share but also the method in which we do so. Our message, the Gospel (i.e., the good news of the Kingdom), this does not change, but we do adjust our methods. Why? We are seeking to reach as many receptive people as possible. “You will be my witnesses … to the End of the Earth.” – ACTS 1:8.

REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONSREASONING WITH THE WORLD’S VARIOUS RELIGIONS: Examining and Evangelizing Other Faiths

Why should we be interested in the religion of others? The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, and values, as well as many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. There are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8) That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions. …

CONVERSATION EVANGELISMCONVERSATIONAL 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 Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. …

THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGISTTHE 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’s words should always be seasoned with salt as he or she shares the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example in helping the unbeliever to understand the Bible has been provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Whether dealing with Bible critics or answering questions from those genuinely interested, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and at times used appropriate illustrations, helping those with a receptive heart to accept the Word of God. The apostle Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving” what was biblically true. (Ac 17:2-3) The material in THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST can enable us to do the same. Apologist Normal L. Geisler informs us that “evangelism is planting seeds of the Gospel” and “pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of people’s minds and hearts to help them be more willing to listen to the truth (1 Cor. 3: 6).”

THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOKTHE 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; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, he or she could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians have a determination to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.

divine-appointmentsDIVINE APPOINTMENTS: Spontaneous Conversations on Matters of the Heart, Soul, and Mind

“Absorbing, instructional, insightful. Judy Salisbury’s book Divine Appointments embodies examples of truly speaking the truth in love. The stories she weaves together provide perfect examples of how to relate to others through conversational evangelism… Divine Appointments is an apt companion to any apologetics book, showing how to put principles into practice. It’s an apologetics manual wrapped in a warm blanket. Snuggle up with it.”— Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters

YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE_Third EditionYOUR 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 which he can build throughout his Christian life. These eight sections with multiple chapters in each cover biblical interpretation, Bible translation philosophies, textual criticism, Bible difficulties, the Holy Spirit, Christian Apologetics, Christian Evangelism, and Christian Living.

“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”(p. xiii)—Dr. Lee M. Fields.

THE CULTURE WAR-1THE 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 the 1960’s has permeated the Western culture and weakened its very core. The West is now characterized by strict elitist media censorship, hedonism, a culture of drug abuse, abortion, ethnic clashes and racial divide, a destructive feminism and the dramatic breakdown of the family. An ultra-rich elite pushes our nations into a new, authoritarian globalist structure, with no respect for Western historical values. Yet, even in the darkest hour, there is hope. This manifesto outlines the remedy for the current malaise and describes the greatness of our traditional and religious values that once made our civilization prosper. It shows how we can restore these values to bring back justice, mercy, faith, honesty, fidelity, kindness and respect for one another. Virtues that will motivate individuals to love one another, the core of what will make us great again.

EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1EARLY 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 Kingdom of God? What was their worship like and why were they called the Truth and the Way? How did 120 disciples at Pentecost grow to over one million within 70-80-years? What was meant by their witness to the ends of the earth? How did Christianity in its infancy function to accomplish all it did? How was it structured? How were the early Christians, not of the world? How were they affected by persecution? How were they not to love the world, in what sense? What divisions were there in the second and third centuries? Who were the Gnostics? These questions will be answered, as well as a short overview of the division that grew out of the second and third centuries, pre-reformation, the reformation, and a summary of Catholicism and Protestantism. After a lengthy introduction to First-Century Christianity, there is a chapter on the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today, followed by sixteen chapters that cover the most prominent Christians from the second to fourth centuries, as well as a chapter on Constantine the Great.

CRISIS OF FAITH_PaperbackCRISIS 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 truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A half brother of Jesus warned us against doubting: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6) When insidious doubts begin to creep into the mind and the heart, it is only a matter of time before a CRISIS OF FAITH gives way spiritual shipwreck. Since we have been warned that “some will fall away from the faith,” we should be ready “to save some,” even ourselves. …

INVESTIGATING 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 Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which they say occurred in 607 B.C.E. The Witnesses conclude that Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel prophesied a 2,520 year period that began in 607 B.C.E. and ended in 1914 C.E. They state, “Clearly, the ‘seven times’ and ‘the appointed times of the nations’ refer to the same time period.” (Lu 21:24) It is their position that When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the Davidic line of kings was interrupted, God’s throne was “trampled on by the nations” until 1914, at which time Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven. …

THE CHURCH CURETHE CHURCH CURE: Overcoming Church Problems

In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.

FLEECING THE FLOCK_03FLEECING THE FLOCK: Setting the People of God Free From the Lies of Tithing

Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, do you find continuous demanding appeals for money disturbing, perhaps even offensive? FLEECING THE FLOCK by Anthony Wade is an exhaustive examination of all of the popular tithing arguments made from the pulpit today. …

Deception In the ChurchDECEPTION IN THE CHURCH: Does It Matter How You Worship?

DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.

LEARN TO DISCERNLEARN TO DISCERN: Recognizing False Teaching In the Christian church Today

Plunkett exposes the errors corrupting the Christian church through the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation, and extreme charismatic movements. LEARN TO DISCERN, by author Daniel Plunkett highlights how an encounter with a rising star in the Word of Faith / “Signs and Wonders” movement was used by God to open his eyes to the deceptions, false teachings, and spiritual abuses running rampant in the charismatic movement today. These doctrines are thoroughly explored as taught by some of today’s most prominent speakers and evangelists and contrasted with the clear teachings of Scripture. LEARN TO DISCERN is an invaluable resource …

Translation and Textual Criticism

King James BibleTHE KING JAMES BIBLE: Do You Know the King James Version?

The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.

The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2THE 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. The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly because it carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. It is CGBT’s desire to take challenging and complex subjects and make them easy to understand. CGBT will communicate as clearly and powerfully as possible to all of its readers while also accurately communicating information about the Bible. …

DO WE STILL NEEDA LITERAL BIBLE_DO WE STILL NEED A LITERAL BIBLE?: Discover the Truth about Literal Translations

We have come a long, long way from the time that the KJV was The Bible in English and the many translations available today. Finding the right Bible for the right person can be daunting, with almost too many choices available. However, it is still possible to divide the options into two broad categories: literal translations and dynamic equivalents. What is the difference, and why should you care? Bible publishers used to say that literal translations are good for study purposes, and dynamic equivalents are better for reading. So literal translations were advertised with terms like “accurate,” “reliable,” and, of course, “literal.” For dynamic equivalent translations, terms like “contemporary,” “easy to read,” and “written in today’s English” were used. Naturally, publishers do not advertise the negatives, so they did not point out that the literal translations might be a little harder to read, or that the dynamic equivalents might not be entirely faithful to the original languages of the Bible. However, more recently, some scholars have been taking this analysis in a new direction, assessing literal translations as less desirable than dynamic equivalents even for accuracy and reliability.

Choosing Your BibleCHOOSING 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 of God. Then, there are dynamic equivalents, where the translator determines what the author meant by the original language text, and this is what they give the reader. There is also a paraphrase translation, which is an extremely interpretive translation. Exactly what are these differences? Are some translations better than others? What standards and principles can we use to determine what makes a good translation? Andrews introduces the readers to the central issues in this debate and presents several reasons why literal translations are superior to dynamic equivalent and paraphrase translations. We do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand these issues, as well as the importance of having the most accurate and faithful translation that is reflective of the original text. …

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

THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (TTNT) is an introduction, intermediate and advanced level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews introduces the new and relatively new reader to this subject in the first few chapters of the TTNT. Andrews deepens his handling of the material, while still making it easy to understand in the next few chapters of the TTNT, all the while being very informative in both sections. All of this prepares the reader for Wilkins’ advanced chapters. 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 offer the reader an account of the copying by hand and transmission of the Greek New Testament. They present a comprehensive survey of the manuscript history from the penning of the 27 New Testament books to the current critical texts. What did the ancient books look like and how were documents written? How were the New Testament books published? Who would use secretaries? Why was it so hard to be a secretary in the first century? How was such work done? What do we know about the early Christian copyists? What were the scribal habits and tendencies? Is it possible to establish the original text of the NewTestament? …

Introduction to New Testament Textual CriticismINTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: From The Authors and Scribe to the Modern Critical Text

INTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is a shortened 321 pages of Andrews and Wilkins 602 page TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT without losing the value of content. The foremost thing the reader is going to learn is that the Greek New Testament that our modern translations are based on is a mirror-like reflection of the original and can be fully trusted. The reader will learn how the New Testament authors made and published their books, the secretaries in antiquity and their materials like Teritus who helped Paul pen the epistle to the Romans, and the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early copyists. The reader will also discover the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament. The reader will also learn how textual scholars known as paleography determine the age of the manuscripts.

The reader will learn all about the different sources that go into our restoring the Greek New Testament to its original form. Then, Andrews will cover the ancient version, the era of the printed text, and the arrival of the critical text. After that, the reader will be given a lengthy chapter on examples of how the textual scholar determines the correct reading by his looking at the internal and external evidence. Finally, and most importantly, the reader will find out the truth about the supposed 400,000 textual errors within the Greek New Testament manuscripts. The last chapter will be faith-building and enable you to defend the Word of God as inerrant.

THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENTTHE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Making and Copying of the New Testament

THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT intends to examine and evaluate the making of New Testament books, the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early Christian Scribes, the original or earliest text of the New Testament, and the secretaries in antiquity and their materials. We will also assess the early Christian copyists, the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament, scribal tendencies or habits, as well as the sources of New Testament textual criticism, which would include a lengthy chapter on ancient versions of the New Testament. We will also look into how paleographers date the ancient manuscripts and how did textual variations and manuscript families arise? Just how many textual variants are there and how are they to be counted? All of this to determine what guarantee do we have as to the reliability of the Greek text. What sort of changes did scribes make to the text and can we restore the Greek New Testament to its original state.  NOTE: If you have read THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT by Andrews and Wilkins, you need not read this publication, as it is select chapters from TTNT.

MISREPRESENTING JESUS_Third EditionMISREPRESENTING 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 biases, assumptions, and shortcomings supporting Ehrman’s arguments. Using sound reason, scholarly exegesis, and the Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation, as well as New Testament textual criticism, Andrews helps both churchgoer/Bible students, as well as scholars, overcome the teachings of biblical errancy that Ehrman propagates.—Easy to read and understand. …

Biblical Studies

CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISMCALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM: The Bible Answers

CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM goes back to the early seventeenth century with a Christian theological debate between the followers of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius, and continues today among some Protestants, particularly evangelicals. The debate is centered around soteriology, that is, the study of salvation, and includes disputes about total depravity, predestination, and atonement. While the debate has developed its Calvinist–Arminian form in the 17th century, the issues that are fundamental to the debate have been discussed in Christianity in some fashion since the days of Augustine of Hippo’s disputes with the Pelagians in the fifth century. CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM is taking a different approach in that the issues will be discussed as The Bible Answers being that it is the centerpiece.

How to Study Your BibleHOW 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 not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.

How to Study by TorreyHOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit [Updated and Expanded]

How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.

Deep Bible Study Cover_Torrey-1DEEP BIBLE STUDY: The Importance and Value of Proper Bible Study [Updated and Expanded]

Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)

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

Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1THE 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 eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …

THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1THE 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 one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. Stalker’s work includes a section at the back entitled “Hints for Teachers and Questions for Pupils.” This supplement contains notes and “further reading” suggestions for those teaching on the life of St. Paul, along with a number of questions over each chapter for students to discuss. In addition, seventeen extra chapters have been added that will help the reader better understand who the Apostle Paul was and what first-century Christianity was like. For example, a chapter on the conversion of Saul/Paul, Gamaliel Taught Saul of Tarsus, the Rights, and Privileges of Citizenship, the “Unknown God,” Areopagus, the Observance of Law as to Vows, and much more.

The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST: Jesus’ Final Ministry at Jerusalem [Updated and Expanded]

With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.

INTERPRETING THE BIBLEINTERPRETING 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 level, yet making it understandable to all. He has sought to provide the very best tool for interpreting the Word of God. This includes clarification of technical terms, answers to every facet of biblical interpretation, and defense of the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture. Andrews realizes that the importance of digging deeper in our understanding of the Bible, for defending our faith from modern-day misguided scholarship. Andrews gives the reader easy and memorable principles and methods to follow for producing an accurate explanation that comes out of, not what many read into the biblical text. The principal procedure within is to define, explain, offer many examples, and give illustrations, to help the reader fully grasp the grammatical-historical approach. …

How to Interpret the Bible-1HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics

Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or a more scholarly level needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics, which is of immense importance in Biblical Studies and Theology. How to Interpret the Bible takes into consideration the cultural context, historical background and geographical location in which the text was originally set. This enables us to obtain clarity about the original author’s intended meaning. 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 …

The Church Community_02THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People

Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. 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 as the start of a major historical transition to something new and promising and hailed as a major paradigm shift. Is it a philosophy that has passed its “sell-by” date? No! The radical fringe has become the dominant view and has been integrated into all aspects of life, including the Christian church. With the emergence of multicultural societies comes interaction with different belief systems and religions. Values like tolerance and a dislike of dogmatism have become key operating concepts, which reflect a change in worldview. …

Developing Healthy ChurchesDEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation

In an age obsessed with physical and psychological health the author emphasizes the importance of spiritual well-being as an essential element of holistic health for the individual Christian and for Christian communities. This work constitutes a template for a spiritual audit of the local church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the author, aware that throughout the history of the church there have been a number of diverse views about how Revelation ought to be interpreted, presents the reader with four distinct interpretive models. These are the idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. Beville explains these interpretive approaches simply and critiques them fairly.e …

Dying to KillDYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

This is a comprehensive study of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It traces the historical debate, examines the legal status of such activity in different countries and explores the political, medical and moral matters surrounding these emotive and controversial subjects in various cultural contexts. The key advocates and pioneers of this agenda-driven movement (such as the late Jack Kevorkian, popularly known as “Dr. Death” and Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International) are profiled. Not only are the elderly and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable but children, psychiatric patients, the depressed and those who are simply tired of life are now on a slippery slope into a dystopian nightmare. The spotlight is brought to bear on the Netherlands, in particular, where palliative care and the hospice movement are greatly underdeveloped as a result of legalization. These dubious “services” are now offered as part of “normal” medical care in Holland where it is deemed more cost-effective to be given a lethal injection. The vital role of physicians as healers in society must be preserved and the important but neglected spiritual dimension of death must be explored. Thus a biblical view of human life is presented. …

journey-with-jesus-through-the-message-of-mark_ebook-onlyJOURNEY 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 of illustrations to be helpful in preparing their own messages and as such, it will find a welcome place in the preacher’s library. Simply, powerfully, with great precision, and exegetical accuracy, Kieran Beville masterfully brings us on a life-transforming journey. Readers will be both inspired and challenged as they hear the words of Jesus speaking afresh from the page of Scripture and experience the ministry of Jesus in a spiritually captivating way. The author has a pastor’s heart, a theologian’s mind, and a writer’s gift. His style is gripping, as he beautifully explains and illustrates Mark’s Gospel. Kieran Beville has done a great service to the church, and especially to true believers, who desire to grow in grace, increase in their knowledge of truth, and experience the intimacy, joy, and underserved and unspeakable privilege of walking, as disciples, with Jesus. This book is ideal as a study companion for Mark’s Gospel. One can read a section from the gospel and then read the corresponding section to receive a fresh viewpoint and a practical application.  …

ANGELSANGELS & 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 humans? How can we win our struggle against dark spiritual forces? How can you resist the demons? Do evil spirits exercise power over humankind? Is Satan really the god of this world and just what does that mean? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [i.e., Satan]”? Andrews using the Bible will answer all of these questions and far more. …

AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT The Christian Worldview

Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian worldview from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.

Bible Doctrines

ezekiel, daniel, & revelationEZEKIEL, DANIEL, & REVELATION: GOG OF THE LAND OF MAGOG, KINGS OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH, & THE EIGHT KINGS OF REVELATION

The Bible describes the events that will occur before and after the destruction of Gog of Magog. Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11? Find out in a verse-by-verse explanation of Daniel Chapter 11, as you discover who the kings of the North and the South are from before Jesus’ day throughout the last days. You will benefit from paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy about the battle between the two kings? Taken together, the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation not only identify eight kings but also show the sequence in which they would appear. We can explain those prophecies.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIEWHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE?: Should You Be Afraid of Death or of People Who Have Died?

People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?

Identifying the AntiChristIDENTIFYING 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 important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …

Understaning Creation AccountUNDERSTANDING 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 earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last ThingsEXPLAINING the DOCTRINE of LAST THINGS Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell

second coming CoverThe 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 will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.

What Is HellWHAT 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 Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.

miraclesMIRACLES – 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 is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.

Homosexuality and the ChristianHOMOSEXUALITY – 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 Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.

Daily Devotionals

40 day devotional (1)40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS Coming-of-Age In Christ

If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.

DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHSDEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Growing Up In Christ

Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach. Terry Overton was determined to find out what problems middle school children and teens were worried about the most. While visiting her grandchildren one weekend, she asked her granddaughter to send topics to her so that she could write a devotional about the topic. In a matter of weeks, not only did her granddaughter send her topics, but the other grandchildren and their friends sent topics of concern. Once the author wrote a devotional for a topic, it was sent to the teen requesting the devotional. Soon, these requests were happening in real time. Students sent text requests about problems happening in school and asked what the student should do? How should this be handled?

DEVOTIONAL FOR TRAGEDYDEVOTIONAL FOR THOSE COPING WITH TRAGEDY: A Journey Back to God

This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.

DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERSDEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS: Finding Strength Through Faith

Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.

Daily_OTDAILY DEVOTIONAL Daily Musings From the Old Testament

Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.

Daily Devotional_NT_TMDAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musing From the New Testament

Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.

Daily Devotional_DarkerBREAD OF HEAVEN: Daily Meditations on Scripture

BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior. Kieran Beville’s daily devotional combines down-to-earth, unstuffy humanity in today’s world with a biblical and God-centered approach, and draws on rich theology in a thoroughly accessible way. He addresses not just the intellect and the will but gets to the heart, our motivational center, through the mind. If your Christian life could benefit from a short, well-written daily blast of Christ’s comfort and challenge, get this book and use it!  These short Bible-based meditations are fresh and contemporary. Beville gives to the twenty-first-century reader what earlier authors have given to theirs. Here is practical wisdom that is a helpful guide to stimulate worship and set you thinking as you begin each day with God.

theconversationcoverTHE CONVERSATION: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter

The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter is a unique and riveting reconstruction from the unnamed disciple’s account found in Luke 24 regarding his journey with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, along with hearing claims of His empty tomb. Suddenly, a Stranger begins walking with them. With their eyes “prevented” from recognizing Him as the risen Lord Jesus Christ—Yeshua the Messiah, their new, wise Traveling Companion correlates the Old Covenant Scriptures, by way of Moses and the prophets, with what they witnessed.
This “journal” is your opportunity to eavesdrop and learn what that conversation might have been like, as pertinent prophecies unfold revealing evidence that the Messiah’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were, in fact, specifically foretold.

More Than DevotionMORE THAN DEVOTION: Remembering His Word, Apply It to Our Lives

Unique and life-changing, More Than Devotion, through a melding of accounts from both the Old Covenant and New, proves that our trustworthy God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All fifty convicting devotions draw from a rich scriptural context, concluding with a practical, achievable call to action, plus journaling space for personal reflection. New believers and veteran followers of our Lord can grow in the innermost areas of their lives and enjoy a more intimate walk with the Savior.

Christian Fiction

Oren Natas_JPEGOREN NATAS: Satan Incarnate As the Antichrist

AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.

Sentient-FrontTHE SENTIENT a Novel

A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.

ONLINE REVIEW: “Very fun read. Fast paced and honest. Tons of evolution occurs during the process thru the story. Wonderful girl trying to become an adult Christian in a world that also pits her superpowers against terrorists with the help of her own special forces team. Buy this book and just enjoy!”

Judas DiaryTHE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length

In June 1985, an excavation project was undertaken by The British Antiquities Volunteers (BAV) at a plot of rocky land where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet near the eastern side of Old Jerusalem. That year many hundreds of (mostly redundant) ‘small finds’ were recovered in the Judean 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 Judas Iscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings of Judas, a disgruntled disciple, as he accompanies Jesus of Nazareth during His ministry, and uses this fable and allegory to explore some of the ways a person might resist becoming a Christian.

The RaptureTHE 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 the beast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up with an unlikely trio who befriends him. Together, they set out towards Garbor. Unfortunately, however, they are soon faced with their first major catastrophe, which sparks debate among them as to whether or not they really are in the Great Tribulation. On their journey, the group meets up with many people, some of them good and some of them evil. …

Seekers and DeceiversSEEKERS 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 embrace the Light because it exposed their wickedness. They rejected the Light of the Word and ruled themselves. Those few who had embraced the Light and hated the darkness were killed. Since that time anyone who embraced the Light of the Word, pursued or talked about it were arrested. Those arrested were sentenced to death by stoning. The last prophet gave a prophecy before he was martyred. “The whisperer will come and empower three witnesses that will make manifest the works of darkness and destroy it, and deliver my people from the grip of darkness to the freedom found in the light.” All the Children of the Light were killed off or went into hiding living among the Children of Darkness in secret, not mentioning the Light for fear of death. Generations grew up being ignorant of the Light of the Word and never knowing the difference. No one ever mentioned the Light or dared to even talk about the Light. …

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