Introduction. There were three basic classes of religious personnel in ancient Israel: prophets, wise men, and priests, and Levites. The classical prophets fulfilled a vocation, but were not professionals; they were not paid for their task and functioned only in response to the particular call of God. The wise men were involved in government and education; some of their duties were secular, though they were also involved in moral education. The priests and Levites fulfilled a variety of essentially religious duties and were equivalent approximately to the clergy in modern times. They were professional men and were supported for their full-time religious work.
The role of the priesthood may be seen most clearly in the context of Israelite religion as a whole. At the heart of religion was a relationship with God; to be an Israelite or a Jew was to know and maintain a continuous relationship with the living God. This relationship found its outward expression in a variety of contexts: the covenant, the temple, worship, and every facet of daily life. Thus religion, understood as a relationship, had two perspectives, the relationship with God and that with fellow human beings; it had both a personal and a communal dimension to it. The priests were the guardians and servants of this life of relationship, which was at the heart of OT religion; all their functions can best be understood within the context of a relationship between God and Israel. The prophets, too, were servants of the covenant relationship. While the priests functioned as the normal servants of religion, the prophets’ role was more that of calling a delinquent people back to the relationship with God in times of crisis.
In the OT, there are frequent references to both priests and Levites; in a number of biblical texts, however, the distinction is not clear (see, e.g., Dt 18:1–8). From the scholarly point of view, the precise relationship between priests and Levites is a continuing problem which has not yet been fully resolved. In general terms, only the sons of Aaron were to assume the role of priests; all other Levites would have religious functions, though technically they would not be priests. While this distinction is clear in most biblical texts, in others there is lack of certainty and clarity. It is clear, however, that priests (Levites descended from Aaron) and Levites (other than the descendants of Aaron) all had professional religious duties to perform. The precise nature of those duties varied from time to time in the course of Israel’s history.
The Origins of the Priesthood. The priesthood in Israel began during the time of Moses and Aaron, but antecedents to the Hebrew priesthood and the context in which it began occur in Genesis.
The Background to Priesthood. Genesis refers to “priests” a number of times, though they are all non-Hebrew priests. Potiphera, an Egyptian priest of On, had a daughter called Asenath who married Joseph (Gn 41:45); he is indicative of the presence of priests in most religions of the ancient Near East. Egyptian priests possessed land and received a stipend from the pharaoh (Gn 47:22, 26). There is also a reference to a priest called Melchizedek (Gn 14:18), whose theological significance emerges more clearly in the NT. In Genesis, Melchizedek is described as a priest-king; he ruled Salem during Abram’s time and was a “priest of the God of Highest Heaven.” Little more is known of him, other than the words of his blessing of Abram (Gn 14:19, 20).
Although there are no explicit references to Hebrew priests in Genesis, several passages illustrate the need for a priesthood and anticipate the later activity of the priests. The need for priesthood may be seen from the time of Adam; Adam’s sin caused a disruption in the relationship between man and God and thus demonstrated the need of a mediator between the separated parties. The priests in OT times were to serve in the role of mediator. The awareness of the broken relationship may be seen at many other points in the narrative of Genesis, particularly in passages describing offerings and sacrifices. Noah built an altar and made offerings to God after the flood (Gn 8:20). Abram engaged in sacrifice in the formation of his covenant with God (Gn 15:9, 10), and Jacob, too, offered sacrifices (Gn 31:54). In all these instances, the heads of families functioned as priests, though they are not named priests; they stood before God, as representatives of their people, and sought to establish and maintain that relationship with God which is the foundation of human existence. When the religion of the patriarchs, which was based on the family unit, developed into the religion of a nation, Israel, there arose at the same time the need for a formal and professional priesthood.
The Mosaic Establishment. The transition from patriarchal religion to the religion of Israel took place in the time of Moses. The exodus from Egypt was not only the liberation of a group of Hebrew slaves, but the birth of the nation of Israel. The nation that was born in the exodus was given its constitution in the covenant of Sinai. The Law of this covenant established the foundations and origins of Israelite priesthood. It provides insight into the three basic categories to be considered: (a) the high priest; (b) the priests; and (c) the Levites.
(a) The High Priest. Any large and complex organization requires a head or leader, and this was true also of the Hebrew priesthood (though in its early days it was a small organization). The covenant was established through Moses, the prophet, through whom God gave the offer and substance of the covenant relationship; religious life within the covenant was to be the primary responsibility of Aaron, who was the first and chief priest.
In the earliest days of Israel’s priesthood, it is probable that the chief priest’s office was relatively informal; he was chief or leader among his fellow priests. He had a title, but it was essentially a description of his work: “the greatest priest among his brethren” (the literal sense of Lv 21:10). The office was significant, nevertheless, and involved a special ritual of investiture, special clothing, and certain special responsibilities. While the high priest’s duties were similar in principle to those of other priests, he had certain exclusive responsibilities. To some extent, his duties were administrative, pertaining to all the priests of whom he had charge. But his position was more weighty than that of an administrator; just as all priests were the servants and guardians of the covenant relationship, the high priest was chief servant and chief guardian. In his hands rested spiritual responsibility for the entire people of God, and therein lay the true honor and gravity of his position.
This spiritual seniority of the high priest is seen most clearly in certain tasks he undertook within Israel’s life of worship. The clearest example may be seen in the annual observation of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). On that day alone, the high priest entered the Holy of Holies and, standing before the “mercy seat,” he sought God’s forgiveness and mercy for the whole nation of Israel (Lv 16:1–9). It is in that ceremony that Israel’s covenant faith is seen most clearly. Israel’s religion was one of relationship with a holy God, and human evil disrupted that relationship. While all worship and sacrifices throughout the year were concerned with the continuation of the relationship, the Day of Atonement was the most solemn day of the year in which the attention of all the people focused upon the meaning of their existence. Life only held meaning if the relationship with God could be maintained; the high priest had the great honor and heavy burden of seeking God’s mercy for all Israel.
The investiture, or ordination, of the high priest, and of Aaron, the first holder of the office, illustrates further the nature of the office. The ordination service lasted for a full week, and is described in detail in Exodus 29 and Leviticus 8. The service was a joint service, involving not only the ordination of Aaron as high priest, but also of his sons as priests. It was held at the entrance to the tabernacle in the presence of all the Israelites who assembled for the occasion. The ordination involved a number of symbolic activities, all indicating the nature and gravity of the occasion. The persons to be ordained were washed with water, symbolizing the necessity of purity in those who were to serve God as high priest and as priests. They were then robed in special garments. They were anointed with oil (as was the tabernacle itself), signifying separation (being set aside) for divine service. Certain sacrifices (a bull and two rams) and offerings were made, in which the persons being ordained participated; they signified the confession and atonement for sins in those about to be ordained, thanksgiving to God, and consecration to the service of God. The dominant theme running through the entire seven-day service of ordination is that of the holiness and dedication required of Aaron and his sons in order to serve God properly, for they were being ordained into the service (Ex 29:44) of a God who is holy. The service itself was conducted by Moses, and although Moses is not normally referred to as a priest, it may be that his role in ordaining the high priest and first priests accounts for the single designation of him as a “priest” (Ps 99:6).
The special clothing to be worn by the high priest Aaron and his successors was also symbolic of the nature and gravity of the office. The basic garment was a coat of checkered design. Upon this was placed the robe of the ephod, a simple blue tunic with a hole for the head to go through; the skirts of the robe had attached to them, in an alternating design, representations of pomegranates (made of blue, purple, and scarlet material) and golden bells, which were heard when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies. Above the robe of the ephod came the ephod itself, skillfully made from gold, blue, purple, and scarlet materials, with finely twined linen. The ephod was suspended by two shoulder pieces, in which were inserted two onyx stones; on each of the stones six names of the tribes of Israel were engraved. The breastpiece, made of the same materials as the ephod, was a square pouch attached to the ephod by means of cords from the four gold rings at each corner. Four rows of precious stones were attached to the pouch, with three different stones per row representing the 12 tribes of Israel individually. The inside of the pouch contained the Urim and Thummim; although there cannot be absolute certainty on the nature of these objects, they were the means by which God expressed his will to his people through the high priest. (They may have been two flat stones, with the equivalent of “yes” [thummim] and “no” [urim] inscribed on them.) Around his waist, the high priest wore a girdle, or belt, embroidered with fine needlework. He wore a turban, and attached to the front of the turban by blue lace was a gold plate or “crown,” on which were inscribed the words “Holy to the Lord.”
The special clothing worn by the high priest was symbolic of the nature and importance of his office; although all the symbolism cannot be determined, some of it is made clear in the biblical text. There are three particular themes in the symbolism. The first is beauty. The sense of beauty emerges from the quality and design of all the items of clothing, together with the use of color and precious stones. But beauty is dominant in the breastplate; the Hebrew word, translated approximately as “breastplate,” has as its basic sense “beauty” or “excellence.” The clothing symbolizes beauty, while beauty describes the office; the two other themes associated with the symbolism bring out the excellence of the office.
The second theme is the role of the priest as representative of Israel before God. This essential dimension of the office of the high priest is explicitly identified in the names of the tribes of Israel in the two onyx stones in the ephod, and in the 12 precious stones attached to the breastplate. The high priest enters God’s presence to seek deliverance from God’s judgment (the breastplate is identified with judgment; Ex 28:15) for his people and in order to keep the people constantly in God’s remembrance (Ex 28:12), as symbolized by the two onyx stones. The third theme is the role of the high priest as the representative of God to Israel. This dimension of the office is seen in the Urim and Thummim, kept in the breastpiece, by means of which God made known his will to Israel. The high priest, Aaron, fully robed, was a splendid figure, and the splendor of his garments indicated the magnificence of the office with which he had been entrusted.
The high priesthood was to be passed on within the family (for the high priest was expected to be a married man), although in later history, the practice was not always adhered to. On Aaron’s death, the office passed to Eleazar, one of his four sons.
(b) The Priests. Priests took office not as the result of a particular vocation, but by virtue of priestly descent. Thus the first priests were the four sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar; these four were ordained at the same time that Aaron was ordained high priest (Ex 28:1). Like him, they had special clothing, which was basically similar, though it lacked the distinctive garments of the high priest (the special ephod, the breastpiece, and the crown). The priesthood would be passed down through their sons.
The sanctity of the priestly office was such that it was preserved from degeneration through specific laws. A man must be a descendant of Aaron to be a priest, but he was also required to meet a variety of other qualifications. He would not marry a divorcée or a former prostitute (Lv 21:7). If he was afflicted by certain kinds of disease or congenital defects, he was barred from priestly office (e.g., blindness, lameness, mutilation, being a hunchback or dwarf; Lv 21:16–23). The principle involved was similar to that applying to animals used in sacrifice—only those free from defect or blemish were suitable for divine service.
In the earliest days of the priesthood there is some information provided in the biblical text concerning the specific duties of the priests. Eleazar had overall responsibility for the tabernacle and its offerings (Nm 4:16), assisted Moses in a number of duties, such as numbering the people and dividing the land (Nm 26:1, 2; 32:2), and later served as an adviser to Joshua. Ithamar was responsible for the construction of the tabernacle (Ex 38:21) and supervised the families of the Gershonites and Merarites (Nm 4:28–33). Nadab and Abihu, however, died soon after their ordination as a result of a sinful act in their priestly duties (Lv 10:1–7), which may have been related in part to drunkenness (Lv 10:8, 9).
Priestly duties, in general, fell into three areas (Dt 33:8–10). First, they were responsible in conjunction with the high priest for declaring God’s will to the people. Second, they had responsibilities in religious education; they were to teach to Israel God’s ordinances and Law (Torah; Dt 33:10). Third, they were to be the servants of the tabernacle, participating in Israel’s sacrifices and worship. There were a number of other duties which may have fallen to them, which they would have shared with the Levites in general.
The priests, along with all other Levites, did not hold any land, as did the other Israelite tribes. Their task was to be entirely in the direct service to God. The absence of land, however, meant that they could not support and feed themselves as could other men and women. Consequently, the law specified that they could be supported for their services by the people as a whole. They were to receive, from worshipers, portions of animals that were brought to the tabernacle, corn, wine, oil, and wool.
(c) The Levites. This term includes the priests, in a broad sense, for the sons of Aaron belonged to the tribe of Levi. For practical purposes, however, the Levites were those of the tribe other than the priests. The Levites also functioned in the service of the tabernacle, though they had a subordinate position. They, too, were professional men and were paid in money and in kind for their services. Though they did not inherit tribal territory of their own, there were a number of cities set aside for their use (Nm 35:1–8) and pasturelands were designated outside those cities for their livestock.
The Levites were divided into three principal families, the descendants of Kohath, Gershon, and Merari, respectively (Nm 4). Each of these families had particular responsibilities with respect to the care and transport of the tabernacle. The sons of Kohath carried the tabernacle furniture (after it had been covered by the priests), the sons of Gershon cared for the coverings and screens, and the sons of Merari carried and erected the tabernacle’s frame. The priests, by contrast, were responsible for the transportation of the ark of the covenant. The role of each Levite, as servant of the tabernacle, was restricted; he undertook his professional duties between the ages of 25 and 50 (Nm 8:24–26).
Although many of the duties of the Levites were of a mundane nature, they also had a very significant religious role. The Law required that all the firstborn, including firstborn sons, be given to God, recalling the slaying of the firstborn at the exodus from Egypt. The Levites’ role in religion was that of being accepted by God in the place of the firstborn sons of Israel (Nm 3:11–13); their cattle, too, were accepted in place of the Israelites’ firstborn cattle. In the census taken in the time of Moses, the firstborn Israelites exceeded the number of the Levites and a five-shekel redemption fee had to be paid into the priestly coffers for each person in excess (Nm 3:40–51). The representative and substitutionary nature of the Levites can be seen in Israelite religion. Like the priests, they played a part in the larger activity of mediation between God and Israel.
The law of Deuteronomy specifies a number of duties which may have fallen upon both priests and Levites (though the texts are ambiguous). These duties included participation in the activity of the law courts as judges, perhaps with special reference to religious crimes (Dt 17:8, 9), taking care of the book of the law (Dt 17:18), controlling the lives and health of lepers (Dt 24:8), and participating directly in the conduct of covenant renewal ceremonies (Dt 27:9).
The History of the Institution. In theory, the covenant Law of Moses determined the nature and course of the offices of priests and Levites for the future history of Israel. In practice, however, changing historical circumstances and changes in the shape of Israel’s religion and culture altered the shape of the priesthood and the role of the Levites from time to time. And even more significantly, the persons who held the offices shaped them and their effectiveness through their faithfulness or unfaithfulness.
The Priesthood Before the Monarchy. In the years between the time of Moses and the establishment of the monarchy under Saul and David, the religion of Israel went through a time of laxity and uncertainty, which was to affect the priesthood and the Levites as it did all other parts of national life. It is not possible to write a complete history of the priesthood during this time; a number of general details emerge from the sources which indicate the state of affairs, and a few specific accounts give information about particular people.
In the time of Joshua, the priests continued to undertake their important task of carrying the ark of the covenant. The Levites assisted in the division and allocation of the newly acquired land among the Israelite tribes. In Joshua 21, there is a detailed list of the allocation of cities to both priests and Levites, in fulfillment of the earlier legislation. In the days of the settlement, beyond the conquest, there is some evidence that the Levites took over the priestly duty of transporting the ark (1 Sm 6:15; 2 Sm 15:24).
The writer of the Book of Judges has recorded two stories which illuminate the lives of particular Levites. The first, the story of Micah (Jgs 17; 18), describes the establishment of a local shrine in which Micah’s son was appointed as a priest (though he was not of Levite or Aaronic descent). Later, Micah hired an itinerant Levite to function as a priest in his shrine, though subsequently that Levite was persuaded to serve the tribe of Dan as a priest. It is difficult to fit the details of this story into the theoretical model of priests and Levites, though the story may illustrate the confused state of Israel’s religion at the time. What is particularly significant is that the role of the Levite-priest was primarily oracular (Jgs 18:5, 6). The second story in Judges is the rather horrifying account of a Levite and his concubine (Jgs 19). The story illustrates the moral decline and lack of law and order in Israel at the time, but it sheds little light on the role of the Levites.
More information is provided about the priesthood during the 11th century bc, immediately before the establishment of the monarchy. The tabernacle (by now probably a semi-permanent structure) and the ark of the covenant were located in Shiloh. The priest in charge of the sanctuary in Shiloh was Eli, who may have been a descendant of Aaron’s son, Ithamar. His two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, also served as priests, indicating that the principle of family descent was still operative with respect to the priesthood. But although Eli was a faithful priest, his two sons sadly abused the office.
The precise role of Samuel in this period is unclear. He was primarily a judge and a prophet, but it is difficult to determine whether he was also a priest. In the historical narratives, he is not called a priest, though Psalm 99:6 might be interpreted to indicate his priestly office. There are a number of passages, however, which indicate that he acted like a priest. For example, he offered sacrifices (1 Sm 7:9–10); as a young man he served in the sanctuary of Shiloh and wore an ephod (1 Sm 2). Furthermore, one of the biblical genealogies implies priestly descent (1 Chr 6:23–30). Nevertheless, he is not normally identified as a priest and the introduction to his story refers to him as an Ephraimite, by descent from his father (1 Sm 1:1), not a Levite. If the priest is perceived as a permanent servant of the sanctuary, as was Eli, then it is clear that Samuel was not a priest. But the priestly role of Samuel may perhaps be related to the fact that his mother “lent” him to God (1 Sm 1:28) while he was still a boy.
The Priesthood During the Time of David and Solomon. Several radical changes took place during the reign of David and Solomon; these were a result, primarily, of the establishment of a permanent temple in Jerusalem and the installation of the ark of the covenant there. During the time of Saul, the first king of Israel, the social structure was essentially the same as it had been in the time of the judges. Saul, as king, was a military leader, but his relationship to religion and the priesthood was not clearly determined.
David changed the situation in many important respects. After his capture of the city of Jerusalem, he made that place the political and religious capital of his nation. The religious centrality of Jerusalem was assured by moving the ark of the covenant there, together with the tabernacle. Jerusalem now became the permanent location of the ark, and therefore the permanent center of religion; at the same time, the various regional shrines, which had developed in the premonarchical period, were gradually eliminated.
These changes had numerous implications for the priesthood and the Levites. During David’s reign, there were two principal priests, Abiathar and Zadok. Abiathar, a former priest of Nob, had joined David before his rise to power; he appears to have been a descendant of Eli, and through him of Ithamar, one of Aaron’s sons. Zadok’s background is less clear, though his lineage appears to go back to Aaron’s other son, Eleazar. These two priests are always named together in the texts describing David’s reign, and Zadok is always mentioned before Abiathar. Although neither is explicitly identified as high priest in the ancient texts, there is some evidence to suggest that Abiathar functioned as high priest (1 Kgs 2:35); in NT times, he is identified as such (Mk 2:26). Zadok, during David’s reign, may have been particularly responsible for the care of the ark of the covenant (2 Sm 15:24–25). These two priests had a significant position in David’s royal establishment; they may also have shared overall responsibility for the priests, whose lives were now centered on the Jerusalem temple.
Much of David’s time was focused upon the preparations for building a permanent temple for God. In the preparation for the temple, and in its completion during the reign of King Solomon, the new activities of the Levites may be seen. (The construction of a permanent temple automatically removed their former responsibilities related to the care and transportation of the tabernacle.) Large numbers of Levites were employed as laborers in the actual building of the temple. Others found new tasks in the worship of God in the tabernacle during David’s reign and in the temple upon its completion. To the Levites, and especially Herman, Asaph, and Ethan, was given primary responsibility for the music of worship; this involved not only singing, but also the playing of a variety of instruments in the temple’s orchestra or band. The Levites had also a variety of other tasks; they worked as gatekeepers at the sanctuary, assisted the priests in the preparation of sacrifices, kept the sanctuary clean, and some functioned as general administrative and legal officers (1 Chr 23:1–32). Other Levites functioned as bankers, with primary responsibility for the temple treasuries (1 Chr 26:20–28).
Following David’s death, there was a dispute over the royal succession, from which Solomon emerged as the new king. During his reign, the temple was brought to its completion and the regular worship of the nation was conducted there. In the matter of succession, however, Abiathar had supported a losing candidate, and when Solomon was made king, he lost his important office in the royal court. During Solomon’s reign, the control of the priesthood passed into the hands of Zadok.
The Priesthood During the Divided Monarchy. The great empire, which had been built by David and maintained by Solomon, collapsed after Solomon’s death; from the ruins, two new and relatively insignificant states emerged. The southern kingdom, Judah, retained Jerusalem as its capital and the temple as its center of worship. The northern kingdom, Israel, located its first capital at Shechem, from where it was later moved to Tirzah.
In the southern state of Judah, the priests and Levites continued to function normally within the Jerusalem temple. The office of high priest continued to be passed on by descent within the family of Zadok, who had held office in Solomon’s reign; the continuity of office in this family was to be retained down into the time of the second temple, when the Zadokite succession was interrupted about 171 bc. Nevertheless, for all the continuity of religion in Jerusalem, all was not well with religion in Judah, neither during the reign of its first king, Rehoboam, nor during the reigns of his successors. During Rehoboam’s reign, there was a decline in religion and also in the priesthood, when popular forms of religion were introduced as a result of foreign influence (1 Kgs 14:22–24). The history of the southern kingdom was marked by periods of religious decline followed by reform, often as a result of the activities of the prophets. The role of the priesthood was all too rarely one of spiritual leadership, and the priests themselves were often the subject of criticism by the prophets (e.g., Jer 2:8, 26).
The northern kingdom, whose first king was Jeroboam I, inevitably had to introduce some radical changes in religion. Jeroboam could not recognize the temple of Jerusalem, partly because it lay outside his state and partly because it was intimately associated with the royal line of David. Jeroboam established two principal shrines in his kingdom, both of which were to retain importance during the relatively short life of the northern kingdom (200 years). The first was at Bethel, in the southern part of his kingdom near the border with Judah (it was only about 12 miles north of Jerusalem). The second shrine, or sanctuary, was at Dan, in the far northern part of his kingdom.
Both these sanctuaries had ancient associations with the Hebrew traditions. Bethel is referred to as early as the time of Abram (Gn 12:8) and the sanctuary at Dan is known from the history of the judges (Jgs 18). There may indeed have been priests and Levites still residing in these two places, descendants of the former servants of the sanctuaries. But Jeroboam established a nonlevitical priesthood to serve in these sanctuaries, and in various smaller shrines or “high places,” thereby cutting off the religious tradition of the northern state even more radically from that of Judah. The royal sanctuary at Bethel, so close to the Jerusalem temple, may have been set up in deliberate “competition” with the Judean sanctuary.
The history of the priesthood in the northern kingdom is no more impressive than that of Judah. Many of the prophets, including Amos, Hosea, and Jeremiah, condemned the northern sanctuaries and their priests. Hosea was forceful in his condemnation: “As marauders lie in ambush for a man, so do bands of priests; they murder on the road to Shechem, committing shameful crimes” (Hos 6:9 niv). Those to whom the spiritual lives of the chosen people had been entrusted only rarely lived up to their responsibilities.
Priests and Levites During and After the Exile. The northern kingdom came to its end in 722 bc, defeated by the armies of Assyria, but religious life continued in Judah for a while longer. Eventually, the end of the southern state came about 586 bc; the defeat of the state by the Babylonians was accompanied by the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple (Lam 2:20). The Babylonian commander took Seraiah, the high priest, and Zephanaiah, his assistant, to Riblah, along with other officials; there they were executed (2 Kgs 25:18–21). Then a policy of exile was established by the Babylonians; the most important and influential people of Judah were deported to Babylon, while the less significant were allowed to remain, for they were unlikely to cause trouble. Of those exiled from Judah, many may have been priests (Jer 29:1), for they were men of influence. By way of contrast, it seems likely that a much smaller number of Levites was exiled, reflecting perhaps their inferior social position.
In the city of Jerusalem there was little normal religious life during the years of the exile; the altar had been destroyed and was not restored until after the exile. No doubt some kind of activity continued, but it was an impoverished form of religion. Most of the priests were in exile in Babylon, but they could not function, for there was no temple or sanctuary. Ezekiel implies that God himself was the only “sanctuary” for the exiles (Ez 11:16). Not until the return from exile and the restoration of Jerusalem and its temple could the normal functions of priests and Levites resume.
When the Babylonian Empire was defeated, the new Persian conquerors instituted a policy whereby the Hebrew exiles could return to their homeland. Of those returning, 4289 are designated as priests and members of priestly families, while only 341 were Levites (Ezr 2:36–42); the imbalance probably reflects the imbalance in the number of those exiled initially. Under Joshua (Jeshua), the priest, and Zerubbabel work began on the restoration. The priests played a significant role in the first year of the return, in the restoration of the altar in Jerusalem, so that sacrifice and worship to God could resume. Once the altar had been restored, the work began on the temple itself in the second year of the return. In this work, both the priests and the Levites were involved, and the laying of new foundations for the temple began. When the foundation had been laid, both priests, in their vestments, and Levites, in their role as singers and musicians, participated in the ceremony of dedication (Ezr 3:8–13). Again, when the temple had been rebuilt, both priests and Levites participated in the ceremony of dedication (Ezr 6:16–18). The restoration, however, was concerned with more than buildings; it involved a moral and religious component. Though priests and Levites helped in this task, they were also affected by it. Many, for example, had married foreign wives (Ezr 9:1), and thus had to conform to Ezra’s reform laws.
To some extent, the priests and Levites resumed their normal duties in the worship of the postexilic period. The priests were engaged in the conduct of the temple worship. The Levites assisted, as temple servants (Neh 11:3), as treasurers and collectors of tithes (Neh 10:37–39), and as instructors or teachers of the Law of God (Neh 8:7–9). Nevertheless, the history of the priesthood after the exile is not free of blemish; there are few more powerful condemnations of the abuse of the priestly office than that delivered by the prophet Malachi (1:6–2:9). Malachi catalogues a list of priestly evils reminiscent of the evil priests who lived during the time of the monarchy.
The office of high priest continued after the exile among the descendants of Zadok, being held first by Joshua (Hg 1:1). The different political circumstances, however, changed the nature of the high priestly office. Whereas in the days of the monarchy, the high priest was subservient to the king, there was no king, in the proper sense, after the exile. From a political perspective, the Jews were members of a province or colony; for practical purposes, they were a community based upon a common religion. The high priest was no longer subject to the secular authority of a Jewish king, but his religious authority was considerable, and in some ways his functions were similar to those of a king in pre-exilic times.
The Priesthood in the Maccabean Period. During the 2nd century bc, some changes took place in the priesthood, particularly with respect to the office of high priest, which marked the end of the OT era and set the background for the NT period. Judea, in the 2nd century, was ruled by the Seleucid kings, who had inherited a portion of the massive Greek Empire established by Alexander the Great. The Judean province was controlled internally under the high priesthood, whose authority was received from the Seleucid kings.
For the first three decades of the 2nd century bc, the high priesthood remained with the Zadokite line of descent; the high priests were members of the (Zadokite) Oniad family; Onias III (198–174 bc); Jason, brother of Onias III (174–171 bc). It was in the period of Jason that there began a series of events which would terminate the Zadokite tradition.
Onias III had opposed the Hellenization policy of Antiochus IV (Epiphanes), which threatened to undermine the Jewish faith. Antiochus replaced Onias by Jason, who in effect purchased the high priesthood from the Seleucid king. In purchasing the priestly office, Jason had set a dangerous precedent; although he was of Zadokite descent, his act implied that the office could be bought, and that descent was not vital. The opponents of Jason, the Tobiads, were able to remove him from office and have their own candidate, Menelaus (who was not a Zadokite), appointed in his place. This act resulted in a civil war between those supporting Jason and those supporting Menelaus, and the war in turn culminated in ruthless repressive measures by Antiochus Epiphanes; there were massacres in Jerusalem and the temple was desecrated (167 bc). The desecration of the temple led to the Maccabean revolt, as a result of which the Jews regained their independence for a short time. Menelaus retained the office of high priest until 161 bc. and was succeeded by Alcimus (161–159 bc).
There then followed a period during which there was no high priest for seven years. The political climate, however, was such that it became unlikely that the Zadokite line would ever regain the high priesthood, which had been established in the time of King Solomon. The Maccabean Jonathan gained control of Jerusalem and in 152 bc, with the approval of the Seleucid king, he was formally invested with the high priest’s robes of office. He was succeeded as high priest and ruler by Simon in 143 bc, who also held the office with the approval of the Seleucids (Demetrius II). But in the third year of his reign (140 bc), the high priesthood of Simon received public approval in a great religious assembly, and the family of Simon became “high priest forever” (1 Mc 14:41–47). That event marked the real termination of the Zadokite tradition and the foundation of the Hasmonean line.
The establishment of the high priestly office outside the Zadokite line did not go without challenge. It is probable that a sect within Judaism, now known as the Essenes, was born in reaction to the high priesthood of Simon. The Essenes, better known for the Dead Sea Scrolls which have survived into the 20th century, appear to have been founded by a Zadokite priest who rejected the authenticity and authority of Simon. Thus, in a limited sense, the Zadokite priests continued to survive.
The Priesthood in NT Times. In the early NT period, both priests and Levites continued to function within the Jewish religion. Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, was a priest belonging to the division of “Abijah” (Lk 1:5) and his wife was also of priestly descent. When Zacharias was visited by an angel, he was engaged at the time in priestly duties in the Jerusalem temple; various divisions of priests took responsibility for the temple services for a period of time and then returned to their homes (Lk 1:23) as another division took over. The distinction between priests and Levites is also maintained in the NT (Jn 1:19) and appears in Jesus’ parable concerning the good Samaritan (Lk 10:31, 32). Both priests and Levites were among the earliest converts to Christianity; Barnabas was a Levite from Cyprus (Acts 4:36) and several priests responded to the proclamation of the gospel (Acts 6:7).
The office of high priest is frequently referred to in the NT. Several high priests are named, the plurality of current and former holders of the office reflecting the nature of the position as an essentially political appointment as distinct from its oldest definition, that of an office passing from father to son on the death of the father. The two most significant high priests in the NT are those who held office during the lifetime of Jesus. Annas was high priest about ad 6–15, but even after he ceased to hold the office formally, he continued to exert considerable influence through his son-in-law, the high priest Caiaphas (c. ad 18–36). Both were significant figures in the trial of Jesus. At a later date, Ananias, son of Nedebaeus, was high priest (c. ad 47–58) and president of the Sanhedrin during the time in which Paul was brought to trial.
The priesthood held considerable authority in NT times. Most internal and religious matters in the Roman province of Judea were within the authority of the Sanhedrin, which functioned as a kind of provincial government, though its powers were limited in certain matters by Rome. Its membership included the ruling and former high priests and a large number of Sadducees, many of whom belonged to influential priestly families. This priestly influence in the Sanhedrin was indicative of the important role of the temple in Jewish life during the 1st century ad
In ad 70, following the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, a radical change came about in the significance of the priesthood in Judaism. The end of the temple removed in effect the purpose for the existence of the priesthood. Although the priesthood continued after a fashion until the Bar Kochba rebellion in ad 135, its days were numbered after ad 70. Since the end of the 1st century ad, Judaism has developed without priests and its course down to the present century has been charted by the rabbis, the spiritual descendants of the Pharisees.
Priests in the Biblical World. The idea and practice of priesthood are by no means distinctive or unique in biblical religion. In the civilizations of the ancient Near East, there were priestly classes in the Sumerian, Hittite, and Egyptian religions and Zoroastrianism in the Persian Empire, to name a few. There were also priests in religious cults in Syria and Palestine, and in these areas even the terminology for priests is identical with that of the OT. In NT times, there were priests in several of the religions existing within the Roman Empire; in Acts, a priest of Jupiter is referred to, who was a resident of Lystra. Almost all religions have some concept of priesthood, so that the existence of priests and Levites in biblical religion is not surprising.
The roles of the priests and Levites are closely paralleled by priestly roles in other religions. For example, in Assyrian and Babylonian religion, the priests were divided into a variety of classes, each with different religious functions. Some had administrative or supervisory roles, some functioned in the context of worship and sacrifice, some specialized in singing and music, some were diviners, and others practiced magic. Very often groups of priests with special functions occurred in an organization, a kind of guild, which traced its origin to a forefather or patriarch in ancient times. The priests wore special robes and distinctive hats; for certain types of expiation ceremonies, they donned purple robes. Thus the general category of priests in Assyria and Babylonia undertook the same duties as did both priests and Levites in Israel. The commonality of priesthood in the ancient world, however, is such that it is probably not possible to trace precisely the historical antecedents of the Israelite priesthood.
For the common ground between priesthood in the OT and the ancient Near East, there were nevertheless differences. There was one major and principal distinction, from which all other distinctions followed. The priests and Levites of Israel served the God of Israel; theirs was a monotheistic faith, serving a single, unitary, and omnipotent God. In this, they differed from their fellow priests in other cultures, who served the variety of gods and goddesses in the many pantheons of Near Eastern religions. Other differences flowed from the nature of this God; thus, priests could not practice magic (the manipulation of divine power for personal use), for it was prohibited by the God of Israel. Just as many features of biblical religion had precise parallels in other religions, such was also the case with the priestly office; the radical differences emerge only when a careful comparison is undertaken of the differences between God and the gods.
Theological Significance of Priesthood
The OT. The priests and Levites were servants of God and, from a different perspective, servants of the covenant. Both the human and divine aspects of their service can be seen in the covenant context. As servants of God, they represented God’s principal purpose in this world, namely, the well-being of his chosen people; the people would only experience that well-being if their relationship with God was maintained. As servants of Israel, they undertook specific responsibilities and leadership with respect to that which is most central in human life, the worshipful life of relationship to God.
From these comments, it is clear that the priests and Levites possessed the role of mediation between God and Israel. In significant ways, they represented each member of the covenant before the other member. The need for a mediator was partly practical. In the days of the patriarchs and family religion, there had been no formal priesthood, for the family unit was small. But Israel was an entire nation, bound to God in covenant; the existence of priests and Levites recognized the human need for so large a community to set aside a group of people whose permanent task was to watch over and care for the relationship with God. The need for mediation, however, was also based upon a particular understanding of the nature of God. Although God was Father, he was also an awesome and holy being. His holiness was such that he could not lightly be approached by the ordinary man and woman. The priests and Levites thus assumed the grave task of approaching God on behalf of the people as a whole.
For all the necessary aspects of priesthood, there was also a sense in which it was unnecessary. The patriarchs had no priests. In the exile, there were priests but they could not function as such; the exiles lived without the normal services of a priest. In the Psalms, the many individual hymns and laments indicate that it was possible for the ordinary individual to approach God directly without the aid of a priest. Likewise, the role of the great prophets indicates that it was possible for God to speak to his people directly, without the mediation of a priest.
Nevertheless, the existence of a priesthood provides a fundamental insight into the nature of religion. Religion is a relationship with the living God. Yet human beings are aware of a gap, or sense of distance, between themselves and God. It seems almost presumptuous for sinful man to attempt to bridge that gap in his own right. Yet a priest could take steps to bridge that gap, not because priests were innately better than other men or women, but precisely because that was the task to which God, in his mercy, had appointed them. Thus, from an OT perspective, the existence of a priesthood is not evidence of the genius of the founders of Israelite religion; rather, it is evidence of the mercy of God toward his people.
There is one further vital theological dimension to priesthood in the OT. It is that the role of the priests as servants of Israel was parallel to the role of Israel as servant to all nations. God addressed to Israel some words of remarkable privilege in the formation of the Sinai covenant: “And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex 19:6). Just as the Israelites had need of a priest to represent them before God, so too the nations of the world required a priest to represent them. From a Christian perspective, this priestly role of Israel as a whole is to be understood partially in the meaning of Jesus Christ for the world.
The NT. To a very limited extent, the OT theology of priesthood continues into the time of the church. The earliest Jewish Christians did not automatically renounce their ties with the worship of the Jerusalem temple (Acts 3:1; 21:26); in that sense, they continued to worship through the mediacy of the temple priesthood, though the destruction of the temple in ad 70 brought to an end that possibility. In reality, however, their understanding of priesthood had undergone a radical change through the illumination of the gospel. Central to the proclamation of the gospel was that God had provided a mediator in the person of Jesus Christ. What had formerly been undertaken, in a limited fashion, by priests and Levites on a continuing basis, had now been fully achieved in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on a permanent basis.
Although this theme of the mediatory role of Jesus Christ penetrates the entire gospel, it is given its fullest expression in the Letter to the Hebrews. Therein, the writer elaborates upon the whole tradition of priests and Levites to demonstrate the fulfillment and consummation in the gospel. But the focal point of the epistle is the office of high priest; Jesus is the full and final High Priest of the new covenant who achieved that mediation with God (Heb 2:17) which used to be sought annually on the Day of Atonement. Jesus was not a high priest in the tradition of Aaron, or Zadok, which would have identified him with the old covenant. Jesus was designated by God “after the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 6:20), for “he is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever” (Heb 7:3). The eternality of the high priesthood of Jesus eclipsed the temporality of the priesthood in the OT.
But there is a final dimension to the concept of priesthood in the NT which is of vital significance. It is the concept of all Christians belonging to the priesthood. Peter indicates that Christians are “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Pt 2:9). But the conception of all Christians as priests does not mean that they no longer need priests as in OT times, though that is true; they have a High Priest in the person of Jesus Christ. More than that, it implies that all Christians must be priests to the world at large. Just as Israel, the community of the old covenant, was called upon to be a nation of priests on behalf of all nations, so Christians, citizens of the new covenant, are called upon to be priests representing all mankind before God—and God before all mankind.
See Priesthood; Offerings and Sacrifices; Tabernacle, Temple; Worship; Prayer; Feasts and Festivals of Israel; Aaron; Levi, Tribe of; Levitical Cities; Israel, Religion of.
Bibliography. A. Cody, A History of the OT Priesthood; R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 344–405; W. Eichrodt, Theology of the OT, 1: 392–436; G.B. Gray, Sacrifice in the OT; J. Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus; G. Oehler, Theology of the OT, 200–217.
Primogeniture. Word not found in the Bible; derived from the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for firstborn. Primogeniture refers specifically to the exclusive right of inheritance which belonged to the firstborn male. If the firstborn died, the next oldest living male did not receive that exclusive right; neither did a female if she were the firstborn, nor the firstborn if he was born of a concubine or of a slave woman (e.g., Gn 21:10). That the Scriptures attached much importance to the rights of the firstborn (primogeniture) can be seen in the distinction drawn between the firstborn and other sons (Gn 10:15; 25:13; 36:15), the double portion to be given to the firstborn (Dt 21:17), as well as the paternal blessing given to them (Gn 21:1–14; 27:1–28; 48:18).
Primogeniture was recognized by non-Israelites also. In parts of ancient Babylonia, according to private legal documents, the firstborn son enjoyed special inheritance privileges. This was also the case in Nuzi and Egypt. There is evidence, however, from extant records, that exceptions could be made if the family patriarch chose to do so.
It is of interest that God, in electing and placing Israelite sons in strategic roles of service, did not adhere to the principle of primogeniture in each case. Jacob was chosen instead of firstborn Esau (Mt 1:2, 3); David, the seventh son, was chosen king (1 Sm 16:6–12). Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is spoken of as the One Who inherits all of the Father’s kingdom.
Principalities and Powers. Phrase, familiarized by the kjv, occurring several times in Paul’s writings, and expressed by means of three Greek synonyms. The concept of principalities is signified by exousia and archai, while powers is represented by dynamis. In the NT, exousia describes the power inherent in authority as something confirmed by or derived from a position of prominence. There is nothing evil about this kind of authority and, on the contrary, it is essentially right both morally and spiritually (Mt 21:23). It thus applies most appropriately to the authority of the Messiah (Mt 9:6; Mk 2:10), of the apostles (2 Cor 10:8; 13:10), and of human government (cf. Mt 8:9; Lk 20:20). Archai has several meanings, but occurs 12 times in the sense of command, rule, or sovereignty, 9 of which (Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 15:24; Eph 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Col 1:16; 2:10, 15; Ti 3:1) appear in Paul’s letters. Finally dynamis, a common word for power, denotes the ability or strength to achieve an impressive goal (Mt 25:15; Acts 3:12).
By using the expression “principalities and powers,” Paul is referring to the hierarchy of supernatural agencies such as angelic beings who worship and serve the Creator of the universe. Some commentators have divided this hierarchy into five categories, namely thrones, principalities, powers, authorities, and dominions. This conclusion, however, can only be arrived at by general inference, since there is nothing in Scripture that points directly to such distinct groups. In using the phrase, Paul is expressing the cosmic lordship of Jesus in as colorful and dramatic a manner as possible.
The entire host of heaven, he says, stands in admiration of Christ’s bride, the church (Eph 1:10), because such a splendid creation has been raised from the humblest of origins by his atoning death. Yet the host of angelic beings in heaven is also God’s creation, and like the Christian church has experienced its own agonies as a result of some primeval conflict between sin and righteousness (cf. Lk 10:18).
In giving Jesus a name above every other name, which all forms of creation whether good or bad would acknowledge as superior in power to any other name (Rom 14:11; Phil 2:10), Paul was demonstrating the supreme lordship of Christ. As their Creator, the heavenly hosts were his subjects, acknowledging him with the church as Lord of the universe. This affirmation was important for the Colossians, whose theology had apparently been tainted by unbiblical speculation (Col 2:8). The truth is that in the incarnate Jesus there resided all the fullness of God, and this is transmitted to believers when they are totally committed through repentance and faith to Christ as Lord. This mighty Savior is the one who bears all authority in heaven and on earth.
by H. W. Perkin
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Translation and Textual Criticism
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 (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. …
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.
Many have asked Edward D. Andrews as a Chief Translator, “In studying the modern Bible translations, I have come across some verses that are left out but that are in my King James Version or even my New King James Version, such as Matthew 18:11; 23:14; Luke 17:36. I have gotten conflicting opinions on social media. Can you please clear this up for me?”
Have you experienced this? The book of Revelation warns: “if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” Yes, removing a true part of the Bible would be a serious matter. (Rev. 22:19) But had this happened? Do you know why these verses are omitted from modern translations? You might wonder, ‘Is my modern Bible translation lacking something that the King James Version has?’ The reader of the King James Version may feel that they have something that the modern Bibles do not. Andrews will help the reader find the answers to whether verses are being omitted and far more when it comes to the differences between the King James Bible and the Modern Bible translations.
The fascinating story of how we got the English Bible in its present form starts 1,120 years ago. HISTORY OF ENGLISH VERSIONS OF THE BIBLE covers the fascinating journey of the Bible from the 9th century AD to the beginning of the 20th-century. The chief translator of the Updated American Standard Version Edward D. Andrews invites readers to explore the process of from the early manuscripts to contemporary translations today.
And so, it was that translators like William Tyndale were martyred for the honor of giving the people a Bible that could easily be understood. What a price they had paid, however; it was a priceless gift! Tyndale and others before and after him had worked with the shadow of death towering over their heads. However, by delivering the Bible to many people in their native tongue, they opened up before them the possibility, not of death, but life eternal. As Jesus Christ said in the Tyndale Bible, “This is lyfe eternall that they myght knowe the that only very God and whom thou hast sent Iesus Christ.” (John 17:3) May we, therefore, know the value of what we can now hold in our hands, and may we diligently study God’s Word.
JOHN 8:58 has been one of the most hotly debated verses in the Bible for centuries. For the first time, an impartial, unbiased, objective investigation begins and ends here. BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS I AM is for all individuals interested in how John 8:58 should be translated, as well as how it should be interpreted. The book impartially (objectively) offers the two different translation views on this verse, as well as two different interpretational views. The reader is given the opportunity to see both perspectives, and then, he or she can decide for themselves. The reader does not have to know Biblical Greek, as we have taken every measure to make this small book easy to understand. We have used the Greek interlinear with the English above the Greek. We have translated all the Greek herein. We have tried to define and explain every uncommon term. Views on translating John 8:58 include NT commentator with the historical setting Kenneth O Gangel, Bible background Clinton E. Arnold and Craig S. Keener, Exegetical commentator D. A. Carson, NT Greek scholar Daniel B. Wallace, Textual scholar B. F. Westcott, Senior Bible Translator of the NASB Don Wilkins, and Chief Translator of the UASV and textual scholar Edward D. Andrews.
FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS is an introduction-intermediate level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews begins by introducing the reader to New Testament textual studies by presenting all the essential, foundational details necessary to understand New Testament textual criticism. With Andrews’ clear and comprehensive approach to New Testament textual studies, FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS, will remain popular for beginning and intermediate students for decades to come. This source on how the New Testament came down us will become the standard book for courses in biblical studies, as well as the history of Christianity. FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS is assured of becoming a reliable, clear-cut resource for generations of Bible students to come.
The Greek 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? FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS introduces its readers to New Testament textual studies of the Greek New Testament. Herein the reader will find plain language as Edward D. Andrews gives the reader an in-depth view of the history of the New Testament. We will discover how the New Testament books were transmitted. The intentional and unintentional scribal errors that crept into the text for some 1,500 years of corruption by copyists, followed by over 400 years of restoration work by textual scholars who gave their entire lives to give us today a restored New Testament text. In this book, the reader will gain an appreciation for the vast work that has been carried out in preserving the text of the New Testament and finding renewed confidence in its reliability. Andrews’ work on FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS was carried out with an apologetical mindset to assist Christians in their defense of God’s Word.
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 READING CULTURE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY provides the reader with the production process of the New Testament books, the publication process, how they were circulated, and to what extent they were used in the early Christian church. It examines the making of the New Testament books, the New Testament secretaries and the material they used, how the early Christians viewed the New Testament books, and the literacy level of the Christians in the first three centuries. It also explores how the gospels went from an oral message to a written record, the accusation that the apostles were uneducated, the inspiration and inerrancy in the writing process of the New Testament books, the trustworthiness of the early Christian copyists, and the claim that the early scribes were predominantly amateurs. Andrews also looks into the early Christian’s use of the codex [book form], how did the spread of early Christianity affect the text of the New Testament, and how was the text impacted by the Roman Empire’s persecution of the early Christians?
The Bible has been under attack since Moses penned the first five books. However, the New Testament has faced criticism like no other time over the 50-70-years. Both friend and foe have challenged the reliability of our New Testament. Self-proclaimed Agnostic textual scholar Dr. Bart D. Ehrman has claimed that there are 400,000+ scribal errors in our Greek New Testament manuscripts. A leading textual scholar, Greek grammarian, and Christian apologist Dr. Daniel B. Wallace has stipulated that this is true. This is of particular interest among all Christians, who have been charged with defending the Word of God. – 1 Peter 3:15.
In this volume, textual scholar Edward D. Andrews offers the churchgoer and textual student a defense against this specific attack on the New Testament. Andrews offers the reader a careful analysis of the relevant evidence, giving his readers logical, reasonable, rational assurances that the New Testament can be trusted more than ever before. He will explain the differences between the older Bible translations and the newer ones. Andrews will explain why we do not need the original manuscripts to have the original Word of God. He will reveal how reliable our manuscripts are, how they survived the elements and the persecution of early Christianity, as well as withstanding careless and even deceitful scribes. Finally, Andrews will deal with the 400,000+ scribal errors in the Greek New Testament manuscripts extensively. The author takes a complicated subject and offers his readers an easy to understand argument for why they can have confidence in the Bible despite various challenges to the trustworthiness of Scripture, offering an insightful, informed, defense of God’s Word.
This fourth edition will be dealing with the Greek text of our New Testament, through the Eyes of Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, in his New York Times bestseller: Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (2005). First, in the introduction, we will look into Bart D. Ehrman’s early life and spiritual decline as he moved from being an evangelical conservative Christian to becoming an agnostic skeptic. Second, we will open with chapter one covering the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early Christian scribes. Then, we will spend three lengthy chapters covering the reading culture of early Christianity because of Ehrman’s claim of just how low the literacy rates were in early Christianity. After that, we will take one chapter to investigate the early Christian copyists because of Ehrman’s claim that most of the scribal errors come from the first three centuries. Following this will be one of the most critical chapters examining Ehrman’s claim of 400,000 textual variants [errors] and what impact they have on the integrity of the Greek New Testament. We will then investigate Bible Difficulties and what they mean for the trustworthiness of God’s Word. After that, we will give the reader the fundamentals of some of Ehrman’s complaints, debunking them as we investigate each one throughout seven chapters.
The Apostolic Fathers were core Christian theologians among the Church Fathers who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., who are believed to have personally known some of the Twelve Apostles or to have been significantly influenced by them. Their writings, though widely circulated in Early Christianity, were not included in the canon of the New Testament. Many of the writings derive from the same time period and geographical location as other works of early Christian literature, which came to be part of the New Testament. Some of the writings found among the Apostolic Fathers appear to have been as highly regarded as some of the writings which became the New Testament.
These writers include Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Hermas, Barnabas, Papias, and the anonymous authors of the Didachē (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles), Letter to Diognetus, Letter of Barnabas, and the Martyrdom of Polycarp. Not everything written by the Apostolic Fathers is considered to be equally valuable theologically, but taken as a whole, their writings are more valuable historically than any other Christian literature outside the New Testament. They provide a bridge between it and the more fully developed Christianity of the late 2nd century.
The Apostolic Fathers are a small number of Early Christian authors who lived and wrote in the second half of the 1st century and the first half of the 2nd century. They are acknowledged as leaders in the early church, although their writings were not included in the New Testament. They include Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, the author of the Didache, and the author of the Shepherd of Hermas. The Apostolic Fathers, the earliest extant Christian writings outside the New Testament, are a primary resource for the study of early Christianity. These works are important because their authors were contemporaries of the biblical writers. J. B. Lightfoot is known as the greatest British New Testament scholar of the nineteenth century.
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
The only way in which anyone can become a genuine disciple of Jesus Christ is to exercise a divinely-given faith in the once crucified but now glorified Son of God, a faith that quickens the soul, fills it with the mind of Christ, and so unites them to Jesus forever. Murray & Andrews well know that the means for arriving at faith is the Word of God. It is the question often asked by the Master, Jesus Christ, which brings us to the title of the book, “If I speak the truth, why do you not believe ?” (John 8:46). Assured like the apostle Paul, as taught by the Lord, that the only mode for receiving forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them that are sanctified, is “faith” in Christ (Acts 26:18). Therefore, Murray & Andrews concentrate their writings on the anxious soul onto the Savior, on the one hand, and the necessity and power of faith in his own heart, on the other. By this means, they expect that under the working of the Spirit through the Word of God, the reader will be led to more fully live their life in faith, ‘the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved you and gave Himself up for you.” (Gal. 2:20) This little book will play a valuable part in our modern Christian faith, no doubt, with its lessons helping Christians to grow spiritually. This book will awaken the need for a vital bond between Christ and the readers, leading them to a stronger faith, which is so richly needed today.
Who wrote this important and enlightening book of Hebrews? Why does it really matter if the book is canonical, authoritative, and inspired? The book was not signed, and so there have been many suggestions over the centuries. Honestly, there is no absolute determinative evidence for any suggested author, even Paul. However, we do not live in an absolute world. God is absolute, and the Word of God in the original is absolute. It seems that most researchers that address this appear to offer just a few suggestions to live with the belief that it is best to say that we do not know. There have been many suggested authors since the first century: Paul, Luke, Barnabas, Silas, Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila, James, Philip, Jude, Clement of Rome have all been offered as suggested authors of the book of Hebrews. So, who really wrote the book of Hebrews? Indeed, the book of Hebrews is packed with the most relevant and beneficial information as well as with serious and weighty exhortation, excellent encouragement, and severe warnings lest we fall away from the faith. The better we become informed with this Bible book, the more we profit from what it has to say. Having some certainty as to who the author is will also give us a deeper appreciation of its authentic and authoritative state.
The book PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL deals with their reputations, the authenticity, and the trustworthiness of their New Testament books (Acts and Galatians), which Bible critics have sought to undermine for centuries. Sadly, this attack also comes from “the new generation of evangelical scholars [who are] far more comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty than previous generations.” (Wallace forward, Page xii) Herein the Bible critics and modern evangelical scholars are the prosecutors in this trial, and Andrews is serving as the Christian apologist in defense of the Apostle Paul and the disciple Luke. Andrews in PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL will briefly talk about Higher critics who have dissected the Word of God until it has become the word of man and a very jumbled word at that. Chapter one will look at how we can use legal terms to view Bible evidence objectively. Chapters 2 and 3 will lay more groundwork defining and dealing with Bible difficulties as it relates to the trial of Paul and Luke. A Brief historical overview of 36-49 C.E. in Chapter 4 apply all that we will have learned up unto this point in our defense of Paul and Luke. As a bonus, APPENDIX I is a chapter explaining Bible Difficulties, and APPENDIX II is a defense of the prophet Daniel and the book that bears his name.
THE BIBLE: ERRORS! MISTAKES! INCONSISTENCIES! CONTRADICTIONS! Critics claim that the Bible is filled with so-called errors, mistakes, inconsistencies, and contradictions. Some even speak of thousands of errors. The truth is there is not even one demonstrated error in the original text of the Bible. Of course, we would never say that there are no difficulties in our Bibles. The Bible is loaded with thousands of difficult, challenging passages, many of which become obstacles in the development of our faith. These difficulties arise out of differences in culture, language, religious and political organizations, not to mention between 2,000 to 3,500 years of separation between the Bible author and the modern-day reader. Calling attention to these difficulties and sifting out the misconceptions, Andrews defends the full inerrancy of the Bible, clarifies the so-called errors or mistakes and what might seem like apparent contradictions. He arms the Christian with what he or she needs to defend their faith in the Bible. Honestly, whenever Christians find a difficulty in the Bible, frankly, acknowledge it. Do not try to obscure it. Do not try to dodge it. Herein is the defense of God’s Word that Christians have been waiting for.
The role of women within the church has been a heated, ongoing debate. There are two views. We have the equal ministry opportunity for both men and women (egalitarian view) and the ministry roles distinguished by gender (complementarian view). This biblically grounded introduction will acquaint the reader with the biblical view: what does the Bible say about the woman’s role in the church? Both views mention the teachings of the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:12 in order to support their viewpoint. Andrews will furnish the reader with a clear and thorough presentation of the biblical evidence for the woman’s role in the church so we can better understand the biblical viewpoint.
Some of the questions asked and answered in THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN’S SURVIVAL GUIDE are “You claim the Bible is inspired because it says it is, right (2 Tim. 3:16)? Isn’t that circular reasoning?” “You claim the Bible was inspired, but there was no inspired list of which books that is true of. So how can we know which ones to trust?” “With so many different copies of manuscripts that have 400,000+ variants (errors), how can we even know what the Bible says?” “Why can’t the people who wrote the four Gospels get their story straight?” These questions and many more will be asked and answered with reasonable, rational, Scriptural answers.
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.
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.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher 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. JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. What a privilege it is to be a teacher of God’s Word and to share spiritual values that can have long-lasting benefits!
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist. 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 APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. When it comes to teaching, genuine Christians have a special responsibility. We are commanded to “make disciples of all nations . . . , teaching them.” (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8)
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?
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 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.
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 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 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. …
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 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 …
FEMINIST CRITICISM will offer the reader explicitly what the Bible says. Feminist criticism is a form of literary criticism that is based on feminist theories. The worldview of feminism uses feminist principles to interpret the word of God. Biblical feminists argue that they are merely focused on creating equal opportunities to serve. They say that they want the freedom to follow Jesus Christ as he has called them. They assert that they merely want to use the gifts that he has given them in God’s service. Biblical feminists maintain that Scripture clearly states the worth and value of men and women equally when it comes to serving God. Biblical feminists also say that they want to partner with the men when it comes to taking the lead in the church and parenting in the home. They seek mutual submission and subjection in the church leadership and the home headship, not what they perceive to be a male hierarchy. FEMINIST CRITICISM will gently and respectfully address these issues with Scripture.
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 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.
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.
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. …
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. …
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 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.
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. 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.
New Left Tyranny shows how the neo-Marxist New Left turned their back on historical Western principles and became a destructive authoritarian force. It abandoned the working class. By systematically attacking traditional values and inciting hateful Identity Politics, they created a dysfunctional society characterized by social anarchy, selfishness and a lack of personal responsibility.
“This is a remarkable book by a remarkable person. Excellent work.”
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, leading American political economist
Hanne Nabintu Herland is a Scandinavian bestselling author, historian of comparative religions and founder of The Herland Report
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.
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. …
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.
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 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.
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 …
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.
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 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.
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)
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 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.” …
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.
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.
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. …
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 …
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. …
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 …
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 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. …
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. …
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.
HUMILITY: The Beauty of Holiness contains 12 studies on humility, a quality that Andrew Murray rightly believes should be one of the distinguishing characteristics of the discipleship of Christ. Jesus not only strongly impressed His disciples with the need for humility but was in Himself its supreme example. He described Himself as “meek and lowly (tapeinos) in heart.” (Matt. 11:29) The first of the Beatitudes was to “the poor in spirit” (humbly aware of spiritual needs Matt. 5:3), and it was “the meek” who should “inherit the earth.” Humility is the way to true greatness: he who should “humble himself as this little child” should be “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” “Whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled, and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted.” (Matt. 18:4; 23:12; Lu 14:11; 18:14). To the humble mind, truth is revealed. (Matt. 11:25; Lu 10:21) Jesus set a touching example of humility in His washing His disciples’ feet. (Joh 13:1-17) The apostle Paul makes an earnest appeal to Christians (Php 2:1-11) that they should cherish and manifest the Spirit of their Lord’s humility, “in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself,” and mentions the supreme example of the self-emptying (kenosis) of Christ: “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 2:7.
Waiting on God appropriately (Ps 42:5, 11; 43:5) is encouraged for one to gain divine approval. Waiting on God, what does it involve? As Christians, we are “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.” We look forward to relief when the time arrives for “the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” (2 Peter 3:7, 12) Thus, waiting on God involves waiting for His time to act. As we await the Lord’s day, we may, at times, be very deeply concerned to see the moral standards of the world around us sink ever lower. At such moments, it is good to consider the words of God’s prophet Micah, who wrote, “The godly person has perished from the land, and there is no upright person among humankind.” Then he added: “But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation.” (Micah 7:2, 7) What is the waiting attitude that we should develop? Since having to wait is often tiring and trying, how can we find joy while waiting on God? Murray and Andrews address these questions and so much more.
The Pilgrim’s Progress is a religious allegory by the English writer John Bunyan, published in two parts. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious, theological fiction in English literature. It has been translated into more than 200 languages and has never been out of print. The work is a symbolic vision of the good man’s pilgrimage through life. At one time second only to the Bible in popularity, The Pilgrim’s Progress is the most famous Christian allegory still in print. The entire book is presented as a dream sequence narrated by an omniscient narrator. The allegory’s protagonist, Christian, is an everyman character, and the plot centers on his journey from his hometown, the “City of Destruction” (“this world”), to the “Celestial City” (“that which is to come”: Heaven) atop Mount Zion. Christian is weighed down by a great burden—the knowledge of his sin—which he believed came from his reading “the book in his hand” (the Bible).
Andrews has written The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality. This tool is for both man and woman, husband and wife, all Christians who will marry one day and those who have been married for some time. The fallen world that we live in is fertile ground for immorality. The grass always seems greener somewhere away from one’s own spouse. Adultery is something everyone should avoid. It destroys more than just marriages, it destroys a person’s life, family and most importantly their relationship with God. Such is the danger of adultery that the Bible strongly warns every man and woman against it. The world that we currently live in is very vile, and sexual morality is no longer a quality that is valued. What can Christians do to stay safe in such an influential world that caters to the fallen flesh? What can help the husband and wife relationship to flourish as they cultivate a love that will survive the immoral world that surrounds them? We might have thought that a book, like God’s Word that is 2,000-3,500 years old would be out of date on such modern issues, but the Bible is ever applicable. The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality will give us the biblical answers that we need.
How could Satan, Adam, and Eve have sinned if they were perfect? How much influence does Satan have? How does Satan try to influence you? What do you need to learn about your enemy? How can you overcome Satanic influences? Can Satan know your thoughts? Can Satan control you? How can you overcome Satanic Influences? How does Satan blind the minds of the unbelievers? How you can understand Satan’s battle for the Christian mind. How you can win the battle for the Christian mind. How you can put on the full armor of God? All of these questions and far more are dealt with herein by Andrews.
WHAT IS A MIRACLE? It is an event that goes beyond all known human and natural powers and is generally attributed to some supernatural power. Why should YOU be interested in miracles?
“Miracles, by definition, violate the principles of science.”—RICHARD DAWKINS.
“Belief in miracles is entirely rational. Far from being an embarrassment to religious faith, they are signs of God’s love for, and continuing involvement in, creation.”—ROBERT A. LARMER, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY.
SHOULD YOU believe in miracles? As we can see from the above quotations, opinions vary considerably. But how could you convincingly answer that question?
Some of YOU may immediately answer, “Yes, I believe.” Others might say, “No, I don’t believe.” Then, there are some who may say, “I don’t know, and I really don’t care! Miracles don’t happen in my life!” Really, why should YOU be interested in miracles? The Bible promises its readers that in the future some miracles far beyond all ever recorded or experienced is going to occur and will affect every living person on earth. Therefore, would it not be worth some of your time and energy to find out whether those promises are reliable? What does God’s Word really teach about miracles of Bible times, after that, our day, and the future?
Andrews, an author of over 100 books, has chosen the 40 most beneficial Proverbs, to give the readers an abundance of wise, inspired counsel to help them acquire understanding and safeguard their heart, “for out of it are the sources of life.” (4:23) GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS sets things straight by turning the readers to Almighty God. Each Proverb is dealt with individually, giving the readers easy to understand access to what the original language really means. This gives the readers what the inspired author meant by the words that he used. After this, the reader is given practical guidance on how those words can be applied for maneuvering through life today. GODLY WISDOM with its instruction and counsel never go out of date.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth of how you too can have a share in the power of God. With THE POWER OF GOD as your guide, you will discover your strengths and abilities that will make you steadfast in your walk with God. You can choose to rise to a new level and invite God’s power by focusing on The Word That Will Change Your Life Today.
Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …
GOD knows best. Nobody surpasses him in thought, word, or action. As our Creator, he is aware of our needs and supplies them abundantly. He certainly knows how to instruct us. And if we apply divine teaching, we benefit ourselves and enjoy true happiness. Centuries ago, the psalmist David petitioned God: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:4-5) God did this for David, and surely He can answer such a prayer for His present-day servants.
Whom do we lean upon when facing distressing situations, making important decisions, or resisting temptations? With good reason, the Bible admonishes us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways know him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Note the expression “do not lean upon your own understanding.” It is followed by “In all your ways know him.” God is the One with a truly sound mind. Thus, it follows that whenever we are faced with a decision, we need to turn to the Bible to see what God’s view is. This is how we acquire the mind of Christ.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth …
All of us will go through difficult times that we may not fully understand. The apostle Paul wrote, “in the last days difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1) Those difficulties are part of the human imperfection (Rom. 5:12) and living in a fallen world that is ruled by Satan (2 Cor. 4:3-4). But when we find ourselves in such a place, it’s crucial that we realize God has given us a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13) Edward Andrews writes that if we remain steadfast in our faith and apply God’s Word correctly when we go through difficult times, we will not only grow spiritually, but we will …
Why should you be interested in the prophecy recorded by Daniel in chapter 11 of the book that bears his name? The King of the North and the King of the South of Daniel are locked in an all-out conflict for domination as a world power. As the centuries pass, turning into millenniums, first one, then the other, gains domination over the other. At times, one king rules as a world power while the other suffers destruction, and there are stretches of time where there is no conflict. But then another battle abruptly erupts, and the conflict begins anew. Who is the current King of the North and the King of the South? Who are the seven kings or kingdoms of Bible history in Revelation chapter 17? We are living in the last days that the apostle Paul spoke of, when he said, “difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1-7) How close we are to the end of these last days, wherein we will enter into the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ spoke of (Matt. 24:21), no one can know for a certainty. However, Jesus and the New Testament authors have helped to understand the signs of the times and …
The theme of Andrews’ new book is “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” As a Christian, you touch the lives of other people, wherein you can make a positive difference. Men and women of ancient times such as David, Nehemiah, Deborah, Esther, and the apostle Paul had a positive influence on others by caring deeply for them, maintaining courageous faith, and displaying a mild, spiritual attitude. Christians are a special people. They are also very strong and courageous for taking on such an amazingly great responsibility. But if you can make a difference, be it with ten others or just one, you will have done what Jesus asked of you, and there is no more beautiful feeling. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE with joy.
Many have successfully conquered bad habits and addictions by applying suggestions found in the Bible and by seeking help from God through prayer. You simply cannot develop good habits and kick all your bad ones overnight. See how to establish priorities. Make sure that your new habits work for you instead of your old bad habits against you. It is one thing to strip off the old habits, yet quite another to keep them off. How can we succeed in doing both, no matter how deeply we may have been involved in bad habitual practices?
It may seem to almost all of us that we are either entering into a difficult time, living in one, or just getting over one and that we face one problem after another. This difficulty may be the loss of a loved one in death or a severe marriage issue, a grave illness, the lack of a job, or simply the stress of daily life. As Christians, we need to understand that God’s Word will carry us through these times, as we maintain our integrity whether in the face of tremendous trials or the tension of everyday life. We are far better facing these hurdles of life with the help of God, who can make the worst circumstances much better and more bearable.
The world that you live in today has many real reasons to be fearful. Many are addicted to drugs, alcohol, bringing violence into even the safest communities. Terrorism has plagued the world for more than a decade now. Bullying in schools has caused many teen suicides. The divorce rate even in Christian households is on the rise. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment is prevalent everywhere. Our safety, security, and well-being are in danger at all times. We now live in a prison of fear to even come outside the protection of our locked doors at home. Imagine living where all these things existed, but you could go about your daily life untouched by fear and anxiety. What if you could be courageous and strong through your faith in these last days? What if you could live by faith not fear? What if insight into God’s Word could remove your fear, anxiety, and dread? Imagine a life of calmness, peace, unconcern, confidence, comfort, hope, and faith. Are you able to picture a life without fear? It is possible.
John 3:16 is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has also been called the “Gospel in a nutshell,” because it is considered a summary of the central theme of traditional Christianity. Martin Luther called John 3:16 “The heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature.” The Father had sent his Son to earth to be born as a human baby. Doing this meant that for over three decades, his Son was susceptible to the same pains and suffering as the rest of humankind, ending in the most gruesome torture and execution imaginable. The Father watched the divine human child Jesus grow into a perfect man. He watched as John the Baptist baptized the Son, where the Father said from heaven, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) The Father watched on as the Son faithfully carried out his will, fulfilling all of the prophecies, which certainly pleased the Father.–John 5:36; 17:4. …
This commentary volume is part of a series by Christian Publishing House (CPH) that covers all of the sixty-six books of the Bible. These volumes are a study tool for the pastor, small group biblical studies leader, or the churchgoer. The primary purpose of studying the Bible is to learn about God and his personal revelation, allowing it to change our lives by drawing closer to God. The Book of James volume is written in a style that is easy to understand. The Bible can be difficult and complex at times. Our effort herein is to make it easier to read and understand, while also accurately communicating truth. CPH New Testament Commentary will convey the meaning of the verses in the book of Philippians. In addition, we will also cover the Bible background, the custom and culture of the times, as well as Bible difficulties. …
SECTION 1 Surviving Sexual Desires and Love will cover such subjects as What Is Wrong with Flirting, The Pornography Deception, Peer Pressure to Have Sexual Relations, Coping With Constant Sexual Thoughts, Fully Understanding Sexting, Is Oral Sex Really Sex, …SECTION 2 Surviving My Friends will cover such subjects as Dealing with Loneliness, Where Do I Fit In, Why I Struggle with Having Friends, …SECTION 3 Surviving the Family will cover such subjects as Appreciating the House Rules, Getting Along with My Brothers and Sisters, How Do I Find Privacy, … SECTION 4 Surviving School will cover such subjects as How Do I Deal With Bullies, How Can I Cope With School When I Hate It, … SECTION 5 Surviving Who I Am will cover such subjects as Why Do I Procrastinate, … SECTION 6 Surviving Recreation will cover such subjects as … SECTION 7 Surviving My Health will cover such subjects as How Can I Overcome My Depression, …
Who should read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP LIVING? Anyone who is struggling in their walk as a young person. Anyone who has a friend who is having difficulty handling or coping with their young life, so you can offer them the help they need. Any parent who has young ones. And grade school, junior high or high school that wants to provide an, in touch, anti-suicide message to their students. … Many youths say that they would never dream of killing themselves. Still, they all have the deep feeling that there are no reasons for going on with their lives. Some have even hoped that some sort of accident would take their pain away for them. They view death as a release, a way out, a friend, not their enemy. …
The purpose of Waging War is to guide the youth of this program from start to finish in their therapeutic efforts to gain insight into their patterns of thinking and beliefs that have led to the current outcomes in their life thus far and enable them to change the path which they are on. Waging War is a guide to start the youth with the most basic information and work pages to the culmination of all of the facts, scripture, and their newly gained insight to offer a more clear picture of where they are and how to change their lives for the better. Every chapter will have work pages that Freeman has used and had found to be useful in therapy, but most importantly, this workbook will teach the Word to a population that does not hear it in its’ most correct form. What is the significance of controlling ones’ thoughts and how does that apply to you? Doubts, fears, and insecurities come from somewhere, especially when they are pervasive. Understanding this idea will help one to fight those thoughts and free them from the shackles their mind puts around their hearts, preventing them from achieving their dreams and the plans God had intended for them when they were created.
There are many reasons the Christian view of humanity is very important. The Christian view of humanity believes that humans were created in the image of God. We will look at the biblical view of humanity. We are going to look at the nature of man, the freedom of man, the personality of man, the fall of man, the nature of sin and death, as well as why God has allowed sin to enter into the world, as well as all of the wickedness and suffering that came with it. Andrews will answer the following questions and far more. How does the Bible explain and describe the creation of man and woman? Why is it imperative that we understand our fallen condition? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
God is the originator of marriage. The Bible’s advice has helped many couples overcome problems and have a long, happy marriage. The Bible is a book for all people that provides practical advice that can improve our marriage. Husbands and wives can include God in their marriage by following his loving guidance. If we want a healthy, joyful, Christ-centered marriage, then we must embrace the principles in the Bible. Marriage is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us. Counsel from the Word of God will enrich, reinforce, and strengthen a marriage that is already strong and save a marriage that is failing.
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. …
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. …
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?
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 the 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.
Bible Doctrines – Theology
Torrey and Andrews have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about God has twelve chapters. Chapter 1 begins with God as Spirit, followed by the Unity of God, the Eternity of God, the Omnipresence of God, the Personality of God, the Omnipotence of God, the Omniscience of God, the Holiness of God, the Love of God, The Righteous (or Justice) of God, the Mercy (or Living-Kindness of God), and finally the Faithfulness of God. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about God.
Torrey and Andrews have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Jesus Christ has twelve chapters. Chapter 1 begins with God as Spirit, followed by the Unity of God, the Eternity of God, the Omnipresence of God, the Personality of God, the Omnipotence of God, the Omniscience of God, the Holiness of God, the Love of God, The Righteous (or Justice) of God, the Mercy (or Living-Kindness of God), and finally the Faithfulness of God. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about Jesus Christ.
Torrey, Andrews, and Sweeney have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about the Holy Spirit has eighteen chapters. Chapter 1 begins with the Personality of the Holy Spirit, followed by the Deity of the Holy Spirit, the Distinction of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, the Subordination of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son, the names of the Holy Spirit, the Work of the Holy Spirit, the Baptism and Filling with the Holy Spirit, the Work of the Holy Spirit in the Prophets and the Apostles, the Work of the Holy Spirit In Jesus Christ, the Spirit and Christians, How are Christians to Understand the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today and finally some Parting Words about the Holy Spirit. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about the Holy Spirit. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about the Holy Spirit is the third of five volumes.
Torrey and Andrews have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Man has eighteen chapters. Chapter 1 begins with Man’s Original Condition, the Present Standing Before God and Condition of Men Outside of the Redemption, the Future Destiny of Those Who Reject the Redemption, Justification, the New Birth, Adoption, Sanctification, Repentance, Faith, Love to God, Love to Christ, Love to Man, Prayer, Thanksgiving, Worship, the Believer’s Assurance, and finally the Future Destiny of Believers. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about Man. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Man is the fourth of five volumes.
Torrey and Andrews have taken deep theological subjects and made them easy to understand. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Angels & Satan the Devil has twenty-one chapters. Torrey in Chapter 1 begins with the Angel’s nature, position, number, and abode, the Work of Angels, the Devil’s Existence, Nature, Position and Character, Ezekiel 28 Explained, the Abod of Satan, Our Duty Toward Satan and His Destiny, Andrews Explaining Angels, Explaining Satan the Devil, Explaining the Demons, Who Were the “Sons of God” In Genesis 6:2, Who Were the Nephilim In Genesis 6:2, Answering No One Has Seen God, Who Is Michael the Archangel, Angelic Rebellion in the Spirit Realm, Can Satan Control Humans, Can Satan Know the Thoughts of the Human Mind, Struggle Against Dark Spiritual Forces, Why Has God Permitted Evil, Do Christians Have Guardian Angels, How Much Is God Involved In Humanity, and Why Is Life So Unfair. The advantage of CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY is enormous: each thought-provoking chapter is based soundly in God’s Word, helping the reader to cultivate a sound biblical foundation. Whether you are a student, pastor, teacher, youth worker, or layperson, this publication is a fantastic tool for understanding the Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith, in the light of solid Scriptural truth. All chapters in the book come from extensive research as to What the Bible Teaches about Angels & Satan the Devil. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY: What the Bible Teaches about Angels & Satan the Devil is the fifth of five volumes.
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.
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?
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. …
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 …
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
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 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.
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.
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.
Theology & Technology
A lot of confusion exists over the right ethical approach to new technologies. Do we embrace it all as an unmitigated good? Or should we take a more cautionary route that seeks to evaluate our own technology use and its impact on society from a critical perspective? A new awareness of both the dangers and potential benefits new technologies offer will guide us through a morass of ethical questions. We stress limits because it is here that the traditional dialectic of question and answer has broken down; even talking about technological restraint is met with near-universal scorn. Nevertheless, it is through the negative side of this debate that the antithesis will transition into a resolve for the technological problem raised in this Manifesto.
Technology is everywhere, we live, and breath and move in it, but what is our technology worship doing to our souls? How does it impact our relationships with each other? Can we remain human in a technological environment? Terlizzese addresses these questions and more in my latest book Machinehead: Rise of the Technology God. This book on social criticism speaks to the history and sources of computer worship and digital adoration and its consequences for the future of our century. The technological problem stated simply is that technology as a force for good and human amelioration has reversed its direction by means of unlimited acceleration and unfettered use, which threatens us with the opposite of progress in manifest regression, and burgeoning extinction. I resolve these problems by focusing on individual responsibility in the face of an apparent irresistible force moving history toward annihilation. Only as we curb technology use through exercising self-control can we liberate ourselves from Machinehead the technology God.
KILLER COMPUTERS is meant to stimulate thinking on the most critical issue of our times, technology, and in particular Artificial Intelligence, which occupies the foremost of our attention. It does this through a common reference: science fiction film. Science fiction does not predict the future, but it does, for better or worse, anticipate it. Killer Computers are a metaphor for when machines, in the not too distant future, are given the power by their creators, to make life and death decisions, especially in a military or Civil Defense context, which will inevitably spill over into medical and judicial realms. The solitary cause for this potential future is the collective resignation to think for ourselves in all things. The Enlightenment principle of Sapere Aude (dare to think for yourself) is being forgotten in favor an Artificial Intelligence that does all our thinking for us. The hope is that through awareness, we will be smart enough not to let that happen, while still enjoying the benefits this technology offers. These essays include a discussion on a theology of culture, On Black Holes and Arch Angels, as well as Grace and Law and case studies on important thinkers that address technological and political worlds, such as Gabriel Marcel and Reinhold Niebuhr. Hope is a predominate theme which is capped by a chapter on New Creation. Wisdom counsels a path through critical participation in the technological system. We must see ourselves as part of the problem and therefore, part of the solution.
Today’s Technological progress is mankind’s greatest achievement but may lead to total destruction. Technological progress consumes more than it produces, it pursues its own ends not that of humanity’s and cannot accelerate indefinitely on a planet with finite resources. Jacques Ellul noted “[t]echnique (technology) has its limits. But when it has reached those limits, will anything exist outside them . . . is it (technological acceleration) not succeeding in undermining everything which is outside it?” (Ellul 1964, 85) Once technological limits are reached will anything be left? Transhumanists expect that technological acceleration will culminate by mid-century in an event they call the “Singularity” a technological Omega Point or convergence of human and artificial intelligence that will give rise to a god-like supercomputer (Artilect) which promises a century of progress in one hour. Despite apparent immediate gains, technology makes the human plight worse through exhaustion of resources and spiritual slavery. The Singularity will mark the end of technological progress as it reaches completion without redressing the spiritual problem inherent to the human condition. This means that all who step into the Singularity will enter a void, a digital black hole. The solution is as simple as the problem is sublime, step away from the edge of the abyss slowly.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Christian Fiction & Historical Fiction
Stella Mae Clark thought she had a wonderful life. She idolized her father, a military man who raised her to love Christ with all of her heart. She had a mother who loved her father and their example of true love gave her the sparkle in her eyes. That is until the unimaginable happens and her life is completely shattered. One decision at the age of sixteen would again turn her world completely upside down. Stella Mae makes the decision to leave her life and her family behind to seek refuge from her painful past. She desperately seeks solace, answers, and for something to fill the aching void within her heart. Just as she thinks she has settled into a new life with Christ, tragedy once again strikes and shatters any hope she had for a normal life. She abandons Christ and turns to a life of sin before it ultimately consumes her and breaks her down. Will it take nearly losing her life to find her way back to God or will her shame and regret keep holding her back? Join Stella Mae on her journey to find meaning and purpose in the midst of all her tragedy as she seeks to find the One her heart has been missing. The story of her past is one of loss, shame, heartbreak, and fear. With the help of those who see her for more than her past, she is able to become the person she always wanted to be and a new creature.
HEROES OF FAITH is historical fiction of the life of the first imperfect human after the fall, Abel, based on the Word of God. After reading the account, it will be as if Abel were an old friend. This brief powerful story will move and motivate the faith of all readers. HEROES OF FAITH has been created to not only entertain but also help the reader strengthen his or her faith. We will begin with an easy to understand introductory chapter on the question, What Is Faith? After that, is the historical story of the life of Abel. This is followed by the Bible difficulties of all the persons in the life of Abel: his father Adam, his mother Eve, and his brother Cain. Finally, we close this crucial book that can strengthen us in these last days with four chapters on Bible Difficulties, which will also help the reader grow in faith.
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.
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!”
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.
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. …
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. …