The records which we possess up to this point are, as we have seen, comparatively full. But with the settlement at Nazareth, after the return from Egypt, our information comes to a sudden stop, and over the rest of the life of Jesus, till His public ministry begins, a thick covering is drawn, which is only lifted once.
Jesus made his entry on the stage of life so humbly and silently; the citizens of Bethlehem dreamed not what had happened in their midst; the emperor of Rome knew not that his decree had influenced the nativity of a king who was yet to bear rule.
The whole land was set in motion; for, in accordance with ancient Jewish custom, the census was taken, not at the places where the inhabitants were at the time residing, but at the places to which they belonged as members of the original twelve tribes.
Throughout the first 17 centuries of Christianity, the reliability of the Gospels was never really questioned in any serious way. However, especially from the 19th century forward, a number of scholars have viewed the Gospels, not as the inspired, inerrant Word God, but as being invented by men. Also, they have rejected that the Gospel writers had firsthand knowledge about Jesus Christ.
As Christian apologetic evangelists who must reason, explain, prove, persuade, and defend, Christians show that Jesus Christ did live by using sources other than the Bible and the writing of the early Church Fathers. For those who question Christian the authority of the New Testament documents, examine carefully what the secular historians and other writers have written that, in fact, corroborates the testimony of the Bible.
There were three basic classes of religious personnel in ancient Israel: prophets, wise men, and priests, and Levites. 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.
As the official head of the Jewish state, Caiaphas presided over the council, or Sanhedrin, its highest court. Next to the Roman governor he was the most powerful man in Judea and was responsible to the Romans for the conduct of the nation. Caiaphas was ...
The records, which we possess up to this point, are, as we have seen, comparatively full. But with the settlement at Nazareth, after the return from Egypt, our information comes to a sudden stop, and over the rest of the life of Jesus, till His public ministry begins, a thick covering is drawn, which is... Continue Reading →
Name and General Character [far'-i-sez (perushim; Pharisaioi)] A prominent sect of the Jews. The earliest notice of them in Josephus occurs in connection with Jonathan, the high priest. Immediately after the account of the embassy to the Lacedaemonians, there is subjoined (Josephus, Ant, XIII, v, 9) an account of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, therefore... Continue Reading →
1. Name: Rival Etymologies. Probably from Zadok the High Priest: [sad'-u-sez (tsadduqim; Saddoukaioi)] The Talmud form suggests derivation from the name of their founder, but the form in the New Testament and Josephus would imply a connection with the verb "to be righteous." The probability is, that the name is derived from some person named... Continue Reading →