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Jesus Christ loves you.
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Author Topic: Discovering Jesus  (Read 11126 times)
RhondaR
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« on: August 18, 2005, 08:18:39 PM »

Hello,

My name is Rhonda. I've been a member of an online bible study college for several years now.

I'd like to post about 10 lessons - each lesson is only 2 pages long and the tests are only 5 questions.  The answers will be at the very bottom of the page on the test. You don't send your test in to anyone. It's all on you and at your own pace.


I'm looking for some Christians who are interested in reading them and then deciding if they would like the whole course to share with others. Family, friends, co-workers, the unsaved.

This study on Jesus is really INCREDIBLE!

It takes you back to the time period of the 1st century when Christ walked the earth. What it was like during that time. What they have found through archaology.  

It just really brings the Lord alive like I've never known before!

I'll post this then the first lesson. At the end of the tenth lesson feel free to email me and I'll send you more of the lessons as you're ready or if you don't want anymore that's ok too.

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RhondaR
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2005, 08:45:39 PM »




DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE


Jesus and You


Jesus is the best known name in the world.



Of all the names of political leaders, religious icons, sporting heroes or movie stars, none has been polled as more famous
than Jesus.


In the minds of billions of people, both Christian and non-Christian, Jesus, quite simply, tops the charts.


But familiarity in itself does not guarantee a whole-hearted acceptance of Christ’s claims.


In fact, as Winifred Kirkland pointed out:

“Today the greatest single deterrent to knowledge of Jesus is his familiarity.

Because we think we know him, we pass him by.”


More study has been conducted on the life of Jesus than on the life of any other human being. The Gospel evidence has been placed under countless academic microscopes, as scholars have sought to dissect the received record in order to determine, in their minds, who Jesus really was.


As Grant Jeffrey points out:

“While there are voluminous articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica about Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Aristotle, and Plato, the amount of historical material and analysis about the teachings of Jesus far exceeds the attention given to any other individual in the history of man."



The question “Who is Jesus?” is not, however, purely an academic one. For if the New Testament description of
Jesus is correct, then each person’s eternal destiny
hangs on how he or she answers this question.



Read Acts 4:12

In this declaration, made by one of Jesus’ own disciples, we discover a challenge that is ignored at one’s own peril.



Peter proclaims:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”



The New Testament epistles (which are the record of the teachings of Jesus’ disciples), reverberate with the recurring theme of salvation through Jesus alone.


For example, 1 John 5:12 declares:

“He who has [Jesus] has life; he who does not have [Jesus] does not have life.”


You cannot get any more black-and-white than that. And if this statement really is true, then it is important for every person to understand and know exactly who Jesus is and why our acceptance or rejection of him has eternal consequences.




Read Matthew 16:13-17

At this point in Jesus’ ministry, he was already well known. In fact, his name was on the lips of almost everyone in Judea and Galilee.


The crowds constantly followed him, so much so that he could rarely find time alone with his disiciples.

But it was during one of those rare moments of solitude that Jesus asked his disciples an important question:


“Who do people say the Son of Man is?”


Their answers reflected the controversy and indecision at
the time. Most people recognized that Jesus was a prophet
of some kind, possibly even an ancient prophet returned to life:

Elijah or Jeremiah or (more recently) John the Baptist.


They knew that Jesus was unmistakably special; they just didn’t know in what way.


Even today, if Jesus asked us the same question –

“Who do people say that I am?” –


the answers would be just as various. Some might say:

A good teacher
A moral example
A rejected prophet
A misunderstood martyr



But after asking the question – “Who do people say that I am?” – Jesus would undoubtedly follow it up with a second and more important question:

“But what about you?...Who do you say I am?”



In Matthew 16:16, Peter answered without hesitation.

Could you do the same? And to your answer, would Jesus then reply:


“Blessed are you...for this was not revealed to you by man [or by scholarly study], but by my Father in heaven.”


No amount of academic study will answer the fundamental question, “Who is Jesus?”


But as we read what the Gospel record has to say about Jesus, God’s Spirit can indeed reveal what cannot be revealed by human intellectual endeavor.


Our prayer is that, as you study this course, you will indeed discover for yourself who Jesus really is and what he means for your life.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2005, 02:21:57 AM by blackeyedpeas » Logged
RhondaR
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2005, 08:56:38 PM »




JESUS AND YOU - Test 1



Question 1:  Who is the most famous person in the world?


1.   Michael Jackson

2.   Mel Gibson

3.   Julius Caesar

4.   Jesus Christ






Question 2:  According to Winifred Kirkland, what is the single greatest deterrent to knowledge of Jesus?


1.   Ignorance of Jesus

2.   Familiarity with Jesus

3.   Opposition from other religions

4.   Teaching from the cults





Question 3:  What does Acts 4:12 tell us?

1.   Salvation is a matter of finding our own path.

2.   Salvation is a matter of being good enough.

3.   Salvation is found in Jesus alone.

4.   Salvation is found in going to church every Sunday.






Question 4:  What does 1 John 5:12 say?

1.   "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."


2.   "He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life."



3.   "And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he
commanded us."


4.   "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well."






Question 5:  According to the Bible, which of the following statements is true?


1.   It doesn't matter what you believe about Jesus. What counts is trying to live a good life like he taught.


2.   Jesus is just one of many prophets and religious teachers.


3.   Understanding Jesus comes as a result of diligent academic study.


4.   Understanding who Jesus really is comes as a revelation from the Father.


{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}








ANSWERS TO TEST # 1



The correct answer to #1 is number 4.

The correct answer to #2 is number 2.

The correct answer to #3 is number 3.

The correct answer to #4 is number 2.

The correct answer to #5 is number 4.
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RhondaR
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2005, 10:58:24 AM »



DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE



The 2,000 Year Love Affair



One of the most remarkable things about Jesus is how he has captured the minds and hearts of billions. How could an itinerant Jewish rabbi have shaped Western civilization? And even more importantly, how is it possible for people today to
have an on-going love affair with a man born twenty centuries ago?



No other historic figure can claim such devotion.



Many political figures of the distant past, such as Julius Caesar, Socrates and Alexander the Great, continue to
attract the admiration of millions, but how many people
are in love with them?



Some religious figures, such as Mohammed and Guatama Buddha command the spiritual allegiance of whole nations, but how many people regard a personal relationship
with these men as the central priority of their lives?



Jesus has been at the heart of a love affair that has lasted for 2000 years.



And as with any love affair, this romance has two sides:

Jesus, who loved us The initiating party in this love affair was God himself. 1 John 4:19 tells us:

“We love because he first loved us.”



This statement turns upside-down the religious mentality of man. Buried deep within the human psyche is the compulsion that I, somehow, must gain God’s acceptance through my religious activities and good works.



Yet Jesus overturned this concept by coming to earth to search us out. And his motivation wasn’t religious.  His motivation was love, pure and simple.


As Romans 5:7-8 explains it:

“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”



The quality of this love is so high that it acts as the benchmark against which all human love is now measured.


In John 15:13, Jesus himself said:

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”


John takes this up in 1 John 3:16-17 and explains how this divine benchmark motivates true love in the practical world
of everyday human relationships:



“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”


In fact, so great is this love, Paul uses it as a model for the love between a husband and wife.


In Ephesians 5:25-28, he writes:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.”



And so we see that this is not a love affair in name only.



There is no human romance that can match that between God and man, as expressed in the sending of Jesus to die.   But because it is a genuine love affair, there is also a second side to this romance.



We, who love Jesus:



The love of Jesus demands either rejection or reciprocation.



You cannot just shrug it off.



As Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15:

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”



For those of us who are indeed compelled by the love of Christ into an intimate romance with him, the words of the famous chorus by Lela Long take on new meaning:


Jesus is the sweetest name I know
And He’s just the same as His lovely name
And that’s the reason why I love Him so
For Jesus is the sweetest name I know




As you can see, it is impossible to study the life of Jesus impartially. Everytime we look at a new facet of Jesus’ life, his love demands a reponse from us. We are indeed called into a love affair with him.



Everything in our life is now defined by the passion of our relationship with the one “who loved me and gave himself for
me” (Galatians 2:20).



Read Romans 8:38-39

As we study how this all-conquering love was enacted through Jesus in the coming lessons, what will be your response?


Will you graduate from being one who simply studies God’s love to one who embraces it?



Will you experience “the power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19)?



Only then will we understand Paul’s closing remarks in Ephesians 6:24:

“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”


« Last Edit: August 23, 2005, 02:26:01 AM by blackeyedpeas » Logged
RhondaR
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2005, 11:03:35 AM »


THE 2,000 YEAR LOVE AFFAIR




Question 1:  What is one of the most remarkable things about Jesus?  


1.   That he lived such a short life.  
 
2.   That he didn't speak in English.  
 
3.   That he never ate pork.  
 
4.   That he has captured the minds and hearts of billions.  
 
 
 




Question 2:  Which of the following statements is true?  


1.   Jesus responded in love to the love we first showed him.  
 
2.   Jesus loved us first, long before we loved him.  
 
3.   Jesus demands that we become good before he loves us.  
 
4.   Jesus is waiting for us to love him before he loves us.  
 
 
 






Question 3:  Complete this sentence: Greater love has no one than this...  


1.   ...that he give all his money to the poor.  
 
2.   ...that he become a missionary.  
 
3.   ...that he live a life of service.  
 
4.   ...that he lay down his life for his friends.  
 
 

 




Question 4:  What does Romans 8:38-39 say?  


1.   "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  


 
2.   "For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died."  


 
3.   "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself."

 
 
4.   "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."  
 
 





Question 5:  What should be our response to the love of Christ?  


1.   We should study more about Jesus.  
 

2.   We should become more religious, and try to be a better person.  
 

3.   We should pray more and read our Bible more.  
 

4.   We should be compelled to live no longer for ourselves, but for him who died for us and was raised again.  
 


{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}






















ANSWERS



The correct answer to #1 is number 4.

The correct answer to #2 is number 2.

The correct answer to #3 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #4 is number 1.  

The correct answer to #5 is number 4.
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2005, 06:57:06 PM »

DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE



The Eternal Jesus



Throughout the lessons of the Discovering Jesus Course, we will be exploring the earthly life of Jesus. We will examine both the historical and the biblical evidence to uncover the reasons why he said what he said and did what he did.


But before we can properly study the life of Jesus, we must see that life in its proper context.


Read Hebrews 13:8

This statement is one of many indirect references to the divinity of Jesus.


Only God is eternally unchangable, as noted in Psalm 102:25-27:


“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded."



 "But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”  


Read Hebrews 1:8-12 and Hebrews 1:10-12 declares that Psalm 102:25-27   "is about the Son” (see Hebrews 1:Cool.


Jesus is the one who “laid the foundations of the earth” (note John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2) and he is the one who “remain the same” and whose “years will never end.”


In order to have a rounded and biblical view of Jesus, we must understand him in the three phases of his existence, as described by Scripture.


The Pre-Existent Christ


Hebrews 1:10 tells us that “[in] the beginning, [Jesus] laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of [his] hands.”


This verse is an echo of Genesis 1:1, which states: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the
earth.”



John 1:1-2, which calls Jesus “the Word” (something we will explore later in the course), repeats this same theme:


“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”


As the second Person of the three-in-one God, Christ existed before the creation of the world.


Jesus himself referred to his pre-existence when he stated in John 8:58: “...before Abraham was born, I am.”


Read Colossians 1:16-17



The Incarnate Christ


There came a moment in time when God sent his Son into the world, conceived and born as a human baby.


As John 1:14 describes it in this way:

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”


Throughout the lessons of this course, we will be exploring mainly this second phase of Jesus’ existence – his earthly incarnation as a human being.


But in order to properly comprehend what the Gospel records of his earthly existence, we must see it in the context of his eternal existence. For as you can see, the short 33 years
or so of his earthly life is sandwiched between an eternity of glory on either side.



The Ascendant Christ


After ascending to his Father, Jesus returned to his pre-existent glory.


Even during his earthly life, Christ longed to return to his former glory. Read John 17:5


This is the “your years will never end” part of Hebrews 1:10-12. And in Revelation 1:12-16, we catch but the briefest glimpse of the eternal glory that Jesus had experienced before his incarnation, and that he re-entered after his ascension to the Father:


“I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw...someone ‘like a son of man,’ dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.


His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters...His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”




Philippians 2:6-11 beautifully captures the three phases of Jesus’ eternal existence:



(Phase One), “[Jesus], being in very nature God  did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing"  



(Phase Two), "taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place"  



(Phase Three) "and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”





THE ETERNAL JESUS   (Test 3)



Question 1:  What does Hebrews 13:8 say?
 
1.   "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
 
 
2.   "...while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."  

 
3.   "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."  

 
4.   "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word."
 
 


Question 2:  According to Hebrews 1:10-12, who specifically is the one Psalm 102:25-27 is referring to when it says "you laid the foundations of the earth" and "you remain the same"?  


1.   God the Father  
 
2.   God the Son  
 
3.   God the Holy Spirit  
 
4.   The angels  
 

 


Question 3:  What is the phrase repeated in Genesis 1:1, John 1:1 and Hebrews 1:10?  


1.   The Alpha and Omega  
 
2.   In the beginning  
 
3.   In the fullness of time  
 
4.   According to Scripture  
 
 




Question 4:  What does Jesus ask the Father to do for him in John 17:5?  


1.   To vindicate Christ before his enemies.  
 
2.   To save him from death.  
 
3.   To reveal his glory to his disciples.  
 
4.   To glorify him with the glory he had before the creation of the world.  

 
 


Question 5:  What scriptural passage includes all three phases of Jesus' existence?  



1.   Revelation 1:12-16  
 
2.   John 1:1-14  
 
3.   Philippians 2:6-11  
 
4.   Hebrews 1:1-3  
 
 
 

{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}







THE ETERNAL JESUS  - ANSWERS


The correct answer to #1 is number 3.  

The correct answer to #2 is number 2.
 
The correct answer to #3 is number 2.  

The correct answer to #4 is number 4.
 
The correct answer to #5 is number 3.


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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2005, 02:51:36 AM »

Thanks RhondaR!

I'm putting these lessons on my "want to study" list.

The topic is beautiful!

Love In Christ,
Tom

Matthew 4:19 NASB  And He *said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2005, 03:46:51 AM »

DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE



Jesus Before His Birth


In the last lesson, we saw that the life of Jesus has been in three distinct phases:


The pre-existent Christ
The incarnate Christ
The ascendant Christ



Christ’s pre-existence is an important component of his identity, so before we can explore what Jesus said and did during his earthly existence, we must first understand
the eternal backdrop against which his life played out.


Jesus appeared to be very conscious of his own pre-existence. As we have seen, in John 8:58
he declared:


“...before Abraham was born, I am.”  



Not surprisingly, Christ’s audience got his message loud and clear.


They knew exactly what he was meaning.


For by referring to his participation in history using the ever-present, timeless “I am,” he was claiming not just pre-existence, but eternal co-existence with God. For the term “I am” was more than just a bold statement of pre-existence; it was actually one of the names of God himself.



In Exodus 3:14, after Moses asked God for his name, the Lord replied: “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”And so, by using the changeless state “I am” to refer to his pre-existence, he was linking himself to the redemptive story of the Old Testament.


“As you read the saga of human history unfold within Scripture,” says Jesus, “you will find me there, each step of the way, as the ever-present ‘I am.’”


Read John 1:18

This verse makes a startling declaration about God’s involvement in human affairs. For here we are told that “no one has ever seen God, but God the One and
Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”  




Read John 5:37

Again Jesus speaks of God the Father, and says:
“You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form” (NKJV).


So, Jesus is explaining, not only has no one ever seen God; neither has anyone ever heard his voice!



Read John 6:46

Once again, Jesus declares that no person has ever seen the Father – not even once. But wait a minute! The Old Testament is clear that there were times when people did see God.


So who was it that they saw?


Christ was not a silent bystander but an active participant in Old Testament history.


In fact, there is a strong case that each time God physically appeared before a human being, this was the pre-incarnate Christ.


Remember that prior to his birth, Jesus was called “the Word” (John 1:1).


This is a description of how he interacted with mankind.


Whenever God spoke to man, this was the second person
of the Godhead fulfilling his role as the Word of God.


So where do we see the pre-existent Christ emerging in his role as the Word of God during biblical history?


Here are just a few examples from the Old Testament,
and as you read these verses, remember that Jesus said that no one has “heard [the Father’s] voice at any time, nor seen His form” (see also Exodus 33:20).



Genesis 17:1; 18:1-33 – the appearances of God to Abraham

Exodus 33:11 – the appearance of God to Moses

Isaiah 6:1-5 – the appearance of God to Isaiah



Throughout the Old Testament, you will also find recurring appearances by the “Angel of the Lord,” a figure generally identified with the pre-incarnate Christ.


(This doesn’t mean, of course, that Christ was an angel, for this so-called “angel,” a term which simply means  
“messenger,” is repeatedly accorded divine status).


If this Angel of the Lord is indeed the pre-incarnate Christ, then it was Christ who called out to Abraham to stay his hand on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:9-12),


who appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6)


and who led the people of Israel through the wilderness in a pillar of cloud and fire (Exodus 13:21-22;


Numbers 14 :14 compare 1 Corinthians 10:9 (NKJV) with Numbers 21:5-6).


It was Christ who appeared to Gideon (Judges 6:11-23) and to Samson’s parents (Judges 13:2-23), who wrestled with Jacob until dawn (Genesis 32:24-30), and who appeared to Joshua before the battle of Jericho (Joshua 5:13-6:2).



This makes Paul’s statement in Philippians 2:6-8 all the more remarkable:

“[Jesus] being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”  





JESUS BEFORE HIS BIRTH - TEST 4,




Question 1:  What does John 1:18 tell us?  

1.   "I tell you the truth...before Abraham was born, I am!"  
 
2.   "You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form."  
 
3.   "No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known."  
 
4.   "No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father."  
 
 




Question 2:  According to Jesus' own testimony, which of the following statements is true?  

1.   God the Father was seen regularly by the people of the Old Testament.  
 

2.   Jesus was a silent bystander in human history prior to his birth.  

 
3.   Jesus was the Word of God, through whom the Father communicated to the people of the Old Testament.  

 
4.   Jesus became the Word of God only after his incarnation.  
 

 

 

Question 3:  What did Jesus mean when he said, "Before Abraham was born, I am"?  

1.   That he was the reincarnation of Abraham's father.  
 
2.   He was born before Abraham was born.  
 
3.   He is the ever-present, self-existing co-equal with the Father.  
 
4.   Nothing. He was just speaking metaphorically.  
 
 





Question 4:  Which of the following verses relates Christ's appearance to Moses in the burning bush?  


1.   Numbers 14:14  
 
2.   Joshua 5:13  
 
3.   Genesis 22:9-12  
 
4.   Exodus 3:1-6  
 

 



Question 5:  What did Jesus do when he came to the earth?  


1.   He made himself nothing, humbled himself and became obedient to death.  
 
2.   He exalted himself and demanded that people worship him.  
 
3.   He lived in a palace, as any king should.  
 
4.   He manifested himself to the people in a pillar of cloud and fire.  
 
 
 

{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}








JESUS BEFORE HIS BIRTH - ANSWERS


The correct answer to #1 is number 3.  

The correct answer to #2 is number 3.  

The correct answer to #3 is number 3.  

The correct answer to #4 is number 4.
 
The correct answer to #5 is number 1.
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2005, 04:37:40 AM »

DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE


What’s in a Name?



Everybody has a name. That name is part of one’s identity.


It is what distinguishes a person from the masses and underscores his or her individuality.


But of all the names in the world, there is one name that consistently stands out, without peer or comparison. It is the name of Jesus.



Is there any other name as hallowed or as blasphemed? Josh McDowell asks:


“Why is it that you can talk about God and nobody gets upset, but as soon as you mention Jesus, people often want to stop the conversation? Why have men and women down through the ages been divided over the question, Who is Jesus?”



There is no other name that evokes such intense emotions, whether positive or negative, whether love or hatred.



On some lips, the name of Jesus is spoken with great reverence; on other lips, it is used as a swear word and an object of profanity.



Why does the name of Jesus produce such passionate reactions?



Quite simply, the name of Jesus represents everything that Jesus is – his nature, his purpose and the challenge he brings to people’s lives.



What we need to remember is that the name of Jesus was not given by Christ’s parents.



Normally, a father and mother decide on the name of the child. In fact, the very naming of that child is an attribute of the God-given authority that the parents have over
the child.




But in Jesus’ case, neither Joseph (his foster father) nor Mary (his biological mother) had any say in the naming of their child. For Jesus was named by his true Father, God himself.  


This is underscored in Hebrews 1:4, which states:

“So [Jesus] became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”



How is the name that Jesus inherited superior to every other name, whether angelic or human? After all, Jesus was an extremely common name in first-century Israel.



Why would Paul later declare, in Philippians 2:9-10, that “God exalted [Christ] to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth”?  



In Matthew 1:21, the angel Gabriel explains the significance of the name Jesus:

“[Mary] will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”



In English, of course, we do not see the immediate connection between the name Jesus and the fact that “he will save his people from their sins,” but in the original
Hebrew the connection is clear.



For Jesus is the Greek form of the Aramaic Yeshu, which is a contraction of the Hebrew name Yeshua, itself a late form of the name
Yehoshua (or Joshua), which means, literally, “the Lord saves.”



Salvation is the central meaning of the name Jesus, but it is not just any kind of salvation.



In first century Israel, the word “salvation” was understood by the masses to mean salvation from Roman imperialism.


But when the angel announced the connection between Jesus and salvation, he was very specific about what kind
of salvation would come through Jesus.



It is salvation from sin.



This definition of salvation is clearly reflected in Peter’s declaration in Acts 4:12:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”


In Acts 10:43, Peter leaves no doubt as to what he means by salvation being found by no other name but the name of Jesus:


“All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”


This redemptive dimension to the name of Jesus is found repeatedly throughout the New Testament.


In 1 John 2:12, we are told that “[our] sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”


Likewise, in Acts 22:16, Ananias brought this challenge to the newly-converted Saul:


“And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.”


The name of Jesus brings conviction of sin because it is connected with salvation from sin.


This explains the sometimes violent reaction that the name of Jesus evokes, even today, twenty centuries later. For the same spiritual contempt that crucified Jesus twenty centuries ago continues to scorn and blaspheme him today.


But today, as in the first century, John 1:12-13 still applies:

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God...”






WHAT'S IN A NAME - TEST 5



Question 1:  What does the name Jesus mean?  


1.   The Lord anoints.  
 
2.   The Lord helps.  
 
3.   The Lord saves.  
 
4.   The Lord reigns.  
 
 




Question 2:  What is the significance of the fact that God named Jesus and not his parents?  


1.   Because it showed that God was Jesus' true Father.  
 
2.   Because God wanted to make sure that his Son's name was connected clearly with salvation from sin.  
 
3.   Because Hebrews 1:4 tells us that Jesus inherited a name superior to every other name, whether human or angelic.  
 
4.   All of the above.  
 





Question 3:  What is the original Hebrew name from which the name Jesus is derived?  


1.   Yeshus  
 
2.   Yesus  
 
3.   Yesu  
 
4.   Yeshua  
 






Question 4:  The name "Jesus" derives from "Yeshu." How is this related to the original Hebrew name "Yeshua" or "Yehoshua"?  


1.   It is the Latin form of Yeshua.  
 
2.   It is the Greek form of Yeshua.  
 
3.   It is the Arabic form of Yeshua.  
 
4.   It is the Aramaic form of Yeshua.  
 




Question 5:  Why do people blaspheme the name of Jesus?  


1.   Because they are convicted of sin.  
 
2.   Because they have a hidden respect for Jesus.  
 
3.   Because they believe the name of Jesus has a magical power.  
 
4.   Because the same spiritual contempt that crucified Jesus twenty centuries ago continues to scorn and blaspheme him today.  
 





{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}













WHAT'S IN A NAME - ANSWERS



The correct answer to #1 is number 3.  

The correct answer to #2 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #3 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #4 is number 2.  
 
The correct answer to #5 is number 4.  
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2005, 06:42:28 PM »

DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE


The Titles of Jesus Lesson 6



In the last lesson, we explored the redemptive significance of the name Jesus. But Christ not only inherited a name superior to all others, he has also inherited a number of titles which are “far above...every title that can be given, not only in
the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:21).


In this lesson, we will take a brief look at just three of these titles.


The Son of God

Mark launches his Gospel account with these words:


"The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”


And John 20:30-31 provides us with the
primary reason John wrote his own account:



“But these [miraculous signs] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”


Although Jesus avoided describing himself as the long-awaited Messiah (for reasons we will see in a moment), he didn’t shy away from the title “Son of God.”



Infact, Jesus frequently referred to himself by the abbreviated title “Son” (see Luke 10:22; John 3:16-18), and when asked at his trial, “Are you then the Son of God?”(Luke 22:70), he replied without hesitation: “You are right in saying I am.”



This title “Son of God” is the most fundamental description of Christ’s identity.


This primary title has two important facets:


Relationship – The title “Son” is primarily a description of relationship.
[/i]


Jesus is, first and foremost, the Son of God. The use of this term throughout the New Testament underscores Christ’s relationship with his Father.


As the Father himself expressed it in Matthew 17:5:


“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”


Authority – With the relationship comes authority. As the Son of God, Jesus has the full authority to act on his Father’s behalf. [/COLOR]


This is reflected in the many statements found throughout the New Testament describing Jesus “at the right hand of the mighty God” (Luke 22:69; Acts 5:31; 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3).



As we study the life of Jesus, we will see these two dimensions of Christ’s Sonship:relationship and authority – constantly being expressed.


The Son of Man


This was the title most commonly used by Jesus himself, for three reasons:


Firstly, it was a generic title used for prophets in the Old Testament (see Ezekiel 2:1; Daniel 8:17).


In calling himself “the Son of Man,” Jesus was
laying claim to the long prophetic heritage that stretched behind him.


Secondly, it was a scriptural term used for human beings in general. Thus by describing himself as the “Son of Man,” Jesus was declaring his total identification with humanity.


Thirdly, it was a title drawn from Daniel 7:13, which describes “one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.”


Jesus himself echoed this description when he declared in Matthew 24:30:


“They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.”


The Messiah

The Hebrew title Messiah (and its Greek counterpart, Christ) simply means “the Anointed One.”


On one level, the term “messiah” could be applied to any anointed king. For example, Saul, David and Solomon were all anointed as king over Israel, and the term “anointed one” or “messiah” was applied to all three (1 Samuel
26:7-11; 2 Samuel 5:3; 1 Kings 1:39; 2 Chronicles 6:42).



But in time, the title Messiah took on a whole new meaning.


Daniel 9:25, for example, foretold of the "Anointed One, the ruler,” and Micah 5:2 described him as “the one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”



Jesus avoided the title Messiah (except when speaking to his innermost circle of disciples) for two reasons:



1. The first-century expectation of a Messiah had strongly military tones.

2. The expectation of the coming Messiah had reached a fever pitch in Israel, and Jesus did not want to instigate his arrest before the set time.




But there came a time, in response to the question “Who do you say I am?” (in Matthew 16:15-16), when Peter exclaimed:


“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”



Jesus has many other titles, beside these. He is called the Son of David (Matthew 12:23; 21:9), the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13) and Immanuel (Matthew
1:23)
.


We will investigate these, and others, in the lessons to come.






THE TITLES OF JESUS - TEST 6




Question 1:  In the opening verse of Mark's Gospel account, what does Mark write?  

1.   "The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, a teacher of men.”  

 
2.   "The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, a prophet to Israel.”  

 
3.   "The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, a good man.”  

 
4.   "The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”  

 
 



Question 2:  What does the title Son of God mean for Jesus' identity?  


1.   It shows that he is God's favorite.  

2.   It means that he is too holy to be involved in the mundane affairs of man.
 
3.   It means that Jesus hopes to grow up to be God someday.  

4.   It means that Jesus has both a special relationship with God and a special authority from God.  





Question 3:  What was the significance of the title Son of Man, as used by Jesus of himself?  


1.   It was a generic term for the prophets of the Old Testament.  
 
2.   It was an expression of Christ's total identification with mankind.  
 
3.   It alluded to prophecies such as Daniel 7:13-14, describing the coming of "one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven"  
 
4.   All of the above.  






Question 4:  Why did Jesus avoid directly referring to himself as the Messiah?  



1.   Because he was unsure of his own identity.  

2.   Because the people were expecting a military Messiah.  

3.   Because he was waiting for the religious leaders to proclaim him as Messiah.  

4.   Because he was not really the Messiah.  




Question 5:  Which of the following is not one of the titles belonging to Jesus?  


1.   Son of Joseph  
 
2.   Son of David  
 
3.   Alpha and Omega  
 
4.   Immanuel  

 


{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}
















THE TITLES OF JESUS TEST 6


The correct answer to #1 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #2 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #3 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #4 is number 2.  

The correct answer to #5 is number 1.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2005, 02:18:50 AM by blackeyedpeas » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2005, 10:51:34 AM »

DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE


Examining the Evidence  Lesson 7



Jesus is a historical person.


This means that his life is rooted in a particular time
and place. The time was the early decades of the first century, and the place was the land of Israel, also known by its Roman provincial name, Palestine.



This historical context to the life of Jesus is so important to the biblical record that E F Harrison makes this claim:

“Some religions, both ancient and modern, require no historical basis, for they depend upon ideas rather than events. Christianity is not one of these.”


As you study the life of Jesus, you will be amazed at the wealth of evidence that comes from both historical and biblical sources.


As we put Jesus under the magnifying glass, we quickly discover that, rather than being a two-dimensional invention,
he is a three-dimensional historical figure, with words and actions colored by the culture and circumstances of his times.



Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-6

The writers of the New Testament continually fall back on eyewitness testimony as proof of their claims. This eyewitness quality to the evidence presented in the
Gospel is important to the credibility of the Gospel.



Paul rightly concludes in 1 Corinthians 15:14-15:

“...if Christ has not been raised [back to life], our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead...”



What we need to understand, from the very beginning of our studies, is the quality of the evidence that exists within the New Testament.


We often forget that people in the first century were just as intelligent as ourselves, and could be just as skeptical as anyone today.



It was for this reason that Peter, himself one of the
eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life, wrote in 2 Peter 1:16:

“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ...”



Peter needed to write these words in order to refute the natural skepticism of the people of his day regarding the testimony presented by the apostles.


Yet in the face of both skepticism and persecution, their message did not falter.


As Peter had earlier declared in Acts 5:32:

“We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”


Read Luke 1:1-4

Just how credible is this “orderly account” that Luke has written for us?


As Grant Jeffreys points out:

“One of the greatest subjects of dispute is the question of what historical evidence qualifies as acceptable proof of the life of Jesus of Nazareth.”


In the late nineteenth century, Sir William Ramsay set out to disprove the Gospel accounts through the best and most logical means available – archaeology.


Yet the archaeological evidence eventually forced him to this conclusion:

“Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy; he is possessed of the true historical sense...In short this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.”



F F Bruce makes this observation on the credibility of Luke’s accounts:

“A man whose accuracy can be demonstrated in matters where we are able to test it is likely to be accurate even where the means for testing him are not available. Accuracy is a habit of the mind, and we know from happy (or unhappy) experiences that some people are habitually accurate just as others can be depended upon to be inaccurate. Luke’s record entitles him to be regarded as a writer of habitual accuracy.”



The eyewitness nature of the Gospel record provides us with a high degree of confidence in its historical credibility. Thus we should sit up and listen when John, one of Jesus’ disciples, makes this statement in 1 John 1:1-2:



“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched, this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it...We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard...”  






EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE TEST 7




Question 1:  Which of the following statements is true?  

1.   Jesus is a myth and this invalidates the Gospel.  
 
2.   Jesus is a myth, but this doesn't matter to the message of the Gospel.  
 
3.   Jesus is an historical person, and this matters to the message of the Gospel.  
 
4.   Whether Jesus is historical or mythological doesn't make any difference to the message of the Gospel.  
 
 




Question 2:  Which of the following statements is true?  

1.   People in the first century were more gullible than people today.  
 
2.   People in the first century could be just as sceptical as people today.  
 
3.   People in the first century didn't care as much about the credibility of eyewitness testimony.  
 
4.   The first century disciples weren't overly concerned about being credible witnesses.  




Question 3:  According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-6, what was of first importance?  


1.   That Christ died for our sins.  
 
2.   That Christ was raised back to life.  
 
3.   That there were eyewitnesses of his death, burial and resurrection.  
 
4.   All of the above.  

 


Question 4:  What conclusion did archaelogist and scholar Sir William Ramsey come to concerning Luke?  


1.   Luke is an historian of the first rank.  
 
2.   As an historian, Luke made a few mistakes, but they don't make the Gospel record any less credible.  
 
3.   Luke is a poor historian.  
 
4.   Luke made things up.  

 



Question 5:  According to Luke 1:1-3, which of the following is true?  


1.   Luke wrote his Gospel account by compiling the various stories circulating about Jesus, without regard for their accuracy or credibility.  
 
2.   Luke wrote his Gospel account by direct dictation from God and didn't need to rely on eyewitness evidence.  
 
3.   Luke made up the stories he wrote, in order to illustrate timeless truths.  
 
4.   Luke carefully investigated all the accounts of Jesus' life, cross-checking them with eyewitnesses who were at that time still alive.  
 





{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}









EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE ANSWERS 7


The correct answer to #1 is number 3.  

The correct answer to #2 is number 2.  

The correct answer to #3 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #4 is number 1.  

The correct answer to #5 is number 4.  
« Last Edit: August 23, 2005, 02:38:05 AM by blackeyedpeas » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2005, 11:20:18 AM »

DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE  


Answering the Skeptic


When it comes to Jesus, there will always be skeptics. But the twenty-first century doesn’t have a monopoly on skepticism.


Even the first century had its fair share of skeptics.


Read 2 Peter 3:3-7

Skepticism has changed little in twenty centuries.


In the first century, it was the second coming of Jesus that skeptics scoffed at; in the twenty-first century, the focus of skepticism has shifted to the first coming.


Whereas the skeptic in the first century questioned the credibility of the oral message of the disciples, the skeptic today questions the credibility of their written message.



However, to both forms of skepticism, Peter’s answer remains the same:

“But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed...”



Skepticism is a worldview that questions not just the life of Jesus but also the existence of God and his involvement in the world.


In that sense, skepticism about Jesus has to be addressed
on a deeper level than merely answering specific questions
about this dichotomy or that discrepancy.


Beneath all skepticism toward Jesus lies the issue of God himself.


As Peter pointed out, the first step is recognizing “that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water” (2 Peter 3:5).



This concurs with what Hebrews 11:6 says:

“...anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”



It is simply impossible to study the life of Jesus outside of the issues he himself held dear.



Even the skeptical scholar must first address those issues:


Do I believe in God?

If so, do I believe that he is personally interested in the affairs of mankind?

And if I do, do I believe that it is even remotely possible that Jesus is exactly who the Gospel accounts say that he is?



If the answer to any of these questions is “No,” then this scholar’s study of Jesus will be colored by one of more of
the following assumptions:

Assumption #1 – God doesn’t exist.

Assumption #2 – Even if God does exist, he does not personally interact with mankind.

Assumption #3 – Because God is not personally involved in human history, all reports of miraculous events are automatically suspect.

Assumption #4 – Because the supernatural is suspect, the Gospel accounts cannot be credible.




As you can see, without this first step of faith in the existence of God, the study of Jesus will be colored by assumptions that automatically discredit the very sources
by which we can truly know Jesus.


For everything about the study of Jesus demands that we hold these fundamental assumptions:

Assumption #1 – God exists.

Assumption #2 – God cares for humanity and is personally involved in human history.

Assumption #3 – God proves his concern and involvement through supernatural acts.

Assumption #4 – These miracles are the credentials by which we ascertain whether Jesus’ claims about himself are true or not.




Ultimately, embracing Jesus is a matter of faith, not intellect.



But this doesn’t mean that to believe in Jesus we must switch the intellect off.


Indeed, in the coming lessons we will be looking at the very issues that some skeptics raise.


How can we really know that Jesus is who he says he is?


Jesus himself had a reply to this question. In John 7:17, he said:

“If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”


What does the Bible itself say to the skeptic?


1 John 5:10 lays down the challenge:

“Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.”


A person may choose not to believe the Gospel accounts, but John makes it clear that to do so is to call God a liar.


In 1 John 2:22-23, he writes:

“Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist. He denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”


God has spelled out the issue of Jesus Christ in black and white.

You either accept him or reject him.


There is no scholarly middle ground.








ANSWERING THE SKEPTIC  TEST 8




Question 1:  Which of the following statements is true?  

1.   Scepticism is a uniquely modern phenomenon.  
 
2.   Although there have always been sceptics, scepticism today is more serious than in the first century.  
 
3.   Scepticism today is on the whole similar to scepticism in the first century. Whereas the first century sceptic questioned the credibility of the oral testimony of the disciples, the modern sceptic questions the credibility of the written testimony of the disciples.  
 
4.   Scepticism today, like in the first century, focuses mainly on the second coming of Christ.  
 
 





Question 2:  Which of the following statements is true?  

1.   A scholar can approach the study of Jesus without assumptions.  
 
2.   The foundational assumptions in the study of Jesus have to do with the existence of God and his involvement in human history.  
 
3.   When we study the life of Jesus, it doesn't matter whether we believe that God exists or not.  
 
4.   When we study the life of Jesus, it doesn't matter whether we believe that God performs miracles or not.  
 




Question 3:  What does Hebrews 11:6 say?  

1.   "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ."  
 
2.   "If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own."  
 
3.   "Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son."  
 
4.   "...anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."  




Question 4:  What John 7:17 say?  

1.   "...anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."  
 
2.   "If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own."  
 
3.   "Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son."  
 
4.   "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ."  





Question 5:  What does 1 John 5:10 tell us?  

1.   "...anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."  
 
2.   "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ."  
 
3.   "If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own."  
 
4.   "Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son."  
 



{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}

















ANSWERING THE SKEPTIC - ANSWERS


The correct answer to #1 is number 3.
 
The correct answer to #2 is number 2.  

The correct answer to #3 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #4 is number 2.  
 
The correct answer to #5 is number 4.  
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2005, 09:45:29 AM »

DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE



Was Jesus A Myth?  LESSON 9



A person can hold only one of three possible views on the person of Jesus:

1. He was a myth – “Jesus didn’t exist.”

2. He was just a man – “Jesus was a good man, maybe even a prophet.”

3. He is the Messiah – “Jesus is indeed everything he claimed to be.”
[/color]


“Did Jesus actually exist at all?” is the ultimate skeptical question, so let’s address this first.


Was Jesus ever a real person?


Or was he simply a fabrication of later generations, the embodiment of all they considered ideal in a man?


The atheist Bertrand Russell, in his essay,

“Why I Am Not a Christian,” penned these words:

“Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if he did we do not know anything about him.”



Russell was sadly uninformed. No respectable scholar has ever ventured to deny there was a real Jesus in history.


Scholars have sought to debunk the biblical accounts of Jesus’ life, but not the existence of Jesus himself.


Contrary to Russell’s statement, it is actually quite certain that Christ existed and that we can know much about him, even from sources outside of the Bible.


As F F Bruce explains:

“Some writers may toy with the fancy of a ‘Christ-myth,’ but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence.
The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the ‘Christ-myth’ theories.”  



As you read the Gospel accounts, you quickly discover that Jesus did not exist in some mythological past, but can be pinpointed with great accuracy to a specific period, and even to a specific year, in history.


And of even greater wonder is the fact that the period in which Jesus lived – the early first century – is the best documented period in ancient times!



The existence of Jesus was never called into question in the first centuries of this era.



This remarkable fact cannot be overstated. As Grant Jeffrey observes:

“The greatest critics of Christianity in the early centuries, including Celsus, who debated Christian writers in the second century...never once ventured to suggest that Jesus of Nazareth did not live or die in Jerusalem.


Surely if the pagans had possessed any evidence that contradicted the basic account of Christ’s life, they would have openly challenged the Christian writers with those facts.



C S Lewis, former Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, has this to say about the Jesus-Is-A-Myth option:

“If [the skeptic] tells me that something in a Gospel is legend or romance, I want to know how many legends and romances he has read, how well his palate is trained in detecting them by the flavor; not how many years he has spent [reading] that Gospel...

I have been reading poems, romances, vision literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like this.” [/color]


J B Phillips also echoes the same conclusion:

“I have read, in Greek and Latin, scores of myths but I did not find the slightest flavor of myth here.”

The Gospel record reads like reality because it is reality. It has the stamp of the genuine upon it, what J B Phillips calls "the ring of truth.”



Regardless of what a person may believe concerning Jesus,
it is hard to deny that the accounts of his life reveal that the authors genuinely believed what they wrote.


In countless small ways, the writers reveal that they had personal knowledge of the events they record, or at the very least knew people who had such personal knowledge.


Cultural and historical details are far too accurate to support any conclusion except that there really was a man named Jesus of Nazareth who lived in first century Galilee.



Yet we do not need to rely on biblical evidence to prove that Jesus really did exist?



Based solely on extra-biblical evidence, Howard Clark Kee draws this conclusion:

“The result of the examination of the sources outside of the New Testament that bear directly or indirectly on our knowledge of Jesus is to confirm his historical existence, his unusual powers, the devotion of his followers, the continued existence of his movement after his death at the hands of the Roman governor in Jerusalem, and the penetration of Christianity into the upper strata of society in Rome itself by the later first century.”







WAS JESUS A MYTH? TEST 9



Question 1:  Which of the following statements is true?  

1.   Scepticism concerning Jesus' historical existence is a valid and logical option.
 
 
2.   Historically it is quite doubtful whether Jesus ever existed at all, and if he did we do not know anything about him.  

 
3.   No respectable scholar has ever ventured to deny there was a real Jesus in history.  

 
4.   The essence of the Gospel message is not really dependent on whether Jesus existed or not.  
 
 





Question 2:  The historical existence of Jesus was never called into question by Christianity's opponents in the first centuries of this era. Why was this so?  

1.   Because they stupidly never considered this possibility.  

 
2.   Because they were less sophisticated than today's critics.  

 
3.   Because they didn't think it worthwhile bringing up.  

 
4.   Because they knew Jesus had really existed.  
 

 


Question 3:  Is it possible that the Gospel accounts are legendary?  

1.   Yes, it is quite likely, because they read like accounts we know to be legendary and mythological.  

 
2.   No, they are totally unlike legendary or mythological stories.  

 
3.   No, not as a whole, but there are many legendary or mythological interpolations within the Gospel accounts.
 
 
4.   Yes, but they are good reading.  





Question 4:  Which of the following statements are true?  

1.   Regardless of what a person may believe concerning Jesus, it is hard to deny that the accounts of his life reveal that the authors genuinely believed what they wrote.  

 
2.   The Gospel record has the stamp of the genuine upon it, what J B Phillips calls "the ring of truth."  

 
3.   In countless small ways, the writers reveal that they had personal knowledge of the events they record, or at the very least knew people who had such personal knowledge.  

 
4.   All of the above.  
 






Question 5:  According to today's lesson, which of the following is not a true statement?  

1.   Bertrand Russell's statement:
"Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if he did we do not know anything about him."  

 
2.   F F Bruce's statement:
"Some writers may toy with the fancy of a 'Christ-myth,' but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the 'Christ-myth' theories."  

 
3.   J B Phillips' statement:
"I have read, in Greek and Latin, scores of myths but I did not find the slightest flavor of myth [in the Gospel accounts]."  


 
4.   Howard Clark Kee: "The result of the examination of the sources outside of the New Testament…confirm his historical existence, his unusual powers, the devotion of his followers, the continued existence of his movement after his death at the hands of the Roman governor in Jerusalem, and the penetration of Christianity into the upper strata of society in Rome itself by the later first century."  
 





{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}














WAS JESUS A MYTH? - ANSWERS


The correct answer to #1 is number 3.

The correct answer to #2 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #3 is number 2.  

The correct answer to #4 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #5 is number 1.  
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2005, 07:50:06 AM »

This will be the last lesson I post on the Discovering Jesus Course.

There are many other lessons to the course, so if you would like them then send me a message


There is no charge. All that's needed is a heart hungry to learn more about our Savior.

God Bless,

Rhonda Ramsey

======================================
DISCOVERING JESUS COURSE



WAS JESUS JUST A MAN


As we saw in the last lesson, a person can hold one of three possible views on Jesus:

1. He was a myth – “Jesus didn’t exist.”
2. He was just a man – “Jesus was a good man, maybe even a prophet.”
3. He is the Messiah – “Jesus is indeed everything that he claimed to be.”



We will now examine the second question: “Was Jesus just a man?” After all, isn’t it possible to recognize the merit of Christ’s teachings without actually worshiping him?


Only a superficial reading of the Gospel record would allow the comfortable but untenable position of embracing Christ’s teaching but rejecting his identity.


The more you read, the more you discover that Jesus made claims about himself which demand a decision. For indeed, as William Biederworld comments:

“A man who can read the New Testament and not see that Christ claims to be more than a man, can look over the sky at high noon on a cloudless day and not see the sun.”


C S Lewis points out the absurdity of claiming that Jesus was merely a good man.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about [Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God."  


That is the one thing we must not say.


A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the Devil of Hell.


You must make your choice.


Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a mad
man or something worse.


You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.


"But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.

He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.


As C S Lewis argues, if Jesus is not who he said he was, only two options remain:

1. He was a liar
2. He was a lunatic



1. Was Jesus a liar?


After all, if Jesus is not God, then he purposely deceived people when he declared, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58, NKJV).


But anyone who claims Jesus was a liar suddenly encounters a moral dilemma.


For the teachings of Jesus are the foundations upon which the best of human morality has been built.


Philip Schaff, a noted historian, firmly closes this option for us.

“How, in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an impostor – that is a deceitful, selfish, depraved man – have invented, and consistently maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known
in history with the most perfect air of truth and reality?”



2. If Jesus was not a liar, then was he a lunatic?


Was he self-deceived? For this is now the only recourse for a person who seeks to reject the claims of Jesus.


To this, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli have this to say:

“There are lunatics in asylums who sincerely believe they are God. The ‘divinity complex’ is a recognized form of psychopathology.


Its character traits are well known: egotism, narcissism, inflexibility, dullness, predictability, inability to understand and love others as they really are and creatively relate
to others.



In other words, this is the polar opposite of the personality of Jesus!...


[Jesus] was the most creative, interesting, unpredictable man who ever lived...


The common verb predicated of those who met Jesus was thaumazo, ‘to wonder.’

Lunatics are not wonderful, but Jesus was the most wonderful person in history. If that were lunacy, lunacy would be more desirable than sanity.”


The key question is this: Did Jesus believe his own claims to be God?


If he did not, then he was a liar. If he did, then he was a lunatic. Unless, of course, he is indeed God.


It is a choice between these three.


Let’s put it in another way.


Jesus was either bad or he was good. If he was a liar,
he was morally bad. If he was a lunatic, he was mentally bad. But if he was indeed the Son of God then, and only then, was he good.


“There are two things everyone admits about Jesus’ character: he was wise and he was good.  A lunatic is the opposite of wise, and a liar is the opposite of wise and good.”


Jesus simply cannot be called wise and good and not be God.





WAS JESUS JUST A MAN? Test 10



Question 1:  Is it possible to believe that Jesus was a good man, but not divine?  


1.   Yes, because the morality of his teachings are eternal.  

 
2.   Yes, because Jesus himself never said he was anything but an ordinary man.  

 
3.   No, because he himself claimed he was sinful.  

 
4.   No, because if he was not who he said he was, then he was not a good man.  

 

 

Question 2:  How do we know that Jesus was not a liar?  


1.   Because we must have a blind faith that he was not a liar.  

 
2.   Because his disciples said he was not a liar.  

 
3.   Because it is impossible for a deceitful, selfish, depraved man to have invented, and consistently maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known in history.  

 
4.   Because if he was a liar, then nobody would today believe him.  
 





Question 3:  How do we know that Jesus was not a lunatic?  


1.   Because we must have a blind faith that he was not a lunatic.  

 
2.   Because Jesus said he was not a lunatic.  

 
3.   Because his disciples said he was not a lunatic.  

 
4.   Because the wisdom of Jesus' teachings and the sanity of his personality precludes the possibility that he was deranged.  
 





Question 4:  Which of the following statements is not true?  


1.   Jesus can be good and wise, yet still not be God.  

 
2.   Even unbelievers admit that Jesus was both wise and good.  

 
3.   A liar is the opposite of a good man, and a lunatic is the opposite of a wise man.  

 
4.   Jesus can only be called wise and good if he is indeed what he claims to be - God come in the flesh.  

 





Question 5:  According to this lesson, which of the following statements is true?  


1.   Jesus never claimed to be anything more than a man.  

 
2.   Jesus claimed to be more than a man, but he lied.  

 
3.   Jesus claimed to be more than a man, but he was self-deluded.  

 
4.   Jesus claimed to be more than a man, and was telling the truth.  

 




{SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR ANSWERS}











ANSWERS TO TEST 10


The correct answer to #1 is number 4.  

The correct answer to #2 is number 3.  
 
The correct answer to #3 is number 4.  
 
The correct answer to #4 is number 1.  
 
The correct answer to #5 is number 4.  


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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2005, 08:13:12 AM »

Sister Rhonda,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting these lessons. NOW, more than ever, the world needs JESUS! There are hosts of hurting and hungry people out there who feel empty and might not even know what they need. JESUS can fill those empty places in their hearts and give them a peace and joy like they have never experienced in their lives.

Nearly 200 people have read this thread in the few short days that it's been on the forum. I'm hoping that many of those 200 people are considering the most important decision of their lives: Asking JESUS to come into their hearts as Lord and Saviour forever.

I'm also hoping and praying that many Christians study these lessons and become stronger in the LORD as a result.

Sister, let me thank you again and tell you how much we enjoy our fellowship with you. I know that you have a mission and work to do for God, but I hope that you stay with us.

Love in Christ,
Tom

Philippians 1:21-22 NASB  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
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