Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ancient codices found in Jordan

I read about this here, with thanks to Stephen Smuts. One of the greatest indications of the authenticity of Christianity is that in general Christians are really excited about new archeological discoveries. We do not feel the need to hide them in case they contradict all that we have preached. We are eager to investigate and learn more about the Bible and our history. God is not our invention. He exists without our help!

10 comments:

Thomas Scarborough said...

Hello. Do you have your PhD yet? Then what is taking you so long this time? Your old friend.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hey Thomas - glad you're still around. Things are a bit rough at the seminary at the moment - which affects blogging. Poor old Phd is last in line for my time at the moment!
Jenny

kur_dt_fan said...

im not a member or regular to this page but i found this article and a few pics and thought others might like to see this...

this link here-
http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110330/ts_yblog_thelookout/could-lead-codices-prove-the-major-discovery-of-christian-history

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenny, I was not brought up in a religious home, but I have a strong faith in God, and Jesus as his Son. Although, I do not believe I have to go to church every Sunday to have a relationship with them. I am straying away from what I really want to ask you. These codices are huge in a few different aspects of many peoples lives if they turn out to be real. My question is what religion was in place that predicted the return of the Messiah, and is it the religion that led to Christianity as we know it today? Why is Christianity so different from Judism if we are both worshiping the same person, and finally, why is the most holy of places of Christianity in Rome, and held by Italians ( modern day Romans ) when they were the ones who killed Jesus?

Anonymous said...

Also, why did so many people want Jesus dead if he was in so many ways proven to be the Messiah, the Son of God. Why wasnt he embraced?

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi Anonymous - fairly heavy questions!
1. By 'return of the Messiah' do you mean coming? The Jewish religion predicted the (first) coming of the Messiah, although it is a lot easier to understand the prophecies after they were fulfilled than before! Genesis 3:15 is one of the first. Isaiah 53 is quite powerful. Different Jewish sects came to different understandings as to what the Messiah would be like. If you mean the return of the Messiah (Jesus coming again) that is principally found in Christianity, although we find it in the Old Testament as well.
Christianity is different to Judaism because Christians recognise Jesus as the Messiah (the Jews are still waiting). We believe that Jesus fulfilled the Jewish law and brought a new way of life (less legalistic and more relational). We worship Jesus as God, to a Jew that is blasphemy.
I don't know if Rome is holy for Roman Catholics. For me as a protestant there is no significance to Rome. Most Christians don't get caught up in whether the Jews or Romans killed Jesus. People like us killed Jesus. We've got to accept that.
Your last question is a good one. We can only really guess. Were the people protecting their power and status as Jewish leaders? Were they ultimately cynical, believing Jesus to be too good to be true and so he must have a hidden agenda? Did they seriously think they were protecting God? It's odd, because still today good people suffer for being good.
Hope this helps!
Jenny

Anonymous said...

It did help, but also fueled my desire to learn more. So in Judaism, they predicted the "coming" of a messiah, which if I'm not mistaken is Jahova correct? What I'm getting from what you said is there was a small group of Jews who were convinced that Jesus was the messiah prophecised in the Jewish texts, and the rest of the people, more importantly men of power were not. These men inevitably took the belief in him as the messiah as a threat to their social and religious power? Is it safe to say the Jews killed their messiah beacuse of political motivation? That even if every arrow brightly lit pointed to him as their messiah, they would have killed him anyways to eliminate any threat to their current politcal,and religious structure? Is it also safe to say that the Jews, past and present, consider it so blasphemos to call Jesus the Messiah because his blood is on their hands and they know they are responsible for killing the very person their religion was waiting for? It sounds to me like they are in denial, and are lying to themselves out of pure regret. Kind of like a person who lies so much,they begin to believe their own lies. If it is blasphemy for a jew to believe in Jesus as God, what would the consider Jahova? Is he their God?

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Jews predicted the Messiah, yes. Jehovah (or Yahweh) is the name that God called himself to Moses in Exodus chapter 3 (it means, roughly, I am always.) Christians and Jews all worship the God called Jehovah. Christians believe that Jesus is Jehovah's Son, but is also Jehovah - that is a paradox, but we don't have to understand God.
I think it is safe to say that Jesus's death was politically motivated. Much of the rest of what you are saying about the crucifixion is guessing - could be right.
We don't like to say that the Jews killed Jesus - people killed Jesus. They can't worship Jesus because they don't believe that he is God, that is why it is blasphemy to them. I should think that reasons for continuing to reject Jesus vary from individual to individual. I think that you might be being a bit harsh on the Jews, but there is probably an element of truth in there.

Anonymous said...

Jenny you really have helped me with my questions and I truly appreciate it. I apologise if I came off a bit strong on the on the Jews, as I did not intend it that way. I suppose I did get a bit carried away, and for that I sincerely apologise. I am in no way shape or form anti-semetic. Just one more question. How old is the Hebrew Bible? Do we have a gestimate on it's age? And is it true that it was derrived from ancient Sumeria?

Jenny Hillebrand said...

The Hebrew Bible was written as events happened (unlike the Koran which was all written in one go). So the earliest parts of the Bible were written, probably by Moses, in about 1400BC. The latest writings in the Old Testament would be about 400BC, although there are some scholars who would argue for a later date for some parts. The Bible was formally compiled as a book a little while after this.
One couldn't say it was derived from Sumeria. But Israel was part of a group of nations that had strong political links (ie they took turns at beating each other up and protecting each others). Across time these nations all influenced each other culturally - which is reflected in their literature. So The Bible shows Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Assyrian (or Sumerian) and Persian influences. This does not mean that God was not responsible for the content - just that he is the God of real and living people. The Bible is incredibly rich!