Thursday, April 14, 2016



I was reminded today that Paul did not have a Bible, whether it was KJV, ERV, NIV, NKJV or another other version available today. What he had was the Tanakh, which combines the Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim. From Wikipedia:
The three-part division reflected in the acronym "Tanakh" is well attested in literature of the Rabbinic period.[2] During that period, however, "Tanakh" was not used. Instead, the proper title was Mikra (or Miqra, מקרא, meaning "reading" or "that which is read") because the biblical texts were read publicly. Mikra continues to be used in Hebrew to this day, alongside Tanakh, to refer to the Hebrew scriptures. In modern spoken Hebrew, they are interchangeable.
Jesus is described as reading publicly in Luke 4:15-21. What He read was from Isaiah in the Nevi’im:
contains two sub-groups, the Former Prophets (נביאים ראשונים Nevi'im Rishonim, the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the Latter Prophets (נביאים אחרונים Nevi'im Aharonim, the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel and The Twelve minor prophets).
The Torah contains the books written by Moses, the books of the Law, but can cover much more:
The term Torah means instruction and offers a way of life for those who follow it; it can mean the continued narrative from Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, and it can even mean the totality of Jewish teaching, culture and practice
The third portion, is the Ketuvim,
The Ketuvim are believed to have been written under divine inspiration, but with one level less authority than that of prophecy . . . Found among the Writings within the Hebrew scriptures, I and II Chronicles form one book, along with Ezra and Nehemiah which form a single unit entitled "Ezra–Nehemiah".[4] (In citations by chapter and verse numbers, however, the Hebrew equivalents of "Nehemiah", "I Chronicles" and "II Chronicles" are used, as the system of chapter division was imported from Christian usage.) Collectively, eleven books are included in the Ketuvim.
I took the easy way, Wikipedia, and it is a very high level, overly concise commentary. Paul, on the other hand, had been studying these writings for years, under Gamaliel, a doctor of Jewish Law. He had so much to work with – and did not recognize Jesus as the expected Messiah. For the years of Jesus’ ministry, he had to have heard about Him, even if he never heard Jesus speak.

We have Jesus’ words – usually printed in red to make them stand out and have us take notice – yet we’re not better than Paul until we take notice. After he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he preached:

And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. (Acts 9:19-20 KJV)

He used his personal experience with Jesus, a few words only, and his knowledge of God’s words to Israel to convert in two continents.

Why, then, when we have so many tools, is it so hard for us to read those same words and preach Christ as the Son of God?

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