Not studying an abstract and arcane text of the ancient world

The Divine Creator provided the greatest tool to learn what we should know, to make the best of our life, with His infallible Word, collected in 66 books, whereby 25% of the text is focussing on a Mashiach or Messiah, a Saviour for all mankind.

For some people it may look an arcane language of ancient times not useful any more for our contemporary world. The written collection of order, instruction, or guide, issued by an authority much higher than any living being on this earth, may for many be not easily understood, abstruse or obscure, because they just not want to listen to the words like they are written down but prefer to listen to human doctrines which may confuse lots of people and bring a lot of false teachings into the world. The Bible is not at all arcane, requiring secret knowledge to be understood. One does not have to have a degree in theology to come to understand God’s Word. To get to understand it and to get wisdom one needs to read it regularly and has to study those words given by the Most High, giving more attention to them than to words of so called theologians who prefer to hold on to human doctrines instead of Biblical doctrines.

When we study Torah, or the other books, together forming the Holy Scriptures or Bible, we are not studying an abstract and arcane text of the ancient world.

Those Words given to mankind in ancient times have been given to mankind to help them to restore their relationship with the Divine Maker. Looking at those ancient texts we can learn about the history of mankind and see how man went wrong and got many difficulties over himself by his own wrong doing. We also can see how the Divine Creator had not left His people alone but all the time was willing to come close to them and to help them.

By studying the Torah we are studying the way in which God wants us to live on this earth. It is a way to get again involved in the restoration of the relationship between man and its Maker. For Jews it is also the way to come to know their essence.

(We) are in fact engaged in discovering the essence of Judaism, which is to say, the essence of ourselves.

When we look at the history of the Jews we also can see that it demonstrates that the moment study of Torah was neglected, assimilation of the Jewish people into its surroundings made its inroad. Without fail, every Jewish community in history that did not teach and study Torah as its first priority gradually disappeared from the scene.

From this also non-Jews can learn. All people should come to see that

“Beyond all the good, rational reasons, Torah is the mysterious bridge which connects the Jew and God, across which they interact and communicate, and by means of which God fulfils His covenant with His people to sustain them and protect them.

It is therefore no surprise that Torah study is so central with the Jewish community. It is the first blessing a newborn child receives:

“May he grow up to Torah, to the wedding canopy, and to good deeds.”

Siddur.
Siddur. – Sheynhertz-Unbayg

The Jews their Sidur or prayer book is also filled with petitions to God to help them to understand His Torah. No wonder Rebbe Akiva in the Talmud states that to expect a Jew to live without Torah is like expecting a fish to live without water. That’s because the fact is that the Torah is the essence of the Jewish people, but it should also be the centre of each lover of God, our very life and soul, and without it we literally have no existence.

For those who are looking for God, I can only advise to go and see what the Book of books God has provided may deliver to them. Each person taking up that sacred, holy or set-apart library of books shall be carried away by the texts, coming to understand lots of things which go wrong in this world. They also shall come to feel that Torah study is the single most satisfying endeavour that they came to undertake. By coming to study the Torah one shall come to feel that the Torah reveals to us “the mind of God,” and contains the deepest secrets of the universe.

But there is more than the Torah. The collection of 66 writings (letters and books), written over a period of 1500 years by 40 different writers in different styles, all are in one line in unison with each other. Those writers from different classes and different professions all contributed by writing down what was given to them by the Pneuma. Written in three different languages, Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek those works sometimes where also written for a specific group using their language or way of speaking and discussing their way of thought. Though we may not ignore that more than 3800 times those writers of the bible books say that it are not their words but the Words which came from God. Several times we also come to hear that we should use those words as a guidance or directive (serving or intended to guide, govern, or influence) for a good life.

We can see that those writers did not hide their own weaknesses and also wrote down their own faults, what most civilian readers would mostly avoid to come to light. Often “criticasters” or “critics of the Bible” say that there are contradictions in it; but often it is because of their lack of knowledge that they do not see that it are not contradictions but facts seen from an other perspective. Often the given proceedings complement each other, and the events looked from an other point of view, give additional information. We can see that those texts replete and complement so that we can learn more about it and come to see clearer in case we mist something in the first story or description of a similar event.

Reading from the scroll

Outside of the Torah we are further given information how to live and how to prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God. When you know that the Books of the Torah give us the Law, we can come to see in the other books how people managed to live with or around The Law. In the Nevi’im and Kethuvim Aleph we also come to see how God went about with His people who so often forgot His Mighty Helping Hand.  Not only in the Nevi’im or Books of Prophets we find prophetic writings. 25% of the Bible exist of prophesies of which the majority came already in fulfilment and of which we can see how many years beforehand there was told about what was going to happen and did happen. So, the few which did not happen yet, but where told about, we may be sure shall still going to happen in the future.

Reading the Scroll

It are not only prophesies for the Jewish people [like Devarim (Deuteronomy) 28:26-67; Yehzqeel (Ezekiel) 36-37-] , but there is given a lot of attention to the foretold Mashiach or Messiah. In a following posting you shall be able to see how many times he was predicted and how the Bible itself is totally centred around that Saviour which was to come to bring liberation for all mankind, so not only for Jews, but for every living being. In the Kethuvim Bet or Messianic Writings the moment had come of the revelation of that Messiah, the bringer of peace, though his birth already brought a lot of bloodshed again from young toddlers.

Yes there may be a lot of bloodshed, misery, agony, been shown in those books. But there is also a lot of poetry and wisdom literature which not only can give insight but also lots of hope and showing the light to a marvellous perspective in reach for all who want to listen.

The Bible is no secret book though it might sometimes look mysterious. Some are convinced that it might require secret knowledge to be understood; being so mysterious and/or esoteric. You might call it arcane, only understood by a few. If the subject matter sounds arcaneincomprehensible, inscrutable, mysterious, recondite, unaccountable, unfathomable, unintelligible, unrecognizable and unpromising, it is certainly not unimportant and for sure very promising. Those books are also not confined to and understandable by only an enlightened inner circle, every person who want to read the text like it is written, shall be able to find the essence of what it wants to tell.

You do not have to read those books in a language which is almost always an agony of arcane jargon and clunky grammar. No there are modern translations using a vocabulary in different levels of reading possibility, not to abstruse or difficult to comprehend.

The Bible may be arcane in the sense of “to hold, contain, guard” (source also of Greek arkos “defense,” arkein “to ward off;” Armenian argel “obstacle;” Lithuanian raktas “key,” rakinti “to shut, lock”), showing the “hidden things, mysteries,” revealing the secrets or mysteries; the arcanus or “secret, hidden, private, concealed”.

Studying the set-apart Scriptures

By studying the Bible we may find out the Ways of God. He is willing to teach His Way when we are willing to listen to Him. The ones not wanting to know about God, in the end, shall come to know they shall miss something. To find the meaning of life shall be much more difficult than for the believer in God, who much easier shall be able to find peace at heart. All being created in the image of God and the original man having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, having received knowledge of good and evil, also makes that God in all creatures has given some knowledge of good and evil, so that each individual has some idea of moral and ethics. All people do have have moral codes, but the ultimate authority behind those positions lies within themselves, each individual having to make his own choices.

Man should know that there is given The Law, a law and book of guidance, but when one loves somebody there is much more than a law that binds those partners. The love has to grow by getting to know God better and as a result laws would not be struggle or a difficult matter to keep. God His Laws will not be a burden when one loves the Most High. Out of love we shall also try to please that God to Whom we want to be close.

It should be the love for God which also brings us eager to read His Words. The desire to come to know what He likes most must be deep in our heart and shall bring us to read regularly those assembled books of wisdom. Out of love for our divine Creator we look forward to have Him above all human guides or teachers. He is the Most Precious teacher. He also provided other teachers whose words we should hear as well, like Solomon, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Jesus. We should know that no one who walks determines his own steps, but that it must be Him we should trust and have as our Guide to direct our steps.

Jeremiah 10:23-24 (TS2009)
23 O יהוה, I know the way of man is not in himself, it is not for man who walks to direct his own steps. 24 O יהוה, chastise me, but with right-ruling – not in Your displeasure, lest You bring me to naught.

Proverbs 20:24 (TS2009)
24 The steps of a man are from יהוה; What does a man know about his own way?

Proverbs 14:8 (TS2009)
8 The wisdom of the clever is to understand His way, But the folly of fools is deceit.

It is by letting us mould by that Word of God that we can become some one and shall not belong to the fools who do not want to come to know God. No word of any person can have such wisdom or can be so right as God’s Word, which is infallible. It is God Who steers our hearts into His love.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 (TS2009)
5 And the Master direct your hearts into the love of Elohim and into the endurance for Messiah.

Therefore let us incline our heart to God His Word more than to human philosophical talk and human doctrine, but keep to Biblical doctrine, in the knowledge that God is the Omniscient. when giving our ear to God He shall be willing to incline His ear to us as well and shall not abandon us.

1 Kings 8:56-61 (TS2009)
56 “Blessed be יהוה, who has given rest to His people Yisra’ĕl, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good word, which He promised through His servant Mosheh. 57 “יהוה our Elohim is with us as He was with our fathers – He does not leave us nor forsake us – 58 to incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways, and to guard His commands and His laws and His right-rulings, which He commanded our fathers. 59 “And let these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before יהוה, be near יהוה our Elohim day and night, to maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Yisra’ĕl, the matter of each day in its day, 60 so that all the peoples of the earth might know that יהוה is Elohim, there is no one else. 61 “Let your heart therefore be perfect to יהוה our Elohim, to walk in His laws and guard His commands, as at this day.”

When walking by the same rule as the ancient People of Israel, we should press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of Elohim, letting His Word be our guide every day and every hour. That we may come directed in such a way that it maybe easy to follow the right direction. Knowing where God wants us to go, we must listen to Him as He speaks through the words of scripture and directs our paths, offering a gain which is much higher than the world ever shall be able to present us.

Proverbs 3:5-14 (TS2009)
5 Trust in יהוה with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 Know Him in all your ways, And He makes all your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;a Fear יהוה and turn away from evil.b Footnotes: aIsa 5:21. bJob 28:28. 8 It is healing to your navel, And moistening to your bones. 9 Esteem יהוה with your goods, And with the first-fruits of all your increase; 10 Then your storehouses shall be filled with plenty, And your vats overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not despise the discipline of יהוה, And do not loathe His reproof; 12 For whom יהוה loves He reproves, As a father the son whom he delights in.c Footnote: cJob 3:11-12 are quoted in Heb 12:5-6. 13 Blessed is the man who has found wisdom, And the man who gets understanding; 14 For the gain from it is better Than gain from silver, And its increase than fine gold.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (TS2009)
10 But you did closely follow my teaching, the way of life, the purpose, the belief, the patience, the love, the endurance, 11 the persecutions, the sufferings, which came to me at Antioch, at Ikonion, and at Lustra – what persecutions I bore. Yet out of them all the Master delivered me. 12 And indeed, all those wishing to live reverently in Messiah יהושע, shall be persecuted.c Footnote: cMat 5:10. 13 But evil men and impostors shall go on to the worse,d leading astray and being led astray. Footnote: dMat 24:12, Rev 22:11. 14 But you, stay in what you have learned and trusted, having known from whom you have learned, 15 and that from a babe you have known the Set-apart Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for deliverance through belief in Messiah יהושע. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.

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Preceding

When found the necessary books to read and how to read them

A Tool to shed light over the qualities in our life 2 Jews for a Messiah

A Tool to shed light over the qualities in our life 3 Menorah and 7 basic emotions

How to Read the Bible

How to Read the Bible (sequel 1)

How to Read the Bible (sequel 2)

How to Read the Bible (sequel 3)

How to Read the Bible (sequel 4)

How to Read the Bible (sequel 5)

How to Read the Bible (sequel 6) an after thought

An other tool bringing words for understanding and wisdom

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Additional reading

  1. An uncovering book to explore
  2. Written down in God’s Name
  3. The Word of God in print
  4. Words of God to stand and to be followed and to believe
  5. Written by inspiration of God for our admonition, to whom it shall be imputed if they believe
  6. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  7. Inspired Word
  8. Unread bestseller
  9. Book of books and great masterpiece
  10. Challenging claim
  11. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  12. Challenging claim 2 Inspired by God 1 Simple words
  13. Challenging claim 3 Inspired by God 2 Inerrant Word of God
  14. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  15. Authority of the Bible
  16. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  17. the Bible – God’s guide for life #1 Introduction
  18. the Bible – God’s guide for life #2 Needs in life
  19. the Bible – God’s guide for life #3 Fast food or staple diet
  20. the Bible – God’s guide for life #4 Not to get the best from our diet– or from ourselves
  21. the Bible – God’s guide for life #5 What is God like
  22. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  23. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God
  24. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  25. How to Study the Bible: We Are in This Together
  26. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  27. Written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope
  28. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  29. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  30. Building up the spirit of the soul
  31. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #12 God Himself masters His Own Word
  32. God giving signs and producing wonders
  33. Miracles of revelation and of providence 2 Providence
  34. The Need to Understand Genre
  35. To find ways of Godly understanding
  36. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  37. Devotees and spotters
  38. Colour-blindness and road code
  39. An unbridgeable gap
  40. Hearing words to accept
  41. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  42. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  43. In case you find contradiction between Old and New Testament
  44. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  45. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  46. People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions
  47. Bible & us
  48. When there is a God is it possible to relate to Him
  49. Human & Biblical teachings
  50. 1: Backbone book
  51. 2: Collection of books
  52. 3: Hidden books
  53. 4: Collection to show God
  54. 5: One not without the other
  55. 6: Essential to come to faith
  56. 7: Reliability of writers
  57. Recommended articles about the Book of books the Bible

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Further reading

  1. God’s Attribute of Wisdom
  2. Visions from God
  3. But Where can Wisdom be Found?
  4. Delight & Desire
  5. Pleasing God vs following a rule book
  6. Benefits of Daily Bible Reading
  7. Goals of Daily Bible Reading
  8. Mechanics of Daily Bible Reading
  9. 15 April 2017 Bible Reading
  10. Life is not a game with no lasting consequences.
  11. Are we listening?
  12. StubbornPleasing God vs following a rule book
  13. To Criticize the Critic
  14. The reason is relationship
  15. Gleanings from the Bible: Psalms 52, 57 and 65
  16. Gleanings from the Bible: Psalms 86, 90, 95 and 103
  17. Gleanings from the Bible: Proverbs
  18. Gleanings from the Bible: Ecclesiastes
  19. Gleanings from the Bible: Ecclesiastes, Emptiness and the State of the Church
  20. Gleanings from the Bible: Song of Songs.
  21. Gleanings from the Bible: Joel
  22. Wisdom Literature
  23. Wisdom Wedneday: Wisdom for Leadership from the Wisdom of Solomon
  24. God’s Wisdom
  25. Proverbs introduction
  26. Proverbs – Something to Savor
  27. Proverbs 8
  28. Proverbs 9
  29. Proverbs 31
  30. Ecclesiastes – Introduction
  31. Ecclesiastes 1
  32. Prophecy
  33. The Secret Hidden Treasure
  34. Woe and Lamentation!
  35. Jesus and Bible prophecies he fullfilled
  36. The power of Christ’s words..and His call to us to preach them
  37. He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus
  38. His bloody cross, his precious bloodshed
  39. He will swallow up death for all time
  40. A Spiritual Food – God’s prophecy – Excerpt from “The Holy Bible Continues” published by Groy 1
  41. Protection Officers – God’s prophecy – Excerpt from “The Holy Bible Continues” published by Groy 2
  42. Exit Strategy End Times: “For My own sake.”
  43. Religions based on … well … myths, or alternative facts. Or lies.
  44. You can’t proclaim what you don’t remember
  45. Something More Sure
  46. What Is Supernatural Knowledge?
  47. God’s power seen in our weaknesses
  48. Review: Misreading Scripture Through Western Eyes
  49. How My Faith Helps Me Worry Less
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An other tool bringing words for understanding and wisdom

The world received written words from the Ruach haKodesh, to be taught and to receive encouragement of the Tanakh and presenting prophesies so that we might patiently hold on to a hope entrusted by the Most High Elohim, so that we may be fully equipped for every good work.

In the previous three postings I brought the Menorah forwards to shed light in the darker room and to enlighten our spirit presenting us seven basic emotions and the warmth of the Most Divine.

When we look at the menorah lamp we may have the centre candle branding most of the time. Though it must not burn all day, in our heart that symbolic light has to burn all the day and all the night. We may not forget that centre candle represents God awareness, the thing that has to be lit inside of us, at all times, for it is the God connection.

such connection can only grow when we open our heart and want to listen to the Words of That Most High Eternal Almighty Spirit, Whose light never fades. It is not because we can not see God that we would not be able to hear Him. It may even be that humble will hear more easily about the works of God and rejoice to magnify the Most High Elohim. For those who search for God may come to hear Him. We may be sure that God shall not have us to shame we looked for Him and we praised Him.

Exodus 33:20 (TS2009)
20 But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man does see Me and live.”

Psalms 34:1-7 (TS2009)

Psalms 34
1 Aleph I bless יהוה at all times; His praise is continually in my mouth. 2 Bĕt My being makes its boast in יהוה; Let the humble hear and be glad. 3 Gimel Oh, make יהוה great with me, And let us exalt His Name together. 4 Dalet I sought יהוה, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. 5 Hĕ They looked to Him and were lightened, Waw And their faces were not ashamed. 6 Zayin This poor one cried out and יהוה heard him, And saved him out of all his distresses. 7 Ḥet The messenger of יהוה encamps all around those who fear Him, And rescues them.

We live in a world where many to this day did not open their heart to God for getting understanding. Their eyes shall not perceive the same light as when we look at the menorah. Many today have their ears shut. Though we must also know that some will never understand though perhaps they will look and look but never comprehend.

Matthew 13:12-17 (TS2009)
12 “For whoever possesses, to him more shall be given, and he shall have overflowingly; but whoever does not possess, even what he possesses shall be taken away from him.c Footnote: cCompare footnote at Luk 8:18. 13 “Because of this I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 “And in them the prophecy of Yeshayahu is completely filled, which says, ‘Hearing you shall hear and by no means understand, and seeing you shall see and by no means perceive, 15 for the heart of this people has become thickened, and their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart, and turn back, and I heal them.’ Isa 6:9-10. 16 “And blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear, 17 for truly I say to you, that many prophets and righteous ones longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Therefore we better choose to have wise ears, willing to learn and a heart willing to grow. We are better of to accept those Words which are written son very long ago by men ordered by the Omnipotent Omniscient to write it down and tell the people what God had to say. Those Words of God are available to us all so that we can treasure up God his mitzvot.

When we take those writings of those chosen men, we can dream away under the candle light or let our thoughts wander over the paths God has laid out in front of us. Getting to read those sacred or set-apart (holy) words we can make our ear attend to wisdom. When we incline our heart to understanding for those words we may know that if we do not seem to understand them we can ask God Himself to enlighten us. For if we cry for discernment and lift up our voice for understanding, showing to God that we are prepared to seek for His treasures instead of the treasures of this earth, He shall be willing to come closer to us and to give us replies.

When you are opening up your mind for God’s Word then you would understand the fear of יהוה, and find the knowledge of Elohim, because from His mouth comes wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 18:15 (TS2009)
15 The heart of the understanding one gets knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Proverbs 2:1-12 (TS2009)

Proverbs 2
1 My son, if you accept my words, And treasure up my commands with you, 2 So that you make your ear attend to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift up your voice for understanding, 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as hidden treasures, 5 Then you would understand the fear of יהוה, And find the knowledge of Elohim. 6 For יהוה gives wisdom; Out of His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 And He treasures up stability for the straight, A shield to those walking blamelessly, 8 To watch over the paths of right-ruling, And the way of His lovingly-commited ones He guards. 9 Then you would understand righteousness And right-ruling, and straightness – Every good path. 10 For wisdom would enter your heart, And knowledge be pleasant to your being, 11 Discretion would guard you; Understanding would watch over you, 12 To deliver you from the evil way, From the man who speaks perversities,

But we must know that it does not stop there. From those words we learn that we must tell others about what we have learned and that we have to teach our children, by talking about those inspiring words and events written in that library of books. To do that there are many occasions. When you sit in your house and when you travel on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. Every moment of the day can be taken to read the words of God but also to talk about those words.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (TS2009)
18 And you shall lay up these Wordsb of Mine in your heart and in your being, and shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. Footnote: bSee footnote at Deu 5:22. 19 And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up, 20 and shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children are increased on the soil of which יהוה swore to your fathers to give them, as the days of the heavens on the earth.

Nehemiah 8:2-7 (TS2009)
2 And Ezra the priest brought the Torah before the assembly of both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh new moon. 3 And he read from it in the open space in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people listened to the Book of the Torah. 4 And Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose. And beside him on his right stood Mattithyah, and Shema, and Anayah, and Uriyah, and Ḥilqiyah, and Ma‛asĕyah. And on his left stood Peḏayah, and Misha’ĕl, and Malkiyah, and Ḥashum, and Ḥashbaddanah, Zeḵaryah, Meshullam. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people. And when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 And Ezra blessed יהוה, the great Elohim. Then all the people answered, “Amĕn, Amĕn!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshipped יהוה with faces to the ground. 7 And Yĕshua, and Bani, and Shĕrĕḇyah, Yamin, Aqquḇ, Shabbethai, Hoḏiyah, Ma‛asĕyah, Qelita, Azaryah, Yozaḇaḏ, Ḥanan, Pelayah, and the Lĕwites, caused the people to understand the Torah while the people were in their place.

We are given the scrolls. Today they can be found published in books in many different languages, so that nobody might have an excuse he could not find the Bible in a language he could understand. Having the set-apart Scriptures we should be wiling to read it regularly and intensely, as if it is the nicest sweet (as honey for sweetness) and the biggest treasure we can find, more to be desired than gold, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Ezekiel 3:1-3 (TS2009)

Ezekiel 3
1 And He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find, eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Yisra’ĕl.” 2 And I opened my mouth, and He fed me the scroll. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I am giving you.” And I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.a Footnote: aPsa 19:10, Psa 119:103, Rev 10:9-10.

The Word of Life is hold forth in front of us and has light shining before men, so that they shall know at the end of the race it was not in vain.

Philippians 2:16 (TS2009)
16 holding on to the Word of life, for a boast to me in the day of Messiah, that I have not run in vain or laboured in vain.

But we should keep reading in the book of books, always paying attention to ourself and to the teaching.

1 Timothy 4:13 (TS2009)
13 Until I come, give attention to reading of Scripture, to encouragement, to teaching.

1 Timothy 4:16 (TS2009)
16 Pay attention to yourself and to the teaching. Continue in them, for in doing this you shall save both yourself and those who hear you.

When we look at that book of books we come to know that Torah study is regarded as the most important of all mitzvahs, because it opens the door for observance of the other mitzvot. As the Talmud says:

“The study of Torah is equal to the sum total of all other mitzvahs” (Shabbat 127a).

Throughout the ages there have been several teachers who explained why we should read the Torah. The Orthodox Jewish rabbi and rabbi emeritus of Congregation Beth Jacob of Atlanta, Georgia, Rabbi Emanuel Feldman is one of those contemporary teachers who in his book “On Judaism” (Shaar Press), explains beautifully the importance of Torah study:

“Study of Torah is a specific mitzvah in Deuteronomy 6:7 (which we recite daily in the Shema):

“You shall teach them diligently to your children”

– which directs us to transmit Torah to the next generation…

“and you shall speak of them (words of Torah) while you sit at home, while you walk on the way, when you go to bed and when you get up”

– which directs us to study the Torah ourselves. This need to devote ourselves to knowing the Torah, to work at it, to strive to comprehend it, to give it first priority – is repeated over and over again throughout the Bible…

Looking at the history of mankind we also can see that strangely enough every time people went away from Torah teaching their situation reversed drastically, sometimes even to the disappearance of their culture.

We must know that the Divine Creator has given His Word for a good reason so that we beyond all the good, rational reasons, in Torah can find the mysterious bridge which connects the Faithful Believer (Jew and all those who want to be Children of God) and God, across which they interact and communicate, and by means of which God fulfils His covenant with His people to sustain them and protect them.

For the Jews it is therefore no surprise that Torah study is so central with them. For every person who want to come under god it is essential to come to know god and to come to see clear what He wants from us.

AkivaEger2.jpg
Rabbi Akiva Eger (also spelled as Akiva Eiger), or Akiva Güns, Yiddish: עקיבא אייגער‎, (Eisenstadt, 1761 – Poznań, 1837) outstanding Talmudic scholar, influential halakhic decisor and foremost leader of European Jewry during the early 19th century.

We also can find the mohel Rebbe Akiva Eger (or Akiva Eiger/Güns) from Eisenstadt, [the most important town of the Seven Jewish Communities of Burgenland, Hungary, (now Austria)], in the Talmud stating that to expect a Jew to live without Torah is like expecting a fish to live without water. That’s because the fact is that the Torah is the essence of the Jewish people. For every believer in the Most High God of gods, their very life and soul, should be with that set-apart message from God, by which without it we literally have no existence.

When reading the Torah, we have the correspondence of our Most Beloved. Studying those Words we are not studying an abstract and arcane text of the ancient world. We are studying the way in which God wants us to live on this earth. Peoples are in fact engaged in discovering the essence of Judaism, God’s Wishes, and in God’s Peoples which is to say, the essence of ourselves.

By opening our eyes and ears to the Torah “the Mind of God” is revealed to us and it containing the deepest secrets of the universe, we can gain lots of hidden wisdom.

Through five books of Moshe, the Chumash or Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) we can find the history of the Jewish race but also the explanation of what God wants from His creatures.

Shema Yisrael at the Knesset Menorah in Jerusalem

When rabbi Jeshua was asked what was the greatest commandment of the Most High, Jeshua quoted the ve’ahavta portion of the Shema, giving his Jewish confession of faith:

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (TS2009)
4 “Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one! 5 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.

Too many christians do forget that Jesus did not come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets, but to fulfil them.

Matthew 5:17-19 (TS2009)
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets.e I did not come to destroy but to complete. Footnote: eThe Law and the Prophets is a term used for the pre-Messianic Scriptures. 18 “For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one yod or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done.f Footnote: fLuk 16:17. 19 “Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens.

Too many Christians do believe they are saved by Jesus his “crucifixion” and think they do not have to worry any more, not having to do any works any more. But Jeshua was very clear that each person has to be very careful not to loose the entrance to the Kingdom of God and had to do the works of faith.

Matthew 19:17-19 (TS2009)
17 And He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One – Elohim. But if you wish to enter into life, guard the commands.”b Footnote: bSee also Luk 10:28, Joh 12:50, Rev 22:14. 18 He said to Him, “Which?” And יהושע said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ Exo 20:13-16, Deu 5:17-20. 19 ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ Exo 20:12, Deu 5:16 and ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ ” Lev 19:18.

Therefore those who want to enter life, have to keep the commandments. And to know them we have God His Word: the Bible.

In addition, by studying Torah, we not only come to know god better. In those five books of Moshe we are also told about the one who shall come and who shall make an end to the curse of death. We can dee how God provided many things people asked Him, like priests, judges and kings, but we  must know that God provides mankind with one set apart man who shall have all qualities in him. He shall be the best Kohen Gadol or high priest and the best king man can have. He is foretold in the Pre-Messianic writings, and by reading them you might find out who that Messiah and High Priest can be.

Hebrews 3:1-6 (TS2009)

Hebrews 3
1 Therefore, set-apart brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, closely consider the Emissary and High Priest of our confession, Messiah יהושע, 2 who was trustworthy to Him who appointed Him, as also Mosheh in all His house.a Footnote: aSee Num 12:7. 3 For this One has been deemed worthy of more esteem than Mosheh, as much as He who built the house enjoys more respect than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all is Elohim. 5 And Mosheh indeed was trustworthy in all His house as a servant, for a witness of what would be spoken later, 6 but Messiah as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the boldness and the boasting of the expectation firm to the end.

Hebrews 6:13-20 (TS2009)
13 For Elohim, having promised Aḇraham, since He could swear by no one greater, swore by Himself,c Footnote: cGen 22:16. 14 saying, “Truly, blessing I shall bless you, and increasing I shall increase you.” Gen 22:18. 15 And so, after being patient, he obtained the promise. 16 For men do indeed swear by the one greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 In this way Elohim, resolving to show even more clearly to the heirs of promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, confirmed it by an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable matters in which it is impossible for Elohim to lie, we might have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the expectation set before us, 19 which we have as an anchor of the life, both safe and firm, and entering into that within the veil, 20 where יהושע has entered as a forerunner for us, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Malkitseḏeq. Psa 110:4.

But to know more about the one to whom shall be given all authority to judge man and who brings liberation or salvation to all people, God has given the world men with vision, Nevi’im or “prophets” who wrote down God His prophesies so that we could come to know and see who is the real Messiah.

In the Torah we can find the beginning of times and the beginnings of man’s struggle with God. In the haftarah or (in Ashkenazic pronunciation) haftoroh or Hafṭorah (Haphṭorah), we may get a referral to the beginning of the reading from the Navi or Nevi’im (Prophets) opening a new world for mankind where promises are made clear.

One of the most renowned Ashkenazi Jewish rabbis and leading French Tosafists, a leading halakhic authority in his generation, and a grandson of Rashi, Rabbeinu Tam or Jacob ben Meir Tam, who was responsible for a series of far-reaching decisions governing relationships between Christians and Jews in medieval Europe, believes that haftarah is related to peter as in peter rechem — to open. Haftarah, in this sense, signifies that as long as the Torah is being read, one is not allowed to converse, even concerning halachic matters. However, once the reading of the haftarah commences, one may “open” his mouth and speak, i.e. a devar halachah.

In Jewish communities, at the synagogue for example, the Torah is read from a handwritten scroll, whilst the haftarah, which was read as far back as Mishnaic times (c. 1st century CE), today is written from a printed book that includes the trope notations. [Some accredit the establishment of the haftorah reading to Ezra the Scribe (c. 350 BCE).]

Only selected passages from the Prophets make it into the haftarah cycle. After the introduction with a berakhah (blessing) praising God for having “chosen good prophets and accepted their words, spoken in truth comes part of a prophesy read, followed by a cluster or three or four berakhot (blessings), depending on the occasion. Their call for prophecy to be fulfilled and for God to restore the Jewish people to Zion serve as a finale to the full set of the day’s scriptural readings, Torah and Haftarah together.

Whatever the origin of the haftarah, it became, as Professor Michael Fishbane notes in the introduction to his Haftarot commentary volume (Jewish Publication Society, 2002), one of the three components of the public recitation of scripture in the ancient synagogue. This public reading reflected three sources of authority: the Torah, which is the ultimate source of law; the haftarah, which presents the words of the Prophets, who provided moral instruction and uplift; and the sermon or homily, which drew on the authority of the Rabbis to interpret and legislate.

We should not limit ourselves to just some parts of the Nev’im but, at home, we should regularly read those writings which shall give insight on what and why what happened and still shall happen. By the words of the Nevi’im we shall be able to come to recognise who is the promised one and what he, the sent one from God, shall do to bring an end to the curse of death.

To get to know about our salvation we need that great tool of book of books, the Bible.

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Preceding articles

When found the necessary books to read and how to read them

A Tool to shed light over the qualities in our life 2 Jews for a Messiah

A Tool to shed light over the qualities in our life 3 Menorah and 7 basic emotions

How to Read the Bible (sequel 2)

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Additional reading

  1. No man see the Almighty God and live
  2. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  3. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  4. Necessity of a revelation of creation 3 Getting understanding by Word of God 1
  5. Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3
  6. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  7. Faith coming by hearing and sent preacher gift from God
  8. Bible, God speaking words profitable for doctrine, for reproof and for correction
  9. Words of God to stand and to be followed and to believe
  10. God-breathed prophetic words written torah and the mitzvot to teach us
  11. Scripture words written for our learning, given by inspiration of God for edification
  12. Unread bestseller
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  14. Building up the spirit of the soul
  15. May reading the Bible provoke us into action to set our feet on the narrow way

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Further literature to look at

  1. Understanding
  2. You Are the Woman/Man Someone is Praying For
  3. Know God, And His Power
  4. Unshakeable Inner Peace
  5. Faith That Pleases God
  6. Psalm 119:144 Knowing How To Really Live Life
  7. The True Meaning Of Success
  8. The amazing book
  9. The Master Class
  10. Parables…Salt and Light
  11. What is embodied Torah all about
  12. Parshat ha Shavuah Verses –Beshalach
  13. Haftarat Vayiggash—Ezekiel: You Can’t Go Home Again
  14. Yehovah commands us to place Him first!
  15. Shabbat Lekh L’kha: Go Forth, in Jewish
  16. Changing perspective, in God’s time

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Furthher related articles

A Tool to shed light over the qualities in our life 3 Menorah and 7 basic emotions

Rabbi Jeshua in many of his talks gave several examples of how we had to work at ourselves and how we should prepare ourselves to be ready and to be worthy to go through the small gate of the Kingdom of God. The characteristics we should work at to come closer in the image of God, may be presented by the lights of the menorah or seven armed candelabrum, which we can use as a handy tool for thinking about the seven basic emotions.

Not all the followers of the Jewish sect “the Way” agreed to the Roman emperor Constantine. From the time of rabbi Jeshua (Jesus) onwards there have always been faithful followers of the Jewish teachings of rabbi Jeshua, which where in line with the Law given by God to His people. There where those who joined the Essene community of Jesus’ mother. To take part of the Essenian emblems they had to qualify for membership by swearing piety to God, justice toward men, hatred of falsehood, love of truth, and faithful observance of all other tenets of the Essene sect. Others joined the several house communities or ecclesiae, where they too had to endorse the basic Jewish rules and had to confirm they would not worship more than the One and Only One True God, Jehovah, the heavenly Father of Jesus and our Divine Creator.

Rabbi Jeshua in his talks always put the focus on his heavenly Father, the Only One True God, and on God His Kingdom, which we had to try to be able to enter. To help us he tried mankind to show the Way to God and gave many parables to make sure people came to understand that they had to work on themselves and had to prepare themselves to be ready to enter that Kingdom of God. He gave many examples to show how we need works to be sanctified and worthy for for God. In many of his speeches rabbi Jeshua talked about characteristics or qualities or features that has to come to belong a believer and to where we have to work on and should get them right.

Jeshua showed the people the way to God and the works of God. He made it clear that God has give us His set apart (or holy) Word which we should have it written in our heart and should follow. That Word which should be more precious than any other word of man is The Word that should direct our thoughts to the vital importance of our attitude of “heart” as the most vital thing in our thought processes.

Rabbi Jeshua told those around him, a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1). He also reminded people that it was the divine Creator Who created us to be, demanding from us an opinion or to take a position, for Him or against Him, no way in-between. God knows the heart and it has no use to pretend. We may put on a front and pretend to be someone and something that we’re not, but we can’t hide anything for God.

1 Samuel 16:7 (TS2009)
7 But יהוה said to Shemu’ĕl, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him, for not as man sees, for man looks at the eyes, but יהוה looks at the heart.”

Proverbs 21:2 (TS2009)
2 All a man’s ways are right in his own eyes, But יהוה weighs the hearts.

Jeremiah 17:10 (TS2009)
10 “I, יהוה, search the heart, I try the kidneys, and give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.

Often in this world we may find people who want to go with the majority and want to conform to the expectations of others. But God requires we take distance from that pagan world. Rabbi Jeshua also tells us, that those who are not from the world but want to work on it to become who God has asked them to be, will find peace and fulfilment. Jeshua and his apostles assured those who followed them that they cannot be that which everyone else wants, because nobody will ever match up with what others expect of them. If however, we seek God His guidance and listen to His direction we will find joy and contentment, knowing that we are walking together on the same path. Then we will become a person that others can go to because they trust our intentions and can see God at work within us as they watch our courage and wisdom come through time and time again.

Building this trust… a good name, is more desirable than great riches, it helps others to see God. We should strive for this honour.

To make it easier to remember the basic characteristics on which the children of God have to work, a candle holder with multiple arms became a handy tool, shedding light on the things we might forget sometimes.

A reconstruction of the Menorah of the Temple created by the Temple Institute

The menorah, a seven-lamp (six branches) ancient Hebrew lampstand was used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moshe in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Exodus 25:31-40 (TS2009)
31 “And you shall make a lampstand of clean gold – the lampstand is made of beaten work. Its base and its shaft, its cups, its ornamental knobs and blossoms are from it, 32 and six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side; 33 three cups made like almond flowers on one branch, with ornamental knob and blossom, and three cups made like almond flowers on the other branch, with ornamental knob and blossom – so for the six branches coming out of the lampstand. 34 “And on the lampstand itself are four cups made like almond flowers, with ornamental knob and blossom, 35 and a knob under the first two branches of the same, and a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches coming out of the lampstand. 36 “Their knobs and their branches are of the same – all of it one beaten work of clean gold. 37 “And you shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall mount its lamps so that they give light in front of it. 38 “And its snuffers and their trays are of clean gold. 39 “It is made of a talent of clean gold, with all these utensils. 40 “So see, and do according to the pattern which was shown to you on the mountain.

Exodus 40:25 (TS2009)
25 and lit the lamps before יהוה, as יהוה had commanded Mosheh.

Exodus 40:4 (TS2009)
4 “And you shall bring in the table and arrange what belongs on it, and bring in the lampstand and light its lamps.

Today we still can use such a candelabrum, the source of light in the Tabernacle, which signified insight and enlightenment. Certainly in these days of spiritual darkness we could use some ritual or symbolism as an aid to let us think about the necessary characteristics we as lovers of God should answer. The lamps having been lit, the table of shewbread would be clearly illuminated,  the loaves of bread reminding us of the manna God provided for His people.

The sudden and elusive flash of insight and illumination in the mind is similar to a bolt of lightning flashing across a dark sky. By lightening the candles we may think of the light God provides for us and by each candle of the candlestick may think of one important aspect we should work at.

Each one of the lovers of God should try to come close to a ‘Divine soul’ finding a source of Divine illumination. Those who are “beloved” and who “live to Him” therefore take His words and “bind them on their heart”, finding in the lightening of the candles the different points to look at.

As first candle of the candelabrum signifying the first of seven basic types of Jewish souls we remind ourselves of the necessity of the love of God being there for us. At the centre of everything we have the Most Highest of everything and as such the centre candle represents God awareness. We even may let that candle burn all the time because the thing that has to be lit inside of us, at all times, is the God connection. At no point should there be a moment that God is out of our sight or out of our heart.

Good or bad times, friends or enemies, all should feel our love for them, showing the love of God for us.

1 John 4:8 (TS2009)
8 The one who does not love does not know Elohim, for Elohim is love.

Christians should know that this love of God is so big that He did not presented a charade, like Trinitarians want us to believe, faking His death (because God cannot die), but by allowing His most begotten beloved son to be killed for faults he did not commit.

Rabbi Jeshua was always in awe for his heavenly Father, Jehovah, the God he worshipped. Like many enemies of God we too should stand in awe and show respect for the Most Highest Omniscient Omnipresent Divine Creator, admiring Him as the Most Precious One. Always we should remember that This Most Highest, God above all gods, “knows” all because everything is like an open book to Him: it is all plain and revealed before The Almighty God by definition, and He does not have to “turn His attention” to things or “put His mind” to them in order to know. That is a function of human knowledge, not Divine “knowledge,” so there is really no philosophical dilemma at all. Therefore we can use some reminders to let us meditate on the Highness of God and of the Truth in His Word.

Isaiah 29:23 (TS2009)
23 “For when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they shall set apart My Name, and set apart the Set-apart One of Ya‛aqoḇ, and fear the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl.

When lightening that second candle we think of the precious Name we should carry every day in our heart and be thankful for all the things He offers us in front of our eyes.

Hebrews 12:28-29 (TS2009)
28 Therefore, receiving an unshakeable reign, let us hold the favour, through which we serve Elohim pleasingly with reverence and awe, 29 for indeed, our Elohim is a consuming fire. Deu 4:24.

The fire of the candle reminding us of fire we should fear but also of fire which can our light and melt our hearts coming in connection with God through studying the Torah.

By reading those Holy Scriptures we can learn of the necessity to recognise the Elohim and to have perhaps even trepidation for Him in our anxiety trying to get most out of His Word.

After having lighted the 4th candle, reminding us of the light the study of God’s Word can give we light the 5th one to remind us how by knowledge of God’s Word we can overcome obstacles opposing Godliness in the world. But those who love God’s Word and live according to His Mitzvah do know they should not worry for those who call them to hellfire, because it might well be that God His fire shall consume them.

Isaiah 47:14 (TS2009)
14 “See, they shall be as stubble, fire shall burn them, they do not deliver themselves from the power of the flame, there is not a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before it!

When lightning the 6th candle we think of all those things we receive from our Creator. Let it be a sign of  appreciating God’s goodness.

Psalms 27:7-14 (TS2009)
7 Hear, O יהוה, when I cry with my voice! And show me favour, and answer me. 8 To my heart You have said, “Seek My face.” Your face, יהוה, I seek. 9 Do not hide Your face from me; Do not turn Your servant away in displeasure; You have been my help; Do not leave me nor forsake me, O Elohim of my deliverance. 10 When my father and my mother have forsaken me, Then יהוה does take me in. 11 Teach me Your way, O יהוה, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. 12 Do not give me over To the desire of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And they breathe out cruelty to me. 13 What if I had not believed To see the goodness of יהוה In the land of the living! 14 Wait on יהוה, be strong, And let Him strengthen your heart! Wait, I say, on יהוה!

Though humble we do  show our pride in being God’s emissary in the world and therefore light the 7th candle. The faith understanding that the face of Jacob is engraved in God’s Throne. (Likutei Torah 3:29b.)

Deuteronomy 8:1-3 (TS2009)

Deuteronomy 8
1 “Guard to do every command which I command you today, that you might live, and shall increase, and go in, and shall possess the land of which יהוה swore to your fathers. 2 “And you shall remember that יהוה your Elohim led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, prove you, to know what is in your heart, whether you guard His commands or not. 3 “And He humbled you, and let you suffer hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, to make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every  Word that comes from the mouth of יהוה.a Footnote: aSee also Mat 4:4 and in Luk 4:4.

James 4:5-10 (TS2009)
5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose? Does the Spirit which dwells in us intensely crave unto envy? 6 But He gives greater favour. Because of this He says, “Elohim resists the proud, but gives favour to the humble.” Pro 3:34. 7 So then subject yourselves to Elohim. Resist the devilb and he shall flee from you. Footnote: bOr adversary. 8 Draw near to Elohim and He shall draw near to you. Cleanse hands, sinners. And cleanse the hearts, you double-minded! 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Master, and He shall lift you up.

Let us therefore not be spiritually blind today but let our lights been seen by others, by making sure that we can become considered worthy to attain the entrance of God’s Kingdom. Let us constantly encourage each other to “Bind” God His word “on our heart” – today, and every day.

Roman soldiers carrying a menorah, detail of a relief on the Arch of Titus, Rome, 81 ce.
Roman soldiers carrying a menorah, detail of a relief on the Arch of Titus, Rome, 81 ce.

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Preceding articles

A Tool to shed light over the qualities in our life 1 Inner feelings

A Tool to shed light over the qualities in our life 2 Jews for a Messiah

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Additional reading

  1. Creation of the earth and man #4 Of the Sabbath day #2 Days 1,7,8 and 50
  2. Creation of the earth and man #5 Of the Sabbath day #3 Ceasing from the works of the flesh
  3. Creation of the earth and man #23 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #7 Corporeal and spiritual change
  4. First mention of a solution against death 5 Evil its law of death
  5. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  6. God who knows the heart
  7. 9 Adar and bickering or loving followers of the Torah preparing for Pesach
  8. Seven lights or basic emotions 
  9. January 27, 417, Pope Innocent I condemning Pelagius about Faith and Works
  10. Letter to the Romans, chapter 3
  11. Romans 4 and the Sacraments
  12. Additional comments to the Letter to the Romans 4
  13. Facing our existence every day
  14. Seeds, weeds and kingdoms

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Further reading

  1. Sin Makes You Sick
  2. The Law Of Attraction: Thoughts Become Things
  3. How Just One Change Can Make All Of Life Better
  4. Working on Yourself
  5. Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
  6. Myth Busters #6 – Are We Still Subject to the Law?
  7. Remember Your True Identity
  8. The Gospel (in a Nutshell)
  9. Did God Change His Law?
  10. Feeling Condemned? Romans 8:1-4
  11. Bad Habits: Character Development
  12. 2. Aspects of the modern world – What everyone is looking for
  13. 30 Alpha Male Characteristics That Make You a Real Alpha
  14. Become a better man – 2 (Conquer fear)
  15. Be Humble
  16. Personal Characteristics of the Holy Spirit
  17. Menorah Tribes of Israel
  18. The base of the Menorah
  19. Parshas Tetzaveh – Lessons in Chinuch
  20. Tetsaveh (Exodus 27:20 – 30:10), Shabbat Zachor (Deut. 25:17-19), Purim
  21. Scripture Portion of Week 20: Tetzaveh
  22. Annual preschool menorahs
  23. Chanukkah–Feast of Dedication
  24. Laodicea — Menorah and Cross
  25. Annual preschool menorahs
  26. Chanukkah–Feast of Dedication

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Related articles

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How to Read the Bible (sequel 3)

The many ancient books brought together as one unit are still relevant today. They are the best teaching tool and self-help book for life we can have. We only have to find a way to make time and to find a good way to read the Bible regularly, so that we can transform ourselves in the right way filled with positive expectations. For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

A Book about God written for us all

Though there are many issues of controversy and concern in the modern age that are not directly mentioned in the Bible we are able to find answers to them in the most sacred book of all times.

English: By Rembrandt.
the apostle Paul by Rembrandt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly two thousand years ago the Jewish rabbi Saul of Tarsus, today better known as the apostle Paul wrote to the Roman community

Romans 15:4 (TS98)
4 For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, that through endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have the expectation.

Today, many may think the Bible was written to others and has no value for us today. Even when those writings are so old, they are still valuable today. When you want to take time to listen to those words you shall find that those ancient words shall also speak to you.

You shall come to see that Scripture frequently provides general truths that are broadly applicable to a variety of situations. The book of books brings an overview of human history, the way people related to other people and to nature and to the Maker of everything.  The Bestseller of all times leaves it to us to discern how the advice given in those old writings should be applied.
In Matthew 22:21, rabbi Jeshua says to give back to “Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” Rather than giving us a list of what belongs to God and what is due the government, Jesus expects us to use godly wisdom to apply this general rule and work out the details for ourselves.

Each time we go reading in that ancient piece of literature we should remember that when it was written there was an other way of speaking than today. When not speaking the original languages of those works, Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, you should try to come to understand the expressions of those times and of those people. You should come to see when idioms are used and what they mean. No matter what language you speak,even when there is no translation of the set-apart Scriptures, you should be able to find some good Bible translation in a language you should be able to understand.

Gerard Dou - Reading the Bible - WGA06644
Gerard Dou – Reading the Bible – WGA06644 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may come to read one book after the other, or may come to read them at random. You may follow a reading plan. Whatever way you choose to explore the Bible best is to make sure you cover the whole book. Some may find it easier to follow when they use plans that match certain books together to give more of a chronological feel to the reading. I would recommend to make sure that you try to read the Bible once a year at least, with some portions read multiple times.

When focussing on a certain Bible book and letting yourself be carried away by the main subject you might find such an intense reading can be transformative.

You also could take up the book and let it fall open. Then reading that part as a matter of a devotional act for the day – in order to get a spiritual boost for that day. In such case remember that devotionalism is a way of reading Scripture for a lift rather than for truth. It’s reading the Bible as a self-help book designed to give you nuggets to get you through the day. When you do that, do not forget to take up the Bible in the evening to continue your daily portion of bible reading, which goes from one chapter into the next chapter.

I do know that there is so much else that is good to read and each of us has lots of things to read each day. Do know when reading the Bible it shall not take so much time as the other books. And when accustomed to the language of the Bible you shall even notice that your reading shall go smoother.

Naturally it shall be a choice every one has to make. How much time do you want to spend at reading the Bible, which would be the same as listening to the Most High HasHem. When you love somebody intense, I am sure it would not take any effort to read the letters of that loved one. The same for the Words of God, the Bible, which are His letters to mankind.

The Bible is God His letter to the world. It are letters about Him but addressed to you and me, and all those around us. When reading them you shall notice how they draw you in.

Your challenge is always to reapply Scripture afresh, time over and over again, because God’s purpose is always to rescript your life.

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Preceding

How to Read the Bible

How to Read the Bible (sequel 1)

How to Read the Bible (sequel 2)

Making Time for God is crucial

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Additional reading

  1. Devotees and spotters
  2. Written down in God’s Name
  3. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  4. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  5. A masterly copied and reproduced Word to feed the minds
  6. Daily Spiritual Food To prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God
  7. God’s never-ending stream of much-needed mercies
  8. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  9. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  10. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  11. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  12. Unread bestseller
  13. Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  14. Written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope
  15. Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities
  16. An uncovering book to explore
  17. Hearing words to accept
  18. Choose Green: Reading and talking about your ideas leads to success.
  19. Let us being filled each day by the Word of God
  20. Dedicated daily reading of God’s word to create a vibrant faith within us
  21. Genre – Playing by the Rules
  22. The Need to Understand Genre
  23. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  24. Necessity of a revelation of creation 12 Words assembled for wisdom and instruction
  25. Not about personal salvation but about a bigger Plan
  26. We may not be ignorant to get wisdom
  27. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  28. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  29. God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace
  30. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  31. How to Choose a Bible for Preaching
  32. 2020 years since
  33. When having found faith through the study of the Bible we do need to do works of faith
  34. God who knows the heart
  35. Those who love Jesus
  36. God giving signs and producing wonders

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How to Read the Bible (sequel 2)

When going to read and trying to study the bible it is best to make a plan beforehand, with the knowledge that it is not so useful to just read the book in one go once in a lifetime.
It is a library of 66 books which demands repetitive reading, not confusing or taking additional human notes as being part of God’s Words.

In the previous article in continued to show the dangers when people continue thinking in the tradition of their philosophers and theologians who do not keep to the proper Word of God, given to us by the many chosen people of God.

Too many people coming to read the Scriptures forget that the notes in those printed books are notes presented by human beings and that when reading and studying the Holy Scriptures we should only concentrate on the biblical words and not on the added thoughts by other men than the ones chosen by God and presented in the original manuscripts.

When reading the Bible we always should concentrate on what is said by whom and about who or what. We also should wonder if what is said about specific situations or actions would still apply for today. To get to know that you shall need to read all the 66 books which together form the Holy Scriptures.

A page from the Aleppo Codex, Deuteronomy 32:50-33:29. Parashah breaks visible on this page are as follows: {P} 33:1-6 (right column blank line 8th from top) {S} 33:7 (right column indentation line 23) {P} 33:8-11 (right column blank line 2nd from bottom) {S} 33:12 (middle column 1st indentation) {S} 33:13-17 (middle column 2nd indentation) {S} 33:18-19 (left column indentation at top) {S} 33:20-21 (left column space in middle of 6th line) {S} 33:22 (left column 13th line indentation) {S} 33:24-39 (left column 17th line indentation).

It is impossible to read the Bible in one go on one day. You are best to take it easy, by going from one parshah or passage (literally, section, division) to another. In the near future I also shall offer such bible reading on this site and therefore I shall start with the first parshah of the Holy Writings, the Parshat Bereishit, which covers from the beginning of Genesis to the story of Noah.

When you go to a service you may find that in the synagogue service, the weekly parshah is followed by a passage from the prophets, which is referred to as a haftarah. Contrary to common misconception, “haftarah” (or haftoroh, plural haftarot or haftoros) does not mean “half-Torah.” The word comes from the Hebrew root Fei-Teit-Reish and means “Concluding Portion”. Usually, haftarah portion is no longer than one chapter, and has some relation to the Torah portion of the week.

The Artscroll Chumash

The most important part of the Holy Scriptures which too many Christians do seem to miss, is the “chumash” or Pentateuch, (a vowel alteration of ḥomesh, meaning “one-fifth”, alluding to any one of the five books – or a Torah or Five Books of Moshe in printed form (i.e. codex) as opposed to a Torah scroll), which shows the world how everything started and why we are in a such a mess today. The name for that assembled work of literature comes from the Hebrew word meaning five, and refers to the five books of the Torah written by the former Egyptian prince who later in life became a religious leader and lawgiver.

Philippe de Champaigne - Moses with the Ten Commandments - WGA04717.jpg
The man, Moshe, chosen by the Almighty Elohim to lead the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai, where he received the Ten Commandments.

We always should remember that though Moshe (or Moses) wrote all those words for next generations to remember, he only was the authorised scribe in the Name of God. In later years we also might find lots of other Hebrew or Jewish scribes, Soferim (Jewish scholars and teachers) and scriveners from other religious groups, but who were not especially selected by God to write down His words. For such, their writings we always should consider as human thoughts not words from the Holy Scriptures. Often they are just penman for religious groups, from one or the other denomination, writing to have people to come to believe in their views, which are not always the biblical views. though we must know that it is by the meticulous work of many copyists that those works Moshe and other men of God wrote down, came to us.

Sometimes, a chumash is simply refers to a collection of the five books of the Torah. But often, a chumash contains the entire first five books, divided up by the weekly parshiyot, with the haftarah portion for each week inserted immediately after the week’s parshah.

https://media1.britannica.com/eb-media/57/26957-004-0FB35126.jpg
Yad or ritual object made of silver, used for eliminating the necessity of touching the sacred manuscript with the hand.

When one is afraid to forget where one is with reading, whilst saying the text out loud, one can use a little stick or yad (literally, “a hand”), usually a six to eight inch piece of silver fashioned in the shape of a finger, to point to the words of the sefer Torah as you read them. This is done so the reader does not obstruct the vision of the person honoured with the aliyah and does not mar the dignity of the Torah by touching it. In Sephardi congregations, the Torah is carried inside a large wooden cylinder that stands erect when open, and the Torah parchment is in an upright position when it is read or like in Ashkenazi congregations, and by using a book version the Torah lying flat.

Today you should not be afraid to take up a printed book, a computer or even a tablet or smartphone to read the set apart Scriptures. Better to come to read the Torah than not reading it.

When going to read the set apart books you should put your mind at rest and leave out all the worldly thoughts, including all possible dogmatic teachings brought in by generations of ancestors or by churches or clergy.

Before starting the reading and study work you should always remember the first blessing God having created human beings in His image, but by man having chosen to go an other way, the Elohim chose Israel to receive His Torah and referred to the giving of the Torah at Sinai. Not bad is to do your Bible reading and study with somebody else. Than you should also bring a second blessing referring to the Oral Torah.

When before you start reading the bible you engage in judging yourself or bringing l’hitpalel or ‘praying‘, you offer yourself to the Elohim showing Him your willingness to open your mind. Without opening your mind to God He shall not be able, or better, will not be so prepared to touch your inner heart. In a way you have to petition God to give you what you need according to the Plan and time-set of Him. Also you should show your gratitude for the Words He presents to you. You should thank Him for whatever good was granted, or extol Him for His awesome attributes. All prayer is intended to help make us into better human beings.

When you do not know how to pray:

A Hasidic tale illustrates the spirit of this ruling.

A boy from a small rural village where there were few Jews and no synagogue, one day accompanied his father to the city to do some marketing. While there, they went into a synagogue. The boy had never been in a synagogue before and he was impressed and moved by the sight of the congregation at prayer. He, too, wanted to pray. But he did not know how. His father had taught him only to say the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, but no more than that. So a thought occurred to him. He began to recite the alphabet over and over again. And then he said,

“0 Lord, You know what it is that I want to say. You put the letters together so they make the right words.”

That, too, was a Jewish prayer.

English: Mishne Torah in 1 volume עברית: משנה ...
Mishne Torah in 1 volume עברית: משנה תורה בכרך אחד, מנוקד ומדויק על פי כתבי יד, בהוצאת מפעל משנה תורה (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Always remember that reading from a prayer book does not mean that one is praying. Any person may read a prayer book as one reads any other kind of book — to find out what it says or to relish the beauty of the poetry. Such reading does not qualify as prayer.
To transform reading into prayer, there must be at least a sense of standing in the presence of God and the intent to fulfil one of His commandments. It is opening your heart to the Voice of God, loving it to enter your body and mind – your body and soul – to fill you with inspirational thoughts which are much higher than the thoughts of people of this world.

Having said prayers before reading the Book of books you also may conclude such reading and studying with prayer, expressing your thankfulness for the Hashem wanting to be close by you and giving His Words to study.

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Preceding articles:

How to Read the Bible

How to Read the Bible (sequel 1)

Called Immanuel does not mean to be Jesus being God

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Additional reading

  1. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  2. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  4. Own Private Words to bring into a good relationship
  5. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  6. Being sure of their deliverance
  7. Walking alone?
  8. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  9. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  10. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  11. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  15. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #16 Benefits of praying
  16. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  17. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #18 Fulfilment
  18. Praise Jehovah

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Further reading

  1. The Time I Got In Trouble For Studying In Class
  2. Midrashim & History
  3. Sticking To Our Leaders 
  4. With or Without a Comma: How to Tell Love from Passion
  5. Books every Jew(-to-be) should have
  6. Help: the Prayer Book is Too Heavy for Me!
  7. Scripture as Fuel for change

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Save

How to Read the Bible (sequel 1)

Many christians who have the idea that Jesus would be an incarnation of God forget the Words of God Himself about incarnation and how the many gods, called in the Bible are often called incarnations, like Apis the Egyptian bull being an incarnation of the god Osiris, whose successor Horus also came to earth in the incarnated god Pharaoh and had a conflict with another person (Moses) also named god in the bible.

Here you may find one of the first reasons why it is so important always to remember who is talking and what this person says about others and about specific situations or actions.

In the previous article we cold find Andrew Mills speaking of Jesus’ incarnation. This is a nice example how he as many Christians lets him carried away when reading the Bible, by allowing human traditions and philosophies holding his mind.

There are many Christians who like to think of an incarnation, and especially consider Jesus to be an incarnation of God, loving to think Jesus would not be a real human person, drawing attention to the expression

“resided [literally, “tented”] among us”

and

“the Word became flesh and resided among us.”

claiming this shows Jesus was, not a true human, but God having come to earth in the form of a man.

English: Adam and Eve are being sent out of th...
angels are also called gods in the bible, though they are no incarnation of God, even when they did come to the earth to bring certain messages to people. – Adam and Eve are being sent out of the garden of Eden – (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Christians would look closer at the bible text and would remember the way of speaking of Jewish people, they could notice that the apostle John is speaking about “a Word” which is the result of speaking or letting the breath coming out the mouth, utter and having it making sounds. The youngest pupil of Christ knew, like his master teacher, very well the Hebrew Scriptures (by many Christians called the Biblia Hebraica) and knew exactly what was promised in the Garden of Eden, where God spoke to man. It was there, at the beginning of times, that God spoke and had His Word or Voice sounded for all to know, that here would come a solution against the fall of man and the curse of death. The apostle John was convinced that his master Jeshua (Jesus) was that promised Kristos (Christ) and was that man about Whom God not only spoke in the Garden of Eden, but also at other times and in other places (to Abraham, Jeremiah, David, Isaiah, Micah, Zechariah, Malachi, a.o.).  Throughout the ages God spoke about a “Redeemer” to come, a “Messiah“.
It was that speaking of God, “His Words spoken” that brought not only “the Word” of God, “out of heaven,” but was brought into reality by bringing a being, in the flesh. By placing a child in a young woman, by speaking to her (once again a Word spoken and a word becoming reality) when that woman, with child, gave birth, the Word of God “became flesh.” (Joh 1:1; 1Co 15:47; Php 2:5-8; Joh 1:14; 1Ti 3:16) That in being born as a human he was no spirit and that he did not merely assume a fleshly body, as angels had done in the past (Ge 18:1-3; 19:1; Jos 5:13-15), is attested to by the apostle John, who says that one is antichrist who denies that Jesus Christ came “in the flesh.” (1Jo 4:2, 3) In order to provide the ransom for mankind and thereby to help those who would be his associates in the heavenly calling, the Word became flesh, being born all human, no incarnation. The Bible tells us this:

“Since the ‘young children’ are sharers of blood and flesh, he also similarly partook of the same things.” (Hebrews 2:14-16)

His earthly sojourn was spoken of as “the days of his flesh.” (Heb 5:7)

“The bread that I shall give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world,”

Jesus said. He went on to state that those hoping to remain in union with him must ‘eat his flesh and drink his blood.’ Not appreciating the spiritual, symbolic significance of his words, some construed the statement as cannibalistic and were shocked.(Joh 6:50-60).

Louvres-antiquites-egyptiennes-p1020068.jpg
Statue of Apis (Hapi-ankh) the sacred bull worshipped in the Memphis region. Being sacrificed and reborn he also served as an intermediary between humans and other powerful deities (originally Ptah, later Osiris, then Atum). – Thirtieth dynasty of Egypt (Louvre)

In my third post I also tried to show that the identity of Jesus Christ as Immanuel did not mean he was the incarnation of God, ‘God in the flesh,’ like so many christians do want us to believe. Proponents of the Trinity teaching claim it is implied by the meaning of Immanuel, namely, “With Us Is God” that God would be entered in his world in Jesus his body. They do forget that ‘incarnation’ is an abomination in God’s eyes and was the common practice in the thought of those who worshipped false gods, like the living Apis bull being an incarnation of the god Osiris and also an emanation of the god Ptah (vocalized as Pitaḥ in ancient Egypt). The Bible also speaks of the god Pharaoh, who was thought to be the incarnation of the falcon-headed god Horus the successor of Osiris.

Plato (428/427 bce-348/34bce), ancient Greek philosopher, student of Socrates (c. 470–399 bce), teacher of Aristotle (384–322 bce), and founder of the Academy

Clearly many Christian worshippers where influenced by Plato and other philosophers, who were firmly convinced that

“the soul outlives its present incarnation, to be duly rewarded or punished” {Plato}

in the afterlife, based on how the person lived while on earth.

It was a common practice among Jews to embody the word “God,” even “Jehovah,” in Hebrew names. Even today Immanuel is the proper name of many men, none of whom are incarnations of God.

It was by God His Holy Spirit, (God’s Power) that God caused conception in the womb of the young girl Miriam (today better known as the virgin Mary). As a result, Jesus was born as a perfect, sinless human. (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35; John 8:46).

When we take up the bible we should know that we may find words from those above mentioned Hebrew Nevi’im or prophets, of which Jesus was one of them. But there words were to be written down, inspired by the Most High Almighty. When reading the Bible we should then as such remember it are the Words like God wanted them to be brought over to mankind. The bible is therefore not to be looked at as the word of man but as the Word of God.

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Preceding articles:

How to Read the Bible

Called Immanuel does not mean to be Jesus being God

Next: How to Read the Bible (sequel 2)

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Further reading

  1. Creation purpose and warranty
  2. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  4. A season for truth and peace
  5. Ransom for all
  6. How did the Trinity Doctrine Develop
  7. Trinity matter
  8. Altered to fit a Trinity
  9. Does there have to be a Holy Trinity?
  10. The Trinity – the truth

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Other articles related to the matters mentioned

  1. Grey Matter and the Afterlife
  2. The Afterlife of Furry Friends
  3. The afterlife
  4. A Strange Work
  5. A good thought for today…
  6. He was in the beginning
  7. The Picture of Advent
  8. God Himself
  9. Karma & Causation 
  10. Christianity – Nature of God
  11. I used to write Christmas letters
  12. What does the Afterlife have to do with Christmas? Making Christmas meaningful to you today.
  13. We Look Like in Heaven
  14. Do you believe that life does end, or may end, at death?
  15. Baby Jesus vs Superman
  16. Daddy’s Girl~ A Christmas Memoir
  17. Review: The Discourses of Epictetus
  18. What Resurrection Means
  19. Life to the world — full of Glory!
  20. Jesus-shaped Spirituality
  21. The Glory of His Work
  22. Light in Darkness
  23. Nativity
  24. Look again
  25. Incarnation and Image
  26. Incarnate
  27. Incarnation Part 2: Humanity
  28. Reflections at the Manger
  29. Lighting the Candle of Fellowship
  30. May God let his face shine upon us
  31. The reason for the season
  32. The hospitality of the nativity, or Yesterday was a lovely day to spend Christmas in Monaco
  33. A Christmas prayer
  34. Nativity 2016
  35. Sermon – Christmas Eve – December 24, 2016
  36. a christmas sermon on fleshy words
  37. Christmas Day sermon
  38. And the Word became flesh and tented among us: A Sermon for Christmas Day, 2016
  39. God Breaks Through
  40. Christmas Again
  41. Breath of God (Merry Christmas)
  42. Merry Christmas
  43. Of the Father’s Love Begotten
  44. “The Spittin’ Image Of The Almighty!”
  45. God with us
  46. Paul Harvey’s “A Man and the Birds” (A Christmas Story)
  47. Christmas was humiliating for God
  48. The Last Day of An Advent Calendar: Christmas Day!
  49. The birth of Jesus points to the real reason for the season
  50. Behold the Son!…Love’s greatest sacrifice!
  51. It’s the messiest time of the year!
  52. “This Thing That Has Taken Place”
  53. The True Meaning of Christmas 
  54. Jesus, Our Immanuel: Reflections on the Incarnation
  55. When Christmas Falls On Sunday
  56. Christmas – Through the Eyes of the Early Church
  57. Christmas Day, December 25, 2016
  58. The Word Became Flesh
  59. Breathe
  60. Jesus in the filth
  61. Come, Let Us Adore Him
  62. Day Twenty-Eight of An Advent Calendar (Evening): Christmas Eve – Pouring Out Divinity into Humanity
  63. when the Son became man
  64. Rejoice!
  65. Christmas’ surprising announcement
  66. Christmas Collection
  67. A Christmas Homily
  68. Search the sky for stars and follow them wherever they lead, but not at the expense of looking down. Those who only look up will never…
  69. Holy Infant And Returning Ruler
  70. Witness To The Incarnation
  71. A Tradition Even Millennials Can Love
  72. Advent Again – day 23
  73. The Christmas King
  74. The Incarnation and How to Explain it to Muslims
  75. Redeeming Christmas: Yes, Virginia, We Are Free to Celebrate the Incarnation. And Please Stop Whining About Paganism.
  76. Sheep and shepherd
  77. The Opportunities Of Christmas
  78. The Proclamation of the Birth of Christ
  79. The Fullness of Time (Galatians 4:4)
  80. God with Us
  81. Festival of Incarnation
  82. Incarnation Matters
  83. Incarnation
  84. The Incarnation
  85. The Humility of the Incarnation
  86. Incarnation Thoughts
  87. The Glory of the Incarnation
  88. ‘Incarnate’ (Matthew 1:18-25)
  89. Reflecting on the incarnation
  90. Reflecting on the incarnation (2)
  91. Reflecting on the incarnation (3)
  92. Reflecting on the incarnation (4)
  93. Reflecting on the incarnation (5)
  94. The Incarnation Never Gets Old
  95. Son of God: Eternal, One Essence with the Father, Creator, Incarnate, Redeemer, Sustainer, Ruler
  96. Incarnation, Devotions, & Reading (Dec 23, 2016)
  97. Incarnate Compassion
  98. Rejoice!
  99. What Child?
  100. A Monastery. An Incarnation.
  101. Imagining Jesus
  102. True Messiah Has Been Born
  103. A Nativity of Imagination or Reality?
  104. Why Did Jesus Come? For These Two Reasons…
  105. When You Have Nothing Left to Give, Be the Gift
  106. His Indescribable Gift
  107. The Great Exchange
  108. incarnation: tangible God
  109. The child, the child, sleeping in the night…
  110. Guiding Light
  111. Be Amazed this Christmas
  112. The Word Made Flesh
  113. Anticipating Advent: Holiness Descended
  114. What king is this?
  115. Christmas Eve: Jesus, the Word Become Flesh
  116. Is “the Christmas Spirit” More Than Nostalgia?
  117. The boy who thought he was a turkey–and the true meaning of Christmas
  118. Earplugs and the Incarnation
  119. On the Magnificat
  120. A Christmas Morning Wish for Everyone
  121. The birth
  122. 3 Reasons to Drop the Security Blanket and Never Pick it Back Up
  123. Why Shepherds?
  124. Charismatics Aren’t Like Joseph
  125. Christmas Quotes!
  126. An Impossibility
  127. The Unexpected Glory Of God Hidden In Plain Sight
  128. To You is Born a Savior: Martin Luther on the Good News of Great Joy
  129. 25 December 2016: Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
  130. Christians and Christmas: A Brief Observation
  131. Incarnational Christianity
  132. On Christmas Lights
  133. The God of unexpected places
  134. Christmas 1944 in Berlin
  135. Messy Christmas, Everyone!
  136. Christmas 2016
  137. How Should Christians Respond to Classism in America?
  138. Come Emmanuel: Everyday Incarnation
  139. Prepare The Way
  140. The Incarnation and the (Im)Morality of Abortion
  141. Christmas Is Always Young!
  142. The Beautiful and Intentional Paradox of Christmas
  143. Not Content to Be God
  144. Holy Night (or Why I am Christmas-Crazy)
  145. Out of Sight? Out of Mind?
  146. Manger Scenes
  147. God Come Down
  148. Emmanuel, Come to Us! A Prayer for our World at Christmas
  149. Emmanuel means god wit us – But what does that mean?
  150. The Attractive Nativity
  151. What if God were one of us?
  152. Christmas’ Greatest Gift
  153. The Reason for Jesus
  154. William Blake and the Divinity of Humanity

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