When discussing points of view about God, Jesus, and the Bible, I just discovered another reason why it is so difficult to discuss anything online. Previously, I had quickly learned that online, the lack of vocal inflexions, facial expressions, and personalized definitions of words, make for many misunderstandings, affronts, and even annihilation of friendships. The newest revelation which has been defeating my purposes of correcting misunderstandings and misconceptions of God, Jesus, and the Bible are actually preconceived notions and errant scholarship. That poor scholarship has magnified confusion by not only, and understandably, cynics, but by the attentive audiences of Religious Leaders, throughout the centuries, who have been supposed to know better.
They did not then, and they do not now.
So, I thought, “Why not go to the source to find the original panoramic view of what God, Jesus, and the Bible intended Christianity should look like.”
Made sense to me. So, here I go…
My reasoning tells me that the best place to start would be with the scholar, Luke and his two volume work titled The Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles. The first volume is the result of his research and tells the account of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection, including many things Jesus taught and did. So in the first volume, simply called “Luke,” he writes:
“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” — Luke 1:1–4, NIV.
One point of interest to me is that the name of the individual means “Lover of God” which could be generalized to be written to all who love God…
So then, in the second volume, simply called “Acts,” Luke begins by writing:
“In my first book, O Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach, until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen. After His suffering, He presented Himself to them with many convincing proofs that He was alive. He appeared to them over a span of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. — Luke 1:1–3, ibid.
Here comes Luke’s description of the original nature of the first Christian churches which were first denoted as a separate Jewish group, the “Jesus Sect.”You probably won’t recognize the picture.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. A sense of awe came over everyone, and the apostles performed many wonders and signs. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they shared with anyone who was in need. With one accord they continued to meet daily in the temple courts and to break bread from house to house, sharing their meals with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” — Acts 2:42–47, ibid
Now, an important difference between historical teachings and the Bible record has to do with the fact that Jesus and His Disciples and all the first apostles and Believers were all Jews. That alone should have put an end to the accusation that all Jews are “Christ killers.” After all, Jesus had to die for the sinfulness of all Mankind. of everyone, each and every one, including you and me. Everyone who has ever lived and ever will live are the real Christ killers.
“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” — Romans 3:23–24, ibid.
“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But in this way God has fulfilled what He foretold through all the prophets, saying that His Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped away, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus, the Christ, who has been appointed for you.” — Acts 3:17–20, ibid
There are hundreds and thousands of errant teachings that have caused much malignancy and shrouded the true Gospel message of God, Jesus, and the Bible through the ages. What it was and what it is are vastly different.
Want the true panoramic view? Climb the mountain: Read the Bible and seek His presence in your life.