Thursday, February 16, 2017

30 - Re-Introducing "Think Again"


I was gone, now I'm not

If you look back, way, way back into your past, when you were still younger than you are now, look back to just before Christmas of 2016. If you were following my blog, you may recall that I closed the blog called "Spaceship theology". 

I suggested then that I might start a new blog to study the New Testament as we had studied the Old Testament.  Well, here I am again!  However, rather than starting a new blog I have decided to resurrect my first blog, which is called, THINK AGAIN, and which was closed in July 2012. 

As in our study of the Old Testament, we did not touch on every story or even attempt to analyse every doctrine; that is the same format we will continue with here.   Just as in my other blog I use red for Bible quotations; blue for quotations from other works and purple for those times I put words into people's mouths.  Unless otherwise stated I use the Modern King James Version.

In 2012, in the first 29 posts of this blog, we looked at various doctrines held by the Protestant church at large. It became apparent that many of the doctrines accepted by numerous churches, in fact, do not agree with what the Bible actually says about the subject.

The Bible as the Center Piece

What an individual chooses to believe is certainly his or her choice but it seems to me that every person that chooses to believe something, should, at the very least, know that what he or she believes is supported by the book he or she has chosen to follow.

By way of introduction to this section of the blog, we will review a few previous posts from this blog.

Picture the New Testament as a bookshelf with four shelves. 

Some would have it with 5 shelves.  In doing that they have the first four books, "the Gospels", on one shelf and one book, "the Acts of the Apostles", on the second shelf.  I see it as though they belong together because all 5 books are historical.

  1. 5 books of History. 
  2. 13 books by Paul. 
  3. 8 books called, "General Epistles". 
  4. 1 book which is, Prophecy. 
5+13+8+1=27, the number of books in the New Testament.

Most Bible students put 14 books into Paul's writings and only 7 into General Epistles.  However, I think that perhaps Dr Luke, and not Paul, wrote the Book of Hebrews, and so I place the Book of Hebrews with the General Epistles.  As early as the third century AD there already was a debate about this issue.

1. On the first shelf, we find the books of History.
  • Matthew 
  • Mark 
  • Luke - all three tell the story of Christ while He lived on earth.
  • John - focuses on the teachings and spiritual impact of Christ.
  • Acts - (of the Apostles) - reports the history of the early church.

Acrostics help to memorise the order of the books. Here is an acrostic.: 
Mother Mary Likes Juicy Apples

2. On the second shelf, we find the letters of Paul; this shelf is divided into two sections. Nine letters to churches, and four letters to people whom Paul knew:

As the name implies, each of these books is a letter written to the people whose name it bears:
  • Romans - to the church at Rome in Italy
  • Corinthians, 1st and 2nd - Two letters to the church at Corinth in Greece
  • Galatians - A letter to the church at Galatia
  • Ephesians - A letter to the church at Ephesus
  • Philippians - A letter to the church at Philippi
  • Colossians - A letter to the church at Colossae
  • Thessalonians, 1st and 2nd - Two letters to the church at Thessalonica
Acrostic: Real Christian Generosity Emphasises Personal Commitment Throughout.

The following four letters were written by Paul to people who needed some guidance from a more mature person.

  • Timothy, 1st - Timothy was a young pastor, and Paul sent him some advice as to how to lead a church.
  • Timothy, 2nd - general guidelines about a preacher's lifestyle.
  • Titus - Similar information for Titus.
  • Philemon - Was the owner of a slave who had run away and Paul gave Philemon some advice.
Acrostic: Tony The Tiger Perspires

3. On the third shelf we find "The General Epistles"

  • Hebrews - to Jewish Christians who were not clear about the value of Christ's death
  • James - Martin Luther, erroneously, called this "a letter of straw"
  • 1st Peter - If we really are Christians our lifestyle will show it by our mild demeanour
  • 2nd Peter - Speaks of life on earth just before the return of Christ
  • 1st John - Christians must have genuine love one for another.
  • 2nd John - Avoid false teachers and
  • 3rd John - hold to that which is upright
  • Jude - Probably written by the brother of Jesus Christ.  Mostly a repeat of 2nd Peter.
Acrostic: However, Just Peter Joined Jude.

4. The Revelation - The book of prophecy: Things that were still future to Saint John.  This book is often called "The Revelations".  That is absolutely wrong because there is only one revelation; it is a revelation of Jesus, The Lamb of God.

It is also often called, "The Revelation of Saint John the Divine".  If one is going to call it by that name the word "of", must at least be changed to "written by" and the word divine would only mean, "a notable person".