TITLE: The Word of God, Part I
By gene hudgens
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Part I of IV
For me the Bible is the greatest book ever written. The Bible was written by the saints, great evangelists, and priests, who wrote what they heard Jesus say and what they felt they understood Jesus to have said.
I feel that the Words of Jesus are the Words of God and the spirit and that we must go to Jesus directly and talk with Him and listen to the Word of God. We must have Jesus in our hearts.
It is easy to read the Bible, but that isn’t enough, We can memorize the entire Bible, we can spend hours quoting chapter and verse, but we will not find God or receive any reward in the Kingdom of God or Christ if we do not listen to God and talk with God in our hearts and in spirit.
To me the first four books of the New Testament are the true foundation for my Christian belief. I was immediately inspired by the light that touched my heart on a very personal level.
The Gospel According to Saint Matthew. The early church unanimously ascribed this Gospel to the Apostle Matthew, also called Levi. Matthew was personally close to Jesus.
Matthew was a tax collector when he was exalted by his Savior to the distinguished rank of an apostle. He was familiar with the Jewish Scriptures and was thoroughly versed in both the Aramaic (spoken Hebrew) and Greek Languages. This first (of four Gospel) writing of the “Memoir of the Life and Teachings of the Christ is placed by some as early as A. D. 37 and by present-day scholarship in the vicinity of A. D. 60 to 64.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written to meet a definite need: that each formed a purpose for his “Memoir” under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and selected from the life, ministry, and teachings of the Savior, the materials which best fitted the need and the purpose in mind.
Matthew wrote his Gospel especially for Jewish readers, presenting Jesus as verily the Messiah of Old Testament prophecies. His Gospel recognizes the truth that Jesus Christ is God’s appointed Redeemer for all mankind, and that the saving ministry of God’s kingdom is to be extended to the entire world.
The Gospel According to Saint Mark. Mark’s Gospel is especially adapted to the needs of Gentile readers throughout the Roman world. He presents Jesus as the mighty worker, as the divine, humanly incarnate, and all-powerful Savior, as the incarnate Son of God in the form of a servant. Mark is the son of one of the Marys who was numbered among the devout women disciples of Jesus and in whose home the early Church assembled. He is variously designated as John, whose surname was Mark. In later years he wrote as Marcus or Mark. He was not an apostle, but was greatly influenced by the Apostle Peter and is reported as an “interpreter of Peter’s preaching.” Tradition places his conversion under the ministry of Jesus.
It’s generally accepted that Mark’s Gospel was produced from information received from Peter. It may be spoken of as “Peter’s Gospel” written by Mark. It is quite generally agreed that he refers to himself in the account of the youth who fled in the garden at the time of Christ’s arrest. This indicates his personal association with Jesus, at least in the closing days of his life. It also appears certain that the “upper room” in which Jesus kept the Passover with his disciples was in the home of Mark’s mother.
Various dates from A. D. 57 to A.D. 63 have been suggested for the writing of Mark’s Gospel. Early writers suggest that is was written by Mark while in Rome during Paul’s imprisonment, and at the request of Roman Christians as a means of preserving the teaching of the Apostle Peter.
The Gospel According to Saint Luke. Luke was not an apostle and his Gospel was written from information gathered from reliable sources and recorded under the direction of the Holy Spirit. During Paul’s two years of imprisonment at Caesarea, Luke gathered much information from some of the original apostles, from many Jerusalem Christians, and from Christ’s mother and brothers.
As a result of Paul’ missionary labors and through the witnessing of dispersed Christians from Jerusalem, many Greeks had been converted to Christianity, and many more were interested in the Gospel of Christ. It was to meet this demand that Luke wrote his Gospel. In its literary qualities, it is superior to all the other Gospels; it is the Gospel with a world outlook and represents Christ, perfect and ideal as sought by the Greeks, but divine in origin, character, and perfection. Luke alone quotes the universality of the mission of Christ from Isaiah.
Luke, the writer of this Gospel, is referred to by Paul as: “the beloved physician” (Col. 4:14). He was the writer also of the Acts of the Apostles and a companion of Paul in many of his missionary labors. In his letter to Philemon, Paul speaks of Luke as his: fellow laborer.” It appears that from the context of the fourth chapter of Colossians that Luke was not of the circumcision, which would indicate that he was a Gentile, probably a Greek from Antioch in Syria.
The Gospel According to Saint John. John’s purpose in writing this Gospel was to supplement the records of the three older Gospels, not to correct any deficiencies in them. Never in a single instance does he disagree with the events and truths found in Mathew, Mark, and Luke. The aim of the Gospel is directly spiritual and its purpose is that men may have spiritual life through faith in the Christ revealed therein.
The symbolic words used of Christ are also profoundly spiritual, such as the Word, the Truth, the Way, the Light, the Life, the Bread of Life, and the Good Shepherd. The Gospel is distinguished by its stress upon believe. The word and its cognates appear about 100 times; reference to God as Father is given 122 times; love and its cognates appear 57 times. Thus, it will be seen how deeply spiritual this Gospel really is.
The evidence that the Apostle John wrote this Gospel is unanswerable. Even though it was published long after the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, it was universally accepted by the Christian writers of the second and third centuries in its Johanean authorship and divine authority.
It is clear that the writer was a contemporary of the events and persons mentioned in his narration; and that he was familiar with the whole land of Palestine and the scenes of Christ’s ministry, as well as the city of Jerusalem and the temple. Many of John’s sayings and all of his quotations of Christ’s words clearly suggest that he was an apostle…eyewitness of the things recorded and an ear witness of the teachings of Christ quoted. Prepared by Gene Hudgens.
(Quoted excerpts from KJV “The Devotional Alphabetical Indexed Family Bible. ©1960 by De Vore & Sons, Inc.)
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