Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gospel Difficulties Mt 3:17 vs Mk 1:11

Some bible critics like to find verses in scripture that appear to contradict each other. In this case they would say, if the bible is the inerrant Word of God, then how could God be quoted differently in two different gospels? Good question, but there is also a good answer...

Note the difference in what God said in the two Gospels...

Matthew 3:16 And having been baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water. And, behold! The heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God coming down as a dove, and coming upon Him.
17 And behold! A voice out of the heaven saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have been delighting.

Mark 1:10-11 And going up from the water, immediately He saw the heavens being torn, and the Spirit coming down as a dove upon Him.
11 And there was a voice out of the heavens, You are My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have been delighting.

These two passages are clearly about the same event but what God said was different as Jesus came out of the water. It appears something must be in error. But instead of trying to explain away the contridiction, lets take the position that God wrote the bible with messages for us to learn and that his word is without error. If this is so, we are compelled to dig deeper to see why God wrote it this way. There is always a reason.

We assume the gospel writers were writing about history and they were, but God does sometimes change the way a story is told to fit the teaching he has for us. I don’t think anyone can speak for God and say what his rationale is for this, but the words fit the context in a way only God could have put together. It is more important to God that we get the message than it is for us to evaluate how it is written.

Both these verses are exactly correct when considered in the context in which they are written. These are not two interpretations, but are two perfectly correct statements for the message being communicated in each Gospel.

In Matthew 3:17 John (3:2-3) was preaching and telling people "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. This is he...." John is telling people who Jesus is as if point to him saying " This man is the one...." Also in 3:17 the Spirit of God was not only decending on Him, but also "lighting on Him"...a spotlight for humanity to see?

So in this Gospel it is appropriate for God to be making the statement from heaven in the same way as John. It was directed to people observing the event..."Look, this is my Son, the Beloved...". The context of the message supports what God is saying in it.

Mark chapter 1:1-39 is about the authority of Jesus. You can see this in many other verses in the same chapter. Verses - (7) after me will come one more powerful than I; (11) you are My Son; (17) come, follow Me; (22) because he taught them as one who had authority..; (24) I know who you are...the Holy One of God; (27) a new teacher, and with authority. He even gives orders to evil spirits, and they obey him; (34) he would not let the demons speak, because they knew who he was.; (38) Jesus...Let us go somewhere I can preach there also. That is why I have come.

So in Mark 1:11 where God writes "You are my Son, the Beloved...", he is not speaking to observers. Instead, God is bestowing His authority on Jesus. It is God telling Jesus - you are my Son and by virtue of that, you have my authority. The meaning of the verse fits the context of the writing perfectly.

Nobody really knows exactly what fully transpired at this event, but we do know what God tells us about it in two different gospels. Each is correct and in each one, God is making a point using the words necessary to do so. I believe God wants us to read His Word exactly and work to understand what he is teaching. When we try to reason scripture out based on our own understanding, we take away the power of his word to cut to our soul.

Writings in the gospels sometimes don't line up because God did not intend them to. It is man's feable reasoning that says these quotes must match. If we understand his word or not, we should accept it as written and seek to understand the meaning. This is a much more rewarding way to read the Bible. God wrote what He wrote and there are specific messages there for us to discern. When we discover the intended meanings of difficult passages, there's great joy in the new understanding and increased faith in us of the wonder of our amazing God.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Today's Example from the Bible - Numbers 1-10 in verses...

Comparing these verse numbers to the number explanations I've explained in my prior post, see if the meanings match. I've highlighted some parts to help and provided a number association definition above each verse...

Deu 6:1-10
One, God, Kings, Leaders, First things
1 And this [is] the commandment, the statute and the judgments which Jehovah your God commanded to teach you, to do them in the land to which you are crossing over, to possess it,

Two, Jesus, Love, Unity, Division, Deliver, Witness, Relationship...
2 that you might fear Jehovah your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you; you, and your son, and your son's son, all the days of your life; and that your days may be prolonged.

Three, Devine Purity, Holy Spirit, the law or things we must do, fellowship...
3 Hear, then, O Israel, and take heed to do [it], that it may be well with you, that you may increase greatly, as Jehovah the God of your fathers has promised you, in the land flowing with milk and honey.

Creation, the world, heavens, man & fallen man, earth, cities, people, groups, places...
4 Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God [is] one Jehovah.

Provision/Goodness of God. His taking care of man and the earth in it's brokenness
5 And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Redemption, sin, discipline, the need for redemption, the process of us being saved
6 And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart.

Sanctification, acts and things related to us being saved and made spiritually clean
7 And you shall teach them to your sons, and shall speak of them as you sit in your house, and as you walk in the way, and as you are lying down, and as you are rising up.

Abundance, goodness of God/Jesus or lack thereof. Actions we do or work of God once we are saved...
8 And [you] shall bind them for a sign on your hand; and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.

Endings, things coming to an end, the future, things we are to do or that will happen...
9 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house, and on your gates.

Completion or the final thoughts/words about a subject. The ends of things. Commands and directions.
10 And it shall be, when Jehovah your God shall bring you into the land which He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to you great and good cities, which you have not built,


1- Orders from God
2- Your son and your son's son (relationship)
3 - Do these things so you may stand worthy before God (God's devine instructions)
4 - God, talking to his people (his creation)
5 - Praise God for his goodness, provision and glory. Might also be having love in us.
6 - God commands us and warns us about our need for redemption and to follow him
7 - Teach these to your sons so they will be saved (sanctified)
8 - Once saved and a believer, wear these so others will see and you will remember
9 - On the doorposts so you shall be known on His return.
10 - God will deliver you in the end

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Book, Chapter, Verse, and Text Numbers in the Bible

I might as well start the Blog out with a controversial post and see where it goes from here. Get ready for your truths to be challenged...

About half way through this paragraph, and as you are about to grab your mouse and click away from this crazy site, pause for a second and ask yourself could this be possible? Did God leave a signature in his word by having a meaning for every number in his word? As unbelievable as it sounds, yes.

Although sometimes they are not easy to comprehend, God's numbers tell us more about scripture and further explain what he wrote. They are as important to the context of scripture as the text itself. These number meanings are not a code, but a pattern left for us in His word. This simple number association applies to numbers stated in the text, chapter numbers, verse numbers, and even the sequence numbers of books in the bible. Impossible? That's everyone's first reaction. But it's easy enough to see by anyone who takes the time to look. They often come away wondering if it is really true. Print this list out and keep it by your bible so you can check the numbers out for yourself as you read God's Word.
  1. 1-God, Kings, Leaders, and things alone
  2. 2-Jesus, Unity, Love, Life, division, relationships, family, togetherness (pairs of things)
  3. 3-Divine Purity, perfect things, laws of God and the world
  4. 4-Creation, the world, heavens, man & fallen man, earth, cities, people, groups, places
  5. 5-Provision/Goodness of God. His taking care of man and the earth in it's brokenness
  6. 6-Redemption, sin, discipline, the need for redemption, the process of us being saved
  7. 7-Sanctification, acts and things related to us being saved and made spiritually clean
  8. 8-Abundance, actions, the goodness of God and Jesus or lack thereof. Actions we do once saved. The work of God once we are saved.
  9. 9-Endings or things coming to an end. The future, things we are given to do. Things that will happen such as Christ's return for us.
  10. 10-Completion or the final thoughts/words about a subject. The ends of things. Commands and directions. I.E. Christ taking us back to His Kingdom.

The descriptions above are my feable attempt to tell about what God has left in His Word. Only God can say what he meant by them. Nonetheless, they are still there to guide us in the use of His Word.

Why would God do such a thing? They are His signature on every page of the bible, every chapter, every book, every verse. They help us better understand scripture and confirm it's intended meaning. They are part of the way God wrote the bible and one of the unfathomable mysteries of God...

Luke 10:21 In the same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit, and said, I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and of earth, that You hid these things from [the] sophisticated and cunning and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, because so it was pleasing before You. (Green Lit)

Enjoy and learn from the Numbers of God. There's so much more to say about them but this is enough to ponder for now. I encourage you to see them for yourself. One technique for seeing them is to pick a book of the bible and look at every verse ending in 4. That is 4, 14, 24, 34, 44, etc. Note how a very large percentage of them are about people, places, cities, men, groups, and things of creation. Note also, how if you look at verses ending in another number, there is not the preponderance of the same meaning.

Praise God. His Word truly is Amazing!