Wish You Happy New Year 2012


Sabbatum Excerpt: Gregory Boyd and Paul R. Eddy on the Historical Jesus


The idea that the Jesus of the Gospels is entirely a midrashic fiction  hinges on our accepting that Paul and his mid-first-century congregations viewed Jesus as a mythic savior figure who came to earth in the distant past. If Christians at the time of Paul’s writing believed that Jesus lived only two decades earlier, that his mother, brother, and original disciples were yet living among them, and the like, it is hard to imagine the Gospel authors fabricating an entirely different Jesus several decades later and impossible to imagine Christians broadly accepting such a fabrication even if certain authors had created one. Unfortunately for the Gospels-as-midrash view, we have very good reasons to conclude that Paul and all mid-first-century Christians viewed Jesus as a recent contemporary…. Neither Paul nor the earliest Christians for whom he wrote viewed Jesus as a mythical cosmic savior figure who lived and redeemed the world “long, long ago and far, far away.” [1]

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[1] Gregory A. Boyd and Paul Rhodes Eddy, Lord or Legend: Wrestling with the Jesus Dilemma (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerBooks, 2007), 87, Print.

Biblical Nuggets: English-only Fallacy


English-only Fallacy

Often we read the scripture; we may come across a word which means one thing in English, but the original biblical (Hebrew & Greek) meaning is different. Thus we may read the passage into English word meaning which does not quite fit in the original meaning.

The English-only fallacy occurs when we base our word study on the English word rather than the underlying Greek or Hebrew word, and as a result, draw unreliable or misleading conclusions.[1]

Examples: John 3: 16 – 16“For God so loved the world that he gave his begotten Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The Greek term for so loved is “in this way” rather than “so much” in English.

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[1] J. Scott Duvall, and J. Daniel Hays. “Word Studies.” Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-on Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible. 2001. Reprint. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2001. 133. Print.

Recovery From The Western Blueprint Evangelism


By Khechyon Maharjan

My take on this topic is not to condemn the Western Christianity. Rather I would like to point out to the history and learn from it. Back in mid 20th century, Western Churches and missions realized why pouring millions, if not billions, of dollars in Asia and South Africa failed to bear fruits in the mission field. Churches from the West thought that their evangelistic model, tools and guidelines would be the best mean to win souls of those who were utterly marinated into animism and civilized into pluralistic society.

The West imposed their understanding of the Gospel into very different culture with distinctive values and characteristics. And history is there for us to learn how badly they failed until they realized that their blueprint evangelism would not work in the context they were toiling at the time. They trained indigenous people to reach out to their people in their context in their own language.

Indigenous churches have flourished since the western blueprint for evangelism is not strictly followed or implemented. However, the western branded Christianity and its ghost of worship, parroting doctrine, and individualistic salvation culture have been serenely haunting Nepalese churches. This is not only our problem but half of the globe has gotten the same branded imported Christianity from the West.

Bible Verses and Scriptures on Christmas


These selected verses tell us the Nativity Story of Jesus Christ who was born in  Bethlehem through the conception of the Holy Spirit. Thus he fulfilled the ancient prophecy about him who being God himself took a human form and lived among us.

Isaiah 7:14

English Standard Version (ESV)

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, thevirgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his nameImmanuel.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 7:14 Immanuel means God is with us

Isaiah 9:6-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder,
and his name shall be called[b]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 9:6 Or is upon
  2. Isaiah 9:6 Or is called

Micah 5:2

English Standard Version (ESV)

2 [a] But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.

Footnotes:

  1. Micah 5:2 Ch 5:1 in Hebrew

Matthew 1:18-24

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Birth of Jesus Christ

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ[a] took place in this way.When his mother Mary had been betrothed[b] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 1:18 Some manuscripts of the Christ
  2. Matthew 1:18 That is, legally pledged to be married

Matthew 2:1-12

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Visit of the Wise Men

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men[a] from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose[b] and have come toworship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense andmyrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 2:1 Greek magi; also verses 7, 16
  2. Matthew 2:2 Or in the east; also verse 9

Luke 1:35

English Standard Version (ESV)

 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[a] will be called holy—the Son of God.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 1:35 Some manuscripts add of you

Luke 2:1-20

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Birth of Jesus Christ

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the firstregistration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, tothe city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christthe Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babywrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[c]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 2:2 Or This was the registration before
  2. Luke 2:5 That is, one legally pledged to be married
  3. Luke 2:14 Some manuscripts peace, good will among men
Bible verses are taken from http://www.biblegateway.com