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If a person has a fair amount of exposure to Mainstream Christianity, and a familiarity with the Bible, he may notice that Mainstream Christianity often de-emphasizes the Old Testament and puts a disproportionate amount of emphasis on Paul's epistles. I would hesitate to say that any part of the Scriptures can be overemphasized. However, if we give uncalled-for weight and emphasis to certain parts of the Bible, and neglect what the rest of the Scriptures teaches about an issue, we will probably develop and imbalanced view of that particular issue.
By volume, Paul's epistles make up approximately 5% of the Bible. Paul's writings are holy Scripture, but neither Paul nor the Holy Spirit expected us to give more weight and authority to these epistles than we do to the Old Testament or to the rest of the New Testament.
By putting a disproportionate amount of emphasis on these letters that Paul sent to various churches, we fail to follow the example of Paul, who told the Ephesians, "I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Ac.20:27). By neglecting certain parts of the Bible, we ignore Paul's declaration that "all Scripture is inspired and is useful." (2 Tim. 3:16).
Discover more in the full article, The Ghost of Marcion.
While Jesus was on earth, he and his disciples practiced the religion that God gave to the Israelites through Moses. The guidelines they followed were found primarily in the Torah*, which is the first five books of the Old Testament -- the writings of Moses. The Torah contains a variety of information including history, the Ten Commandments, and instructions pertaining to finance, government, family, health, farming, dress, feasts, and worship.
It was at some time after the death of Jesus that Christians stopped observing the Old Testament laws. Exactly when that change occurred is not clear in the Bible. Many people believe the change was made by Jesus himself immediately after the resurrection. However, there is compelling evidence in the book of Acts that the change did not occur until much later.
How much later? Find out in the full article.
The Messiah's Hebrew name is usually transliterated as either Yeshua or Yahshua. Under normal circumstances I would not bother to write an article about something as trivial as the difference between the vowel sounds "e" and "ah." There is a need to address the subject, though, because some people who use the Yahshua form say untrue things about those who use the Yeshua form. The opponents of the Yeshua form claim that this pronunciation is the result of a Jewish conspiracy to hide the Savior's true name. Those who call the Messiah Yeshua are accused of perpetuating a Jewish conspiracy and "denying His name" or "degrading Him" by their use of the Yeshua form. If you have never read or heard these outlandish accusations, you probably will eventually.
Read more of Dr. Botkin's article.
A hundred years after the church was founded in Jerusalem, a controversy raged within the congregation. The outcome was a doctrinal turnaround with far-reaching consequences. The losers in that debate were subsequently rejected by Christianity. The winning side passed down to us their slant on church history which has strongly influenced our understanding of the New Testament.
Few Christians are aware of the changes that occurred at that time. The traditional interpretations of events are seldom questioned. Like the author of the historical account below, we allow our presuppositions to blind us to the implications of those early changes to Christianity.
For an overview of the early development of Christianity, let's look at a classic text that was first published in 1776 and is still widely used and respected by historians. Although various scholars have disagreed with some of Edward Gibbon's interpretations of history, the accuracy of the historic facts he recorded has rarely been disputed.
Messiah Yeshua is prophet (Matthew 21:11), priest (Hebrews 3:1), and king (Matthew 2:2).
The book of Hebrews tells us that He served as our great high priest in the order of Melchizedek to "offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins" (Hebrews 5:1). We know He is a priest because He offered up one sacrifice for sins for all time (Hebrews 10:12) and intercedes with G-d on behalf of humanity (1 Timothy 2:5). That is the very definition of a priest.
The Gospels (e.g. Matthew 27:11, 27:37) tell us that Messiah is the King of the Jews. We know He is their King because He laid down His life for them... and for all who belong to Him. (John 10:11, 15, Matthew 27:11) When He returns, He will reign over all the world. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess He is Lord. (Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10)
But in what way is Messiah a prophet?