Biblical Fiction or Biblical Fantasy

Biblical fiction or fantasy

The truth about Biblical fiction is that those of us who write in this genre generally believe the Bible. I say generally, because over the years I have read books supposedly in this genre, but the writer has taken a person, or part of the Bible then write a version of their own.

Biblical fiction or Biblical fantasy

I like Biblical fiction and have learnt a lot from good Biblical fiction writers. In the story there might be a character or a few of them who are not named in the Biblical narrative, but the plot line follows the Biblical narrative.  On the other hand, to readers like me, Biblical fantasy takes a person, or situation and then uses it as a base for his or her own version. For readers like me this is more than disappointing.

How to tell if it is Biblical Fiction or fantasy

First to find it.

  • Go to Amazon
  • Find books or Kindle in the drop-down list.
  • Type in Biblical Fiction 
  • Choose a book from the list
  • Read the ‘blurb.’
  • Download a sample if you are not clear from the ‘blurb.’
  • Scroll down and read the categories it is listed in. (In Product details.)

Here are two examples of Product details. One is a by a Biblical fantasy writer, the other is by a noted Biblical Fiction author.

Listing for Biblical fantasy

Under the ‘Best Sellers Rank’ section you will see the categories the book is listed in.

Then you choose what you are interested in.

As an award-winning author

My aim was, and is, to tell the truth of the Bible in a way that brings the people to life. 
This led to months of research, in fact –years. I am still researching, checking facts and comparing articles, Bible studies, and sermons from different sources.

I receive many newsletters offering me ‘tricks’ to have my books ranked more highly on Amazon. In many cases this is listing the books in wrong categories to make them near the top. I prefer honesty.
The Apostle John Series is Biblical fiction based on fact. Yes, there are characters in them that are not in the Bible, there is no record of the Apostle John having had a family. However, all the events are from John’s writings. The books were written with the Bible open on my desk.

You can find a list here.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Susan+MB+Preston&i=stripbooks-intl-ship&ref=nb_sb_noss

The Novellas

Side stories of fictional characters in the books of the series. Not Biblical in themselves, but cover the themes and characters.

I enjoy good Biblical fiction, but each to his or her own taste.

This is been part of a short series of blog posts on Accuracy in Biblical Fiction, and research.

It is my hope that it has been helpful.

God bless

Susan

Accuracy in Biblical Fiction, important?

Accuracy is needed

Accuracy in Biblical Fiction quotes from the Bible is important! All of us, writers of Biblical or Christian Fiction which is based on happenings in the Bible do a great deal of research. However, we also add a lot of fictional material to the narrative. Why? In order to help the reader understand what it was like for the people living then.

In some degree, most readers are familiar with the fact that early Christians were sent to the arena, crucified, and/or persecuted. Who they were is not usually known from the Bible, that’s where an author might add a fictional character. But there is the day to day life of the believers. It is that that brings the background of the Bible to life, and it is possible to work it out. The people were not so different from us, but their circumstances were. No modern appliances, everything ‘made from scratch,’ no phones, Internet, and walking everywhere. It takes imagination, and facts, to be able to walk in their shoes.

Accuracy is important

Well, it is to me anyway. I recently finished reading an interesting novel about the early Christians.’ How to review it is difficult. You see, I have a pet hate in historical fiction of any sort. That is using words or terms that were not invented at the time the novel was set. Another problem I find with the book is the narrating of Jesus’ miracles. They are there, but not in the correct order. It makes for mistrust of the whole narrative, or for someone who is not familiar with that section of the Bible – believe in something that is untrue.  It can lead to arguments later with a believer who has read and understands the biblical version of that section.

The author characterized well, something not all writers can do. Kudos there.

We all add characters, I ‘gave’ the Apostle John a great-grandson in order to illustrate several points. It didn’t please all readers, but as I said, it was done to illustrate several points. In this case, someone raised in the home of believers, and what happens when his faith is challenged.

True, accuracy in research can be a problem

curves in accuracy

… if certain things are not understood.

There can be many curves in the road of research.

One such example follows…

The biblical day started and ended at sunset. Found in Genesis chapter 1 https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Genesis-1-5/

At midnight, when we now say the day ends – and the new one starts, it is pitch dark. How is that day?

The Romans, who made many mistakes with the calendar, had many calendar ‘options’ but the one we use now is the Gregorian calendar, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Gregorian-calendar I discussed the calendar issues in a previous post. https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/calendar-and-confusion

That’s only one issue making research, and accuracy difficult. Next week, health permitting, I will give and overview of Judaism, which also explains why Jesus castigated the scribes and Pharisees.

God willing, it will be written then,

Be safe, be well, be kind

Susan

PS To help the readers, I explain the times and the hours at the start of the first book in the Apostle John Series… Hold the Faith (book 1) https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/series-overview/hold-the-faith/

 

Naaman, Commander of the Syrian army

Elisha refusing Naaman's gifts

Naaman was an important man. His story, and his healing from leprosy, can be found in 2 Kings 5, but if you want a simple overview you can read it here… http://lukedockery.com/tag/naaman/

I won’t repeat it, just ask the question– why did Naaman ask for two mules loaded with dirt?

2 Kings 5 17 And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord.

Why did Naaman ask for soil?

There were many clues to answer this question discovered in my research for The Apostle John Series
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/apostle-john-series-2/

Apostle John Series

(One I overtly used to is in the 4th book in The Apostle John Series, Keep the Flame)

Hint, hint

One of the many reasons the early Christians were hated by their pagan neighbours was their refusal to venerate any of the many ‘gods’ they worshipped. There were house gods, gods responsible for an area, for the beasts of the field and so on. One example is quoted here, “Local areas had local gods, with each city or region often having their own deities that they worshipped.” Just like the Egyptian ‘gods’ Roman and Greeks had similar beliefs.

https://australian.museum/learn/cultures/international-collection/ancient-egyptian/religion-and-gods-in-ancient-egypt/

I found many examples, but the above is a simple overview.

What was the significance of the soil?

If the gods of an area ruled that area, then they ruled the soil. In a different area another god ruled. This is why I brought out the significance of ‘gods’ only operating in their areas in book four of the series. (Keep the Flame) https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/series-overview/keep-the-flame/

Naaman is long gone…

But we can still learn lessons from his story, and be grateful that we do not live with these superstitions, because that is all they were. And yet, although I don’t practice them, I still remember many superstitions from my young years in Scotland. As Solomon says, ‘There is nothing new under the sun.”

God bless,

Susan

For further reading

Was Abraham a Jew

Abraham's descendants would be as stars

How could Abraham be a Jew when the tribe from which Jews were named had not yet been born? Many will be familiar with “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Please read on…

Abraham was the father of Isaac; Isaac was the father of Jacob, and Jacob was the father of twelve sons. One of those sons was Judah, and it was from the tribe of Judah that the ‘nickname’ Jews came to be known.

Living in Ur of the Chaldees with his family. According to a now out of print book I have about his early life, Abraham worked in his father, Terah’s idol shop.

This is also mentioned in a Wikipedia article. “Terah, the ninth in descent from Noah, was the father of three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran. The entire family, including grandchildren, lived in Ur of the Chaldees. According to a midrash, Abram worked in Terah’s idol shop in his youth.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham

How could Abraham be a member of a tribe not yet born?

Judah was Abraham’s descendent, not forebear.

“Judah (Hebrew: יְהוּדָה‎, Modern: Yəhudah, Tiberian: Yehuḏāḥ) was, according to the Book of Genesis, the fourth son of Jacob and Leah, the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Judah. By extension, he is indirectly eponymous of the Kingdom of Judah, the land of Judea and the word Jew.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_(son_of_Jacob)

Covenants with God

A covenant is more than just an agreement, or it was back then. Here are some examples…

  • Noahide Covenant,
  • Abrahamic Covenant,
  • Mosaic Covenant,
  • Davidic Covenant

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/old-covenant-new-covenant/

Rather than being a victim of cancel culture, Abraham was an important man who had a very special relationship with God, and is claimed by the Jews, the Christians, and those of the Moslem faith. (After all, Abraham was the father of Ishmael too.)

Just some thoughts

God bless

Susan

Is Judaism the Law of Moses?

Judaism ritual handwashing

For the most part, Judaism is seen as being the Law of Moses, but is it? For the last few months I have been doing an ‘in-depth’ study as background for the next series of Biblical fiction novels. Basically, my curiosity was triggered by Jesus’ various confrontations with the Pharisees (or Sadducees, scribes and priests.) Since Jesus said ‘not one jot or tittle of the law would pass away’ until or unless heaven and earth pass away – why did He accuse the religious officials the way He did?

Well, my ‘researcher’ mind went into gear and I have done a long study. 

In the Code of Jewish Law, Volume 1 are contained the rules for ‘conduct before rising in the morning.’ Chapter 2 of Volume 1 is about washing hands in the morning. One reason given is that ‘when a man is asleep, the holy soul departs from his body, and an unclean spirit descends upon him. When rising from, sleep the unclean spirit departs from his entire body, except for his fingers, and does not depart until one spills water upon them three times alternately.’

There is another ritual for washing hands correctly.

What is Judaism

Although an Internet search will tell you it was the religion given to Abraham, there is more to it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_Judaism

“During the Babylonian captivity of the 6th and 5th centuries BCE (Iron Age II), certain circles within the exiled Judahites in Babylon refined pre-existing ideas about their Yahweh-centric monolatrism, election, divine law and Covenant into a strict monotheistic theology which came to dominate the former Kingdom of Judah in the following centuries.

From the 5th century BCE until 70 CE, Israelite religion developed into the various theological schools of Second Temple Judaism, besides Hellenistic Judaism in the diaspora. Second Temple eschatology have similarities with Zoroastrianism. .The text of the Hebrew Bible was redacted into its extant form in this period and possibly also canonized as well.”

Judaism, Tanakh scroll

Rabbinic Judaism developed during Late Antiquity, during the 3rd to 6th centuries CE; the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud were compiled in this period. The oldest manuscripts of the Masoretic tradition come from the 10th and 11th centuries CE; in the form of the Aleppo Codex of the later portions of the 10th century CE and the Leningrad Codex dated to 1008–1009 CE. Due largely to censoring and the burning of manuscripts in medieval Europe the oldest existing manuscripts of various rabbinical works are quite late. The oldest surviving complete manuscript copy of the Babylonian Talmud is dated to 1342 CE.”

Note: ‘refined pre-existing ideas.’
            5th century BCE until 70 CE (covers the time of Christ)

            The rest of the text quoted came after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD

And there is more

“The history of Rabbinic Judaism is closely linked to the rabbinic tradition, which dates back to the time of Alexander the Great with the siege of Tyre (332 BC). The formation of the outlook of the Jews which led to the formation of their religion began in the second millennium BC in Canaan.

Rabbinic tradition holds that the details and interpretation of the Torah (Written Law), which are called the Oral Torah or oral law, were originally an unwritten tradition based upon what God told Moses on Mount Sinai. However, as the persecutions of the Jews increased and the details were in danger of being forgotten, these oral laws were recorded by rabbi Judah ha-Nasi (“Judah the Prince”) in the Mishnah, redacted circa 200 CE.”

Could this be why Jesus said “And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”
Matthew 15:3

He knew God’s law, they had the law fenced in by their traditions.

 

Concluding, for now

This is merely scratching the surface of what researching many sources has turned up, but it has given me a whole new understanding of not only the gospels, but also the seeming contradictions in the writing of the Apostle Paul.

As mentioned in a previous post, it is our choice what we believe. However, we need to find the facts. <smile> 
It Started Way Back in Eden.

God bless and encourage you

Susan

The Stone of Scone

Scones

The Stone of Scone has many names which I will mention later, but one of the most prominent difficulties is one of mispronunciation. Scone, to me, means fluffy baked goods as pictured – also identified by myself as ‘biscuits’ in my trips to hotels in Southern America.

It is actually pronounced  ‘Scoon.

The Stone of Scone (/ˈskn/Scottish GaelicAn Lia FáilScotsStane o Scuin)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_of_Scone

The Stone of Scone…

Here are some of those other names for the Stone of Scoon.

The Stone of Destiny; the Coronation Stone; the Stone of Jacob; and others including the Bethel Stone.

History

  • In 1292 John Balliol was the last king to use the Stone of Destiny.
  • In 1296 it was captured by Edward I of England and taken to Westminster Abbey in London.
  • It sat under the coronation chair, where English and British sovereigns sit during their coronation, for 700 years.
  • On Christmas Day 1950, four nationalist Scottish students removed the stone from Westminster Abbey and brought it back to Scotland. After a public outcry, it was found a few months later at Arbroath Abbey, draped in a Saltire, and taken back to Westminster Abbey by the police.
  • It was last used at the coronation of HM The Queen in 1953.
  • On St Andrews Day (30 November) 1996, the Stone of Destiny was returned to Scotland amid much ceremony and celebration and put in Edinburgh Castle alongside the Honours of Scotland. About 10,000 people lined the Royal Mile in Edinburgh to watch a procession of dignitaries and troops escort the stone from the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the bottom of the mile, to the castle.

https://www.visitscotland.com/about/uniquely-scottish/honours-scotland-stone-destiny/

In the bullet point history lies a wealth of feeling, especially if you have a tendency to Scottish Nationalism.

Sitting on the Stone of Scone

Stone of Scone replica
By sarniebill1 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarniebill/3481265834/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6886393

I sat on this replica of the stone when I was about nine or ten years old. Every week Primary School students paid threepence ). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threepence_(British_coin)
This money was used to take the class on an outing… then one of historical significance. The site of Flodden Field, the Battle of Bannockburn as well as other Scottish historical sites. One of these was to Scone (Scoon) Abbey and the replica of the Coronation stone of the kings of Scotland. It was long before the days of digital cameras, so I have no evidence, but I guess my surviving classmates also sat on this replica ‘stone of destiny.’

Concluding

So, although it may sound like a stale tea time pastry, the Stone of Scone is an ancient symbol of Scottish sovereignty. According to legend, the sandstone slab was used by the biblical figure Jacob as a pillow when he dreamed of a ladder reaching to heaven and then brought to Scotland by way of Egypt, Spain and Ireland.
Nov 14, 2016
Copied from www.history.com – but site temporarily blocked.

And it is pronounced Scoon.

Language is a strange thing.

Susan

Where is God? Has He gone?

Where is God in what is happening in the world

Where is God many wonder, others don’t believe in the God of the Bible.

Just to be clear, I do. In my opinion God is where He always has been. In heaven.

Where is God in all that is going on now?

Same answer, where he always has been.

It goes back to the beginning. When God created humankind, He gave free choice to humans. And men and women have been exercising that choice since Eve took the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That decision affected human nature, she chose to be her own ‘god’ and Adam decided to choose the way of human nature also. They chose to determine their own lives, and we inherited that propensity.

Where is God in the Garden of Eden
Public domain via Wikipedia

However, we all retain our God-given gift of choice. We are not robots.

The Old Testament, (now commonly called the Hebrew Bible) documents the choices and consequences of major ‘players’ in the history of Israel and Judah.

Where was God in the lives of the patriarchs?

Abraham, formerly Abram, was a practising pagan, who although called by God didn’t always respond as quickly, or as truthfully as we would expect. However, God gave him time to change. And change he did, so that he is now venerated by Jewish people, Christians, and Moslems.

Moses – well, he decided to give God a helping hand. In other words to tell God how (and when) to free the Hebrew slaves. It didn’t work, and God did it His way, and freed them around forty years later, after Moses had learned to look after sheep on ‘the back side of the mountain.’

David – ‘a man after God’s own heart’ was humble before God, but made a great many mistakes. When he realized what he had done… or was confronted with the error, he repented.

They chose to do as God called them to do.

Jumping forward many centuries…

In the New Testament…

The disciples Jesus called had to make choices. They had been brought up in Judaism, something Jesus taught against because the traditions were replacing God’s law.

The gospels are full of the stories of the often difficult choices they and the early believers made. It cost them dearly… homes, families, and positions. Have you heard of the ‘rich young ruler?’ The cost was too great for him,  and he chose his possessions.

And Jesus Himself had to make choices to walk through all the challenges and tests without sinning. And then submit to being whipped and crucified for our sakes.
(The description of what he looked like after the whipping is in Psalm 22:17, and also in Isaiah 52: 4)

Where is God now?

Does He know what is going on? Is He indifferent to the Covid-19 virus and pandemic? And what about the fires, the hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, has He noticed.

I believe He is closely watching.

Why watching?

Could it be that He is progressively removing the protection around His people and the nations? Is he looking for something? Perhaps… probably.

Where is the repentance for all the wrong choices we have made? Are we inheriting, and amplifying the errors our choices have led us to make.

I am not young, and can see the world is a vastly different place to the one I grew up in. Nevertheless, I still have the choice in how to respond to all that is going on around me.

I can be part of the problem, and rage, and choose to disobey rules. Rules, by the way, that God gave to nations to rule their citizens and make life fair for them. Well, many of those rulers have not done a good job, but rarely was their a good king or ruler over our predecessors.

As King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes – ‘there is nothing new under the sun…’ 

However, what rules we have is better than the chaos that currently seems to be dominating so many of our countries. Or… I can choose to be different, and although that makes me an oddity, I choose to be different.

We all have the choice in how we react… it is a God-given privilege, one we need to think about and appreciate.

Musing again,

Susan

It Started Way Back in Eden.

In Eden, the serpent and temptation

It started way back in Eden.

What did?

Choice. 

Whether or not you believe in God, you have to admit humans have choice. Something no other ‘species’ have… and something we do almost without noticing. Choosing that is. Even when we decide we are not going to make a choice… that is a choice. It’s complicated.

By the way, I believe we were created.

So, what started in Eden?”

We were created with the ability to choose, and many of us have been making wrong choices throughout the centuries ever since. But, like Adam and Eve, we don’t like taking responsibility for those choices, so we put the blame on someone else. And this post is after watching a video clip where an atheist said that if there was a God, He was to blame for all the wrong in the world. Really?

There are some terrible things in this world, but most of those are caused by the choices of mankind.

Let’s look at what happened in Eden.

It was after Creation week when Adam was placed in the Garden to ‘tend and keep’ it and given instructions about the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil.’ He was not to eat of it.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2: 7 KJV

After this, Adam named all the animals. Then in verses 20 to 22 we have the creation of Eve…

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.  And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. KJV

Still in Eden

Chapter three of the book of Genesis starts with… “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Gen 3:1  KJV

It looks as if there is no passage of time between the end of chapter two and the start of chapter three. So, we could be left with the thought that God was unfair leaving these two newly created beings at the mercy of the most ‘subtil’ of all the creatures.

I don’t think so.

Did God walk with them in the evenings?

“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden” Genesis 3:8.

For a discussion on this verse, and God walking with the Israelites check out https://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Mar/29/gen-38-sufficient-establish-god-was-habit-visiting/

When asked if they had eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam blamed Eve, but it was an indirect blaming of God. “The woman you gave me.” Eve blamed the serpent.

The blame game is still going on. Read a newspaper, or scroll through the news on any of the Internet sites https://www.bbc.com/news/world

It started in Eden, and still continues

Look at the world around us. So many fingers pointing at someone else.

Sometimes we are blamed for something we have no control over. Back in the post about  my fragrance sensitivity I gave a couple of examples of this.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/fragrance-sensitivity-is-a-real-condition/

Just a thought, God didn’t assign blame in the Garden of Eden, He let them bear the consequences of their actions.

Something to think about.

Susan

Who is the God of the Old Testament?

God of the Old Testament, creation

So… who is the God of the Old Testament? Traditionally, we have been taught it is ‘the Father,’ or the One who became known as the Father at the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. But does the Bible give different clues?

Did the God of the Old Testament create mankind?

If so, Who was He? Interesting question. One I used to think was a no-brainer. Then I started writing the Apostle John Series. https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/apostle-john-series-2/

Have you ever read, properly read and taken in what the beginning of the Gospel of John says?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
John 1: 1-3 KJV

Verse 3 says, All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

That verse had me pondering, and researching. Why? Because if we accept that Jesus is the Word, this verse says that He was the one Who created everything, not the one we call the Father.

So, what about the God of the Old Testament?

What does the beginning of the Bible say?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1: 1

Genesis 1:1 refers to God as a plural Being

By Chuck Missler (From his Book “The Creator Beyond Time and Space”)

“In Beginning Elohim”

Within the pages of Scripture we find it clearly stated that there is indeed, only one God.1 This is a fundamental belief of Judaism and Christianity. However, there are indications in the very first verse of Genesis that God is a plural Being.

In the beginning God, created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1

The word used for God in Genesis 1:1 is “Elohim,” which is a form of the word “El.” In the context of Genesis 1:1, there can certainly be no doubt as to who is doing the creating. In the Hebrew language the “im” ending imputes plurality. Therefore, “Elohim” is the plural from of the word “El.”
http://xwalk.ca/elohim.html

Was Jesus the God of the Old Testament?

This has to be an interesting study, and one which brings forth many questions…

  • Who was the One who met Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day?
  • Who appeared to Abram, later called Abraham? And Who changed his name, and the name of his wife from Sarai, to Sarah?
  • Who brought the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt?
God of the Old Testament, the Exodus
By David Roberts - Usenet, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10293374
  • Who instructed Joshua how to defeat the city of Jericho?
  • Who led so many of the Old Testament battles?

This research could continue a long time, but the question goes back to the beginning… Who was the God who created the world and everything in it?

With the help of a Hebrew/English Interlinear translation, this is an interesting study.

My research journey

Hold the Faith by Susan M B Preston, cover image

Hold the Faith on Smashwords  
(free until 31 July, 2020)

The research for this first book in the series took almost a year. However, the results of that research made it easier to write the next four books in the series; there was a foundation on which to base them.

I hope this encourages you to search out your answers.

God bless,

Susan

The Apostle Paul and Law

Apostle Paul and Law

Letters from the Apostle Paul make up a large part of the New Testament. The following epistles/letters are generally attributed to him, although some doubt his authorship of the book of Hebrews.

Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews.

https://www.gotquestions.org/how-many-books-did-Paul-write.html

On the subject of ‘law’ and ‘the Law,’ Paul’s writings sometimes seem contradictory. The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee before his conversion, so he should understand what he was writing and teaching. They had a whole ‘slew’ of laws that they kept.

(I included some of the laws of Judaism in the free series members of my VIP Readers’ Group received.  E.G.

Sample of the Code of Jewish Law

Apostle Paul and Law

The Code of Jewish Law is made up of four volumes and 221 Chapters which attempt to govern every aspect of the life of a Jew.

Chapter 3 deals with Dressing and Deportment.

“It is written (Micah 6: 8) “And to walk humbly with thy God.” Therefore it is the duty of every man to be modest in all his ways. When putting on or removing his shirt or other undergarment, he should be careful not to expose is body unduly. He should put it on or remove it while still lying covered in bed. He should never say to himself: “Lo, I am all alone in my inner chamber and in the dark, who can see me?” For the glory of the Holy One, blessed be He, fills the universe, and darkness and light are alike to Him, blessed be His name; and modesty and a sense of shame indicate humility before Him, blessed be His name.”

Chapter 4 deals with not thinking ‘holy thoughts’ in the lavatory.

Chapter 5 deals with the Cleanliness of Places Used for Holy Purposes.

There are many entries about not praying where there is excrement or urine… or bad odors

Was the Apostle Paul schizophrenic?

It can seem that way. Most of the teaching I received in church, or at Bible College held to the view that Paul said Christians did not have to keep the law.

Why then does he say…?

I do confess to you, however, that I worship the God of our fathers according to the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets,
Acts 24: 14.  Berean Study Bible

It was important to me to know because my readers deserve an accurate background to the Apostle John Series of books. Then I read something written by a minister which said the definite article was not in the Greek translations of the Bible.

So, wanting accuracy in my books, I checked.

The Apostle Paul knew what he was talking about

With the understanding of Paul’s background, could it be that he sometimes refers to the Pharisaic law (which became Judaism), and the Law of God other times? He had been brought up in the strictest sect, Phariaism, as he said himself. In order to ‘protect’ the people from breaking the law and going back into   captivity these laws were added. In fact, the opposite happened, the Law of God was stifled by these laws.  

This is what Jesus meant in Mark 7: 8 when He said,
Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

So who was wrong, the Apostle Paul or the translators?

Choosing to be kind, perhaps the translators did not understand the two ‘law’ references that the Apostle Paul understood.

Romans 2: 15 is the only scripture about ‘the’ work and ‘the’ law that is accurately translated from the Greek. The definite articles are present.

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/romans/2.htm

It is an interesting study into the writings of Paul to go through them in a reputable Greek/English Interlinear.

The Pharisaic works in Jesus’ and Paul’s day were indeed the heavy burden that Jesus referred to…

Apostle Paul and Law

They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
Matt 23:4

But Jesus, who advocated keeping the commandments had a different view.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John `4; 15

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:25-30

One question leads to another LOL

God bless

Susan