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/

 

Did Jesus Keep a Seder Meal?

Seder plate

Was it a Seder meal Jesus kept on the night He was betrayed? Simple answer. No. 

This is what He said to His disciples as they gathered for the Passover meal.

“Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;”
Luke 22: 14

So, there’s the first reason. Jesus said it was a Passover meal, and Jesus never lied.

Second reason…

There was no need for a Seder meal

The Seder meal replaced the Passover when it was no longer possible to sacrifice the Passover lambs. (Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem 70AD)

When Jesus was about to be crucified the Passover was still being kept.

Some were keeping the 14th Passover and keeping it as commanded, others would keep it during the day part of the Passover, on the 15th and be part of the Temple Passover. (Remember the Hebrew day began at sunset on the day before.)

So, again, why do I say there was no need for a Seder meal?

While it was still possible for the Passover to be sacrificed, the Seder substitute was not necessary.

To be honest, it is hard to find a reference that does not amalgamate the two. But the Seder meal began after there was no Passover Lamb sacrifice. That’s why only a  lamb shank is on the Seder plate.

Jesus kept a Passover meal

That’s why He said it.

But it was in two parts. (Judas left to betray Christ after the Passover meal, and before the New Testament Passover.)

The Passover ended the First (Old Covenant). Remember my post about the significance of the Covenants? https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/old-covenant-new-covenant/

A covenant could only be broken by the death of the person making the covenant. God had a covenant with Israel. The only way to have a New Covenant was for Jesus, God in the flesh, to die. And that’s the second part of the covenant.

The Passover meal and Jesus Covenant death, ended the Old Covenant and enabled the New Covenant to be in effect.

The bread and wine began the New Covenant. This New Covenant Passover is kept by many Christians today.

Some thoughts to  ponder  upon,

Susan

 

More info about the Seder plate:

Seder plate image
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover_Seder (

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.Seder plate arrangement

Seder plate arrangement
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passover_Seder_plate

Why 30 pieces of silver?

30 pieces of silver blog

Jesus Christ was betrayed by Judas Iscariot for 30 pieces of silver. Why? This seems to be one of the most mysterious, and argued over points by theorists. Some say for money because he stole from the cash box that he had charge over. Others say because he was disappointed in that Jesus did not raise an army to drive the Romans out. In other words, Jesus did not meet his idea of the Saviour.

What about us?

Is Jesus our Saviour, or worth only 30 pieces of silver.

If we believe in Him, what value do we put on Him?

FYI

30 “pieces of silver” would be worth between $324 .60 present-day value (USD).
https://www.quora.com/How-much-were-the-30-pieces-of-silver-Judas-received-to-betray-Jesus-worth-in-todays-money. Again, this depends on which silver coin was in use.

https://www.quora.com/How-much-were-the-30-pieces-of-silver-Judas-received-to-betray-Jesus-worth-in-todays-money

Judas’ bargain was made before the night of His betrayal

30 pieces of silver bargain
Bargaining for the price of betrayal

Some preachers say that this is why Jesus was enigmatic about the location of His last Passover.

All things had to be completed according to prophecy and if Judas had known the location the arrest could have taken place before the meal.

Why?

Part of four theories is this…

“During Jesus’ day, the people of Israel were under the rule of Rome. They desperately wanted to overthrow their oppressors and re-establish their nation. They needed an anointed king to lead them in this quest. Could it be Jesus? Clearly he was chosen by God. He performed miracles. He spoke with authority about a new kingdom. He attracted huge crowds.”

All four theories can be found here…
https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/why-did-judas-betray-jesus.html

Why 30 pieces of silver?

At the time it was the price of a dead slave.

In Hebrew culture, thirty pieces of silver was not a lot of money. In fact, it was the exact price paid to the master of a slave if and when his slave was gored by an ox (Exodus 21:32). The slave’s death was compensated by the thirty pieces of silver.
https://www.gotquestions.org/thirty-pieces-of-silver.html

Sobering thoughts about the value of the Saviour of mankind.

Susan

PS

Passover facts- https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/what-is-passover/

Wise Men

Wise men

Wise men, kings, Magi? Who were they, where did they come from, and when did they visit Jesus?

Lots of questions, and some theories from research.

So, were they kings or wise men?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_Magi “The Magi are popularly referred to as wise men and kings.”

Who were they and where did they come from can be taken as one question… in my mind anyway. Although there are many theories of where they came from, I favour this one.

“The Bible states that they were from “the East,” which would be in the direction of Babylon and ancient Persia. Of all the peoples of “the East,” the Babylonians had many opportunities to learn of the Jewish Scriptures, which contain multiple promises of the coming Messiah. Daniel was an influential government official in Babylon about 600 years earlier, and he foretold the coming of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24–26). Also, tens of thousands of Jews lived in Babylon during the time of the Exile (605–536 BC), and they maintained a large presence there for the following centuries.” https://answersingenesis.org/holidays/christmas/we-three-kings/

The Magi were ‘wise men.’

It says in the quote above that tens of thousands of Jews lived in Babylon…. And they maintained a large presence there for the following centuries.

Centuries?

So many centuries that it is mentioned that the Apostle Peter went to Babylon.

 “The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.” 
1 Peter 5:13, KJV

This raises a number of issues and many theories, most of which I have studied, but this is not the purpose of this post. Let’s just take it at its word.

This next quote explains ‘magi.’ 

The word magi is the plural of Latin magus, borrowed from Greek μάγος (magos), as used in the original Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew (in the plural: μάγοι, magoi). Greek magos itself is derived from Old Persian maguŝ from the Avestan magâunô, i.e., the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born (see Yasna 33.7: “ýâ sruyê parê magâunô” = “so I can be heard beyond Magi”). The term refers to the Persian priestly caste of Zoroastrianism. As part of their religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars and gained an international reputation for astrology, which was at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general and led to the English term magic. The King James Version translates the term as wise men; the same translation is applied to the wise men led by Daniel of earlier Hebrew Scriptures (Daniel 2:48).

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

When did the wise men (Magi) visit Jesus?

The traditional view presented in films, such as The Nativity Story, is that the wise men saw Jesus on the night of His birth, but this is highly unlikely. Matthew 2:1 reveals that the magi came to Jerusalem and subsequently visited with Herod after Jesus had been born.
https://answersingenesis.org/holidays/christmas/we-three-kings/

It is highly implausible that the wise men would arrive in Jerusalem at night and immediately obtain an audience with Herod. The king then gathered “all the chief priests and scribes of the people” (Matthew 2:4) so he could determine where the Messiah was to be born. The experts told Herod that the Messiah needed to be born in Bethlehem, which was predicted in Micah 5:2. So, the wise men departed and made their approximately six-mile journey to Bethlehem.

Continuing from another source…

https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/how-old-was-jesus-when-the-wise-men-found-him/

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11 (NASB)

Verse 11 states that Jesus was living in a house. This reveals that Jesus’ parents had moved to a house. Contrary to popular nativity scenes and paintings, Christ was now living in a house when the magi visited Him. His parents had moved from the location of the manger to this house. There were no shepherds or angels when the magi stopped to worship Him and give Him gifts.

See previous post…
Traditional Nativity Scenes Are Often Wrong

The Slaughter of the Innocents

King Herod ordered the execution of all male children under two years old.

slaughter of innocents
Duccio di Buoninsegna, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Note:

Much of this post is comprised of quotes from other sources. They are to demonstrate that these are not wild theories of mine. Just food for thought for you to explore and make up your own mind.

God bless,

Susan

Jew or Hebrew

Jew or Hebrew, lands allocated to the sons of Israel

 It’s either Jew or Hebrew. In a book I was re-reading recently the author used the terms interchangeably and it started to irritate me.

The book was about Joseph (of the coat-of-many-colours) and his position as prime minister under Pharaoh; the author called him a Jew.

Jew or Hebrew?

The father of Joseph was Jacob, whom God renamed Israel. 

Jacob, or Israel as God renamed him,  had twelve sons. Joseph was the eleventh son. Ultimately those twelve sons became the start of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Remember the name change?)

Judah, the fourth son, is the one from whom Jews were named. Joseph, the eleventh son was not a Jew, although he was Hebrew. From Joseph came the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh who were his sons.

All the other sons of Jacob/Israel had tribes named after them. You will find Jacob’s blessing of his sons, by name in Genesis 49.

So, Joseph was NOT a Jew.

Was Moses Jew or Hebrew?

This was another mistake the author made… calling Moses a Jew. Moses, like his brother Aaron and sister Miriam, was a Levite, from the tribe of Levi. (The third son of Jacob.)

It is easy to ‘lump’ them all together, and adding to the confusion is that the modern country of Israel would be comprised mainly of descendants of Judah. There are Levites, and some Benjaminites mixed in with the members of the tribe of Judah living in the land now called Israel.

If you are confused, don’t be concerned. In two years at a Bible Training Centre, I very much enjoyed the sessions on Biblical history, but found it hard to keep a track of the twelve tribes after Solomon’s death when the nations split into the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom.

The ten ‘lost tribes’ of Israel never came back from captivity, the two and a half tribes making up Judah did return to their lands.

Does it matter?

To me it does… and to anyone who enjoys reading Biblical fiction/Christian historical fiction. And because I write in this genre I have so much research that a mistake screams at me.

It is also important when you need to follow the lineage as do the Levitical priesthood today, and the priestly families within the priesthood.

Suffice it to say that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, those early ‘church fathers,’ were not Jews. They lived before the descendents of Jacob and the latter’s renaming as Israel

Jesus Christ however, as prophesied, came from the line of Judah.

The following links might help clarify – a Jew is a Hebrew, but not all Hebrews are Jews.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/hebrew?s=t

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

And if you write Biblical/Christian Historical fiction this blog might help… https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/hints-to-writing-better-biblical-fiction/

Well, that’s it for another week, and my apologies for being absent for two weeks. Unfortunately I have been suffering from what the doctors call ‘an exacerbation’ of my medical conditions. It hasn’t been pleasant, but I am on the road to recovery now, even if it is at a slow pace.

God bless

Susan

Hints to writing better Biblical Fiction

Biblical fiction research starts in the Bible

Biblical fiction is the genre I write in (mostly… I do have a book about living on oxygen 24/7 but that’s non-fiction.)

As well as writing Biblical Fiction, I like reading it, and I do have some favorite authors who write great stories. There are some others, and I mentioned in a blog a long time ago that some seem to take their research from the block-buster movies. Movies makers aim to have a successful movie, not stay accurately to facts, therefore is not a reliable research activity.

Here is a link to a blog I had permission from Angela Hunt to re-blog. She makes a good explanation for why we should be trustworthy in our storytelling.

https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/biblical-novelists/

Biblical fiction readers deserve the best

The best what?

Stories? Perhaps… but stories based on the best facts we can find.

A story, or a character in the Bible inspires you to write about them. Well, that’s the beginning of a treasure hunt.

Why?

Because not all the information is in one or two verses.

Take the book of Genesis for example. When I attended a Bible Training Centre one of the lecturers explained how there were thousands of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

Other teachers and pastors have reinforced that since. And there is the first clue… use more than one source. It’s a weak building with only one or two bricks.

Here’s how I have seen it explained.

Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens…”

The heavens first, then the angels. Now how do the teachers come to that? Their research, the Hebrew, and other parts of the Bible.

One of those other parts, believe it if you like, is the book of Job when God answers Job.

“Now gird up your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare it if you have understanding! Who has determined its measurements if you know? Or who has stretched the line upon it? On what are the foundations fastened to? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job 38: 3-7
(Morning stars and sons of God are a type of angels, as explained in other parts of the Bible.)

Biblical Fiction authors do a lot of research

I can attest to that… and it becomes addictive.

Check out the sources of your research. Some are ‘weighted’ to a particular belief system so can be a little skewed. Another reason to check several sources.

Found an interesting book that reinforces what you think? Well, pray and ask God to lead you by His Spirit, and on a practical level, check the author Bio. What does it say? What are the credentials? Now, a love of the truth is more important than how many university degrees, because some who write commentaries are not even Christian, they are scholars.

More hints…

Download the free one-page PDF of other hints.

So here are some of the hints for your Biblical Fiction Research

Hope these help you make the reader of Biblical Fiction a happy reader.

Blessings

Susan

PS My pet hate in a Biblical Fiction book is modern Americanisms such as ‘scooted across.” I didn’t even know what it meant until I asked an American friend to explain.

According to dictionary.com the word was first used in 1750–60 AD not BC – and it’s the late Middle Ages at that.

I Am The Way

The way is narrow

The way, not a way… this is what the Apostle John quoted Jesus as saying in John 14: 6.

As anyone who has read any of my fiction series will know, I spent a great deal of time in the gospel of John. It is the setting for the first of the books in the series, but not the only source of information about the 1st century AD. To be honest, the whole New Testament, and some of the Old Testament gave clues as to the life of the people.

So, before writing another book on life on oxygen, or introducing you to two young boys from the 600 BCs, I thought I would have a reprise of ‘the Way.’

The Apostolic Age

The 1st century AD is now classified as ‘the Apostolic age’ for rather obvious reasons. The apostles were at work fulfilling the commission Jesus gave them. However, littered through that 1st century are deaths and martyrdoms as well as the spreading of the gospel.

I have read many scholarly articles which attempt to explain the miracles, the healings, the life and the work of Jesus Christ. However, this is all from the point of ‘us’ looking back with the eyes of the century we live in, and the understanding and culture we inhabit.

Let’s have a look at the times through the writings of the Apostles.

The Way

The book of Acts mentions ‘the Way’ as an established fact. The Apostle Paul, in the days he was Saul, the terrorist of the followers of Christ, hated them with the zeal he would later have for spreading the gospel.

“Saul kept breathing out threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues of Damascus. The letters authorized Saul, if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, to bring them bound to Jerusalem.”
Acts 9: 1, 2 ESV

So the early believers were either calling themselves ‘the Way’ or were known by others as followers of the Way.

Why?

The Way they lived?

I remember when my children were young I would take them to church on a Sunday morning. After services we would come home and I would catch up with my household chores. (I was a working lone parent.)

washing a car, not a Sabbath choreNo doubt there would be washing to do, as well as cooking, planning for the week’s meals and fixing things, perhaps washing the car. These were chores that did not fit into the day of a working mother.

The early Christians however, were Sabbath keepers. All their chores, which did not include washing cars <smile> were completed by sunset on the Friday evening and the Sabbath was observed until sunset on Saturday.

“The Book of Acts reports that the early followers continued daily Temple attendance and traditional Jewish home prayer. Other passages in the New Testament gospels reflect a similar observance of traditional Jewish piety such as fasting, reverence for the Torah and observance of Jewish holy days.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_the_1st_century  under the section Beliefs and Practices.

 

The rest of the week

To live by the ‘two great commandments’ Jesus cited, meant they kept the ‘ten.’ What they believed governed their lives. And, because most would not break the 1st commandment, many were martyred.

In the words of a reader who reviewed the books of the Apostle John Series…

”Like me, you might be struck by the contrast between the early church and our current mode of religious worship. I can’t help but think we’ve lost much in the way of hope, faith, and love over the past two thousand years.”
https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/series-overview/grow-in-grace/

(You will not find any of this man’s reviews on the Amazon site… for some strange, unknown reason they fell afoul of Amazon’s algorithms and this was one of many that were deleted.)

Christianity is the way we live, just as ‘church’ is the people, not the building. In this increasingly busy world it is difficult to hold fast to the simple faith of the early Christians.

Although the way is narrow, often difficult to see much less keep plodding on, it is not impossible though,

God bless

Susan

After Three Days

After three days he will rise

Jesus said, “The Son of Man will be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”

But there are not three days – 24-hour periods – between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. This was something my fellow Bible College students and I asked every year when this study came up.

One lecturer said, “Jesus was speaking metaphorically.”

I dismissed this because that meant I would have to distrust everything that Jesus said.

Another time, a lecturer said, “They counted night and day as full days.”

Okay… Friday night in the tomb. Saturday day in the tomb, Saturday night in the tomb.

How does this square with the Bible?

God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” There was an evening, and there was a morning: one day.
Genesis 1:5  CSB – Holman Publishers

(More at this blog post )

There was an evening and a morning – one day, for seven days.
To count it the way the lecturer said would have made creation week fourteen days long.

~~~~~~~

Aside: One helpful instruction we were given as Bible College students was, “If you don’t understand something, put it on the ‘back burner’ – the answer might come up in a future lesson.

That one never did, not at Bible college, so remained on the back burner for a great many years.

Sometimes scripture can seem confusing

I had to do a great deal of study as well as research when writing the Apostle John Series of novels. (Much of that I share with my VIP Readers.)

A little bit of that research can relate to this subject.

  • Why did Jesus have Passover the night before the temple sacrifice?

The original instruction from God was that it was a ‘domestic’ sacrifice.

The killing and cooking of the lamb was as the fourteenth started. (Just after sunset when the Israelite day started – so it was on the evening of the 13th as we would count it.)

  • Why did the Passover change from home to temple and on a different day?

When in exile in Babylon the Jews could not keep the Passover on the correct day. They believed it could only be done at the start of the fourteenth day (evening of the 13th) if they were in their own land. Therefore, they kept it the next evening.

The first record of Passover being a temple sacrifice I found was that of King Hezekiah (Chronicles 30: 1-5) These changes were instigated by King Hezekiah in his zeal to abolish idolatry in the land, and restore the worship of God.

    • In the time of Jesus, some were keeping a domestic sacrifice, as Jesus and the disciples did, and others kept a temple sacrifice, as the Pharisees did.

So Jesus and the disciples kept the Biblical Passover, not a supper before His crucifixion to say ‘goodbye.’
And He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before My suffering.”
Luke 22: 15 Berean Study Bible

I have many thick books of information on all of this, but that is not for here. I share what is above in order to show the main points about Passover.

After three days

Many years ago, someone pointed out to me that in the week after the crucifixion there were two Sabbaths.

The gospel of John holds the clue.

It was the day of Preparation, and the next day was a High Sabbath. In order that the bodies would not remain on the cross during the Sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies removed.
John 19: 31 Berean Study Bible

High holy days

A ‘high’ Sabbath was one of the seven annual holy days. The one following the Passover, which started after sunset on the 14th, making it the start of the 15th was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (A holy day.)
High Sabbaths

According to a list of Passover days going back over the centuries, Passover that year was on a Wednesday.

This fits the three days and three nights, and Jesus would have risen just after sunset as the weekly Sabbath ended.

Jesus said of the religious authorities of His day…

You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.”

He went on to say, “You neatly set aside the commandment of God to maintain your own tradition.
Mark 7: 8, 9 Berean Study Bible

Are our observances of Easter ‘keeping traditions of men?’

Something to think about.

Susan

The First Passover

A lamb was chosen for the Passover

After the nine plagues, the first Passover protected the Hebrew slaves (Israelites) from the tenth plague and enabled them to leave Egypt.

At this time of year it is good to look back and see what it meant.

“Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.’” Enduring Word Commentary. (Highlighting mine.)

As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, the ‘day’ began after the sunset on what we would call the day before. (Calendar and Confusion) So, the fourteenth day began after sunset on the thirteenth. Twilight is that period between the end of one day and start of another when the sun has gone down but light continues. (Hebrew term ‘ben ha arbayim’ and this is different from ‘erev’ meaning evening.)

The Israelites were in their homes scattered throughout Goshen and they followed the instructions relayed to them by Moses.

Goshen where the first Passover was kept

Goshen was a pastoral region in Lower Egypt, occupied by the Israelites before the Exodus.

Passover Instructions

‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire; its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover.’ Enduring Word (Highlighting mine.)

I have seen this word ‘haste’ in Exodus 12: 11 translated as ‘trepidation.’ This made more sense to me, so I looked up a Hebrew concordance. Trepidation is indeed one of the possible words from this Hebrew word.

Transliterated Word

TDNT Entry

Chippazown

TWOT – 708a

Phonetic Spelling

Parts of Speech

khip-paw-zone’ 

Noun Masculine

  1. hurriedly, in haste, trepidation, hurried flight

I favour ‘trepidation’ because God’s command was not to leave their homes until daybreak.

“And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning.”
Exodus 12:22 NKJV
(bolding mine.)

If they had gone out, they would have left the protection of the blood on the doors of their homes. As they were eating, or clearing up according to the instructions to burn all that had not been eaten, they would have heard the cries of the Egyptians.
It must have been a frightening time, not knowing what was happening outside their homes.

Dictionary.com defines trepidation as … ‘tremulous fear, alarm, or agitation; perturbation.”

‘Morning’ in Hebrew is ‘boqer’, which is translated     day/early/morning/morrow. The Hebrew day did not start at midnight as came in with the calendar changes. Covered in Calendar and Confusion

Why have I written about the first Passover?

Because we are on the lead-up to the annual commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the true Passover Lamb.

It is good to look back to the root, or beginning, in order to understand the present more fully.

Passover, blood on doorposts and lintel

Sharing my musings,

Susan

The Historical Jesus

The land of the historical Jesus

One of the newsletters I subscribe to is trying to sell me a tour of Israel to search for the historical Jesus. But as the newsletter itself says, the gospels are full of accounts of His life and deeds. That is not historical?

In what way would attempting to retrace His steps, visit the places He travelled, taught, and worked miracles, help me find the historical Jesus?

Just thinking.

About the historical Jesus

He was crucified in 30 or 31 AD, depending on what ‘school’ of reasoning you follow. The temple where He taught… and confronted the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees, was destroyed by the Roman emperor commonly known as Titus. That was in 70 AD

How much is left of that first century world in which Jesus lived? Not much I would think.

  • The church (followers of Christ) fled before the fall of Jerusalem.
  • The Apostle James, brother of John, was martyred in 44 AD.
  • The other Apostles fulfilled their commission and took the gospel of the Kingdom of God ‘into all the world’.
  • Legend has it that all, except the apostle John, were martyred.

(I have several gigabytes of research about the 1st century AD in folders on my computer.)

So what remains of the country that Jesus grew up in, walked around and taught about the Kingdom of God?

In the two centuries since He walked the land, how many wars have there been?
(Rhetorical ).

All that remains of the temple has gone. All, that is, except the Western – or Wailing – wall. Some believe that it is a remnant of ‘Herod’s Temple’, while others say it was part of the Roman fortress and point out that Jesus said ‘not one stone’. If the ‘wailing wall’ is part of the temple something doesn’t fit.

Destruction of the temple

He prophesied it would be destroyed, recorded in Mark 13…

After his teachings in the previous chapter, all set in the Temple courts, Jesus finishes his teaching in the Temple for the day and leaves. On his way out of the Temple an unnamed disciple remarks how great the Temple (Herod’s Temple) is. The buildings might have reached up to 150 feet (45.72 m) in height and they were adorned with gold, silver and other precious items.

“‘Do you see all these great buildings?’ replied Jesus. ’Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_13

Well, I am sure the tour will be interesting. But all I need to know about Jesus is in the Word of God. I will rely on that.

In the Apostle John Series when Jesus is quoted, it is taken from the Bible.

What would the ‘historical Jesus’ think?

If Jesus was to walk through Jerusalem today would He not be horrified by what people revere? I think so, you might not.

I wonder what He would think of the instrument of His death being revered.

graven image
Cross

In answer to my opening statement… I remain puzzled about how people can ‘find’ the historical Jesus, two centuries and many changes later.

But I do have a question… is it not more important to know the risen Jesus, the Saviour, than ‘fossick’ around in the past.

Just some thoughts,

Susan