Keys to understanding the Bible are revealed in God’s Holy Days

key, light shining through the keyhole
key, light shining through the keyhole

Some of the Bible writings seem confusing, even contradictory… yet the causes of these can be attributed to two main reasons.

  • One, not-quite-accurate translations from the original language.
  • Two, not being aware of the ‘road-map’ God gave at the beginning.

Or does it seem like a game of snakes and ladders to you?

It might seem that way… until you have the key.

Hold the Faith by Susan M B Preston, cover image

Over the many years of study and research for Hold the Faith, and the subsequent books in the Apostle John series, some things became apparent.

I confess I did not fully understand at first, but after reading countless articles – listening to innumerable Bible studies, sermons and watching videos, I started to put it together.)

When I started writing Hold the Faith, which I thought would be one book, not the five it turned out to be, all I did was report what was written in the Gospel of John as a background to the fictional story.

What had started out as a response to an incredibly detailed Bible study and my own curiosity became an addictive research.

If you have read any of my books sub-titled the ‘Apostle John Series’ you might have had the same reaction as I had initially. Interesting, but didn’t apply now.

Then, as time went on, and my studies and research went deeper, I saw that those things I had recorded the fictional characters doing, had a much more profound meaning.

They were part of a ‘mystery’?

No. They were written in plain sight in the Bible. There were warnings to the Israelites about abandoning them, and Jesus and the early church observed these ‘key’ practices to keep their relationship with God, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

By the end of the 1st century, to quote the words more than one apostle used…‘savage wolves will come among you’ – well that happened, and the Apostle John had to deal with much of the false teaching.

By the third century much of the significance of these ‘keys’ had been lost along with their meaning.

What about the Magi?

Apostle John Series covers of 5 books

Re-posted – due to overwriting the original.

Biblical scholars sometimes amaze me. Not always in a pleasant way. Sometimes, it seems they take their information from paintings and writings of the Middle Ages, not the Bible. The story of the Magi is a good example.

Painting of adoration of Magi
Adorazione dei Magi by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, c. 1655 (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio —Google Art Project.jpg – Wikimedia commons

A recent newsletter I received said much about the three Magi, and yet said nothing.

The writer of the newsletter admitted they were a mystery.

During the course of writing the Apostle John Series of fiction books, I did a vast amount of research. Although the books are fiction, I wanted the time setting and background information to be as accurate as it is possible to be about happenings in the 1st Century AD.

However, distractions into this period are all too easy for me to follow. When researching something, if something interesting turns up, I chase up that information – for my own interest.

Were there only three Magi?

It seems because there were three gifts given to Christ, that is a usual assumption. However, other reports suggest that there were more than three people. Bringing three significant gifts.

On checking a Greek/English Interlinear translation of Matthew 2:1 It does not mention how many ‘wise men’ there were.

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

The next common belief is that they came to Mary and Joseph soon after the birth of Christ.

How old was Jesus when the Magi came?

Turning again to the Greek/English Interlinear…

According to Matthew 2: 2 Jesus had already been born when the Magi went to Herod.

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

According to the next few verses – Herod… and all Jerusalem was troubled. So there was time to spread the news.

Then, Herod called for information…

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

Did they have to consult the writings? If so, more time passed.When the information was given, Herod went back to the ‘wise men’ and asked when the star had appeared.

When the information was given, Herod went back to the ‘wise men’ and asked when the star had appeared.

Only then, did Herod send the ‘wise men’ or Magi – to search.

Jesus Christ had been born before the Magi went to Herod. A period of time is suggested while they traveled, sought information, and given an answer and instructions.

The Greek word used to describe Christ when the Magi came before Him is ‘paidou’ which translates as ‘young child’.

Moreover, when Herod ordered what is called ‘the slaughter – or massacre – of the innocents’ he ordered that babies up to two years old be killed.

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Matt 2: 16

Painting of the Slaughter of the Innocents

I prefer to receive my information from the Bible rather than from someone’s interpretation (imagination) of what might have happened.

Just saying.


Apostle John Series covers of 5 books