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Answers - A Series of Replies - Part One

Reader comment on item: Accepting Israel as the Jewish State[: Public Opinion in Four Arab Countries]
in response to reader comment: Answer to Mr. M .Tovey

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Jun 14, 2010 at 19:42

While I am more and more concerned that there is a debate, that in its intent is argument for argument's sake, there may be a legitimate possibility that something of value is at stake. Under that premise, I am content for the moment to engage in this dialogue, until it becomes evident that it will engender a diatribe of attempts to discredit the Christian more than the normal methodology, and then enough will have been exchanged that nothing more need be said.

In the first place, I have little experience, nor do I seek such, in modernist attempts to explain the WORD of the LORD by using extra-Biblical sources in which creditability is strained for the lack of appropriately discerned applications in determining the validity of the WORD of the LORD. Of such is the supposed gospel of Thomas, and in the case of Helmut Koester, the supposed secret gospel of Mark. There is a reason the Holy Spirit made sure that each of the Gospels record exactly that which the WORD of the LORD desire to convey, and there is no actual spiritual need to seek sources of corroborating witness outside of the Biblical Canon. That having been said, what little I have read of MR. Koester's works does not alter the integrity of the Holy Bible as the Holy Spirit instructs me, nor does Mr. Koester's works inspire a greater study in the vein that it should.

I intentionally referred to Paul in the works of the Gospel of Luke and in the Acts, for as you have perceived, the connection to Paul is as intense as any of the Gospels, if not the most. In the Gospel, Jesus Christ in His resurrected body was both physical and spiritual. So too, was the meeting on the Damascus road, where our resurrected LORD meet Saul to inquire why does Saul hate Jesus Christ so (my paraphrase)? Saul, in the process of becoming blinded from the intensity of the meeting, realizes the reality of just Who Jesus Christ is, and calls Him LORD. This is the witness that Luke records, and Paul verifies it later in his epistles. In subsequent attempts to minimize the veracity, they all fail for the lack of anybody with power at that time of silencing the witness altogether. In others words, we would not have this to debate if it had not happened.

In his epistles, Paul recounts his altercations with the Jewish authorities, only resorting to his Roman citizenship when the realization that the Jewish were seeking his death just as he did for them before meeting Jesus Christ. Thus began his journey of witness in all the places where the Jews in Jerusalem had difficulty persecuting him. But they found ways to harass him, when he finally determined to be judged by the Caesar of the time.

Coming back to the Nicene council, the establishment of the Old Testament and New were already determined by Almighty God before the foundation of the earth, before there was man, established in eternity before the time that humanity was constrained in this temporal realm. The Gospels are in the text and context that the Holy Spirit determined, and men who were tasked to make the WORD of the LORD available to all who would believe followed that guidance. It is written that there is no personal interpretation of the scriptures, and that nothing is to be added or subtracted outside of the influence of the Holy Spirit. In that vein, the canon is as it appears today, and that as it is used by the faithful in obedience to its instructions, is all that is necessary to hear what Almighty God has to say to sinful men and woman who are seeking forgiveness of their sins. It is sufficient to the purpose of Almighty God through Jesus Christ; therefore it is good enough for me to know that Jesus Christ loved me enough to die for my sins, and He is the Savior that loved me and will take me to eternity with Him.

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