A short overview
The four Gospels are supplementary to each other, not contradictory. They provide a message for every one, with [collective] deeper insight into the Word that became flesh, the revelation of God: Jesus Christ. They show Jesus Christ [the anointed One, the Messiah, Light and Truth], to a problematic world. Only He could reconcile us [back] to a Perfect Father, the Source of righteousness. Only Jesus Christ (Who created us – Jn 1:1-3; Col 1:13-17) perfectly represented man[kind] whilst simultaneously perfectly presenting [the true nature and character of] God as a heavenly Father.
He brought Love, Light, Life and Life everlasting [salvation] whilst:
– The [Roman] political or military power proved insufficient to bring real peace;
– The [Greek] culture, sophistication and philosophy lacked real answers and wisdom. Note here (a) the shallow self-righteousness of men (1 Cor 1:18-31), and (b) that the peace Jesus brought was not between men (Mt 10:34) but between God and mankind (Rom 5:1-2,10; 2 Cor 5:19-20; 1 Thess 5:9). This only Jesus Christ could do. There could only be one Prince of Peace (Is 9:6; Ezekek 21:27; Jn 1:10-17; 14:6; 16:4,33; Gal 3:19; or even Jer 8:11; Ezekek 13:10-14). This should become clearer as we read through this meditation, and the other meditations on this website;
– The [rabbinical] law did not satisfy the [Jewish] heart. It remained external, only religion – tradition, ceremony and rituals; and not the internal relationship our God wants as a Father. He wants us to seek Him [first], not only His kingdom [perks]. Ask [submit to, trust] His opinion, above things. He wants a habitual, continuous, lasting relationship that results in us being able to exercise our spiritual authority on earth consistently that shows consequent results and that we may live [well]. (Refer to the meditation “The Testimony”). He never changes, that is why we can trust Him. He is Holy, so we must be holy [genuine, consecrated, set apart for Him not to Moses]. But we were made holy by the Blood of Jesus Christ (Heb 10:12-14). This we can never earn. It is blasphemous to try.
We therefore read in Heb 9:26 that Jesus was crucified in the end of the world! i.e. The end of what the world [people in self-righteousness] could come up with in futile attempts to obtain righteousness before God – hence statements such as Phil 3:9 and Jn 14:6.
The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the foundation of the New Testament and form a bridge between the law of the Old Testament (Covenant) and the grace, mercy and righteousness of the New Testament. The Old Testament cannot be properly understood without the revelation of Jesus that the New Testament gives (Rev 1:1), for all of the law and the prophets pointed to Jesus (1 Pet. 1:10-12). The symbolism of the tabernacle and sacrifices, along with the ordinances of the law, were all shadows or pictures of Christ (Col. 2:16-17), the law is a curse while Christ is everlasting Life (Jn 1:17; 5:37-47; Gal 3:10-14; Rom 4;5;8;10; 2 Cor 3; and so on).
By the way, the N.T. starts not with Mt 1:1, but with Jesus crucified, when the old system was finished (Jn 19:30). Then the old was done and the new had come (Heb 8:13; 9:16,17; Ps 118:24; etc). There by His cross the price was paid and the exchange made to start the new dispensation of Holy Spirit indwelling those who believe [follow!] Jesus – permanently (Acts 2:1-4,16-17; 1 Cor 1:23; 2:2).
Likewise, the New Testament cannot be fully appreciated without an adequate understanding of the Old Testament. A person without the knowledge of God’s judgement on the sin of adultery, as revealed in Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 18:20 and 20:10, would not realize the extent of God’s love and forgiveness as revealed in John 8:3-11. Hence, a hint at appreciating more 1 Cor 6:17-20. Law shows no mercy.
Therefore, it is fitting that the combination of the Old covenant and the New Testament comprise God’s Word to us, but as Christians, it is imperative that we realize the difference between the two and live exclusively under the New Testament [promise of an inheritance] as revealed in the 27 books of the New Testament (Gal. 3:11-14; 5:1; Heb. 7:18-19; 8:7-13). Of course we still totally accept [believe and consider and learn from] the OT in our Bibles, but we have to grasp what it means to be AD and not BC as this was God’s salvation plan. Consider also another meditation by this author, “Mixing Old and New”?
The gospels reveal Christ unto us. Certainly not everything that Jesus did is revealed (Jn. 20:30-31; 21:25), but the accounts that the gospel writers give reveal the very nature and person of Jesus. Even with all of the great doctrinal truths revealed in the epistles, our total picture of God would not be complete without the accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry [recorded words & deeds].
Jesus is the express image of God’s Person (Heb. 1:3; Col 1:15). Jesus said of Himself, “he that has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). So, in recording the events of Jesus’ life, the gospel writers teach by precept what the epistles teach through doctrine. The gospels are written down from a viewpoint that refrains from interpretation and expounding doctrine, but rather lets the life and actions of Jesus speak for themselves. The first book of church history is called Acts (not preachings). Now dare to grasp Acts 2:22; 3:1-9; 4:10,13; 8:6-8; 20:9-12; and so on… 1 Cor 4:20).
The gospels is the story [good news] of Jesus Christ, told by common men; while the doctrine was set by the academic Paul (Saul of Tarsus). Yet signs followed Paul because he pressed through religion [a mentality of self-righteousness, law]. The same signs followed the simple men that also went further – staying with Jesus (Mt 5:40,-48). The message: go further, seek and accurately know [follow] Him!
Many sources are very authoritative when establishing the authorship and dates of writing of the gospels. However, with the exception of Luke and John, the authorship has been established on external evidence (evidence found outside the Bible itself). While not ignoring external evidence, we should refrain from stating as fact, things which cannot be shown in Scripture.
The dates that the gospels are written cannot be established on internal evidence from the scriptures either. Some scholars believe that all four of the gospels were written within four years of each other from A.D. 60 to 64, while others have placed them as being written as much as 65 years apart.
It is evident from the introduction to Luke’s gospel that there were many who had tried to give an account of Jesus’ earthly ministry (Lk. 1:1). Therefore, it was necessary that there be an official record of these events. Based on external evidence, the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were unquestionable, and accepted by the church as scripture as early as the second century. Before the year A.D. 200, the writings of Irenaeus, Clement and Tertullian all mention the general acceptance of the books composing the New Testament canon. These four gospels have stood the test of time and have come to us as the inspired scriptural account of Jesus’ life and ministry.
The need for four gospels became apparent upon studying them. Each gospel was written with a specific purpose in mind for a specific group of people. Therefore, taken as a whole, they present a complete picture of Jesus to all men. To combine all the events and different presentations of the events into one gospel would make such a voluminous work that the overall story would be lost, and many would not go to the effort of studying out these truths. Also, the revelation of Jesus Christ was of such magnitude that no one man, even inspired of the Holy Ghost, could present it completely. As Father and child enjoy “hide-and seek” as an analogy, does it seem to be training more than a game: you train to seek [persistently] and find [the true character and nature of] your heavenly Father. We seem to be enticed by the Bible to have Holy Spirit resolve the seeming contradictions. Scripture has the perfect ability to explain Scripture internally when read with the guidance and teaching [revelation] of Holy spirit. A guidance that can only be the result of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Three words that help to show what Jesus accomplished with that exchange on the cross for us:
1. Justified. A courtroom word. In Christ we are acquitted by God. Not the law.
2. Redemption. A slavery word. Christ paid to set us free. Not the law.
3. Propitiation. A priestly word. Christ offered Himself as sacrifice acceptable to God by His Blood. The Lamb that became the Shepherd. The Master that sets us free to become His Friends [His teachings is love, not manipulation – Jn 14:15; 15:14…]. Not the law.
The Tetramorph issue
Wikipedia states that a tetramorph is a symbolic arrangement of four differing elements, or the combination of four disparate elements in one unit. The term is derived from the Greek tetra, meaning four, and morph, shape. In the four Gospels, scholars have noted five main schemes of interpretations concerning the animals based on Ezek 1:10 and Rev 4:6-8, that have in church history been presented as follows:
The man is Matthew, because his Gospel begins with the genealogy of Jesus; the lion is John, because his Gospel begins full of confidence; the ox is Luke, because his Gospel begins with priestly sacrifice; and the eagle is Mark, because his Gospel begins with the prophecy of Isaiah. Irenaeus originates this connection between the four living creatures and the four evangelists because he is looking for an answer to the question “Why four Gospels?”
2nd scheme (most common)—Jerome
The rationale given for this scheme is how each Gospel narrative begins. Matthew is the man because he begins with a genealogy; Mark is the lion, roaring in the desert with prophetic power; Luke is the ox, because he begins with temple sacrifice; and John is the eagle, flying heavenwards like the divine Word. It must be said that at a certain point, once enough interpretive authorities in the church backed this scheme, many who followed simply defaulted to their authority.
The lion is Matthew, because Matthew’s Gospel depicts Christ royal character, he who descended from the tribe of Judah; the ox is Luke, because Christ is shown in his priestly character; the man is Mark, because of the humanity of Christ shown in that Gospel focusing on the things the man did; and the eagle is John, because the mystery of the Word ascends to heaven. Augustine departs from Jerome’s scheme saying, “This latter formulation focuses only on the beginnings of the books and not on the overall plan of the evangelists, which is what should have been examined more thoroughly.”
4th scheme—Aimee Semple McPherson
The Eagle is Matthew, who presents Jesus as the King who will soon return to seek his people, Jesus Will Return; the ox is Luke, where he presents Jesus as the suffering servant who bore our sickness, Jesus Healing; The Face of Man presents Jesus as the perfect man who came to save us, Jesus Saves; The Lion is John presents Jesus as the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.
5th scheme—Witness Lee
The lion is Matthew, because Matthew portrays the Lord Jesus as the King; the ox is Mark, because Mark portrays Him as a servant; the man is Luke, because Luke portrays Him as a perfect, genuine man; the eagle is John, because John portrays Him as God.
Now, with the above noted, this author will next include the most common example of this somewhat controversial table with the intent to show how four versions (Gospels) can tell the same truth from four individual perspectives and that the different styles do not make the narrative wrong or even incorrect. In fact, quite the opposite, for typically man-made work of literary fiction would probably first concur on exact copies before publishing, as mentioned elsewhere in this meditation. Included in this table is then a controversial depiction of three animals and [a] man.
This author includes this table with the reservation that it gives not merely a handy summary but that the very qualification for the different versions very possibly serves as an illustration of a flawed understanding of God’s Trinity! The meditation “The Trinity Doctrine” on this website refers, but for now, observe in this comparison and its various interpretations by scholars, that a Nephilim is not an angel (The meditation “Lucifer 2” expands on this), but a metaphorical/symbolical depiction of the shekinah presence of Jehovah and that the four Gospels introduces Jesus Christ to us as the Messiah and Logos and Shekinah. The all-important point is that “The Trinity doctrine” on this website will make at the very least interesting, perhaps challenging reading in that this author believes that the same elements (man, eagle, calf, lion) can be interpreted to fit differently to the four versions exactly because different observers attempt to describe a transcendent triune God with a “trinity” that is not confined to one specific restricted form measured in human terms as described by most doctrines! Refer to the meditation “The Trinity doctrine” for an exegesis; but for now, let’s look at the much discussed table.
Compare the four Gospel accounts in the following table.
Matthew Mark Luke John
|Mighty King, Messiah||Lowly Servant of God||Ideal Man, Perfect humanity, Son of Man||Divine Son, Incarnate Word of God, Son of God|
|Written for Jews in their tradition||For gentiles and Roman and Greek converts||For Jew & gentile, Greek converts||Followers of Christ, Christians, disciples|
If you consider the time [dates] these Gospels were written, and that John wrote his account last, after having received Revelation [the Book] from Jesus [ascended] on the isle of Patmos after his exile to Patmos and a cave named Apocalypse, more depth can be seen in John’s theologically advanced writings. Note for example how John starts (Jn 1:1-5).
Some people, amazingly, suggest that John was not (could not have been) present at Jesus’ cross. Well, John apparently had a house of his own at that time (Jn 19:26,27), and was introduced to Jesus Christ possibly in the fall of 27 AD and undoubtedly followed Jesus into Galilee and was an eyewitness to His first miracle at Cana (Jn 2:1-11) and Jesus’ crucifixion (Jn 19:26). This same John was the brother of the apostle James and their father was Zebedee (a fisherman of Galilee). His mother’s name was Salome who is believed to be a sister of Jesus’ mother Mary. James was the first apostle to die and John the last in Ephesus at age 95 or 96. Jesus called them Boanerges( “sons of thunder” – Mk 3:17). Make a proper study of John on his own, and the reader will find it absolutely plausible – and convincing – that the apostle John was born around 6 AD and was close enough to 95 when he died in 100 to 101 AD. So of course John was at Jesus’ cross (2 Tim 3:16)!… (People claiming different probably don’t even know that John the Baptist was a different person altogether and not the same person as the apostle John mentioned above)!
Possible dates for the writing of the Gospels are: Mathew 65-69 AD; Mark 64-65 AD; Luke 65-67 AD [Acts by Luke 65-67 AD]; John 85-90 AD. The birth of Jesus was probably late 5 or early 4 BC (if Herod “the great” died 4 BC as historians claim. Herod apparently instructed all boys two years and younger then to be killed; the Gregorian calendar we use today has only been introduced in 1582); Jesus’ ministry seems to have begun middle/late 27 AD, He was crucified AD 30, [Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD (40 years after Jesus’ crucifixion), humanly then, if these assumptions are correct,] aged just over 33. Never the less, let us for the purpose of this discussion, consider the following concerning the issue of the apparent differences in the genealogies that is given by Matthew and by Luke.
The two genealogies are probably one physical, and one legal. The genealogy in Matthew is from Abraham to Jesus while Luke traces Jesus’ ancestry from Jesus all the way back to Adam. The genealogies are the same from Abraham to David, but from David to Jesus, they are following different paths. Both these genealogies were accepted by the early church despite their apparent differences, which is proof enough of their accuracy. The answer appears to be that Matthew traces David’s line through Solomon (Mt. 1:6), while Luke traces the royal lineage through Nathan, another son of David (Lk. 3:31; 2 Sam. 5:14). This would by-pass the curse on Jechonias’ seed listed in Jeremiah 22:24-30. The justification for two genealogies is that Matthew records Joseph’s line as a Levi, focussing on Jesus’ Messiahship, presenting Jesus as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Thus Matthew traces the legal line (as a Jew would) through David, then through Solomon to Joseph (the legal father of Jesus). This while Luke as a physician, focuses on Jesus’ humanity and presents Jesus as the Son of Man through the records of Mary’s line. Luke does say Joseph was the son of Heli, which would appear that Luke is also tracing Joseph’s lineage, but that would not have to be the case. There is Scriptural precedent for a man’s first son to be reckoned to the mother’s genealogy if her father had no sons (Num. 27:1-11 and 36:1-12 with Ruth 4:6) and the daughter married within her tribe. Heli was Mary’s father and she married Joseph from the tribe of Judah (Mary apparently had no brothers). This could explain the substitution of Joseph’s name for Mary’s in Luke’s account. This is especially appropriate since Jesus was the Seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15), not the seed of man – see Paul’s explanation in Gal 3:16.
Also noteworthy is that Mathew 1:1 refers to Jesus’ generation (singular, not plural), saying Jesus is the son of David, who is the son of Abraham! Then in v 17 Matthew refers those generations (plural), as if revealing God’s perspective on His overall plan – He needed an Abraham… then a David… then Christ Jesus (Anointed Savior). So if you, like all those peripherals, fall in between such men of God, just trust God’s promises and praise & glorify Him, ruling here on earth with Him in this kingdom.
Note at Mt. 1:5: It is interesting to note that it was not customary to mention women in a genealogy (1 Chr 1), and yet there are four women mentioned in this genealogy: Thamar (Tamar), Rachab (Rahab), Ruth, and Bathsheba (Mt 1:6 – “of her that had been the wife of Urias”). Tamar committed incest with her father-in-law, Judah (Gen 38:25-26). Rahab was a harlot who aided the Israeli spies at Jericho (Josh 2:1). Bathsheba committed adultery with King David (2 Sam 11:2-5). Only Ruth was a “virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:11). Luke does not record any women in his genealogy.
So Mathew gives the decent of Joseph and Luke that of Mary. Mathew traces Jesus’ genealogy back through David to Abraham for Jews that would only accept the Messiah if through the promised line of descendants (Ps 132:11; Is 11:1; and so on). Luke trace Jesus to Adam to show the perfect Savior Who came to seek and find the lost (Lk 19:10). Note how amazing revelations are also hidden in these genealogies. For example Mt 1:6, mentioning Uriah seemingly out of place and context, but actually showing how God honours loyalty (2 Sam 11). Some names are omitted, others mentioned, even numerical patterns, all for a specific purpose. Note at Mt. 1:8: Three kings are left out between Jehoram and Ozias (or Uzziah); Ahaziah (2 Kings 8:25-26), Jehoash (2 Kings 12:1), and Amaziah (2 Kings 14:1-2). Note at Mt. 1:17: The reigns of three kings have been omitted to make these three equal segments of fourteen. This was done in Old Testament genealogies (1 Chr. 1-9). Some kings’ periods of reign also overlapped, as generally each city had a king. For this reason it is very difficult [inaccurate], to determine a time span by merely adding up the different kings’ times of reign, without careful examination.
The first three Gospels are called “the synoptic Gospels” due to the outline of the common story they tell.
Five sources for the Gospels
1. John Mark, a Jerusalite, scribe of the Apostle Peter, also student of the Apostle Paul. (It was custom for writers to have scribes. Paul, who also used Titus and Timothy as scribes, is on record only once for physically writing by his own hand to the Galatians, basically saying their bewitchment with the law necessitates him not to wait on his scribe, but to write himself). Mark was present as a young boy throughout Jesus’ ministry (Mk 14:51-52 tells us Mark was sleeping there that night in Gethsemane), and “the upper room” where Jesus and His followers gathered on numerous occasions, were that of Mark’s mother, called Mary (Acts 1:4,13-15; 2:1; 12:12). Reading Mark, right from chapter 1:1, you hear the apostle Peter’s impulsive passion and haste.
2. Q (German Quelle = “source”), the sayings and teachings of Jesus (Greek Kerygma– “preached message”). This was a moral instruction for converts arranged in four sections:
(1) Jesus and John the Baptist
(2) Jesus and His disciples
(3) Jesus and His opponents
(4) Sayings about last things – When He would be crucified and when the rabbinical law system would end as a means to try and obtain salvation. Salvation was not the intent of the law anyway (Gal 3:11,19; Rom 3:20,23 [hence :24-28]; 7:4,6,…).
3. M, Mathew’s research.
4. L, Luke’s research (Lk 1:1-4).
5. John’s special tradition.
- Mathew’s logical [sayings] + Mathew’s research [M] = The Gospel of Mathew.
- Mark’s Gospel [doings] + Luke’s own research [L] = The Gospel of Luke.
- Non – Christian sources are: The Talmud; Josephus; and Latin writers such as Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, and Suetonius. The historical accuracy is beyond any doubt.
An analogy to explain some of the seeming contradicting accounts of the same event, can be as follows: Suppose you and I both go in to town. While we were together, and we were held up in traffic by a parade consisting of two groups of people, I peel off to visit a shopping centre, while you continue and later see a third group joining the same parade from a side street. Later we meet again and can relate different perceptions, although both would be true. Together a more accurate picture can be formed by the hearers of our different accounts. It may very well be that I, in the shopping centre, could hear [even read] what you could not while on the street. Our stories, if kept original, would supplement, not contradict each other.
If all four Gospels were exact “replicas”, they could not serve the same purpose! That would have been very suspect as a typical human way to “concoct a story”. The fact that Jesus came for sinners willing to accept Him as the Perfect [only] Salvation Plan of God, can also be seen in the first witnesses to His resurrection: woman [who had very little status] and His disciples [who were confused, scared, and in all likelihood, mocked].
When Nicodemus [a leader and authority] approached Jesus at night [in secret] (Jn 3:1), he addressed Jesus [a carpenter!] in a crucially important way – as Rabbi. This distinguishes Nicodemus from normal Pharisees [that see themselves as “unteachable”] and makes him more receptive. Today the Pharisetical attitude is still the bigger downfall compared to remorceful sinners that are able to confess [admit], repent [realise our own utter unworthiness and helplessness to save ourselves], believe and then receive. The self-righteousness of anyone that possesses the attitude of a Pharisee has the same response from God Jesus uttered in Mt 23. The devil attempts to usurp God’s Name: I AM. For Satan pretends to be the Light of God through knowledge between good and evil, blessing and calamity, and not by reflecting the Light of the Son. likewise the moon [Christ’s Bride, His Church] is supposed to reflect Jesus’ Light to the dark side of the world. Only in the context of 1 Jn 4:4, can we say “do you know Who I AM?” – Jn 15:5. Compare Jn 1:1-12 with 1 Cor 2:13,14; 2 Cor 4:3-7, 11:14. The law steals sonship.
By the way, compare the second-last line in the above table, with what John saw in Rev 4:7, Ezekekiel described in Ezek 1:10; and the cherubim that guarded Jesus (Rev 2:7; 22:14,19) in Gen 3:22-24.
Seasons are different, and made so by God. We cannot appreciate the one without the other. Jesus loves you. Do you love [Trust, follow] Him? With His perception of Love (Rom 12:9; Prov 6:17; 8:13; 11:20-21; 12:17,22)? Does He intimately know you [you experience Him because of your relationship with Him], or have you just accepted the historical truths – even false teachings (Prov 14:15) – about Him? Remember that Satan also believes in Jesus Christ, but he is not saved. The difference is in fellowship, discipleship, in obedience to Him and trust in His teachings. The abhorrence of sin He hates. Fact is, Satan has been defeated by Jesus Christ (Col 2:15), while many professing Christians still battle in their rebellion with God (sin – Jn 16:9) trying to justify themselves through obedience to the law of Moses. Meanwhile the obedience of Jesus Christ unto HIS death (not ours) bought us free with HIS blood. We tolerate that which cannot be with God – sinful, selfish thoughts; we eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, blessing and calamity… We still “battle” with God the perfect Father Who already provided all He could [legally, as the Source of righteousness]. As [the Source of] Love, He will also not violate our will [He gave us], so we have to appropriate what He has provided. “Thank You” is a great and effective start. What pleases our Creator-Father most is doing His perceived will habitually, i.e. obedience to the Words of His Son – to believe the teachings of Jesus Christ: He said and He did lay down His Life for us so that we could Live eternally!
He is the dream-giver, and your dream is part of His big dream like a huge puzzle we help complete. The world will try to kill your dream and God’s will for your life (Eph 2:10), but have it resurrected with Phil 4:13. Frustration birth despondence, despair, addictions, and all the [devil’s] law of diminishing return brings. But Jesus stated Jn 10:10b; 15:11; and 16:33.
“Nearly too good to be true” news indeed. It is about Jesus Christ, not you or I or Moses. It is not about our efforts based on our knowledge between good and bad, blessing and calamity; but is about the obedience of Christ on our behalf unto His death, offered to us freely as a gift out of Love (God). And not because we earn it or give Him reason to be good to us (like singing praises to Him), but because it is Who He is. He is Love. He is Truth. He is Light (to man). Then, in His resurrection, we are raised by the same Spirit, to a new Life. A new Life that – in the Spirit – never ends; but also – in the body – that may never die at all!
[But for this to manifest] – Jesus asks: Do you believe this (Jn 11:25-26; Rom 8:2,11-14,19)?
This “nearly too good to be true” news – the gospel – says Jesus succeeded in paying for all to be all in Him. He is our righteousness, He is our holiness – forever [continuously. Consider the meditation entitled “The Testimony” by this author]. Or we try ourselves by attempting to follow the law (of Moses) or self. It’s one or the other. They cannot co-exist!!!
You can not loose your salvation like you loose items in absentmindedness, you willfully have to choose to ignore the historical fact and Truth of Jesus Christ… and follow “self”. This “self” includes those other men who propagate their own doctrines above those of Jesus Christ, and have huge followings of mindless people talking after them in parrot-like fashion thinking they are “ordained” or “learned” in God’s ways – Rom 8:1-3; 10:1-4.
Even Rom 10:17 will reveal the hidden truth of the gospel [of Jesus Christ] – the faith in Jesus’ finished work and not the law, is what saves you [when you heard this message preached from the lips of Jesus, not the other gospels about Jesus Christ – Gal 1:7,8].
And if you still think the law is there to save you, or keep you saved, you have been misled by thieves who came to steal your inheritance: the power of God (Jn 10:10; Mk 7:13; Col 2:8, then all of Col 2; and so on. 2 Tim 3:7; 4:3-4 still holds true).
Be free and be blessed in Jesus name. Peace, Your other brother in Christ Jesus
As far as Jesus’ genealogy and the timeline from Adam to Jesus is concerned, consider this:
The division of the kingdom, dated as 931 BC, is by no means universally accepted. Some date the schism as early as 976 BC. However, 99% of Bible historians date Solomon’s death within a few years of 931 BC. It could be 935 BC. Because of the uncertain nature of the exact time of kingdom’s split we will start this chronological reckoning using a far more certain date, one that all historians and Bible scholars accept as being accurate. The date of Jerusalem’s destruction by Babylon. Historians have absolutely no doubt that Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon in either 587 or 586 BC. The debate only involves a matter of one year. Most reference works cite the date 586 BC which Edwin R. Thiele also preferred, the scholar who popularized the 931 BC date for the division of the kingdom.
* So, let’s use the date 586 BC for Jerusalem’s destruction by Babylon to start things off.
* The Bible tells us Babylon’s siege of Jerusalem began two years earlier. (2 Kings 25:1,2) Thus the siege began in 588 BC.
* Ezekek. 4:1-5 indicates that Solomon’s 40th year, at which time Jeroboam began “the sin of the house of Israel,” took place in the 390th year before Babylon besieged Jerusalem. (This is not to say that the kingdom was divided at that time. The Bible tells us that after Jeroboam rebelled against Solomon he fled to Egypt and remained there for an unmentioned period of time until after Solomon’s death. – 1 Kings 11:40) So we add 389 (“390th” = 389 years had passed) years to 588 BC and we arrive at 977 BC as Solomon’s 40th year.
* If 977 BC was Solomon’s 40th year than 1016 BC was his 1st year.
* If 1016 BC was Solomon’s 1st year then 1013 BC was his 4th year, in which we are told Solomon began to build God’s temple. (1 Kings 6:1)
* 1 Kings 6:1 equates the 4th year of Solomon with “the 480th year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt.” This verse says “the 480th year” not “480 years.” Thus we add 479 years to 1013 BC and we come to 1492 BC as the year the Jewish civil year began in which the Exodus occurred.
* As discussed earlier, Gal. 3:16,17 tells us that God’s promises to Abraham were given 430 years before the Law was given. 430 years before 1492 BC brings us to 1922 BC as the year in which Abraham left Haran, entered Canaan and then received God’s promises (Gen:12:1-7)
* Abraham left Haran when his father Terah died at age 205. (Gen. 11:32) Thus we can date Terah’s birth 205 years before the year 1922 BC. That would be in 2127 BC.
* Gen. 11:24 tells us Nahor was born 29 years before Terah. That was in 2156 BC
* Gen. 11:22 says Serug was born 30 years before Nahor. That brings me to 2186 BC.
* Gen. 11:20 says Reu was born 32 years before Serug. That brings me to 2218 BC.
* Gen. 11:18 says Peleg was born 30 years before Reu. That brings me to 2248 BC.
* Gen. 11:16 says Eber was born 34 years before Peleg. That brings me to 2282 BC.
* Gen. 11:14 says Shelah was born 30 years before Eber. That brings me to 2312 BC.
* Gen. 11:12 says Arphaxad was born 35 years before Shelah. That brings me to 2347 BC.
* Gen. 11:10 says Arphaxad was born two years after the flood. So the flood began in 2349 BC.
* Gen. 7:6 tells us that, “Noah was 600 years old when the flood waters came on the earth.” That puts Noah’s birth 600 years before 2349 BC, in 2949 BC.
* Gen. 5:28 tells us that Noah’s father Lamech was 182 years old when Noah was born. That tells us Lamech was born in 3131 BC.
* Gen. 5:25 tells us that Lamech’s father Methuselah was 187 years old when Lamech was born. That tells us Methuselah was born in 3318 BC.
* Gen. 5:21 tells us that Methuselah’s father Enoch was 65 years old when Methuselah was born. That tells us Enoch was born in 3383 BC.
* Gen. 5:18 tells us that Enoch’s father Jared was 162 years old when Enoch was born. That tells us Enoch was born in 3545 BC.
* Gen. 5:15 tells us that Jared’s father Mahalalel was 65 years old when Jared was born. That tells us Mahalalel was born in 3610 BC.
* Gen. 5:12 tells us that Mahalalel’s father Cainan (aka Kenan) was 70 years old when Mahalalel was born. That tells us Cainan was born in 3680 BC.
* Gen. 5:9 tells us that Cainan’s father Enosh was 90 years old when Cainan was born. That tells us Enosh was born in 3770 BC.
* Gen. 5:6 tells us that Enosh’s father Seth was 105 years old when Enosh was born. That tells us Seth was born in 3875 BC.
* Gen. 5:3 tells us that Seth’s father Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. That tells us Adam was created in 4005 BC.
Adam 4005 BC / Christ 5 BC (We have discussed briefly how the Gregorian calendar in use today was introduced in 1582). Thus we get 4 000 years from Adam to Jesus Christ.
Why a Virgin Birth?
by Chuck Missler
Every Christmas season our thoughts turn to the birth of Christ and to his mother, Mary. To some extent, we all take the nativity for granted. But why was Jesus born of a virgin? One answer, of course, is to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14: “Behold the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
But that’s more descriptive than causal: why was it necessary in the first place? There are, of course, many profound theological issues inherent in the virgin birth. One way to view this issue is to address one of the problems it solves.
God announced very early that His plan for redemption involved the Messiah being brought forth from the tribe of Judah (1), and specifically from the line of David (2). The succession of subsequent kings proved to be, with only a few exceptions, a dismal chain. As the succeeding kings of Judah went from bad to worse, we eventually encounter Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin), upon whom God pronounces a ” blood curse” : “Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.”(Jeremiah 22:30)
This curse created a rather grim and perplexing paradox: the Messiah had to come from the royal line, yet now there was a “blood curse” on that very line of descent! (I always visualize a celebration in the councils of Satan on that day. But then I imagine God turning to His angels, saying, “Watch this one!”)
The answer emerges in the differing genealogies of Jesus Christ recorded in the gospels. Matthew, as a Levi, focuses his gospel on the Messiahship of Jesus and presents Him as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Thus, Matthew traces the legal line from Abraham (as any Jew would) through David, then through Solomon (the . royal. line) to Joseph, the legal father of Jesus (3).
On the other hand, Luke, as a physician, focuses on the humanity of Jesus and presents Him as the Son of Man. Luke traces the blood line from Adam (the first Man) through to David — and his genealogy from Abraham through David is identical to Matthew’s. But then after David, Luke departs from the path taken by Matthew and traces the family tree through another son of David (the second surviving son of Bathsheba), Nathan, down through Heli, the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus (4).
One should also note the exception to the law which permitted inheritance through the daughter if no sons were available and she married within her tribe (5).
The daughters of Zelophehad had petitioned Moses for a special exception, which was granted when they entered the land under Joshua.
I believe it was C.I. Scofield who first noted that the claims of Christ rely upon this peculiar exception granted to the family of Zelophehad in the Torah. Heli, Mary’s father, apparently had no sons, and Mary married within the tribe of Judah. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, of the house and lineage of David and carrying legal title to the line, but without the blood curse of Jeconiah. [I believe that every detail in the Torah — and the entire Bible — has a direct link to Jesus Christ. “The volume of the book is written of me.” (Psalm 40:7) [For a more detailed discussion, see our book, Cosmic Codes — Hidden Messages from the Edge of Eternity, presently in publication.]
This was no afterthought or post facto remedy, of course. It was first announced in the Garden of Eden when God declared war on Satan: ” I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”(Genesis 3:15)
The “Seed of the Woman” thus becomes one of the prophetic titles of the Messiah. This biological contradiction is the first hint — in the early chapters of Genesis — of the virgin birth.
John also presents a genealogy, of sorts, of the Pre-Existent One in the first three verses of his gospel (6). The Prophet Micah also highlights this: ” But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”(Micah 5:2)
1. Genesis 49:10.
2. Ruth 4:22; 2 Samuel 7:11-16.
3. Matthew 1:1-17.
4. Luke 3:23-38.
5. Numbers 26:33; 27:1-11; 36:2-12; Joshua 17:3-6; 1 Chronicles 7:15.
So, friend in Christ, this concludes our meditation on “The four Gospels”.
Go in peace and joy (1 Thess 5:23)!