Easter Joy Belongs to the Melancholy

The celebration of Christ’s resurrection stands in contrast to Christmas joy.

Easter Joy Belongs to the Melancholy

Image: Maxim Dužij / Unsplash

Easter joy has been harder to come by this year. Between the growing ugliness of American politics and the acrimony within the church body, I’ve found it harder to anticipate looking up from the broken body of my Lord to rejoice this Sunday in the resurrected and ascended Christ.

When I shared my struggle with a good friend, he suggested I revisit a collection of sermons that the 19th-century priest John Henry Newman preached in Oxford in response to the challenges of his own day. After turning to Newman, I found a surprising insight: In his view, my tempered joy is not merely acceptable or tolerable but rather called for as a deeply Christian response to Easter.

In a sermon titled “Keeping Fast and Festival,” Newman begins with a comparison of Christmas and Easter. At Christmas, he says, we rejoice with the “natural, unmixed joy of children.” Easter joy, however, is not the same. This joy is experienced as “a last feeling and not a first.” It grows out of tribulation, as Paul writes in Romans 5, emerges from the harvest (Isa. 9:3), and comes after (and out of) Lent and Good Friday.

In other words, if living through Lent teaches us even a little about how Christ bears the world’s suffering, then our Easter enthusiasm should look different from our response to God’s arrival as a baby at Christmas. It should feel more seasoned, more aged, and more worn. Easter joy isn’t the joy of children, says Newman, but rather of convalescents who have received the promise of healing, who are starting to get well but still regaining our strength after a Lenten season of confronting our weakness and sorrowing over our sin.

Newman’s image of Christians as convalescents brings to mind the story of healing at the end of The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis. At the culmination of the book, Diggory, the young hero, watches Aslan plant a magic apple in the newly created Narnian soil. A tree immediately grows from it. In Narnia, the apples have immense power of healing and strengthening. Aslan then gives Diggory a fruit from the tree and sends him back to our world to help heal his sick mother.

When Diggory gives his mother the magic apple, he doesn’t see immediate recovery. In our world, filled with the vigor of redemption, not creation, her healing is slow and gradual. Diggory first notices that her face looks a little different. Then a week later, she’s able to sit up. Finally a month later, she’s well enough to sit in the garden with her son. In the midst of this process, Diggory struggles to believe that her healing is really happening. But “when he remembered the face of Aslan, he [does] hope.”

We, too, should often (although not always) expect our healing to look more like Diggory’s mother’s—one marked by a tempered joy that doesn’t preclude struggle. As George Herbert writes, even as we grow in faith and rest in God, we still often feel “thin and lean without a fence or friend … blown through with ev’ry storm and wind.”

Like many exposed to various stripes of evangelicalism, it’s easy for me to place a high premium on subjective experience, emotiveness, and outward expression. As such, it’s easy for me to fear that my perceived lack of joy at Easter—or any other time of year, for that matter—is due to weakness and sinfulness. While that may be true at times, Newman challenges the belief that it is always true, rejecting the lie that “since it is the Christian’s duty to rejoice evermore, they would rejoice better if they never sorrowed and never travailed with righteousness.”

However, worrying about my own lack of “appropriate” emotion is not the solution and, in fact, may be part of the problem. When I refuse to let go of disappointment with my own brokenness and that of the world, I fail to recognize not only “the languor and oppression of our old selves” that persists this side of heaven but also the reality of the new life given to me. The solution is not to emote more or blot out the sorrows of this world but rather to turn in prayer, not inward, but upward.

“We must beg Him who is the Prince of Life, the Life itself,” says Newman, “to carry us forth into His new world, for we cannot walk thither, and seat us down whence, like Moses, we may see the land, and meditate upon its beauty!”

Easter joy does not require us, then, to leave this present hour behind or to be unbruised by the events of this world. Instead, it comes when, like Diggory, we return to the brokenness around us (including our own brokenness) with the comfort of Christ’s presence and the instruments of grace that he provides for us throughout the paschal season.

In this act of return, joy comes wearing a different, darker guise, but it also appears deeper, better, and more miraculous than anything we could ever expect.

Elisabeth Rain Kincaid is an assistant professor of moral theology at the Aquinas Institute of Theology. Her research focuses on questions of moral formation, the development of virtue, and the intersection of law, business, and theology.

different version of this piece originally appeared at Covenant, the weblog of The Living Church magazine.

 

Original here

It is Finished

Bible Verses

As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”

When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Luke 23:26-27 & 32-55

Explanation

It was normal in Rome for there to be a gap of two days before a prisoner’s judgement and execution, but in Roman colonies, such as Israel, the sentence was often carried out straight away. The Jews especially wanted the death of Jesus to take place as soon as possible, as the next day was the Sabbath (the Jewish holy day) and the final ceremonial meal of the Passover celebrations was to take place after sunset.

Jesus would have been dressed back in his own clothes for the procession to the place of execution. The procession would have been made up of four top roman soldiers per prisoner and under the charge of a centurion. It was normally led by the centurion with one of the guards walking in front of each prisoner holding up a white board with the crime of the prisoner written on it. The processions normally took the longest route possible through the streets to show the prisoners off to as many people as possible. But Jesus’ procession went quite a short way to get the place of execution, because the execution needed to take place as quickly as possible.

The procession left Pilate’s palace and went through the first gate to a busy shopping area of the city. The shops would have been closed for the Passover celebrations, but there still would have been a large crowd watching with sympathy and pity on the condemned prisoners.

Jesus would have been followed in the procession by the two other prisoners who were to be crucified with him. (They had been convicted of theft.) Prisoners were made to carry the cross-piece of their own cross which was tied across their shoulders. (Often their heads were also tied back to make the journey as painful as possible, but there is no evidence that this was done to Jesus.)

Jesus had not eaten, drank, or slept since being arrested the previous evening and had been beaten many times. It was not surprising, therefore, that he was so weak that he collapsed under the weight of his cross piece. However, he did not collapse until he reached the city wall. The Romans would not have wanted him to die before he was executed, so they pulled a man called Simon of Cyrene from the watching crowd to carry the cross. (Simon was probably a Black Jew on pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover celebrations and was camping on the road outside the city. It is thought that he became a follower of Jesus and one of the leaders of the early Church.) Jesus was probably carried the rest of the way by two Roman soldiers.

The procession carried on through the outskirts of Jerusalem until it came to a place called Golgatha (which means ‘the skull’ because it is a rocky out-crop that looked like a skull).

When the procession reached Golgotha, the soldiers would have first put the uprights of the crosses into the ground. These would have been about two metres (6 feet) high, just high enough that the prisoners feet would not touch the ground. The cross pieces were then laid on the ground and the prisoners were re-tied to them with arms extended, so that the plank went across the shoulder blades, and were tied on at the elbows. Large iron nails were then driven through each wrist nailing the prisoner on the cross piece.

The cross-piece was then connected to a rope and pulley and pulled up onto the upright, guided by soldiers using ladders. (In very large Roman places of execution, there were permanent scaffolds set up, so the prisoners could be raised up very easily. But Golgotha was probably not big enough.) The cross-pieces were then nailed and / or tied onto the upright. A small rough wooden seat was put onto the upright to help support some of the prisoners weight. Lastly, the prisoner’s feet were nailed to the upright, either individually or sometimes a huge nail was used that went through both feet, one on top of the other.

Once prisoners were in the crucifix position, they could sometimes take days to die. They either died of exhaustion or more commonly they drowned when their lungs filled up with body fluids and blood.

People watching crucifixions often offered the dying a drink of strong wine and Myrrh (An embalming agent and anesthetic. It was also one of the three gifts brought to Jesus as a baby by the Magi or Wisemen!), but Jesus only took a small sip and refused the drink as he did not want his senses dulled.

Because Jesus was the main prisoner to be executed, his cross was placed in the centre, and probably the highest, of the three crosses, with each criminal on either side of him. The sign with the crimes of Jesus written on it, that had been carried in the procession, was then nailed to the very top of the upright. It said ‘The King of the Jews’ in Latin (so Romans and educated people could read it), Hebrew/Aramaic (so the Jews could read it) and Greek (so Greeks and other educated pilgrims could read it). This term would have been very insulting to the Jews, and the Romans would have meant it to be so! Because of this, the Jewish Priests called out in very sarcastic jeers, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”

Jesus’ clothes were then divided among the four soldiers that had escorted him to Golgotha. His clothes would have consisted of, a Jewish prayer head covering, a cloak, a linen girdle / undergarment, his sandals and his main robe. The soldiers would have drawn lots for the first four items, but who would have the main robe, that would have been made of good quality cloth and so was worth quite a lot of money, was decided by gambling with dice. This made an Old Testament prophesy come true, where it says in the book of Psalms 22:18 that: They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

Jesus’ prayer “Father forgive them” although primarily directed at the soldiers, also involved the Jewish leaders for killing the Son of God.

The soldiers continued to make fun of Jesus and offered him some cheap wine they were drinking while the gambled at the bottom of the cross upright.

Then one of the other criminals hanging next to Jesus mocked him, sarcastically asking Jesus for help. But the other criminal realized who Jesus was. He knew that he was innocent of any crimes and told the other criminal to keep quiet and said that they really deserved to be there, but that Jesus didn’t. By asking Jesus to remember him when he entered into paradise (or heaven), the criminal would have meant ‘judgment day’ or the end of the world that was talked about in the Jewish scriptures. He would have been very shocked (and so would have all the onlookers) when Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in paradise”. The Jewish onlookers would have understood this to mean that Jesus was claiming the power to judge people and decide who would enter Heaven.

There is a very powerful and moving song telling this part of the Easter story called ‘Thief’ by my favourite Christian rock group called Third Day. It is written from the perspective of the thief who knew who Jesus was.

It was noon when the sky went dark. It was called the Sixth hour because the hours of the Jewish day were measured from sunrise, about 6.00am. By this time, Jesus had been hanging on the cross about two and one half to three hours. Also by this time, John had gone and brought Jesus’ mother Mary and few other women followers of Jesus to the Cross. These were the only disciples of Jesus to be there when was executed. John was the only disciple who had been with Jesus all the time since he had been arrested.

The sky stayed black from noon until 3.00pm. The darkness would have not only been in the sky, but also in Jesus’ heart as he experienced all the the sin, pain and death, past, present and future that ever existed on earth.

At about this time Jesus died. He cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). This is the first line of Psalm 22 (The Psalms were/are Jewish and Christian songs & poems.). In those times, if you wanted to start a Psalm you didn’t used a number, but the first line. By saying this Jesus was bring the onlookers attention to the whole Psalm, which accurately describes His crucifixion and death, although it was written hundreds of years before! But the Psalm doesn’t stop with the death, at the end of it, it talks about God (Jesus) coming to rule over the earth and people praising him!

After this Jesus spoke his words: “It is finished” meaning his work on earth, and “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”. This is a quote from Psalm 31 verse 5, meaning that Jesus gave up his will and life fully to God, trusting in him, even into death. The words were yelled as in triumph at the end of a battle, not whispered in defeat.

This had a profound effect of the Roman centurion in charge of the crucifixions as he recognised who Jesus was.

As Jesus died, a violent earthquake shook Jerusalem. It tore in two a large curtain that hung in the Temple. The curtain was about one metre thick and made of the heaviest and most expensive cloth. It separated the main part of the inner Temple from the ‘Holy of Holys’, the room at the very centre of the Temple that only one Priest was allowed to go into once a year. It tore from the top to bottom. The curtain represented the separation of God from man, so the curtain being destroyed would have been a very shocking symbol to the Jews and a sign that something powerful had happened – Jesus had opened God to everyone!

Jewish law stated that a dead body could not be on display after sunset, especially not the Sabbath. This would have started at Sunset and remember, it would have been the Passover Sabbath, the most important Sabbath of the year. So the bodies would have be to removed quickly. People being crucified could sometimes take days to die. So to speed up the death, the arms and legs of the prisoners were broken and then they were stabbed through the heart. This would have happened to the other two men being crucified with Jesus, but when the soldiers got to Jesus they found him already dead.

This fulfilled another prophesy which said the Messiah would be like the Passover lamb, i.e. perfect with no broken bones. All that happened to the body of Jesus was that his side was pierced to drain out the body fluids and make the dead body easier to handle. For a crucifixion, Jesus had died very quickly. But he had been beaten several times before he was crucified and was so a lot weaker than a normal crucifixion victim. More importantly, as the Son of God, he is the only person who ever lived who could ‘dismiss his own spirit/soul’ and so die by a word of his command!

Then Joseph of Arimathea who was a Jewish council member and a secret friend of Jesus came to ask the Romans for the body of Jesus. He had not been called to the ‘trials’ of Jesus, because Annas and Caiaphas thought he might stop the trials and call them unlawful.

Joseph was a rich land owner and had a tomb ready for a burial nearby. It was probably where he was going to be buried, but he was willing to give it up for Jesus. The Tomb would have been a large cave with two body shaped niches carved into the side walls. Joseph and another council member called Nicodemus (who had also got to know Jesus quite well) took the body of Jesus to the tomb and quickly embalmed the body. Mary and the other women would have also gone to the tomb, but would have only watched this initial embalming. They planned to come back on the Sunday morning, just after sunrise, to embalm the body properly. This would have been the earliest time under Jewish law that they would have been allowed to return to the tomb after the Passover Sabbath.

The quick embalming consisted of wrapping the body in bandages, like a mummy. The bandages would have been soaked in Myrrh as it has a strong but pleasant smell and covered up the smell of a dead body. (You might remember that Myrrh was one of the gifts given to the baby Jesus by the Wise Men/Magi in the Christmas Story!)

The body would have then been laid in the niche and a very large stone was rolled in front of the tomb entrance. At the request of the Jewish leaders, the Romans put a guard of the best and most highly trained soldiers on the tomb to make sure no one could steal the body.

The disciples then left to mourn and await the sunrise on Sunday, when they could go back to the tomb and embalm the body properly.

https://www.whyeaster.com/story/death.shtml

VIDEO What happens when ‘Rule of Law’ doesn’t include God?

William Brewster

William Brewster

William Brewster is portrayed in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol giving thanks to God in the “Frieze of American History” depiction of “The Landing of the Pilgrims.” He is depicted as representing “religion” in a thematic painting located in the president’s room of the Senate Wing.

William Brewster was an elder in the Pilgrims’ church in England. He was arrested and jailed by Britain’s oppressive government which denied liberty of conscience and religious freedom. Brewster fled with the Pilgrims to Holland, and 12 years later, sailed with them to America. He signed the Mayflower Compact.

Governor Bradford wrote of him: “Mr. Brewster … lived in the country … till the Lord revealed Himself further to him. In the end, the tyranny … against godly preachers … in silencing … and persecuting … caused him … to feel the burden of … many anti-christian corruptions. …”

Governor Bradford continued: “After they had joined themselves together in communion … William Brewster was a special help and support to them. On the Lord’s day they generally met at his house, which was a manor … He entertained them with great kindness when they came, providing for them at heavy expense. … He was the leader of those who were captured at … Lincolnshire, suffering the greatest loss, and was one of the seven who were kept longest in prison and afterwards bound over to the assizes.”

Governor Bradford wrote further of William Brewster: “After he came to Holland he suffered much hardship, having spent most of his means. … Towards the latter part of those twelve years spent in Holland, William Brewster’s circumstances improved … for through his knowledge of Latin he was able to teach many foreign students English. … Both Danes and Germans came to him, some of them being sons of distinguished men.”

William Brewster is portrayed in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda holding an open Bible in the painting “The Embarkation of the Pilgrims.” In that same painting, the Pilgrims’ Pastor, John Robinson, is portrayed kneeling with his hands extended in prayer.

On Dec. 15, 1617, elder William Brewster and Pastor John Robinson wrote a letter from Leiden, Holland, to London financier Sir Edwin Sandys, explaining that the Pilgrims were: “Knit together as a body in … covenant of the Lord … we so hold ourselves … tied to all care of each other’s good.”

Pastor John Robinson is considered one of the founders of the “Congregational” Church. The words “congregational,” “compact” and “commonwealth” refer to a group of people in “communion” or “covenant” with each other. This was a concept studied by the Reformation scholars, such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Thomas Cromwell, John Knox, the Scottish Covenanters and the translators of the Geneva Bible.

One of the key references to “covenant” or “congregation” comes from the Greek word “ekklesia.” Jesus stated in Matthew 16:18, “… upon this rock I will build My church (ekklesia); and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

In another place, Jesus stated “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church (ekklesia); and if he refuses to listen even to the church (ekklesia), let him be to you as a gentile and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:17.)

“Ekklesia” means a called-out assembly; a gathering of citizens called out from their homes, congregating in some public place; an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating; assembly of the Israelites.

King James insisted that in his translation of the Bible, the word “ekklesia” be translated “church” rather than “congregation” or “assembly,” as he wanted to be its head, and how can one be the head if it is the congregation which deliberates?

Ten years after the Pilgrims arrived in America, Puritans fled persecutions in England and began arriving in New England in 1630. In the next 16 years, called the Puritan Great Migration, nearly 20,000 Puritans settled in Massachusetts, being led by John Winthrop.

John Winthrop authored “A Model of Christian Charity,” June 11, 1630, in which he explained the nature of colonial constitutional “covenants”: “It is of the nature and essence of every society to be knit together by some covenant, either expressed or implied. … We are a Company, professing ourselves fellow members of Christ, we ought to account ourselves knit together by this bond of love. … It is by a mutual consent through a special overruling Providence … to seek out a place of Cohabitation … under a due form of Government both civil and ecclesiastical. … Thus stands the cause between God and us: we are entered into covenant with Him for this work. We have taken out a Commission; the Lord hath given us leave to draw our own articles. … For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man. …”

Winthrop continued: “We must delight in each other, make one another’s condition our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our Commission and Community in this work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. … We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies, when He shall make us a praise and glory, that men of succeeding plantations shall say, ‘The Lord make it like that of New England.’ For we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.”

“Covenant” theology was held by many New England colonial leaders.

John D. Eusden wrote in “Natural Law and Covenant Theology in New England, 1620–1670” (Notre Dame Law School, Natural Law Forum. 1960, Paper 47): “The idea of the covenant – that central, permeating idea of Puritanism. … Covenanted men actually constructed political communities – the emerging ‘American character’ in the realm of governmental theory and jurisprudence … Names dominate the dramatis personae: John Cotton, influential minister of the First Church in Boston. … John Winthrop, long-time governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. … Nathaniel Ward, chief framer of the 1641 Body of Liberties for the Bay Colony; William Bradford, governor of Plymouth Plantation; Thomas Hooker, preacher and potentate of Hartford; John Norton, official apologist for New England Congregationalism; John Eliot, evangelist and occasional political writer; and John Davenport, founder of New Haven. … Political and social thought of early American Puritanism was drawn from four sources: the Bible, the covenant tradition in Reformation theology, the common law of England, and the long Western tradition of natural law.”

The Puritans that stayed back in England had a civil war, led by Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, and afterwards established a covenant form of government in 1649, called “Commonwealth.” It only lasted a decade, ending when King Charles II was restored to English throne.

Os Guinness stated in an interview on “Thinking in Public” with Dr. Albert Mohler, June 5, 2017: “The covenantal ideas in England were the lost cause, sadly. They failed. The king came back. But the lost cause became the winning cause in New England. And covenant shaped constitutionalism. … The American Constitution is a nationalized, secularized form of covenant. … Covenant lies behind constitution.”

To the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century, the perfect example of a nation with a “covenant” form of government was ancient Israel – a group of people in agreement with each other, getting their rights from God and being individually accountable to God.

In the 17th century, during the Age of Enlightenment, the idea of “covenant” evolved into “social contract” – a group of people in agreement with each other, with or without God. In the 18th century, the French Revolution morphed “social contract” into intentionally excluding God. Rights came from the group and individuals are accountable to the group. This culminated in the French Revolution’s bloody Reign of Terror, 1789–1794, beheading those who resisted the group or state.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, considered the Father of the French Revolution, wrote in “The Social Contract” (1762): “The citizen is no longer the judge. … When the prince says to him: ‘It is expedient for the state that you should die,’ he ought to die … because his life is no longer a mere bounty of nature, but a gift made conditionally by the state.”

Ironically, the group never really decides anything, but rather those who control what information and propaganda the group receives are in control:

  • the country is controlled by laws
  • laws are controlled by politicians
  • politicians are controlled by voters
  • voters are controlled by public opinion
  • public opinion is controlled by media and education
  • therefore, whoever controls media & education controls the country

The flaw of the social contract was displayed at the Nuremburg Trials of 1945–1946, where officials of the National Socialist Workers Party (Nazi), who killed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, defended their actions by explaining they were only following laws agreed upon by the people of Germany.

To remedy this, the United Nations had to appeal to a “higher law,” which to them was a set of rules agreed upon by “all the nations” of the world.

Eleanor Roosevelt proudly helped compose the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It listed rights all the nations agreed upon, such as freedom of religion and that women are equal to men, but nowhere in the document was any reference made to the Creator as being the source of rights.

The naiveté of this effort was revealed when a U.N. subgroup of 57 Muslim countries formed the OIC –Organization of Islamic Cooperation. On June 30, 2000, the OIC rejected the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights and embraced their own “superior” Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, which allowed for beating of women and killing of apostates.

If laws are simply what any given group agrees upon, what is wrong with them agreeing upon sharia law?

The Pilgrims stood in stark contrast to this. Led by their Pastor John Robinson and their elder William Brewster, they held the covenant form of government, as modeled by ancient Israel – a people in covenant with each other, getting their rights from God and being individually accountable to God. This God made it clear that all men and women were equal, made in the image of God, and that there was to be no respect of persons in judgement – doing “to others as you would have them do to you.”

Governor Bradford eulogized William Brewster: “He labored in the fields as long as he was able. … When the church had no other minister he taught twice every Sabbath, and that both powerfully and profitably, to the great edification and comfort of his hearers, many being brought to God by his ministry.”

In 1629, after the Pilgrims founded a second church in Massachusetts Bay, William Brewster wrote: “The church that had been brought over the ocean now saw another church, the first-born in America, holding the same faith in the same simplicity of self-government under Christ alone.”

William Brewster, in whose home in England the Pilgrims first entered into covenant, died April 18, 1644.

Governor Bradford wrote: “About the 18th of April died their reverend elder … Mr. William Brewster, a man who had done and suffered much for the Lord Jesus and the Gospel’s sake, and had borne his part in the weal or woe with this poor persecuted Church for over thirty-five years in England, Holland, and this wilderness. … Notwithstanding the many troubles and sorrows he passed through, the Lord upheld him to a great age.”

Brought to you by AmericanMinute.com.

Original here


President Trump’s Easter Greeting 2019

 

Politicians, Fearful and Ashamed of Truth, Rewrite History!

April 18, 2019 By Don Boys

Current politicians’ dishonorable commitment to fake news, false accusations, and fraudulent posturing for the cameras is a fulfillment of Orwell’s fiction of decades ago.  George Orwell’s declaration in his 1949 classic, Nineteen Eighty-Four, was, “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered.  And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute.  History has stopped.  Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

That attack on truth has been considered fiction, but distorting history is a fact that is accelerating daily.

Ashamed of the past and fearful of the future, desperate, duplicitous, and disgusting politicians have destroyed the historical record to make them look less unscrupulous and to confuse, corrupt, and control each generation.  A rewrite of history is in the making as I write.

It has happened and has been accelerating since the beginning of time.

Ancient kings glorified their successes in battle, often neglecting major disasters, all to preserve their position in history.  They profusely bragged about their elaborate building programs but refused to reveal their warring tendencies that destroyed their cities.  Sennacherib was the son of Sargon and ruler of the Assyrian Empire in the eighth century B.C.  Assyrian inscriptions reveal that Sennacherib made astoundingly vainglorious boasts about his accomplishments of shutting up Hezekiah in his Jerusalem capital “as a bird in a cage.”  Everyone now realizes that Sennacherib took 46 Jewish cities but failed to conquer Jerusalem (after the angel of the Lord killed 185,000 of his troops in one night), and Sennacherib left in defeat for his Nineveh palace only to be eventually killed by his son.

If anyone offended a tyrannical king, not only was that individual killed, but often any mention of him was removed from all public records.

I revealed in my book, The God Haters, an example of politicians manipulating history when Caesar tried to obliterate the memory of Pilate because he had offended Caesar.  Pilate therefore did not exist since Caesar said so, and officials and historians willingly obeyed by removing Pilate’s name from all records.

For many years, Bible critics declared that the Bible is unreliable because Pilate could not be found in any historical record.  Then archeologists, digging in the rubble of Caesarea by the Sea, found a five-inch-thick stone that referred to Pilate and had been used in the famous theater ruins where I have preached a few times.  The stone had been used because it was exactly the size needed and was used with the forbidden information about Pilate underneath!  It is on display in Caesarea today.

Mark Antony had a similar experience, with his memory being formallyexpunged from Rome’s official records after his affair with Cleopatra.  “His name was obliterated from the … state registers of official events.  His statues were removed.  It was to be as if he had never existed.  The Senate … voted that no member of the Antonius clan should be named Marcus[.] … His birthday was made … an unlucky day, on which public business could not be conducted.”

Roman Emperor Caracalla murdered his brother and co-emperor Geta and had statues of Geta removed and his image chiseled off coins.  Geta’s image was removed from all paintings, his statues were destroyed, his name was struck from all records, and it became a capital offense to speak or write Geta’s name.  An estimated 20,000 people were massacred as a result.

Soviet despot Joseph Stalin sent Leon Trotsky into exile and airbrushed him out of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia and then, to finish the matter, had him assassinated in Mexico.  For decades, when a Soviet official fell out of favor with the sitting tyrant, the offender was painted out of the official photos of the most recent May Day Parade in Moscow.

Politicians never change, and modern politicians continue in the same way: they exaggerate their successes, excuse their shortcomings, and excise their sins.  Similarly today, politicians and their zealot followers seek to rewrite history and remove any photos or statues that might not meet their modern views of morality.

Some U.S. textbooks don’t deal with major American founders, and liberal censors insist that Huckleberry Finn be removed from libraries because it is politically incorrect.

Notre Dame is a Catholic university, and the president cowardly responded to student complaints about paintings of Christopher Columbus, so they are being concealed.  Columbus was a dedicated Catholic, now repudiated by a Catholic university.

Usually, at the first demand of self-appointed protesters, whimpering university presidents cower under their desk as they immediately capitulate to the foaming-at-the-mouth fanatics.

Officials at the University of Pennsylvania have quickly surrendered without a fight to the fanatics by removing a portrait of William Shakespeare and replacing it with a black lesbian writer.  New York governor Andrew Cuomo removed the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from a public place.  Calhoun College has been changed to Grace Hopper College since Calhoun was pro-slavery, you know.  Also, stained glass windows depicting slavery were removed from college buildings.  New Orleans removed its famous 20-foot statue of Robert E. Lee, the last of four to be removed.

Baltimore removed its offensive statues overnight including one of Supreme Court justice Roger B. Taney, author of the majority opinion in the Dred Scottcase that decided that former slaves could not become U.S. citizens.  In rewriting history, they are going after dead judges for their judicial decisions.

It is going to get confusing (and expensive) when the fanatics start removing and changing all streets, buildings, etc. with the names of slave-holders George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and almost all the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Even Mount Rushmore is in the sights of the history-haters, since two of the four faces were racists — Washington and Jefferson — and Theodore Roosevelt an imperialist.  Only Lincoln is safe, and if his statements on blacks were well known, he would be in danger.  Roosevelt is considered an imperialist and is often ridiculed rather than respected for his part in the Spanish-American War.  Roosevelt’s statue in front of the museum on Central Park West is a tribute to his status as the nation’s greatest environmentalist.  His statue is also in front of the Museum of Natural History.  Will the zealots determine to destroy Rushmore?

Statues, paintings, etc. of difficult and embarrassing times in our nation’s past are still a part of our past, and their presence could be a reminder that we don’t want to make the same mistakes again.  That goes for mistakes made in the North as well as the South.  Would these dedicated progressives demand the destruction of the Roman Coliseum, where thousands were brutally slaughtered?  How about the Pyramids, since they were built by slaves?

Such nonsense is an attack upon the past that won’t change reality and will only confuse the present.  We should learn from history, not defile, distort, or destroy it.

Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, who ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis and wrote columns for USA Today for eight years.  Boys’s book, Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! is available here.  Follow Dr. Boys on Facebook at Don Boys, Ph.D.and TheGodHatersTwitter, and visit his blog.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/04/politicians_fearful_and_ashamed_of_truth_rewrite_history.html

VIDEO Notre Dame, hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil – ISIS Celebrates Burning – Ancient Oak Doesn’t Burn Like That

When it comes to Notre Dame, hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil

April 17, 2019  by Karen Hagestad Cacy
When it comes to Notre Dame, hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil

COLORADO SPRINGS: Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the 17th century, burned this week. Even before its embers were out, reporters re-telling the historic event. And they are emphasizing a benign explanation for one of the world’s most destructive fires.

However, It matters whether the fire was set by terrorists or by a careless restorer. Moreover, nefarious explanations of the fire are already being blacked out.

Attacking Western Civilization

Those in charge seemingly are sending a message that when an iconic symbol of Western Civilization burns, we are to remain silent. We must not speak of it. We must not knit together facts.

As many see Western Civilization under attack, we are told to, “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

There’s nothing to see here, folks. Just move along.

And many comply. We remain silent lest we are accused of harboring mad conspiracy theories.

In America, it is a time of hurt feelings, “fairness,” and political correctness superseding free speech. When facts are unpleasant, they must be dispatched. Feelings win out, curiosity remains unsatisfied.

And this week, as an iconic symbol of Western Civilization is destroyed, we are to remain silent.

And yet, there are certain pesky facts underlying the Notre Dame tragedy.

A March 21, 2019 article in Newsweek written by Brendan Cole features this headline: “Catholic Churches Are Being Desecrated Across France – and Officials Don’t Know Why.”

One must ask, do they not know why, or are they simply refusing to know why. Are they turning a blind eye to the destruction? Are they ignoring undesirable information?

According to Cole,

“France has seen a spate of attacks against Catholic churches since the start of the year, vandalism that has included arson and desecration. Vandals have smashed statues, knocked down tabernacles, scattered or destroyed the Eucharist and torn down crosses, sparking fears of a rise in anti-Catholic sentiment in the country.”

He reports:

“The historic Church of St. Sulpice in Paris was set on fire, which police have confidently attributed to arson. Built in the 17th century, St. Sulpice houses three works by the Romantic painter Eugene de la Croix, and was used in the movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown.”
“Last month, at the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles, in north-central France, a statue of the Virgin Mary was found smashed, and the altar cross had been thrown on the ground, according to La Croix International, a Catholic publication.”
“Also,” he continues, “in February, at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, in south-central France, an altar cloth was burned, and crosses and statues of saints were smashed. The attack prompted Lavaur Mayor Bernard Canyon to say in a statement: ‘God will forgive. Not me.’”
“In the southern city of Nimes, near the Spanish border, vandals looted the altar of the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants (Our Lady of the Children) and smeared a cross with human excrement.”
“Consecrated hosts made from unleavened bread, which Catholics believe to be the body of Jesus Christ, were taken and found scattered among rubbish outside the building.”
“Bishop Robert Wattebled of Nimes said in a statement: ‘This greatly affects our diocesan community. The sign of the cross and the Blessed Sacrament have been the subject of serious injurious actions.’”
“‘This act of profanation hurts us all in our deepest convictions,’ he added, according to The Tablet, which reported that in February alone there had been a record 47 documented attacks on churches and religious sites.”

Churches and cathedrals are living, standing evidence of the rise of European civilization, with its roots embodied in Roman Catholicism and Christianity. These religious structures are repositories not only of religious observances, but also of history, culture, art, architecture, and music.

Our Lady of Paris, Notre Dame, will live on as the Soul of France (slideshows)

Notre-Dame de Paris, “Our Lady of Paris,” dates from 1160, when construction began, and its completion in 1260. A medieval cathedral, Notre Dame sits on the Ile de la Cite in Paris’s 4th arrondissement neighborhood. It is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

Its innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, it’s enormous and colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of the sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style.

Notre Dame’s place in history

The cathedral was desecrated in the 1790s during the French Revolution when its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In 1804, the cathedral was the site of the Coronation of Napoleon I, as Emperor of France. Notre Dame witnessed the baptism of Henri, Count of Chambord in 1921. As well as the funerals of several presidents of the Third French Republic.

As one of the most widely recognized symbols of Paris and the French nation, Notre Dame is a repository of history. The cathedral embodies the French identity:

“Liberte, equalite, fraternite.”

For anyone who would deny France’s rich history, traditions, and religion, a strong message must be sent:

“Do not trample on our traditions, do not dishonor our history, do not disrespect the French heritage.”

For those who would destroy free speech and the exercise of religion;  To those who would invade and alter European culture and tradition, the world, speaking in one voice must say “Arrete!”

Moreover, to those who would look the other way, who willfully refuse to observe evil, much less do something about it, there should be no quarter.

To “See no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil,” is to succumb to it.

History has taught us many lessons, the most salient of which is that to remain silent in the face of evil is to cede to it an undeserved power.Let Notre Dame stand as a reminder to all.

If you see something, say something. Preserve civilized culture. Do not desecrate artifacts of those who came before. Civilization is built upon these forebearers. We must honor them. We must look to them for guidance.

Vandalism, wherever it occurs, should not be tolerated. We must “Hear evil, see evil, and speak out against evil.”

Original here


Terror Group ISIS Celebrates Burning Of Notre Dame Cathedral

The latest speculation by French officials is that the fire that gutted the Notre Dame Cathedral was caused by the electric wiring in an elevator shaft, but it is not definitive as of yet. One thing the officials are sure of, that the fire had nothing to do with arson or terrorism. Despite that it was none of their doing, the sick nutbags at ISIS are celebrating the near destruction of one of the most famous houses of worship in the world, just days before Christians celebrate their Easter holiday.

 A poster of the blazing cathedral appeared online accompanied by the words, ‘Have a good day,’ and was created by the ISIS-affiliated Al-Muntasir group according to the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium.

The poster says: ‘Its construction began in the year 1163 and ended in 1345. It’s time to say goodbye to your oratory polytheism.’

Per the Daily Mail:

ISIS fanatics are heartlessly reveling in the inferno at Notre Dame Cathedral just days before Easter calling it ‘retribution and punishment’, according to terror intelligence researchers.

Trending: Chief Of Campus Police Force Placed On Leave For Conservative Viewpoint

A poster of the blazing cathedral appeared online accompanied by the words, ‘Have a good day,’ and was created by the ISIS-affiliated Al-Muntasir group according to the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium.

The poster says: ‘Its construction began in the year 1163 and ended in 1345. It’s time to say goodbye to your oratory polytheism.’

The jihadists referred to the catastrophe as ‘retribution and punishment,’ SITE intelligence reported.

The chilling message appeared as firefighters continued their efforts to put out the blaze late on Monday night, which broke out less than a week before Easter and amid Holy Week commemorations.

The Al-Munatsir media organization has shared propaganda rejoicing in terror attacks which have rocked France

It didn’t take long for those murderous animals to rejoice in the pain of others. The only surprise is that they didn’t claim to have started the blaze, After-all along with killing, lying is used for ISIS propaganda.

There are those who speculate the fire was an act of terror. Perhaps because many churches in France were attacked recently and a woman was just sentenced for plotting an attack near Notre Dame Cathedral. Some point to the fact that the roof of the cathedral burned so fast.  But they forget that wood is flammable and 800-year-old wood is even more combustible. Besides authorities on the scene said ruled out arson and possible terror-related motives as possible causes at least for the moment and are treating the blaze as an accident, according to The Associated Press. Any speculation that the fire was premeditated and purposeful is dangerous and irresponsible.

I mourn for the cathedral and the people of France; I do not cry because I am a Catholic or a Christian, but because I am an observant Jew. As a person of faith, I believe that any place where people of any religion that observe the seven Noahide Laws* gather to connect with God is a holy sanctuary and must be treated as thus.

*For those who are not familiar with the Seven Noahide Laws, in the Jewish tradition, they were given by God to Noah after the flood.  They include:

  1. Don’t worship idols.
  2. Don’t curse God.
  3. Establish courts of justice.
  4. Don’t commit murder.
  5. Don’t commit adultery or sexual immorality.
  6. Don’t steal.
  7. Don’t eat flesh torn from a living animal.

Any Gentile who observes the laws above is considered a righteous gentile.

Cross-posted with The Lid.  Alicia Luke contributed to this report.

Related:

Original here


Fmr. Notre Dame Chief Architect: Ancient Oak Doesn’t Burn Like That

APRIL 18, 2019 8:45 AM

Expert casts doubt on official narrative

(Newswars) – A former chief architect and general inspector of French historical monuments has cast doubts on the official narrative that the Notre Dame fire was likely an electrical short that set the iconic cathedral ablaze.

Benjamin Mouton, who served as Chief Architect of Historic Monuments in France and oversaw restoration work of Notre Dame until 2013, says that it is highly unlikely an electrical short circuit took place, and that it would take an extraordinary effort to ignite the ancient oak of the cathedral.

“So, you’re telling us that this type of timber doesn’t burn like that?” Mouton was asked by an LCI host.

“Oak that is 800-years-old is very hard – try to burn it,” Mouton said. “Old oak, it is not easy at all. You would need a lot of kindling to succeed… It stupefies me.”

Asked to present an explanation for how the blaze spread so quickly and with such strength, Mouton asserted that there were no additional precautions that could have been taken to ensure such a “quick” incineration could be prevented.

“In the Nineties, we updated all the electrical wiring of Notre Dame,” Mouton said. “So there is no possibility of a short circuit. We updated to conform with the contemporary norms, even going very far – all the detection and protection systems against fire in the cathedral.”

Mouton also revealed that there are two watchmen on duty around the clock who monitor for any chance of fire, adding that the technical and security measures taken to protect monuments like Notre Dame are unprecedented.

More than a billion euros have been pledged to restore Notre Dame, which President Emmanuel Macron claims will be executed within five years.

Below: Alex Jones presents video of Fox host Lou Dobbs warning his viewers of a “political” cover-up of the cause of the Notre Dame cathedral fire.

Original here

Texas Backs Chick-fil-A, Come What Mayo!

Chick-fil-A may cater, but not to the demands San Antonio liberals care about. Now, three weeks into the city council’s decision to ban the restaurant from the local airport, Texas conservatives know: this case for their religious liberty bill was made to order.

“Everyone has a place here, and everyone should feel welcome when they walk through our airport,” City Councilman Roberto Treviño told the media after the council’s 6-4 vote to boot the chicken chain from opening a shop in the terminal. Why? Because the owners dare to donate to charities like the Salvation Army. “Ridiculous!” Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) responded on Twitter. “That’s not Texas,” he argued.

Unfortunately, the state’s conservatives worry, that will be Texas if something isn’t done to protect religious freedom. “With this decision,” Treviño insisted, the council “reaffirmed the work [San Antonio] has done to become a champion of inclusion.” Until, of course, that “inclusion” applies to people who support natural marriage and sexuality. Where’s the equality for them? That’s a question the Lone Star State is trying to answer with the introduction of SB 17, the Free to Believe Act and the First Amendment Defense Act.

Chick-fil-A may be a private company, but that doesn’t mean it has to surrender its beliefs at the dining room door. And the same goes for any American trying to live out their faith in the public square. The San Antonio City Council thinks it can’t, “in good conscience,” sign an airport agreement with a business owned by Christians. But isn’t that exactly what this debate is about — conscience? Just because the Cathy family owns a national restaurant chain doesn’t mean they’re excluded from the First Amendment. Regardless of what liberals say, religious freedom isn’t just for churches. It’s for every business, wedding vendor, adoption agency, charity, doctor — every citizen. And that’s what SB 17 is hoping to remind Texans.

“We’re waking up in an era where Christian faith, specifically, seems to be under attack,” said state Sen. Charles Perry (R). In the current political climate, he’s worried Christians can’t practice their faith openly without facing consequences — including the loss of their jobs and livelihood. Under the Free to Believe Act, government officials can’t punish Texans for thinking differently than the radical Left. That’s just “a license to discriminate,” LGBT activists argue.

Not true, Republicans like Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (Texas) fired back. No one is trying to create a religious excuse for businesses to turn people away. No believer I know would want that — let alone lobby for it. As even Chick-fil-A has said, everyone should feel welcome at its restaurant. This debate has never been about Christians discriminating against anyone — it’s about stopping the government from discriminating against them!

Even in some of the more high-profile wedding vendor cases, where the Left is trying to paint Christians as intolerant monsters who want to slam the door shut on same-sex couples, you’ll find that — to a person — each shop owner was more than happy to sell the activists something off their shelves. In fact, Barronnelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers, considered the man who sued her to be one of her best customers. “I knew he was in a relationship with a man and he knew I was a Christian. But that never clouded the friendship for either of us or threatened our shared creativity — until he asked me to design something special to celebrate his upcoming wedding. If all he’d asked for were prearranged flowers, I’d gladly have provided them. If the celebration were for his partner’s birthday, I’d have been delighted to pour my best into the challenge. But as a Christian, weddings have a particular significance.”

In Chick-fil-A’s case, the Left’s overreaction is almost comical. The Cathy family hasn’t done any overt lobbying on natural marriage for years. In fact, they’ve intentionally backed away from taking a stand on issues of biblical morality — yet still, they’re a target. That ought to show everyone that there’s just no appeasing the Left. Simply being a Christian in the workforce — even a polite and politically silent one — is enough to draw the liberals’ wrath.

But the Democrats’ new terrain, where your personal views disqualify you from participating in society, is a dangerous precedent. If liberals choose not to eat Chick-fil-A, that’s their right. Just like it’s our right not to shop at Target until they stop putting women and children in danger with their bathroom policies. What isn’t our decision — or theirs — is to exclude these businesses from the market altogether. If you agree, join our friends from Texas Values in Wednesday’s Save Chick-fil-A Day! Come to the state capitol for the House hearing on the Free to Believe Act, and then drive-through your local chain on the way home. Help Texas leaders show the country that there’s always an appetite for real religious freedom!

As seen here at Family Research Council. Posted here with permission.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Original here


Related

https://narrowpathministries.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/chick-fil-a-derangement-syndrome/

Is the Resurrection a Product of Legendary Embellishment?

Do the gospels contain legendary embellishments when it comes to Jesus’ resurrection? Did the original disciples really believe that Jesus died, was buried, and then rose from the dead? Leaving aside the fact that a compelling case for the resurrection can be made from the gospels themselves , let’s address this objection that the gospels contain these legendary embellishments.

If the gospels contain legends that were not part of early Christian belief, then we would expect our earliest sources to reflect a different account of things. Conversely, if the earliest sources agree with the gospels, then it becomes very difficult indeed to argue that Mark and the others have been contaminated by legendary embellishment.[1] So, what are these earlier sources? Perhaps the most critical source available to the historian is the pre-Pauline tradition preserved in 1 Corinthians 15:3-5:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:

that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

and that He was buried,

and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

The reason this passage is so important is that there is good reason to believe that this teaching is not original with Paul but rather, goes back to the original disciples of Jesus, dated to within five years of Jesus’ death.

Dr. Mike Licona offers a compelling case for the importance of this passage. First, there is good evidence to suggest that Paul is appealing to a tradition that is not original with him:[2]

1.    Paul uses two terms to indicate that he is carefully passing on a tradition that he received from someone else: παρέδωκα (“delivered”) and παρέλαβον (“received”). Since we know that Paul’s past as a Pharisee instilled in him high regard for tradition[3]and that he maintained his high view of tradition[4], we have good reason to believe that Paul is accurately passing on a tradition that is not his own.

2.    The vocabulary of this passage is uncharacteristic for Paul. The phrase “according to the scriptures” doesn’t appear anywhere else in the New Testament! “On the third day” is not found anywhere else in Paul. “The twelve” is not found anywhere else in Paul, and he prefers to say “the apostles.”[5]

3.    There is obvious structure and parallelism. The passage is broken into four lines, each introduced with the term ὅτι (“that”). The first and third lines are longer and follow the pattern of verb, clarification, and an appeal to the Scriptures. These longer lines are both followed by the shorter second and third lines.

Second, there is good evidence to suggest that Paul received this tradition from the original disciples in Jerusalem within five years of Jesus’ death:[6]

1.    Paul himself believed that doctrine originated in Jerusalem[7]. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:11 that “we” preach the tradition above. In the context, he is referring to the apostles along with himself. However, the original church leaders were headquartered in Jerusalem[8]. So, we have good reason to believe that this tradition came from Jerusalem.

2.    There are at least two occasions where Paul visits Jerusalem before the writing of 1 Corinthians. The first is three years after his conversion, for a total of about five years after the death of Jesus, when he stayed fifteen days to “visit” or “become acquainted” with Peter. It is hard to imagine Paul, someone with incredible drive and zeal, spending over two weeks with a man like Peter, and the two of them never discussing the bedrock of their new-found fellowship in Christ.

3.    Also, on this first occasion, Paul uses the word ἱστορῆσαι (“visit” or “become acquainted with”) from which derives the English word “history.” The word’s definition is to visit “for the purpose of coming to know someone or something…to get information from.”[9] Therefore, the word that Paul uses indicates that this was not a casual visit and that an exchanging of information characterized his time with Peter.

There are other occasions on which Paul would have had the opportunity to receive this tradition, but it is hard to see why he would not have received it on this first visit. In light of this evidence, it is difficult to see how the resurrection account in the gospels is legendary. For, not even five years after the events, the central component of the original apostle’s preaching was the death and resurrection of Jesus.


[1] Michael Licona, The Resurrection of Jesus: a new historiographical approach, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2010), 209

[2] Ibid., 224-226.

[3] Galatians 1:14.

[4] 1 Corinthians 11:2;23; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; et al.

[5] 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:19 et al.

[6] Licona, The Resurrection, 226-227, 30.

[7] Romans 15:25-27.

[8] Galatians 1:17-28; 2:1-10; Acts 1:8; 8:1; 15:2 et al.

[9] Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Literature, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 483.