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Christology Questions VII:

The Life and Spiritual Death of Christ and Holy Communion

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Question #1: 

Hello,

Your comments on these events are fascinating and my eyes have been opened as I have journeyed through your writing. I have one question if I may: Below is a comment that was made, my questions is: The first striking took place early in the Exodus; The second striking took place at the end of the 40 year wilderness experience; What scripture can I read in regards to the rock being a symbol of victory?

The first striking of the rock took place early in the Exodus and is a picture of Him who was stricken for us (cf. Is.53:4), but the second striking of the rock took place at the end of the 40 years in the wilderness, where the rock was clearly meant to be a symbol of the victory that is based upon our Lord's sacrifice, a Second Advent reference, just as the entrance into the land is typical of the restoration of Israel after the Second Advent (i.e., so we have two rocks representing two advents; cf. the colt and the foal in Matt.21:1-5, also bearing the same two-advent symbolism).

Thanks for enlightening me in The Word of God

God Bless

Response #1: 

Good to make your acquaintance, and thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words.

In regard to the quotation from the posting "Moses Striking the Rock" about which you ask, the "victory" referenced has to do with the fact that the symbolism Moses was called upon to fulfill (and failed to do so) showed that the victory over sin had been achieved in this second iteration. The first time the Rock was struck (symbolizing the cross); the second time the Rock was spoken too and water flowed out without striking (water symbolizing the Word of God and Life Eternal that comes from drinking of it; e.g., Rev.22:1; 22:17). Christ is the Rock, portrayed in the first instance as our sacrifice, but in the second instance as our resurrected Savior – the victory of the cross now behind Him. The operative apposition used there, "a Second Advent reference", carries the main point. On the Rock used as a symbol for Christ our Savior see, e.g., Duet.32:4; 1Sam.2:2; 2Sam.22:47; 23:3; Ps.18:2; 18:46; 19:14; 61:2; 118:22; 144:1; Is.17:10; 28:16; 44:8; 51:1; Hab.1:12; Rom.9:33; 1Cor.10:4; cf. Ex.17:6; Num.20:8; Deut.32:4-37; Is.8:14-15; Dan.2:44-45; 1Cor.3:11 (and see the link).

Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:4 NIV

"You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."
Isaiah 44:8b NIV

And I tell you that you are Peter [the little rock] (petr-os), but upon this [mighty] Rock (petr-a, i.e., upon Christ Himself; cf. 1Cor.3:11) I shall build My Church (cf. Dan.2:44-45), and the gates (i.e., the fortified defenses) of Hades (i.e., the devil's kingdom) will not [be able to] resist it.
Matthew 16:18

(6) That is why it says in scripture, "Behold, I am placing a stone in Zion, a cornerstone which is select and costly, and the one who believes in Him will most definitely not be put to shame". (7) This honor belongs to you who are believers, but to unbelievers [scripture says] "this [very] stone which the builders rejected has become the Chief Foundation", (8) and "a Stone for stumbling and a Rock for tripping", against which the disobedient collide as they have been appointed to do (i.e., because of their decision to reject Christ).
1st Peter 2:6-8

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #2: 

https://www.reddit.com/r/TrueChristian/comments/3ped47/there_is_extrabiblical_evidence_of_jesus_life/cw5quxf

David Hume and Christopher Hitchens were at least idiots gifted with golden tongues. Robert Price is just an idiot. I don't know why people talk about "secular sources" when it comes to materials in the first century, considering that even government documents were religious.

As it is, there are four "secular facts" about Jesus Christ that are nearly unanimously agreed upon:

(1) He was crucified under Pontius Pilate.

(2) There was a man who was a heavy persecutor of Jesus that suddenly became one of his biggest advocates.

(3) His tomb was empty.

(4) There are papyri of the Gospel of John that go back to the first century, which are far too close to the described events for a mythology to emerge.

Response #2: 

Nice job!

Question #3: 

Hello--I hope you don't mind my sending this to me, to see if you can "translate" it for me. It's in English and I always thought I was fairly well-educated in understanding English--I have a bachelor's in Journalism--but I cannot make heads or tails out of this--as near as I can tell, he is saying we are misinterpreting when Jesus and His disciples had the Passover and ate unleavened bread. He rattles off some Hebrew I don't understand.

Brace yourself:

Jesus and His disciples did not eat unleavened bread on Nisan 14 (sunset to sunset reckoning - date of Jesus' Crucifixion), when Jesus instituted the Eucharist on the night that He was betrayed. (i.e. God commanded that unleavened bread be eaten for seven days, according to the Spirit and the Letter of the law combined. (Exodus 12:15; 13:6) The seven days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread according to the Spirit and the Letter of the law combined were (sunset to sunset reckoning -15,16,17,18,19,20,21) (Leviticus 23:6,7; Numbers 28:17,18) Jesus always obeyed His Father's commands by the Spirit and the Letter of the law combined, always. Jesus is our Paschal Lamb without spot, and without blemish. Jesus didnot sin. Jesus did eat unleavened bread for seven days for all of the years prior to his ministry, and for all of those years during His ministry, prior toHis Crucifixion, according to the Spirit and the Letter of the law combined, (15,16,17,18,19,20,21). (Leviticus 23:6,7; Numbers 28:17,18) Jesus would have also continued in this same manner in the year of His Crucifixion, *if* He had not been betrayed and Crucified prior to the Feast of Unleavened Bread. (sunset to sunset reckoning -15,16,17,18,19,20,21) (Leviticus 23:6,7; Numbers 28:17,18). This is "visually" illustrated in the Key of David.

Last Supper was a Passover Sacrifice Feast by the "Spirit of the Law" only. (Nisan 14)

Last Supper was not the Passover Sacrifice Feast Celebrated by the "Letter of the Law" (15,16,17,18,19,20,21). (Leviticus 23:6,7; Numbers 28:17,18)

Scriptural arguments prove beyond any doubt that the Last Supper was not the Passover sacrifice feast celebrated by the "Letter of the Law". Simply stated, it was contrary to the "Letter of the Law" to eat leavened bread with the Passover sacrifice feast[1] (already commonly understood and accepted throughout the ages). Also, it was contrary to the "Letter of the Law" to eat unleavened bread with the Passover sacrifice feast on the fourteenth day of the first month[2]. This is the date for Jesus' Crucifixion commonly held by modern Christendom. Since bread was in fact eaten at the Last Supper, on the fourteenth day of the first month[3], it could only have been eaten in accordance to the "Letter of the Law", if the Last Supper was not the Passover sacrifice feast celebrated by the "Letter of the Law".

[1] [Exodus 12:8; Exodus 12:15; Exodus 12:19]

[2] [Exodus 12:15; Leviticus 23:6,7; Numbers 28:17,18]

[God commanded that unleavened bread be eaten for seven days, the fifteenth day to the twenty-first day. If unleavened bread were eaten on the fourteenth day of the first month, then unleavened bread would have been eaten for eight days, and would have been contrary to God’s command. This is an obvious deduction from [Exodus 31:15], where God commanded that man should work for six days, the first day to the sixth day. If man had worked on the seventh day, then man would have worked for seven days, and this action would have been contrary to God’s command. Did God really mean six days in [Exodus 31:15]? Yes, He did. [Numbers 15:30-36]. Did God really mean seven days in [Exodus 12:15;13:6]? Absolutely, it is impossible for God to lie! [Titus 1:2][Hebrews 6:18][1 John 2:21].

[3] [Matthew 26:26; Mark 14:22; Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23]

[Exodus 3:14-15] The LORD God, I AM sent Moses to the children of Israel.

[John 8:58] Jesus identified Himself as, "I AM"; therefore: Jesus is LORD.

[Matthew 26:2] The LORD was crucified on Passover.

[Numbers 28:16] The Passover of the LORD is on the fourteenth day of the first month.

Therefore: Jesus was crucified on the fourteenth day of the first month.

[1 Corinthians 11:23] The LORD’s Supper was celebrated on the night of the fourteenth day of the first month.

***

My response:

How on earth do we supposedly make Jesus "disobey" God's commandments in these verses???

The ecclesiastical authorities' spiritual error in exegesis of an eternal, perpetual, everlasting God ordained ordinance. They have rejected, and are amazingly still rejecting the Scriptural fact, that this eternal, perpetual, and everlasting ordinance is to only be interpreted by the "Spirit of the law", only. They are still in their unrepentant sin of pride, and sin of bearing false witness against the faithful in Christ, believing that this eternal, perpetual, and everlasting ordinance is to only be interpreted by the "Letter of the law" only. (intentionally? unintentionally? Our Heavenly Father knows.) God's Perspective matters! God's Perspective is 100% Holy, 100% Truthful, and 100% Authoritative! It is finished! It is impossible for God to lie! (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; 1 John 2:21) We are a royal priesthood! We are a holy nation! We are redeemed by the Holy and Precious Blood of the Lamb!

***

The ecclesiastical authorities' assertion that the Holy Hebrew Text "beyn ha'arbayim" is to be *eternally* interpreted in the one true faith (Biblical Judeo/Christian faith), by the "Letter of the law" only , is soul-ly naturally demonic. (1 John 2:18) The ecclesiastical authorities are continuing to basically place their faith that it is not finished, and in the process, still feeding those non-biblical doctrines to the faithful in Christ. The ecclesiastical authorities did not/ do not/ will not (?) heed to the doctrine of Christ. (Matthew 16:6) (intentionally? unintentionally? Our Heavenly Father knows.)

There is 0% Holy Scriptural evidence that the Holy Hebrew Text "beyn ha'arbayim" is to be *eternally* interpreted in the one true faith (Biblical Judeo/Christian faith), by the "Letter of the law" only. (noon to sunset - six hours - no "twilight") Christ died according to the Scriptures, and He rose again according to the Scriptures. Christ did not die according to the secular historical texts*, and Christ did not rise again according to the secular historical texts*.

*[(Mekilta 12:15, Pisha 8:38-41), R. Ishmael, R. Jonathon, and R. Jose], [R. Brown (The death of the Messiah;p.847) Jubilees 49:10; Josephus (War6.9.3; p. 423); Mishna (Pesahim 5.1, 5.3); Philo (De specialibus legibus 2.27; p.145)].

Jesus and the holy apostles obeyed God, and they did not walk in Pharisaic traditions of men that "make void" the word of God. (Matthew 15:7-9) (i.e. "beyn ha'arbayim" is to be *eternally* interpreted "implicitly", in the one true faith (Biblical Judeo/Christian faith), by the "Spirit of the law" only. (between the evenings of Jewish man and God, and only from God's Perspective; between sunset and darkness, and only from God's Perspective) There is only one eternal Holy Spirit! There is only one eternal Holy Spirit "inspired" interpretation of the Hebrew Text "beyn ha'arbayim". We are commanded in Holy Scripture to walk as Jesus walked, and to obey God. (1 John 2:6) Jesus and the holy apostles did not pass along this Pharisaic tradition* that "makes void" the word of God to the faithful ecclesia (i.e. (noon to sunset - six hours - no "twilight")). Jesus and the holy apostles obeyed the one and only *eternal* Holy Spirit "inspired" interpretation of the Hebrew Text "beyn ha'arbayim" (between the evenings of Jewish man and God, and only from God's Perspective; between sunset and darkness, and only from God's Perspective), and Jesus and the holy apostles did not obey man's *eternal* uninspired interpretation of the Hebrew Text "beyn ha'arbayim" (noon to sunset - six hours - no "twilight"). Jesus condemned/condemns/and will always condemn Pharisaic traditions of men that "make void" the word of God. (Commandments of men) (Matthew 15:7-9)

There is 100% Holy Scriptural evidence that the Holy Hebrew Text "beyn ha'arbayim" is to be *eternally* interpreted "implicitly", in the one true faith (Biblical Judeo/Christian faith), by the "Spirit of the law" only. (between the evenings of Jewish man and God, and only from God's Perspective; between sunset and darkness, and only from God's Perspective) Christ died according to the Scriptures, and He rose again according to the Scriptures. This is "visually" illustrated in the Key of David.

It is very simple. All of the ecclesiastical authorities need to repent for this specific spiritual error in exegesis. That means to reverse course, and to accept 100% the Holy Spirit "inspired" Spiritual meaning of "beyn ha'arbayim", found only in the the "whole of Scripture" (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4) (Genesis 1:1 - Revelation 22:21). There is only one eternal Holy Spirit! There is only one eternal Holy Spirit "inspired" interpretation of the Hebrew Text "beyn ha'arbayim". Sectarianism is sin.

The Hebrew phrase, "beyn ha'arbayim" is always interpreted from God's Perspective of the Law only, ("Spirit of the Law"), only, always! "Beyn ha'arbayim", the "appointed time" of sacrifice/Sacrifice always falls on the first day. This is an *eternal* Truth, (Exodus 12:14,17,24; Mark 14:12), established, and declared by the "whole of Scripture" (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4) (Genesis 1:1 - Revelation 22:21) "Spirit of the law" only,always!

1 Corinthians 1:10 Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson (Emphasis mine)

10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Do you know what the heck he is talking about? I hope so, as I sure don't! He is a bit of a nut job, as he has told us on the Lutheran board that God has specifically spoken to him to tell us Lutherans that we are wrong in some of our beliefs--and then proceeds to tell us what beliefs are wrong--and he gets them wrong! You would think God would have gotten our doctrines correct when He contacted this guy....*:-/ confused

I have asked him several times to put all of this into plain, simple English--but he never does. Just keeps reposting this stuff.

Thanks for your help.

Response #3: 

Correspondent could explain his position easily enough in a short paragraph. As things actually stand, however, it is not entirely clear what he/she means or what he/she is on about (I'm at a disadvantage here for not seeing the prior discussion). What I can say is that there is a good deal of controversy out there in cyber-space Christianity nowadays as to the precise chronology of passion week. Why in the world this needs to be the case I have never been able to figure out, but believe me when I say that I have had my full share of such discussions. Correspondent obviously has a chronology which he/she prefers; however it is clear that this view makes great use of back-interpretation from latter day Jewish texts and traditions as such approaches inevitably do (what may actually be gleaned from scripture about this issue can be found at the link: "The Last Passover").

This brings me to the second observation wherein correspondent wants to distinguish the "last supper" from Passover; while sympathetic to the motivations here, the fact that our Lord Himself calls it "Passover" (Matt.26:18; Mk.14:14; Lk.22:8; 22:11; 22:15; 22:18*: ""With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;" NKJV) would suggest that drawing a such a sharp distinction – in spite of the clearly groundbreaking nature of the ceremony of remembrance our Lord instituted on that night before the cross – is inappropriate.

Finally, correspondent has a very specific bone to pick with some interpretation someone has advanced about the Hebrew phrase "between the evenings", a phrase which he/she seems to want to say does not mean "noon to sunset". I am certainly fine with that (the phrase refers to the period of semi-darkness or dusk, which was the time of the evening sacrifice). However, 1) I don't know of anyone who wants the phrase to mean what correspondent complains about (there may be plenty who have this wrong view; I simply don't know who they are); 2) there are many other views out there about this phrase, and misinterpretations of it do figure prominently in the (faulty) reasoning of those who want a Thursday or even a Wednesday crucifixion. So it is possible that correspondent is standing up for some good causes (though I wouldn't want to commit to that on account of the confused nature of the expression here – correspondent clearly comes from some group which uses its own esoteric terminology which he/she assumes is universally understood), but doing so in a way which is . . . (let every reader fill in their own blank here).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #4: 

This guy sent me some other stuff and it seems to revolve around "bread". But honestly, though I am no scholar in Greek, even I can tell that Jesus ate UNleavened bread during the Passover feast, since ALL 4 Gospels, esp. Luke, make it plain that it was the Passover that Jesus ate with His disciples and ONLY unleavened bread was eaten at that--and you also showed that Jesus said He desired to eat this Passover with them. And ONLY unleavened bread was eaten at that feast, as per God's instructions in Exodus.

I read Dr. Luginbill's response. He really didn't have that much to say. He is also very mature in years, to be honest with the readers. In fact, in January of 2014, almost two years ago, I had sent him an email to inform him on this very topic. After he had responded to me that he couldn't download the free "Twilight Report" from my website, I emailed him the illustrations in the "Twilight Report" separately in another email. If Dr. Luginbill had any insight on this topic, he had ample opportunity to respond to me back then, as he received the "visual" Scriptural Holy Week chronology, based on the "whole" of Scripture (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4) (Genesis 1:1 - Revelation 22:21) "Spirit of the law" only.

Messianic Prophesy:

Psalm 41:9 Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. (Emphasis mine)

9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,

Who ate my bread,

Has lifted up his heel against me.

Strong's Hebrew: 3899

Transliteration: lechem

Short Definition: bread

Jesus (Messiah) took bread (regular bread) on the same night He was betrayed by His friend Judas. (Matthew 26:47-50) (1 Corinthians 11:23)

Matthew 26:26 Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. (Emphasis mine)

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed[a] and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."

Strong's Greek: 740

Transliteration: artos

Short Definition: bread

Strong's Hebrew: 3899 lechem = lechem , and not Strong's Hebrew 4682: matstsah

Strong's Greek: 740 artos = artos , and not Strong's Greek: 106 azumos

The Holy Spirit "inspired" Holy Text in Psalm 41:9 uses the word for regular bread, and not unleavened bread.

The Holy Spirit "inspired" Holy Text in Matthew 26:26 uses the word for regular bread, and not unleavened bread.

Are you or Dr. Luginbill saying, that the Holy Spirit "erred" in the recording of what type of bread was eaten during the Lord's original action at the Lord's Supper? The Apostolic authority in the early Church knew that the Holy Spirit did not err, and celebrated the remembrance with regular bread, and not unleavened bread. This same Apostolic authority during those years wrote the Holy Spirit"inspired" epistles in the New Testament.

There you have it, the Hebrew (Psalm 41:9 - Messianic Prophesy), and the Greek (Matthew 26:26 - Messiah). Dr. Luginbill apparently responds only to you, as he never returned my email after he received the "visual" Scriptural Holy Week chronology from me.

It is better to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)

Do you remember this guy at all? He claims you never responded to him. Self styled "scholars" like him must give real scholars like you heartburn.

Response #4: 

First off, it seems to me that I was giving this fellow the benefit of the doubt on several points in my response to you; seems like an oddly hostile reaction. While I couldn't possibly have known it when I answered you, this person did email as stated and sent me his magnum opus via email attachments (19 separate jpg files). Since I had had several conversations with him before dating back to 2011 wherein I had answered questions and defended the traditional Friday date of the crucifixion, I didn't feel the need to spend a lot of time analyzing his latest work. I thanked him for his kindness in sending me a copy, and that was that. Ichthys is not an apologetic ministry such as CARM is. I answer Bible questions for interested parties, and only engage in controversy where some position espoused at Ichthys is directly attacked (up to the point where civility is abandoned on the other side). Since correspondent did not have any new questions (rather, only "solutions" of which I had no need) and did not follow up, I was happy to move on to other work (of which there is plenty). I don't think that's a function of my youthful age.

I have since had a look at the materials on correspondent's website, but despite my best efforts to pin it down, his explanation for the phrase beyn ha'arbayim seems to waffle, sometimes meaning what I would call the traditional interpretation, "between the evenings" = dusk, and sometimes being taken in certain ways which correspondent thinks are/is unique (and may well be – something to do with God's perspective on twilight being radically different from how we use the word). To be honest, I don't have a lot of patience with interpretations which don't ever seem to get to the "bottom line". The best I can tell from the website, if a person decided to commit to that ministry, perhaps in time light might come (I hate to say so, because he seems like a nice enough fellow, but this is typical cult practice). If you have something to say, say what you mean and mean what you say; and if your explanation must be complicated, please stay away from esoterica which only has meaning within your own system of interpretation.

On "bread", it is true that there is a special name for bread without yeast in Hebrew, "matzo" (or matzah or matza in English transliteration), and it is true that there is a special word for this in Greek, azymos, literally "unleavened [bread]". The fallacy employed by correspondent here, however, is to assume that because azymos can never mean leavened bread, that therefore the simple word for "bread" can never refer to unleavened bread. That is wrong, because if it is clear in context what kind of bread we are talking about, it certainly can. We see that in Hebrew for example at Exodus 29:23 where a loaf of lechem (the generic word for bread translated as artos in the LXX) is taken from "the basket of unleavened bread" (matzoth).

So as you rightly point out, when our Lord makes clear that this is a Passover they will be celebrating, we can be sure that just as the lamb was prepared according to regulations, so also the bread was unleavened. Not that it would have any magical significance if such were not the case. Indeed, this entire fixation is a case of "hobby-horsing" what from a doctrinal point of view or from the point of view of personal spiritual growth has nothing to do with the price of beans. A person can think that the crucifixion was Wednesday, Thursday or Friday (the last is correct) and not be the worse for spiritual wear – unless or until it becomes a "big deal" and a point of pride or division (which is unfortunately usually the case).

I will also note that correspondent's website seems to put a good deal of mystical significance into these questionable and in some cases downright incorrect distinctions. That's a warning sign too.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #5: 

Thanks for your response. I didn't know he had a website. He seems to have singled out us Lutherans and we are nothing, if not orthodox--at least the LCMS and WELS synods are. And we do use unleavened wafers at our Communion services. I pointed out to this guy--since he seems to be such a stickler for doing it as the Bible says to do it--that the 4 cups of wine are not part of the original Passover meal,but a later, man-made addition. He tried to use Abraham bringing bread and wine to Melchizedek to show a precedence, but I said that had nothing to do with the Passover meal or Holy Communion. But the Jews added the 4 cups of wine to the glory of God and gave them wonderful meanings, to help remember what God did for them at the first Passover. Jesus utilized the cup of wine to initiate the New Covenant in His blood, so He didn't have any heartburn with using a man-made tradition that had been made to glorify God. But thanks for your measured response. This guy wrote this to me on CARM:

"The Holy Spirit leads me where I need to go. The Hebrew Text "beyn ha'arbayim" was a project all by itself, going on 23 years now. I did not study Hebrew. It is always better to have the Holy Spirit as the Teacher and Guide. God called me out of my engineering career in 1992 after only five years in corporate management."

I told him he wasted those 23 years! *:) happy I know, that was naughty of me...but he has yet to respond to the post I made to him, where I wrote all of those passages from the Gospels about what kind of festival Jesus and His disciples were celebrating, esp. from Luke 22, and where I showed him from Exodus 12, I think it is, what kind of bread God commanded the Jews to eat during Passover and the Feast of Unleavened bread. So far, he has ignored what I wrote, even though I even gave him a link to my post. I reiterated it to him in another post of mine to him He quoted Luther to me about the clear word of God and not changing it--but I haven't and neither has my church--we eat unleavened flour wafers at Communion. So I don't know what this guy's beef is...he also claims that churches have been using leavened bread for centuries and to google it and he will see that he is right. Yeah, right....

You may be right, that this guy is borderline cultish. Fanaticism, esp. on one or two things, can be a sign that one is in a cult.

Thanks again. I shouldn't have to bother you again.

Response #5: 

Good stuff. I would think that the logic of this fellow's position ought to be that it doesn't matter precisely how communion is celebrated so much as what it means – but he seems to be drawing precisely the wrong conclusions in heckling you. The Presbyterians (the denomination of my youth) use regular bread and grape juice in their ceremonies – didn't seem to adversely affect my spirituality.

Nice rejoinder on the 23 years. I would want to ask, "if your engineering career required years of preparation to do well, why do you think something as important as teaching the Word of God ought to be treated with so much less regard in this respect?" I suppose it's a sign of the times that a putative Bible teacher can make the fact of never having studied Hebrew a matter of pride.

For more on this subject see the links:

Christology Questions III (beginning with Q/A #6)

Aspects of the Crucifixion II: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?

The Three Days (in BB 4A)

Friday versus Thursday Crucifixion.

Wednesday Crucifixion?

Wednesday, Thursday or Friday?

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #6: 

Hello Dr Luginbill, I pray all is well.

I was wondering, were Joseph and Mary living together before they were married? It seems clear that they were traveling together. Was this an engagement stage? How did the Jewish practice work in terms of engagement and actual marriage? What would the Jews do in the time between engagement and marriage? I'm sure they were waiting for a reason.

Response #6: 

Hello Friend,

You can find everything I've been able to piece together about our Lord's family at this link:

Mary, Joseph, and Nazareth.

As to your particular questions, on the one hand they are difficult to answer because they would require sources on actual Jewish practice of the first century B.C. and most such sources which do exist apart from scripture (such as Josephus and the Qumran texts) are mostly concerned with other matters or otherwise non-applicable (i.e., the way the Essenes may have done things is not necessarily indicative of the way things worked in Judea generally). For most such questions, all of our non-biblical "information" is from later rabbinical sources which also may or may not reflect actual practices of that time; and on the other hand, even if we had perfect information (whereas we have little in fact), clearly this was an absolutely unique situation – the most unique in the history of the world in fact. What we can say is that it was apparently common (if not universal) practice for parents to pick their children's future spouse, so that the "engagement" was much different from what we have today. Scripture doesn't say when, exactly, Joseph and Mary got married, but it was clearly between Matthew 1:18-20 (where the participle "espoused" in v.18 indicates that v.20 must mean "to take AS your wife" – so we conclude they weren't married yet) and Matthew 1:24 where we find Joseph did take her home "as his wife" but did not have relations with her until the birth of our Lord (Lk.1:24 indicates that the marriage did not take place until after the trip to Bethlehem). Based upon the details in scripture, it seems that there was nothing out of the ordinary in the arrangement of the marriage or its consummation – except for the monumental fact of the virgin conception (and also of Joseph honoring his commitment not to have relations with his new wife until after Jesus' birth). So this couple acted honorably and without reproach – even by contemporary cultural standards – in everything they did. So I would say that the reason for waiting was to allow the birth of our Savior to take place first so as to remove any question about the fact that pregnancy was of God and not of man.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #7: 

I just came across the idea of Christ being crucified on a Wednesday. I then found that you have replied to this topic several times in your emails. What still has me stuck is that Mark 16:1 says that spices were bought after a Sabbath, and Luke 23:55-56 seems to say that the spices were prepared before a Sabbath. How does Luke 23:56 translate? It looks like this verse could be easily misconstrued.

Response #7: 

Mark's Greek is unique enough that it is possible that the main verb in the aorist "bought" might be rendered with a Hebrew perfective force yielding something like: "when the Sabbath was over, and the women had bought (i.e., before that time) spices" (that is how the KJV renders it). This would certainly not be unprecedented usage, especially in the New Testament. It's certainly clear from Luke 23:56 that spices were bought before the Sabbath. So in terms of the chronology of the crucifixion and resurrection, this is a non-issue – what we have here is an apparent contradiction for anyone looking into these matters (not a brief for a Wednesday or Thursday crucifixion) – and an "only" apparent one at that.

While we might resolve the issue as mentioned above, it is also the case that both can be true. How many times have you bought things for a special event, and yet stopped by a store on the way there to pick up something else? After the Sabbath rest, it is entirely possible that an early morning trip by the marketplace or a vendor of spices they personally knew is what Mark 16:1 is describing (not the prior purchases and preparation of Lk.23:56). You can find discussions at these links:

Christology Questions III (beginning with Q/A #6)

Aspects of the Crucifixion II: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #8:  

Hi Bob,

Consider the following passage:

All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). By the time this child is old enough to choose what is right and reject what is wrong, he will be eating yogurt and honey. For before the child is that old, the lands of the two kings you fear so much will both be deserted.
Isaiah 7:14-16 NLT

This passage talks about a virgin giving birth to the child, but it also talks about that before the child will grow up and know good from evil, that the contemporary threat will have disappeared. Did God make a virgin conceive during Isaiah's day?

Sincerely,

Response #8: 

The Hebrew word 'almah can mean equally "young woman" and "virgin". It means the latter in the case of Mary, the main antitype of the prophecy; it means the former in the near term partial fulfillment (see the links: Isaiah 7:14 and the Virgin Birth and "More on 'almah").

In Jesus our dear Lord,

Bob L.

Question #9: 

Hi Bob,

(1) Why does Isaiah 8:8 address Immanuel in the vocative? (I know Biblical Hebrew doesn't have a vocative case proper, but this is clearly the sense "O Immanuel" is being used)

(2) Who are Rezin and Pekah?

Response #9: 

As with the type / anti-type of the birth / virgin-birth, so there is a type / anti-type with the name Immanuel. The final fulfillment comes with Christ who is in every sense "God with us"; the prefiguring type is alive in Isaiah's day, so that the short-term prophecies about Judah's deliverance are directed to the child (who is the "temporal yardstick", so to speak, in regard to the timing of those events).  See the link: "Typology"

Pekah was king of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and Rezin was king in Damascus of the Aramaic confederation (cf. 2Ki.15:37); these two had formed an alliance against Judah which the Lord assured His people through Isaiah would not be successful in their desire to take over the Southern Kingdom. In the event, both were conquered by the Assyrians soon thereafter.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #10: 

Professor, I've heard from a great deal of individuals that our Lord's name isn't Jesus and we should only call him by his Hebrew name.

Response #10: 

Always wonderful to hear from you, my friend.

Yes, there are many groups out there nowadays who want to make about big deal about this subject; in fact, there is no "deal" at all until someone says it's important: then it is, but not for the reasons they say. Making God into some kind of verbal accountant where only the right "magic name" will work is ridiculous on the face of it – and also very spiritually damaging if it is taken seriously and worse so if a person tries to use it as a cudgel to manipulate other believers who are walking in grace. I have written plenty about this and will give you the links below. However, one of the main arguments against this foolishness always to keep in mind is this: all of the writers of the New Testament who all wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit used on every single occasion in every NT book the GREEK name for our Lord: (Iesous, Ἰησοῦς). It is from this rendering that the Latin Iesus and then hence the English "Jesus" is derived. If this was no problem for the apostles and their compatriots in writing scripture under the Spirit's superintendence – all of whom were Jewish, knew Hebrew, and were operating in a largely Jewish environment – why in the world would it now be a problem for us? There is not a single scripture that even suggests that this is a problem, but this is the sort of nonsense that crops up when people are really not at all interested in the actual truth of scripture (the getting of which requires discipline and hard work).

Here are those links:

The name "Jesus"

Changing the Name of God?

The Divine Name

Divine Names in the Bible

"I AM"

The Names of the Trinity

More on the Name Jesus

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11: 

Hi Bob,

"Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD." (Isaiah 60:6)

Did the arrival of the Magi fulfill this prophecy?

Sincerely,

Response #11: 

It's an interesting question. Of course Matthew doesn't say anything about camels (they may have come on horseback or by donkey), and there is no myrrh mentioned in Isaiah. To me, that omission is significant because of the applicability of that spice in symbolizing the coming death of Christ on the cross, as myrrh was used primarily in embalming. Your observation may help to explain one of the reasons why people find camels in this part of the Christmas story, however.

In Jesus Christ who died for our sins that we might have life eternal.

Bob L.

Question #12: 

Hi Read psalm chapter 22 fully. My question. Was David referring to himself when he wrote verse 1? Or Was David referring to Jesus when he wrote verse 1? If You say that the pronoun (me) in verse 1 is only referring to David, then psalm chapter 22 is NOT a messianic prophecy. Please answer my questions. Thanks

Response #12: 

David is a "type" of Christ. So in verse one he speaks of both himself AND the Messiah. This is a very common feature of prophecy. The prophecy is fulfilled at the cross; our Lord quotes it once sin has been judged through His spiritual death (see the link: "Christ was forsaken for us"). Please also see the link: "Typology and Sequence in Old Testament Prophecy".

Question #13: 

My god my god why have you forsaken me?

The pronoun ( me) in this verse is clearly referring to David. David believed that verse 1 is about himself. There is NO indication whatsoever that the pronoun ( me) in verse 1 is referring to Jesus. Plus the same speaker in psalm 22 prayed to God to rescue him from those who who wanted to physically kill him. And God answered his prayer.

Psalm 22:21
Save me from the mouth of the lion. You have answered me from the horns of wild oxen.

The speaker was rescued.

Response #13: 

And here I thought you said you had a question. But it seems you thought you already knew the answer. If you want the truth, read the previously provided links.

Christ was indeed rescued, having been resurrected . . . after He has suffered spiritual death for all of your sins and mine. He now sits enthroned in glory at the Father's right hand.

(7) [Jesus our High Priest] who in the days of His flesh[ly life] (i.e., while He was on earth prior to the resurrection), having offered up prayers and petitions with powerful shouting and with tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and having been hearkened to on account of His devoutness, (8) although being [God's one and only] Son, nevertheless came to understand [firsthand in His humanity] from what He suffered [what] obedience to God [truly is] (i.e., what it takes for a human being to be obedient to God), (9) and, once He was perfected (i.e., perfectly completed His course), became the source of eternal salvation for all who are obedient to Him (i.e., believers).
Hebrews 5:7-9

In Jesus Christ who died for the sins of the world that we might have eternal life through Him.

Bob L.

Question #14: 

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I remember the teaching you have on "Christology" and here is a quote from that teaching:

But if the words used here for our Lord's death, "sacrifice and offering" and "aroma", while calling upon the symbolism of the animal sacrifices of the Law, are not actually meant to be understood as referring to His physical death (since His body was not immolated so as to produce a "pleasing aroma" in the manner of the Levitical sacrifices) or literal blood (and since salvation was accomplished before He gave up His spirit, and since He did not bleed to death, clearly they do not), and are instead likewise meant to be understood symbolically (which clearly they are), then the question then becomes, "what precisely do these words represent?" The answer to this question as suggested above is that "the blood of Christ", the phrase which sums up all the Old Testament symbolism which foreshadowed the cross, refers to the penalty paid by our Lord in the darkness on the cross in bearing and expiating our sins, that is, it refers to His spiritual death. But what precisely do we mean by the term "spiritual death"?

Can you please explain this verse based on the above? I am just trying to get this straight in my mind.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—
Colossians 1:21-22

As always I really appreciate your input and knowledge.

Till we meet on the other side.

Blessings in the name of above all other names, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Response #14: 

Hebrews talks about the blood of Christ (Heb.9:12; 13:12) but also about the body of Christ (Heb.10:5; 10:10; 10:20) as the means of our forgiveness. Here is the way I translate the verse in question:

Yet God has now accomplished reconciliation [for you] through the death of Christ in His physical body so that you may stand before Him as holy, without blemish and free from accusation.
Colossians 1:22

The spiritual death of Christ, which is in view here, is what accomplishes this reconciliation (by satisfying the righteousness demands of God's justice for complete payment for all sin as a precondition for it). Most commonly in the NT the metaphor "blood of Christ" is used for expressing this spiritual death, but sometimes as in the passage and the ones in Hebrews given by way of example above the "body of Christ" is used for the same purpose since that is where He actually bore / suffered for our sins:

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, in order that we might die to sins and live to righteousness. By His wound you are healed.
1st Peter 2:24

All this (salvation through His spiritual death) was accomplished before Christ expelled His spirit and died physically (and also before His blood was spilled after His dead body was pierced by the Roman soldier's lance).

This is, by the way, why we have bread and wine in communion, that is, to remember the body of Christ sacrificed for us and the blood of Christ spilled for us: His body was not burned as those of the Old Testament sacrifices were, but in that literal body He bore our sins; His blood was not spilled as that of the Old Testament sacrifices were, but His spiritual death for our sins is represented by that literal blood. We eat and drink and live here and now, but these things merely represent the eternal bodies we will have and the righteousness bought by the blood of Christ which we will have in eternity – because He sacrificed His body (bore our sins) and His blood (died spiritually for them being judged for them in the darkness) that we might live forever with Him.

Please do feel free to write me back about any of this, especially if I have misunderstood the precise question you have about Colossians 1:22.

Always good to hear from you, my friend!

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #15: 

What does scripture say regarding holy communion.

Response #15: 

Good to hear back from you. Scripture tells us that we are to remember our Lord when we eat and drink (Lk.22:19; 1Cor.11:24-25); this is often done collectively by believers and traditionally called "communion". However, in my observation there is probably no ceremony which is more widely misunderstood and abused. The point is to remember Jesus Christ ("do this in remembrance of Me"), that is, to remember who He is: God become a true human being in addition to His deity so as to be able to take on our sins; and to remember what He did for us: dying spiritually in the darkness of Calvary to propitiate every sin ever committed. The bread/food represents His body/Person as the God-man; the wine/drink represent His work on the cross in dying for our sins, the symbolic "blood of Christ". All this is covered in more detail at the following links (feel free to write back about any of this):

The Communion Ceremony outside of the Local Church

The Meaning of the Communion Ceremony: To Remember Christ

Communal Worship in Acts

Communion and the Blood of Christ

The Last Supper

The Leftover Baskets of Bread and Fish in John 6

The Lord's Supper and Confession of Sin

Communion and the Spiritual Death of Christ

Communion and Confession

Yours in the One who died that we might live forever with Him, our dear Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #16: 

A question about Communion or the Lord's Supper. Should this only be done at Passover each year?

Thanks,

Response #16: 

Good to make your acquaintance. Remembering the Lord, as He tells us, "when you eat and drink it (referring to the ceremony)" is always a good practice. Communion need not be taken only in a local church (where many times they don't understand either the symbolism or the significance and often add many extraneous things which are not biblical). As to Passover, that is a ritual which no longer applies to the Church since it was fulfilled at the cross. Here are some links on all this:

Communion

The Communion Ceremony outside of the Local Church

The Meaning of the Communion Ceremony: To Remember Christ

Communion and the Blood of Christ

Should Christians celebrate Jewish festivals?

Feel free to write back about any of this.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #17: 

Hello Bob.....I thank you my friend for your much needed prayer for me and I continue to pray for you as well as your ministry. I completely agree with you as to your feelings on attending church. I did not receive much spiritual growth from the Catholic Church and I feel as though the church actually hindered my growth and faith in many ways. But what about being present to receive The Body and Blood through the Bread and wine as a symbol for us to share in remembering what our Lord and Savior has accomplished for us? If we do not attend a church how are we to participate or share in this Holy Symbol or Sacrament? I am sure you have a lot of writings on this topic as well so I will check them out. Ty again Bob and I wish You And Yours a Happy and Healthy New Year!

God Bless,

Response #17: 

You're most welcome. Thanks much for your good words, and also for your new year's wishes. Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful 2016 as well!

As to the question of communion, there is nothing magical about it – although I understand that the R.C. church and many if not most other denominations try to turn it into some kind of special province of the clergy whereby God's grace is somehow mysteriously imparted. That is not, however, what scripture says. Here is what I read in the Bible:

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
Luke 22:19 NKJV

In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
1st Corinthians 11:25 NKJV

According to our Lord Himself, we are to remember Him through this ceremony of thinking about Him when we eat and drink. It is right and proper to do this in company with other believers, but it is also good and spiritually salutary to engage in such remembrance whenever we partake of "the bread and the cup". Jesus poured out His blood for us (spiritually speaking: He died for all of our sins; see the link: "The Spiritual Death of Christ"). Jesus gave up His body for us on the cross, bearing in it the sins of the world (1Pet.2:24). As a result of His death in giving up His body for us we have a new body waiting for us, eternal in the heavens (2Cor.5:1). As a result of His death in pouring out His blood for us our sins have been washed away thereby and we have God's righteousness and have thus been rendered fit to live with Him forever (2Cor.5:21). When we eat the bread we remember our Lord's death in the body for us that we might live in a new body forever; when we drink the cup we remember His work on the cross, His blood, which cleansed us to make us fit to live with Him forever. In so doing we "proclaim the Lord's death till He comes" (1Cor.11:26 NKJV), through which death we have life eternal.

Although communion rightly understood is thus a powerful and important way to help us remember the Lord and what He has done for us, it is usually poorly explained whenever churches engage in it and has been freighted with all manner of misconceptions which distort its true meaning and power. I have written a good deal about this subject. Let me give you those links here, and please do feel free to write back about any of this:

Communion and the Spiritual Death of Christ

The Communion Ceremony outside of the Local Church

The Meaning of the Communion Ceremony: To Remember Christ

Communal Worship in Acts

Communion and the Blood of Christ

The Last Supper

The Leftover Baskets of Bread and Fish in John 6

The Lord's Supper and Confession of Sin

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior who is our all in all.

Bob L.

Question #18:  

Hello this could be something that you don't research or do research on but I thought let me try asking. Maybe you could help in some way with other sites if not. Where did the teaching of unmarried women wearing doilies in the sanctuary, white gloves being worn in communion and collecting the offering? A church we visit does something different during communion; they put the doilies on women that are reborn believers only . Could you help on this? thanks

Response #18: 

I have never even heard of this before. The only thing I can tell you is that this is nowhere in the Bible. Many churches and denominations have developed all manner of rituals which don't have any true spiritual significance, and the trend is to more of this these days rather than less. For people who are not interested in the truth but still feel the need to "nod to God" on occasion, emotional outpourings once or twice a week or, as in this case, engaging in much ritualistic behavior, seem to make them feel as if they've "done their do" for the Lord. In fact of course, the situation is quite different (e.g., Is.1:11-14).

Communion is all about remembering our Lord Jesus Christ, who He is – the God become man (too) and come into this world to save us – and what He has done: dying in the darkness for all of our sins. To the extent that any artificial ritual conceived by the mind of man detracts from those truths and hinders the true purpose of communion, to that extent it is a negative and to be avoided.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #19: 

Dear Bob,

Hey, a concern came to mind when going to church today, and we had communion. We are told to examine ourselves during communion, and that we shouldn't eat and drink if.. I think there is sin? I forget the exact wording, but I was wondering what exactly this meant. Does this mean unbelievers should not eat and drink communion, or that if we have unconfessed sin we shouldn't but should confess our sin first? I obviously repented in case there was any sin that I wasn't aware of, but was wondering if you could better explain this to me. I just want to make sure I didn't do anything I wasn't supposed to do, that's all.

Response #19: 

Paul's words on this subject (at 1Cor.11:27-32) are specifically directed at the members of the Corinthian congregation who were seriously abusing the Lord's supper (among the many sins and incorrect practices in which they were engaging as we can see throughout that epistle). Given how almost all communion ceremonies nowadays are esoterically ritualized in virtually every church and denomination, the same sort of abuses that were going on in Corinth which provoked these words from Paul (i.e., riotous eating and drinking; depriving others who were not able to afford the same excess) are not a concern. The principle is certainly correct, however, that if we are in a state of sinful non-repentance for some chronically bad behavior we refuse to give up, taking communion would be hypocritical since we are proclaiming our fellowship with the Lord thereby and in that case would in fact be arrogantly walking apart from Him. For the rest of us, of course we are all sinners (even if not engaging in a lifestyle of sin), so confession before communion (or any spiritual activity) is a very prudent thing to practice so as to avoid the frighteningly negative consequences mentioned by Paul at 1Cor.11:27-30 – just as you have done – because "if we were evaluating ourselves [so as to repent and confess], we would not be falling under judgment" (1Cor.11:31).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #20: 

What do these two passages have in common?

"Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High." (Genesis 14:18)

"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.' " (Matthew 26:26-28)

Response #20: 

The same essential symbolism is found in all sacrifice before and in the Law where a communal meal is shared. I'm convinced that eating and drinking were originally designed by God for the purpose of understanding the sacrifice of Christ – rather than the connection being merely incidental or the other way around. When we eat it sustains our physical body, but this is primarily a symbol of the eternal body we have if we put our trust in Christ who gave His unto death for us. Drinking sustains us too and speaks of the blood of Christ which washed away our sins; we have the righteousness necessary to stand in the presence of God and live forever with Him if we belong to Christ because He washed away our sin through the blood He shed (i.e., His spiritual death; see the link). When we eat and when drink in communion with Him, we demonstrate our trust in the person and work of Christ, our faith in what He has done for us, and thus "proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." (1Cor.11:26).

In Jesus our Savior through whom we have life eternal,

Bob L.

Question #21: 

The order of Christian liturgy comes from Nehemiah 8.

The first part of worship: reading from scripture:

"He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law." (Nehemiah 8:3)

The second part of worship: communion:

"Nehemiah said, 'Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.' " (Nehemiah 8:10)

Response #21: 

That is indeed the pattern in scripture: spiritual growth from the truth of scripture read, explained, understood and believed results in ever deeper fellowship with our Lord represented by a communal meal wherein the elements signify who He is and what He has done for us – namely absolutely everything but most especially dying for our sins on the cross.

Question #22: 

Hello Robert,

I am slowly but surely working through the links and specifically the ones that interests me by priority and will continue to ask for guidance as it randomly comes. Trust it is OK?

It has been awhile since a dear friend of mine shocked me with the following: It is correct and acceptable to have communion with what is available! Rice instead of bread (unleavened) and coca cola instead of wine (fruit of the vine - not fermented)! I would naturally oppose such a stance simply because of what the Scripture says about the 'to use emblems'!

Peace and love with faith,

Response #22: 

Please do write any time. Apologies for the delay. Busy weekend.

On your question, first, I'm not sure what passage you are referring to when you say scripture says "to use emblems". In any case, I'm afraid I'm not in the traditionalist camp when it comes to communion. The key thing, it seems to me, is what our Lord says when He says "do this in remembrance of Me". It's very clear from the Greek that this is the purpose of communion, remembering Him. The symbolism is the important thing with the bread representing the Body of Christ (as He says) and with the wine representing the blood – that is, His sacrifice on the cross in bearing our sins, the "blood of Christ" being His spiritual death (see the link).

There aren't many Christians or Christian groups out there who understand these things, and even fewer who understand exactly what our Lord did for us in sharing our lot by becoming a human being in addition to His deity and by giving Himself over to be judged in the darkness for the sins of the world. If these things are understood, and if we do remember Him "when we eat and drink", what we eat and drink is of little account. Bread was the basic food of the ancient Mediterranean world and wine the basic drink, so there's nothing special about these two "elements" – and that too is part of the point. It's what they represent that counts when we eat and drink in remembrance of Him.

Here are a few links on this which will fill in the details:

Communion and the Spiritual Death of Christ

The Communion Ceremony outside of the Local Church

The Meaning of the Communion Ceremony: To Remember Christ

Communal Worship in Acts

Communion and the Blood of Christ

The Last Supper

The Leftover Baskets of Bread and Fish in John 6

The Lord's Supper and Confession of Sin

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #23: 

Dear Robert,

You are right about my the "to use emblems" which was an expression on my behalf and not as Scripture based. My apologies.

I read the links and find it to be very helpful and directional. In regards to the 'bread' and 'wine' question. Is it not just to easy to assume that "what we eat and drink is of little account'? Both bread and wine was part of culture as early as Genesis 14 verse 18 and I belief continued to feature in most cultures (this is perhaps presumptuous). In the Gentile world with no special significance to their bread and wine, until the Lord's Supper. If we allow for this kind of assumption regarding 'of little account' will we then not make the same assessment about other things in Scripture which to our liking may be to pragmatic or fundamentalistic. Robert, I am not challenging you, but rather wanting to find a way to have some introspection into my own understanding of God's Word.

Be blessed for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,

Response #23: 

I appreciate your spirit. Here is what I read in the gospels:

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come." And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
Luke 22:17-20 KJV

The KJV is accurate in terms of the specifics in its translation from the Greek. The word wine is not used. True, it was doubtless wine with alcoholic content that was drunk – but the fact that the word itself is not used cannot be overlooked. Secondly, the word bread occurs without the definite article; i.e., just "bread" and not "the bread" – which latter use might have indicated that the using of bread was perhaps significant. Bread and wine were the corresponding solid and liquid staples and do have a significance – as food and drink – as discussed in the prior links. Given that the Bible does not go out of its way to place emphasis on the "elements" – but rather our Lord places the emphasis on the meaning of the sacrament itself as "remembering Me" – I feel it is a mistake to glorify a particular food or drink when the point is to remember Christ. Clearly, we can do that even if we don't have bread or we don't use wine. I think the emphasis on form is the result of tradition and does not come from the Bible. I have been to many communion services in my life (including Roman Catholic mass) and I dare say the form of the "bread" was never what I imagine our Lord actually used on that night. E.g., they had no wafers in antiquity, and the wine was usually watered down as a matter of course (three or four to one was the norm). We don't know if that was the case at the "last supper" because scripture is silent about it, not even using the word "wine", and that silence is significant in my view. All this being the case, I would not want to tell someone who has no bread or who has no wine that communion is impossible or "wrong"; rather, I think using bread and wine but failing to understand the purpose of the ritual or the significance of the elements is what is "wrong". Unfortunately it is also standard practice in Laodicea.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – whom we ought to remember every day.

Bob L.

Question #24: 

After I wrote to you with questions on the Last Supper and some difficulties and apparent discrepancies proposed by Meyer, one thought occurred to me which I wanted to consult with you. We know that the Exodus Passover was a foreshadowing of the true Passover in the person of our Lord. However, if it was God's plan for us to keep the remembrance of this true Passover through the ritual that our Lord has established, then that means that what Meyer sees as a problem - namely the difficulty that there could have been two Passovers celebrated - was in fact a pre-planned necessity. This is because on the one hand our Lord was the true Passover on the cross and on the other He needed to ordain the communion at some point also - and the time when He was dying on the cross wasn't the time to do that, so it was done the night before during the Last Supper. It seems to me that it was God's plan to have these two Passovers - one when Jesus would explain the symbolism of bread and wine as symbolising the New Covenant through Him coming in the flesh and dying for our sins, and the other when He would actually be sacrificed. So whether the second date came as a result of different date calculation in the north, as you propose (and with my limited knowledge on this I definitely agree that this could have been the case), or whether it was to come for any other reason, was not a "mistake" or "misunderstanding" or anything of the sort that Meyer proposes - it was God's plan from the beginning. Hopefully you can see what I mean.

Response #24: 

Excellent comments about the Last Supper! In spite of all manner of intellectual smoke and mirrors in the way, you have cut through to the important truths of the matter. I am confident that you will be doing more and more of this and coming more and more into your own ministry as the days go by.

Your friend and fellow worker in the vineyard of Jesus Christ our Lord,

Bob L.

Question #25: 

Dear Dr Luginbill,

It has been a while since we last spoke, how are you keeping? Apologies for not keeping in touch though you have been constantly in my thoughts and prayers especially when I give thanks to your work.

I have a question Professor, how do we as Believers receive Holy Communion if one does not attend a Church? As a Christian we need to learn and be the Word of God, we need to repent for our sins through prayer, but isn’t Holy Communion also a fundamental to being a Christian?

Look forward to hearing from you,

God Bless,

Response #25: 

It's good to hear from you, my friend! I have been keeping you in my prayers every day, and I'm delighted to hear that after all you've been through you are rallying your faith and engaging in the one thing that will make sense of everything else: spiritual growth.

As to your question, communion is an important ritual, but it's important because of what it means. Therefore the benefit (or lack thereof) of communion is in how we as believers and how well we as believers remember the Lord when we partake of it: "Do this in remembrance of Me" (Lk.22:19; 1Cor.11:24). Communion, therefore, is a sort personal test wherein we can see how close (or how far) we and our thoughts are from the Lord at any given time. The bread represents the body He sacrificed for us, bearing all of our sins within it, suffering our punishment so that we might be saved; the wine represents the blood He shed to cover those sins, not literal blood (for we know that His literal blood was still in His body after He had released His spirit: Jn.19:34), but the very real "spiritual death" He suffered to propitiate all of our sins that we might have the righteousness of God and life eternal. Even in most Protestant churches where I have seen this ritual observed, other than quoting appropriate scriptures, I have rarely if ever seen it explained correctly in even superficial terms. And it is not necessary to "go to church" to remember the Lord this way (although it is good if opportunity offers to celebrate our Lord's victory over sin and sacrifice for us in company with other believers); nothing prevents us from remembering Him "as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup" (1Cor.11:26).

For more on all this please see the following links (and, n.b., in the next couple of weeks there will be a weekly posting devoted to the subject):

Communion and the Spiritual Death of Christ

The Communion Ceremony outside of the Local Church

The Meaning of the Communion Ceremony: To Remember Christ

Communal Worship in Acts

Communion and the Blood of Christ

The Last Supper

The Leftover Baskets of Bread and Fish in John 6

The Lord's Supper and Confession of Sin

Feel free to write me anytime, my friend!  Praying for your safety and for that of all our own men in uniform in this country as well.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.
 

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