What is truth: A look at the gospel from within and without
Who is God?
Is God genderless or is God a He; my own learned idea is that God is Spirit (John 4:24) and that God is love (John 4:8 & 16) of course, but really now, is God male?
How we came to consider God as male comes via the way scripture was transcribed from Hebrew to English, many descriptions of God were portrayed in this manner when the books of the Bible were written. The contributing factor in that masculine writing, were perhaps the scribes who were also male.
This is but one area of the Bible about God, that read in context, might dissuade some from believing the scriptures. That is why it is so very important for ALL to read the entire Bible ourselves, and to discuss what we have read among each other.
Look at the writing about angels, again we see the masculine form in names such as Michael and Raphael and even Gabriel, yet angels themselves are without gender and as another has persuaded me to believe, they are ministering spirits perhaps even able to take on other forms, male, female and whatever.
Can we believe that the sons of God, who saw the daughters of men and their beauty and desired to have them and for them to bear children by them are angels? That is exactly one viewpoint and others are they are the sons from the lineage of Adam through Seth and a third belief is they are any man child born before the great flood in the time of Noah. Which is it, does it really help us to understand who God is? Perhaps we may never know the exact answer, again this is subject to interpretation, but the more common belief is the latter two. The book of Enoch, a non-canonical writing goes to greater length in telling us about the 'Watchers' of course it is not a part of the traditional Bible as we have today.
The better to see you with
The sword of the Spirit
Different versions of the same Bible, how is that possible? It is possible because many simply didn't understand the Bible in its oldest translations, Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin etc. and even if you knew those languages of the original writings you still would have differing points of view about what God (His word) might be trying to tell you.
Look at the Catholic Bible for example, they have kept intact several, seven to be exact, books you wont find in the Protestant versions. That does NOT mean those versions are wrong, in fact I for one am happy to see these ancient text included in the Old Testament. These books are as follows: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.
Although I have only read 1 and 2 Maccabees, I will say that there is much to gain in understanding who God is and who we are through belief in God by reading these books as well as the rest of the Apocrypha.
Open minds and open hearts, not closed minds and clenched fists
Early Christian Writings
I'm not sure who to thank for this next bit of information I wish to present to you, but this compilation of material, whether authentic or not, is a treasure trove of early Christian writings and currently I know of the 'Odes of Solomon' to be enjoying a certain renewed interest, as many want to know and follow as close to the earliest worship practices of Christians today. Perhaps you may have listened to some of these odes on the radio, put to music recently.
Below, you will find a link to these early Christian writings, take a look and see similarities in the Bible we read today and learn who the early Christians were and what God was like to them.
Early Christian Writings
- Christian Texts
Christian Texts at Sacred-Texts.com Please take the time to explore these texts I'm sure you will find it was worth the effort and you may learn something.
Holy Spirit Fire?
I am not trying to nor will I succeed in taking away from anyone's faith that is already strong in the LORD. If you disagree with anything I have written here or if you believe errors have been made in any of my or others writings that is of course your choice and I can respect that.
However, if you are likeminded, looking always for greater understanding of who our God is, of who our Savior is, then I can't surely be faulted for seeking Him outside and inside the Bible now can I?
New International Version (NIV) Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
New International Version (NIV) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.