Photo Credit: Wikimedia
[ Author: Danny Cooper ]
The apostle Paul was hurting, we are not told how, why, or what the problem was but in 2 Corinthians 12, verses 7-9 Paul said the following; “ So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Photo Attribution: Pixabay
[ Author: Rich Christian ]
There’s No Cause for Concern
Recently in one of our Facebook groups, the question was asked: “Why was Jesus [sic] name Jesus rather than Emmanuel [sic]?”. This person also wondered, that because Jesus wasn’t actually named Immanuel, maybe this is one of the reasons why the Jews, by and large, rejected Him as the messiah. The passage being referred to is Isaiah 7:14.
I’ve been meeting more and more skeptics who have taken the stance that Jesus never existed at all. This is a peculiar position as there are many attested writings about him, from early sources other than the Bible. The charge against such sources is that since they weren’t written during his lifetime, then they’re automatically invalid. What the proponents of this position don’t understand, is that historians don’t require contemporary writings for an accepted historical fact. If they actually did require it, then much of history would have to be rewritten. The purpose of this brief article is not to go into all the details (at a later time I will) but I would like us to examine some interesting comments from professor Bart Ehrman in the video above. Of special interest is that even though Bart is a New Testament scholar, he’s also an Agnostic. While I don’t agree with all of what he said or his overall position, but he thoroughly refutes the idea that Jesus never existed. Here are some of Bart’s comments from the video:
Photo Attribution: Wikipedia
To a Christian the importance of the cross cannot be overstated. Without Jesus dying for our sins -and his resurrection, thus defeating death and Hell- our faith would be utterly worthless. To us, it’s the ultimate symbol of victory making it possible for one to be reconciled back to God. To the Jehovah’s Witnesses however, it’s an offensive symbol used in phallic worship . The reference from the previous sentence however is not an accurate explanation coming from the Watchtower Society . Regardless of where the cross originated from, what it was used for -whether in pagan ceremonies or worship etc- the point of today’s article is to examine what kind of cross that Jesus carried, and was subsequently crucified on.
By Carson Weitnauer
Orthodox, Biblical Christianity teaches there are only two ways to heaven:
- Live a perfect, sinless life or
- Experience forgiveness of your sins through faith in Jesus.
Furthermore, given that heaven is a place of moral perfection and endless joy, we are taught to be grateful that option #2 even exists. That is, Jesus’ entrance into our world as a human being, his holy life and sublime teachings, his agonizing death, and his glorious resurrection from the dead are not events which are to be taken for granted.
What Is Worship?
In the final installment of this series, we have just a few more Watchtower publications to examine. We could bring up many more to support our case, but that will not be needed. It is true that the Watchtower does indeed say it’s a fact that Jesus is worshipped.  In this publication they are again referring to the word “proskuneō “, that they themselves used to translate as worship. We talked about this in part two. What I find interesting is that nowhere (that I’m aware of) in their latest New World Translation do they translate this word as worship when it’s applied to Jesus, but every time it’s spoken of concerning the Father, it’s translated as worship. On the next page they say that proskuneō (referencing Matthew 4:10) with a particular attitude of heart and mind, should only be directed towards God. 
Photo Attribution: Wikipedia
Make Up Your Mind
The Watchtower’s transition away from the worship of Jesus has been an interesting (awkward) one to be sure. It took them quite a few decades to walk their way out of the teaching; as can be witnessed in their publications. In their first edition of the New World Translation in Matthew 15:9 , they translate “sebomai”  as paying respect. In the 1961 NWT they translate it as worship. In the first edition of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation “KIT” they translate it -under the Greek section- as “they are revering me” while in the English parallel it’s translated as worship.  Their latest version of the NWT (1984) keeps it as worship. It seems that they couldn’t make up their mind on how to translate this word which means religious worship.