Christianity and The Holy Bible — A Basic Introduction and Overview
The Holy Bible has been around for centuries, translated into multiple languages, has many versions in English and is one of the most popular books in this world. And, yet, because of certain people that do not understand it, it is given a bad reputation. Ignorance does not come for free, and illuminating the mind doesn’t come for free either. So I pray that you enjoy this piece of literature that I wrote just for those that do not know that much about the Holy Bible. But, before I begin, there is one last thing I want to say…
When I was younger, there was a quote that I heard about video games. It was over a decade ago, so I cannot remember who said it. The quote was (paraphrasing),
“The console / platform is defined by its games.”
And, in similar fashion, to fit the subject of religion:
“A religion is defined by the words and deeds of its prophet.”
And, I say, by this measure, it is a good way to determine whether a religion is good or bad.
Who is the prophet?
We all know who the prophet of Christianity is — Jesus Christ. But, how much do you know about Jesus? Here’s the basic rundown…
Jesus was, according to the Holy Bible:
- Son of God
- The Prophet of Christianity
- Sent to die as a sacrifice for the iniquities and transgressions of all people.
- Sent to fulfill the Law, the Prophets and the Writings.
- Sent to bring in a new, everlasting covenant
Of course, some of the stuff may be hard to understand, but let’s continue on.
The Old Testament (The Times of the Old Covenants)
The Old Testament. I am sure you have heard of it. It’s where God does most of His smiting, but it’s not all about smiting the sinful and evil people, or using Israel as a weapon against the nations that opposed God. It also exposes the downfalls and rebuilding of Israel, the crying out for mercy and God’s people endorsing their faith in Him.
There are three different sections, according to the Hebrew cataloging, of the Old Testament — The Law (attributed to Moses), The Prophets and the Writings. They are noted by Jesus in the Gospels, and certain verses from the Old Testament are noted in the New Testament.
For the most part, the thoughts about the Old Testament are that of disgust and fear. In the secular world, most of this is a misunderstanding which stems from the Law of Moses, in regards to Christianity itself. Sure, it has rules and laws that were created by God to give to the Israelites at the time but, in my opinion, it was a way to conduct one’s life personally and socially, and it had a reflection of a greater event to come.
Of course, throughout the Old Testament, the ideas of the Judaic religion had started to change throughout the different periods of time. By reading through the Old Testament, the reader may see the ideas, especially in the Prophets, had begun to refine on a single idea of a Savior — a Messiah — in certain parts, along with the message of God. Ultimately, Israel was supposed to be a light unto the world, to spread God’s message, but that was to change after some time.
The New Testament — The Dawning, and Creation of A New Covenant
The New Testament is where the crux of the teachings of and about Jesus Christ are held. And it informs the follower about the New Covenant. True Christianity rests upon those teachings and it divides it from Judaism, in a sense, but also ensures that the highest of all the laws of Judaism can be seen within the Old Testament, ie:
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Jesus also added some higher spiritual laws and conducts, such as:
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”
“Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
The contents of the New Testament consist of the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, a number of letters by followers of Christ to groups of other followers, and the prophetic book of Revelations. The Gospels give details to various actions and teachings of Christ, along with the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Within the Acts and letters (Epistles), there are more teachings. The Book of Revelations gives the reader a certain perspective into the second coming of Christ.
What are the possible problems with the New Testament for those within the secular community?
1. Reading and believing what has been written, no longer thinking that it is just ‘fiction’.
2. Acknowledging one’s need in having a Savior in their life.
3. Changing one’s life and behavior because of their faith in what is presented before them.
Prejudice against the Holy Bible, because of one portion, should not deter a person from reading the New Testament. One portion does not define the whole message. It is better to save life, rather than outright destroy it.
How the Old Testament is relevant to the New Testament, aka: How they intertwine.
The basic idea to keep in mind is that the Old Testament holds a vision of Christ being the Messiah of all mankind. The New Testament, through its historical references to Christ — Jesus, brings the reader to the revelation of who He is as the Lord and Redeemer of all mankind.
The beauty, but also a sad thought, of the Old Testament, in a way, is that it sets the scene for the coming of Christ, whilst leaving the majority of the Jewish community, and those that have read the Old Testament, believing that their Messiah would be, possibly, some warlord or some champion, that would wipe away their opposition off the face of the Earth on His first appearance and bring in an era of peace. But, leaning on the small portions of the Old Testament scriptures would allow one to be open to the idea of a suffering Messiah, a Sacrifice by God to redeem His creation of their sinful thoughts (iniquities) and actions (transgressions) so one’s heart can be made pure, and body and mind made holy.
The good thing about Christianity is that it is, for the most part, compatible with the Jewish faith. Most of the books within the Holy Bible are part of the Jewish faith. Even the feasts within Judaism (those prescribed in the Law of Moses) can be observed and celebrated within Christianity, for they are symbolic of the past events within Christ’s life, death and resurrection and the events after His second coming. And, for those that didn’t know, Jesus grew up as a Jewish person.
Jesus repeatedly says, “For those with ears, let him hear…” within the Gospels. With this in mind, it is not without reason why there had to be a revelation of Jesus as the Messiah unto those who would follow Him as Lord. Blind faith does nothing for the follower. One must seek in order to find, ask in order to answer and unto them, the truth will be revealed.
We now know what the Old and New Testaments are in brief detail. Both are intertwined. One, having an image of a coming Messiah; the other, the actual image of Christ, the Messiah, with a vision of His second coming. But, if you haven’t read the Testaments and don’t know what Christ’s main message is, what use is this article? None, I guess. But, please, I implore you to read the Holy Bible, to keep your mind open to the possibility that there is a God that loves you as part of His creation.
Some teachings within the Holy Bible will be hard to understand, or accept but once you have made up your mind about whether Christianity is good, based on the words and deeds of Jesus Christ, I pray that you all may learn more and more about Christ and His ways. And, please, do not leave the path you have been set on.
Be sure to know: Christ doesn’t promise your life to be easy, nor does He promise it to be tough. He didn’t come to condemn, nor prosecute you. He promises that He will be with you always, to be your refuge through the bad times and give unto you all you need. All He gives, He gives in love and wisdom.