More on the New Testament:
The Twelve, the closest and first disciples of Jesus, or their close associates, wrote the New Testament, inspired by the indwelling Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. They wrote what they saw and heard because it was too precious to them to let it go, forgotten.
And because it was the Truth.
These writers also wrote from quite different backgrounds: tax collectors, fishermen, physicians, lawyers—quite a motley crew. Their styles differed, from intimate, highly personal account, to historical record, to the flowery sentences popular among the legal circles of the day.
Although they wrote from sometimes totally differing perspectives, everything they wrote jives. I mean, one was a killer of Christians before he saw the light and began writing about the glory of Jesus. One was a social mis-fit, working with the wrong political party just for personal gain, before he heard the call to follow Jesus. Another was exiled to a deserted island when he produced some of his writings—far from any contact, any library, yet totally in sync with the rest of what was going on in Christendom at the time.
Christianity, always persecuted from Day One until today, forced people to hide in caves and meet in homes, only to be captured and drug away, on trumped-up charges. Therefore, every scrap of communication from the ones who actually knew and learned from Jesus was and is precious to Christians.
They preserved these writings with their lives, copying them repeatedly, in the days before Internet, word processors, typewriters, ballpoint pens, pencils, or even decent paper. They used homemade ink and quill feathers on chemically-treated sheep skins, rolled up on sticks. They were used to it.
As attacks grew, and began coming from within the followers, Christians even had to devise ways to let people know when writings were authentic. They met, even, to be sure everyone was in agreement on which writings were from the original few followers and which were bogus.
Although we cannot know, for sure, what was said in most of these gatherings, we can read what they preserved. What we notice, again, is a consistent agreement with the writings of the Old Testament, although some of the writers were not scholars, sometimes not even very nice guys, before they met Jesus Christ. We notice gorgeous poetic prose, crystal logic, and heart-rending appeals from men, most of whom had never been to college, indeed, who lived where college happened abroad.
And we find amazing willingness to die.
NOT TO KILL.
To die for the Truth.
Because He had died for them.
And because they knew Him and, as the Truth, He had set them free.
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