Some thoughts on Last Supper | Dažas domas par Piemiņas Mielastu

Latviski – pēc tam (afterwards – in Latvian).

Today (it is a Sunday), as usually, I was attending my church, and we had, as usually, on the first Sunday of a month, the celebration of the Last Supper. Just before that, a lady preached/taught us on what it means. She talked about healing, and how a person can receive healing during the Supper. This also made me start to think about these things, and to set them in order, I wanted to put them down. Also, to maybe help some readers to understand this more, I will publish this. This is a very important topic, because the whole Church does this, both Catholics, Protestants and even Greek/Russian Orthodoxals, and have done it for the last two millenia, even though there have been different understandings on what it means.

Let us start with the event itself that is the last supper. Matthew writes about it in his Gospel, and we can find it in our 26th Chapter. Here it goes:

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the[c] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Paul later remind Corinthians about the same in his first letter. Chapter 11:

23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for[e]you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[f] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Then he continues:

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.

Here, we have to ask the question – what do we have to discern? It is important, because this place says that because people do not discern this, they are weak and ill, and even some of the die. Obviously, it is something about the death of Jesus, because that is what this whole passage is all about. We have to understand, what did Jesus do.

600 years before these events, there lived a prophet. His name was Isaiah, and he prophesied about the future. Most of his prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and this was one of them. It talks about his death. We can find it in Isaiah 53:

He was despised and rejected[b] by men;
    a man of sorrows,[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e]
and as one from whom men hide their faces[f]
    he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.

This passage speaks about the death of Jesus, and this is what Paul wants us to remember when we have our last supper. We must realize that the punishment that Christ received, was in our place. We should have been pierced for our transgressions. We should have been crushed for our iniquities. We should have had the chastisement (punishment), but Christ took it for us. When we understand these things, also the last one comes into place – all our sicknesses, weaknesses, illnesses, and even death – Christ took it all on the Cross. We do not have to be ill – Christ took it. Because Isaiah speaks about it all together, it goes together. If you can believe that Christ took the punishment for our sins in our place, you have to believe also that he took our sicknesses in our place. We are healed with his wounds. If we remember this and realize this, if we are healed in Jesus` name, then we have had a proper Last Supper. We have remembered the work Jesus did at the Cross. Do this in remembrance of me.

 

Tagad latviski:

Šodien (is svētdiena), kā parasti, es apmeklēju savas draudzes dievkalpojumu, un mums, kā parasti mēneša pirmajā svētdienā, bija vakarēdiens. Tieši pirms tam, kāda dāma mums sludināja/mācīja par to, ko tas nozīmē. Viņa runāja par dziedināšanu, un kā cilvēks var saņemt dziedināšanu vakarēdiena laikā. Tas arī man lika domāt par šīm lietām, un lai tās sakārtotu, es gribēju tās pierakstīt. Un, lai varbūt palīdzētu kādiem lasītājiem šo saprast vairāk, es arī šo publicēšu. Šī ir ļoti svarīga tēma tāpēc, ka visa Draudze šo dara, gan Katoļi, gan Protestanti, un arī Pareizticīgie. Un visi to ir darījuši jau divus tūkstošus gadu, kaut arī ir bijušas dažādas izpratnes par to, ko tas nozīmē.

Sāksim ar pašu notikumu – ar Svēto Vakarēdienu. Matejs par to raksta savā Evaņģēlijā, un mēs to varam atrast mūsu 26. nodaļā. Lūk, kā tas skan:

26 Bet, tiem vēl ēdot, Jēzus ņēma maizi, svētīja, pārlauza un deva to Saviem mācekļiem un sacīja: “Ņemiet, ēdiet, tā ir Mana miesa.” 27 Un Viņš ņēma biķeri, pateicās un deva to tiem, un sacīja: “Dzeriet visi no tā. 28 Jo tās ir Manas jaunās derības asinis, kas par daudziem tiek izlietas grēku piedošanai.

Pāvils vēlāk atgādina Korintiešiem par to paši savā pirmajā vēstulē, 11. nodaļā:

23 Jo no Tā Kunga es esmu saņēmis, ko arī jums mācīju: ka Tas Kungs tanī naktī, kad tas tapa nodots, 24 ņēma maizi, pateicās, pārlauza un sacīja: ņemiet, ēdiet. Tā ir Mana miesa, kas par jums top dota; to dariet Mani pieminēdami, – 25 tāpat arī biķeri pēc vakarēdiena un sacīja: šis biķeris ir jaunā derība Manās asinīs. To dariet, cikkārt jūs to dzerat, Mani pieminēdami. 26 Cikkārt jūs no šīs maizes ēdat un no šī biķera dzerat, pasludiniet Tā Kunga nāvi, tiekāms Viņš nāk.

Tad viņš turpina:

27 Tad nu, kas necienīgi ēd šo maizi vai dzer Tā Kunga biķeri, tas būs noziedzies pret Tā Kunga miesu un asinīm. 28 Bet lai cilvēks pats sevi pārbauda, un tā lai viņš ēd no šīs maizes un dzer no šī biķera. 29 Jo, kas ēd un dzer, tas ēd un dzer sev pašam par sodu, ja viņš neizšķir Tā Kunga miesu. 30 Tādēļ jūsu starpā ir daudz vāju un neveselu un diezgan daudz ir mirušu.

Šeit mums ir jāuzdod jautājums – kas mums ir jāizšķir? Tas ir svarīgi, jo šeit ir rakstīt, ka tāpēc, ka cilvēki to neizšķir, viņi ir vāji un slimi un pat daži mirst. Protams, runa ir par Jēzus nāvi, jo par to šai rakstu vietā ir runa. Mums ir jāsaprot, ko Jēzus izdarīja.

600 gadus pirms šiem notikumiem dzīvoja pravietis. Viņa vārds bija Jesaja un viņš pravietoja par nākotni. Lielākā daļa viņa pravietojumu piepildījās Jēzū Kristū, un šis bija viens no tiem. Runa ir par viņa nāvi. Mēs to atrodam Jesajas 53. nodaļā:

3 Taisni otrādi, viņš bija nicināts, labāki ļaudis no viņa vairījās, vīrs, kam nebija svešas sāpes un kas bija norūdīts ciešanās, tāds, kura priekšā aizklāja vaigu, tā nicināts, ka mēs viņu ne par ko neturējām. 4 Taču viņš nesa mūsu sērgas un ciešanas, un mūsu sāpes viņš bija uzkrāvis sev, kurpretī mēs viņu uzskatījām par sodītu, Dieva satriektu un nomocītu. 5 Viņš bija ievainots mūsu pārkāpumu dēļ un mūsu grēku dēļ satriekts. Mūsu sods bija uzlikts viņam mums par atpestīšanu, ar viņa brūcēm mēs esam dziedināti.

Šī rakstu vieta runā par Jēzus nāvi, un to Pāvils grib, lai mēs atceramies, kad mēs baudām vakarēdienu. Mums ir jāsaprot, ka sods, ko Kristus saņēma, bija mūsu vietā. Mums vajadzētu tikt savainotiem par mūsu pārkāpumiem. Mums vajadzētu tikt satriektiem sava ļaunuma dēļ. Mums vajadzētu tikt pārmācītiem, bet Kristus to pats uzņēmās. Kad mēs šīs lietas saprotam, tad arī pēdējā nostājas savā vietā – visas mūsu slimības, vājības un pat nāve – Kristus to uzņēmās pie Krusta. Mums nav jābūt slimiem – Kristus to paņēma. Tāpēc, ka Jesaja par to visu runā kopā, tas viss iet kopā. Ja tu vari ticēt, ka Kristus uzņēmās sodu par mūsu grēkiem mūsu vietā, tev ir arī jātic, ka viņš paņēma mūsu vietā mūsu slimības. Mēs esam dziedināti ar viņa brūcēm. Ja mēs to atceramies un saprotam, ja mēs esam Jēzus vārdā dziedināti, tad mums ir bijis pareizs vakarēdiens. Tad mēs esam atcerējušies darbu, ko Jēzus izdarīja pie Krusta. Dariet to, mani pieminēdami.

Kāpēc Dievs mūs aicina tur, kur mēs negribam doties?

Vai tu esi kādreiz domājis, kāpēc Dievs bieži mūs aicina uz tādām vietām, par kurām mēs kādreiz esam teikuši “Nē! Es tur NEKAD neiešu!” vai “Es NEKAD to nedarīšu!” ? Liekas, ka Dievs grib pasmieties par mums un mūs paķircināt, sakot “Iesi gan!” Tomēr tā tas īsti nav. Kāpēc? Par to ir šis raksts.

Pirmkārt, galvenā kļūda šādā domāšanā ir hronoloģija. Dievs Jeremijam teica,

Pirms Es tevi radīju mātes miesās, Es tevi jau pazinu, un, pirms tu piedzimi no mātes miesām, Es tevi svētīju un tevi izredzēju par pravieti tautām. (Jeremijas 1:5)

Jeremija tika izredzēts jau pirms viņa dzimšanas. Patiesībā, arī viņš teica, neliec man to darīt, es esmu pārāk jauns (1:6) Bet, Dievs zināja, kas Jeremijam bija jādara pirms viņa dzimšanas. Mēs tikām izredzēti noteiktai vietai un lietai mūsu dzīvēs jau pirms mūsu vecāki satikās. Citviet, Bībele saka:

Tavas acis mani redzēja kā bezmiesas iedīgli, un Tavā grāmatā bija rakstītas visas manas dienas, jau noteiktas, kad to vēl nebija it nevienas.  (Psalms 139:16)

Dievs bija sagatavojis visas mūsu dienas jau iepriekš, lai mēs varētu izdarīt mūsu misiju – to, kāpēc mēs esam uz šīs zemes.

Kāpēc tad mēs bieži negribam iet tur, kur Dievs mūs aicina?

Attēls vēl nav pilnīgs. Ir arī Sātans, kurš ir nācis visu iznīcināt, kā Jēzus mums izpalīdzīgi to apraksta (Jāņa 10:10). Jau kopš dienas, kopš viņš uzzināja, ka tu būsi aicināts noteiktai kalpošanai, īpašai misijai, viņš ir darījis visu, kas bijis viņa spēkos, lai to novērstu. Un visacīmredzamākais veids, kā to izdarīt, ir likt tev baidīties vai ienīst vai panākt, ka tev vienkārši nepatīk tā vieta, kalpošana, sabiedrība, rase vai tauta, kurā tev būtu jākalpo. Ja viņš ir veiksmīgs tajā, viņš pazaudē mazāk dvēseļu savā mūžīgajā cīņā ar Dievu.

Tātad, kā saka Jēkabs,

Tad nu padodieties Dievam, stājieties pretim velnam, un viņš bēgs no jums; tuvojieties Dievam, tad Viņš tuvosies jums. (Jēkaba 4:7-8a)

Stājies velnam pretī arī, kad viņš cenšās izjaukt tavu kalpošanu, bet tā vietā tuvojies Dievam un padodies viņam. Tad viņš tuvosies tev un būs kopā ar tevi (Jer. 1:8, Joz. 1:9, Ebr. 13:5).

Lai Dievs svētī!

Why does God call us where we don’t want to go?

Have you ever wondered about why is it that God often calls us to those places that we would have once said “No! I will NEVER go there!” or “I will NEVER do that!” ? It seems like God wants to laugh at us and tease us, saying “Yes, you will!” But it actually isn`t really the case. Why? This post will tell you.

First of all, the major mistake in this kind of thinking is chronology. God told Jeremiah,

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

Jeremiah was chosen before his birth. Actually, even he was telling, don`t make me do this – I am too young (1:6). But the point is, God knew what Jeremiah was supposed to do before his birth. We were chosen for a certain place in our lives even before our parents met each other. Another place in the Bible says,

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:16)

God had prepared all our days beforehand, so that we would be able to do our mission – the reason why we are on this earth.

Why then we often don`t want to go where God has called us to?

Picture is not full yet. There is also Satan, who has come to destroy everything, as Jesus (John 10:10) helpfully describes it to us. Ever since the day he found out that you were going to be called for a special ministry, for a special mission, he has been doing everything he could to try and thwart that. The obvious way to try to do that is to make you hate or fear or simply dislike the place or the ministry, or the community, or the race or nation, that he is supposed to minister in. If he is successful in that, he loses less souls in his eternal fight with God.

So, as James says,

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (James 4:7-8a)

Resist the devil also in his trying to thwart your calling, but instead draw near to God and submit to him. Then he will draw near to you and be with you (Jer. 1:8, Josh. 1:9, Heb. 13:5).

God bless!

God will provide

Let us talk about what happens when we follow the calling of God. We read here that God takes care of us.

Mat. 6:25-34 (ESV)

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you,even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

This text is important because it is Jesus who preaches this on a mountain, in front of a lot of people. People preach what they consider being important for others to find out. He saw the need in that time and place that He felt was necessary to address. And He did that. What doesHhe invite us to do, then?

He says, we need to look at the birds. They do not put their food together, do not save money, do not seed nor harvest, don`t collect in barns what they have picked up, but they have enough for how much they need for every day.

Also, we need to look at the flowers. They do not work, do not make their own clothes, but God takes care of them and clothes them.

God takes care of the animals and plants, even though He does not love them nearly as much as us. He didn`t die for their sins, didn`t come to the Earth to take them out of the darkness. God did it only for me and you. If He loves us so much taht he was ready to give His life for us, then why wouldn`t he take care of such a small thing as clothing and food? Bible says that He has all the riches in His hands and that He deals them as He likes.

Jesus continues, that the pagans are running after such things. It happened in Jesus` time and it is happening now. The human nature does not change. He wants to take care of himself. But Jesus says in another place, For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:35) It does not profit anything, because it is more important to keep the soul. You cannot keep the stuff when you go to heaven anyway, but if you lose your soul, you won`t even get there. Jesus also says, further in Mathew 6, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. All the things that the pagans are running after, are so unimportant to God, that He is ready to add them, if you do the important part – run after Him.

In the verse 27 it is written, And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Worrying about things does not help, it just steals your peace and joy about your every-day life. Verse 34 says, Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Enjoy today, stay calm and joyful for what God is doing today. Don`t worry about tomorrow, trust God and He will help you!

God bless!

I’m Sorry, Christian, But You Don’t Get to Make That Move

This is a wonderful thought!

Rumblings

I have a bone to pick with Christians this morning. Not allChristians. Not even themajorityof Christians in my (limited) circles. Not by a long shot. No, my concernis with a smaller subset of Christians that tend to make a disproportionate amount of noise. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a lot of conversations with Christian people about the Syrian refugee crisis. I’ve observed a lot of reaction and response from Christian people online. And I’ve noticed some of these Christian brothers and sisters buying into thefear and the hysteria that attempts to convince us that we need to keep our nation’s doors resolutely closed to refugees from this part of the world.

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I am a songwriter?

I have always marveled at those who are able to write songs, because I always thought that it is a special skill that rarely who is able to do. While in Denmark, however, I managed to write and record two songs in a professional studio. They are available on SoundCloud, so I just wanted to share with and about them here.

First song is Zion. I wrote it together with my good friend Tobias Jacobsen. It started out as a homework task for songwriting lessions, where we were tasked to write something from Psalm 51 in a minor key. What we came up with wasn`t that bad, so we kept working on it, until it was fully done. The whole group at the School of Worship and Music (SWM) in Mariager Hojskole (Danish Pentecostal Bible College) arranged it and we recorded it in the BeatTheMic Studio nearby. The song speaks about longing to be in the holy place, Zion, where God is, where He cleanses us and gives us strenght to tell others about it and about the longing towards his second coming.

As I spent in that school two years, the second time around came a similar task, this time just writing a song, and not basing it on any particular piece of Scripture. So came My Refuge. As I sat down to play around and see if anything comes out of it, I felt very strongly that God has always been there for me, that I can give thanks to Him for so many things and this song came as a response to that. If Zion came as a song a bit in the direction of rock music, then My Refuge is slightly more folksy, which I really enjoyed working on, because it is so much fun.

Apparently, songwriting is not that difficult, and it is just a matter of putting your heart and mind behind it. So, if you think that it isn`t something that you can do, think again, because I have been there. Just be bold, try it out and see, where it goes. Who knows, maybe we have got a next Ed Sheeran or Michael Jackson on our hands.

God bless,

Klāvs.

Is the Bible relevant today?

This question was raised on a televised debate in Bury, England. It was shown on BBC and it is available on the video-sharing website – YouTube.com – https://youtu.be/CAEpc1zhcuo . There were several people invited with a different perspective on the Bible, like Dr. Franceska Stavrakopoulou, a Bible scholar from Exeter University, Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner from Alyth Sinagogue, a well known atheist Prof. Richard Dawkins, the author of „The God Delusion”, and others.

During the debate, different questions were raised, such as „Is anything in the Bible a historical fact?”, or „Why does the Bible have such an privileged position?”, or „Will the Bible be strong next 2000 years,” as well as the question about morals in the Bible. In this piece we will look at their answers, and comment on them.

Is anything in the Bible a historical fact?

The historicity of the Bible has been a big debate throughout the enlightenment period, up to today, and also this debate started with this question. Dr. Stavrakopolou answered first: “Very little, probably.” She claimed then that neither of the big characters in the Old Testament (henceforth “The Hebrew Bible”) of King David and Moses were real persons, but admitted that Jesus is considered amongst scholars to have really existed. She went on to explain that at that time the people had a different understanding of the facts and fiction, than us.

It is true that besides the Bible, there is little evidence for both David and Moses, and those that are there, are very ambiguous. It does not mean, however, that these two, for Judeo-Christian culture very important characters did not exist. Until recently there was no mention of the name David in the archeological writings, but that changed in 1993, when in northern Israel a piece of “stele” in Aramaic was found, where is written “the house of David”. Aramaic, similarly to Hebrew, does not write down the vowels, so what could be read on this stone, was “the house of DWD” which made room to speculations that it could also be meant to be, for example, “the temple of (a god named) Dod.” A year later, though, the same person found two other pieces, that gave a context to “the house of DWD”. This context read:

(…)5. And Hadad went in front of me, [and] I departed from [the] seven […-]

  1. s of my kingdom, and I slew [seve]nty kin[gs], who harnessed thou[sands of cha-]
  2. riots and thousands of horsemen (or: horses). [I killed Jeho]ram son of [Ahab]
  3. king of Israel, and [I] killed [Ahaz]iahu son of [Jehoram kin-]
  4. g of the House of David. And I set [their towns into ruins and turned]
  5. their land into [desolation …]
  6. other [… and Jehu ru-]
  7. led over Is[rael … and I laid]
  8. siege upon [… ] (Mckenzie (2000))

This actually contradicts the Bible, which credits the Israelite general Jehu with killing the two mentioned persons (2 Kings 9-10), but that gives genuinity to the inscription from the 9th century BC, because a modern forger would almost certainly try to copy the Bible in the text. Despite this, it does not prove David`s existence, for a legend could develop within around 150 years that are between the alleged time of the life of David and this stele, but it certainly does seem to tip the scales in that direction. (Mckenzie (2000)).

Moses has even more difficulties to prove his existence outside the Bible, however. Scientists claim that Moses never existed, because archaeology is silent about the Exodus, and fails to mention the exit of more than a million Hebrew slaves in Egyptian writings. Still, it is a rather weak argument from silence and could be easily overturned on an event of finding new evidences. Even more, it would be highly unlikely that the Egyptian chroniclers would want to write about it. Peter Fineman imagines, how it would have sounded, as a press release:

A spokesman for Rameses the great, Pharaoh of Pharaohs, supreme ruler of Egypt, son of Ra, before whom all tremble in awe blinded by his brilliance, today announced that the man Moses had kicked his royal (rear end) for all the world to see, thus proving that God is Yahweh and the 2,000-year-old-culture of Egypt is a lie (Fineman, quoted by Sheler (1999), p. 78).

Furthermore, Nelson Glueck, a renowned Jewish archaeologist, wrote: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” (Glueck (1969), p. 176) So far, there have been many findings that confirms the stories of the Bible, which means we have a good reason to believe that Bible tells us the factual truth.

Why does the Bible have such a privileged position?

Somewhat later in the debate, Prof. Richard Dawkins said that he does not understand why does the Bible have such a privileged position between other myths from Greek mythology and Northern mythology. He said that he is worried that the Judeo-Christian myth is so important, as if it contained some special truths compared to other myths. He claimed that there is no reason to give such a privileged status to this myth. Later in the debate, he said that we should drop the Bible and find good stories and truths wherever we can find it.

My question is, then, why not keep it? It has served well for over 2000 years as the moral guide for those that have read it with an open heart, truthfully and observing some basic rules in reading. One might point out to the Crusades, Inquisition, Conquistadors and other big mistakes made by Christians in the history of the world, but they were exactly that – mistakes, made by men, who misunderstood the Bible. Of course, evil things can (and unfortunately do) come out from reading Bible, but that is because it is misunderstood and, just as well, evil things can come out from reading children’s stories, like Winnie the Pooh.

Morals and the Bible.

A big part of the debate was spent on the topic of morals in the Bible and from the Bible. Professor Dawkins in his book had written:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction. Jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic-cleanser; a misogynistic homophobic racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal…” (Dawkins, quoted by Plantinga (2007)).

Accordingly, the presenter, Nicky Campbell, quoted this passage from his book, and Dawkins continued with looking at the God of the New Testament. He described God as wanting to save people, but deciding that, in order to do that, he needs to torture and sacrifice his son Jesus Christ, instead of just forgiving them. He continued by exclaiming “Is that not the most disgusting idea you`ve ever heard?” Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, on the other hand, replied that there could be no forgiveness without a cost, while one of the guests said that it was not necessary for Jesus to die from the divine point-of-view, but maybe more because of the culture he was in at that time.

Then Dawkins was asked about the phrase “love your neighbour”, and he replied that they are lovely things to say, but that just as well, you could cherry-pick from other places. He claimed “The way you do your cherry-picking is that we are all decent human beings.” He asked then, “Why bother with the Bible at all?” One should take the nice messages from all sorts of places. After quite a lot of discussions here and there, Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali came up with claim that the moral values, which Dawkins uses to claim that we are all decent people, come from the Decalogue and the Sermon on the Mount.

Unfortunately, they fail to give any more reason for why to bother with the Bible. One could agree with Professor Dawkins that you can find encouraging and touching stories from everywhere else. Why is then the Bible so special? One reason is that Jesus thought it was special. He thought and taught that the Old Testament was divinely authoritative, imperishable, infallible, inerrant, historically reliable, scientifically accurate, and has ultimate supremacy. In addition to the claims of Jesus, there are many other reasons to believe the truthfulness of the Old Testament, like strong manuscript support, confirmation by archaeology and a storyline that the authors would not invent. Jesus also taught that the New Testament would come, for he left the Holy Spirit to remind them of what had been taught to them (Geisler & Turek (2004), pp. 356-365).

Will the Bible be strong next 2000 years?

At the end of the debate this question was asked to the four main guests if the show and this is what they answered:

Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali answered that the Christianity is very much growing in Africa, Asia and South America, and that it is very relevant for their everyday lives. Prof. Richard Dawkins tried to make a joke that it needs to stay in the King James Version, because otherwise people could read the nonsense that is in there. Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner claimed, Bible and the interpretations, the Bible as the source. Dr. Franceska Stavrakopoulou thought that her equivalent (Bible scholars) will be still at work for 2000 years, because it is impossible to imagine our western culture without the Bible.

As the Bible has been tried to destroy for many of those 2000 years so far, it has still remained to be important for the world, it will still continue to be important for the next 2000 years.

Bibliography

Geisler, N. L. & Turek, F. (2004) I Don`t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist. Wheaton, IL: Crossway.

Glueck, N. (1969) Rivers in the Desert: History of Negev. Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society of America.

McKenzie, S. L. (2000), King David, A Biography. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/books/first/m/mckenzie-david.html (09.04.2015.)

Mentorn Media (2011) The Big Questions. Is the Bible still relevant today? London, UK: BBC, retrieved from https://youtu.be/CAEpc1zhcuo (08.04.2015.)

Plantinga, A. (2007) The Dawkins Confusion. Carol Stream, IL: Books & Culture Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.booksandculture.com/articles/2007/marapr/1.21.html?paging=off (12.04.2015)

Sheler, J. L. (1999) Is the Bible True? San Francisco, CA: Harper SanFrancisco.