Modern Literal Version

[Acts 28]

     {Nov. - Feb. 62 AD. Malta.}

     28:1 And having been saved, then we recognized that the island is called Malta. 28:2 Now the barbarians were providing for us and we obtained not just kindliness; for* having lit a fire, they took us all in, because of the standing rainfall and because of the cold. 28:3 But when* Paul twisted together a bunch of brush and having laid it upon the fire, a viper attached to his hand, having come out through the brush from the warmth. 28:4 Now as the barbarians saw the snake hanging from his hand, they were saying to one another, This man is certainly a murderer, whom, having been saved out of the sea, justice did not permit him to live. 28:5 Therefore indeed, he shook-off the snake into the fireand suffered no evil. 28:6 But they were expecting that he is about to swell up or to suddenly fall down dead. But expecting it for a long time and viewing nothing improper happening to him, having a turnabout, they were saying that he was a god.

     28:7 Now in the regions around that place, were* farms possessed by the foremost one of the island, Publius by name, who accepted us and lodged us courteously three days. 28:8 Now it happened, that the father of Publius lay sick, being troubled with fevers and dysentery; to whom Paul having entered and prayed and laid his hands on him, healed him. 28:9 Therefore, when* this happened, the rest who have any sicknesses in the island were also coming near and were being healed, 28:10 who also honored us with many honors, and when* we sailed, they placed on the shipthe things *for our need.

     28:11 Now after three months, we were led to a ship from Alexandria with an insignia of The Twin Brothers which had wintered in the island.

     {March, 62 - March 64. Rome.}

     28:12 And having led the ship into Syracuse, we remained there three days. 28:13 From where we went around and arrived at Rhegium and after one day a south wind came* upon us and on the second day we came to Puteoli; 28:14 where we found brethren and were encouraged to remain onwith them seven days and so we came to Rome. 28:15 And the brethren from there, when* they heard things concerning us, came to the encounter with us out to the Market of Appius and the Three Taverns; whom having seen, Paul thanked God and took courage.

     28:16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion gave the prisoners to the camp-commander, but Paul was permitted to abide by himself together with the soldier guarding him.

     28:17 Now after three days Paul happened to call together those who are the foremost of the Jews and when* they came together, he said to them, Brethren, I have done nothing adverse to the Jewishpeople or the customs of our forefathers. I, a prisoner from Jerusalem, was given up into the hands of the Romans. 28:18 The Romans who, having examined me, were planning to release me, because no crime exists worthy of death in me. 28:19 But the Jews were speaking against it, then I was urged to appeal to Caesar; not that I held anything of which to accuse my nation. 28:20 Therefore, because of this accusation, I pleaded to see and to speak with youĎ; for* I am encompassed with this chain because of the hope of Israel.

     28:21 But they said to him, We neither accepted writings from Judea concerning you, nor did anyone of the brethren come here and report or speak anything evil concerning you. 28:22 But we deem it worthy to hear from you what things you are mindful of; for* indeed, concerning this sect, it is known to us that it is spoken against everywhere.

     28:23 Now having appointed him a day, they were coming to him, into the lodging in great number; to whom he was expounding the word, thoroughly testifying of the kingdom of God also persuading them with the things concerning Jesus, both from the Law of Moses and from the prophets, from morning until dusk. 28:24 And some were obeying and some were disbelieving the things which were spoken. 28:25 But when* they disagreed among themselves, they were dismissing themselvesafterPaul had spoken just one declaration, The Holy Spirit spoke well through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, 28:26 saying, 'Travel to this people and say, In hearing youĎ will hear and yet may never*understand, and seeing youĎ will see and yet may never* see; 28:27 for* the heart of this people has become-callous and they have selectively heard with their ears and they have closed their eyes. Lest, they should see with their eyes and should hear with their ears and should understand with theirheart and should return and I will be healing them.' {Isa 6:9-10}

     28:28 Therefore let it be known to youĎ, that this salvation from God is sent to the Gentiles and they will be hearing it. 28:29 And having said these things, the Jews went away, having much debate among themselves.

     28:30 Now Paul remained two whole years in his own rented-house and was accepting all who traveled to him, 28:31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness, unforbidden by any.

Introduction to the Letters

    After you know about who Jesus was in the first four books and have followed an example of how to become a Christian in Acts, then comes the remainder of the New Testament. A collection of letters written to Christians, helping them to know how to live their lives for Christ Jesus after they were saved from their sins. They were not arranged in chronological order so to read and learn from them as God intended, it is better to follow the order of the Simple Reading Schedule. This way each letter will build upon each other. You will also have some preparation before you read Romans, a very intense letter. Each letter deals with specific issues and problems that different groups of Christians were struggling with at the time of the writing. The most common problem was that Jewish false teachers were binding the Gentile Christians under the Law. However, up front, the Law, spoken of in the letters is in a very generalized way as "Law" vs. "the Law" most often. It is the old covenant of God, the Old Testament from Genesis through Malachi.

    The first nine letters are written by the apostle Paul to specific congregations of the Lord's body in various cities and are named for the area in which those Christians lived. The next four letters are written by Paul to specific Christian individuals who were working with congregations.

    The letter to the Hebrews was written to help Jewish Christians understand that the Old Testament had fulfilled its purpose in pointing people to something much better: Christ Jesus.

    The letters of James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Jude were all written to Christians in various areas, and the letters are named after the writer.

    The book of Revelation is a combination of letters from Christ Jesus to specific congregations, and a prophecy given as a reminder to Christians to stay faithful even in persecution because God is the one ultimately in control.

(The following introductions are arranged as you should read the New Testament Letters were written to Christians.)

    {Note: We are of the opinion Mark and Matthew were written during at about the same time as James; others place them at 60-67 AD.}

Letter from James

50-52 AD

    This letter was most likely written about the same time the letter in Acts 15 was sent to all the congregations from the apostles in Jerusalem. That letter told the Gentile Christians and the Jewish Christians that only four things from the Law (Old Testament) were to be obeyed. Jews who had known the Law all of their lives could not keep it, no way Gentiles could either and neither has to obey it under the New Testament.

    So James is fast paced written to an overall Christian audience and encourages all to not have a 'faith only,' or a 'works can save you' type attitude but to have both. James has more commandments (short and simple) per page than does any other letter: Do not be a hearer only but be a doer. To believe (have faith) is to have works. Do not blame God for your lack of control. Listen. Practice mercy. Do not be prejudice. Do not ignore the poor, etc. The classic 'faith only' can never save you rebuke because even 'demons believe' is in 2:19. James tells us how to live as Christians. He tells us 'like it is.'

Letters to the Thessalonians (1&2)

52-53 AD

    The letter sent to a congregation in Thessalonica apparently who had problems with the teachings previously given to them, which deals with what is typical, called the 'Second Coming.' They believed (wrongly) that Jesus was coming back 'like right now.' One thing that false religious groups and 'self-proclaimed' (false) prophets have taught us in the past 100 years or so is that no one knows when Jesus is coming back. Jesus did not even know. A very vivid picture is given of how the judgment, revelation of the Lord, Jesus' coming and the end occurs. Jesus and the messengers of God would come with a sound of a trumpet (common in Greek history as a call to battle, that everyone could hear it) in flaming fire. Christians will meet Jesus in the air 1Thessalonians 4:16-17, 'those who are not obeying...the sentence of everlasting utter-destruction' in 2Thessalonians 1:7-9. The warning that the 'man of sin' would come first, 1Thessalonians 2, Caesar Nero, (called 666 by John in Revelation 13:18) was a time that Christians would start suffering persecution from the hands of the Roman government. A quick 'to the point' conclusion in 2Thessalonians 3 and a commandment to stay away from those who do not teach 'the tradition received from us.' A commandment we hope all Christians will obey by not following the 'traditions of men' and so save themselves from the 'fire.'

Letter to the Galatians

55-58 AD

    The letter is addressed to Christians as is all 'letters' and this time multiple congregations all located in Galatia. Paul wastes no time getting right to the point that there is only 'one good-news of Jesus' and obeying any other is a curse. Apparently, some previously converted Jew(s) were teaching the previously converted Gentile Christians that they had to be circumcised and keep the Old Covenant Laws. A wonderful comparison of the 'promise to' and the 'faith of Abraham' and 'the faith of Christ.' The real purpose of God was always to bring Christ into the world. However, Paul with various arguments pretty much put it in the context in 5:1-6. Circumcision is not profitable, but if you keep any of the Law (Old Testament), then you have to practice all of it. However, in Christ, all are free from the Old Testament Law and Christians are not a slave to it. Then the typical 'slap on the face' from Paul 'you* who are made righteous by the law; you* have fallen from the grace of God.'

    Therefore, if you are keeping tithing, then you have to keep the Sabbath (Saturday) and about 630 more laws. Then once again 'who hindered you* not to obey the truth'' I wish-that those who are unsettling you* will even castrate themselves. No doubt, we know Paul's (God's) opinion of false teachers who lead Christians away from the truth by making them keep Old Testament Law. For* all the Law is fulfilled in one word, in this: 'You will love* your neighbor like yourself' 5:14.

Letter to the Corinthians

56-58 AD

    If you could find a place where sin was rampant, it was Corinth. Then what was worse is the attitude common to today of 'it really doesn't matter.' The more garbage you take in, the more chance of it influencing you! Then the congregation in Corinth seems to take everything to the extreme.

    They were not unified in much of anything and filled full of splits, and the 'anything goes' policy so common to many religious groups of today. 'In the same...' 'be mindful of the same...' is a common commandment throughout all the letters; but not in this congregation. Paul's use of sarcasm is superior throughout both Corinthian letters, 'Christ sent me not to immerse, but to proclaim the good-news' actually both are commands of the Lord written at the ends of the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, witnessed in Acts 2:38 'to be saved.' Man's foolishness is used by God to promote His purpose. 4:10, apostles are foolish, but they (the Corinthians) are wise, and many more places.

    Then in chapter 2, Paul goes from foolishness of man to wisdom of man vs. God's wisdom, which progresses onward to the spiritual things. Chapter 3, Paul calls them babies and fleshly. Then he talks about the foundation (Jesus) that he and Apollos built that they should make sure they build properly on it. Because even if Paul's work fails at judgment day (the Corinthians); Paul is still saved as though he walked through the fire. In chapter 4 & 9, Paul calls them arrogant, they are judging him. They have everything, even reigning like kings; they do not need Paul. In chapter 5, a man is fornicating with his stepmother. Instead of disciplining him, so he would not spend eternity away from them; they just do not care. This 'leavening' could ruin the batch of them, and they just do not get it. Then they have lawsuits against each other. Paul finally lists all of their past sins (possibly current ones) and tells them no one who practices them will inherit heaven. The Corinthians thought you could be like the world and still be in the Lord's body at the same time. Chapter 7 deals with marriage and the unmarried. Then in Chapters 8, 10, they add idiolatry to the list. Also in Chapters 10, 11 it was pointed out how they are abusing the Lord's Supper and the love feast versus how it should be respected. We know from Acts 20:7, this is one of the reasons the congregations come together every Sunday. Chapters 12, 13, 14 talks about the spiritual gifts Christians had during the first century used to evangelize the world (Mark 16:15-20). In 13:10, he tells them the completed word will stop all of this, so put love higher on the list, it never fails. Once again, the Corinthians took this to extremes as about everything else they did. In 15, Adam and Jesus are compared, and the last part talks about the time when Jesus will come back where 'in the blink of an eye' we will inherit our heavenly bodies. In 16, he concludes with his typical greetings and encouragements.

Second Letter to the Corinthians

58-59 AD

    Paul continues his battle with those who think of themselves too highly and states he did not come to them right then to spare them. He was giving them a chance to repent. About three chapters are spent showing his authority from Jesus, and how good they had life in comparison to the apostles' 'verdict' of death. In chapter 6 and 11, he talks about how bad the people who had ministered to the Corinthians had it, but all of it was for the sake of the Corinthians and others. He gave various encouragements: all in life is temporary; hope for a new body in heaven; in salvation, a new creation; you* are in our hearts, etc. 'You* are not distressed by us, but you* are distressed by your* own affections' in 6:11 sums it up for them.

    Then Paul describes a relief that many of the congregations had put together for the poor holy-ones (10:1) in Jerusalem, one of many mentioned in the New Testament. Many were assigned and cooperated due to the high possibility of robbers (food during a drought is more valuable than gold). Then in chapter 10, he redirects his letter to rebuke one or many who claim that 'they walk according to the flesh.' He tells the Corinthians they should have already done it in 10:2. In 11, he talks to the Corinthians as he did to the Galatians about anyone adding in another good-news or teaching not in the bible is a false teacher. Adding in 'it doesn't say not to' is just as bad as excluding parts. Paul continues his sarcasm in 12 and then his rebuke in 13 'not sparing' them when he comes.

Letter to the Romans

58 AD

    The Romans had their problems with Jewish Christian false teachers also. But he first addressed homosexuality which was a common practice in Rome at the time. Caesar Nero was a classic example. Paul puts it in blunt terms in 1 Cor. 6:9, 'they will not inherit the kingdom of God.' In the next few chapters, Paul deals with: various quotes of the O.T., why they are not the 'faith of Abraham,' and that Christ was the fulfilment of that promise to Abraham, long before the O.T. was written. In chapter 6, Paul gives us one more aspect about immersion, the death burial, and resurrection, same as our Lord. Chapter 7 shows the contrast of a married couple and remarriage, but the whole point is you cannot keep the Old Covenant of God and be married to the New Covenant of Jesus or else God calls you an adulteress. Paul speaks of his (and our) war between what we want to do vs. what we are to do in Christ and how nothing but ourselves can ever keep us the love of God. Chapter 9 goes back to the argument against the Jewish false teachers. In 10, the same problem with the Israel of then and many false religious groups of today, 'a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.' Then Paul speaks of the declarations/report from the apostles that brought them to Christ. In 11, Paul speaks that is was always God's plan to have the Gentiles and Jews under one covenant. In Chapters 12-14, instructions on how to live as a Christian, and governments in Chapter 13. In Chapter15 back to more about the Law of Moses vs. the Law of Christ. Ending with Paul's typical farewells.

    {Luke is written 60-63 AD}

    {Actual writing of Acts 63 AD.}

Letter to the Ephesians

62-64 AD

    By the time, Paul wrote to the Ephesian congregation, they seem to have few problems, which were so common to the other congregations of the Lord in his letters, or they had already learned the truth from them. Paul is still in prison and sends others in his place to help and encourage them. The introduction in the first chapter and second about God's favor; his original plan for our salvation, all we have to do it obey it. Eph. contains the most misquoted verse in the Bible by Christians, completely out of context, 2:8. God made a plan for us to be saved from our sins and showed us many examples in Acts. Once saved from your past sins, Christians have the letters to guide them on how to stay in God's grace and receive further forgiveness of sin for us as the 'new creation.' So many miss this fact. In chapter 3, he describes God's plan, a mystery hidden until this age when the Gentile and the Jew would be together in one body, the congregation of believers. The absolute best description of what the body of Christ is supposed to be and follow in Chapter 4:1-6, 11-16. We pray that all 'achieve to the unity of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son.' In Chapter 5, Paul uses an example of a husband and wife to describe Jesus' love for the congregation. In Chapter 6, Paul tells us the devil is the real enemy, and only the knowledge of God's word can defeat him and his schemes.

Letter to the Philippians

62-64 AD

    Paul, still in prison, writes a long, encouraging letter that has very few sentences dealing with problems or possible problems, one is two women who are making some kind of disturbance. Paul tells them to be of the same mind a commandment he tells all the Christians in all his letters. All Christians should strive to be the congregation, which obeys the commands of Jesus and not the traditions of men, fulfill Jesus' prayer for unity, (Joh 17). He speaks about his evangelism of all the palace guard. You might say he had a 'captive audience' with 'the whole palace guard and to all the rest.' You get to see a lot of Paul's human side, his emotions, and concern for all the congregations and his desire to make sure someone is sent to them in his place. Paul does a rebuke to the 'mutilation,' i.e., the Jewish Christian false teachers in chapter 3. Some of the best advice that could be given to a Christian, 'forgetting the things which are behind me and stretching forth to the things which are before me.' He ends with the usual greeting and encouragements.

Letter to the Colossians

62-64 AD

    The Colossians had a 'pastor' problem, a one-man self-righteous false teacher, most likely a Jewish Christian with 'persuasive speech' who wanted the congregation to follow his teachings and not the teachings of the Christ given to them by Paul. There are reasons, as shown here, why God did not establish a democracy or a dictatorship in the congregation, but multiple shepherds (overseers, elders, etc. Philippians 1:2, Tim. 3, Titus 1). An inspired description of this man, without naming him and strong rebuke in Chapter 2:8-23. In this a teaching that immersion cleaned away their sins, trespasses, and killed the Old Testament Law 'having nailed it to the cross.' He uses the same type of example here as he did in Rom 6. In Chapter 3, now that you have been raised up from the dead do away with old sinful things and replace them with holy things. Do all in the name of Jesus; (do only what is authorized). A short encouragement to the married, children, bondservants (workers), and employers. Some simple instruction to them and the plans to send others in his place to continue to help them grow.

    We can learn a valuable lesson from this letter to never exalt or follow any man, as well as how to live as a Christian. Hero worship has no place with Christians and should be condemned by all.

Introduction to Jude

 60-67 AD

    The brother of James is the author's identification of himself. This means that he is also a half-brother of Jesus and was the youngest or next to youngest (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). Following the example of James, he simply refers to himself as a 'Servant of Jesus Christ.' He claims no special privilege because of his fleshly relationship to Jesus. False teachers needed to be rebuked, and Jude is going to address the sins of the people who thought they could sin with the body, and their physical sin had nothing to do with their spiritual well-being. This same false teaching in common within the Calvinism of today. James would go on to talk about those and their denial of the deity of Jesus.

    {64 AD. Paul's release from prison and visitation to various congregations.}

    {July 64 AD. The Great Fire at Rome, Christians accused of setting it.}

Introduction to 1 Peter

64-65 AD

    Peter shows us the blessings of Christianity, Christian suffering and service, our relationships in the congregation and world, Christian attributes and how to grow in them, what to expect from false teachers, and the second coming of Christ. Many times, it is back and forth, commands 'do this' and 'don't do this' or 'be this' and 'do not be this.' This is a letter of hope in the midst of suffering persecution from the Jews, and the Roman government under Nero and the intended readers are primarily Gentile Christians. It was written from Babylon. This letter, like much of the teaching of the congregations at that time, was very much concerned with the second coming of Christ. The believers needed to be assured they were right in Christ and no other.

Introduction to 2 Peter

65-67 AD

    The emphasis is on false teachers and false teaching. It is a letter of warning, and Peter's cure for false teaching is true spiritual knowledge. As Jesus showed us in Mat, it has been written... This letter is most likely a follow-up letter to his previous one to the same group of people.

    It was written in Peter's mature years. He is one of the elders. It stirs up readers to grow in Christian character and encourage them into a patient expectation of the Lord's return also warning them against being 'led away in the error of the immoral.' As translators, do not be lead away by those Bibles who would change Chapter 3:10 at the end to anything but 'will be burned up.' Peter wants them to grow in 'the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.'

Introduction to Philemon

62-64 AD

    Paul writes the letter, not to a congregation(s) in an area but Philemon, the owner of a runaway bondservant, Onesimus. The non- Christian bondservant met Paul in Rome who taught him the truth, and he became a Christian and good friend of Paul. Paul was sending Onesimus back to Philemon, but he wants Philemon to treat this bondservant now like a brother in Christ. Paul even says he personally will compensate if need be. However, it is doubtful Philemon ever asked for it considering he was also taught the truth by Paul and, as you will see Paul being Paul in this short letter.

Introduction to 1 Timothy

63-64 AD

    This was written after Paul was released from his first two-year imprisonment in Rome, which is mentioned in Acts 28:30, 31.

Paul wants the reader to gain knowledge about God's instructions to preachers, prayer, the role of women, qualifications of elders and deacons, proper treatment of various categories of people, the importance of the right example and more. Timothy receives this letter from Paul and Paul took Timothy with him on other journeys (Acts 16:3-5). However, the writing is to give instructions and encouragement to Timothy and all other men who would preach the Good-news and to stress the necessity of preaching and teaching the sound doctrine (i.e., the Good-news of Christ, without adding to or taking away from it). To identify the need to wage the good spiritual warfare against Satan, including resisting and rebuking those who teach false doctrine. Paul addresses prayer, submission of women, qualifications of the men for the eldership or servants such as deacons. We also see instructions on the proper treatment of older and younger men and women, including widows and elders. Instruction and strong warning and exhortation to those who desire to be rich and to those who actually are rich in this world's goods.

Introduction to Titus

63-64 AD

    This letter was written after Paul was released from his first two-year imprisonment in Rome (Acts 28:30, 31). It was written to provide instructions and encouragement to Titus and to all men who preach the Good-news and to set in order things that are lacking in any congregation of Christ as well as to give some qualifications of elders (1Tim. 3 also). He also points out the importance of exhorting and convicting false teachers. He is stressing the necessity of teaching and preaching sound doctrine as well as to bring to mind the kindness, love, mercy, and grace of God focusing on blessings of being saved from sin, justified, redeemed, purified, God's own special people and heirs of God so the Christian can have hope. No wonder Paul described Titus as his partner and fellow worker!

Introduction to Hebrews

65-66 AD

    The book of Hebrew gives direction to the Jewish Christians; building on their common knowledge of Jewish Law and traditions, the book furthers their comprehension of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Using the Law as a shadow of the things that have happened in their sight.

    It is important to realize how difficult it was for "Children of Abraham" to thrust aside generations of teachings and the marvelous acts of God recorded in their history. The miraculous confirmations happening among them got their attention, but they must understand all the fulfilling of recorded prophecies.

    The author would have referred to the destruction of Jerusalem had it been written after AD 70, also references in the present tense is used when speaking of worship in the Temple. (5.3, 10.1) It probably was written after the first generation of Christians. (2.3) "having received it in the beginning when spoken through the Lord, which was confirmed to us by those who heard it?" We lean toward the idea that Paul actually wrote Hebrews and it would have been about 65-66 AD, right before his death. There have been many speculations on the authorship, all the way from Paul, Luke, Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Apollos, and Silvanus. However, what was seen in the early writings has Paul as the author. We can understand at this point in life not to have his name inside. However, more importantly, God is the final authority over His Written Word.

    Hebrews is a book of encouragement, exhortation, but contains strong warnings. Powerful beginning, "God, who long-ago spoke, in many parts and in many manners, in the prophets to the fathers, has in the end of these days, spoken to us in his Son."

    Hebrews shows the proper relationship between the Old and New Testaments and explains clearly the Old Testament passages and ideas. It also demonstrates the superiority of the Good-news of Jesus'. It was written to prevent apostasy from Christianity back into Judaism by showing the Good-news is superior to Judaism (a God-given religion) and by showing perfection and finality of Christ's priesthood. Hebrews also shows how Jesus was the Christ to the non-believer and as the fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies. It was a final attempt for the Jews to be saved before their massacre in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the end of the now false Jewish religion.

    {Paul's second imprisonment. Autumn 65 AD. Rome. Paul's Second Letter to Timothy was written.}

Introduction to 2 Timothy

65 AD.

    Paul wrote this Letter to Timothy (1:2) and taught Timothy the Good-news, and they did a great deal of work together preaching the Good-news. To give instructions and encouragement to Timothy and all future preachers and teachers of not being ashamed of God's word, and to hold fast to the pattern of sound words delivered by Paul and other apostles and prophets. Being strong and endure hardship and suffering as a good soldier of Christ and willing to endure all things for the chosen, that they may obtain the salvation which is in Christ. Being a diligent worker, rightly dividing the word of truth, carefully following sound doctrine and continuing to live in it. Being watchful, endure affliction and do the work of an evangelist and beware of false teachers because false doctrine spreads and kills like cancer, undermining the work of faithful preachers, but most of all, fighting the good fight, keep the faith and finish the race in Christ looking forward to the crown of righteousness.

    {Paul's martyrdom at Rome. 66 AD.}

    {John's Good-news could have been 63-70 AD. For sure after the other three Good-news books were written.}

    {All of John's letters of John were written close together, 63-70 AD. We are of the opinion that God sealed up the New Testament with the writing of Revelation, and fulfilled all the New Testament and Old Testament prophecies with the destruction of Jerusalem. If any letters had been written after the destruction of Jerusalem, we see no reason for some of the wording contained in them and no mention of God's Judgment Day on the Jewish religion. Others who have disagreed have twisted everything in the bible to prove their 'fairy tale' beliefs.}

Introduction to 1 John

67-70 AD.

    The writer does not name himself but speaks as an eyewitness and as if his information was first-hand. See 'Introduction to John' for more information.

    1-3 John should be taken as a whole, so you understand all three and were probably written very close together.

    He writes in categorical, almost dogmatic, terms. There is no disputing the truth of what he says. He condemns error in no uncertain terms! With the rising interest in a merging of Christianity with the higher forms of paganism, there was a pressing need for the presentation of adequate Christian knowledge to combat the danger. Nowhere else in the New Testament is the combination of faith, love, and obedience so clearly brought out. The letter was written to a group of people, with whom the author was personally acquainted and who were threatened with the same infiltration of false teachings. The writing is from Ephesus. Major themes in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John are the assurance of salvation. One of John's main purposes in 1 John is to give believers assurance (1 John 5:13), and the need for assurance is needed by all Christians, especially true for new converts. The Bible rejects the false teaching of ' once saved always saved,' but it does not reject the biblical doctrine of assurance.

Introduction to 2 John

67-70 AD.

    The author describes himself as 'the elder.' Maybe to describe his age or his position as part of the congregation's leadership. The false teachers in verse 7 are the same as those referred to in 1 John. John wants to forewarn his readers against the infiltration of error, and the apostle wants his readers to have Christian hospitality. However, John still must warn against receiving and aiding any false teacher (2 John 10, 11). Do not even greet them.

Introduction to 3 John

67-70 AD.

    John starts with a long encouragement to the believing at the congregation. Then he names Diotrephes as a false teacher who practices evil against John and others. Then gives a great testimony about Demetrius who probably stood up against Diotrephes.

Book of Revelation

64-66 AD.

    The book of Revelation was written before 66 AD, the start of the invasion by Vespasian and his son Titus toward Jerusalem. If it had been written after the destruction of Jerusalem, that would have been mentioned in the book since that was God's Judgment Day upon the Jews.

    The book was written during the time when Christians were not only being persecuted by the Jews but also from the Roman government by one of the vilest men to walk on this earth, Nero Caesar. The entire book is written in extremely symbolic language. This was like a code that the Christians would understand, but the Jews and Romans would never see God's judgment on the Jewish nation coming. This would keep them safe and give them hope during this extreme time of Nero (the man 666) and while seeing the deadly advance of Roman armies destined to put an end to the various Jewish rebellions which had plagued Roman for over a decade, once and for all. Through the symbolic language, you have a historical 'play by play' of what is going to take place with the eventual fall of Jerusalem, which took 3.5 years. It even prophesies of the pause of the advance also foretold in Luke 21, so no single Christian lost their life in the 3.5-year massacre (Josephus) and the final destruction of the Jewish temple and all its records, thus fulfilling every unfulfilled prophecy of the Old and New Testament. The armies were led by the soon to be Caesar Vespasian and then his son Titus after apostle Paul's execution by Nero and then Nero's death in June 68 AD. Even though Revelation is a symbolically written history book from 1:1 to 20:11, it still gives every Christian hope because we know that God always wins! Revelation contains the chapter (20:1-5) most often mistranslated to meet certain beliefs more than any other place in the Bible. If you have to change what the Word of God says to promote your doctrine, then your doctrine cannot possibly be God's doctrine. The final warning from God, 'do not add to or take away from' God's word in 22:19.

    {AD 70. Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus; the final proof to the Jews, the Messiah had come.}

    {End of the Harmony of the New Covenant.}

You may use any of these Introductions found in the MLV in any congregational bulletins or study guides, just denote 'taken from' or similar.

Modern Literal Version Preface & Appendix , copyright 1999, 2014 by G. Allen Walker for the MLV New Testament Committee.
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