3 days, 3 nights... Jesus said... (Matthew 12:40)
traditions vs. the text
We really must ask: What does the Bible say?
Jesus had to fulfill the LAW in order to be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
That meant following the Law of Moses. To understand the events of Jesus we must first understand the Law.
That means understanding the appointed times and requirements of the Law.
Example of a TRADITION related to the Birth of Jesus: "The wisemen visited Jesus in the manager in Bethlehem."
Scripture reveals that the shepherds visited Jesus in the manager in Bethlehem, but then Jesus was taken
to Jerusalem and seen by Simeon. Luke records that they then went to Nazareth. The wise men visited about
two years later in a house. Both the wise men and Joseph had visions and acted on them. Wise men headed
back without going to Herod in Jerusalem. Joseph went to Egypt, likely funded by the gifts of the wise men.
But they were likely there less than a year because Luke says they made the passover in Jerusalem every year.
It's also interesting to note that those in Iraq, Iran and so on refer to Christians as followers of the
Nazarene. Hence the "N" symbol. That's a tradition that supports the text and counters Western traditions.
Leviticus, Matthew and Luke provide the details.
From the Torah and the Gospel we see the supported time line:
1) Jesus is born in Bethlehem (Matthew and Luke, and prophets to be named later)
2) Jesus is visited in the manager by shepherds in Bethlehem (Luke 2:16)
3) Circumcised on the 8th day (Luke 2:21)
4) after the days of purification, dedicated in JERUSALEM (Luke 2:22, Leviticus 12)
5) after the dedication taken to NAZARETH (Luke 2:39, Leviticus 12)
6) According to the Law... EVERY year at the Feast of the Passover (Leviticus 23)
7) Wise men seek Jesus, talk to Herod - find out about Bethlehem (Matt 2)
8) Wise men begin to leave Jerusalem, SEE the STAR (NOTE: no mention of direction...)
9) Wise men visit Jesus in HOUSE (no mention of manger or city)
10) Joseph and the magi are warned - Magi head back east, Joseph heads to Egypt
11) The trip to Eqypt likely funded by gifts of the magi... less than one year in Egypt
12) Joseph and Jesus return to Nazareth.
1) Leviticus 12 - records the Law concerning birth. NOTE: circumcised 8th day... then, Lev 12:6 - tent of meeting
Lev 12:2 "Speak to the sons of Israel, saying:' When a woman gives birth and bears a male child,
then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean.
Lev 12:3 On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
Lev 12:4 Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days;
she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed.
Lev 12:6 'When the days of her purification are completed, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the
priest at the doorway of the tent of meeting a one year old lamb for a burnt offering
and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering.
2) Luke 2 - records the visit by the sheperds in Bethlehem and the trip to Jerusalem to the temple
Luk 2:15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another,"
Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."
Luk 2:16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.
Luk 2:21 And when eight days had passed, before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, ...
Luk 2:22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed,
they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
Luk 2:23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord," Every firstborn male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord"),
Luk 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord," A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons."
Luk 2:25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; ...
3) Matthew 2 records details of the birth and the visit of the magi
Mat 2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
Mat 2:2 "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
Mat 2:4 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
Mat 2:5 They said to him," In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:
Mat 2:6 'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For out of you shall come forth a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel. '"
Mat 2:7 Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared.
Mat 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said," Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him,
report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him."
Mat 2:9 After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east,
went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.
NOTE: which they "HAD" seen in the east... went on before them... (Jerusalem is north of Bethlehem, and so is Nazareth...)
Mat 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
NOTE: It is important to note the omission of information, Bethlehem is NOT mentioned, nor is the direction they traveled.
Mat 2:11 After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; ...
Mat 2:12 And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.
NOTE: The text says "not to return" to Herod... If they were north of Jerusalem in Nazareth they would have to RETURN to
Jerusalem, but if in Bethlehem they would only need to stop along the way. Terse details and omissions are important.
Mat 2:13 Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,"
Get up! Take the Child and His mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you;
for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him."
Mat 2:14 So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt.
Mat 2:15 He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet."
Out of Egypt I called My Son."
Mat 2:16 Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male
children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under,
according to the time which he had determined from the magi.
Mat 2:17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
Mat 2:18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; ...
Mat 2:19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord *appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said,
Mat 2:20 "Get up, take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child's life are dead."
Mat 2:21 So Joseph got up, took the Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.
Mat 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.
Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee,
Mat 2:23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets."
He shall be called a Nazarene."
4) Luke records additional details about where Jesus was taken after birth
Luk 2:39 When they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.
Luk 2:40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
Luk 2:41 Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,
after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (kjv)
Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception,
according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world,
rather than according to Christ. (nas)
Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you,
that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in
the law of Moses,
and in the prophets,
and in the psalms,
concerning me. (kjv)
Luk 24:44 Now He said to them," These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that all things which are written about Me
in the Law of Moses
and the Prophets
and the Psalms
must be fulfilled."(nas)
searched for: tradition
tradition found in KJV and NAS translations: 27 times
-- tradition found in kjv 13 times ---
-- tradition found in NAS 14 times ---
-- tradition was found in the KJV in:
Mat 15:2; Mat 15:3; Mat 15:6; Mar 7:3; Mar 7:5; Mar 7:8; Mar 7:9; Mar 7:13;
Gal 1:14; Col 2:8; 2Th 2:15; 2Th 3:6; 1Pe 1:18; --- KJV: tradition ---
----- tradition was found in the NASB in:
Isa 29:13; Mat 15:2; Mat 15:3; Mat 15:6; Mar 7:3; Mar 7:5; Mar 7:8; Mar 7:9; Mar 7:13;
1Co 11:2; Gal 1:14; Col 2:8; 2Th 2:15; 2Th 3:6; --- NASB: tradition ---
WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW are questions that will be asked and attempt to be answered.
The laws of language must be used to interpret what is written.
The basic analysis tools are used to determine the writer's intent.
The Bible is it's own best commentary. To understand the Bible one must read it. If there are things not
found but essential to understanding the passage then we will look at history, archeology, language
and determine the context and culture of the author and their intended audience. We need to understand
the literary genre used.
The plain and simple interpretation of a passage is usually what the author intended.
One must not approach a passage with a preconceived idea of what it says. Read it fresh, read it and
ask questions. Do not seek the mind of other men until you have sought the Word of God. Avoid the
traditions of men. Don't read about the Bible as reported by others, but read it yourself.
Remember that as believers we have the helper, the Holy Spirit, to guide us in understanding the things written.
Some supplemental material may be cited, but it's use is only to present the appropriate Bible verses, or
to provide a historical or cultural reference. We must not assume that the Bible author was writing to us in our own
time and place, but to their contemporaries who understood their culture, history, customs and language.
The Old Testament was not written to or about the New Testament Church. One must not try to make the church fit
the Old Testament. The church is not Israel. America is not Israel. Israel is Israel. The blessings of Israel
are provided to the church through Jesus Christ. God says in Romans 11 that He is not finished with Israel.
In Ezekiel 35 to 40 we see Israel returning to their land in the last days.
There are a few resources in the Reference directory to supplement some details, but if one examines those resources
they will often find other details that contradict the Bible by those authors, therefore we must identify and validate
Biblical issues with the details from the Bible only, and supplement for clarification by other writers when possible.
e.g., in the Coming Prince the author talks of a Friday crucifixion, yet a detailed analysis of the Passion Week
reveals a Thursday crucifixion. A careful analysis of the appointed times in Leviticus and details of the Gospels determine this.
The details are in this Crucifixion directory. The writer of the Coming Prince was not addressing the issue of the
crucifixion and made reference to the common view of his day. This is why we must use the Bible as our primary source.
In any discipline we have limited time and scope, so that someone will find details of one event and accept without
question the findings of another does not validate those other findings. We all need to examine the Bible as the authority.
The goal is understanding the Bible, not proving or disproving any of the works of man or doctrinal statements or
confessions of faith. It's all about the Bible. And the Bible is all about Jesus Christ. Don't run to commentaries
or books about the Bible, look in the Bible. Search on keywords, learn the Law as it was the basis for actions by Christ.
This site will not follow the traditions of men (Colossians 2:8-10). Doctrinal statements from a variety of churches
may be found in an appendix of the Bible Summary guide, but this is to help identify relevant verses, not to promote
one group or another. There are many false teachers out there. Many are deceived and deceiving and leading many
astray. These people ignore the Word of God and twist scripture to fit their views. They use allegory and spiritualize
a passage to make it fit their own world view. We need to carefully analyze a passage and understand it prayerfully.
There is only one correct interpretation, with the possibility of many applications. What did the writer intend?
Who were they writing to? When did they write it? Why did they write it? How did they write it? What were the issues,
the problems, the event? We have to understand the passage in the context it was written in a point of space and time.
We must also understand that the writer would know of God's nature, the Law, and other accepted ideas of the Jews when
writing. Most of the writers of the Bible were Jews, they would have understood the Old Testament with all its history
and prophecies and feasts. Because the Bible is often terse the writers rarely provide details about events, but will
mention it in ways that most of us in the West will not understand or take as significant. A careful study of the Word
will keep you alert to these subtle keys and match them up to other passages in Scripture. In the study of the
crucifixion works such as "preparation day", Sabbath according to the commandment, a High Sabbath, and other details
pointed to various Old Testmanent details. Details...
If one is in a leadership position at a local church they must take care to avoid refering to writers to make a point,
There is a risk that your flock will read that author instead of the Bible... is that what you want them to do?
This is suggested not because there is not wisdom available through other sources than the Bible, it is that
these writings are not inspired and almost always include errors. It is far better to encourage the flock to
study the Bible. Helping others learn more about the Bible is what we should be doing, not promoting man.
NOTE: I need to incorporate into these notes the importance of understanding details about the HISTORIC setting,
specific cultural issues, political conditions, and so on... most of those details need to come from external sources.
My point on focusing the study within the text of the Bible is that we should first seek to understand what was written
and compare it to other writings. But the study of history, culture, language and even what others have written
about the Bible are important. My biggest complaint about tradition, commentaries and such is that far too many
go there first without reading the Word. The issue of people misinterpreting the Bible because they don't understand
History is also a concern. So, all that said, there must be a balance. But when putting things in perspective it is
always best to first seek an understanding of the Bible in context, then validate, expand and further illuminate it with
the studies of others.
BibleTech - copyright © 1995 - 2014 John Meister