January 2011


This is a very beautiful hymn that my friends have been trying to sing.

Personally this hymns had been featured in the movie Places In The Heart, it won 2 Academy Awards in 1984.

I understand that the inspiration for the hymn was the scene written in John 20:1-18. Where Mary Magdalene came to the garden to find the tomb of Jesus, and was crying when she could not find it. The part where “He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing” He is referring to Jesus calling to her “Mary”

When Mary realised that it was the risen Lord, all her pain and grief all disappeared

This hymns means alot to me as well, as it reminded me of the times I spent praying in the morning. Personally as all the pressures of surviving alone cave in, when you pray again and again. There are times when we wonder, “Doesn’t God already know my prayer? Why am I made to repeat this again and again?”

This hymn captured that intimate feelings we should have whenever we knelt before God and make our supplications before God.

Alot of times, when Christians were facing the pressures of life, we tend to forget that Jesus is walking with us and he does talks to us, through sermons, through thinking over the words of God. Sometimes the Holy Spirit would just bring to remembrance the bible stories that we have heard and sometimes God would just highlight a portion or detail that we kind of forgets while we browse through the scripture.

So.. can we hear the sweet voice of God? Do we like to stay in the garden with him? Perhaps it is time to turn closer to God and ask him to walk closer with us. Many a times it is us who walked far away from God. While God is trying very hard to ask us to walk holding on to his hand. Sometimes we tend to be too focus on our problems that we failed to look at the hands of God stretched out.

May our prayers be as sweet and as intimate with God like what this hymn suggest.

Title: In The Garden
Lyrics: C Austin Miles
Sang By: Brad Paisley and Elvis Presley

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

Refrain:
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

(Refrain)

I’d stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.

(Refrain)

Note: I cant find a youtube with a full tune. But I find this version really nice.

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Lately I was listening to a sermon about the birth of Jesus, and then the preacher was talking about Joseph being a righteous man. I was trying to recall all the stories I ever heard of the new testament Joseph, but sadly, I believe most of us are unable to recall much about him. Hence, I decided to call him, the unsung hero of the new testament.

Whenever any Christan thinks about the new testament and the stories of Jesus, image of Mary having the baby Jesus, the preaching of John the baptist and many other people and events come into our mind. But yet in most of these stories. Joseph is never featured prominently in them .

Yet, the bibles “verdict” of the man named Joseph is such as written in 1 small verse in Matthew,
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man,” – Matthew (Matt 1:19)

In fact, God has chosen Joseph to play a very important role in the salvation plan of God. And Joseph was mainly chosen because of the fact that he is a just and righteous man.

If we could see the qualities of Joseph, you can see that Joseph was indeed a man that all guys have to aspire to be like.

So.. whats so special about Joseph?

Joseph Treatment To Mary

One of the greatness of Joseph as a man lies in the verse Matt 1:19. Joseph was suppose to marry his wife Mary, I believe he must be very excited about his wife. I understand that in Jewish tradition, when a lady is betroth to a guy, the guy will start to go back to his fathers house and start building a house for his wife and him to stay in.

(This is the same analogy Jesus use in John 14:1-4, that he must go and prepare a place for the bride of God, the church)

During that period, the man will use his best ability to make that future dwelling for his family, and we can imagine, that as he was working very hard and using his skills as the carpenter to create the best furniture, suddenly, there was a news that Mary his betroth was pregnant with a child, and he is definitely not the father of the child.

I believe my readers who are guys will agree with me, even if you do not uphold the tenets of marriage that this is a hard fact to accept. Moreover, the Jewish people valued chastity more than many other cultures. In fact, if we were to read up on the Mosaic law, you will know that Mary could have been killed by stoning (Deut 22:20-21).

Yet, as Matt 1:19 suggest, Joseph being a just man, does not want to shame Mary in public or to make a her public example, decided not to ask for Mary to be killed. But yet, because he is a just man, he cannot bear being treated unfairly, so he just chose to divorce Mary secretly.

For Joseph, he had chosen to bear with the pain of having an unfaithful wife, yet he has chosen not to take his rights for vengeance. This is an exact display of his character as a man. He will rather choose to suffer quietly and not shame Mary in public. This is one gentlemanly act that deserves admiration. Nowadays, we live in a world where we wanted so much to get even with people, with our family members and even with our fellow brothers and sisters in church. But over here you see that Joseph gave up his rights to get even, but rather he still move one step further to care for the person who hurt him.

In fact, if guys think that Joseph ability to make that decision is done without any struggle, maybe should read the next few verses of that chapter carefully.

“But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do no…………” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife” (Matt 1:20-24)

So ask yourself this question, “is it possible to be thinking yet sleeping? Is that an contradiction?” In fact, i do not think so, lately I have been pretty distressed over problems in life, and sometimes while I rest on my bed, the thoughts are still bugging me. Sometimes that torment was so bad, that I did not realise i was sleeping. Hence, I can fully empathise with how Joseph must be feeling.

While the struggle was happening, can you still imagine Joseph building his new house using all his strength to build it, while feeling sad about Mary his wife? In order for Joseph to put Mary away quietly, he must continue to work on the house as if nothing happens. It is indeed both a mental and physical torture to Joseph. And I am sure he must be tired out both mentally and physically.

Joseph Knowledge of the Scripture

Have you ever wondered if Joseph had a dream or seen a vision? Over there we can see that Joseph must have dream a dream while being asleep. If you are skeptic, will you just accept what your dreams tells you? Joseph obedience is not because he dreams a dream, yet it was because of his knowledge of the scriptures.

The Jews had long awaited the messiah and most young Jewish boys should be very acquainted with the scriptures as they spend their childhood learning it. The Jews had waited for the messiah ever since they finished rebuilding the 2nd Temple (516 BC – 4BC).

So when the angel quoted the Isaiah Prophecy (Is 7:14) he is well acquainted that when the Messiah came, he would be born of a virgin. Hence Joseph obeyed words of the angel. In fact, in order to make sure Mary remains a virgin through the pregnancy period. He chose not to have any relations with Mary until Jesus was born (Matt 1:25)

In fact, Joseph was living in a era where most people had lost their faith in Judaism.They have waited so long for the messiah that they have lost their hope. Although there was the high priest and the sacrificial system, religion to the Jews had become a means of growing businesses. You can notice the nonchalant attitude of the Priest compared to the wise man, who came all the way from the east to seek the king of the Jews. This makes the faith of Joseph a contrast to most of the religious leaders of that time.

God’s Calling for Joseph

Perhaps some of you may wonder, what is God’s mission of Joseph? Although Joseph did not receive exact instructions (like Moses and the burning bush) on what his objectives are, we can easily make a educated guess by looking at the story of Jesus. Personally I felt that the movie “The Nativity Story” captures quite a huge portion it.

Joseph’s “Mission Objectives”

1. Help the heavily pregnant Mary to Bethlehem from Nazareth (approx 80 miles) bearing in mind
            a. They need to pass by the lands of the Samaritans (Hostile Against Jews)
            b. If they are on a caravan, that will be around 4 days journey (20 Miles per day)

2. When in Bethlehem, he needs to take care of Mary by getting her a place to rest and to give birth to baby Jesus.
            a. This is to fulfil the prophecy of by Prophet Micah (Mic 5:2)

3. He had to help Mary and Baby Jesus to escape to Egypt safely and to protect and take care of them in a foreign land
            a. To fulfil Hoseas Prophecy (Hosea 11:1)

4. After the death of Herod the great, to bring Mary and Baby Jesus back to Nazareth
            a. To fulfil what the prophets says “He will be called a Nazarene (Matt 2:23)

5. To teach Jesus to become a carpenter and to take care of him all the days of his life.

Personally I think Joseph spent all his days taking care of Jesus, at least for a good 20-30 years of Jesus life. When Jesus started his ministry in Galilee, he was around 30, and there was no mention of Joseph anymore. Perhaps I would think Joseph would have passed away sometime before Jesus started his ministry. (CF Matt 13:55-56, Matt 12:46-50)

All these duties, Joseph had discharged quietly, away from the records of the apostles and the stories of Jesus. In fact, the failure of Joseph to take care of Jesus and to train him, would result to a big failure in Gods salvation plan. It is no wonder that God has chosen our unsung hero to take on this role, because he had so much qualities that the people of his time lacked.

Lessons from the life of Joseph

As I was pondering over the life of Joseph, a few points came to my mind.

1. Joseph had a very big heart.

To think that Joseph was willing to suffer in silence although he was very offended by what Mary did, is a big contrast to our modern world. Among the modern man, we can often see acts of revenge and vengeance. We seems to hold on to “An Eye for An Eye” “A tooth for a tooth” . Even among church brothers there are people who said “I will have my last laugh , wait till the table turn”. Yes, indeed in our walk of faith, there will always be people that will hurt us and we will be angry with. But is it worth it to keep holding on to the anger and let it burn your soul to death? Joseph would rather condition himself to deal with the situation, then to demand Mary to be made a public example.

2. Joseph remained a poor man despite his great work before God

Joseph service to God was very big, he got the honour to take care of the most precious Immanuel. This is not a simple task, as we can see the job scope of Joseph. Yet he never asked for anything from God. I am sure if we are in his shoes, we would ask God to bless us with possessions, to help us do our duties better. Yet Joseph received nothing, although the wise man brought with them the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, I have a feeling those are the items provided by God to help Joseph to get the passage to Egypt.

Alot of times, we tend to be able to hold on to our faith and to do Gods work when times are good, there are even times when we hope that God will bless us with things for our hard work. Personally, it is not wrong to ask God for blessings to help us perform our work better. But what happens when prayers for blessings are not answered? Will we still be willing to serve God even in poverty? Joseph is only a carpenter, not a very noble profession, and is not a work of the rich. Yet with all his strength, Joseph was willing to flee with Mary to Egypt and to stay there. It is not known how long they stayed in Egypt and how did Joseph survive there. (But I guess at least for a good 6-7 years, as boy Jesus was presented to the temple in Jerusalem at the age of 12)

In fact Joseph social status can be seen in the offering he made for Jesus in the temple shortly after his birth. Lev 12:8 tells us that a woman would have to offer a sacrifice to God after 7 days of her childbirth. If they unable to provide a lamb, they are allowed to carry turtledoves for sacrifice (as they can be caught at no cost). Joseph offered 2 turtledoves on the day of Jesus circumcision Lk 2:22-24.

It is hope that we can all emulate Joseph, to learn to serve God in all situation, irregardless of how tough the situation around us becomes.

3. Joseph serve God all the way till his death

I am always inclined to think that Joseph must have thought Jesus the art of carpentry and he must have taken care of Jesus with all his abilities all the days of his life. Although the bible was silent about the growing years of Jesus, we know that Joseph continue to be faithful to God and kept all the requirements of the law. From the incident of Jesus and the scholars of the temple (Lk 2:41-50) . We can see Joseph actually travelled from Nazareth back to Jerusalem to keep the Passover feast.

Many a times, Christians who found God, were very fervent in the first few years of their conversion. A while later, they would start to be lukewarm in faith and quite a good number of them are unable to keep their faith at the very end of their lives.

Let us recall what Joshua said to the children of Israel before his death

“Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua (Jos 24:14-15)

Let us learn to keep our faith and serve God all the days of our lives.

So far I have completed 4 parts of my sharing

Part 1: Talks about the introduction and a brief summary of the story of Exodus
Part 2: Talks about the fairness of God in the 10 plagues
Part 3: Discusses how the 10 plagues teaches us about the power of God Vs the power of the devil
Part 4: Discusses the Mercy Of God from the 10 Plagues

This should be the final part of our study of the 10 Plagues.

So we had seen the fairness of God, the power of God and the mercy of God within the 10 plagues, we need to ask ourselves, is there a much higher purpose for the plagues to happen?
Actually God wanted his name to be propagated to the rest of the world through his 10 plagues. What are the thoughts that will run through your mind when we say, to propagate Gods name to the world?

Does it seems that Christians are only chess pieces in Gods chess boards and our final objective in life is to give glory to God? so therefore is our suffering in life only meant to allow God to be glorified?

Let us read what God says the the Pharoah
“for at this time I will send all My plagues to your very heart, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth. 15 Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” -YHWH (Ex 9:14-16)

God has sent the plagues onto the land of Egypt to teach them that God is indeed the God who controls the heavens and the earth, that he is not just the God of the Hebrews but the ruler of the entire world, the first 6 plagues unleashed were calamities from the land, the river, the frogs, locus and flies were all creatures of the land. The next 4 calamities are from the skies, Hails, Locust, Darkness and death.

So we can see, that God has the power to do anything he wills, why then did the Pharoah has power to go against God? Looking at the story, the Pharoah is able to survive the plagues only because God has chosen not to hurt him, indeed Ex 9:15 said, if God has willed for the Pharoah to die in the plagues, he would have been cut off from the earth. Yet God continue to raise him up, so that God can display his power in the Pharoah, so that his name can be declared in all the earth.

So is this a sign that God allow sufferings to befall the Egyptians just because he wanted to flex some muscles for them to see? But i guess not, because that is really a sign that my God has nothing better to do and moreover God is not a body builder. I am sure that is something most of us would not do just to display that we are stronger than our adversaries. God wanted the world to be able to see who is really controlling the heavens and the earth.

Although Pharoah acknowledges Gods almightiness, yet he had no fear for God. Yet God allow him to survive, but why allow that to happen? Why did God not judge him? God wanted to keep him alive so that God name can be propagated into the earth, so that his plagues can increase in severity, so that people can hear about all these great plagues and Gods name can be declared to the rest of the world.

Was God being proud? is this merely a display of Gods power to the world? That is not the intention of God, but if it is not, then why did God wants his name to be declared to the rest of the world?

Now let us move 40 years after the plagues into the city of Jericho, and let us listern to the words of a woman by the name of Rahab

“I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” – Rahab (Jos 2:9-13)

This is the part where Rahab explains why did she allow the 2 spies from the camp of Joshua to hide in her house, the people of Jericho already heard that God is the God of heaven and on earth and they knew that they cannot resist God, This is a fact that is not just known to Rahab, but to the entire city of Jericho. In fact, they did not just know of the 10 plagues, they knew all the stories of Exodus, how they defeated the 2 canaanites kings on the east of Jordan as well . When the Israelites cross the red sea, and God killed the chariots persuing the Hebrews in the depths of the red sea, that shook the entire world.

The name of God is spread, is not because God needed the glory, but to save the people who believe in God and repent. God does not need to add to his glory, nor can anyone decrease the glory of God. God is by himself glorious.

God wanted his name to be spread, so that he can save more people, so that more can get to know him better, to repent from their sins and to return to God. God wanted them to recieve his blessings and not his punishment.

As the chosen people of God, let us understand the heart of God. We must help in Gods plan to save the world. Lets see Gods instruction to Moses on the eighth plague

“Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son’s son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.” – YHWH (Ex 10:1-2).

God did not just want one generation to know about the great things he had done in Egypt, but rather, he wants the next and even the comming generations to know it. God wanted all of them to know, how God saved his chosen ones out of Egypt. God wants them all to understand the truth behind the 10 plages, so we can continue to have the next generations of children who fear God.. So that this future generations can continue to spread the name of God to the others, so that more would repent and to turn back to God.

Let us return to God, let us prepare to leave Egypt. This is true especially now as we can see more and more calamities has struck. Many of the signs of the last days have already been fulfilled, and it is only the begining of suffering. We all know that these sufferings will increase, and when the great tribulation appear, who can stand upright in faith? Let us all be awake from our slumber, especially when we know that the end of the times is at hand. Jesus once said that it is very near, it is at the very doors.

Let us be vigilent and keep the words of God in our hearts, be serious in faith, for our God is a serious God, he will execute his judgement. We know that this is a sure saying

“For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” – Jesus (Matt 5:18)

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Earlier on, I was sharing with everyone how we can be sure that the Old testaments in the bible is indeed unadulterated as well as the various evidence to prove its authenticity.

As I was reviewing that article, i believe I have not talked about, how we can prove the bible’s Divine authorship. To Christians, the although the bible was pen down by many people, ranging for Prince of Egypt (Moses), Shepherd Boy Turn King (David), Kings (Solomon) , Prophets , Fisherman (Peter, John), Pharisees (Paul) , Tax collector (Matthew) & Doctor (Luke). Despite their differing backgrounds, they all spoke unanimously on the salvation of God and there was no contradiction.

Hence, to Christians, these people are merely pens-man and the author is non other than God. the bible took thousand of years complete, and spans across major periods in the time line, yet the message is never contradictory.

We covered the Old testament the previous entry. Now I would like to discuss the authenticity of the new testaments.

How Is The New Testament Canon Done?

There are some people who claimed brazenly in their books that the Christian churches began canonising the bible because they wanted to hide the truth about Jesus. In fact, the canonisation of the New Testament is more or less completed around the 3rd to 4th century AD, with the first canon completed at synod of hippo 393 AD)

The reason of this canonisations is because, then there were many heretics who wrote their own books supporting their teachings, claiming it to be from the apostles. One of the most notable groups of people are the Gnostic’s. The books written by them are known as the Gnostic Gospel, which found limelight recently as it was used by frictional writers in The Da Vinci Code and the gospel of Judas.

It is precisely because many fake gospels has flooded the world. In order to preserve the original writing of the apostles, the church started its duty to canonised the scriptures, this is definitely not a plot to silence the truth, but to preserve the truth.

Personally I would believe that God being the author of both the Old Testament and New Testament will want to preserve the words of God so that people in the end days could read it. Hence his hands must have guided the people to preserve his gospel.

The new testament Canon is based on the following summary principles.

1. The books must be an written by an Eye-Witness of Jesus. (Writing by the early apostles)
2. The books must be commonly known and used by numerous churches (Many churches use it to be read during services)
3. The books must not be self contradictory and contains heretical teachings.

Interesting Early Translation Of The New Testaments and Early Manuscript.

As Christianity is spreading within the Roman Empire, it is not hard to imagine that the first few translation are from Greek to Latin, So There were 2 versions Vetus Latina and Vulgate. While other Christians churches had their first few translation done to common languages. Syriac (known as Aramaic, mainly use in Mesopotamia) and Coptic, which are found in Ethiopia and Egypt.

As Christianity spread, the gospels are so commonly copied and translated, that many manuscripts survived. Some of the most notable ones are

The Chester Beatty Papyri (Greek; the New Testament portions of which were copied in the 3rd century)
The Bodmer Papyri (Greek and Coptic; the New Testament portions of which were copied in the 3rd and 4th centuries)
Codex Bobiensis (Latin; copied in the 4th century, but containing at least a 3rd-century form of text)
Uncial 0171 (Greek; copied in the late-third or early 4th century)
Syriac Sinaiticus (Syriac; copied in the 4th century)
Schøyen Manuscript 2560 (Coptic; copied in the 4th century)
Codex Vaticanus (Greek; copied in the 4th century)
Codex Sinaiticus (Greek; copied in the 4th century)
Codex Vercellensis (Latin; copied in the 4th century)
Curetonian Gospels (Syriac; copied in the 5th century

Can The New Testament Be Easily Altered?

Personally, I think it is hard to make changes to the new testament. The main reason behind this view is because, by the grace of God, Christianity literally spread from the upper room of the house of John Mark in Jerusalem,, to Samaria as well as to parts of Africa, Mesopotamia and Europe in a very short span of time.

It is because of the speed of growth, and the lack of printing press, many New Testament Manuscripts are quickly copied and distributed to many  churches. Therefore, in order to “alter” the new testament, a massive recall of all manuscripts is necessary. This tasj will be at the scale that even modern technology would find it difficult to accomplish.

Therefore, we can be rest assured that the new testament we have held in our hands cannot be too easily altered.

How can we be sure that the Apostolic Authorship Of New Testament ?

Actually as I was pondering over this, the gospels are written sometimes after the death of Jesus, Approx AD 33-30, and the last book of Revelations is written somewhere before AD 70. Although there wasn’t a complete manuscript of the new testaments, the earlier scrolls ever found of the new testaments is dated AD 150. This would mean that the copies we had is approximately 80 years apart from the actual completions.

In fact, there were so many manuscripts found that historians need a 5 category classification of the manuscript found.

The Categories are done separated base on the type of language found on the manuscript. The more ancient the language, the higher the categories. The Categories are

I: Base on Alexandrian type text type
2. Byzantine Text Type
3. Mixed or Eclectic text type
4. Western Text Type
5. For classifying text from Byzantine Periods

In fact, if we would like to combine all the manuscripts ever collected and compare them with many other famous historical documents, the New Testament is voted the most copied as well as the documents which had copies that dates very close to the completion period of the New Testament

The Comparison results of the historical books are in this table

Ancient Books

No of Copy (Manuscripts)

Span of years
from authorship

Errors

New Testament

25000 Fragments copied
5600 Fragments in Original Greek

125 years from the original (complete)

40 disputable lines

Homers Iliad

643 Manuscripts

500 Years

764 disputable lines

Julius Caesar’s The Gallic Wars

10 Manuscripts

1000 Years

 

Pliny the Younger’s Natural History

7 Manuscripts

750 Years

 

Thucydides’ History

8 Manuscripts

1300 years

 

Herodotus’ History

8 Manuscripts

1350 Years

 

Plato

7 Manuscripts

1300 Years

 

Tacitus’ Annals

20 Manuscripts

1000 years

 

Therefore my friends, if you can trust that Homers wrote his Iliad, and Gallic Wars is written by Julius Caesar, you should not have reasons to doubt that the New Testament is indeed the works of the Apostles.

I hope that, through these 2 blog entries, I would be able to help everyone to be strong in their conviction, of the authenticity of the scriptures.

Finally, I would like to remind everyone the real purpose of the scriptures and his author with this verse wrote by Apostle Paul

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – Paul 2 Tim 3:16-17

May all of us learn to treasure, to read, and to understand our scriptures well.

This is a very old song that comes at least a decade ago, yet the lyrics are still as touching as is still sang by many artist..
Actually, I wasn’t really planning to translate this, but lately i was hearing it on the radio and i think, it has a very beautiful lyrics.

Unfortunately, I did a Baidu on this song and I realise that this song is even sang by a few famous male singers which kind of really makes my hair stand.

Personally i think if you were to read the translation, I feel that it sounds too feminine to be sang by male singers. but again, thats really my opinion only. But I have decided to post the very first very version sang by Mavis Hee, who was the first to sing that.

Title: 城里的月光
Artist: 许美静
Album: 遗憾(*)
每颗心上某一个地方
měi kē​ xīn shàng mǒu yī gè​ dì ​fāng​
总有个记忆挥不散
zǒng ​yǒu gè jì ​yì huī bù sǎn​
每个深夜某一个地方
měi gè shēn ​yè mǒu yī gè​ dì ​fāng​
总有着最深的思量
zǒng yǒu ​zhe zuì shēn de​ sī​ liang

​世间万千的变幻
shì​ jiān wàn ​qiān de​ biàn ​huàn​
爱把有情的人分两端
ài bà yǒu ​qíng de​ rén​ fèn​ liǎng duān
心若知道灵犀的方向
xīn ruò zhī ​dào líng ​xī​ de​ fāng​ xiàng​
那怕不能够朝夕相伴
nà pà bù​ néng ​gòu​ zhāo ​xī xiāng ​bàn​

(Refrain)
城里的月光把梦照亮
chéng​ lǐ de​ yuè ​guāng bǎ​ mèng​ zhào​ liàng​
请温暖他心房
qǐng wēn ​nuǎn​ tā​ xīn ​fáng​
看透了人间聚散
kàn ​tòu le​ rén ​jiān jù ​sàn​
能不能多点快乐片段
néng ​bù ​néng duō​ diǎn​ kuài ​lè​ piàn ​duàn​

城里的月光把梦照亮
chéng​ lǐ​ de​ yuè ​guāng bǎ​ mèng​ zhào​ liàng
请守护它身旁
qǐng shǒu​ hù​ tā​ shēn páng​
若有一天能重逢
ruò yǒu yī​ tiān néng chóng ​féng​
让幸福撒满整个夜晚
ràng xìng ​fú sā​ mǎn​ zhěng ​gè yè​ wǎn​

Repeat *
Repeat (Refrain)
Repeat the last 2 lines

Title: The Moonlight In The City
Artist: Marvis Hee
Album Regret

(*)
Every heart arrives at a certain place
Will sometimes have memories that are unforgettable.
In the midst of the night, at a certain place
Will sometimes contains deep thoughts of someone

The Relentless change that alters the world
Loves to separate passionate people apart.
As long as the hearts knows the direction of affection
Does it matter if they cannot be together all the time?
(Refrain)
The moonlight in the city that illuminates my dream
Please send warmth to his heart.
Shining through the many meetings and partings
Can we not have more happy moments?

The moonlight in the city that illuminates my dream
Please surround and protect them.
If theres a day when we meet once again
Let blissfulness scatters throughout tonight.
Repeat *
Repeat (Refrain)
Repeat the last 2 lines

 

As this is the beginning of a new year, I would first like to send greetings of peace to all my friends. May God continue to guide all of us in our walk of faith.

Today I would like to share with every one about how the bible came about and how did it came to existence. It is important for Christians to understand how the scriptures came about, because it is the source and the only authority that governs our faith. To many people in the world, some people viewed the scriptures as a mere historical documents, the history channel often have documentary saying that the holy bible was the record of numerous UFO encounters with mankind. There are some people who claimed that King James of England wrote the kings James version of the bible, and similarly there are other people who claimed that the scriptures were corrupted.

In this article I would like to share with everyone how the bible came about, for us to be convinced that it is indeed the word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the bible is very important in our lives, we can see how Jesus and the early apostles based their teachings from it. Lets take a look at what they say about the bible.

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” – Jesus (John 5:39)

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – Paul (2 Tim 3:16-17)

“knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” – Peter (2 Pet 1:20-21)

Therefore, it is important for Christians to know how the scriptures came about and be convince that it is preserved by God for the modern man so that man can continue to find eternal life and salvation in the Lord. And we must be ready to defend the scriptures and explain to skeptics.

In fact through out history there are voices of skeptics who claimed that the bible will remain in the museum and be viewed as obsolete. One of these person who left the most impression to me is a French philosopher Voltaire who claimed “Another century And there will not be a bible on earth”. There was a very big misunderstanding that Voltaire’s house was used by the Geneva Bible Society to print the bible, but one thing we can be sure, that alot of the works of Voltaire remained only to be read by academics while the bible continued to be the worlds best seller 223 years after his death.

But then, i am sure there will be a time where someone will ask you, how can you be sure that the scriptures are the authentic unadulterated word of God from the hands of Moses all the way till John. Hence I would like to share some of the facts that I have discovered while doing some research on the Internet. I would hope you would find these findings useful to be assured of the bibles authorship.

The Making Of The Bible

The writing period of the modern Christian bible spans across thousands of years. If one were to read my blog entry about the “Time line Of The Old Testament” one could safely say that the first books of the bible was penned down by Moses roughly about 1100-1000 BC. There was a short span of 400 years from the book Of Malachi (332 BC ) till 30 AD before the new testament is written. Along the way, the Apocrypha were written, and that is only found in the catholic bible. The new testaments were written approximate around 40-50 AD and finished before 70 AD roughly before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman General Titus in the Jewish Revolt. The reason for this assumption is because the destruction of Jerusalem is not mentioned by John in Revelation, which most likely means that the book of Revelation must have been completed prior to the Jewish revolt.

There are 66 books in the bible, 39 came from the Old Testament and 27 in the new testament.

The Old Testament

The old testaments is made up of many authors who are all inspired by the holy spirit. They are people from different backgrounds.
Some notable biblical pen men included kings and princes (Moses, David, Solomon), Generals (Joshua), Priests (Ezra), Devote Jews (Nehemiah) and Prophets. Other interesting writers of the bible included Foreign Kings (Like King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon) ,

The bible reports the history of the chosen people, and even mentions the good and bad of many characters in the bible. For example, it records the good deeds of king David, as well as his evil deeds (his adultery with Bathsheba). Therefore, it cannot be viewed as an ancient document created to glorify kings and prophets.

Note that the Old Testament Scriptures of the bible correspond exactly to the Jewish Scriptures, except that the arrangement of the books are slightly different, they can be seen in the table below. Jesus once mentioned about the Law, The Prophets And The Writings in Luke 24:44, this table will give you an understanding what he means

Generally, the old testament is written in classical Hebrew with exception of certain passages that are written in Aramaic they are Ezra 4:8-6:18, Ezra 7:12-26, Jer 10 :10 and Daniel 2:4-7:8. Note that Samuel, Kings And Chronicles are each one scroll and the minor prophets (Hosea – Malachi) are all in one scroll.

Books of the Old Testament (Lk 24:44)

Law (Torah)

Prophets (Nevi’im)

Writings (Ketuvim)

Genesis

Joshua

Psalms

Exodus

Judges

Proverbs

Leviticus

Samuel

Job

Numbers

Kings

Song of Songs

Deuteronomy

The Twelve
(Minor Prophets)

Ruth

Isaiah

Lamentations

Jeremiah

Ecclesiastes

Ezekiel

Esther

Daniel

Ezra-Nehemiah

Chronicles

The Canon Of The Old Testament

Canon means the rule or standard. Generally, the Jews had a fix canon of the books which they regard as authentic scriptures known as Tanakh. The Jewish canon happen around 200 BC – 200 AD. At the time of Jesus it has been already pretty standard.

There are also a group of other books known as the Apocrypha, they are mainly not included in the bible because the authorship of the books are unclear. They can be found in the catholic bible under the Apocrypha.

Important OT Versions : Masoretic Text

The Masoretic Text is current authoritative Hebrew Text Of The Old testament currently used by the Jews. It is regarded universally as the official version of the Hebrew Scriptures. They had been faithful copied by the scribes to preserve the textual accurately.

The copying of the scriptures is done under a strict quality controls rules, the rules of the scribes when copying the scriptures are
1. They decreed that when copying,if the original page has 268 words, the copy must have 268 for that page
2. Every line is check, if the first line has 9 words, the copy will be the same
3. when copy is finish, the numbers of letters are counted and compared to original
4. Comparison is not compared sentence by sentence or word by word, rather its letter by letter

5. A Second Scribe will check at the middle of the page, to count phases
6. Any mis-copied scrolled are cut up and destroyed on the spot.

The earliest fragments of the Old Testament Masoretic Texts are around 900 AD. While the first complete surviving version is known as the Aleppo Codex, which dated around the 10th Century AD

 

Important OT Versions : Dead Sea Scrolls

The Date Sea Scrolls are found by a Bedouin Shepherd boy, it is generally believed to be copied by a sect of Jews known as the Essences. They do not destroy the scriptures when they are old and worn out, rather they stored the scrolls in jars and kept them in the caves.

Although the dead sea scrolls does not contain the full old testaments, and it also includes many other writings of unknown origins, they had many copies of the old testaments scrolls that allowed the scholars to compare them against the Aleppo Codex, bringing the early manuscript much closer to the original writing period of the Scriptures close to a thousand years.

Important OT Versions : Septuagint

The Septuagint was commissioned by a Greek king Ptolemy Philidephus (285-247 BC) who made arrangement to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek, for the benefit of the Greek speaking Jews in Egypt. He put together 72 man and put them into separate caves to do translation, it continued for approximately 75 years. However, the Septuagint included the apocryphal books. This version is commonly used by the Greek speaking Jews in the time of Jesus.

They are often used to compare with the original Masoretic Texts due to to the fact that the translation is done very close to the completion of the complete old testament books.

The oldest 3 surviving copy of the Septuagint are known as
Codex Vaticanus (4th Century AD)
Codex Sinaiticus (4th Century AD)
Codex Alexandrinu (5th Century AD)

I have tabled up the different versions for everyone to have an idea the number of years difference between the surviving codex and the original creation of the text.

Old Testaments Manuscripts

How can we be sure that the text are preserved?

Between the present day Masoretic Texts and the first surviving copy, they are almost no discrepancy, because of the strict rules employed by the scribes when copying the scriptures. So we can safely say that for 1011 years , the Hebrew scriptures has not been changed at all.

Between the Aleppo Codex to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the scholars did a comparison between the scrolls and came up with the following conclusion

Using Isaiah Chapter 53 as the comparison
17 mistakes are found
1. 10 Characters are written incorrectly.
2. 4 Characters are completely different
3. 3 Characters are added by accident

These 17 Mistakes did not alter the textual meaning of the text. Although the book of Daniel is being disputed