Editor of the Reformer,
I am often bemused reading letters (to the editor) from Vidda Crochetta (“Who was Jesus Christ?,” Dec. 15) wondering where she/he gets the information presented as scholarly fact. Some is correct, and some is far-out opinion by secular speculators. Real historians admit that there is more historical evidence of there having been a Jesus of Nazareth called the Christ (transliterated Greek nomenclature for Yesu’a, Messiah) drawn from Roman historians (e.g. Josephus) as well as Biblical writers, than there is such reliable evidence regarding Julius Caesar.
Most familiar are the Biblical writers, Mark, Mattthew, Luke, and John, determined to have written their Gospels in the first century within the lifetimes of those who knew Jesus personally. According to the early church fathers, Mark was the Apostle Peter’s scribe and translator who accompanied Peter to translate his Aramaic speech into Greek for Greco-Roman gatherings. Both Luke and Matthew used Mark’s compilation of Peter’s speeches about Jesus, along with a now-extinct manuscript of memorized teachings of Jesus, to complement the miracle-stories in Mark.
Matthew wrote mainly for Jewish readers familiar with Old Testament writings to show the connection with prophesies about the Messiah. Luke, on the other hand, wrote for Gentile readers to present a well-researched account of the Christian movement from mother-Mary’s pregnancy through Christ’s Resurrection in his first book, the Gospel of Matthew, and then an account of the Church’s growth and extension in the Empire in his Acts of the Apostles book.
The birth of Mary’s baby boy came to divide the history of Western Civilization into B.C. and A.D. Judging from Luke’s references to Mary’s memories (“pondered in her heart”) he may have even interviewed Mary herself, or maybe a close relative — but that’s just my opinion. Between now around Christmastime, and on into Eastertime during the first few months of 2019, would be a good time to read the Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament in the Holy Bible, and perhaps become inspired to read further into this most interesting record of that pivotal time in world history. Believe me, there’s a lot to learn.
Guilford, Dec. 15
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