Monday, 9 June 2008

The Word of God

The Bible is the written Word of God. It is here where we learn the love of God, His ways and our joys in following Him. We can read accounts of His interaction with His creation and the careful way in which He provides for us.

We learn of Jesus and His death on the cross of Calvary, We observe the discovery of His resurrection and the value it has for each of us who believe.

In the Word we begin to understand our role in His plan and how He has prepared a place for us in eternity.

Read the Word. Study its contents and learn to know the Creator. God will bless you as you do.

2 Timothy 3:16 (MSG)
16 Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way.


JDK said...

Just curious - can anyone tell me where the Calvary tradition comes from? I can't find a place reference in the Gospels except to Golgotha - 'place of the skull'. Is it a translation variant - are they the same place?

Jim Knaggs said...

CALVARY (cal’ vuh rih) Place name meaning, “a bare skull.” The place where Jesus was crucified. Our English word “Calvary” comes from the Latin calvaria. This word is a translation of the Greek kranion, meaning “skull.” The Greek is a translation of the Aramaic golgotha, also meaning “skull.” The word is used twice in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (Judg. 9:53; 2 Kings 9:35) to designate the skulls of Abimelech and Jezebel.
“Calvary” appears in the New Testament, only in the story of the crucifixion (Matt. 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17). The gospel writers name it as the place where Christ was led to be executed.
Exactly why the place was called this is not known. The logical explanation would be because the skull symbolized death. A place of execution would see its share of skulls.
Archeologists are uncertain where Calvary was located. John 19:20 and Hebrews 13:12 say that Jesus was taken outside the city to be crucified. Mark 15:29 suggests that a road may have been nearby.
Two sites are held today as Calvary. The older, more traditional Church of the Holy Sepulchre is a complex of religious shrines venerated as the place of Christ’s cross and tomb.
In the 4th century A.D., Queen Helena, mother of Constantine, had the site revealed to her in a vision. A pagan temple on the site was razed and a shrine built in its place. Several destructions and rebuildings have taken place over the centuries.
Since 1842, a rocky hill outside the Damascus Gate has vied for veneration as Calvary. Discovered by Otto Thenius, the site gained fame when Charles Gordon wrote in 1885 that this was indeed Calvary. A garden tomb nearby, discovered in 1849, had drawn little attention until Gordon made his assertion.
Executions during the first century were conducted outside the city walls. This might tend to make Gordon’s Calvary the logical site. However, at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion the outer wall of Jerusalem was much closer to the center of the city. This would make the traditional site more plausible.
Perhaps the most telling fact between these places is the type of tombs they represent. Jewish tombs appear to have had small niches carved out of the walls in which bodies were placed. Later Byzantine tombs used trough-like slabs. This places the weight of authenticity with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Mike Mitchell
—Holman Bible Dictionary

JDK said...

Thanks for the clarification Jim. My own question shamed me into doing a bit of homework myself about this question which I've pondered but not followed through for some time. It appears that most modern translations favour Golgotha and then translate the Greek word 'kranion' into the English word 'skull'. Only the KJV and NKJV use the Latin 'Calvary' in Luke 23:33 instead of the literal English translation. At last I get it!
Regards, JDK