Role of forgiveness within conflicts

Forgiveness is an intentional process whereby an individual who is most times the victim changes their feeling regarding a particular offense. It is a process where the victim overcomes negative emotions such as revenge and resentment. It is also regarded as a deliberate decision to change feelings of resentment towards an individual or people who have caused harm to another person. Forgiveness is the decision and act of letting go of an offender regardless of them deserving to be forgiven or not.

For a conflict to be resolved completely, forgiveness has to take place. Forgiveness is a process that does not happen immediately and some people may not be willing to apologize to be forgiven (GIORGIA 1). Therefore it is important to have the will or ability to forgive, with or without an apology to be able to resolve a conflict. It may be conceived like forgiving a person you conflict with is not important but it helps to put the issue behind them and move forward with their lives. Forgiveness plays an important role in conflict resolution when the parties agree that the conflict is the result of a lack of interaction between them. Hence both parties have a role in mending the relationship which reconstructs their identities and this results in both of them restoring humanity. Forgiveness is a very important virtue that has led to the resolution of many conflicts including intimate relationships. Forgiveness enables people to live better, healthier, and act freely again instead of living with anger and acting out of pain and bitterness.

Despite forgiveness playing the role of conflict resolution, there have been misconceptions about it and this includes forgiveness means forgetting (Maalouf 7). Forgiving a person does not mean that you forget whatever they did to you or whatever happened. It is also said that not forgetting will help a person avoid a repetition of what caused the pain. Another misconception is, forgiveness means that you cannot have a conversation about the incident again. On the contrary, talking about the incident helps with the whole forgiveness and healing process. It is so unrealistic to say that if you have forgiven the person who hurt you, you should not talk about it. Another misconception is that if I forgive, I have to reconcile with the person or retain the relationship. In a relationship, when a person is harmed and decides to distance themselves from that person who harmed them, forgiving them does not mean that they have to go back together. You don’t have to get back to a relationship because you forgave someone, you can forgive and still choose to move on with your life. It is also believed that forgiveness means tolerating bad behavior. Forgiving a person does not mean that you tolerate the behavior that harmed you because forgiveness is protecting yourself from being hurt.

Forgiveness is a process of letting go and changing negative feelings towards a person that caused you harm. It plays an important role in conflict resolution helping people to move on with their lives. Forgiveness helps people live free and healthier lives which are without bitterness and anger. Despite forgiveness having some misconceptions, it does not change what happened to you and is part of your healing process and also is a personal decision. It helps you put the past behind and continue with life happily.

 

 

Works Cited

GIORGIA PALEARI, E., Camillo Regalia, and Frank D. Fincham. "Forgiveness and conflict

resolution in close relationships: Within and cross partner effects." Universitas Psychologica 9.1 (2010): 35-56.

Maalouf, Jean. The Healing Power of Forgiveness. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications,

  1. Print.

 

 

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Discussion Forum Faith Integration Week

Philippians 2:14-15

What actions can we take to live this bible passage at work?

Both leaders and followers can apply Philippians 2:14-15 at work by maintaining a positive attitude. At times, employees experience turmoil and suffering and many workers respond to such situations with complaints. However, the verse talks about the right workplace attitude. Regardless of torture environments, followers can take to live this bible passage at work by having a good attitude such as obedient, honest, polite, responsible, sincere, and cheerful.  Note that companies are full of complaining, and employees are discontent (Bishop, 2005). Paul teaches that in all things, employees should not complain or dispute but instead, their actions should reflect productive workers. Rather than being rude, rigid, and negative, employees should be positive, and as a result, they will make a difference in the organization. To the leaders, they should not complain when they lack control over a particular situation. Note that some leaders complain when they are not satisfied, when followers fail to understand the direction, among other reasons. Whenever they face challenges, they blame the followers and complain about the circumstance. The passage tells that leaders should not criticize or complain, but they should focus on responsibility, shine at work, and create an environment of excitement, and a sense of shared mission (Bishop, 2005). Both followers and leaders should create team unity to define clear goals, roles, and establish trust. Unity will prevent complaints and disputes, and more importantly, they will feel comfortable. In case of conflict, unity will enable the parties to understand the situation and find a solution.

 

How might it relate to how you communicate at work?

‘Do all things' includes communication- in other words when leaders and followers are discontented, they should not murmur against each other, but they should have open communication so that both parties can identify and address the issues (Bishop, 2005). Good communication will bring light and prevent conflict in the workplace.

 

Reference

 

Bishop, S. C., (2005). Faithspace in the Workplace: Fifty Days of Rediscovering Your Soul at

Work: S. Craig Bishop, Matthew T. Bishop. Harleysville, PA: Branch Creek Community

Church.

 

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Discussion Forum Faith Integration

Ephesians 2:10 related to corporate communications in that corporate leaders should communicate to employees the best practices to promote good workmanship.  In addition, leaders should communicate good works that the organization expect from employees (Farrel, 2013). In this scripture, the central term is ‘good workmanship' which leads to the best results.   Leaders should communicate the acceptable standards for corporate operations. Note that in organizational communication, leaders must communicate to employees about the organization vision, plans and strategies (Farrel, 2013). The organization expect employees to do good works but an important point to understand is that for them to do good works, leaders must share professional knowledge. In other words, they should communicate the best practices so that the organization can become successful. Note that the technology and market changes are changing dramatically, and this means that employees need a quality of workmanship that is achieved through best practices.  For example, for employees to produce the best brand, they need to understand the processes, structures, tools, and resources (Farrel, 2013).Thus, the leader should communicate these best practices so that at the end of the day, they can appreciate good workmanship.

 Another important point to understand is that leaders should be great examples. In other words, they should show good workmanship and do an excellent job, and act as a representative so that employees can become good works (Farrel, 2013).  If I were a leader, I could show good work and integrity through pursuing my vision, keeping my word, making fair decisions, communicating honestly, demonstrate integrity in managing employees and customer service.  As a leader, I must learn that before communicating the best practices to the employees, I must do the good works by leading by example, and more importantly, by displaying good character and ensure that my actions are open to everyone.

 

Reference

Farrel, B. (2013). 10 best decisions a leader can make. Place of publication not identified:

Harvest House Pub.

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Introduction to the New Testament

 

Traditionally, John Mark is said to be the author of the second gospel, Mark. Barnabas was his cousin and always he accompanied him and Paul on their journeys.  He was not a direct witness to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ but he served as a scribe to Simon Peter who was in the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples (Chilton, 2017). The suggestion that he is the author of the second gospel has gathered opposition from modern scholars who claim that he is not the writer and that the writer of this gospel is anonymous. The tales of insurrections and the battle that occurred occasionally on the Jewish community were Mark’s point of reference concerning the Jewish Revolt. Another aspect that show this gospel was written after the gospel revolt is Mark 13 which have details concerning the Jewish war which was responsible for leading to the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem around 70 AD, therefore this is enough evidence that the gospel of Mark was written after the Jewish revolt.

The first category that describes Mark’s concept of Son of Man describes him as a prophetic teacher. An example is when he healed a paralytic man and told him to wake up and his sins were forgiven. The scribes judged this act as blasphemous because it is only God who can and has the power to forgive sins Jesus after noticing that they were questioning themselves internally he asked them what was easier between telling the man that his sins had been forgiven or telling him to stand up and walk but in order for him to show them that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins he forgave the sins of that man (Harris, 2014).

The second category of Mark’s concept of Son of Man revolves around Jesus’ suffering that led to his death and later resurrection. Jesus a human being will have to undergo great suffering in order to return and sit on his fathers’ right hand. In Mark 8:13 Jesus informs his disciples that he as the Son of Man will have to suffer at the hands of the elders and the high priest. This suffering would be accompanied by his death, and his resurrection on the third day (Harris, 2014).

Eschatological group of son of man saying are found in verses such as Mark 8:38 where Jesus takes time to warn those who are ashamed of accepting him and the gospel he preaches , he will be ashamed of them when he returns with his father’s glory and angels during his second coming (Harris, 2014). There is a connection between the phrase “Son of Man” as used by Mark, Ezekiel and Daniel. The use of the phrase in Enoch should be ignored since it does not relate to the others. At a point Daniel 7: 13-14 refers to Mark and his concept of son of Man on how he describes Jesus as one given dominion and kingship over mankind.

In his ministry Jesus was very fond of using parables in order to deliver his teachings and describe the Kingdom of God. A parable is defined as a short and fictious story that is told in order to deliver a certain hidden meaning or to illustrate an attitude or a religious principle. In the book of Mark, the second gospel the author explains that “ Jesus taught many things by parables”(Mark 4:2) and finally when he was alone with his disciples he admitted to them that they have been given a grand opportunity to know and understand the Kingdom of God but those who were outsiders would never understand since all things come in parables to them. Later on, Jesus posed a question to the disciples and asked them “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God?” (Mark 4:30). In Mark 4:26-29 Jesus uses the parable of The Sprouting Seed to illustrate the Kingdom of God, he compares it to a man scattering seeds on the ground (ReligiousFacts, n.d). In so many occasions Jesus uses parables to describe the kingdom of God.

Scholars have issued out their concern that it is unlikely that the second gospel, Matthew was transcribed by a disciple or follower of Jesus. This can be attributed to the fact that the gospel of Mark was very much the reference point when writing the Matthew, therefore scholars have always considered Matthew as an extension of the gospel of Mark. The tone that is used in this book shows a strong difference between Jews and the believers of Jesus Christ. All this has made scholars conclude that the book was written in Syria during the 80s decade that had passes after the destruction of Jerusalem since at this time the region had large communities of Jews and even Jews who were Christians (Harris, 2014).

            The gospel of Luke can be regarded as an expansion of the second gospel, Mark, this gospel shows a great interest in the works of Jesus during his ministry. This gospel major focus it the works of Jesus in relation to the poor, by all mean, poor by wealth, health and women who were greatly disregarded, sinners and those who were outcasts in the society, the compassion he showed these people has serves as an inspiration to many. This gospel goes ahead and puts emphasis on how Jesus was guided by the holy spirit and prayers throughout his ministry (Harris, 2014). Luke is responsible for presenting the actions of Jesus as those to be emulated.

The book of Luke portrays its writer as someone who has deep knowledge and understanding of the actions that were taken by Paul and also an understanding of what Paul learnt from Jesus. This can be evidence that the writer of Luke was Paul’s travelling companion. However, in the books that follow which are Acts and Luke the writer fails to continue the lectures and ideas of Paul and this can serve as evidence that the author of Luke gospel was not a traveling companion of Paul (Harris, 2014).

 

 

 

 

 

References

Chilton, B. (2017). Who wrote the gospel of Mark? Cross Examined. Retrieved from;             https://crossexamined.org/wrote-gospel-mark/

Harris, S. L. (2014). The New Testament: A Student's Introduction (8th ed.). Retrieved from;           ?SectionID=5037&tabid=154#27.

ReligiousFacts (n.d). Gospel of Mark. Retrieved from; http://www.religionfacts.com/gospel-mark

 

 

 

 

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 Old Testament Commentary Paper 1

 

Introduction

Chapter 1 and 2 of the Book of Jonah is an account of how Jonah disobeyed God’s mission to warn Nineveh of the impending destruction. The encounter with God’s power at sea was enough to bring him back to his errors and thus repentance and the subsequent Lord’s mercy. The prayer in chapter two shows a repentant and forgiven Jonah.

Commentary

The first two chapters of the book of Jonah focuses on the God’s calling of Jonah, his disobedience to God, the turn around and forgiveness. Chapter one highlights a captivating narration of Jonah’s encounter with sailors, God’s hurled storm, a huge fish and the Lord. The prophet‘s will seemed to have been locked in a fight with God’s will , whereby God’s will had to emerge victorious since Jonah could not escape the calling [1]. The encounter with a fish illustrates that God can use any of His creatures to accomplish his will. The attitude of Yahweh to all of his creatures in the chapter is exemplary, in that all creatures are valuable and can fulfill the intended role in human existence[2]. The view among some scholars that the Book of Jonah was fictional and thus dismissing its historicity seems to be misguided because the story itself, including Jonah and the fish, was believed and highlighted by Christ especially the three days and three nights[3].  Moreover, the three days and nights in the belly of the fish could be a symbolic representation of Jonah’s journey to the Nineveh. The motive of the prophet to flee would have been the fear that venturing on to such a dangerous commission to a heathen city would be risky to him[4]. The tribulations Jonah encountered are his own doing and aligns with the biblical views of sinners as being pursued by trouble[5] .The prophet was required to present the message to a foreign and idolatrous city but was reluctant, which is the case of a prophet who has been charged with a message but hides it. The failure of the believers to present the message to perishing people does not negate its importance and the Lord use the means He sees necessary to accomplish the mission.

The story of Jonah in chapter 1 resonates through time with believers who fears what seems to them as a burden so heavy to bear. He feared that he could not accomplish the onerous job given to him. The prophet’s enemy is himself since he is aware of what the Lord want him to do but he refuses to do it. Believers can identify with the prophet’s leaving the work undone. Jonah’s feeling of unfitness in his life is a painful reminder of believers’ daily tussle with the truth. The story therefore shifts from the message that was given to Jonah to his attitude and behavior, as he seems not to understand the urgency and concern of the message as shown by God[6]. Only after God’s disruption of the Jonah’s escape does the prophet realizes the need for the message especially now that he has been forgiven of his rebellion.

 Chapter two involves the prayer as a narrative within the story and the prayer takes an integral part of the general plot of the book. It is a description of true repentance on the prophet’s part and grace on part of the Lord which was extended to him[7].  However, it is not an implication that the prophet became perfect or his character no longer had contradictions or inconsistences as indicated later in the book about his attitude towards God’s forgiveness to the great city. God subjected Jonah to the hardship in the oceans so that to provide him with an opportunity to realize his error. The sailors in the ship with Jonah seemed afraid even though it can be assumed that they were used to the storm, however, the threat in this case must have been quite extreme. Every person cried unto their gods but those idols could not save them from destruction. That the prophet was asleep did not necessarily prove that he was innocent and his guilty conscious had him to shrink from fellow sailors[8]. However, the sleep could also be as a result of carnal and false security.

In Jonah 4:2, God is seen as the subject of casing act. The prophet, after he is thrown overboard by other sailors, is carried deeper by the currents so that he is taken into the furthest reaches of the ocean[9]. It is in the furthest reaches of waters (ocean) that the prophet repents and then recites the prayer[10]. Therefore, it seems that the prophet would only realize his error when in the harshest of conditions whereby he could not save himself. Thus, this explains the exclamation by the prophet in the prayer that, “Salvation is of the Lord[11]. Only the Lord would save him first from his follow and then from the stormy sea.

Conclusion

Jonah had to undergo the hardship at the sea in order to realize his mistake and turn back to the Lord. The prophet’s fear of the mission leads to a conflict with God’s will and this resonates with believers who place personal preferences before the Lord’s mission.

 

Bibliography

Abasili, Alexander Izuchukwu. "The Role of Non-Human Creatures in the Book of Jonah: The Implications for Eco-Justice." Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 31, no. 2 (2017): 236-253.

Ferreira, Johan. "A Note on Jonah 2.8: Idolatry and Inhumanity in Israel." The Bible Translator 63, no. 1 (2012): 28-38.

Gaines, Janet Howe. Forgiveness in a Wounded World: Jonah's Dilemma. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

Dascalu, Raphael. "Between Intellect and Intoxication: An Exploration of Tanḥum ha-Yerushalmi's Commentary to the Book of Jonah." Jewish Quarterly Review 105, no. 1 (2015): 42-71.

Bachmann, Mercedes García. "Conflicting Visions of Jonah–or Rather Diversity?." Mission Studies 23, no. 1 (2006): 45-59.

Anderson, J.E., 2012. Jonah in Mark and Matthew: Creation, Covenant, Christ, and the Kingdom of God. Biblical Theology Bulletin, 42(4), pp.172-186.

Nelson, Thomas. Holy Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2016.

 

 

[1] Gaines, Janet Howe. Forgiveness in a Wounded World: Jonah's Dilemma. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

 

[2] Abasili, Alexander Izuchukwu. "The Role of Non-Human Creatures in the Book of Jonah: The Implications for Eco-Justice." Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 31, no. 2 (2017): 236-253.

 

[3] Anderson, J.E., 2012. Jonah in Mark and Matthew: Creation, Covenant, Christ, and the Kingdom of God. Biblical Theology Bulletin, 42(4), pp.172-186.

 

[4] Gaines, Janet Howe. Forgiveness in a Wounded World: Jonah's Dilemma. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

 

[5] Bachmann, Mercedes García. "Conflicting Visions of Jonah–or Rather Diversity?." Mission Studies 23, no. 1 (2006): 45-59.

 

[6] Ferreira, Johan. "A Note on Jonah 2.8: Idolatry and Inhumanity in Israel." The Bible Translator 63, no. 1 (2012): 28-38.

 

[7] Ibid

 

[8] Gaines, Janet Howe. Forgiveness in a Wounded World: Jonah's Dilemma. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003.

[9] Dascalu, Raphael. "Between Intellect and Intoxication: An Exploration of Tanḥum ha-Yerushalmi's Commentary to the Book of Jonah." Jewish Quarterly Review 105, no. 1 (2015): 42-71.

 

[10] Ibid

[11] Nelson, Thomas. Holy Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2016.

 

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Introduction

The book of Jonah stands out in the entire Bible. Not only does the book has a unique case but has instances where a prophet of God, goes ahead and disobeys Him. The consequences that follow Jonah live him with no choice but to follow God's will at the end of it all. In terms of the historical background of the book of Jonah centers around a prophet named Jonah, the son of a man named Amittai.

Jonah comes from a place known as Gath Hepher situated in Galilee. The book bears the name of the prophet. In fact, Jonah is the main character in the book. The instructions of God to Jonah were simple and clear. Jonah was to go to a city known as Nineveh. When he reached the city of Nineveh, the prophet was to speak against the things, the people who lived in the great city did. Instead of doing as instructed, Jonah ran away from preaching the destruction of Nineveh.

The prophet opted for Tarshish. He went to Joppa and boarded a ship that would lead him to Tarshish. It was during the journey that Jonah faced the wrath of God. Jonah was fleeing from God but God sent a string storm that nearly broke the boat.

Main characters

Jonah is the main character and the narrative of the book depends on him. Everything within the story moves forward due to Him (Anderson, 2012, 56). Three, Jonah receives a second chance from God the first chance of preaching to the people of Nineveh. In other words, God reconciles with Jonah and forgives his disobedience

God is the second main character in the book of Jonah. From the beginning to the end of the book, God and sets up that in turn develop and twists of the entire story. As stated earlier, in chapter 3 God forgives and reconciles with his servant Jonah. God portrays his forgiveness for Jonah by giving him the same assignment. Just like how a criminal gets a pardon from a court, the same happens to Jonah. Jonah was to carry out the same assignment he refused the first time the word of God came to him (Dascalu, 2015, 67). Hence, by repenting Jonah had the chance to prove that he was truly sorry. In short, God and Jonah are the main characters of the book.

The main subject of chapter 3

The word of God comes to Jonah in the same way it did the first time. It is simply a second chance to correct his past mistake. The second time Jonah did right by God. God shows mercy and grace to his servant Jonah even after the rebellion he showed the first time. Thus, in short, God gives Jonah a second chance and he goes to Nineveh (Gaines, Janet Howe, 2003, 89).

The main subject in chapter 4

Jonah was not happy with the compassion God showed the people of Nineveh. Something about the entire matter did not please Jonah. The behavior of Jonah toward the people of Nineveh is not usual. He was the one who preached the word of God to them and encouraged them to change their ways so that God could offer them a second chance. Yet, after the people accepted the message, he became angry (Anderson, 2012, 33).

 Theological Themes in chapter 3

Grace is a theme that comes out clearly in chapter 3. The mercy and grace of God come out towards his prophet Jonah. When Jonah hears the word of God, the rebels but in this chapter, God shows his endless mercies and grace toward Jonah by giving him a second chance.

Similarly, the people of Nineveh received God's mercies. Just like Jonah, the people violated the rules of God. God sent a Jonah, warning them of the punishment that was so they did their ways. They hid God's message and God gave them another opportunity to rectify their mistakes (Gaines, Janet Howe, 2003, 66).

The other side of grace stands repentance. Citizens of Nineveh had to repent and turn to God for them to receive grace. After repenting, they cried to God for forgiveness. Repenting showed that their mistakes and were ready to change from their old ways. What is most interesting is that they took certain steps to ensure they do not slip back to their old ways. The people of Nineveh wore sack clothes to demonstrate their repentance. They neither ate nor drank as instructed by their king (Dascalu, Raphael, 2012, 12).

Theological themes in chapter 4 and exposition

The theme of selfishness comes out when Jonah gets angry with the Ninevites. He did not want God to forgive them. Yet, he himself was a perfect example of God's forgiveness and mercies. He forgot that all people are created in the likeness of God. God stood by the great city and spared their lives (Gaines, Janet Howe, 2003, 53).

Overall themes of chapter 3 and 4

Apart from the two themes mentioned above, the theme of accountability to God is key. In chapter 3 of the Book, Jonah   had to prove that he is still fully committed to the work of God. More so, the prophet had to do as instructed by God. God observed the people of Nineveh and noticed their sinful and evil ways. They were not accountable in their behaviors. God had to ensure that remain accountable and responsible for each and every thing they did. Therefore, God sent Jonah to warn them of the imminent punishment (Pardes, Ilana, 2005, 29).

Equally important to note is the theme of change. When the people  of Nineveh had the  word  of God , they  turned  away from  their  evil ways  and  changed   from their  evil ways. Even though the word of God was short, it had the power to produce the desired effects of the people (Rudman, Dominic, 2004, 23).

Interpretation and exposition

The main reason that made Jonah go against the will of God is that he thought that Nineveh could not receive God's mercies. He was not ready to see the city belonging to his people destroyed. Jonah was a sign of God to the people of Nineveh. The king and Ninevites accepted the message from God. Although the word of God was brief, it had the ability to change the heart of the Ninevites (Rudman, Dominic, 2004, 19).

 

Conclusion

In short ,Chapters 3 and 4 of  Jonah  deal with  Jonah’s second  chance  and  the impact  of his  message  comes in chapter four. Jonah repents after disobeying God and gets the chance to preach to the people of Nineveh of the oncoming punishment from God. The people of Nineveh accept the word of God and turn from their ways.

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Anderson, J.E., 2012. Jonah in Mark and Matthew: Creation, Covenant, Christ, and the Kingdom             of God. Biblical Theology Bulletin, 42(4), pp.172-186.

Anderson, Joel Edmund. "Yahweh’s Surprising Covenant Hesed in Jonah." Biblical Theology             Bulletin 42, no. 1 (2012): 3-11.

Dascalu, Raphael. "Between Intellect and Intoxication: An Exploration of Tanḥum ha-      Yerushalmi's Commentary to the Book of Jonah." Jewish Quarterly Review 105, no. 1    (2015): 42-71.

Gaines, Janet Howe. Forgiveness in a wounded world: Jonah's dilemma. No. 5. Society of             Biblical Lit, 2003.

Pardes, Ilana. "Remapping Jonah's Voyage: Melville's" Moby-Dick" and Kitto's" Cyclopedia of             Biblical Literature.”" Comparative Literature 57, no. 2 (2005): 135-157.

Rudman, Dominic. "The Sign of Jonah." The Expository Times 115, no. 10 (2004): 325-328

 

 

 

 

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Sermon Manuscript

Introduction

Philippians 1:12-18 presents a wonderful text with major recurring themes, and the Lord must want the message to sink especially in today's difficulties that Christians encounter in evangelical campaigns. We have people everywhere who are experiencing difficult things which may make them feel that their efforts in preaching the gospel are fruitless.  The text largely focuses on the advancement of the gospel, the nature of Lord's mission filed, the circumstances likely to be encountered and overcoming them through God's grace.  Paul writes this text to Philippians and shows them how his suffering led to the advancement of the gospel and exhorts the church to come together and advance the gospel.   God can use the suffering of a Christian to progress the spread of His gospel to the world.  The text starts with a Thanksgiving and even prayer which demonstrates that God completes the work He starts, HE desires to see Christian brothers’ love abounds and engulfed in the fruit of His righteousness.  The mission field is not an easy one and Christians have to be ready to encounter challenges. In the midst of such challenges, God will manifest His power to accomplish the work He started in them, and the advancement of the Gospel will proceed despite the prevailing circumstances.  The greatest concern among the Philippians is Paul's welfare and the advancement of God' message amidst horrible situations. The needed an assurance from Him that despite these challenges, the work would continue and thus, the reason for writing the text.  He should them the need to put God first in all situations since the work is His and could not be accomplished through mere human efforts.

 

Body

It's good to imagine the concern of Philippians about Paul, who in turn rushes past pleasantly to focus on his imprisonment. Paul highlights his imprisonment a few times, and there is little information about the sufferings he was undergoing. One may tend to think that there are facing sufferings alone but he or she can rest assured that this servant of God knew suffering as indicated in Acts 21-24;2[1]. Therefore, his reaction to such satiations was never superficial.   If others were to write this text, it would appear very different since they would significantly explain their treatment, their deprivation, pain and emotional turmoil and even detail requests for prayer.  However, Paul chose not to absorb into self-pity or complaints.  The expectations of the Philippians were that the advancement of the Gospel would be hindered by imprisonment of Paul and deeply worried them.   The imprisonment opened new ways and a door or Paul to preach Christ to the individuals around him including the entire imperial guard.  One can imagine the guards who are changing shifts and other captives who made up his active audience.  This represents a different character for Paul showed by his witnessing and spreading of the word wherever he went regardless of the prevailing circumstances.

 

Even in the most unlikely place, Paul found an efficient way of preaching Christ. Rather than of being held back by these chains or being forced by these circumstances to have a negative outlook, Paul used them to inform guards about Christ and thereby to encourage his brothers to continue preaching boldly.  Thus, as the dangers of preaching became more pronounced, their courage to press on increased.  He showed that evangelism is a courageous engagement unlike other endeavors such as politics and sports.  God was using Paul's situations to provide courage and strength for fellow believers in Rome.  Had he considered his imprisonment as an impediment to spreading of the Gospel, Paul would have effortless tried to vindicate his name at Rome.  Rather, he saw that God purposed him to be there and hence, he was not concerned with advocating for his freedom but advancing the gospel. Only God would understand what good can come out of injustice meted on innocent people like Paul and the instigators of these actions cannot understand how He can reach the to them even in their ignorance.

 

Field of God's mission

The important truth is that God's plans cannot be man's plans or ways, and His approach to evangelism may seem insensible to people including the preachers.  The mission field was quite different from what Paul planned or expected as a missionary to Gentiles and an Apostle as seen in his confinement in Roman prison and being chained to a guard.  This shows the nature of God, whose operation time cannot fit humans' schedule and His plans are not normally accomplished according to their plans. For sure most Christians involved in missionary work can attest to such kind of experience whereby their work or missions have not turned out the way they planned.  Once Paul's focus was placed on matters relating to eternal life, God's plan started to unfold quickly. He was now in prison, and not planting churches, and he would be training his successors in the mission. Instead of going out to preach the gospel himself, it s now God's plans that he trains and equips other workers in the field that would go on his behalf.  This is in contrast to the present church activities that are program driven by many bits of advice on how one can share their faith, evangelize and even how to get a person to accept this faith. Paul's mission involved going into places that did not know the gospel and preaching regardless of the prevailing circumstances. In the current society, speaking with all people about Christ especially those who confine you in prison is rarely seen since one is likely to get defensive and work towards their freedom.

 

Paul apparently knew about the sovereignty of God over all creation, but the imprisonment presented a firsthand experience for him.  He understood that the sufferings experienced in the missionary efforts are not a punishment from God but a plan for Him to spread the gospel.  Nobody would have thought that the imperial guards would realize that Paul was being imprisoned for the sake of preaching Christ.  Moreover, no one would have thought that God's plan was for the Gentile guards to be converted, and this implies how God acts in advancing His Gospel.  God's purpose was for the gospel to reach the imperial guards who had contact with the Apostle.  The picture comes clearly to mind. A guard who was chained to Paul was a captive audience, who God viewed as a potential disciple.  Many guards would be converted after getting the Gospel, and these would spread the word to imperial solders. The imperial solders would preach Christ in whichever areas they would be dispatched to the Roman Empire, and these would share the message with the people they met.  This clearly shows that God knew the need for Paul to be in prison at that moment.   Moreover, Paul's sufferings and perseverance served to encourage his brethren to continue with preaching the gospel to the world. They required confidence in the lord in the mission field that was filled with increasing dangers and possibilities of being imprisoned for the sake of God's mission.  While they would have doubted the effectiveness of their efforts, Paul's courage and experience served to remind them that God would be working through their sufferings and accomplish His work.  In evangelism, courage is contagious since when a person sees those around them sharing the message regardless of the hard circumstances, they are encouraged to step up and do the same. For any Christian, there is no reason to stop sharing the message.

 

 The mission field was also complicated by not only opposition from without but from within. While Paul was preaching Christ purely out of conviction and for the defense of the gospel, others were doing so to pursue their interests. Even though they were preaching the gospel of Christ, there was no consistency between their motives and the message.  In this case, Paul does not condiment their preaching or message but their wrong motives.  In fact, they are preaching Christ's gospel, and Paul recognizes them as his brothers.  However, their motivation is envy, selfishness, and rivalry. It is possible that they envied apostolic authority exuded by Paul, questioned such authority and used this chance to plant doubt in believer's mind so that his circumstances appeared as a God's judgment.  It could also be that they desired to more popular than Paul.  He has an important point; despite their selfish and impure motives, the Word is preached, and this Word will accomplish its purpose in spite of the preacher's motives.  However, the apostle is not excusing the preachers' false motives but acknowledging that the importance of spreading the gospel is superior and hence, can work even through fallen individuals.  This should be an encouragement to all Christians. In the text, Christ and gospel (15, 17, 18 and 12, 16 respectively) are mentioned various times, which implies that the basis of any message to be preached should be the two[2].  Not only should Christ be mentioned, but he should also be understood through the message preached at any churches. The message should not be about a "good person" but Christ whose life was perfect and yet died for our sake. It is about a person who took the sins of the world and bore God's wrath that we deserved.   In this text, Paul is not acknowledging the false preachers, but he is showing what should motivate preachers in the missionary field.

 

Christians should think that the only way in which God's work will effectively be accomplished is through a change in circumstances and a good preaching environment.  God's power is not at all related to the false motives or circumstances. Christ can use His power to work through such circumstances to change people's lives. Therefore, believers do not need to change their circumstances for God to work.  Discouraging individuals will always be present, but God's kingdom will continue advancing.

Overcoming circumstances

The basic idea of overcoming difficult circumstances can be seen in the response Paul gives to Philippians concerning his situation.  The brethren at Philippians were aware that the apostle was not in a good situation since he imprisoned.  The response Paul gave was meant to inform them of the situation, but he did not dwell on it. Normally when overcome by difficult circumstances, people will place their focus on them which is the most natural thing to do when inquired by those close to them.  This might involve complaining; sharing sorrows and possibly seeking advice on the way forward. While we need to share with following Christians about the issues we are facing while in the missionary work, Paul presents a better idea of responding to them.  He does not ignore the situation he is in since he states that he wants his fellow believers to be aware of such circumstances (v.s 12)[3].  He is not overcome by his imprisonment or the false preachers who are preaching out of personal interests.  Rather, his focus is on what God was accomplishing in their midst as the gospel was continuing to advance.  If any good or bad circumstances are combined with a godly perception can lead to great joy.  Otherwise, there will be negative actions and attitude that do not favor the missionary work.  To some people, this kind of maturity may seem unattainable, but through living out the various truths, Paul presents can this be successful.  God uses the tough situations and tribulations that Christians encounter to mature them into Godly individuals.  It is typical to think that peace and freedom offer the best environment for preaching the gospel but Paul's response indicates a different truth.  Many people would not persevere in situations that cause suffering, but by the power of God, followers of Christ can see the opportunity to share the gospel in such instances.

 

 Suffering defines the real character of people and especially whether they are genuine Christians. Some people will remain committed as long as everything is well, but amidst suffering, they pay more attention to hardships and hence rarely remain around.  But under the influence of the Holy Spirit, non-believers can genuinely perceive whether we are truly following God with a positive attitude even if such a feeling is hard to harbor amidst difficulties.   One may complain about our environment including the economy, weather, work or government, but we have not been called to do this. We can use Paul's example when faced with such situations and remain positive knowing that in every circumstance, we can get an opportunity to proclaim the Word.  Moreover, people have different responses to suffering as seen when some preachers responded differently to imprisonment of the apostle, with some gaining courage for the mission and others seizing the opportunity to criticize him and increase his suffering.  This is very relevant to the lives of Christians, in that people around them may respond differently to their difficult situations. Some may learn from the good example set while others may criticize or condemn them. A good example is Job's friends' reaction to his suffering.  Christians should not be surprised when this happens.  After understanding that people respond in different ways, one should trust God that His purpose will be accomplished in us.

Rejoicing in hardship

After looking at all things happening due to his chains, Paul praised God and rejoiced. Initially, Paul was longing to be released quickly and that after being vindicated by Christians in the Roman Empire could easily evangelize. His release, he hoped, would mean that they would be allowed to worship legally and hence openly. However, too much time passed and months turned into years as his trial was constantly postponed and thus his languish in chains continued.  Yet, while still in confinement, Paul learned to rejoice in his suffering and take pleasure. He had found sufficient grace from God, and due to this, he rejoiced.  He did not allow the prevailing circumstances or other peoples' efforts aimed at increasing his suffering to bring him down. With the right focus, Paul rejoiced that the proclamation of the gospel was continuing ion account of his chains and irrespective of the motives of the preachers. For sure, his joy would have been complete if everyone's motives were true since that would show the maturity of the preachers to the glory of God.  Even though they had ulterior motives for their preaching efforts, Paul rejoiced that the message was still going out and his reason for stressing the point "yes, and I will rejoice[4].

 

The decision to be glad about the spreading of the gospel would not wane irrespective of any attacks directed at him and hurt resulting from people who were intent on worsening his circumstances.  His self-effacing attitude was just outstanding as he did not call attention to his suffering and does not even elaborate whatever discomfort he was experiencing.  He is not interested in people's pity and does not seek the attention of the believers, which would turn their focus off the gospel and Christ Himself.   Even when he refers to his chains, he calls the "the chains of Christ," who was his Lord and him a servant[5]. It was his Lord who purposed him to be on that spot at that particular time.   His major concern was that the church at Philippine might be over-anxious.   Paul did not view his suffering as to mean that he had been forgotten by God and did not question God about why that was happening to him.  He saw this as an appointed time set for his service to mankind by preaching the word to those he came into contact with.  

 

This presents an important lesson for all Christians, since the evangelism work or ministry is never about them but God and His glory.  The work of preaching should not draw attention to the preacher but to the Lord since this is His message.  Paul's joy  emanated from the fact that he did not envy those who were preaching outside while he  remained confined and did not follow their example in seeking revenge for the hostility their  towards him.  He had confidence in Christ, and thus would leave their wrong motives to Him for correction.  Christians can adopt the same approach while dealing with people who treat us with cruelty. Moreover, Christ followers should not allow their situations to take away their joy but should overcome them through maintenance of a godly perspective and focusing on what He is accomplishing even amidst trials and tribulations they experience.  We should remember that all things work for good of the people who love God and happen accomplish His purpose, Romans 8:28[6].    When experiencing losses and heartbreaks, Christians may not know how to react or the actions to take. 

 

It is tempting to spend their entire life complaining and seeking pity, or to seek comfort in destructive habits. These actions completely differ from the example shown be Paul.  Christians should not react to suffering like the word does but rejoice in such circumstances knowing that they will not last.  If anything, Christ-followers should seek to understand God's purpose in their suffering and be glad because He has good intention for them in the situations.  God's will may be fulfilled through hardships, but believers' joy is doing the His work regardless of the situation.  Christians can find fulfilling Joy though preaching the gospel if they can have the bigger picture and get over themselves. Just as Paul, nothing should steal out Joy since while human are expendable, Christ's message is not.  Paul's unselfishness was the major source of his joy, and Christians should embrace such an attitude if they are ever to find true joy amidst tribulations.

 

Strengthening others

The text also shows the need believers to use their suffering to strengthen others.  In verse 14-18 Paul focuses on exhorting others through suffering, and he was glad that even in his chains and persecution, other believers were finding the courage and strength to carry on the message of Christ.  He was able to do this by showing little fear and much joy from the fact that others were not being derailed by his situation but found courage from the zeal that Paul had for Christ. This is similar to how the Church's reaction to persecution, where believers scattered in all places and preached Christ‘s message, Acts 8:4[7].   This shows that when one's suffering is approached without fear the strength to continue preaching is increased.  The notion that a person's suffering can lead to the more strength for others faith calls for a new approach towards difficulty circumstances.  Our perseverance can show others how they can overcome and even flourish in related suffering and remain joyful through God's grace. For instance, overcoming marital struggles can set an example for others to follow other than strengthening the marriage.  Showing a strong faith in illness and even death should no longer be about the personal battle, but assisting others to fight through similar issues.   Personal weakness in faith should no longer focus only on individual growth but teach such faith to fellow humans.

 However, this does not mean that one should suffer silent, but rather share their experiences can go a long way in strengthening others to fight on. Paul concern for others did not mean that he was suffering in silence but made his struggle a community issue through which others could learn. Believers should open up about their suffering to encourage others through the entire healing process.  This is why a close relationship with others is important since, without it, it can be uncomfortable to share personal experiences.   Above all, difficulties and sufferings provide an opportunity to teach the love and Grace of God.

 

References

Bible, K. J. V., & Version, N. K. J. (1997). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

 

[1] Bible, K. J. V., & Version, N. K. J. (1997). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

 

[2] Bible, K. J. V., & Version, N. K. J. (1997). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

 

[3] Bible, K. J. V., & Version, N. K. J. (1997). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

 

[4] Bible, K. J. V., & Version, N. K. J. (1997). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

 

[5] Bible, K. J. V., & Version, N. K. J. (1997). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

 

[6] Bible, K. J. V., & Version, N. K. J. (1997). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

 

[7] Bible, K. J. V., & Version, N. K. J. (1997). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

 

3395 Words  12 Pages

 

Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible

 This is an op-ed that presents the argument on science and religion in understanding the universe.  The main arguments which Coyne presents are that first, religion and science are incompatible simply because they derive reality and reliability of the universe in different ways and for this reason, they make conflicting conclusions[1]. In other words, he offers argues that incompatibility is due to the fact that science makes conclusion from reason and empirical study while region makes conclusion from faith and revelation. He raises another argument by stating that religion creates hypothesis about the universe by focusing on things which are personally appealing rather than focusing on empirical study[2].   The headlines  supports the main point as the author states that science and religion are incompatible since  science  apply methodology and outcomes in researching the truth while religion focus on faith  where believers present provisional evidences such as  the divine presence[3].

The author uses reliable independent sources where he gathers information from disinterested viewpoint to arrive to a neutral viewpoint.  For example, he presents different thoughts and arguments that help him conclude that science uses straightforward procedures to show the reality while religion is fanatical. Examples of reliable sources in making his argument include ‘A River Runs through It “where he states that faith will help people experience love and create conditions for love[4]. He also states the Darwin’s quote that   in the scientific work; research should not only rely on scientific facts but should also apply scientific fiction[5].  He introduced the issue of global warming and how people   use religions objections and prejudices on social policy issues.

The author places the story in historical contexts where he focuses on evolution, creation adn Christianity.  The historical context and research from different authors strengths his argument on faith and science. The author makes his work transparent as he presents a validation of information and analysis the information effectively making it easier for the reader to understand[6]. He does not only rely on his own thoughts but he presents well-researched arguments based on religion-faith and science.  For example, by quoting Darwin and Neil deGrasse, he presents ascertaining facts from different arguments.  He presents enough information on science and religion and this aid in answering the key questions and arriving to the conclusion[7].  By reviewing both sides, the story is fair since it contains facts, avoids bias, uses reliable sources and ensures transparency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Schloss J.  ‘Faith vs. Fact:’ why religion and science are mutually incompatible. The Washington Post,  2015. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/science-and-theology/2015/08/03/77136504-19ca-11e5-bd7f-4611a60dd8e5_story.html?utm_term=.acc4de99b817

 

 

[1] Schloss J.  ‘Faith vs. Fact:’ why religion and science are mutually incompatible. The Washington Post,  2015.pg, 1

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6]Ibid

[7] Ibid

461 Words  1 Pages

EXEGETICAL PAPER ON. JOHN 7:53 - 8:11

Thesis

 There has been much discussion on the authoritativeness of John 7:53-8-11 based on the argument that the passage was not part of the original Greek Text of the Gospel. The passage involves a narrative of a women caught in the act of adultery and brought to Jesus .However, the canonical and authenticity of these particular verses have raised many questions given that the ancient manuscripts do not have John7:53-8-11. Amidst such questions, the verses have become controversial as some people believe that the story of Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman is an inspired account that may have illegally been inserted. The questions arising from this controversy are: is the verse scripture? Was it written by John? The issues to be addressed include; whether the verse is scriptural; whether it was written by John; is it historical, that is, ancient and true? Is it canonical? If the verse was not originally part of the John’s Gospel, why it has been included before 8:12 in majority of English Bible Versions? Despites the significant external and internal evidence that the passage was not recorded in the original Greek Text , the discussion demonstrates that it is canonical and an authentic scripture.  

Introduction

John 7:53-8:11 is one of the most disputed scriptural passage of the Gospel, since the text seems to have been misplaced or missing in most ancient manuscripts. The passage, referred to as “the periscope of the adulteress” has pitted scholars’ arguments against one another, about its authenticity and authoritativeness to the church and Christianity[1].  This portion of the scripture is difficult, not because it cannot be understood easily but because knowing whether it should be part of John’s Gospel is hard. Many translations or versions of the Bible put the passage in brackets, including a note that explains that it was not part of earliest manuscripts.  Many of manuscripts were in Greek and any variations in them are only of little significance[2]. The problems of canon, interpretation, and text are evident in this passage. Some commentators have chosen to ignore this text altogether under the assumption that it is not authentic , offers an appendix discussion while others incorporate it in the whole of John’s text. Various studies have offered all sought to provide an explanation on the episodes strange textual significance and tradition. Many scholars of the text consider that there is overwhelming evidence against it and therefore, reject the passage as being original. However, the passage still is still found in the many of contemporary translations and specifically the English translations. Unlike other texts such as John 5:4 which are only included by a footnote, the text is retained within the text but normally separated using brackets[3]. If there is consensus among many scholars that there is very convincing evidence against it, why is the passage not regarded as genuine and should not be excluded from the entire text as has been done with other passages? On the other hand, some scholars have supported the authenticity of the passage, with some using internal evidence to demonstrate the passage as being original.

JOHN 7:53 - 8:11 Historical and origin

To begin with, it is important to empathize that text in John does not contradict or introduce another doctrine than that present in the entire scripture. Hence, even where the passage is left out, all the doctrines of the scriptures may be taught using other related passages. Some scholars have readily dismissed the passage like it does not have any valid place in the biblical scripture or history[4]. By considering the arguments of these critics, one is left wondering why the passage would be left in the Bible. Some current translations have actually left out the passage and relegated it to just a footnote[5]. The NKJ version in an attempt to acknowledge that this text has been disputed by some offers a footnote that provides reason for its inclusion. The version claims that over 900 manuscripts supporting its inclusion have to be well understood[6]. Certainly, there are, many such manuscripts but many of them are not as old as some evidence may claim and similarly not all have the text placed in the same location.  Had the Roman Catholic Church continued to be the predominant church, questions could not have arisen about the inclusion of this text even though the church had some manuscripts that did not include it or even questioned it[7]. This is because the Catholic Church had for many years utilized manuscripts that were in Jerome’s Latin vulgate and in which this account was included.

The protestant Reformation emphasized on the need for people to study scriptures and embarked on efforts to ensure that Bibles translation was done properly into various common languages like English and German. This led to increased searching of manuscripts based on their original languages. Many scholars in Western Europe including Catholics and Protestants, while working to recover the New Testament Greek texts noted that various manuscripts did not have this part of John’s Gospel. They marked more manuscripts so as to note that inclusion of the passage was of dubious nature[8]. In addition, they scholars also noted that in the Greek Church lectionary, the weekly reading for verses 7:37-8-12 as part Pentecost, but the disputed verses were left out.  The whole of this evidence reignited a debate which seems to have been there many times in history among the minds of translators and scribes[9].  This informs the basic question whether the text is true or should be accepted as part of the scripture.  The internal evidence offers characteristics of the text being true and thus led some scholars to agree with it. This account has been found to have every mark of historical veracity, given that it is an oral traditional piece that had circulated in specific regions of Western church and was later integrated into the different manuscripts in different places[10].

 In a sense, it appears clear that the significance of this evidence preserves the originality of the story. This means that the passage may not be part of original John’s Gospel. However, the episode has all historical veracity suggestions, and this appears to suggest that it was really an incidence that transpired in Jesus’ life and the story was worth of recitation and correction. Even though such a narrative is incorporated in outline’s sequence, it could barely have been part of John’s original text. Its absence from the majority of the earliest copies which were produced before the 16th century and even from the earliest commentators’ works do not disqualify it from the scripture[11]. The assertion that it is not part of the Gospel does not mean that it is rejected as a historical art. The passage’s spirit and coherence shows that it had been securely kept from very early in time and it also aligns well with Biblical doctrine and even Jesus character.  Hence, the text can be accepted as part of scriptures historical truth[12]. However, based on the available on the available information, the passage was never part of the earliest text.

Individuals who come up with narratives tend to include too much information or details most of which are unclear and having no specifics. In this case, the passage includes all necessary details that an eyewitness would be expected to give.  For instance, a person on the sidelines would note that Jesus wrote on the ground while not recording the specific information that He wrote. This means that the passage is harmonious with the character of Jesus and His actions through all the gospels. This shows that most likely; the text presented an authentic episode in Jesus ‘life.  If the text was invented or forged, a big question would involve “why”.  In comparison to some heretical or Gnostic forgeries arising during the apostolic time and which were carried forward into the 1st centuries of early church, the passage in John does not incorporate deviant or new doctrine and does not contradict other teachings in the gospel[13]. As matter fact, had it been a creation of a heretic, no alternative or heretical gospel has ever included it. This means that no evidence can be presented to dispute its authenticity. In regard to whether it should be considered as scripture, it is worth noting the fact that there are many incidents involving Jesus that are not recorded in the Bible.

 According to John 20:30-31, there are many miraculous signs that Jesus performed  before the disciples but were never recorded, while the recorded ones serve a purpose of making people believe in Him as Christ , the Son of God.  In chapter 21 verse 25, John that it would be impossible to record all the things that Jesus did[14]. Hence, the purpose for having some of this things recorded was to provide enough information for people to believe in Him. This passage does indicate additional aspects of Jesus other than what the canonical scriptures establishes. Church tradition, in that the text has been in the Bible for many years, should not be a valid reason for considering it a scripture but a higher standard must exist. This is because tradition as a basis of interpreting the scriptures is prone to misuse for self-fish or emotional purposes[15].

 Authorship of the text

 Many forgeries and even Gnostic works have been exposed as fraudulent works that are not a portion of God’s word using a specific test. The test includes; an apostle’s writing or  writing under his direct authority; an express truth that  in all cases agrees with the other scriptures including Old Testament; writing is recognized by the whole  Church of God , and  an indication of Unity provided by Holy Spirit; claims God’s authority in that divine character is presented since “all Scripture is God –breathed[16]. John 7:53-8:11 account can also be subjected to the same test to determine its authenticity. It is important to consider that there is historical evidence showing that the passage had been circulated in other places in John Luke and all of the earliest Mathew Gospel[17]. Applying the test using the earliest evidence shows that the passage can be attributed to an apostle   and most like Mathew or Luke, and it was accepted as an apostolic text. Even the earliest Roman Catholic fathers can be linked to this apostolic attestation even though it may seems most had no idea of it but such can be considered a silent argument. Even though the text has been included John’s Gospel in whole of Church history, it does not discount the notion of the passage as apostolic[18]. Actually, being an un-autographed work makes it no different than Hebrews book which is generally accepted on the basis of its apostolic origin although many people question its author. 

However, some aspects of the text could indicate that John was not author especially considering the writing style used. For instance the expression “tò őros twn ẻlaiwn” found in 8:1,[19] and whose translation is the “Mount of Olives” can be compared with a more simpler term used by John in 4:20-21 and 6:1 - őros , which leaves out the phrase tò őros twn ẻlaiwn and twn ẻlaiwn and including the rest parts of the Gospel[20]. These phrases can be found in synoptic gospel and more particularly Luke’s Gospel and which could be a testimony that the text was not written by John. Such terms used in the text appears odd when applied in John’s Gospel[21]. Trying to explore the appearance of terms in the text and relating them to entire book may mean that the text was not written by John. Whatever the argument, the question of whether the text was written by John would require further analysis.

Canonical and scriptural nature of the text

The major issue arising from the text is that its external attestation is week, with the only main Greek manuscript from the 8th century and offering the traditional narration of the story is Codex Bezae from 5th or 6th century[22]. The manuscripts interpolations have clearly been noted. Various manuscripts imply that the event had been known in regions covered by the western church. The text was also included in many Byzantine from the 19th century, but various scribes showed their reservation about the passage by using obelus to write it[23].   The evidence from such evidence indicates that the integration of the text was done later and most of the western church was familiar with it. However, there is no considerable Greek texts from the eastern provenance provide support for the passage. The patristic evidence shows similar results whereby in the eastern regions, none of the Greek fathers allude to the text for about a thousand years. Even where it is mentioned by individuals such as Euthymius Zigabenus in the 12th century, they see it as just an n insertion. Others like Westcott indicate that the most ancient lectionary reads leaves the text out.

 In addition, in the works of Cyprian of Carthage and Tertullian that gives judicial directions relating to adultery cases, there is no mention of the adulterous woman and even Jesus[24].  However, the later west shows strong patristic support for the text so that individuals such as Pacian of Barcelona and Augustine had knowledge about it. Jerome remarked that he found the text in John’s Gospel among many Latin and Greek codices. Upon beginning his Vulgate work in late 4th century, Jerome included the passage into the major Latin text and even Church canon of the western regions. In addition, while fathers and lectionaries in the earliest church are silent on the text, the Didascalia Apostolorum and Eusebius manuscripts points to its antiquity[25].  In the first one, bishops are beseeched to accept those people who repent with mercy while an illustration of a woman brought before Jesus is given, who did not condemn her but sent her away. In the second one, Eusebius gives a narration about Papias but to which he relates. Papias is shown to be aware of a story involving a malicious accusation of a woman before Jesus because of her sins, and which should have been noted in Hebrews Gospel, and this is taken to be Johannine periscope text. In essence, the text seems to be absent from various major patristic literature in Greek, but seems to have been included in the early manuscripts of Latin West. There is only  one certain witness  if the text from the Eastern and this is Syrian Didascalia , but still does not offer solid grounds for inclusion of the passage into John’s Gospel[26].  

 There are also difficulties in internal evidence that seem to address the authenticity of this passage. Such internal factors provide considerable evidence indicating the text as foreign to John’s Gospel. The text is placed after 7:36, 7:44 or even at the last chapter of the Gospel.  The text is also place at Luke 21:38 in some other manuscript or even after 24:53. The placement indicates that an essential text tradition later in the Church was perceived as separate from the initial link and probably Lucan[27].  Moreover , a look into John’s Gospel may show that the text does not fit well especially considering that in end of Chapter 7 , Jesus is seen taking oar in Feast of Tabernacles while in Chapter 8 , it shows as if Jesus was nearing the last Passover, where he rests at Mount of Olives and comes back every day.  In John 8:9, Jesus is seen alone but is seen in crowd again in 8:12-13[28].  Omitting the section indicates that there would be smooth flow of Tabernacle discourse between 7:1 and 8:59[29].  By including the text in between, awkwardness is seen that can go a long way to explain the extent of textual variants.  In addition, the text appears unjohannine considering the many terms that can be seen in synoptic but which are not present in any other verse in John’s Gospel.  There is unconscious syntax that stands out, with connection of sentences with de in the text, a case that is not seen in other parts of the book. For instance, where there are five utilizations of de in Mathew, there are two in John[30]. These items brings about a consensus among various scholars, that internal evidence clarifies the text as being foreign compared to the current settings.

 However, while such reasons may be given to show that the text is not part of the original Gospel, it does not necessary mean that it should be removed from New Testament or just be dismissed like other verse such as Mark 16:9-20. The text is most probably authentic in that its origin is oral tradition from which information in the gospels were gotten.  The narrative can be classified among the other synoptic conflict narratives, where Christ is request to offer judgment on the law and shows His skills as he stands His ground before the opponents and at the same time not violating the law[31].  The hard ending of the story is seen the final words he says to them, “Let him who is without sin through the first stone”. The incident compares with many other narratives in the Gospels that Jesus is called upon to offer direction especially in matters concerning the canonic law. This is illustration of a repeated them throughout the scripture in the New Testament, which is Jesus and the Law[32]. This can be related to Luke 6:5 issues in the law, where Jesus is accused of not keeping the Sabbath Holy, where in a similar manner He demonstrates His understanding and teaching on the issue of the law. This can parallel the inclusion of John 7:53-8-11 that has been examined above[33]. It can be seen as an authentic story gotten from various sayings and whose inclusion serves to bring about discipline not only to the early but the present Church.

Personal Review

The account of adulterous woman in John 7:53-8:11 brings about controversies in terms of its authenticity due to the textual history. The absence of the text in the early manuscripts is the major source of contention, even though some later manuscripts written in Latin included it in John’s Gospel. The major issue in this discussion or argument is whether we have a gospel that is inauthentic or not related to the Christian canon. The lack of inclusion of the passage in the early Greek manuscript does not render it inauthentic or it does not mean that it should be removed from the John’s Gospel.  The above discussion demonstrates enough reasons to consider the periscope adulterae as an authentic text and hence its considerations as a divine scripture.  Even though some scholars have disputed on the originality of the text on the basis that it may have been forged, others have to a consensus that it is reflection of the character of Jesus depicted in the entire Scripture especially in the New Testament. There is enough evidence to show that the text was not part of original John’s Gospel, but it is a clear reflection of the character of Jesus demonstrated in the other major Gospels. After subjecting the text into a test which measures the authenticity of the other texts, the passage can be considered as a scripture. 

One cannot argue that John is not the author of the passage on that it is untitled since a book like Hebrews that is un-autographed and whose authorship has been questioned. Despite such disputes the Hebrew’s book has been accepted on the ground that it has apostolic origin. The message intended by the author of the text in John does not in any way contradict the doctrine presented in the scripture. In addition, the issue of whether the passage is canonical is understood from its historical understanding where it had been accepted in the Western Church. The passage contains a message that resonates with the character of Jesus which is depicted in other incidents that are recorded in the other Gospels. That it was not recorded in the Early Manuscripts does not mean it is not authentic since the same John’s Gospel tells that many of the things done by Jesus were not recorded. The text has great teachings in Christian religion in relation to law, mercy and judgment.

Conclusion

The authenticity of JOHN 7:53 - 8:11 has resulted to big controversial considering that the text is not included in the early manuscripts. Many scholars have come to a consensus that the text was not originally part of John’s Gospel but its scriptural and canonical nature has drawn differing argument. The external and internal evidence of the early manuscripts corroborate the argument that the text was an insertion into the entire book. However, the inclusion of the text in most English Bible version shows that its tradition had been accepted as a scripture. The passage demonstrates Jesus’ character and its harmony with other similar incidents in Gospels means that it’s significant for teachings on law and judgment. Further research should involve the text and canon problem if at all the canonical authority of the Bible rests on originality of its books.

 

 

 

References

Painter, John, and Daniel J. Harrington. 1, 2, and 3 John. Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 2008.

 

Keith, Chris. "Recent and previous research on the pericope adulterae (John 7.53—8.11)." Currents in Research 6, no. 3 (2008): 377-404.

 

Keith, Chris. "The initial location of the Pericope Adulterae in fourfold tradition." Novum Testamentum 51, no. 3 (2009): 209-231.

 

 

Knust, Jennifer Wright. "Jesus, an adulteress, and the development of Christian scripture." J.-J. Aubert & Z. Várhelyi (eds.), A tall order: Wrifing the social history of the ancient world. Essays in honor of William V. Harris (2005): 59-84.

 

Punch, John David. "An analysis of'non-Johannine'vocabulary in John 7: 53-8: 11, Part 1." In die Skriflig 47, no. 1 (2013): 412-417.

 

Bromiley, Geoffrey William. E - J. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 2002. 840-853

Punch, John David. "The pericope adultrae: Theories of insertion & omission." PhD diss., [Sl: sn], 2010.

Knust, Jennifer Wright. "Early Christian re-writing and the history of the Pericope Adulterae." Journal of Early Christian Studies 14, no. 4 (2006): 485-536

Grisanti, Michael A. "Inspiration, Inerrancy, and the OT Canon: The place of textual updating in an inerrant view of Scripture." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44, no. 4 (2001): 577-598.

 

Shanks, Monte A. Papias and the New Testament. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013.

 

 

 

 

[1] Keith, Chris. "Recent and previous research on the pericope adulterae (John 7.53—8.11)." Currents in Research 6, no. 3 (2008): 377-404.

 

[2]Keith, Chris. "Recent and previous research on the pericope adulterae (John 7.53—8.11)." Currents in Research 6, no. 3 (2008): 377-404.

 

 

[3] Keith, Chris. "The initial location of the Pericope Adulterae in fourfold tradition." Novum Testamentum 51, no. 3 (2009): 209-231.

 

[4] Keith, Chris. "Recent and previous research on the pericope adulterae (John 7.53—8.11)." Currents in Research 6, no. 3 (2008): 377-404.

 

[5] Keith, Chris. "The initial location of the Pericope Adulterae in fourfold tradition." Novum Testamentum 51, no. 3 (2009): 209-231.

 

[6] Knust, Jennifer Wright. "Early Christian re-writing and the history of the Pericope Adulterae." Journal of Early Christian Studies 14, no. 4 (2006): 485-536.

 

[7] Knust, Jennifer Wright. "Early Christian re-writing and the history of the Pericope Adulterae." Journal of Early Christian Studies 14, no. 4 (2006): 485-536.

 

 

[8] Knust, Jennifer Wright. "Early Christian re-writing and the history of the Pericope Adulterae." Journal of Early Christian Studies 14, no. 4 (2006): 485-536.

 

[9] Keith, Chris. "The initial location of the Pericope Adulterae in fourfold tradition." Novum Testamentum 51, no. 3 (2009): 209-231

 

[10] Keith, Chris. "The initial location of the Pericope Adulterae in fourfold tradition." Novum Testamentum 51, no. 3 (2009): 209-231.

[11] Knust, Jennifer Wright. "Early Christian re-writing and the history of the Pericope Adulterae." Journal of Early Christian Studies 14, no. 4 (2006): 485-536.

 

[12] Knust, Jennifer Wright. "Early Christian re-writing and the history of the Pericope Adulterae." Journal of Early Christian Studies 14, no. 4 (2006): 485-536.

 

[13] Knust, Jennifer Wright. "Jesus, an adulteress, and the development of Christian scripture." J.-J. Aubert & Z. Várhelyi (eds.), A tall order: Wrifing the social history of the ancient world. Essays in honor of William V. Harris (2005): 59-84.

 

[14] Painter, John, and Daniel J. Harrington. 1, 2, and 3 John. Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 2008.

 

[15] Knust, Jennifer Wright. "Early Christian re-writing and the history of the Pericope Adulterae." Journal of Early Christian Studies 14, no. 4 (2006): 485-536.

 

[16] Bromiley, Geoffrey William. E - J. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 2002. 840-853

 

[17] Grisanti, Michael A. "Inspiration, Inerrancy, and the OT Canon: The place of textual updating in an inerrant view of Scripture." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44, no. 4 (2001): 577-598.

 

[18] Grisanti, Michael A. "Inspiration, Inerrancy, and the OT Canon: The place of textual updating in an inerrant view of Scripture." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44, no. 4 (2001): 577-598.

 

[19] Punch, John David. "An analysis of'non-Johannine'vocabulary in John 7: 53-8: 11, Part 1." In die Skriflig 47, no. 1 (2013): 412-417.

 

[20] Punch, John David. "An analysis of'non-Johannine'vocabulary in John 7: 53-8: 11, Part 1." In die Skriflig 47, no. 1 (2013): 412-417.

 

[21] Punch, John David. "An analysis of'non-Johannine'vocabulary in John 7: 53-8: 11, Part 1." In die Skriflig 47, no. 1 (2013): 412-417.

 

[22] Punch, John David. "The pericope adultrae: Theories of insertion & omission." PhD diss., [Sl: sn], 2010.

 

[23] Punch, John David. "The pericope adultrae: Theories of insertion & omission." PhD diss., [Sl: sn], 2010.

 

[24] Punch, John David. "The pericope adultrae: Theories of insertion & omission." PhD diss., [Sl: sn], 2010.

 

[25] Shanks, Monte A. Papias and the New Testament. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013.

 

[26] Shanks, Monte A. Papias and the New Testament. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013.

 

[27] Shanks, Monte A. Papias and the New Testament. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013.

 

 

[28] Grisanti, Michael A. "Inspiration, Inerrancy, and the OT Canon: The place of textual updating in an inerrant view of Scripture." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44, no. 4 (2001): 577-598.

 

[29] Shanks, Monte A. Papias and the New Testament. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013.

 

 

[30] Punch, John David. "The pericope adultrae: Theories of insertion & omission." PhD diss., [Sl: sn], 2010.

 

[31] Punch, John David. "The pericope adultrae: Theories of insertion & omission." PhD diss., [Sl: sn], 2010.

 

[32] Punch, John David. "The pericope adultrae: Theories of insertion & omission." PhD diss., [Sl: sn], 2010.

 

[33] Punch, John David. "The pericope adultrae: Theories of insertion & omission." PhD diss., [Sl: sn], 2010.

 

4458 Words  16 Pages

Spiritual Needs Assessment

PART 1: INTERVIEW 

Spirituality particularly in nursing can be delineated as anything that gives the definitive meaning and purpose of the life of an individual; which tends to invite certain ways of living within the society with regard to relating with others and with oneself (Koenig, 2007). There are several themes that are associated with the spiritual conception – they include anticipation, devotion, purpose, sense of peace, transcendence and connectedness with other members of the society.  In nursing, religion and spirituality are regarded as two distinct components that derive the sense of human experiences which include illness and other health concerns. Precisely, spirituality tends to be more personal than religiousness as it defines personal perception regarding the wellbeing of the individual (Koenig, 2007). On the other hand, religiousness of an individual encompasses the traditions and beliefs which derive the institutional belonging. Thus, it is noteworthy that spirituality in healthcare tends to affect the mortality, coping with illness, and the recovery of the patient. Studies in the contemporary healthcare sector assert that patients who exhibit adherence to spiritual practices tend to live longer (Koenig, 2007). This can be explained by the fact that spirituality plays a significant role in the patient’s capability in coping up with illness thus promoting fast recovery.    

 

QUESTIONS    

Nurse: Hello. Thank you so much for sparing your time to participate in this interview. Could you please tell me who or what is your source of strength and hope?

Patient:  to start with, I can say that for every situation that requires me to be strong and hope for the good, God is my comforter. I believe that God wants me to recognize that he is powerful and to believe that he can enchain me from problem. So I can say that God is my strength and hope.

Nurse: Okay, does that mean that you use prayers in your life?

Patient: Yes, I believe in prayers than anything else that can relieve you from the troubles of life. This is the reason why I pray regularly not only asking for help but rather to thank God for life

Nurse: Apart from praying, how else do you express your spirituality?    

Patient: The other way that I express my spirituality is how I relate with others for instance, while in hospital I typically console by fellow patients and try to counsel them on the need to pray and have faith that God will deliver them from the illness.

Nurse:  how would you describe your philosophy of life?  

Patient: According to me, life is made up of ups and downs which are plans of the sole creator, God. Therefore, in times of falling, God is subjecting you into a temptation in order to gauge your faith in him. Therefore, the only way you can be delivered from the temptation is by praying for strength from God. However, it is advisable that one should pray in all times of life regardless of whether it is the time of falling or going up.

Nurse: What type of spiritual/religious support do you desire?     

Patient: The type of spiritual support that I desire is spiritual faith to help me continue believing in the power of God towards everything that troubles me. With faith, one can be delivered from every pain in life provided that he or she believes.   

 

PART 2: ANALYSIS

The interview hosted 20 respondents equally represented in terms of gender (10 male, 10 females). The age of the respondents ranged from 45 – 55 years where 6 were Christians, 5 Atheists, 5 Muslims, and 4 Jews. In this case, the major objective was to assess the diversity of spirituality and how it correlates with coping with illness and medication. Spirituality plays a significant role to the patient’s perception of the illness. It is factual that there can be situation when cure is impossible but healing is possible (Koenig, 2007). Thus, spirituality determines the peace and acceptance of the illness thus bringing the healing though not the cure. For the spiritual patients, they tend to adhere closer to the beliefs regarding the current state of the person. The other contemplation that can be applied in assessing the correlation between the illness and spirituality is based on the fact that a disease subjects an individual into a mental pain which translates to spiritual suffering. Thus, patients end up asking questions that brings them closer to their spiritual beliefs towards their inquisitiveness to heal (Koenig, 2007). This describes what went right in my research as the interviewees conformed to the hypothesis of the correlation between spirituality and healing.

What I will do differently for my interview in future is based on the fact that people appear to be diverting away from spirituality as the society continue to be muddled up by numerous traditions and beliefs. Therefore, spiritual assessment will not consider diversity as a variable but rather personal belief as the basis of spirituality. This means that I will out source religiousness from the variables that I will consider for future interviewees.

The challenges and barriers that inhibited the ability to assess the topic effectively include language barrier, hostility of some religions regarding the assessment of their beliefs by a non-member, and unwillingness to answer some questions. Therefore, in order to address these challenges in future, I will plan effectively particularly on selecting the participants of the interview. I will first conduct the survey before settling on the participants of the interview.

The spiritual experience I had with one of the patients is that illness pain is one of the temptations that God subjects His people to and the healing is the success and triumph from the temptation. This helps me meet relate with the patients by first considering their spirituality and insisting that medication is one of the ways that God helps His people attain healing.

It is true that illness and stress amplify the spirituality of the patient and tends to bring him or her closer to God. As aforementioned, disease pain leads to mental and spiritual pain which forces the patient to reflect back to what he or she believes. For instance, a Christian believes that illness is the temptation that God’s subjects a patient to. Therefore, praying acts as a weapon towards overcoming the temptation. This helps the patient believe in healing which is significant in disease curing.

Reference

Koenig, H. G. (2007). Spirituality in patient care: Why, how, when, and what. Philadelphia: Templeton Foundation Press.

1077 Words  3 Pages

Prompt: Based upon the readings and slides on Islam, explain the uniqueness of Islam in contrast to Christianity and Judaism. Consider how Muhammad reinterprets Christian and Jewish history to create a unique religion that is based in Arab culture and history.

Islam in contrast with Christianity

In the Islamic religion they believe in Allah as God and do not that God is 3 persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, as the Christians believe.

Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet and not the son of God as Christians believe.

In the Islamic religion polygamy is allowed though for Christianity monogamy is practiced.

Men are allowed to divorce in the Islamic religion though for Christianity marriage is taken as a vow for eternity.

Both religions believe in life after death, and they believe that the believers in each religion will go to heaven while for the non-believers they will go to hell.

Women submission to their men is practiced by both religions but Muslims women cover their heads as a sign of submission.

Quran 

The following are prohibited:

  • Worship of idols
  • Drinking of wine
  • Eating pork gambling
  • Lending money to exploit others

Bible

Exodus Chapter 20:1-26

 

The following are prohibited:

  • Having other gods
  • Making idols
  • Worshipping other Gods
  • Misusing the name of God in vain
  • Murder
  • Committing adultery
  • Stealing
  • Giving false testimony
  • Coveting on your neighbor’s house, wife and property

 

 

After Muhammad eliminated idols from Arabian people, Kaaba became the holiest site since its where Islam first made its place. Tis site had a lot of Arabian architecture.

The mosque of Omar is another holy site for Muslims, it is located in Jerusalem. Muslims believe it was where Adam was created and where Muhammad, took his night journey to heaven whilst for Christians it was a temple that Solomon built for the Lord.

Cordoba was used as a mosque by the Muslims and a synagogue by the Jews but to date it’s a catholic cathedral for the Christians.

 

333 Words  1 Pages

Carpe diem theme

Introduction

Carpe diem refers to one of the many ways of living one life and which can change depending on their perception on this life. This concept has existed throughout time in history. From a Christian perspective, it raises the question on whether it is possible to honour God with carpe diem. From a non-Christian perspective, the concept is that one should seize each day and do as much as they want in it since their perception of time is finite and that everything that has a beginning has an end. Thus from a non-religious perspective of carpe diem, everything is done in a selfish manner, and for instant gratification based only in the fact that one exist and their existence will cease without consequences for what they have done. However, in a Christian perspective, the current existence is not the end of life, but eternity will follow and everyone will be judged according to their deeds in this life.  The idea is to determine whether the concept of carpe is good or bad especially from the Christian perspective where with God in mind, life ceases to be meaningless when one does something and the joy of doing something will be realised, knowing that He has approved the actions.

Thus in this paper, I set out to argue that from the Christian perspective, viewing life in the concept of carpe diem is not a way of pleasing God and I will use the readings of Ecclesiastes , Kierkegaard and Revelation. The paper also shows that carpe diem has changed overtime and following the biblical view, it is not only about instant gratification but it should also include making something productive with this life.

The book of Ecclesiastes regards everything as meaningless, utterly meaningless according to the teacher (Eccles. 1.2). This is shown from the beginning of the book and it changes as the readings continues. From the Christian perspective, if one live life as if there were no tomorrow, then everything would be meaningless, and this is what carpe is all about? This though is that whatever one does in the world will cease to exist at some point and then one will be answerable for all their deeds. Furthermore, Kierkegaard states in his book that man would be nothing without God and would life in this life for certain period and that would be the end of it, a concept of carpe diem. The book of Revelation points out that those who live with God in mind will have eternity and those who live a carefree life of sin and pleasure will face the consequences.

History

The concept of carpe diem has been changing overtime according the perception of various people on the idea of how to live life today. Horace in his poem ‘Odes’ tries to persuade the reader on how to enjoy life by taking advantage of all the things that are offered by this life, and enjoy themselves while they can because there is no certainty of seeing tomorrow. He takes reader back to see the days the Gods were hash, cruel and spiteful and their future was not bright. In order to make the point clear to the reader, he points out that it is better to enjoy this life as much as one can since there is no guarantee for the future. In Tyrrhenian, Horace tells the reader to be wise, strain their wines and since life is short, to cut short on their long term hopes (Horace, 11.6-11.7). This to mean that one should enjoy much of whatever makes them happy since life is short. The concept of carpe diem is seen when Horace tells the reader to seize this day as little as possible while trusting the future. In short, there is no certainty for tomorrow and thus do the most you can for today.

The evolution of the concept further continues as can be seen Robert Herrick’s “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”. He tries to persuade the reader to do as much as they can with their life. To be more specific than Horace, Robert Herrick persuades the women to get married before their prime time is past. To show the urgency, he uses the image of a flower that is dying, to make them come to a realisation that time passes and doesn’t wait for anyone. The flower that smiles today will be dying tomorrow (Robert, 3-4). This is an image that anyone can relate to, knowing that with passing of time is certain and it comes with deterioration of anything, including a beautiful flower. The poem was written in the 17th century at a time when e quality of life and life expectancy was unlike today. Then, women would marry much younger which brings up the carpe diem concept, where one should take advantage of time while they have it because failure to do so will have them regretting later in life. The concept of carpe diem has by now evolved from general perspectives or views to specific view about living for the present moment and thus taking care of future expectations.

The take on carpe diem concept further changes in terms of how people perceives the purpose of living for today and anticipation for tomorrow. This is evident in the work of Henry W. Longfellow ‘A Psalm of Life’. He paints a contrast between the idea of just living a meaningless life that has no direction and one that is lived purposely. He tries to persuade the reader by letting them that life is not only going to pass them by, and it this life is not only about enjoyment and suffering. He allude to the purpose of life being to make a difference and leaving a legacy. For instance, he tells the reader not to be like dumb cattle but to be recognised as a hero in this life’s strife (Longfellow, 19-20).  The difference in these poems can now be seen , from the earlier times when they would persuade someone into a life of pleasure and excess, and later when there was a strong belief in Christianity that brought out the a sense of purpose. This change appear to show that life should not only be about pleasure but should be lived purposely. In the poem, Henry tells the reader not to trust the future regardless of how pleasant, and to leave the past bury its own dead, to live for today while letting God to be overhead of the heart within (Longfellow , 21- 24). This show a separation from the previous poets who advocated for pleasure in the present day, but Henry sees no reason for trusting the immediate future with its pleasures but to do everything with God in mind. His view of seizing the day is act while having God present in the heart and the mind.  

These poems have clearly presented the developments that have served to change the concept of carpe diem. While in the earlier times the focus was on the present and enjoying the currents moments with no regards for the future, the change has served to show that there is more to life than life for the present. While it is not possible to change the future outcomes, carpe diem should be about living responsibly to day having in mind that any actions undertaken by anyone have repercussions and God is at the centre of the present day and the future.

ANALYSIS

The idea of carpe diem for acting today and ignoring the future can be analysed literally by use of Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘Winter Dreams’ literary fiction. It is about a man who is unable to live in the moment and is enslaved by his desires that make him look to the future. The main character, Dexter, is a middle class individual who has aspirations of joining the elite group that surrounds him. He comes across a wealthy young lady, Judy, to whom he immediately becomes infatuated with. The problem arises when Dexter achieves his desire but does not get fulfilment out of it. In creating this story, Fitzgerald aimed at persuading the leader to realize the how desiring something directly relates to the inability to enjoy the present. The narrator of the story has an inside knowledge of Dexter and since he is in third person he is reliable. This is seen where the narrator tell of Dexter wondering whether Judy new of Irene Scheener, and how he sat quietly afraid that any movement by Judy would make him unable to resist her. The narrator does not tell us about Judy’s or Irene’s emotions or thoughts respectively, and makes them appear irrelevant in the plot.

Fitzgerald uses a simile to mark the different economic status that Dexter is, and his desired status. He tells of how some caddies were as poor as sin and lived in one room house with a cow that is neurasthenic in the front yard with her father owning a grocery store that is second best in Black Bear. His uses this to show the current economic condition of Dexter. To show the reader where Dexter aspires to be, the writer contracts the locations, Black Bear where Dexter comes from and Sherry Island, where the Elites can be found. He uses a similar technique to show that Dexter has fulfilled his desire by changing the setting from Minnesota to New York. This is seen when Devlin wondered with curiously that Dexter is actually from Middle West but not Wall Street where such men would be born and raised. This showed that Dexter had become successful and moved from Mid-West to New York and attained a place that is normally reserved for people who are born into wealth. Thus by moving from an average family to an elite class, Dexter achieved what he always desired. Fitzgerald presentation of how Dexter’s feelings are tied with seasons serves to show that his desires and how he is unable to enjoy the present. He alludes to the grey and crisps days, when after the shutting down of long Minnesota winter, the country made him to feel profoundly melancholy and how he was offended by the winter periods and the golf course. What actually bothered Dexter is the realisation that he could not relate to the elite in the winter season, because nobody was actually there merely because of that season like him? He had to remember and wait for the summer season. This shows his constant thinking about the past and the future and never getting to enjoy the present moments.

The writer uses oxymoron and contradictions as literary techniques to show how one can have a desire for something and not get fulfilment after obtaining it. The writer use ‘beautifully ugly’ term to describe an eleven year old girl who will become inexpressibly lovely ensuring that misery to many men will not come to an end. This term is contradictory and paints picture of Judy that will have readers immediately thinking of her as interesting. The writer also paints contracting pictures of Judy and Irene to emphasize the desire Dexter had for Judy. While Judy had brought Dexter great agony of spirit and ecstatic happiness , Dexter knew that Irene was more than his desires and she would make a better wife than Judy , but having her would mean letting go ‘fire and loveliness’. This show how much of desire Dexter had for Judy. Finally , Dexter is very devastated since he has realised that even after having Judy , there is no way he would feel the fulfilment, and that everything fades as time passes by. This is seen in the conversation in his conversation with Devlin. They point out that many woman fades just like Judy, who was pretty when she first came to Detroit. At that point, Dexter realises the importance of living for today, enjoying and seizing the present moment.  Just as Judy’s beauty faded away, everything in life is bound to fade away.

Fitzgerald clearly brings up the theme of carpe diem by his effort to persuade the reader that sometimes even after obtaining the things one so much desire, they may not reach satisfaction if do not seize the moment. Dexter realised that he spent a lot of time desiring and failed to enjoy the present, and he could not get back that time. Thus getting what one desire may make them feel complete but at times they can get it and still fell incomplete. Of more importance is to seize and enjoy the present moment.

EVALUATION

This concept of carpe diem can be found in many aspects of our present cultural life such as the entertainment industry like pop music and academic activities like graduation speeches. For instance, Steve Job can be noted to be persuading Stanford University graduates to live to put a lot of emphasis on what they do for today. He points out how he would wake up and meditate on whether, whatever he was doing for a day, would be the last thing he would want to do in his last day. He appears to have embraced the idea of seizing the day and life to the fullest since one has only one life.  After speaking to the graduates, they feel motivated to take on the world after graduation like Steve Job did. They seem to have appreciated and embraced the concept of carpe diem. Another instance is a speech by David Foster Wallace, who brings out the importance of education and of controlling one’s mind to actually be aware of the happens around. He is persuading the graduates about how important education and awareness of surrounding is, and why not to look at matters only from a certain perspective because they may miss out a good life.  This rhetoric can also be seen in pop music culture. In Pitbull’s song , his perspective of life that represent carpe diem involves partying ,drinking and having sex to the fullest since no knows how tomorrow will be. He is mostly persuading young people around the world to buy his song in order to seize the day by leading a cool life.

Moreover, Kierkegaard in his book points out that, God is Eternal, and thus the only way for one to be close to eternity is to make God relevant in one’s mind and actions. He points out that due to His presence nothing is nearer to God than another. Living a life as if there is nothing after death is the idea of carpe diem from non-Christian perspective , that focuses on present and instant gratification, but Kierkegaard view is to separate an individual from eternity.  He further concludes that the only constructive view is the Eternal, since the wisdom of years will confuse someone and the only edifying thing is wisdom.

 

This leads to the question of whether the views of a particular individual on how to approach the carpe diem concept represent the true idea. As such applying this concept in the non-Christian perspective may seems essay because one has no regard for the future and the consequences for the current deeds. Form the Christian perspective, however, living a life as if there is no tomorrow is not the correct way of living, but rather doing everything today with a mind focused in eternity. The above scenarios may represent cultures that advocate for a life that focuses on seizing the current life and not anticipating the future. Such a perspective would not apply in a Christian perspective whose goals to please God. It would a meaningless to pursue pleasure and fulfilment today without a regard for a possible future. Biblically, carpe diem would not apply and instead of seizing the day to indulge in pleasure it would be more important to have a knowledge of what is meaningful or meaningless.  What is meaningful is done with the knowledge that there is a God who will judge ones actions. After has been said the conclusion of the matter is to fear God and keeping His commandments a duty for all mankind , because He will bring all deeds into judgement whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12.13-14)

 

The book of revelation points out there is a life without an end. It points to a new heaven and a new earth after the current life (Rev.21.1) Carpe diem thus changes in a Christian perspective because there is a tomorrow. If there is a tomorrow, one should conduct themselves by preparing for tomorrow since this world is not the end, and by seize eternity rather than a single day. The reason for this is that failure to act responsibly today by not embracing a full pleasure seeking approach will lead to eternal condemnation but for those who seek eternity there is a reward. Those who will come out as victorious will inherit the earth but the unbelieving pleasure seekers such as sexually immoral and magicians will be thrown into a lake of burning sulphur which is the second death (Rev. 21 7-8). Thus there is a future and the idea of carpe diem is not a correct way of living and makes no sense to obtain full pleasure presently only for it to cease tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Herrick, Robert. “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.”1648.

Horace.” Odes.”23 B.C.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. “A Psalm of Life.” October 1838.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “Winter Dreams.” Scribner.Dec.1922. Print

Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI. Pub. House, 1986. Print

Kierkegaard, Soren. Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing. New York: Harper, 1948.Print

 

 

 

 

 

2947 Words  10 Pages

South Africa and their Religious Practices

Introduction

            Religion is a very essential section to many people in the world.  There are many divergent religions that celebrate their faith as they give the belief accounts and their teachings.  South Africa has been referred to as the rainbow state due to its many ethics, people and religions. In the state, people are allowed to involve in whatever faith they wish and are also allowed to learn about respect of the different spiritual practices in South Africa.  Thus South Africa can be also described to as a democratic state when it comes to religion. There are many beliefs that are practiced in South Africa including Christianity, Islamic, Hinduism and traditional African religions. 

            These beliefs are occupies by the European and other immigrants.  The traditional Africa religion is the main belief in South Africa and was brought there by the North and West African intimates. The most essential thing in the South African religion is that religion and spirituality is used to make greater knowledge and harmony rather than creating divergence between the inhabitants as it was formerly did in the State.  Most of the customary people inhabited in South Africa from West and Central Africa many years ago. 

            Many were Bantus and were the descendants of the many South Africans such as the Nguni, Zulu and Xhosa communities.  The formal African belief is on the basis of the oral traditions and this means that the simple morals and the existence are derived from the older to the younger generations. These traditional beliefs are not essentially religious practices but are ethnically passed through accounts, legends and stories. The traditional African religion in the community is essential in a person’s life as it is essential in South Africa.  The traditional group is made up of individuals who recall and segment the identical cultures.  The person lives in the public and split-up from it is poorer than demise.  Thus religion in most of the African societies adheres to the moral order and creates the awareness of security and order in the society.  There are many spiritual frontrunners, priests and pastors in most of the Formal African religions. These persons are important in the spiritual and religious existence in the community.  For instance in the ethnic of the Zulu community, they are spiritualists who are accountable for healing and advising. These traditional spiritualists have to be divined by the ancestors. The formal African faith in South Africa is a way of life that the ancestors are included in any main occasion such as wedding, births and deaths. 

            They are also part of events such as getting employed and completion of education.  Offerings are made to respect and thank the ancestors.  Though the formal African religion is aware of an Utmost God, its supporters do not respect him openly as they do not find the worth of it.  Thus they ask their ancestors to communicate to God in their behalf.  The Supreme Being is called on times of predicaments such as drought so that they may impend the whole community as it is the connection between the people and the surrounding.  Most of the Ancestral worship in South Africa is normally good and sympathetic. The ancestral spirits may take a negative action such as illnesses and this is to warn people of any wrong path that they involve in. 

Body

            There are the major religions that are inhabited in South Africa and each of then describe their worldview; Buddhism was started in India many years ago and the teachings of the Buddhists have been introduced in South Africa where it also led to the building of a Buddhist temple.  Christianity is another religion in the South African community and these Christians derived their name from Jesus and believe in God. Christianity was introduced in South Africa as some missionaries wanted to introduce institutes so that they may possibly find ways to instill people on how to recite and put pen to paper.  The institutes were recognized as evangelist schools.  Hinduism is also a religion in South Africa and it was derived from India and was started about 400 years ago (Smith & Marranca, 2009).

             The Hindus believe that Brahma is the maker of the world and through the different portraits of goddesses and gods that is where the supremacy of Brahma’s power is shown.  The Hindus believe in reincarnation in that they believe that when a being deceases, his or her ambiance survives and can be later be natural again into a dissimilar body.  The Hindus moved toward South Africa in the 1850’s as workers of sugar estates.  After they inhabited South Africa, they constructed slight monuments and shrines in the sugar fields. The Islam was other major religious group in South Africa who began with the teaching of Prophet Muhammad (Smith & Marranca, 2009).

            The Islam came to South Africa when the Dutch needed laborers who would work at Cape, thus many people were got from the East of Indonesia and were traded as slaves at the Cape. The Islam conveyed with them their beliefs thus the Muslim frontrunners insisted that they should maintain their religion and this made them establish Islamic schools which taught the Muslims about Islamic religion. Judaism was the other religion that inhabited South Africa and they came when there were the mines of diamond and gold and this was after the World War II.  They were from Europe and they conveyed their belief with them to South Africa.  They had to build synagogues so that they would get a place to worship God and learn the scriptures (Al Zeera, 2001).   

 

            The major South African religions worldview differs from the Christian Worldview as the uncertainties between the Christians and the Traditional African way of life is seen as a religious concubinage.  This is because the Christians are satisfied in the African religious practices that have not been adapted by the Christian religious ways and practices. The difference comes along with the Traditional African worldview which has a strong effect and shapes power on the African society and it connects the African’s ideas and existence (Sundkler, 2004). 

            The Christian worldview makes the Christians to have the main reason for the existence is to love and serve God.  The religions in South Africa are different as they are not founded on the unfailing Word of God.  When one trusts that the Bible is talking the truth, then this creates the basis of saying and doing.  As the other different religious communities do not really believe in God, then their proof about God is confusing and misleading.  Through the other influences, the secularized African view of history shows that God and Man affects the way people think than we can note (Sundkler, 2004). 

            The happenstance between Christianity and the South Africa religious beliefs is a postcolonial approach in ways such as humanity, sacrifice and ancestors.  The increase of the many religions in South Africa can affect the way that a Christian leader leads the church as the religious practices in South Africa has been featured into many inter-religious conversations.  The Christianity leadership and the other South African religious practices has been a delicate issue.  For many Christian believers, the Christian leadership is based on supremacy, respect and personal advantage.  Christian leadership is based on service more than domain.  Christian leadership is mainly affected by the current ranked management.  Some Christian leadership practices are expressed in religious languages thus a Christian leader in South Africa can be affected by the differences between the worldly and the Christian beliefs of leadership.  Thus the Christian leaders may connect the worldview of leadership to their disadvantage (Hopkins, Smith, Laurie & Olson, 2010).

            The common awareness is that achievement cannot be gained by the leader alone but is gained through combined influences of the other religions and Christianity.  Thus the Christian leaders and managers should be confident in Jesus and show an example in their occupation so that their existence and religion can be recognized.  These effects are of great importance as they use them as development devices of leadership qualities and management by the Christians.  These features also motivate the other non-Christians as they make a serious evaluation of their own religion as it is connected to business.  Planning based on biblical approach is a talent to decide what should be done tomorrow.  This can also affect a leader who is based on the Christian way of life as he plans not only in  a technological way but it also encompasses that lack of putting God in his blessings , all his efforts and planning are all in vain. This is taken negatively by the non-Christians who do not take the leadership in a biblical way. The Christian leader also directs his trust with the capability of making things happen in the company due to the friendly workplace condition and the culture in the society (Hopkins, Smith, Laurie & Olson, 2010). 

            It is the principle of a Christian leader to walk the talk and this is also seen to be negative by the other religious leaders.  Transformational and transactional leadership have an optimistic consequence on the growth of quality management practices that support the workers management and the customers focus.  The effects on Christian leadership from the other religious beliefs can be based on culture, place and time. There has been the challenge on the evaluation on the Christian leadership to have personal skills and the reliability of a person’s performance.  The other religions are weak in ruling with truthfulness which is the aptitude to stay connected with the people one is working with. It shows the manger’s talent in having a close connection with different shareholders of a company (Hopkins, Smith, Laurie & Olson, 2010). 

            This shows the important role of the human management and leadership.  This research is used as a way of studying other religions including Buddhism, Islam and others in South Africa. The Christian leaders should be confident and humble and their show of who they are should portray a positive attitude to others.  This is demonstrated on the actual awareness and knowledge of one’s personality.  The responsibility of a leader despite the challenges from others starts with the how we are fixed in the understanding of leadership and the pressures that are reconstructing the leadership approach in the nation.  This calls for a responsible leadership.  The leaders who do not mind about the challenges from other leaders have their standard that helps them to concentrate on their energy and activity. They are leaders with an objective and focuses on their skills thus avoiding the challenges and distractions (Hopkins, Smith, Laurie & Olson, 2010).     

            The liberty to worship is a thing that everyone needs as we believe that whatever we do is right but it is also that we should not respect the beliefs of other religions and practices.  The Christian managers and workers who have a responsibility based on his religion should know the needs of the religion that is done in this nation and ensure that they do not engage with them but this does not mean that they have to alternate into the belief.  For instance, if the religion wants that they should not practice their Christian religion in public, it is better to practice the worship from their homes to remain on the safe side and to avoid of the law (Cole, Bedeian & Bruch, 2011).

             The Islam religion in the nation demands that people who are settlers should not outfit in their religious wears but they should be diffidently dressed all the time and that is important for the workers of a specific organization to practice that.  Another main thing that Christian laborers should be aware of is the religious practices such as prayer time and permit the people that they are managing to go and perform their prayers in any time they want.  The managers of the workers should not take prayers in a negative way but should also respect their religious practices (Cole, Bedeian & Bruch, 2011). 

            The religion respect will also make them to have the similar respect for their Christian practices.  The workers who are based on the Christian faith in the South African State should not disapprove any religious practice if they feel that it is not based on their Christianity belief.  The reason is that many people from the different religions have divergent understanding of the holy book and its teachings about religion.  The attempt to change the other laborers to your own belief should not be entailed in a company even if the manager is a Christian or the other staff workers, thus labor and religious beliefs should be outlined as two different matters.  The positive and the respected principle that should guide the Christian manager in addressing the differences while working in the South African state should be addressed as the respect of other religious practices and their believes and continuing to do what is good without having any negative attitude towards the other religion or disrespecting  the Christian beliefs and practices.  In a workplace basis, the Christians should be agents and holders of the assets that are derived from the company (Cole, Bedeian & Bruch, 2011). 

            The Christian managers are advanced in their work places by the Christianity beliefs that make them have creative ideas that help them deal with the current practices in the work force. The understanding that there are divergent teachings for the Islam and the Christian faiths will help a manager of a specific company in South Africa to be able to perform his occupation positively in the nation even if most of the religions in the nation are not what he believes in (Cole, Bedeian & Bruch, 2011).   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Al Zeera, Z. (2001). Wholeness and Holiness in Education An Islamic Perspective. IIIT.

Cole, M. S., Bedeian, A. G., & Bruch, H. (2011). Linking leader behavior and leadership consensus to team performance:

Hopkins, P., Baillie Smith, M., Laurie, N., & Olson, E. (2010). Young Christians in Latin America. The experiences of young Christians who participate in faith-based international volunteering projects in Latin America.

Smith, H., & Marranca, R. (2009). The world's religions. New York: Harper One.

Sundkler, B. (2004). Bantu Prophets in South Africa. James Clarke & Co.

                                            

2379 Words  8 Pages

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