Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How God prepared for Jesus' Arrival - P2

In yesterday's Blog we considered how God had been working behind the scenes in the 400 year time period between Malachi and Matthew.  In today's blog we continue noting the remarkable events that transpired in preparation for the arrival of Jesus Christ.

1. The World's first Bible Translation to be used by the Apostles
In 275 b.c a Governor in the Greek speaking city of Alexandria Egypt desired to gather 70 Jewish scribes together to begin the translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek.  This project was called the "Septuagint" ("sep-too-a-jint" meaning "The seventy") and made this effort the first time the Bible has been translated into another language.  By the days of Jesus, the Old Testament in Greek was regularly used.  In fact, this translation is the one used in virtually all Old Testament quotations in the New Testament. 

2. The Roman Roadway System, perfect for doing missionary work
It was through Rome that the Roman roadway system - stretching some 50,000 miles throughout the Mediterranean world-came into being.  According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, this roadway system took over 200 years to build! That system would make it possible for The Apostles to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Rome had instituted a policy called "Pax Romana", which simply meant they were willing to tolerate the existence of other lines of thought and the exchange of ideas (providing of course you gave homage to the Emperor).  These factors set the stage for what would become the missionary activity of the early church.

3. The Jewish Synagogue, ideal for spreading God's word throughout every city
Over time Judaism saw itself being de-centralized.  In every town Jewish centers - called "synagogues" (translated roughly to mean "gathering places") sprang up.  In order to have a Synagogue, as long as you had 100 Jewish men and a copy of the Old Testament scriptures, you could form a synagogue.  This set-up would make it easier in time for Christian missionaries - like the Apostle Paul - to go into a given city and speak at the local Synagogue.

Thank you Lord for the times and seasons you orchestrated to set the stage for the arrival and sending of God the Son, Jesus Christ.  As I close today's blog, I remind the reader of Galatians 4:4, which summarizes everything we have been exploring: "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."

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