Why Four Gospels?
A new Bible class begins on Tuesday, April 26th, at 1:30 p.m. We will take a look at the four Gospels and consider some questions about them, chiefly these:
1. Why four Gospels? Why isn’t one enough? What’s the reason for this duplication? What can we deduce from it? There’s a great article nearby that deals with one aspect of this matter.
2. What are the differences between each Gospel and the others? What is the significance, if any, about these differences?
3. What is the thematic statement of each Gospel writer?
We’ll take accounts that occur in more than one of the Gospels and compare it to the other or others. What conclusions can we draw?
Finally, we hope to make some conclusions about the order in which these Gospels were likely written. Which came first? Which came last? Does it matter?
Although this first ‘kickoff’ class will be held on Tuesday, April 26th, it will be followed by a two-week hiatus, as Pastor will be gone for a few days the following week. We will resume, God willing, on the 10th of May. Join us for an invigorating study and conversation.
Jesus Christ’s Resurrection Is Probably The Best-Documented Historical Event Ever
By Scott Powell – posted online at The Federalist, April 15th, 2022
Because of their experience with the resurrected Jesus, the apostles were in a unique position, knowing with certainty that Jesus was truly the Son of God.
There are many religions with different founders, prophets, and teachers going back thousands of years. But only one of them, Christianity, has a founder who professed to be the Messiah—the son of God—who provided irrefutable proof of who he was by conquering death through resurrection. Easter is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.
Christ is also the only person in history who was pre-announced starting a thousand years before he was born, with 18 different prophets from the Old Testament between the tenth and the fourth centuries BC predicting his coming birth, life, and death. Hundreds of years later, the details of Christ’s birth, life, betrayal, and manner of death validated those prophecies in surprisingly accurate and minute detail. One thousand years BC, David prophetically wrote about the crucifixion of Christ at a time crucifixion was unknown as a means of execution.
Every other consequential person of history came into the world to live. The death of other religious leaders—such as Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Mohammad, and Confucius—brought an anticlimactic end to their lives and their work.
But Christ came into the world as God’s son in order to die and pay the price for man’s sin. His sacrifice was the ultimate climax of his life, done for the benefit of all mankind—opening the way to eternal life in heaven for all who believe.
Of the four major world religions built on personalities, only Christianity claims its founder is still alive, having overcome death through resurrection. No Jew ever believed that, after Abraham died and was interred, his tomb ever became empty. After Buddha died, no disciple ever claimed that he or she saw or spoke to him again.
As for Mohammed and his teachings that are the basis of Islam, there is no trace of this founder appearing to his disciples or followers after he died at age 61. His occupied tomb is located in Medina and is visited by tens of thousands of devout Muslims every year.
Christ was unique in that he gave up his life as a sacrifice to fulfill why he came into the world. Christ set the highest standard of love possible, both in his teachings and in making the ultimate sacrifice—giving his life to rescue and save mankind. Then, to provide “seeing is believing” evidence, God brought Jesus back from being dead in a tomb to being alive—resurrected—so people would have living proof of who he was.
The New Testament provides accounts from multiple sources who witnessed Jesus firsthand after the resurrection. In fact, Jesus made ten separate appearances to his disciples between the resurrection and his ascension into Heaven, over a period of 40 days. Some of those appearances were to individual disciples, some were to several disciples at the same time, and once even to 500 at one time.
Particularly noteworthy is that there were no accounts of witnesses who came forth and disputed these appearances or called it a “hoax.” Not a single one. Nor do we find any historical record of any witness accounts that were contradictory.
While there are skeptics of the biblical account of Jesus, there’s actually far more reliable historical evidence for his life, teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection than for any other historical figure of ancient times. Consider, for instance, that the authenticity of Alexander the Great, who was born some 350 years before Christ, is based on two original biographical accounts of his life by Arrian and Plutarch, which were written some 400 years after Alexander died.
The manuscripts of Virgil and Horace, both of whom lived within a generation of Christ, were written more than four centuries after their deaths. The copy of works by Livy and Tacitus on Roman history and the works of Pliny Secundus on natural history were written on average some 700 years after the time of the original account.
Yet no one doubts Virgil and Horace lived and authored great poetic masterpieces. Nor do we hear questions about the authenticity and accuracy of accounts of Livy and Tacitus in chronicling the events of the Roman Emperors Augustus, Claudius, Nero, or Tiberius.
About 1,000 times more manuscripts preserve the deeds and teaching of Jesus in the New Testament (about 25,000 total) than there are preserving other classical ancient works of historic figures who lived at approximately the same time, with the exception of Homer, whose “Iliad” is backed by 1,800 manuscripts. But that is still less than one-tenth the number of ancient manuscripts that back the authenticity of the New Testament.
We know the historical Jesus mainly through four different accounts known as the gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—not written hundreds of years later, but within a generation or two of Jesus’s life. Apostles Matthew and John provide eyewitness accounts from their years of walking with Jesus as disciples. Mark also had eyewitness experience, although he was only a teenager when Jesus began his public ministry. Luke, the doctor, learned about Jesus from his friend Paul, the apostle who wrote the most letters in the New Testament.
Because of their experience with the resurrected Jesus, the apostles were in a unique position, knowing with certainty that Jesus was truly the Son of God. They had been present for the life, ministry, miracles, and death of Jesus. If the claims about Jesus were a lie, the apostles would have known it. That’s why their commitment to their testimony was so powerful and compelling.
Additionally, the apostles’ willingness to die for their claims has tremendous evidential value, also confirming the truth of the resurrection. No one will die for something he invented or believes to be false.
Seeing, talking to, and touching the risen Jesus transformed the apostles, who then committed the rest of their lives to educate and advocate for the truth about the message of salvation through Christ. With the exception of John, who died exiled on the island of Patmos for his testimony of Jesus, the other 11 apostles—including Matthias who replaced Judas, the betrayer of Jesus—died as martyrs for their beliefs in the divinity of Christ.
It turns out that Easter, which has its ultimate meaning in the resurrection, is one of ancient history’s most carefully scrutinized and best-attested events. The resurrection is real, and changes everything. Easter is the commemoration and celebration of the single event that transformed the world forever.
Scott S. Powell is senior fellow at Discovery Institute. This article is a vignette adapted from his acclaimed book, Rediscovering America, now Amazon’s No. 1 new release in the history genre. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Emilie Ricknell at home; Dick Melchin at Hammond-Henry extended care in Geneseo; Emmy Wear at Williamsfield retirement home; Dale Baker at home; Jewneel Walker at Kewanee Care, Grant Andreson, at Friendship Manor in Rock Island.
Our First Tuesday events are moved to the second Tuesday this month, to accommodate
Pastor’s schedule. This will be May 10th.
Please make a note of it.
May 17, 1959 Allan and Barbra Kraklow
May 28, 1982 Chris & Garry Erickson
May 28, 1977 John and Charlene Sovanski
Church Council to Meet Wednesday, May 18th
The monthly meeting of the Council is scheduled, as usual, for the third week of May, which is the 18th, at the usual 5:30
In Our Prayers
Our list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists below. To update the lists please inform pastor. In our parish:
Bill Thompson, Emilie Ricknell, John Ricknell, Linda Rowe, Emmy Wear, Don and Sue Murphy, Dick Melchin, Bea Harris, Allan Kraklow, Sandra VerPlaetse, John Sovanski, Grant Andreson, Dale Baker, Jewneel Walker, Judy Thompson, and Otis Anderson, Sharon Hartz
and beyond our parish:
Anna, Katy, and Jody Rutowicz [Harris relations]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter]
Elizabeth Godke [Sharon Field’s mother]
Oneida Hendrickson [Ricknell relative]
Janice Hart [Judy Thompson’s sister]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknells’ grandson]
Dennis Hoag, Tim Newman [Shreck relations]
Theresa Moore [Ricknells’ niece]
Kathy Boeger [re Harrises]
Allison Leezer [relative of the Kraklows]
Shannon Watson [Jim’s daughter]
Maxine Bitting [Judy Thompson’s sister in law]
Loren Hartz [Sharon’s brother]
Yvette Baker [Dale Baker’s daughter-in-law]
Rosemary Bloome [Don Murphy’s cousin]
Richard Heiden, Carol Eckardt’s father
Troy Kelly [friend of the Murphys]
Nancy Callahan [Don Murphy’s sister, cancer]
Pastor Jacob Sutton, Pastor Justin Kane
in the military
Luke Van Landigan [grandson of Dick Melchin]
Jaclyn Alvarez [daughter of Kris Harden]
Eli Wetzel, Traven Wetzel [relatives of Kris Harden]
Eric Verplaetse [Sandra’s grandson]
Jake Mahaffey, Trevor Shimmin, Shad Draminski
James and Ann Lee Armstrong
any unborn children in danger of abortion
those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Nigeria, Algeria, Sudan, Madagascar, Iran, Iraq, Syria, India, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Canada, and elsewhere.
Victim of warfare
Jim Hornback, Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells
Altar Guild Notes
Ascension Day May 26th
Ascension Day is on Thursday, May 26th. Because of this, according to our usual practice, our midweek mass will be held that day at 7:00 pm, instead of the usual day for midweek mass of Wednesday. No mass is scheduled for Wednesday, May 25th. Instead, put May 26th on your calendar and come observe the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord.
Gottesdienst Fort Wayne
The annual Gottesdienst Fort Wayne event is scheduled for Monday to Wednesday, May 2nd – 4th, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Details are at www.gottesdienst.org.
Pastor will be in attendance. Events here are cancelled on those days.
5/2 Sheri Kraklow
5/6 Emilie Ricknell
5/10 Bill Thompson
5/24 Jeff Wagenknecht
Rogation Days Monday through Wednesday, May 23rd – May 25th
The rogation days are the traditional days of prayer leading up to Ascension Day, and following Rogate, the Sixth Sunday after Easter. Rogate means to pray. Every one of these days is a good day to offer special prayers, and in particular to pray the Litany, which may be found in the hymnal on page 110. You may find the sung version listed as Hymn # 661. We will do this in church on Tuesday, May 24th, at 1 pm, just prior to our Tuesday Bible Class. A good tradition; join is in the church.
A Special Visitor
On Wednesday April 20th, the church had a special and unusual visitor, who seemed to be auditioning for the role of reader. But since he was the wrong species, I ushered him out the window. - Pastor
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.