IN THIS ISSUE
I am writing in the middle of a joyous Paschal season in southwestern Ohio. There is so much to celebrate at this time of year! During this time, we naturally think back to the first Passover, when God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt; then on to the atoning death of the ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, which frees us from bondage to sin; and finally to Jesus' resurrection, which makes possible our own eternal life.We are grateful that through Christ's sacrifice, God has declared us to be unleavened in His sight, and we renew our commitment to ``take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ'' (2 Cor. 10:5, NIV).
This issue of Grace and Knowledge includes several articles that are directly or indirectly related to the spring festival season. In particular, in the article ``The Bread of Life: John 6 and the Passover,'' we focus on how the events and symbols of the Exodus point forward to JesusChrist; and in part six of our series on the Apostles' Creed, we examine the significance, nature, and historicity of our Savior's resurrection.
The Paschal season is traditionally one of reflection and self-examination, when we consider what brought us to Christ in the first place and resolve to walk more closely with Him. Two articles in our current issue are related to these themes. In ``Why I am NOT an Agnostic,'' frequent contributor Jeff Smith recounts the story of how he became a Christian; and in her Practical Christianity column, Sherry Ward candidly writes about the weaknesses that she is striving to overcome with God's help.
This is also a time of year when Christians often reread the gospel accounts of Jesus' teaching, crucifixion, and resurrection. In an era when many theories have been advanced about who wrote the Gospels and how they were compiled, it is important to understand that the traditional authorship of these books is upheld by ancient traditions that reach back tothe end of the first century A.D. In his article `` Who Wrote the Four Canonical Gospels?'', Jared Olar describes these traditions.
Two thousand years after Christ's coming, there seems to be greater interest than ever in who Jesus was and what He taught. Wild speculations abound on these issues, but ground-breaking research is also appearing. Perhaps most significant are the studies that seek to understand Jesus more clearly as part of the world of Second Temple Judaism in which He grew up and conducted His ministry. Among the leaders in this line of research are the scholars of the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, some of whose work is described in Brian Knowles' article, `` Which Language Did Jesus Speak-Aramaic or Hebrew?'' Brian, whose name some will remember from the days when he was a writer and editor for the publications of the Worldwide Church of God, has been a keen student of the Jewish roots of Christianity for many years, and his article gives a fascinating introduction to recent research about Jesus and the Gospels. Incidentally, this article originally appeared at the website of the Association for Christian Development ( www.godward.org), where one can read a number of Brian's recent articles and editorials.
We hope that you have enjoyed a very meaningful and fulfilling Passover season and find this issue of Grace and Knowledge to be stimulating and edifying.