Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Christian Studies

End Of Course Essay
Rev. Nick Federspiel
God's Country Fellowship Church
The course is a good chapter review of the four Gospels and valuable to people not well acquainted with them; to others it provides an interesting point of view.
First, I must say that the Andy Gaus' The Unvarnished Gospels translation is a bit "unique" to be polite, but there are so many translations these days. I reference the KVJ and the NKJV and when I want to speed read I use the Today's English Version of the Good News Bible. At first I did not think I would use the Gaus version in the future, but on reflecting perhaps it is good Sermon food. I especially will never forget the paraphrase "canon-lawyers" which in the GNV is "teachers of the law." It is indeed these canon-lawyers that failed to understand the long term consequences of their own actions – as many lawyers also fail at today.
Secondly, the course identifies some of the inconsistencies and reporting details and styles between the four Gospels such as in lesson 6: "Also, in this book, Jesus carries his own cross, where in the book of Luke, someone else carries it for him." Indeed in the other three books Simon at some point carries the cross (i.e. Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21 and Luke 23:26). These apparent inconsistencies together with several others in the Holy Bible some inflate as errorsHis message yet in a way suggests that the stories are true indeed. What if all four gospels, all books of the Bible, read alike? Would you believe them as independently authored from witnesses to wars, miracles, and one crisis after another? I would not. I would conclude all four gospels were all the same as suggested by the "Q" book theory – another "missing book" assumed to be the four gospels reference text. There is nothing like a shelf of missing books to argue over the Bible, if one is prone to such; as in my view that is a waste of intellectual time otherwise better spent. The point is the message. And the message to the irate and foolish fanatical Pharisees of the future is: "What goes around indeed comes around – just wait it out." that today's canon lawyers use to discredit the Bible. In my view such trivia is irrelevant to
One gospel message few pause to reflect upon is, I think, that the fanatic Pharisees were fools of the highest order. They did about the only thing they could that would create the genesis of Christianity. Assumed to be well acquainted with the old writings, which Josephus states were indeed in the temple, one would think common sense would have restrained them from compliance with the prophets. They did not believe, as the Apostles even doubted, that such a thing as a resurrection could be or indeed was (Matthew 28:17, Mark 16:14 GNV). Such doubt does not give much support to the concept that the brave disciples (sic), who coward at being associated with Christ (Matthew 26:74), later challenged the Roman guards for a dead body to steal away in the night or concocted an exceptional act of flawless deception as suggested in the Bloodline of the Holy Grail. 

The lessons of history suggest that a whipping, banishment or exile and just about anything else the canon-lawyers could have impressed upon Pilate, now suddenly a friend with Herod (Luke23:12), would have ended for all of history any thought of the man Jesus, the "Christ," being the Messiah of the Torah. Instead the canon-lawyers helped Pilate initiate his and Herod's demise along with three centuries of political turmoil for Rome resulting in Rome decreeing Christianity. 
The Unvarnished Gospel page 66 says: " … can we remember how the fraud said while alive, "I will RISE up after three days." So order (Pilate) the grave to be guarded until the third day so the students (of Jesus the fraud) don't come and steal him …..Pilate said to them "YOU have custody… so they went their way and stationed a guard around the grave and marked the stone with a sign IN CUSTODY." What is missing from most analysis of the four gospels is: what were they thinking! BUT thank God for those canon-lawyers! Amen.


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