Written By Thomas Perez. Originally Posted 2009. Updated; 2014, 2019. Copyright 2009.
As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the Word, so now must we desire the meat of the Word, until the glory of Christ is spread.
Welcome to ‘The All Restored Study Bible’ (TARSB). This publication, in which I have laboriously worked on for ten years, combines a thorough and respectful insight into humanities four main major world religions. TARSB is a once in a lifetime study Bible that incorporates Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Vedic Traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism). Having been synergistically combined into one cohesive thought of understanding, the four major religions are now seen from a new perspective. The reader will amass a better understanding of a given exegesis, hermeneutic and interpretation as given by various religions and sacred texts within each seperate religion while at the same time upholding the integrity of each sacred belief and their traditions.
The TARSB will also provide its own exegesis with regard to said interpretations and viewpoints as provided by the aforementioned world religions. The author would also give his opinion as to what he believes when necessary, and will demonstrate his interpretation by using the terms, “in my opinion,” “it is my belief,” “I tend to believe,” or “I favor.” With this in mind, I am reminded of two occurrences in the Scriptures that validate the need for interpretation. The first occurrence is found in the book of Nehemiah. In Nehemiah 8:1-8, Ezra translated and/or explained the Word of God to the people so that they could understand its meaning.
The second occurrence took place in the 1st Century. In Gaza, near Jerusalem an Ethiopian eunuch was sitting in his chariot reading from the book of Isaiah – of which is now become chapter 53:7. However, as he continued to read, he realized that he didn’t understand what the passage meant. The passage was made clear to the Ethiopian when Philip was instructed by the Lord to go to the eunuch and interpret the meaning. And upon interpretation, the Ethiopian came to the knowledge of Christ. However, it must be understood that while upholding great reverence for the four major religions, TARSB will, at times, reveal things that may not be in alignment with Judaism, Christianity, Islam or Hinduism.
But yet, like so many in the past, we have often felt the pain of not understanding. Like the children of Israel, Ishmael, the Ethiopian, and ourselves – the children of men, we crave to know God. We crave to understand His Word. But as we attempt to do so, many become caught in what can be considered “the status quo” or “the mainstream” – as in the mainstream of any particular belief and doctrinal tradition. Mainstream Christianity is often seen subservient to this “status quo.” Many continue to go down certain paths of accepted academe and doctrine for various reasons. Many seem content to settle for an interpretation of a Scriptural passage given by one source rather than comparing parallel or alternate explanations to any given interpretation. This contentment is often the result of denominational, sectarian and authoritative belief systems. Moreover, many at the same time outside the realm of Christianity continue to uphold their own sacred beliefs, just the same as many in all of Christendom adhere to their own confessions of faith. In this there is no exception.
Therefore, any non-alignments to be found are primarily scholastic differences with reference to salvation. Any other tenet of doctrine is to be decided by the reader. Being a universal study Bible, TARSB is a publication that aspires to the ultimate reconciliation of all humanity; saint and sinner alike. Many may not agree with this. The goal of TARSB is to present a religious showing of harmonious theological convictions that we all seem to have in common. Common denominatos and common core beliefs often unite, but preconceived ideological and theological convictions often come with heavy price tags. They sometimes often cause friction, division and strife. It must be understood that our perceptions are nothing more than preconceived ideologies. Therefore, the purpose of this study Bible is to present the reader with an unbiased approach to interpreting God‘s message to Humanity, free of binding ideologies.
Can one ideology, faith or truth claim superiority, especially when many proclaim that their version of the truth is the absolute truth? If so, then truth is a perception of a conviction. A conviction subject to fallacy. However, convictions change; we grow, learn, adapt and sometimes change our faith or doctrine. If we can do these things, should not God also adapt and change, as demonstrated and accomplished in Jesus Christ yesterday? While God/Jesus Christ remains the same yesterday, today and forever, His statutes change. Change is clearly evidenced when we compare what we read in the Old Testament with what we discover in the New Testament. The eventual salvation, reconciliation and restoration for all is a given.
Before Jesus, the Jews had the law written on tablets, yet God wanted to write them upon the hearts of men – this is indeed a universal concept. This change (through Jesus Christ) bought. about an eradication of the consequential binding of the law, which is of no effect, to the eventual will of God to save ALL men. Is God not entitled to change His mind and save all?” Is God not entitled to change shame into glory – Hosea 4:7? Hosea teaches that God can change glory into shame, can it not be also said that God can change shame into glory? God can change any stone into a son or daughter of Abraham (Matt 3:8-10). The 1st six chapters of Romans illustrate this when we read it as a whole. But far to often mainstream Christian Fundamentalists rip portions out of the book of Romans (and other books) to suite their ideology. Many would often crisscross passages of Scripture in Romans to declare what they call, “The Romans Road to Salvation/Heaven” – thus making their condition of salvation plausible. They present the Gospel in 5 easy steps. Some would call these step’s conditional works of acceptance and repentance, where the unbeliever chooses and accepts Christ into his/her heart. But as we follow through in Scripture, repentance is a fruit of salvation, not the means of it.
According to Christian Fundamentalism, “The Romans Road to Salvation/Heaven” or “Steps” is as follows: (1). They start with Rom 3:23. (2). Rom 6:23. (3). Rom 5:8. (4). Rom 10:9-10 (5). Rom 10:13 – they would sometimes throw in Rev 3:20 “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” It is upon this injuncture that the alter call is made – a choice is to be decided. Accept or burn. Petty sad to say the least. If this fine print of accept or burn does not warrant a frightening condition to salvation, then I simply do not understand what does. The doctrine pertaining to the Ultimate Restoration of all things is thought and given without a condition. Yet, it is rarely thought or preached.
Needless to say, the doctrine concerning the final restoration of all things is a belief that I hold by faith & conscience, it is a fruitful truth, hence a warranted belief system. My faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. A person can believe in the doctrine of annihilation or eternal punishment, but they can never hope for its truth. But I can believe in the ultimate salvation of all and hope for its truth indeed. Therefore, according to my conscience it is the better & higher truth. For it is written that we know in part and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away with. For I see through a glass darkly – but then I shall know, even as I am known. And now abideth, faith, hope and love, but the greatest of the three is love.
It is with the most revered faith, hope and love that I present this study Bible, not just to the aforementioned religions, but also to many adherents from different faiths, who all aspire to their own religious canonical works in the same fashion like their contemporaries. They often use the terms; “Sacred Scripture,” “Holy Scripture” or “Holy Writ,” to denote the importance of their particular writings and divine revelation, or as in the case of many within Christendom: “Inerrancy.” Islam holds the same stance, in that it regards the Qur’an as the corrected truth pertaining to the Torah and the Gospels. The same inerrancy conviction is believed upon in the Vedic Traditions also.
While the Abrahamic traditions have often been called the prophetic traditions, as in God restoring man to his/her proper role through the mouth of the prophets, the Vedic traditions are cyclical. We are born, we live, fade in age and die; only to repeat the process again in a cycle called reincarnation. Reincarnation is repeated until Nirvana is reached (as in the Buddhist point of view). In Hindu and Jainism, Moksha is achieved after the cyclical periods of reincarnation is no longer needed for the individual soul. The Vedic prophets are seen as Sages upon which different meanings to life and God arises. The sages in Eastern traditions are considered the interpretation, guide or teacher.
In the Abrahamic faiths, the word of the prophet is interpreted by various schools of thought. For Judaism, the difference is clearly evidenced within Jewish thought and custom. In Christianity, we have many denominations that shape the Christian faith today, all having a different view upon their exegesis of Scripture. While the difference in Islam can be found in only two groups – the Shia Muslim and the Sunni Muslim. Both groups share the same basic fundamental articles of faith and belief. The difference between the two stem from political differences rather than spiritual ones. However, throughout the centuries, the differences within their political ideologies have spawned different customs and practices that carry a spiritual significance or minor fundamental belief.
But far more important than any individual custom, interpretation or spiritual significance is the simplicity of the Scriptures. One must enter the Kingdom of God as a simple child. Entering the Kingdom of God is contingent upon faith – a child like faith – free from the cares of proper doctrine or interpretation. As warranted and precious certain truths and doctrines are, they are not in any shape or form a replacement for what is “Truth.” The interpretations that I favor, or the way I look at something written via my interpretations or explanations herein can not be called absolute truth either, since that would take away from the theory of knowledge (Epistemology) which asks the question, what is knowledge? What is the difference between opinion and knowledge?
Moreover, it would also take away from the epitome of absolute truth, “Truth” itself. Within the pages of this study Bible are perceived truths as found within various religions, specific traditions, different cultures; and when applicable, good evidential science. They are good truths in which no religion or faith (be it Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or the various Vedic Traditions, etc) can claim otherwise. In support of this presupposition I quote from the Torah; Genesis 40:8, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” I quote from the New Testament; II Peter 1:20, “No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” and I also quote from the noble Qur’an – Surah 17 Ayat 36, “Do not follow that which you do not have sure knowledge. Surely the ears, the eyes, and the heart – all of these will be questioned” (Al-Isra). As a result of several similarities between the major world religions, I author wish to express a color scheme which will only be found in the Introductions to each Biblical book and it’s corresponding footnotes.
When quoting various faiths and revealing various explanations to those beliefs, each religion will be highlighted with its own particular color theme throughout TARSB. All Abrahamic faiths; Judaism, Christianity and Islam will have their own respective color. Judaism, including all OT quotations and any other Jewish writings, will be indicated in blue. The Christian faith will be revealed in dark red. The Islamic faith and their Hadith will be revealed in green, and the Vedic Traditions and their various book quotations will be revealed in purple. Purple is chosen for this particular world religion since they do not hold to one primary color. The sole purpose of a color scheme is to provide clarification as to which belief is being quoted or expounded upon. A color scheme also makes the learning of these sacred great belief systems easily identifiable. It also provides easy access into how each individual religion may interpret a given passage in their own tradition and sacred text.
However, the names “Jesus,” “Satan,” and the title “Messiah,” “Christ” or “God” will not be in any color scheme, since the name/title appears in the Old Testament, New Testament and the Qur‘an. The term Bible and Canon will not be color schemed, since the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faith all quote from them. Moreover, the names Moses, the kings and all the names of the prophets, will not be color schemed – only their works will be – since the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths often quote and adhere to some of their teachings as permitted by their articles of faith – the Gospels more so for the Christian and Muslim. The Islamic faith often quotes and upholds certain citations from the OT and the Gospels, while Christianity quotes and upholds all 66 books (the Torah, Writings, Poetic Books, the Prophets and the NT) of the Bible, but not from the Qur’an. And those of the Judaic persuasion quote only from the Torah, Writings, Poetic Books and the prophets.
Its Chosen Text
The choice as to which version of the Bible I was going to use was very difficult, since there are scholastic differences as to which ancient text is the more reliable. Upon careful examination of certain critical texts, I have chosen to use my own version instead for the NT and the traditional King James Version for the OT. TARSB uses the traditional text for the OT because it is a historical account about a specific people. It is not to be changed. The NT version is a reflection upon the self. An interactive version. A version that will, like our traditional versions, speak to the heart on a closer intimate level. While reading this version, it is my hope and aspiration that you will literally experience what is written therein, and feel as if you were actually there as the events unfold. As a result of this intimacy the following pronouns and other words are removed from the NT; “A” “an” “and” “are” “as” “be” “but” “by” “for” “from” “he” “her” “him” “his” “I” “in” “is” “it” “me” “my” “not” “O” “of” “our” “out” “shall” “shalt” “she” “that” “the” “thee” “their” “them” “they” “thou” “thy” “to” “unto” “up” “upon” “us” “was” “we” “were” “with” “ye” & “you.”
See ‘Pronouns, Nouns, Other Words and the Aramaic’ before Preface
The decision to accept one text over the other does not imply a better or more virtuous faith. It must be understood that faith is not established by the art of textual criticism but by substances hoped for, the evidence of things not seen; as expressed in the book of Hebrews 11:1. Many however still feel the need to make such a choice regarding text type. However, regardless of the text chosen, we also should remember another quotation; Romans 10:17; “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” This too is truth, for it brings man to a higher calling. A calling of the non-sensible objects: the spiritual.
Yet, while we ponder this thought, we must remember the work and effort of God upon all men. This effort is clearly evidenced within many different religions. The evidence is clearly seen in the two major religious traditions (the Abrahamic Faiths and the Vedic Traditions). Moreover, the efforts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are parallel to each other. Similarly, the “Vedic Traditions” and its sub – categories – Hinduism, Buddhism Jainism and so forth are also parallel, not only to themselves, but also in similar recognition to the Abrahamic Faiths. Such parallelisms are found within their own scared texts, additional Apocrypha texts and traditions. Each one claiming divine revelation. Each one indicating, more or less, a possible plagiarism of some sort. While apparent parallelism’s (as in the case of Christianity) may seem evidential, the alleged borrowing or plagiarizing Christianity is often accused of making to strengthen its own cause as presented in this post enlightened age, seem to indicate a reversal. These allegations are clearly erroneous and often misinterpreted in regards to the actual dates the alleged borrowing of revelations took place. For more on this “reversal” please see Footnotes in Matthew and Luke.
All of the Abrahamic Faiths claim divine revelation. The Abrahamic Faiths believe that God is revealed through direct divine revelation. Judaism declares divine revelation. Judaism’s claim of divine revelation is described in the following passages – Gen 12:1-3, Ex 3:1-18, I Sam 3:21, and Isa 40:5. Christianity also makes a similar claim, declaring the Lord Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of all the Judaic laws of Moses, the prophets and the Old Testament writings as Matt 5:17, 11:25-27, 16:17, 20:16, Jn 1:12-13, 12:32, Acts 9:1-16, II Cor 2:10-11, Eph 3:1-3, II Thess 2:13-14, and James 3:17 indicates. Also declaring divine revelation, is the Arabic religion of Islam; established in the 7th century. Well after the establishment of the Christian Church; Islam declared a new message, a corrected version of God’s intended plan and purpose regarding the message and person of Jesus Christ through their prophet Mohammed. The majoriy of Muslims today believe this.
However, it is often seen that such divine revelations, matters of faith, laws and doctrines are often put to the test by the oracle of the prophets. Prophets often went against the norm, the “status quo.” We read in Isaiah 1:11, “I do not delight in the blood of bulls or rams,“ while in the Torah, it is instructed by God to sacrifice various animals to atone for sin. We also read in Colossians 2:16-17 that God is not concerned with the outward trimmings of religious festivities, I.e.; the Passover, Easter, Christmas, or the sacred day of Ramada; as honorable they all may be. Yet in other passages of Scripture, we are encouraged to keep and remember them – though it may be debatable by some as to what festivities, traditions and Sabbaths should be kept.
Even so, while some continue to uphold sacred traditions, it must be understood that God is concerned more with the human condition; a broken and contrite heart (Psa 34:18). The same is true concerning moksha as found in Bhakti theism (a Vedic belief system closer to that of the Abrahamic Faiths) and revealed in the Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita. The same is also found in Islam. Islam is dependant upon a loving God and on God’s grace. We can all agree that God wants to demonstrate His love and grace, as demonstrated in Romans 5:8 through the Christ. This love/Christ abides from age to age. God is Love – all else is secondary to the human condition.
The human condition is one of triumph and fallacy, truth and error. It is often in the hearts of righteous seeking individuals and truth seekers that God reveals divine revelation on a case by case scenario. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, Samuel, the prophets, Mohammed and even Jesus (Deut 18:15, 18, Acts 3;22-23), were all considered righteous due to their faith and truth seeking hearts (John 5:30). However, Jesus is the only exception to this case; declaring that He is the Truth (John 14:6). But as we consider that declaration, we are reminded of the Euthyphro Dilemma.
The Euthyphro Dilemma is found in Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro. Socrates asks Euthyphro, “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” “Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?” Others have thought this to be a false dilemma. However, it does entail many problems in regards to theology and philosophy. Here is a brief list:
Thesis One: That which is right is commanded by God because it is right. Problems Include:
A. A Sovereignty Shaken – This entails a righteous standard, independent of God – existing outside of God
B. God’s Omnipotence is Shaken – If something exists that is righteous, then something exists that is evil. God cannot change them – they are what they are. He cannot declare something good when it is evil.
C. Freedom of Will – This limits God’s will power. All things are commanded by Him but only in accordance to what exists as right or wrong outside of His Omnipotence.
D. Morality Without God – Morality, if independent of God, can exist without God’s existence. It would retain its authority.
Thesis Two: That which is right is right because it is commanded by God. Problems Include
A. No reasons for morality – God’s commands are arbitrary
B. No reasons for God – If the arbitrariness of God exists, then there is no room for justice and wisdom – thus God is cancelled out.
C. Anything Goes – Anything could become good, and anything could become bad, merely upon God’s command
D. Moral contingency – That which is right today could easily become wrong tomorrow, if God so decides.
E. Commands Obligations – Obligations to commandments limit God’s ability to do anything He pleases due to a moral obligation. God is seen as a Being subject to His own commandments and obligations; thereby limiting His Omnipotence and sovereignty.
Whatever the case, it would appear (at least according to this author) that God sometimes, and quite often frequently speaks, declares, acts, and commands out of the ‘status quo’ or ‘mainstream,’ as in His own ‘mainstream.’ For it is God’s option to do so, and none can say; “What doeth Thou?“ (What are you doing?) The prophets Amos, Hosea, Micah, and Isaiah indicate this. They indicate a third option, a thesis three, so to speak. The option of changing one’s mind. An option of which the above dilemma leaves out. This may be the precise meaning why God can claim something righteous or unrighteous, clean or unclean, cause chastisement, then reclaim the chastised individual – because He can. Nothing, be it morality or ethics, exists outside of God’s being – for God always existed.
The principle of morality, ethics, righteousness and faith are God given abstracts (something apart from concrete existence) for they do not exist empirically. They are higher thoughts. Thoughts beyond our human condition to comprehend. But praise be, we have the Logos – Mind of Christ, where we are to set our imaginations, affections, and thoughts upon (Col 3:1-2). We must realize that only by the result of a said abstraction can we inflict empirical justice, mercy, good faith, liberty and grow a righteous nation or Kingdom – our goal is the Kingdom of God. As opposed to tyrants and their kingdoms – which produce evil deeds – which often causes a negative result; hunger, famine, disease, pestilence and death.
Many would question the claim above and cite, “What may be evil to me, may be the good for others.“ While also citing “What may be evil to others, may be seen as the good in my view.“ This rhetoric is abstract. Variable codes of ethics are the result of said abstracted morality. Results which are set into motion in this age, through time and space. Motions set for our benefit and well being. The abstraction can entail the command to kill thousands, so that the true higher closer justice of goodness, righteousness and mercy can prevail – free to demonstrate our liberties. And it can also command the 6th commandment, “Thou shalt not Kill” (Murder) (Ex 20:13). But even in all this, we still run the risk of not knowing the true higher justice, mercy or goodness because it is based upon perceived concepts of what we believe is right.
Therefore, any divine revelation (be it the Scriptures, the Qur’an, or oral Vedic traditions) revealed can only be measured in the good that it has caused, since we were not there to see the actual presence of the Almighty in the “burning bush.” But albeit, the Scriptures as well as the Qur’an and the Vedas (though claiming scholastic differences) put us at rest. For they state that many (in the past) have heard, seen and handled the Word of Life – the Mind (Logos) of God, as told to us in the Christian viewpoint; incarnated in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, individuals after the resurrection (as in the Christian viewpoint) and ascension of Christ (as in the Christian and Islamic viewpoint) have no reclamation of these divine revelations, we are told to simply believe them – and approach them like a child, trusting in simple faith. This must be the case, otherwise we would have no concept or idea of an eternal being without said faith. But, even in all this, divine revelation was not enough, the mind of God had to be revealed.
Moreover, it must be revealed in this day and age and given to the masses outside Christianity or any other faith holding on to what they perceive to be “truth.“ For the goal of the prophet is not to convert an individual, community, or nation to a particular religion, but to simply declare, “Thus saith the Lord!” This is the true Christ. This is the message of the New Testament. This is the message of the Qur’an. This is the message of the Vedic Traditions. A divine message, despite its shades of sectarianism pertaining to each faith.
For it would appear that such dogma’s, while being inspired, were written for our benefit and protection thus becoming what became known as orthodoxy in some circles. It is a means to protect the child, but it is by no means a merit badge for salvation, though its truths lead many to the Christ/God. However, it should be noted that the Messiah/Christ must not be bound to the traditions of what many consider orthodox Judaism, orthodox Christianity, or orthodox Islamic beliefs; for He must be set free! The incarnated Christ is neither Christian, Islamic, or of the Judeo concept. In my humble opinion, Jesus, who is called the Christ by many, epitomized the Christ because He is the actual Christ.
While the underlying purpose of the Scriptures, the Qur’an and the Vedic ideas is to bring all men to the knowledge of the revealed God/Christ or what may be called its equivalent (as in the viewpoint of Eastern Traditions) it must be understood, at the same time, that there is a better Christ. The latter Christ, as revealed in the historical person called ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ He is the proper Christ. This Christ should be considered the most accurate, as opposed to the plagiarized stories of other religions. Moreover, it is my opinion that this Christ is the only representation of the One True God.
This Christ was often prophesied about, known of by oral transmissions, known by the ancient Persians and known by the Magi’s (ancient Wise men); even within the sects of Zoroasterism. This is not to suggest that there were not other messiah’s, since the term ‘Messiah’ means one who delivers or conquers. One should understand that there were many historical messiahs who once lived – for their accomplishments were often written about. And there were also many mythical messiahs, as recorded in early parallel mythical stories which came and went. These stories consisted of many gods, quarreling with each other for dominance until the common era (AD/CE), until the likes of Paul; who declared to the masses, “the Unknown God” (Acts 17:23). Yet in all this, the consensus concerning the underlying purpose of all sacred writing is the attempt to declare, “God.” Hence, declaring the latter Christ as the Preeminent One.
Moreover, stories of the Christ/God are seen in various traditions. Divine revelation is often seen in ancient writings, different cultures, different religions and in the human heart; as man seeks to know, imitate and understand God. However, God as a revealed Person is never expressed in other writings, cultures, or ideas as He is in the Abrahamic Faiths. Instead, what the Vedic Traditions have is a collection of oral traditions, concepts and idea’s. It is their culture. It is what defines their civilization. Civilization in the West is no different. The Western structure for civilization includes; religious principles, moral standards, economic, artistic, intellectual advancement, social equality and spiritual equality. God is not a respecter of persons. God shows no partiality. All are created in His image – as declared in the Abrahamic beliefs and their corresponding writings of Scripture. But in the Vedic traditions, we have different beliefs and writings concerning who and what God is and what consists of this Being in the material world (as in Humanity).
However, God can be revealed in various ways and by various faiths, if He so desires – all of which can be equally important for the spreading of His knowledge, Kingdom and Truth. “One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.” (B-Gita 18.55). Such service and surrender is also indicated in Romans 12:1-2. In Islam, an attitude of repentance and servitude are also similarly encouraged, “O people, seek repentance from Allah. Verily, I seek repentance from Him a hundred times a day” – Prophet Mohammad Sahih Muslim, 35:65. In Hebrews 1:1-2, it is revealed that, “God, who had at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath (has) in these last days spoken to us by His Son.”
However, this revelation or revealing of God warrants a question to the various adherents who uphold their own particular story of divine revelation, and that question is; “who did God really speak to?” Or “which revelation are we to believe in?“ The answer to that question might be best found in the same Biblical verse mentioned above, Hebrews 1:1-2. This particular verse of Scripture is often interpreted to mean that the God of the Old Testament spoke in times past to the Jewish people and their prophets, but in these last days has spoken to us through His Son. This passage can be viewed by demonstrating that the patriarchal fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) have now come to see their aspirations fulfilled. For God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Their aspirations and faith have come full circle, having now become one with the Gentiles. While this view, in all probability, is the accurate interpretation within its context, it can also be viewed by demonstrating that ancient Gentile ancestors (their own patriarchal fathers) having received their own sacred truths from such pre-incarnate revelations have now embraced the One True God (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:2-5, 18:18, Romans 10:12). This thought can also be expressed in the parable of the ‘Prodigal Son.’ But none of this would have been possible if Jesus were not truly the Christ.
Another strong case for this supposition of seperate Semitic/Jewish and Gentile revelations and incarnations is the apparent two accounts of creation in Genesis. On the one hand we have the account of creation according to the “P” version (Genesis 1:1-2:1-and early half of verse 4). And on the other hand we have the very same account of creation with apparent textual differences in what is called the “J” version (Genesis 2: latter half of verse 4 – 25). Moreover, both versions ascribe a different name to the deity revealed. The “P” version reveals the Hebrew name Elohim (God), while the “J” version reveals Yahweh (Lord). It can also be demonstrated from the “P” version that the early Semitic tribes identified themselves with this God and named him ‘Elohim.’ It should also be pointed out that their ceremonial Sabbath can be traced back the “P” document. While on the other hand, we have no mention of a day of rest in the “J” document. However, we do have the name of the first man, “Adam.”
One might argue the case proclaiming Adam’s ancestry as being Semitic, which in turn would indicate that the Scriptures were written for one particular tribe, albeit revealed in the two documents. However, if that was the only case, we would not have the conclusion of the matter set straight in Genesis 5:1-2. In Gen 5 verse 1, it is revealed that God created man in His likeness. In verse 2, it is revealed that God created both male and female and blessed them and called their (plural) name (singular) Adam on the day they (plural) were created. Here, no accreditation is given to any one particular race, tribe, or culture. However, the Semitic story of Adam commences once again in Genesis 5:3-32 up to Noah. Yet, the mouth of the prophet speaks clearly “Have we not all One Father?” Malachi 2:10.
It is highly probable that the Lord (He who has no name – the Father) revealed Himself to the Gentiles first, while the character of Elohim (counsels – or a specific god, namely Yahweh) revealed himself after as recorded in Exodus 3:14, Proverbs 30:4, Revelation 19:12. Indications seem to conclude that God the Father revealed Himself in various forms – which means collectively, individually, inclusively to every tribe, culture and civilization through various means, times and different manners. Showing Himself in creation through sages, prophets and teachers, but in the final revelation He has revealed Himself in the incarnation; as the suffering servant of Man, who obtained glory and victory.
Christ must be given the victory! However, the knowledge of Christ was once bound, only found in the shadows of Judaism’s Mosaic laws and that of the Verdic traditions and their Apocryphacal texts. Judaism, a faith that often failed to show its true higher purpose, was given the opportunity to declare glory and victory in the Holy One of Israel, but denied and conspired against Him. The denial was not against the person of Jesus per-se, though some did, and still do, question His office and deity, but against His message; “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone,“ “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” This new Covenant is in sharp contrast to the old Covenant/old ways. It was in contrast to the established written law and institutionalized Jewish religion and customs of that day (Deut 22:23). A law, according to Christianity, written by the Word – Jesus Christ Himself. A law once thought to be confined by Judaism’s strict exclusiveness, now becomes what it was always meant to be; a law of inclusiveness (loving your neighbor as yourself). A Universal law, a universal Gospel. A Gospel in which Christ, by obedience to the law and through the law has made Himself better than the law in which inclusiveness has spread to all men, even outside the confines of Judaism – unto the Gentiles, heathens, dogs and sinners. This spreading of the inclusive Christ is even outside the confines of Islam and all the Vedic faiths put together.
However, ensuing centuries and various religions would once again bind and chain Him by confessions of faith and creedal doctrines of salvation. A salvation that, according to Cyprian, and latter day Roman counsels and citations once said, “there is no salvation outside the Roman Church.” Such a bold declaration warranted a question often asked during the Reformation, “But what of the Greek Christians?” “Do we consider the saints of the Greek Church, as in the Greek Orthodox Church, damned?” After all that is the inevitable consequence of Cyprians claim. However, the 4th Lantern Counsel of 1215 allowed that Cyprian could be wrong and that salvation can be found outside the Roman Church, though not outside of Christ. Again, Christ was set free, but for a season, until the Great Reformation – where God was allowed to speak through His Word. However, during the ensuing centuries that followed, we found Christ Jesus once again bound – this time by those who claim to be the ancestors of the aforementioned Reformation, “Protestant Christendom.” This time we fight to free Christ from the daughters of Rome (and Rome herself) when necessary – who have the truth, but will often hide it under a bed by choking the liberty of the Gospel and the true prophetic message of this book – Yes, Christ must be given the victory! He must be given back the simplicity that is in the Gospel – so in turn He can give it to all men, unadulterated.
For more on the “P” and “J” versions please see the Introduction to Genesis .
These revelations were experienced, whether literally or allegorically, for the sole purpose of discovering and knowing who God is or what is God in order to bring about cleansing, perfection and utopia in a world riddled with evil. Moreover, according to Jewish eschatology (prophecy), God will eventually perfect (cleanse) the entire world to love and serve Him as He loves and serves us through the sustaining of our lives (Zephaniah 3:8-9). The Knowledge of God will fill the entire world (Isaiah 11:9, Hab 2:14). Again, this is also declared in Christianity; “Thy (your) will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven” (Matt 6:10). “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:11) – who is The Lord God of all men. For He alone is the Lord, the power, the greatness, the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine (His) – (I Chron 29:11, I Cor 8:6, Rev 19:11-16.
When we fail to aspire to our convictions and beliefs or do the things that we ought not to do with what comes out of our hearts and thoughts, then a final restoration is needed and warranted. A final restoration can include many things. It can include, for some, a bruised family relationship that never mended. For others, it can include the mending of a scar or an opened wound left by the loss of a loved one. Perhaps it is an unresolved matter, an issue of the heart, or a poor upbringing that never had a resolution. Restitution deals with the sane/insane psychotic behaviors of the criminal mind, the psychotic sane behaviors of a dictator, and the emotional/mental conscience behavior of a sexual deviate. Restitution also restores the religious; those left outside, without hope so to speak, or those; who for one reason or another uphold a creed or doctrine simply because it is of the “status quo” or simply because that is what they‘ve been fed. Restitution can also redeem the simple, those who disbelieve in the existence of God. However, in reference to the simple, “all things being equal are the same”
All of the aforementioned touch on what went wrong. A wrong that desires to be made right/corrected. Or a wrong that warrants justice to be served. When a wrong or crime is committed, justice is served through a correctional facility. Counseling sessions, therapy sessions, psycho/social programs, sexual recovery programs, drug addiction programs, and other forms of human services provide not only justice, but restitution to both, the victims and the offender. Our society offers a second chance, and on many occasions it offers a 3rd or 4th chance with the desired goal of restitution. If we who are evil can do that which is right, shall not God do even better” Matt 5:43-48, 7:9-11. Shall God throw the keys to life and liberty away and burn them in an eternal fire forever – a twisted ideology of justice served without an end? I do not see the logic in that.
Many would cite against me, Isa 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith (says) the Lord. That is true. But this much is also certain as taken from the mouth of the same prophet “For when the earth experiences Thy (your) judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness“ (Isa 26:9). “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it (Isa 40:5). Here we see Isaiah bearing the testimony as spoken by Moses generations earlier, “So the Lord said [speaking to Moses, who is a fore-type of Christ as our intercessor], “I have pardoned them according to your word; but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Num 14:20). This concept is also revealed in the Gospel of Luke “For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day” (Luke 17:24). There are other witnesses regarding the proclamation of Universal Reconciliation found within Sacred Scripture; they include: as mentioned Moses, along with Joshua, David, Solomon, the kings of Israel, major and minor prophets, the Gospels, and Revelation. Universal Reconciliation can also be found in other faiths and their corresponding documents just as well; they include: Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam, Zoroastrianism and Manicheanism, Bahá’í Faith, Yi Guan Dao, Unity, religious Science, Divine Science, and Nonreligious Universalism, to name a few.
Many would accuse me and the ‘All Restored Study Bible’ of syncretism. Syncretism is the attempt to combine different belief systems into one faith. This combining is usually done by applying similar beliefs and quotations as found in different religious ideologies. While the definition is accurate, the underlying message, when conveyed to exclusivists, is cultic. I deny such a claim. I believe it is a comparative applicable approach to understanding, not only the Scriptures, but other ethnic groups, philosophies, doctrines and interpretations. The attempt to recognize, respect and acknowledge various ethnic groups, philosophies, doctrines, and interpretations have been utilized within the ranks of Universal Unitarianism.
Universal Unitarianism see’s proto-orthodox Catholic, Protestant Islamic and Vedic interpretations and doctrines as a personal belief and opinion. Universal Unitarianism often stress the Oneness of God in all matters of faith and opinion. In Universal Unitarianism, one can find many different beliefs and opinions, such as; atheism, Gnosticism, agnosticism, deism, monotheism, pantheism, polytheism, paganism, or those who simply have no label at all. It is a liberal theological religion, stressing not only oneness, but freedom, responsibility, truth and meaning. These forms can also be found in what is known as the “New Age Movement,” the “New Spiritualism“ and/or the “New Enlightenment.” However, upon careful examination of the so-called modern day ideologies of the “New,” one will begin to realize what many claim to be “New” is really nothing “New” under the sun at all. It is of the Old.
Is this ecumenical oneness, a call to unity? Is this ecumenical unity a blessing? Or is it, according to some conspiracy theorists, another attempt by man to impose another Tower of Babel – spear headed by the likes of the Illuminati, the Vatican, Apostate Protestantism, or secular humanism? Do we dare seek a unified society of religion and government with the absence of individualism/sectarianism? Only time will tell. However, let it be clear that this Ultimate Reconciliationist will never bow the knee to secular ideologies that go against the conscience. A true saint of God; be it Christian, Muslim, Jew, or of the Vedic persuasion, will never submit to the creed or edit of any state and religion where an individual choice is outlawed.
We can all agree to disagree, a phrase coined by John Wesley while conducting a sermon on behalf of departed George Whitefield – of whom Wesley had doctrinal differences to that of Whitefield – but agreed on the essentials. We can agree in principle, but disagree about other issues. It is not a contradiction to agree to disagree when the principle is of the overall consensus. Thus issues (disagreements) are unresolved matters. While the term “agree to differ” poses a non-contradiction in preference, not in principle. I’m not right any more that the next person, though in my conscience I’ am. But I/we, all have preferences to our particular chosen belief system. It is more of a matter of how it is practiced. It is a matter of loving the Samaritan and esteeming others better than yourself – for in this no individual faith or conscience can conquer! Similar to the Indian Vedic faiths, there is no higher individual conscience of faith, hense the terms; “heresy,” and “blasphemy,” simply do not exist nor do they serve a purpose in the Vedic traditions.
It is my firm belief that you are free to walk your path, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. Toleration and/or acceptance is a God given attribute. And while acceptance of an individual is encouraged, as in demonstrating the love of Christ, it is by no means a confession or acceptance of a faith contrary to your own beliefs. One does not have to give up his or her own identity (sectarianism) concerning their opinions of faith. Identity is encouraged. Conformity is not my ambition, though I do believe many within mainstream Christianity and of the Islamic faith might accuse me of such. Let it be stated that this is simply not the case, nor is it the underlying message of the ‘All Restored Study Bible.’