Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People
The idea that Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, was a false teacher leading people astray is completely wrong. But this is not the first time it has come up. This rumor was extant in his own day. The other apostles rejected this notion–including James and others, who encouraged Paul to show support of the Jewish temple service to put down these rumors, which Paul did (see Acts 21), and including Peter, who late in life wrote of “our beloved brother Paul, [who] according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:15-16). Some people misused Paul’s sometimes difficult wording to try to do away with God’s commandments. But Paul never intended that in what he wrote. And notice here that Peter even referred to what Paul wrote as part of the Scriptures. Paul was a true servant of Christ.
The idea that the name Jesus derives from Zeus is an utterly false notion. Jesus is the Anglicized form of the Latinized Greek rendering of the Hebrew name Yeshua, a common shortening of the name Yehoshua. The Ye was written in Greek as Ie (ee-yeh), the Greek letter iota being close to the Hebrew yud. Greek did not have an equivalent for the final Hebrew letter in Yeshua, ayin, and it did not use the sh sound of the Hebrew shin. So that yields Ieso. And rather than ending with an a, which would be feminine in Greek, the ending is changed to the masculine ending -us. Thus Iesous. In Latin the o was dropped, leaving Iesus. An I before a vowel at the beginning of a word was understood to have a y sound and was later written by continuing the stroke down into what we now know as the letter J. It still had the pronunciation of y, but in some places the initial y sound became what is now considered a j sound. And in English, the J took on the modern j pronunciation. Thus, again, the name Jesus comes from the Hebrew Yeshua. It has no connection to the name Zeus. Look through the Greek New Testament and you will see many Hebrew names written in Greek form.
Thanks to the other men who have replied here. Sorry I did not get to this sooner. The first line here about me is false. It is not my view that people must believe exactly as I do in every regard. Rather, they must believe in key biblical teachings. And all of us will view things at least slightly differently. Furthermore, this issue is not one of entering heaven per se, as if that is the ultimate reward of the saved, but of inheriting life in the Kingdom of God, which will be set up on the earth–and the New Jerusalem will ultimately come down to the earth from out of heaven. We have rest in Jesus, but He is not our Sabbath. Our ultimate Sabbath is the future Kingdom of God, and we observe the weekly seventh-day Sabbath as a reminder of God as Creator and that future rest to come. We agree that the Church is God’s people and not buildings. But Scripture says that God’s people are to regularly meet together for instruction and fellowship. Anyway, we have study guides that address a number of the issues here (see ucg.org/booklets).
Sorry to be so late in responding. Just as the ancient Roman Empire was centered in Europe but acquired territories in Asia, so it will be with the end-time Beast power. We know that the Beast will invade the Middle East, including North Africa and Southwest Asia. Daniel 11 shows it will not succeed in gaining control of much of what is now Jordan, but it will occupy the land of Israel. Furthermore, more of Asia may come under its heel. To some degree, it appears that the Beast will exercise dominance over the whole world, but in the end Eastern powers will come to fight against the Beast. For exactly how this will all transpire, we will have to wait and see.
To clarify here, YHWH, the Eternal or Self-Existent, is the name of both God the Father and the Word who was born as Jesus Christ. As to the issue of “sons” vs. “sons and daughters,” the Hebrew and Greek words for “sons,” as is the case in many languages, can include both sons and daughters. Thus “children” is often a better translation in English, except that this can give a wrong impression of meaning only little children when adult children are often intended. In any case, 2 Corinthians 6:18 specifies, “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”