In other instances the New Testament story is an almost perfect reversal of the Old Testament story. In the Old Testament, King Saul killed himself with his sword rather than be captured by the Philistines. In the New Testament, the Apostle Saul, also called Paul, cried out to stop the Roman jailer from killing himself with a sword. King Saul preferred suicide to captivity, Paul preferred to be a captive rather than have his jailer commit suicide.
These parallels exist for at least eight major New Testament figures: Jesus, Joseph, Simon-Peter, Paul, John the Baptist, John the Apostle, James the Just, and Judas.
There are also an amazing set of parallels between Doubting Thomas ("Thomas" meant twin) and the twins of both the Old and New Testaments. I have included these in the essay.
The relationships discussed here may have been difficult to see because many Old and New Testament figures who had the same Hebrew name have different names in English, for example, Jesus and Joshua, and James and Jacob. Usually this is because many New Testament names were translated first from Hebrew into Greek and then from Greek into English while Old Testament names were translated directly from Hebrew into English.
This foreshadowing or typology maybe a miracle or prophesy. This provides evidence that God is behind the Bible.
But, don't just take their word or mine. Check it out and decide for yourself. You can tell me what you think in my e-mail or publicly humiliate me on Reddit..
The parallels involving Doubting Thomas and the three sets of twins mentioned in the Bible are perhaps the most impressive example of foreshadowing or typology. In each case the Bible discusses human twins a hand or an arm was examined to determine someone's status or identity. The pattern is clear in the Doubting Thomas story (John 20:24-29). The name Thomas means twin and the Bible says that Thomas was called the twin. The other apostles told Thomas that Christ had risen from the dead. Thomas said he would not believe unless he put his fingers in the nail holes. Christ appeared to Thomas and the other disciples and offered his hands to Thomas, who made an immediate profession of faith, "My Lord and My God."
So far, I have discussed three stories that shared two elements of the pattern: twins and someone checking a hand or arm to determine who another person is. But there is a third element, the color red or scarlet.
Red first appears in the Bible in the story of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:25-31). Esau came out of the womb red and hairy. Esau sold his birth right to Jacob for a bowl of red pottage, and therefore he was called Edom which means red. The first 24 chapters of the Bible do not use the word red or scarlet once, then within six verses red is used three times.
Scarlet, which means red, first appears in the story of the second set of twins, Zerah and Perez. The thread tied around Zerah's wrist was scarlet. So in the first 38 chapters of the Bible the words red and scarlet are only used in stories about twins.
The blood from Christ's wounds would also have been red, though the Bible makes no mention of blood in the wounds of the risen Christ, let alone the color of the blood.
So there are three elements in a pattern repeated three times, twins, someone investigates a second person's forearm or hand to determine identity or status, and red or blood which is red.
A few verses earlier in the same chapter (Acts 28:3-6) Paul carried a load of wood up to a fire. A serpent came out of the wood and latched onto Paul's arm, but Paul shook the serpent into the fire. The people of Malta said that Paul must be a murder because, even though he had escaped the ship wreck, the gods were punishing him. But Paul did not die, and his arm did not even swell, so they decided Paul must be a god. Note the similarity between this and Doubting Thomas's profession of faith, "My Lord and My God."
But, more to the point the pattern has reoccurred for a forth time. Again there is the twins theme, again a person's hand or arm is inspected to determine his identity or status, and again there is a wound and therefore blood which is red. In conclusion, there is a pattern involving all the human twins and half human twins in the Bible which is extremely unlikely to have happened by chance.
Nevertheless, one could attempt to explain the pattern by claiming the writers intentionally created it. But even if the authors were intentionally creating the pattern, it is still surprising none of the many other authors who wrote the many other books of the Bible related a story involving human twins that did not follow the pattern.
The probability that this pattern was recreated in four stories about twins by pure chance is vanishingly small.
This pattern applies to human twins or twins that are part human and part god in the case of the Gemini twins. Here is a discussion of the pattern in animal twins.
The patterns involving Thomas and twins may be the most impressive, perhaps the second most impressive set of parallels are those that tie together King Saul and the Apostle Saul, better known as Paul.
In the Old Testament there is a very similar story about King Saul. David went to live with Samuel in Ramah at Nai'oth. (I Samuel 19:18-24). Saul sent agents to capture David but as the approached Nai'oth the agents were overcome by the Holy Spirit and prophesied. They were unable to carry out their mission. This happened three times until King Saul himself went. As King Saul approached Nai'oth he too was overcome by the Holy Spirit and prophesied. King Saul stripped off his cloths and lay naked all that day and night at Nai'oth. Paul remained blind and similarly helpless for three days until Anini'as healed him.
In this case the similarity between New and Old Testament stories is overwhelming. In both cases the object was to capture the servant or servants of God and bring them back to Jerusalem. In both cases the persecutors are overcome by the power of God as they approach the person or people they sought to capture.
On another occasion David again showed Saul that he could have killed him but did not (1 Samuel 26). Saul set out again to kill David with the help of three thousand men. David and one his men crept into Saul's camp when Saul and his men were asleep. Instead of killing Saul, David took his spear and water jar. Then standing on a mountain a long way from Saul's camp David shouted back to Saul calling Saul's attention to the fact that he had Saul's spear and water jar. By doing this, David proved to King Saul once again that he could have killed him but did not.
In the Old Testament stories, David, who foreshadows Jesus, showed that he could have killed Saul but did not, thus demonstrating both power and mercy. Jesus also demonstrated his power and mercy. He demonstrated his power by blinding Saul and his mercy by healing him.
In all cases the man named Saul repented. In the Old Testament King Saul returned to his earlier desire to kill David after the first demonstration of mercy. David moved to Philistine territory after the second reconciliation so King Saul was not given a chance to turn against David after David's second act of mercy. In the New Testament, Paul's conversion was permanent. It is often the case that the New Testament story is a triumph where the Old Testament story is a tragedy.
I am attempting to draw parallels here between these two stories where David showed mercy to Paul and the story of Paul and Jesus on the way to Damascus. Let me note that these parallels are not nearly as strong as the one I showed before, and the others I will point out now.
King Saul asked the witch at En-dor to call up the Prophet Samuel from the dead. Ananias was called upon to heal Paul of his blindness and ultimately to baptize him. In both cases someone from the persecuted group was called upon to help a man named Saul in a supernatural way. Also in both cases the person resists at first because of the obvious danger. They are being asked to help a man named Saul who has been persecuting them. Furthermore, they will have to reveal to this person who has been persecuting them that they are part of the persecuted group.
Finally, both stories involve communication with someone who had experienced physical death, Samuel in the Old Testament and Christ in the New.
Many elements of Paul's conversion are foreshadowed in the several stories of King Saul discussed above. Also note, Old Testament tragedy often foreshadows New Testament triumph.
Paul saving the jailer also ties into the story mentioned above where David and one of his men crept into Saul's camp while Saul and his men were sleeping. After David managed to sneak out of Saul's camp with Saul's water jar and spear, David made a speech to Saul. Part of that speech was a suggestion that Abner, Saul's general, had been negligent in letting David get in and out of camp and should therefore be killed. David was at very least putting Abner's life at risk, this contrasts with Paul who was quick to protect the life of the jailer. The Romans would have tortured the jailer to death if Paul and his associate had escaped, that is why the jailer was about to kill himself. Paul did not escape and voluntarily faced the Roman officials the next day. Note that Old Testament tragedy is once again replaced by New Testament triumph. Paul the reformed villain of the New Testament followed a higher standard than David the Old Testament hero who in many ways foreshadows Christ.In summary, several Old Testament stories concerning King Saul's attempts to capture David, and the events leading up to King Saul's suicide foreshadow just two stories concerning the Apostle Paul, the story of Paul's Conversion, and Paul's heroic decision to save the jailer.
Simon-Peter's Hebrew name was Simeon. Simon was a Greek name commonly adopted by men named Simeon. The Old Testament Simeon's reaction to the rape of his sister, Dinah, and Simon-Peter's actions at the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane have several things in common.
In Genesis 34 Jacob and his household were passing through an area ruled by Hamor when Hamor's son, Shechem, raped Jacob's daughter, Dinah. Shechem asked to marry Dinah, and Jacob's family agreed to the marriage and the unification of the two groups if Hamor, Shechem, and the men of Hamor's country were circumcised. They all agreed and were circumcised. While they were still recovering, two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, took swords and killed Hamor, Shechem, and their countrymen.
In the Gospel of Luke (22:35-38), Christ told the disciples to go and buy swords. The disciples said they had two swords, and Christ said this is enough. Note, Simeon and Levi killed the followers of Hamor with two swords. Luke mentions that one of the disciples struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear (22:50-51). Then Jesus healed the ear. Luke fails to tell us which disciple welded the sword, but John (18:10-22) reveals that is was Simon-Peter.
Note that the stories are about Levi the founder of the clan which became the Old Testament priesthood and Simon-Peter the first leader after Christ of the new priesthood.
Note also that it is only by using both the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John that the full pattern is revealed. Of course Luke and John had no way of knowing that their Gospels would eventually be included in a Bible, so if they wanted to establish a pattern why didn't they include all the elements in their own Gospels.
The Old Testament version of the name Jesus is Joshua, there are once again a number of parallels between Jesus and Joshua.
Joshua was the son of Nun. According to one source Nun refers to a plant which was a symbol of the eternal. So Joshua son of Nun could be loosely translated as Jesus son of the eternal.
Strong's Concordance provides a similar story. Strong's says that Nun means perpetuity, and is based on a root word that means to re-sprout or "propagate by shouts." Strong's says this is figuratively to be perpetual.
However, it is perhaps more impressive that in all of the various creation myths of the Egyptians everything began with the swirling chaotic water of Nu or Nun. So in the Egyptian religion Nun was the origin of all things. Joshua son of Nun could be translated Jesus son of the origin of all things. This does not describe the Old Testament Joshua, but it does describe the New Testament Joshua, Jesus.
This story about Joshua foreshadows many elements of the death and resurrection of Christ. The kings corpses hanging from trees foreshadow Christ hanging on the cross. In five verses in the New Testament the Crucifixion is referred to as hanging on a tree (Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:29, Galatians 3:13, 1st Peter 2:24). The kings act of hiding in the cave and their ultimate burial in the cave both foreshadow the burial of Christ in a tomb recently hewn from rock. The stones placed at the cave's mouth foreshadow the stone rolled in front of the tomb of Christ. The guard ordered by Joshua foreshadows the Roman guard that guarded Christ's tomb. The emergence of the kings from the cave foreshadows the Christ's emergence from the tomb. The fact that the five kings were kings foreshadows Jesus role as king. Finally the fact that the king who initiated the alliance of the five kings was King of Jerusalem foreshadows Christ's role as the heir to the line of David which ruled from Jerusalem.
It is my impression from a conversation that I had many years ago that the following argument circulates among some Christians.
It is symbolic that Moses was not allowed to lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land because Moses brought the law to Israel and it is not by the law but only by grace that we may enter Heaven. So it was left to Joshua, who foreshadows Jesus, to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land.
The first generation of adults that left Egypt were not allowed to enter the promised land. The second generation, the men younger than 20, did eventually enter the Promised Land. This second generation maybe a type for the New Testament second generation, those who have been born again through baptism in water and the Holy Spirit.
In Catholic theology all have been touched by the stain of Adam and Eve's original sin. Once again there are two exceptions, Jesus and Mary. The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin by the grace Jesus won on the cross. So all humans, including Mary, were saved by the death of Christ on the cross. Of course Mary was conceived, born, and lived many years before the crucifixion, but time does not limit God. Mary was saved by the grace of the cross before the crucifixion.
There is a tradition in the Catholic Church that Mary did not age, ageing and death were punishment for original sin, which did not touch Mary. In the Old Testament Caleb also avoided aging. He says in Joshua 14:11 that at 85 he is still as vigorous as he was 45 years before. So both the Old Testament Jesus/Joshua and the New Testament Jesus/Joshua have partners that avoid aging.
Of course, not all of this typology is from the Bible. The idea that Mary did not age is part of Catholic tradition, but has not been officially declared as doctrine as far as I know.
In the New Testament, Acts 15 James the Just at the council of Jerusalem seems to remove the requirement. The name James comes to us from New Testament Greek, his actual name would be Jacob the Just if translated directly from Hebrew to English. So as the Old Testament James imposed the rule typology required that a New Testament Jacob, James the Just, had to remove the requirement.
This is a matter of some controversy. Wasn't Peter the head of the church. Some want to argue that James the Just was the leader, but perhaps his prominence in deciding about circumcision and the gentiles is more a reflection of Bible typology than church politics.
As mentioned above, the stories of Judah in the Old Testament and Judas in the New provide another interesting parallel. Judah in the Old Testament suggests that Joseph should be sold into slavery (Genesis 37:26-27). The price was twenty pieces of silver. Judas in the New Testament sells Christ for the famous thirty pieces of silver.
The parallels between Joseph the son of Jacob in the Old Testament and Joseph the husband of Mary in the New Testament are obvious enough that they are commonly noted. God communicated with both Josephs in dreams and both lead their families to Egypt.
Finally there are parallels between John the Baptist and John the Apostle and Jonathan in the Old Testament. It should be noted that John and Jonathan are not the same name but both names do have the same root.
Jonathan was a son of King Saul and therefore the old dynasty, and John the Baptist was a son of the old priesthood. Jonathan recognized David the founder of the new dynasty, and John the Baptist recognized Jesus the founder of the new priesthood.
The great example of the friendship between two men in the Old Testament is David and Jonathan, while the great example of friendship between two men in the New Testament is Jesus and the John, the disciple that Christ loved.
We have looked at most of the major figures in the New Testament and found that there are similarities between their experiences and the experiences of Old Testament figures with the same name. In the case of Doubting Thomas it is particularly clear that these go far beyond the bounds of coincidence.
Furthermore, even if we take a very cynical view of the Evangelists, the writers of the four Gospels and Acts, it would have been far too difficult for them to manipulate all the facts to fit a pattern this complex even if they had considerable freedom to manipulate.
Furthermore, undetected copy errors are not plausible. There were many copies, if a particular verse was different in one copy because of an error, it would be easy to spot the error because it was different from all the others.
People who make these arguments seem to imagine that a monk copied a book from the Bible and then immediately destroyed the original he had just copied. Then that monk or another monk copied the copy and then destroyed the earlier copy and kept the last copy and so on. In this way errors accumulated. But of course this is not what happened. Later copies were no doubt compared to earlier copies and the various copies were compared to each other. So errors could not multiply, or even persist.
A more serious argument is that copyists intentionally changed the text. If so this would have to have been done very early before many copies had been made. If there were thousands of copies spread out over an area that stretched at least from Spain to India (the Apostles are believed to have set up Christian communities from Spain to India) it would be impossible for a single copyist to change the text simply by producing one, or even several false copies.
First, Christianity spread far beyond the Roman Empire in the days of the Apostles, centuries before Constantine. Christian Churches existed in places where the influence of Roman Emperors was minimal, for example southern India. Furthermore, Rome was not the first Christian nation. Armenia claims that title, and Georgia claims second. Ethiopia also makes claims to be earlier than Armenia. Rome might be third or fourth.
Furthermore the Pope and the Emperors were not even able to impose uniformity in the Roman Empire. There were pagans, Manicheans, Arians, Donatists, and others. So the idea that the Pope and the Emperor could impose a massive rewrite of the Bible without any record of the inevitable conflict that the rewrite would create is very unlikely. After all there are extensive records of many other conflicts that were happening in the Christian community at this time, why were there no records of a fight over the supposed Bible manipulation.
Of course you only have my word that I was a beginner, so this is more amazing to me, than it is to you. But even if I really was secretly an expert that had read the Old Testament many times it would still be pretty miraculous. After all a huge number of people have tried before for many centuries and suddenly an obscure guy in the late 20th century sees the pattern all the others had missed.
Some might argue that I an just incredibly intelligent, almost superhuman. But if you assume that I wonder, why are you so absolutely sure that I am wrong about the general issue of the faith. If I have superhuman powers to see what a huge number of people have searched for many centuries to find and failed, and I say the Christianity is the true faith, then maybe I am right. Or at the very least, maybe Christianity deserves your attention.
Though I have not gotten many complaints, some may think my work reflects badly on the Christian faith. Remember that this is simply the work of a layman. I discovered the pattern on my first reading of the Old Testament. There are many other apologetic arguments produced by professionals and scholars. If you go before God on Judgment Day and say I read an essay on some guy's personal web site and it turned me off to Christianity, God may say you failed to seriously search for his truth.
By the way Reddit accounts are free, and you do not have to give them any information about yourself, just make up a username and a password. They would like an e-mail but do not require it.
So here is the link. richleebruce subreddit.
Of course I would love to have you link to this page, but if you are not Catholic perhaps you do not want to link to Catholic pages. I can understand that. So I have set up other mere-Christianity versions of this web page that you link to without any Catholic influence.
I have a couple of other web pages on the Bible that I think are pretty amazing. There has been some controversy on the differences between the genealogies and Nativity stories of Matthew and Luke. This has been something of a mystery for almost two thousand years. I suggest a simple solution, Matthew was writing to Christians who converted from Judaism, while Luke was writing to a Roman official. The differences are just what one would expect if both writers were carefully picking what to write about from a set of true events and they did not want to upset their respective audiences. Check it out, the genealogy web site, the Nativity web site.
My index pages for more miracles and other articles with evidence or apologetics for God, Christianity, and the Catholic faith is here..
Tell me what you think. Here is my contact information..Last edited May 15, 2018
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