Thompson Chain Reference BibleIn a day of scientific hypothesis requiring proof by observation, to result in the acceptance or rejection by a community as truth, faith has taken a back seat and is not considered in the final analysis.  Yet it is common to blindly accept theory as scientific fact.  We go so far as to teach our children, as fact, an origin of life based solely on an unproven hypothesis.  Is this a practice of faith in a theory?

Christ taught us during a discourse with [doubting] Thomas saying, blessed are those who haven’t observed, yet believe.  His very words teach that faith has greater importance than observation.

Faith seems to be a product of the heart rather than the mind.  Faith sometimes manifests as an expression of longing and groaning that is absent from observation.  How do we defend our faith in an onslaught of scientific analysis?  Must we defend our faith?  Or is faith such a personal aspect of our lives, taking such energy to generate within us, that it can’t be truly understood outside of our own individual being?

Christ arrived amidst foretold signs and performed miracles so that observers would believe his claims.  Without the miracles, his words would have had no power.  They would have been just empty claims by another false prophet.  But when backed up by the healings and signs, they took on a life of their own.  The observers were profoundly influenced by the signs, wonders, and words of Christ and many recorded what they observed.  As a result we enjoy detailed accounts of the observations by many eye witnesses.

This past Easter we were enjoying some time with our oldest son, Michael, and his wife.  We talked about the events of the original Easter and those who witnessed Christ’s resurrected presence.  Michael mentioned a passage about Christ appearing to five hundred people after his resurrection and wondered where it could be found in the Bible.  He thumbed through the resurrection account in the gospels but came up short.  So I pulled out my trusty Thompson Chain Reference Bible and began the search.  A little work in the concordance sent me to I Cor 15:6 “After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once…”(NKJV).  I wondered about the circumstances that brought five hundred brethren together.  Did Christ continue to teach crowds of people even during his short remaining time with man? A glance at the margin referred to “741 Spiritual Brethren”.  A quick look at 741 in the numerical index of chain topics listed about seventy scripture references to explore.  I decided that would be a study for another time.  It did remind me of another verse; Jn 20:30 “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book”. Oh, to have been there!

How many eye witnesses are necessary to convict a defendant in a modern court of law?  Only two.  How many eye witnesses observed the miracles, signs, and resurrection of Christ?  We know there were more than five hundred, plus the disciples.  And those numbers don’t include the women and children.  A substantial number of witnesses recorded their testimony for all time.  Should the testimony of the observers be discounted because they’ve long since passed?  Should Albert Einstein’s observations be invalidated because he has passed?  Would Christ win his case in a modern court of law?  In times when faith is hard to muster, consider the testimony of the eye witnesses.

Thompson Chain Reference BiblesComment from Penny:
You can visit Boomers Supply Company to learn more about the Thompson Chain Reference Bibles. They carry a full range of these Bibles at some of the lowest prices you will find anywhere. These genuine leather reference bibles are available in a variety of colors and you can select from standard or large print.

Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible versions include:
King James Version (KJV)
New King James Version (NKJV)
New American Standard Version (NASV)
New International Version (NIV)

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