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Jay Rogers
International Director
Jay Rogers

The Forerunner

THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS

THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS - BOOK FIRST- VISIONS
THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS - BOOK SECOND - COMMANDMENTS


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THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS

The Shepherd of Hermas (sometimes called The Pastor or The Shepherd) is a Christian work of the second century, considered a valuable book by many Christians, and occasionally considered canonical by some of the early Church fathers. The reference to Clement of Rome suggests a date between 88 and 97 for at least the first two visions. Since Paul sent greetings to Hermas, a Christian of Rome (Romans 16:14), some have followed Origen's opinion that he was the author of this religious romance. However, others set the date of composition in the 2nd century.

The Shepherd had great authority in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. It was cited as Scripture by Irenaeus and Tertullian and was bound with the New Testament in the Codex Sinaiticus, and it was listed between the Acts of the Apostles and the Acts of Paul in the list of the Codex Claromontanus. The book was originally written in Rome, in the Greek language, but a Latin translation was made very shortly afterwards. Only the Latin version has been preserved in full; of the Greek, the last fifth or so is missing.

The book consists of five visions granted to Hermas, a former slave. This is followed by twelve mandates or commandments, and ten similitudes, or parables. It commences abruptly in the first person: "He who brought me up sold me to a certain Rhoda, who was at Rome. After many years I met her again, and began to love her as a sister." As Hermas was on the road to Cumae, he had a vision of Rhoda, who was presumably dead. She told him that she was his accuser in heaven, on account of an unchaste thought the (married) narrator had once had concerning her, though only in passing. He was to pray for forgiveness for himself and all his house. He is consoled by a vision of the Church in the form of an aged woman, weak and helpless from the sins of the faithful, who tells him to do penance and to correct the sins of his children. Subsequently he sees her made younger through penance, yet wrinkled and with white hair; then again, as quite young but still with white hair; and lastly, she shows herself as glorious as a Bride.

In the second vision she gives Hermas a book, which she afterwards takes back in order to add to it. The fifth vision introduces "the Angel of repentance" in the guise of a shepherd, from whom the whole work takes its name. He delivers to Hermas a series of precepts (mandata, entolai), which form an interesting development of early Christian ethics. The eleventh mandate, on humility, is concerned with false prophets who desire to occupy the first seats (that is to say, among the presbyters). Some have seen here a reference to Marcion, who came to Rome c. AD 140 and desired to be admitted among the priests (or possibly even to become bishop of Rome).

After the mandates come ten similitudes (parabolai) in the form of visions, which are explained by the angel. The longest of these (Similitude 9) is an elaboration of the parable of the building of a tower, which had formed the matter of the third vision. The tower is the Church, and the stones of which it is built are the faithful. But in the third vision it looked as though only the holy are a part of the Church; in Similitude 9 it is clearly pointed out that all the baptized are included, though they may be cast out for grave sins, and can be readmitted only after penance.

The Shepherd of Hermas uses many indirect citations from New Testament. He shows acquaintance with the three Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. He most often refers to the Epistle of James and the Book of Revelation. He also uses Ephesians and other Epistles, including 1 Peter and Hebrews.


The Real Jesus

The Real Jesus:
A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archaeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the "historical Jesus" -- a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archaeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regretably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

 

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Running Time: 130 minutes


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The Beast of Revelation: IDENTIFIED

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation? Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry's insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation -- and even more importantly -- amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue -- but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study -- for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John's famous letter "... to the seven churches which are in Asia." (Revelation 1:4)

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Beast of Revelation

Running Time: 145 minutes
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God's Law and Society

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powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misperceptions related to this volatile issue:

  • Are we under Law or under Grace?
  • How does the Old Testament Law apply today?
  • Can we legislate morality?
  • What about the separation of Church and State?
  • Was America founded as a Christian nation?
  • What would a Christian America look like?

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  • Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study. Speakers include: George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, R.J. Rushdoony, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

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    Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism

    Over four hours of instruction!

    Just what is “Calvinism?” Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

    This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

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    Running Time: 257 minutes
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    Real Jesus

    The Real Jesus Update

    The Real Jesus:
    A Defense of the Divinity and Historicity of Christ

    is now available! This is a two hour, ten minute presentation debunking the myths about Jesus propogated by liberal theologians, which seem to be repeated endlessly in the popular media. You can order the newly expanded and improved DVD version hosted by Eric Holmberg and view some video clips from "Podcast" version as well ...

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