“Be like a Berean!” is a popular motto amongst modern Christian Congregations today. What does it encompass to be like a Berean? What were the qualities of the Bereans? And are we anything like Bereans? The Bereans are mentioned only in passing, in the Book of Acts 17:10&11.
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:10,11).
So we see that the Bereans
1. Were called noble
2. Because they received the Word with readiness
3. And searched the Scriptures to examine Paul & Silas’ words
One of the main qualities of a Berean was to “Search the Scriptures”. This brings us to another very important question. What is the Biblical definition of the word “Scriptures”?
Christians would answer saying “The Bible” without giving it a thought, but is this answer correct? What many Christians fail to understand is, that the New Testament was not available in the 1st Century. In fact the New Testament was not readily available till the late 4th Century. Most of the Epistles of Paul were directed at specific Congregations, which means the letter to the Romans went only to the Church of Rome, the letter to the Corinthians went to the Church of Corinth, and so on.
Please note that this study is not meant to demean the New Testament writings. The New Testament writings take an important part when it comes to our Faith. Without the Gospels, the epistles and other books in the New Testament, we would have no knowledge of our Messiah, the apostles and their teachings. This study is meant as an eye opener to all Christians to understand what “Scripture” meant to Yeshua (Jesus’ true name), His apostles and everyone in the 1st Century including the Bereans.
There is only one logical conclusion to the question “What was considered as Scripture by the Bereans?” – The Old Testament!
Most of the New Testament wasn’t even written at this point, and even if parts were written they were not in mass-distribution. Furthermore, the Bereans were checking whether Paul’s and Silas’ claims of the Good News was true. The only way to check this was to go back to the Old Testament and check all the prophecies that were fulfilled in Yeshua.
Christ considered what we call “The Old Testament” as Scripture
Mat 21:42, Mat 22:29, Mat 26:54,56, Mar 12:10,24, Mar 14:49, Luk 4:21, 24:27,32,45, Joh 5:39, 7:38, 10:35, 13:18, 17:12,
The Gospels & Apostles considered what we call “The Old Testament” as Scripture
Mar 15:28, Joh 2:22, 19:24,28,36,37, 20:9, Act 1:16, 8:32,35, 17:2,11, 18:24,28, Rom 1:2, 9:17, 10:11, 11:2, 15:4, 16:26, Gal3:8,22, 4:30, 1Cor 15:3,4, 1Tim 5:18, 2Tim 3:15, Jas 2:8,23, 4:5, 1Pet2:6, 2Pet1:20,21, 3:16
Yeshua, His Apostles and everyone who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob considered what we call the “Old Testament” as “Scripture” including the Bereans. The sad turn of events that have shaped our history and Christian Doctrine, has made the “Scripture” of our Messiah and His Apostles, into an “Old”, “By the way” part of the Bible. The majority of Christian congregations today, cannot truthfully say, that they give equal prominence to the so called “Old Testament” as they give to the “New”.
Christians have forgotten that the Words spoken out of the Mouth of God and most of the Prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled, are all in the “Old” Testament. Each and every writer of the New Testament wrote the Gospels, Epistles and other writings based on the “Scripture” of their day. And we, who are far removed from their time, have gradually forgotten the importance that they gave to what we call the “Old”.
Be a Berean! Read, test, check and examine whether what I am saying is actually true. If it is, in fact true, be of noble nature, and give the attention “The Scriptures” justly deserve. And let it not be “Old” and “New”, but one in the same, a continuation of the Love story between God Almighty and His Children.