Vol. 8, No. 2
Since You Asked
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Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.
Obviously, a man leading a public prayer should pray loudly enough that those who are assembled with him and on whose behalf he is praying can adequately hear the prayer. How else could they acknowledge the appropriateness of and express their agreement with the prayer by saying "Amen"? A pray would be indiscernible not only if it were spoken in a language the hearer did not understand, but also if it were spoken quietly enough that the hearer could not make out the words (1 Corinthians 14:16). Certainly, lacking a public address system, one would need to speak more loudly than if a public address system were available.
However, purposely making a spectacle or unnecessary show while praying by shouting (praying much more loudly than required for the circumstances) is another matter. Scribes in Jesus' day were condemned by our Lord for their showmanship while making public prayers; maybe loud, their prayers were also unnecessarily "long."
Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation." (Luke 20:46-47)
One should pray loudly enough and for the right purpose. More than that is not authorized by Holy Scripture.
I had read and always assumed that James, brother of Jesus was younger than Jesus, but have recently read that Catholics believe that Mary was always a virgin. What about Jesus' other brothers and sisters. Were they a product of a former marriage of Joseph. Are there any books that discuss the early life of Jesus, or times that he spent with the Essenes? Thank you, Marla Rasnick
The Catholics are mistaken about Jesus' mother being a perpetual virgin; the Gospel records teach otherwise. Please visit the articles below for a fuller answer to that question.
The Bible says nothing of any "former marriage of Joseph." The only authoritative book on the "early life of Jesus" is the Bible (especially the Gospel records).
Frankly, not much about the early life of Jesus appears in the Bible excepting his birth and later his visit to the Temple at the age of 12. The next 18 years of Jesus' life are summarized thus: "And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man" (Luke 2:51-52). Further, there is neither biblical nor extra-biblical evidence that Jesus ever spent time with the Essenes, which Jewish sect is not directly mentioned in the Bible at all. However, Jesus may have censured the Essenes through contradicting one of their popular doctrines. An interesting contrast occurs between the Manual of Discipline (a non-biblical (Essene) Dead Sea Scroll) and the Gospel of Christ. "But in the Manual of Discipline, when a member was accepted into the Qumran community, he had to swear to love the sons of light and 'hate the sons of darkness for all eternity'" (Humble 50-51). Jesus, however, taught: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:43-44).
Humble, Bill. Archaeology and the Bible. Nashville: Christian Communications, 1990.