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The Author

Ben van Noort, MA is a graduate from Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Since 1975 he worked as a high school teacher in Christian Religion. He had an active part in preparing a series of textbooks for Christian education as editor and co-author. He wrote many articles concerning biblical issues.

How it began
When I started as a high school teacher for Christian religion to adolescents, I was forced to reconsider the old and central problem in theology; “What about the words of Jesus?” My senior pupils leaned back, saying, “Sir, it was all written long after the events, wasn’t it? So how do we know it is true?” Another remarked: “Yes Sir, it’s fiction, just as we have learned with Dutch Language and Literature.” There I stood, empty-handed after five years of academic theological studies. Of course I knew the dilemma, but it was so clear presented by my pupils that I could only feel respect for them. This experience brought me again to the books to seek for the answers.

I started with the first verses of the Gospel of Luke (1:1-4), which contain the basic ideas about the oldest Christian transmission. I don’t know how often I have turned the words of this Bible passage over in my mind. To make it easier, I learned the Greek text by heart so that I could meditate on it every moment of the day. Slowly, an entirely new reality started to unfold. This text spoke of writers, who promptly followed Jesus.

For the work with my high school students, my discoveries gradually made an impact. They did not lean back anymore, this was real. Gradually much research had to be done. This necessitated taking a deep breath to understand all the grammatical aspects in the key-passages and for the mass of new explanations that were required for the Gospels as books.