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Current Issue

Whose sons were Jesus’ brothers?

Regarding your response to the man asking whether Joseph had children before he married Mary, the Bible says, “Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Matthew 1:23). I don’t know what your idea of a virgin is, but mine has always been that it’s a woman, regardless of age, who has never had intercourse with a man and therefore has never had a child. If Jesus was her first son, then the sons who came to Jesus with Mary (Matthew 12:47) had to have been sons of Joseph before he married Mary.

Jean Snyder, Oceanside, California

Editor’s response: Our idea of a virgin is the same as yours. However, the Bible suggests that Joseph and Mary did have sexual intercourse after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:25), so Jesus’ brothers could have been Mary’s sons.

The new Sabbath?

Regarding Samuele Bacchiocchi’s article “From Saturday to Sunday” (October 2005), the Sabbath is still Saturday, but it is no longer observed as under the law. We wait for the true Sabbath to come, when we hope to enter “into the rest.” For the believer in Christ every day is “separated” unto God as a holy day. The first day of the week, perhaps especially so, in commemoration of Jesus rising from the dead.

Richard Plate, Salem, Oregon

Editor’s response: Where do you find all of that in the Bible?

Sabbath and calendar change

The editor’s article “Sabbath as Holy Time” (October 2005) described past calendar changes. An annual calendar that does not change seems much better than the present 14 variations. If New Year’s Day and the extra leap year day were not counted as days of the week, then a consistent annual calendar could be achieved. Would this change affect the Sabbath?

Charles Wilson, Orick, California

Editor’s response: Yes and No to your question. God consecrated every seventh day as “holy time” (Exodus 20:8-11). Any adjustment human governments might make to the weekly cycle won’t change God’s weekly cycle. However, it would cause great confusion for people who observe the Sabbath on Saturday, because their Sabbath would shift from Saturday to Friday the first year to Thursday the next, etc. Try explaining that one to your employer!

Jesus’ obedience vs. ours

The article by Jerry Thomas, “How God Became One of Us “ (December 2005), referred to our keeping the law and that Jesus proved it can be kept. This great truth fails to come to grips with the fact that absolutely nobody other than Jesus really kept the law.

Paul W. Jackson, M.D., Wallingford, Pennsylvania

Biased reporting?

I thought your reporting of the Pope’s meeting with the World Council of Churches (“Religion in the News,” November 2005) was misinformed if not disingenuous. You obviously imply that the problem that churches don’t “recognize each other’s baptism” is primarily a Roman Catholic one. In fact, in his address to Pope Benedict, Mr. Kobia of the World Council of Churches was referring to a problem within the World Council of Churches.

Joe Magee, Tuba City, Arizona

Editor’s response: We simply quoted Mr. Kobia’s words. Reading again the news item, we don’t see Mr. Kobia implying that the problem was with either Catholics or Protestants.

Thanks for photos

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now I am happy. Was it my lone voice “crying in the wilderness,” or did several others also strongly object to the absence of writers’ photos at the end of the articles?

Name withheld by request

Editor’s response: We changed the design of our magazine beginning with the February 2005 issue, and we also made a number of editorial changes, one of which was to omit author’s photos at the end of articles. However, we reinstated them as a result of reader response; we also started letters to the editor again, and we increased the size of the type.

Your Thoughts

by Readers
From the April 2006 Signs  

We welcome your reaction to any of the articles or columns in this issue. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, punctuation, and space. All letters to the editor become the property of Signs of the Times®. You can write a letter to the editor and submit it online on the Letters to the Editors page.

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