John’s use of the “Word” to describe Jesus was a startling new application of a popular expression. The term was used widely by theologians and philosophers, both Jews and Greeks. It described the agent of creation (Psalm 33:6); God’s message to His people through the prophets (Hosea 1:2); and God’s law, His standard of holiness (Psalm 119:11). In Greek philosophy, “the Word” was the principle of reason that governed the world. Continue reading IN WHAT WAY WAS JESUS THE “WORD”?
Nehemiah describes himself as “the king’s” cup-bearer” (Nehemiah 1:11). That’s a palace servant who brings the king his wine, after tasting it to make sure no one has spiked it with poison. Continue reading MORE THAN THE KING’S WINE TASTER
This verse continues Isaiah’s condemnation of the people of Judah, whom he compared to dancing girls (see note on Isaiah 3:16). He declared that God would take away all evidence of Judah’s pride, symbolized by the fine clothes and jewelry worn by these dancing girls. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (PAGAN JEWELRY)
Isaiah 6 records the prophet’s vision of God, “I saw the Lord.” Yet Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; and 1 John 4:12 state that no one has ever seen God. Continue reading HOW CAN ISAIAH SAY HE SAW THE LORD, WHEN MANY SCRIPTURES DECLARE THAT NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN GOD?
In three other of his epistles, Paul instructed believers to greet one another in this way (1 Corinthians 16:20: 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26). Thus, we can assume that the holy kiss (“kiss of charity,” 1 Peter 5:14) was practiced widely among the early New Testament churches. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (PAUL’S “HOLY” KISS)
- Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
- For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eat-eth herbs.
- Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him
Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (ROMANS 14:1-9) THE DANGER OF CRITICISM
False teachers add or subtract from the Bible. They often have a “revelation” that allegedly supplies new data about divine matters-data that the Bible fails to reveal, so to speak. False teachers devalue the work of Jesus Christ by making Him less than God incarnate.They twist the trust the meaning of His death or reject the truth of His resurrection. Continue reading HOW CAN A PERSON IDENTIFY A FALSE TEACHER?
Today we know Matthew as the one of the four beloved writers whom God used to chronicle the life of Jesus so we would have it, could refer to it, and could be transformed by it. But Matthew wouldn’t have felt the love during his era. He was from Galilee, and while Rome occupied the area, collaborators like Matthew were the ones who collected taxes for them. Tax collectors were also known to becomes rich by charging more than was due. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (MATTHEW: TAX COLLECTOR TURNED EVANGELIST)
The most notable candlesticks in the Bible are those created for use in God’s house. The lamp stand or menorah that stood in the tabernalce was made of a single sheet of pure gold and had seven branches, each topped with a lamp in the shape of an almond blossom (Exod 25:31-40). Solomon’s temple had ten of these candles (1 Kings 7:49). Each lamp burned olive oil and was kept burning through the night as a symbol that God was with his chosen people at all times (Exod 27:21; 1 Sam 3:3). Extrabiblical sources suggest that in later times the middle lamp, which represented God himself, was kept burning around the clock. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CANDLESTICK/LAMP STAND)
Solomon, the Teacher, remarks that the increase of knowledge and wisdom only brings greater grief and sorrow. The state of affairs naturally begs the question: Why be educated? Why not live out your life in happy ignorance? Continue reading IF KNOWLEDGE BRINGS GRIEF, WHY SHOULD ANYONE BE EDUCATED?