Characteristic of human and animal populations (Gen 10; Acts 17:26-27). Out of His richness God created an unfathomable number of creatures to fill the earth (Gen 1:11-12, 20-22,24-25) and respond to Him in praise (Ps 148). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DIVERSITY)
To the Jews of New Testament times, sundown marked the end of an old day and the beginning of a new day. The twenty-four-hour period between each sundown was divided into twelve hours of night–beginning about 6:00 p.m.-and twelve hours of daylight-beginning with dawn at about 6:00 a.m. Continue reading THE JEWISH CLOCK
Israel was guilty of participating in various pagan worship practices. This included actual, physical prostitution at many Canaanite shrines left standing after the conquest of Canaan. The idea behind these degrading sexual rites was that the Canaanites fertility gods Baal and Asherah would favor the participants with healthy babies and crops. Continue reading WHY THE FREQUENT REFERENCES TO PROSTITUTES AND PROSTITUTION IN THE BOOK OF HOSEA?
Three of the four Gospels tell her story (Matt 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48), yet we don’t know her name. We don’t even know the name of her medical condition, only that she had some sort of incurable bleeding disorder-possibly hemophilia or, more likely, something gynecological in nature mophilia or, more likely, something gynecological in nature. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE BIBLE (A BLEEDING WOMAN)
The sheer unlikelihood of this event has caused many to interpret Jonah’s book as allegory or parable, not history as such. Indeed, no other account exists of a human being surviving such an event. Did it really happen to Jonah, and if so, how did he survive? Continue reading HOW CAN A PERSON SURVIVE SEVENTY-TWO HOURS INSIDE A FISH?
Breaking of the marriage covenant. An action contrary to the pattern of “one man, one woman, one lifetime” revealed by God in Gen. 1:27; 2:21-25. The root idea implied a cutting of the marriage bond. While ancient cultures different in details, most had a concept of marriage and a corresponding concept of divorce. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “DIVORCE”
These “wise men” were members of a priestly caste known as the Magi who practiced the art of astrology. They believed the sun, moon, and stars gave off periodic signs that foretold future events and the destiny of individuals and nations. They probably came from the territory of ancient Babylonia, since this nation had a prominent class of magicians and wizards who read the signs of the stars (Isa 47:13). Continue reading WORSHIPERS FORM AFAR
Revenge as a common human feeling has a long history. Legal scholars, for example, believe that revenge is the basis for all jurisprudence. When Harry first stole a cow from Joe, Joe took two of Harry’s goats. Then Harry grabbed three of Joe’s turkeys. And Joe, seeing where this could lead, mustered the village elders. Thus the first court was born. We seem to have an intuitive sense of justice made right, especially wrongs done against us. Revenge is our impulse to fix injustice. In that sense, praying for revenge may be just another name for praying that God will hear our tort claims, judge wrongdoers for their unjust deeds, and levy a just sentence. Thus we will not need to seek revenge ourselves. Continue reading IS PRAYING FOR REVENGE OKAY? (PSALM 56:6-7)
David may have been referring in this psalm to an ancient custom observed by mourners at funerals. They would collect the tears they shed for departed loved ones in small flasks and place them in their tombs as memorials of their love. The New International Version renders this phrase as “list my tears on your scroll.” But in a marginal note, it cites “put my tears in you wineskin” as a possible reading. Continue reading GOD KNOWS OUR TEARS
A way of living that manifests the character of God. The term “godliness” appears most frequently in the warning of Paul, specifically the Pastoral Epistles. Paul encouraged Timothy to pursue “godliness” In an active manner (1 Tim 6:11). By so doing, he challenged him to develop a true respect for God and then, in turn, to live his life Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (GODLINESS)