The Jews from Matthew’s day would have disagreed. Tradition-minded Jews kept a record of their ancestors partly because certain rights and responsibilities were inherited. Priests descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses. Kings-and the coming Messiah-would descend from David, Israel’s most revered king.
Continue reading SHAKING JESUS’ FAMILY TREE →
Noah’s ark was a little longer than a football field (end zones included) and half as wide. Surprisingly, the space inside the ark equaled the storage space of about 370 railroad boxcars.
Ark dimensions: 150 yards long, 25 yards wide, and 15 yards high. A typical cruise ship today would dwarf it, since the ark was only about half the size.
Continue reading LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT (HOW BIG WAS THE ARK) →
While object representing deities were common in the ancient world, only statues created under carefully prescribed conditions and with proper rituals were regarded as real images that the deity inhabited. Some images were made of stone, cast of solid metal or molded from clay; however, the primary statues of deities that dominated the temples were usually carved of wood and covered with a thin layer of gold or silver and adorned with precious stones and elegant clothing. The Assyrian king Esarhaddon commissioned a major restoration of temples and images.
Continue reading MAKING AN IDOL →
136 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Continue reading SCRIPTURES OF THE DAY (PSALM 136:1-26) →
Magic is typically forbidden to Israel for a number of reasons: (1) Magic is human encroachment into the divine realm. (2) Magic is used to manipulate deity. (3) Magic involves relying on a power other than Yahweh. If that is the reason, a sanctioned prophet would be able to bypass all three; his office already enters the divine realm, and the power comes from Yahweh, even though the prophet appears to have some autonomy in using it. The prophets are called to wield divine authority at some level.
Continue reading PRACTICE OF MAGIC →
After this short visit to Capernaum, Jesus apparently traveled to Jerusalem to observe the Passover festival. Here He found the outer courts of the temple cluttered with merchants who were selling sacrificial animals to pilgrims who had come to the Holy City for the annual Jewish holiday. Other agents were busy exchanging foreign currency for the Jewish coins needed to pay the annual temple tax (John 2:13-25).
Continue reading JESUS’ CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE →
As the Israelites met and engaged the people who occupied the Promise Land before them, they might have been tempted to adopt the sacred-stone concept. To be sure, the Lord did allow a certain amount of parity between pagan worship and Israelite worship, such as the use of sacrifice, temple, and priesthood; but the line was drawn at employing sacred stone. “Do not make idols or set us an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God” (Lev 26:1; see Deut 16:22). But what about the sacred stones that had already been built by the previous occupants of the Promised Land?
Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (SACRED STONE “TO SET UP OR TO DESTORY” PT3) →
The term “blood of Christ” designates in the NT the atoning death of Christ. Atonement refers to the basis and process by which estranged people become at one with God (atonement=at-one-ment). When we identify with Jesus, we are no longer at odds with God. The meaning of Christ’s death is a great mystery. The NT seeks to express this meaning in
Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (BLOOD OF CHRIST-MEANING AND EFFECTS) →
In the Bible, light indicates what is good, pure, and holy. Darkness is synonymous with sin and evil. To say that God is light is to assert that God is perfectly pure and holy. Only God is without sin. He is the standard of perfection and truth by which everything is measured.
Continue reading WHY IS GOD SAID TO BE “LIGHT”? →
Sitting on the ground symbolized sadness and distress. So this is another image from Isaiah that expresses the fate of the nation of Judah if she continued on her present course (read Isaiah 3:24).
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (SITTING IN DESPAIR) →