As students , we learned to raise our hand in the classroom to gain recognition to speak. The en masse raising of hands at a sporting event signals celebration. Neither of these forms of hand raising are apparent in the art and literature of the ancient Near East, but we do find both morals and gods depicted with uplifted hands in a variety of scenarios.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (HANDS “TO RAISE OR STRETCH OUT” PT 1 OF 3)
Most Christians approach this topic from one of three viewpoints. One group sees all the gifts mentioned in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 as still operative today. Another group says that the more spectacular, so-called “sign” gifts (prophecy, tongues, healing) were given only for the beginning era of the church (people who hold this position are called “cessationists”). Still others teach that all the gifts were temporary in nature.Continue reading WHAT SHOULD WE BELIEVE ABOUT SPIRITUAL GIFTS?
Sailors of ancient times tended to be very superstitious because of their constant exposure to the dangers of the sea. When a storm struck the ship in which Jonah was escaping from the call of the Lord, they assumed the pagan gods were punishing them because of their displeasure with one person on board.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (SUPERSTITIOUS SAILORS)
This verse shows God’s desire that cities of refuge be established throughout the land once the Israelites had conquered and settled the land of Canaan. Any person who caused the accidental death of another could seek refuge in one of these cities until it was determined through due process what punishment, if any, should be levied against him.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (ACCIDENTAL DEATH)
When Jesus makes a promise, He keeps it. Previous generations thought they would see Jesus’ return, but they did not. Through this long wait, God has been faithful to His people. The church has grown. God’s family is getting larger.Continue reading DOES IT REALLY MATTER THAT MUCH IF JESUS EVER COMES BACK TO EARTH?
IN the ancient world, ensuring family line was absolutely necessary for security and survival. What else could a person leave behind? Books and writings? Probably not. Money? Yes, the family property might insure prosperity for a generation or two. Sons and daughters? Definitely. Without heirs, why accumulate an estate?Continue reading WHY WAS CHILDBEARING AND FATEHRING SO IMPORANT IN OLD TESTAMENT DAYS?
Created beings whose primary function is to serve and worship God. Though some interpret the “us” in Gen 1:26 as inclusive of God and His angelic court, the Bible does not comment as to when they were created. Unlike God they are not eternal or omniscient. The Hebrew word in the OT is mal’ak, and the NT Greek word is angelos. They both mean “messenger” and occasionally refer to human messengers.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (ANGEL 1 OF 3)
Paul (or Saul, as he was also known) was a zealot, a staunch defender of the Jewish faith. He was especially zealous about exposing and punishing offshoots of Judaism that threatened to obscure its message.
He targeted the disciple of a rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth who were attempting to keep his message alive even after the rabbi himself had been crucified. They spread stories about seeing him risen form the dead. They claimed he was the Son of God and the way to everlasting life.Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (PAUL “THE UNLIKELIEST DISCIPLE”)
The motif of the torn garment is linked to political changes in Israel as well. When Saul was rejected as king, he tore the hem of Samuel’s garment just before hearing “the LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors” (1 Sam 15:27-28; also read 28:17). Later when David’s son Solomon harbored sins that were not appropriateContinue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TEAR A GARMENT PT 2 OF 2)
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For the body is not one member, but many.Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-23)