During Old Testament times, the Jews divided the night into three “watchers” or divisions of time (read Exodus 14:24). But after the Romans occupied their territory, they adopted the Roman pattern of the four-watch night.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (NEW TESTAMENT WATCHERS)
“Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise” (Jeremiah 17:14).
When our bodies are injured, we know to go to the nearest hospital for help. When our souls are sick, where do we go? We will find no help at the Regional Medical Center. Only God can help the soul and His hospital for the sin-sick is the church. Eugene Peterson was right when he said, “The Sunday morning congregation is a hospital” (Hos. 6:1; Mk. 2:17; Lk. 4:18). How is the church like a hospital?Continue reading GOD’S HOSPITAL
The matter of circumcision became a contested issue as the early Christian church was finding its feet. To appreciate why, we first need to understand that this had grown to be a most important element within Judaism. Between the time of the Old and New Testament, Seleucid King Antiochus IV attempted to stamp out Judaism, in part by forbidding the practice of circumcision among the Jews. This rite had become so vital to the identity of God’s people that they chose to die rather than yield to this pagan order.Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CIRCUMCISE)
A theological term used to summarize the Christian belief in the tree-in-one identity of God. The doctrine of the Trinity may be succinctly defined as follows: There is only one true and living God who simultaneously and eternally exists as three distinct persons: the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. The three distinct person possess equally the fullness of theContinue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (TRINITY PT 1)
Term used to express the deity of Jesus of Nazareth as the one, unique Son of God. In the OT certain men and angels (Gen 6:1-4; Psa 29:1; 82:6; 89:6) are called “sons of God” (note text notes in modern translations). The people of Israel were corporately considered the son of God (Exod 4:22; Jer 31:20; Hos 11:1). The concept also is employed in the OT with reference to the king as God’s son (Psa 2:7). The promises found in the David covenant (2 Sam 7:14) are the source for this special filial relationship. The title can be found occasionally in intertestamental literature (Ezra 7:28-29; 13:32,37,52; 14:9).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SON OF GOD)
The Gospel of Mark describes a curious incident that look place on the night of Jesus’ arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. As the mob of Jewish religious leaders and Roman soldiers started to drag Jesus away, they noticed a young man sneaking around in a linen garment. “They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked” (Mark 14:51-52).Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JOHN MARK “THE COMEBACK KID”)
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”)
Public drama was apparently unknown in OT Israel except for possible worship activities and only arrived with the Greeks after 400 B.C. As a symbol of Greco-Roman culture, the presence of theaters in Palestine was a constant reminder of Greek and Roman control of the Jewish state.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (THEATER)
In our eclectic, pluralistic era, it may sound arrogant to claim that God forgives sins by one way only, and that one person only-Jesus-speaks the truth about God. How can Christians be so exclusive?Continue reading IS JESUS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD?