In a terrifying vision, Isaiah finds himself standing in heaven’s throne room in the presence of God. The time is 740 BC, the year King Uzziah dies.
“It’s all over!” Isaiah says. “I am doomed, for I am a sinful man” (Isaiah 6:5). He knows God is holy and that sin can’t survive in God’s presence.
Continue reading A VISIT TO HEAVEN
Many Bible students are puzzled by the different placement of the cleansing of the temple in the Gospels. John places the temple cleansing here at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. But the synoptic Gospels-Matthew, Mark, and Luke-report that He purged the temple at the close of His public ministry about three years later (Matthew 21:12-19; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48). Did the cleansing of the temple happen once or twice?
Continue reading A QUESTION ABOUT THE TEMPLE CLEANSING
The sights, sounds, and smells of any form of public execution are never pleasant, but it is hard to find a method of execution more disturbing than crucifixion. The notion of crucifixion seems to have grown from the practice of impaling lifeless of living persons on a post. This practice morphed into crucifixion and was employed by the Persians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Jews, and eventually Romans.
Continue reading EVERYDAY BIBLE LIFE (CRUCIFY)
1.Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (REVELATION 2:1-13)
DEATH OF CAPERNAUM: The village remained exclusively Jewish, according to Epiphanius, a church leader born in the country in the AD 300s. In time, many Capernaum Jews converted to Christianity and are referred to in Jewish writings as minim, or heretics. By the AD 400s, Gentiles were living there. That’s when a church was built around Peter’s house-and archaeologists say gentiles did the building.
Continue reading AFTER BIBLE TIMES
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)
Early historian of Jewish life and our most important source for the history of the Jews in the Roman period. His four surviving works are The Jewish War (composed about A.D. 73), The Antiquities of the Jews (about A.D. 93), Life (an autobiographical appendix to The Antiquities), and Against Apion, penned shortly after The Antiquities. The date of Josephus’ death is unknown but was probably after A.D. 100.
Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (JOSEPHUS, FLAVIUS)
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)
The Jewish people believed that contact with a grave caused a person to become unclean (Numbers 19:16), so tombs were coated with a white lime solution to make them stand out to keep people from touching them accidently.
Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (CORRUPTION THE INSIDE)