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)
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)
From a historical perspective, it seems that Daniel came of age at exactly the wrong time in Israel. He was born just in time to see his once-great nation fall to the Babylonians. As punishment for their centuries unfaithfulness and disobedience. God allowed his people to be defeated by their enemies. Daniel, along with other young, strong, and capable people in Israel, was carried away into captivity in Babylon.Continue reading MAN OF THE BIBLE (DANIEL “UNSHAKABLE FAITH”)
The psalmist has an extremely high view of God’s ability to respond mightily to the believer’s plea for help. He uses poetic language to describe the indescribable-God’s almighty power. God sounds frightening because He is. When God acts to help someone prevail over injustice, the energy God expends will be much more frightening than the victim’s adversary.Continue reading WHY DOES GOD SEEM SO FRIGHTENING?
From an early age we are taught to respect the belongings of others even if our size and strength make it possible to take them by force. In order to understand the actions of the people of the ancient Near East, we need to make a major adjustment in this thinking. Within the cultural construct of this world, the expectation was that those who were victorious in battle had the right to seize the personal property of those defeated and even enslave the owners of that property. This practice of plundering is mentioned repeatedly in the literature of the ancient world peatedly in the literature of the ancient world and illustrated in the art of the empires that rose to power during the Old Testament era.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (PLUNDER)
Token or sign. While the word “symbol” does not appear in the Bible, both the OT and NT are rich in symbolism and symbolic language.
Symbols, whether objects, gestures, or rituals, covey meaning to the rational, emotional, and intuitive dimensions of human beings. The universal and supreme symbol of Christian faith is the cross, an instrument of execution. For Christians this hideous object comes to be a sign of God’s love human beings,.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SYMBOL)
Surely they are, in the sense of ultimate cause. But not necessarily, in the sense of proximate cause. It appears that God used these events as judgments at times. Continue reading ARE DROUGHTS AND FAMINES THE RESULT OF SIN?
We judge what’s good by establishing a benchmark, which has been the task of moral philosophers since the invention of language. Several benchmarks currently compete: personal pleasure, social stability accepted norms (“do not inflict needles pain” is one example). following religious teaching. or obeying God. Continue reading HOW CAN WE KNOW WHAT “GOOD” IS? (3 JOHN 11)
God addressed Ezekiel with an unusual title which will later become Jesus’ favorite way of referring to himself. The title is “son of man.” In the original Hebrew language, it’s literally ben Adam or “son of Adam” since Adam means “humans.” Continue reading WHY “SON OF MAN”?