It was customary among the Romans to scourge or flog a condemned criminal before he was executed. A scourage was a whip with sharp pieces of metal or bone imbedded in the leather. The back and chest of the criminal were struck repeatedly with this whip until the flesh was severely lacerated, sometimes all the way down to the bone. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES “PUNISHMENT BY SCOURGING”
During His Galilean ministry, Jesus clashed with the scribes and Pharisees over appropriate the scribes and Pharisees over appropriate observance of the Sabbath on three different occasions. The first conflict appears only in the Gospel of John. Continue reading SABBATH CONTROVERSIES
LAWYER- Authoritative interpreter of the Mosaic law. Characterization of the lawyers is especially harsh in Luke’s Gospel: they rejected God’s purpose for themselves by refusing John’s baptism (7:30); they burdened others without offering any relief (11:45-46); they Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “LAWYER”
We sometimes think of the Old Testament as a book in which God makes repeated appearances of many kinds. But when we put a time line next to the account, we quickly realize that God’s manifest presence was far more rare and purposeful than we realized. The last time God made a direct appearance in Genesis he visited Jacob in a dream (46:1-7) and assured him his family would become “a great nation” while in Egypt (v. 3). Over four hundred years would pass before God would make another recorded appearance. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MOUNT SINAI)
To kill an innocent animal seems quite cruel. Our modern sensibilities are often by this requirement. But the lesson is this: Sin is serious! It offends a holy God. Human behavior bears consequences for all of creation. Continue reading ANIMAL SACRIFICE SEEMS BARBARIC AND PRIMITIVIE. WHY WOULD GOD REQUIRE SUCH AN UNPLEASANT RELIGIOUS EXERICSE?
RAPE- Crime of engaging in sexual intercourse with another without consent, by force and/or deception. Mosaic law required a man who had seduced a virgin to pay the bride price and offer to marry her (Exod 22:16-17). The rape of an engaged woman was a capital offense (Deut 22:25-27). In other cases of rape, the offender was required to Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (RAPE)
Ancient Israelites attached a severe social stigma to rape. A young woman victim was “ruined”-she became an outcast with no means of financial support and no prospects for a family of her own. So the law imposed on the perpetrator the responsibility of care for the victim-providing her a home and family-at considerable cost to him. Such an arrangement also reduced the need of the victim’s family to seek forcible revenge, thus sparing the culture much violence. Continue reading OLD TESTAMENT LAW REQUITES A MAN WHO RAPES A VIRGIN TO MARRY HER. WHY FORCE THE VICTIM OF SUCH A TERRIBLE CRIME MARRY THE PERPETRATOR?
One scholar recently uncovered controversial evidence suggesting that the ancient Egyptians produced written sheet music during the same centuries as the building of the mighty Sphinx, about 4500 years ago. Maureen M. Barwise claims to have deciphered musical hieroglyphs that date back as far as the fourth dynasty of the old kingdom, roughly 2600 B.C. Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (THE WOLD’S OLDEST SHEET MUSIC?)
CIVIL RIGHTS- Basis for civil rights is grounded in the impartiality of God (Deut 10:7-18; Acts 10:34; cp. Luke 20:21), in the created order by which all persons are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27-28; 9:6), and in the redemptive work of Christ (Gal 3:28). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (CIVIL RIGHTS)
40. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
41. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.
42. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (PSALM 119:40-45)