Tag Archives: Mark

SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (HAND)

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Beyond their obvious use in holding objects, hands have long had two other significant roles for people: we count on our fingers, and we measure with the length or breadth of our hands. Finger width and palm width were standard units of measure in Bible times. In passage like Exodus 25:25 and 37:12, 1 King 7:26, and Ezekiel 40:43 the span is transplanted “three inches,” but the original says “handbreadth” Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (HAND)

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SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (OIL)

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Most uses of the word oil in the Bible have ceremonial rather than food connections. Oils were harvested from animals fats, minerals, and vegetables. Oil also had medicinal purposes (Ps 23:5; Luke 10:34) and was used to fuel lamps Matt 25:1-13). In a bartering economy, oil was a commodity of value. In 2 Kings 4:1-7 Elijah helps a widow and her two sons by telling them to gather as many containers as possible and pour her meager supply of oil into the jars. The oil didn’t run out until every available jar had been filled. Elisha then told her to see the oil and live on the proceeds. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (OIL)

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SABBATH)

Sabbath

The term Sabbath come from the Hebrew word for “case.” This day of stopping normal activity and work was to serve as a reminder of God’s rest after the work of creation (Gen 2:2-3). God set aside this day as holy and blessed it as a gift to humankind. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (SABBATH)

SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (FISH)

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In the ancient world fish were a staple food and fishing was a common occupation. Of Jesus’ twelve disciples, seven of them worked as fishermen. Jesus commissioned these men using familiar symbolism, saying, “Come, follow me! I will teach you how to catch people instead of fish” (Matt 4:19). The fishing profession that was their livelihood became a symbol for their new calling of spreading the good news of salvation. Both at

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SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BAPTISM)

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Purification rituals involving water were common in ancient religious, so baptism would not have seemed like a practice that was peculiar to the early Christian church. For them, however, it was a once-for-all ritual washing rather than a repeated act. It is now a symbolic washing away sins upon conversion to faith in Christ. John the Baptist

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SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (WILDERNESS)

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The wilderness of the Near ease is a desolate, dry land consisting mostly of rock and sand, and is unfit for casual habitation. Life in the wilderness takes constant attention. Moses spent forty years in the wilderness, learning its ways. Into this setting God led the Israelites after rescuing them from Egypt. Living conditions were poor, and the Israelites faced serpents, scorpions, and drought (Deu 8:15). The land became an object lesson in

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WHO DIED AND MADE YOU AN APOSTLE?

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“JESUS”

That’s the answer Paul gives to critics who say he isn’t in the same league as Jesus’ disciples-a dozen men who share the highest office in the early church. The closest the Bible comes to defining apostle is when the word first shows up-when Jesus” 11 disciples search for someone to replace Judas. Candidates must come “from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus-from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us” (Acts 1:21-22). There’s no hint that Paul ever met Jesus during that time. Paul didn’t even convert until about five years after

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BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (STONE/ROCK) SEE ALSO CORNERSTONE

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In the ancient world, before the explosives and powerful tools we have today, rocks were impervious, seemingly eternal, and solid. In times of danger, a cliff formed a secure foundation or a safe hiding place, as David found when he was a fugitive being chased

Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (STONE/ROCK) SEE ALSO CORNERSTONE

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (DONKEY)

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Donkeys were a familiar sight in Bible times. In Old Testament times, before horses became used more regularly, riding a donkey or mule was a common form of transportation, even for royalty (2 Sam 13:29; 1 Kings 1:38). When laws were spelled out by God concerning the treatment of animals, donkeys were specifically mentioned in those instructions. Donkeys are included in the last of the Ten Commandments among the examples of a neighbor’s property that should not be coveted: “Never desire to take

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