Most of the writers of the NT grew up in the world of “second Temple Judaism,” the time between the temple’s reconstruction (516 B.C.) and its final destruction (A.D. 70). This period introduced changes into the political structure, culture, and religion of the OT world.Continue reading THE TIME BETWEEN THE TESTAMENTS
The Bible records several instances of suicide (Abimelech-Judg 9:54; Samson-Judg 16:29-30; Saul-1 Sam 31:4; Saul’s armor beaer-1 Sam 31:5 Ahithophel-2 Sam 17:23; Zimri-1 Kings 16:18; and Judas-Matt 27:5; cp. Acts 16:27). Of these, the deaths of Abimelech and Saul could be called “assisted” suicide. With the possible exception of Samson (whose death may be better termed “martyrdom”), the Bible presents each person who committed suicide as an individual whose behavior is clearly not to be emulated.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SUICIDE)
Worship of the sun and other heavenly bodies was common among the pagan nations of the ancient world. For example, the city of Ur in Mesopotamia from which Abraham migrated was a center of moon worship. The Egyptians worshiped the sun god known as Ra (Gen 12:15). The Lord, speaking through Moses, specifically prohibited this form of idolatry.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (WORSHIP OF THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS)
The physical act of circumcision was a sign of the covenant between of God and Israel in which he had chosen them and promised to be their God for all generations (Gen 17:10-11; Acts 7:8). In this act, the foreskin of a male child’s penis was removed (Lev 12:3). More rarely, circumcision was performed on adults. When God made his covenant promises to Abraham, he insisted that they be sealed with the physical reminder that the Israelites were a people set apart. Those who failed to comply with this condition were excluded from covenant community (Gen 17:14; Exod 12:48). Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CIRCUMSCISION)
To be superior to “all the gods of Egypt” was quite a claim, since the Egyptians are known to have worshiped more than thirty pagan deities. These included the bull god Apis, who ensured fertility; Hathor, the goddess of love; and Thoth, the god of wisdom and books. Continue reading ALL THE GODS OF EGYPT
Large basin or bowl used in purification rites. The OT describes the lavers used in the tabernacle and in Solomon’s temple. The bronze laver of the tabernacle was constructed from metal mirrors provided by the women who ministered at the tabernacle entrance (Exod 38:8). The priests used the laver for washing their hands and feet before priestly service (Exod 30:18; 40:30-31). Levites also used water from this laver to purify Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (LAVER)
God’s initiative in encountering people. Biblical words for the presence of God usually relate to the “face” of God. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (PRESENCE OF GOD)
Because of God’s great promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). God challenged Abraham to leave his homeland and extended family and to follow divine guidance. God promised to bring Abraham to a new land and to make his offspring a great nation. Continue reading WHY IS ISRAEL CALLED THE “PROMISED LAND”?