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)
In the work of creation, God the Father brought the universe into being out of nothing by the agency of His Word and His Spirit. In the first chapter of Genesis, one reads, “God created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1). The unformed and uninhabited earth is covered by darkness and water, but the Spirit of God is “hovering” over the waters of the earth, ready to bring form to the earth so it can be inhabited. God then speaks: “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3). Throughout the works of creation, God the Father speaks forth His Words (i.e. the Son), and the unformedContinue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (TRINITY PT 2)
Term used to express the deity of Jesus of Nazareth as the one, unique Son of God. In the OT certain men and angels (Gen 6:1-4; Psa 29:1; 82:6; 89:6) are called “sons of God” (note text notes in modern translations). The people of Israel were corporately considered the son of God (Exod 4:22; Jer 31:20; Hos 11:1). The concept also is employed in the OT with reference to the king as God’s son (Psa 2:7). The promises found in the David covenant (2 Sam 7:14) are the source for this special filial relationship. The title can be found occasionally in intertestamental literature (Ezra 7:28-29; 13:32,37,52; 14:9).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SON OF GOD)
Some Christians actually preach this idea, and many people become disillusioned when their experience turns painful. The only people who can claim to live trouble-free are those who redefine “trouble” into a word that describes absolutely nothing.Continue reading WILL GOD ELIMNATE ALL TROUBLE FROM OUR LIVES?
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 idea that one Israelite could permanently own another was completely ruled out; and though debt slavery was permitted, it was limited in duration to six years (Exod 21:1-4; Lev 25:39-55). What is more, each slave was invited to participate in the religious life of God’s people, including Passover and the Sabbath day of rest (Exod 12:43-44; 23:12). This took on an even more mature tone when Paul taught that slavery was not a barrier to becoming aContinue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE BIBLE TIMES (SALVE, “TO BECOME OR TO BE FREED”)
The Romans appear to have at least two types of whips for flogging. The more serious of the two, the flagellum, consisted of a handle with leather straps attached to it. Knots were tied into the straps with bone or sharp metal bits tied onto them. This was the device used prior to crucifixion to brutalize those condemned so severely that they would be incapable of effective resistance. There was no limit to the number of blows that could be struck, and the beating often continued until the flesh hung down in bloody strips.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (FLOG,WHIP,SCOURAGE PT2)
There is nothing wrong with women wanting to look their best. Paul’s point in this passage is that flamboyance and immodesty in dress are out of place in public worship. Our appearance should not be a distraction to others as they seek to commune with the Lord. And this applies to men as well as women!Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (DRESS FOR WORSHIP)
The apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans is widely regarded as his magnum opus. He began with eleven chapters that are deeply theological, essentially answering the question, “What does the gospel of Jesus really mean?” Then Paul wrote four more chapters that are decidedly practical, answering the question, “What differences does the gospel make in the believer’s life?Continue reading WOMEN OF THE BIBLE (PHOEBE “WOMAN OF IMPACT”)