Scholars have debated the interpretation of Isaiah 7:14 for centuries. Three primary views tend to dominate the discussion. One view holds that the prophecy “the virgin will conceive” refers to a young, unmarried woman of marriageable age (the literal meaning of the Hebrew word translated “virgin”), who actually lived an married in the time of Isaiah and then gave birth to a son. Thus, this was not a “virgin birth” but a normal instance of marriage and childbirth.Continue reading WHAT WAS A “VIRGIN”?
When the Babylonian army captured and plundered the city of Jerusalem, King Nebuchadnezzar seized the golden utensils, spices, jewels, and other valuable items thatContinue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (LOOTING OF THE TEMPLE)
In the ancient Near East dreams were one of several ways people sought to see the future and to make decisions that would be beneficial to them. In some societies, people went to temples or holy places to sleep in order to have a dream that would show them the best decision to make.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DREAMS)
The Gospel writer Luke precedes his account of Jesus’ birth with that of a lesser (though still prominent) figure in Jewish prophecy: the forerunner who would prepare the way for the Messiah and announce his arrival.
The circumstance of this forerunner’s birth were memorable. His mother, Elizabeth, was a relative of Jesus’ mother, Mary. His father, Zechariah, served as a priest in the temple. One day the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to announce that he and his wife would have a son. When Zechariah asked how that could be possible, since he and Elizabeth were well past the age when most people become parents, Gabriel told him he would be mute until his son was born because of his unbelief (Luke 1:5-20).Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JOHN THE BAPTIST: LIVING LIKE YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE)
Literally “building up,” it approximates encouragement and consolation (1 Cor 14:3; 1 Thess 5:11); though with edification focus falls on the goal, defined as being established in faith (Col 2:7) or attaining unity of faith and knowledge, maturity, and the full measure of Christ (Eph 4:13). Edification is the special responsibility of the various church leaders (Eph 4:11-12) and is the legitimate context for the exercise of their authority (2 Cor 10:8; 13:10). The work of building up is, however, the work of all Christians (1 Thess 5:11), Spiritual gifts are given for the edification of the church. Of these gifts, those that involve speaking are especially important (1 Cor 14; Eph 4:29). All elements of Christian worship should contribute to edification (1 Cor 14:26). Prophecy and instruction are especially important (1 Cor 14:3, 18-19). Edification is not all talk, however, but involves demonstrating love (1 Cor 8:1) and consideration for those weak in faith (Rom 15:1-2).Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (EDIFICATION)
1.Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (1 CORINTHIANS 13: 1-8 LOVE IS THE GREATEST)
Some Christians join skeptics on this point. They doubt Matthew’s claim about Mary: “While she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18), Continue reading A PREGNANT VIRGIN?
Elijah never died. Celestial chariots of fire and a whirlwind carried him away.
Since his body wasn’t destroyed, some Jews consider it reasonable that he can return. Malachi’s promise leads many Jews to believe that Elijah will become the advance man for the Messiah-or as Isaiah put it, “the voice of someone shouting, ‘Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD!. . . Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together’ ” (Isaiah 40:3,5). Continue reading SECOND COMING OF ELIJAH
Creation starts the Bible, in the book of Genesis
The end of the world finishes it, in Revelation. That could lead us to think the Bible is printed in chronological order. But it’s not. If it were, Job would likely come after Genesis. That’s because Job seems to have lived in about the time of Abraham, whose story appears in Genesis. Instead, Job’s story comes after Esther, though this Persian queen wasn’t born for at least 1,500 years after Abraham and Job. The Bible is a library of 66 books written in many genres and over a span of more than a thousand years. How