Working in clay is one of the ancient professions. Long before paper, damp clay served as a surface to receive the marks that represented early writing called cuneiform. And people discovered that baked clay contained water and could be used for cooking more efficiently than tightest woven baskets. When one of our brilliant ancestors discovered the potter’s wheel, the age of clay had arrived. Eventually, clay pots became widely used
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE JAR/POTTERY/VESSEL/
VENGEANCE– Punishment in retaliation for an injury or offense; repayment for a wrong suffered. The Levitical law prescribed, “You shall not take vengeance” (Lev 19:18). Only God was qualified to take vengeance, because His acts were based on His holiness, righteousness, and justice, which punishes sin and vindicates the oppressed and the poor in spirit (Deut 32:35; Rom 12:19). Continue reading DEFINITION OF VENGENCE
Throughout history, crowns have been the primary image for authority and honor. In the Bible, it is clear that God is the one who crowns kings. All earthly authority comes from him (Rom 13:1-2). In David’s psalm describing the king, we read that God “welcomed him with the blessings of good things and set a crown of fine gold on his head” (Ps 21:3). The king’s crown was a symbol of his representative rule of the kingdom that was ultimately ruled by God, God is the only true authority, the everlasting King. Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (CROWN)
In a literal sense, heaven is the eternal dwelling place of God (Gen 24:7), the angels (Gen 28:12), and the saints-Christians who have died (Eph 2:6; Rev 20:4). The imagery surrounding heaving in Scripture is filled with pictures of an otherworldly paradise, the world as it was meant to be in all of its original perfection. Heaven itself is not an image in Scripture-it is a real place, in the same way earth is a real place, in the same way earth Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (HEAVEN)
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
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BAPTISM)
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
Continue reading BIBLE BOOKS OUT OF ORDER
Shameful and unnatural are two words that sum up what Paul has to say about homosexuality. Some Bible translators punch up his criticism with even stronger words: indecent and perversion. “Men committed indecent acts with other men, and
Continue reading PAUL’S TOUGH TAKE ON HOMOSEXUALITY
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
7. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
8. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (ROMANS 11:7-9)
Spectator sports and entertainment were fully developed by the Romans so as to satisfy the common people’s lust for excitement and blood. Even the rush for seats was an excitement in itself; there were no reserved seats until the time of Augustus. In the arena, condemned criminals fought against wild animals-lions, bears, elephants, and hyenas- and the crowd would urge on the contest. Paul says that he fought against wild beasts at Ephesus (1 Corinthians 15:32), but he may have been referring to the experiences recorded in Acts 19 in a metaphorical way (see also Hebrews 10:33).
Continue reading MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE BIBLE (SPECTATOR SPORTS)