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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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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).
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GRACE- Favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what the person deserves. Grace is one of the key attributes of God. The Lord God is
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When asked where feet appear in the Bible, most people are likely to point to Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” Following the principle that we usually go where our feet go, the most common symbolic use for feet in the Bible is to represent our lives. The psalmist repeatedly praised God because “he makes my feet like those of a deer and gives me sure footing on high places” (Ps. 18:33) and because he
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Entertainment and spectator/participatory sports did not develop until Greek and Roman times. Races had been run in Israel (Jeremiah 12:5), but they were not for entertainment. It was the promotion of sports in the Greek fashion in 170 BC that led to the division among Jews between Sadducees and Hasidim.
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The agricultural practice of grafting joining a shoot or bud to a growing plant so they grow together into a new plant-was well-known in the ancient world. It was usually done to promote new growth and increased fruit production among similar plant species. Grafting was a faster way to get a mature plant than starting from seeds. Often a branch from a cultivated tree would be grafted onto an already established wild tree, and the wild tree
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