Conservative churches that discourage or ban use of alcoholic beverages are bewildered at the production of wine as Jesus’ first miracle. Such churches have sometimes insisted that the wine in John 2 was nonalcoholic, despite the wedding guests’ unusual delight and appreciation of it. Surely, Jesus did make very good wine, yet not hint of alcoholic abuse clouds this account. Continue reading DOES JESUS’ MIRACLE AT CANA ENCOURAGE THE USE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES?
Before grain was ground into flour, it was sifted in a sieve to remove any dirt or sand that had become mixed in with the grain during the harvesting process (see note on Ruth 3:2). The larger gain would remain in the sieve while the smaller dirt particles would fall through the sieve to the ground. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A SIFTING GOD)
- Victim is stripped and tied to a pole.
- Shards of metal and bone are laced into the leather whip.
- Romans aren’t limited to 40 strokes, as are the Jews.
- Pain and blood loss set stage for shock.
Nicodemus was a religious leader, a Pharisee, and a member of the ruling Jewing Sanhedrin. He appears three times in the Gospel of John, and each event shows his growing awareness that Jesus was the Son of God. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (NICODEMUS: PROGRESSION OF BELIEF)
Song was a powerful form of mass communication for those times. It was a fast and easy way of communicating to a big audience. So why not use it as another version of the five o’clock news? The incident that was celebrated here was about when Jael killed the Continue reading WHY CELEBRATE A MURDER IN A SONG (JUDGES 5:24-27)
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
Matthew and Luke include the phrase in their reports of John the Baptist’s announcement concerning the baptism that Jesus will bring. Mark and John do not report it. What did John the Baptist mean?