Contaminated water was a problem in Bible times, just as it still is in many parts of the world. Paul’s practical advice to Timothy was to drink a little wine along with the water that he had been drinking, which had caused a stomach ailment. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MEDICINAL USE OF WINE)
Isn’t it amazing how an entire life can change in a moment? That’s the way it happened for the unnamed woman we meet in John 4.
On a nothing-special day in the Samaritan village of Sychar, she was minding her own business when she realized her household water jar was empty. It was unbearably hot out. Perfect, she thought. She probably wouldn’t have to see anyone or talk to anybody. Grabbing her water jar, she slipped out the door. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE BIBLE (THE SAMARITAN WOMAN: MEETING THE THIRST QUENCHER)
This verse is part of Isaiah’s prophecy of doom against Egypt. God’s punishment would be so devastating that it would spoil the Egyptian fishing industry. Fish taken from the Nile River and it’s tributaries were a staple of this ancient nation’s diet. Continue reading FISHING, EGYPTIAN STYLE
The Old Testament story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego runs parallel to that Daniel. Like the prophet of lions’ den fame, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were Jewish captives living in Babylon. Like Daniel, they earned positions as wise and trustworthy advisers of the king of Babylon. And like him, they inspired envy and enmity among their Babylonian counterparts in the king’s government. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (SHADRACH, MESHACH, AND ABEDNEGO: INTO THE FIRE)
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.
Continue reading A DOCTOR’S GUIDE TO JESUS’ CRUCIFIXION
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
Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE JAR/POTTERY/VESSEL/