The most critical component of contemporary Bible studies is making scripture relevant. An ancient text may not seem to have messages that modern readers can understand, but the challenge of reading the Bible with fresh eyes is not insurmountable. In fact, the rewards of reading and applying the Bible are infinite. As McKnight (2008) states, "no one does everything the Bible says," (p. 12). The Bible was written for an ancient audience with specific concepts and stories relevant to them. It is a mistake to read the Bible as if the same social and political realities exist today. eading to retrieve, as McKnight (2008) puts it, is like taking the easy way out but it will have less relevance and meaning for the modern reader seeking truth. It is both impossible and undesirable to try and squeeze the realities of the post-modern world into the construct of ancient Israel.…… [Read More]
And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life" King James Version ( Exodus 21:22-23)
This is an example of an abortion case which is minimal yet needs justice to be served by the civil authorities. In this example, there are four sensitive phrases which needs to be emphasized and interpreted in order to bring out the intensity of this abortion issues, the phrases/sentences are; "If men strive...." has been used to imply, injury caused by men in indefinite numbers, they can be one or many. The other phrase is, "So that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow....," this shows that in case of a premature birth, caused or not caused by an injury, the man responsible for the "premature birth" should be punished by the civil authorities, and so he will be liable for a fine. Therefore, if these current laws are…… [Read More]
In contrast to a diachronic approach is a synchronic approach. This constitutes an examination of something at a single point in time. There is no speculation or even consideration of how the phenomenon might have been in the past or how it might be in the future. A synchronic approach is a form of reification, a privileging of one moment in time over all others.
Two examples of diachronic analysis that are very helpful in furthering one's understanding of the messages of the Bible. One is a changing sense of language and languages. The languages that the Bible has been presented in have changed themselves from Hebrew and Greek to Latin and then to a wide range of vernacular languages.
These linguistic changes have shifted the meanings of each passage in the Bible as have the changes internal to each language itself. Languages are living (and dying) creatures, and even…… [Read More]
Selected Scriptural Passages
The following interpretations of passages from the Holy Bible are based on the scriptures as recorded in the New International Version (NIV).
Jeremiah 15 finds the prophet pleading with the Lord on behalf of the children of Israel. God intends to bring carnage and punishment upon the Jews for failing to adopt the Hebrew law and to reform their lives. Jeremiah argues that this is not a fair punishment because he himself has so faithfully taken up God's ord. In this passage, Jeremiah contends that he has consumed the ord of God and carried out His will without wavering. This is intended to make a case against the destruction of the people of Israel, a case which is ultimately successful. As it applies to my experience, I take this to mean that I should speak out on behalf of just causes and lead…… [Read More]
The purpose of this discussion was to examine the Influence of the Bible on Christian mission. The investigation found that the bible serves as the foundation or blue print for the Christian faith and as such it is essential to spreading the gospel of Christ. Missionaries have used the bible and its teachings to evangelize for centuries. The research also suggests that translated bibles and bible recordings have allowed missionaries more effectively witness to people throughout the world. The research also focused on how the Bible has won some countries over to Christ and its influence in some countries. In countries such as Tanzania, the bible and its teachings has won many converts. In places such as China, the spread of Christianity has continued despite governmental control and antagonism toward Christianity.
Alfeyev, H. (2005). European Christianity and the Challenge of Militant Secularism. The Ecumenical eview, 57(1), 82+.
Barnett…… [Read More]
This is the Jealous God that Huston carries throughout his film as a representation of Godly power. This view also raises many associated questions; such as the fact that God must also have been the originator of the snake. In this section and in the others that follow it seems that the central impetus in the film is in reality a critique and an indictment of the God of the Old Testament, as the lecture notes suggest.
In the film the ible it is the humanism and the sensationalism of the biblical text or rather the reduction of the iblical text to the human level in terms of motivation that characterizes Huston's Interpretation of the characters. The central theme of jealousy is continued in the story of Cain and Abel. The murder of Abel by Cain is also a question of jealousy in that the one brother is…… [Read More]
Inconsistencies and Contradictions in the Bible
The Bible consists of a collection of sixty-six separate books. These books were chosen, after a bit of haggling, by the Catholic Council of Carthage in 397 A.D. - more than three hundred years after the time of Jesus (Spivey & Smith 1989). This collection is broken into two major sections: The Old Testament, which consists of thirty-nine books, and The New Testament, which consists of twenty-seven books. (Catholic Bibles include an additional twelve books known as the Apocrypha.) The Old Testament is concerned with the Hebrew God, Yahweh, and purports to be a history of the early Israelites. The New Testament is the work of early Christians and reflects their beliefs about Jesus; it purports to be a history of what Jesus taught and did (Spivey & Smith 1989).
The composition of the various books began in about 1000 B.C. And…… [Read More]
Morality stems from Christ, not from human law. Human law is at best a reflection of God's law. When we try to impose moral laws on ourselves or our fellow human beings, we fail to live up to the glory of Christ because we are sinners by nature. Instead of struggling to live according to mundane morality, we can instead surrender to the higher law that is Christ. This sentiment is one that I have heard many times from other people, but it was not until I read it first hand in the Bible that it made sense to me. There was something to my personally connecting with those words that made a difference in my understanding of this simple truth.
The Bible has inspired me to live my life from faith. I have never doubted God, but also did not understand how to balance faith with the pressures of…… [Read More]
Just like this, the covenant of God with the Church through his Son Jesus is presaged by the sign of Jonah by the three days in the tomb and involving a triune Godhead where there is unity of purpose to save and reconstitute humanity on a universal basis. The new priest Melchizidek presages a universal priesthood that is not limited to the nation of Israel, but like Jonah is preached to and is available to all of humanity if they repent and accept it. As we see in Gen.14, Ps.110, Heb.7, Jesus the new Melchizedek, like Jonah, takes this message of peace to all of the nations to offer them the chance to repent and not be destroyed.
In the case of the two suite-mates engaged in the heated debate about their ethical topic, the impasse of "the Bible is full of contradictions" vs. "there are no contradictions in…… [Read More]
Paul is explicit: any deviation from not even the divine law but merely the natural law will result in expulsion from Paradise -- just as happened to the first man and woman when they violated the only law that God gave them.
Or we may look at Paul's epistle to the Romans: "God has given them up to shameful lusts; for their women have exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature, and in like manner the men also, having abandoned the natural use of the woman, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men doing shameless things and receiving in themselves the fitting recompense of their perversity."
Now, a modern exegesis would claim that Paul is only applying a Jewish standard on the Romans -- but as Malick notes, such is certainly not the case. Certainly, Judaic law opposed homosexuality, but Paul was…… [Read More]
Bible is replete with passages related to healing and encouragement during times of stress. Major surgery is certainly a cause for stress, anxiety, and fear. eading scripture and internalizing the Word of God is the best way to assuage fears. Faith conquers fear. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear," (1 John 4:18). The Old and New Testaments contain a wealth of wisdom that can inspire, uplift, and heal. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LOD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you,"
One of the best ways to remain strong, positive, and open hearted before, during, and after a major medical operation is by recalling the life of Jesus. Jesus' mission was to transform the human condition. Part of what Jesus did to enlighten, inspire, and encourage…… [Read More]
Pilate and the Roman conversion
To this day, Pilate is not seen as a hero to all sects of Christianity, and arguably with good reason. In short, he is not Abraham, nor Daniel,. Abraham did not kill his son, and Daniel successfully stopped the persecution of Susannah. Pilate, by contrast, was in a position to halt the execution of Jesus, but did not. The fact that he believed in Jesus' innocence, which is well documented, arguably means little when one considers that he did not act on his moral convictions to save Jesus' life. Perhaps Pilate was little more than a pawn in a greater plan by God, and therefore deserves a pass from those who would revile him, but there could be more to attempts by early Christians to portray him favorably.
It is important to remember that Emperor Constantine in the fourth century converted the Roman Empire to…… [Read More]
The historiography also refers to the selection and synthesis Old Testament materials. The most complete list include Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Ruth, Judges, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Chronicles, Esther and Ezra-Nehemiah.
Major characteristics of historiography in the Old Testament are as follows:
Historiography is a general term for Old Testament historical texts;
It illustrates Israeli's national development and life;
The Old Testament literature is ethological because it seeks to render account of the past and provide explanation of circumstance of the past;
Old Testament relates the past explanation or causes that actually took place;
The historiography in the Old Testament provides the past for the prime elements of self understanding of Israel;
Key to that understanding reveals Israelis relationship with God;
Israelite found Yahweh to be the ultimate explanation for their origin and present state;
History of Bible is written in ideological and theological purpose;
Biblical historiographers…… [Read More]
Bible and Job
hat kind of person is Job?
The first line of the Bible's Book of Job tells us that the man was "perfect and upright," meaning that he worshipped God faithfully and avoided evil in his own life. As the owner of a large farm containing thousands of livestock, Job was considered to be a wealthy man in his time. Job was also an honorable family man, as he cared greatly for his seven sons and three daughters, even offering burnt sacrifices on his altar to sanctify his children from their sins. As the story of Job continues, the reader also learns that he is a very patient man, as he keeps his faith despite God's series of punishments.
hat kind of conversation occurs between God and Satan? Does God's behavior here trouble you? hy or why not?
During their conversation, Satan challenges God to a bet by…… [Read More]
Galatians 5:16-18 encapsulates what is needed to live the Christian life. The passage describes the struggle between the pleasures of the flesh and the glory of the spirit. When a Christian lives according to the will of God, he or she lives and "walks by the Spirit," (Galatians 5:16). Walking by the Spirit diminishes the desires of the flesh, to the point where the individual is no longer tempted. It is impossible to live both in the flesh and in the Spirit, for "the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other," (Galatians 5:17). A Christian cannot do anything he or she wants to do, gratifying every pleasure or fulfilling every desire. Paul, the author of Galatians, goes on to explain what is meant by both the life of the Spirit and the…… [Read More]
Of all the "I AM" statements uttered by Jesus, "I AM the bread of life" may be the most intriguing and perhaps most influential on Christian thought, doctrine, and practice (John 6:35). The full passage in John 6:35 reads, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." The statement accomplishes several theological goals, the most important of which is solidifying the deity of Christ. By using the statement, "I AM," Jesus connects Himself to the almighty God of the Old Testament, which was also represented in terms of I AM. The John 6:35 "I AM" statement also contains powerful imagery that connects the passage with the feeding of the multitudes miracle. Indeed, Jesus utters, "I AM the bread of life" immediately after performing the miracle. Therefore, John 6:35 establishes Jesus's identity as the Son…… [Read More]
They had chosen to worship gods other than the Lord their God and had fascination with idolatry. This caused them to be different from their ancestors whom the Lord says His relationship with the ancestors was "like finding grapes in the wilderness. I viewed your ancestors like an early fig on a fig tree in its first season" (Hosea 9:10). These figures of speech were therefore meant to draw the Israelites back to God and create reconciliation.
Amos also uses quite a number of figures of speech in his book. Amos successfully uses irony, humor, personification, tension, hyperbole in order to fully portray the message that he intended to put across to the Israelites. In Amos 3:3-8 he uses several rhetorical questions to question the motives of the Israelites against the will of God. He uses these questions to prod the mentality of the Israelites and their conscious to rethink…… [Read More]
Observing the literary type (fourthly) also provides clues as about meaning -- whether the work is a parable, law, a prophesy, or a song will determine if the passage should be read allegorically, literally, as foreshadowing, or as a form of celebration (Thompson 36). Finally, making a chart to look at while reading the Bible can be useful: it allows us to better understand characters' extended relationships when we are interpreting the passage.
Thompson's stress upon asking questions is also revelatory of the inductive nature of IBS -- the more fully we ask questions, the more actively we enter the Biblical world and mindset. Questions such as who, what, and why, are important, observational questions. So are questions about what is implied, rather than directly spoken as in allegorical passages like the Song of Solomon and the parables of Jesus, as are asking questions about the speaker's historical context. hat…… [Read More]
The person who spends what he or she does not have is a fool; it is crucial to not buy too much on credit.
This message is more important now even than it was in the time of Christ. Now that credit card abuse is rampant and the sub-prime mortgage crisis taught about foolish borrowing, Christians understand the importance of Biblical messages regarding personal financial management.
Moreover, Luke points out that Jesus spoke these words about foolish spending while also preaching the importance of being reborn in the spirit. Being reborn in the spirit requires a whole new outlook on life, which entails new approaches to work and money.
Money is to be viewed as a form of spiritual energy. When Jesus said, "On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so…… [Read More]
From a scientific point-of-view, religion should not be associated only with revelation, as people should simply try to understand it by concentrating on the religious experience and on the result of their interaction with God (Lindberg & Numbers 449).
In contrast to scientists, theologians considered that revelation was essential in learning more in regard to God, given that human nature was divided between the natural order and the supernatural one. Even with that, some of them were certain that any individual is capable of understanding God, regardless of his background or of the degree to which he is a religious person or not. From the perspective of theologians, natural science should not necessarily be considered as a field that has nothing to do with religious principles, given that it is apparently affected by the divine similar to everything else (Lindberg & Numbers 452).
Theologians appreciate science because of its ability…… [Read More]
Chapters 3-30 in the book of Job reveal the titular man's character as morbid, self-pitying, and self-righteous. At first glance, Job's depression manifests as suicidal tendencies, as he curses the day of his birth and longs for his demise: "Let the day perish wherein I was born...let the stars of its dawn be dark; let it hope for light, but have none," (3:3; 9). His lamenting seems understandable in light of the enormity of human suffering and his authentic personal problems. Job's misery runs deep, and he deals with it by coveting death as a panacea. This reveals Job's tendencies towards self-pity and morbid self-absorption. As Job converses with his three friends, even more of Job's personality is revealed. No matter what the three men tell him, Job argues with them, refusing to listen with humility.
Eli'phaz tells Job what a good person he is: "Behold, you have instructed…… [Read More]
Ezekiel 36: 25-28
I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statues, careful to observe my decrees. You shall live in the land I gave your fathers; you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Establishing the foundation for the traditions of baptism and holy water, Ezekiel touches upon the heart of spiritual purification. Connected with a number of other biblical passages related to water purification as the most deeply symbolic means of cleansing the soul, this specific passage shows how God showers mercy and offers the potential for renewal. This passage of…… [Read More]
Interpretation is problematic, not only because of the restrictions in understanding ancient written languages and the nuances of their cultural contexts, but also with regards to understanding the textual and contextual factors involved in exegesis and hermeneutics. For the bulk of early Christian history, the responsibility for interpreting scripture was assigned to official authorities in the church. Low literacy rates among the general public enabled the perpetuation of elitist hermeneutics. However, the Reformation and the Enlightenment changed everything. To be a competent and responsible interpreter of scripture does not require membership in the clergy but instead belief and belonging to the Christian community, according to Boring (2012). Furthermore, Boring (2012) claims that interpretation of the Bible is a dynamic and ongoing act. Hermeneutics and exegesis are not static, but dynamic and discursive engagements with the primary sources to allow scripture to remain relevant regardless of shifts in geography, historical epoch,…… [Read More]
The Holy Bible is not just a book containing plenty of words; it is God's written message to us Towns (1997). The Book is both symbolic and spiritual and so must be viewed, read, learnt, taught and understood beyond the surface level. The Bible knowledge will be lacking expect one is guided by the Holy Spirit who is the guidance promised by Jesus to teach and guide the Christians to all truth. Since Christ is the truth and the life, learning of the Bible is likened to searching for the truth, and that could only be achieved with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
In his book, how to teach and understand the Bible, Towns (1997) explains that teaching, among other things, means “the preparation and guidance of learning activities.” A teacher is saddled with the responsibility to majorly guide the proceedings that motivate the learners to assimilate the context…… [Read More]
Public policy can always be Biblically framed, in order to provide sound guidance and structure to the decision-making process. The Bible offers instructional and legal support that can help steer criminal justice policy in a more favorable direction, to bring about desired results like public safety and the rehabilitation of former offenders. Criminal justice leaders are constrained by public policy, which impacts department policies, procedures, and protocols. The may-can-should approach to policy analysis and implementation shows how a Biblical perspective is aligned with a Constitutional perspective to inspire change. What we may do is grounded in Biblical and Constitutional law, which then offers suggestions for policy makers about what can and should be done.
Criminal justice organizations contend with a range of problems and concerns, from police brutality to prison overcrowding. Addressing these issues is hard enough at the level of a local precinct. Attempting to resolve…… [Read More]
The Middle English period offers a quaint and riveting look regarding how language functioned, namely spelling an grammar. This paper will examine and compare chapter 20 from the Apocalips of the Wycliffe Bible (WB) with the same chapter in the King James Version (KJV) and the New International Version (NIV).
Examining simply the first line of this chapter in each version tells us a tremendous amount of about early English spelling and grammar, and evokes a more instinctual impression of the passage.
And Y say an aungel comynge doun fro heuene, hauynge the keie of depnesse, and a greet chayne in his hoond. (WB)
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (KJV)
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.…… [Read More]
Review: Introduction to the New Testament, Berkhof 1915
The most important aspect of Berkhof’s Introduction to the New Testament is its construction and style. It is simple, straight-forward and methodical in its approach to the Book. It is free of sentimentality and all extraneous philosophical and theological questions that have proliferated over the years, as scholars seek to read into the texts of Scripture to find a new or deeper meaning that has not been elucidated before. Berkhof does none of them. His method is merely to give the facts of the New Testament in a brief, rigorous and comprehensive manner. Each Gospel and Epistle of the New Testament is described within the parameters of a specific formulation: for the Gospels and Epistles, it consists of description of the contents, characteristics, authorship, composition and canonical significance as well any problems with integrity that have arisen over time. This formulaic…… [Read More]
Bergant (2000), Boyon (2002), Fitzmyer (1981) and Johnson (1991) all offer commentary, analysis, and correspondences for Luke 4:14-30. Boyon (2002) calls this section an “apocalyptic turning point,” a critical moment in which Jesus not only recognizes himself as the fulfillment of a prophesy but communicates that awareness to a Jewish congregation during the Sabbath service in a synagogue in Nazareth. All four of these commentaries present similar context and literary deconstruction of the text, allowing insight into the original Greek. A few authors, like Boyon and Fitzmeyer, spend a considerable amount of time comparing Luke’s version of the story of Jesus’s “inauguration” as a prophecy-fulfilling messiah with that of Mark. As Boyon (2002) points out, Luke’s version is almost twice as long, raising questions about its “source and function,” (p. 526). All four of these authors also offer extensive notes and correspondences that can enhance a sermon.
The most helpful…… [Read More]
Western scholars came up with the term mysticism to describe a special religious phenomenological concept. The term is general utilized today based on a very broad assumption that things found in every religion e.g. the rituals, the practices, the goals, and the experiences are also found in other religions and outside the domain of religion (Keller, 1978; Katz, 1978). The concept of mysticism has fascinated generations. It is a concept that has gathered a lot of attention especially in the modern day world with the increasing influence of eastern religions and the New Age Movement. It has blurred the lines between general mystical experiences and experiences with the true Living God. Nowadays, some experiences of consciousness are regarded as authentic spiritual experiences (Florovsky, 1972). This research proposal is thus an investigation of biblical mysticism and major biblical mysteries found in the Christian bible and how the mysteries found in the…… [Read More]
Parables constitute a large portion of Jesus’s ministry. The parables of Jesus are allegorical, meaning they contain rich, complex, and multi-layered symbolism. The Bible’s enduring nature is partly attributed to the medium of the parable as a primary means of delivering universal truths. Parables involve human characters making important and challenging moral choices. Fables can be equally as constructive in relaying moral messages, but fables frequently feature anthropomorphized animal protagonists. The messages of parables are often grander and more spiritually meaningful than those delivered in fables, particularly true with the Biblical parables. A fable can deliver raw commentary about human nature, but a parable takes that commentary a step further with the allegorical message. One of the reasons parables became instrumental in Jesus’s ministry is that symbolic storytelling of this type would have been as ubiquitous as social media is today. Parables were simply one of the best and most…… [Read More]
Main Idea and Outline
1 John 5:13-21: John concludes his letter with a few parting thoughts on the faith of the believers and the confidence they should have in God, as well as encouragement to avoid sin and idolatry, pray for sinners, and flee the world, which is ruled by the devil, and be a true Son of Jesus Christ.
I. John describes why he wrote the epistle (v. 13)
II. John explains why his audience should have faith (vv. 14-15)
III. John urges his audience to pray for sinners that they might convert and identifies a difference between two types of sin (vv. 16-19)
a. the Sin that leads to Death (v. 16)
b. the Sin that does not lead to Death (v. 17)
c. John also alludes to life of grace that exists in the soul when one is faithful to God (vv. 18-19)
IV. John concludes with…… [Read More]
The Journey through the Old Testament is a re-telling of the Books of the Old Testament from the standpoint of character. Instead of plot serving as the device that moves the story along, each chapter focuses on a specific character in the Old Testament and uses selections from Scripture to flesh out that character’s arc in one chapter. For instance, chapter one focuses on Lucifer, which is fitting since he is the fallen angel who serves as the ultimate antagonist of God and man. The second chapter focuses on Adam, the third on Cain, and so on, all the way down through the major figures of the Old Testament, the prophets, and the point at which the Old Testament itself comes to a close and the people of Israel await the coming of the Messiah.
The main point of the book is that “certain people make history”[footnoteRef:2] and so…… [Read More]
1. How do the Millennials measure up to the Book of Proverbs? Be sure to cite specific examples (about 3 examples).
Millennials were raised differently from their parents and grandparents, leading to totally different worldviews and concepts throughout the entire generation. While it is unfair to generalize about an entire generation, the trends and social norms did lead to completely different attitudes and outlooks. The Book of Proverbs provides what can be considered universal wisdom. When compared to the principles outlined in the Book of Proverbs, millennials do seem to have diverged somewhat, which could create conflicts in their professional and interpersonal relationships. The three most important examples of how millennials measure up to the Book of Proverbs include their attitudes towards authority versus wisdom, their self-concept, and their sense of self-righteousness.
According to the 60 Minutes segment, millennials have difficulty respecting and trusting people who are thirty years of…… [Read More]
The life and death of Jesus Christ especially him being the founder of the Christian faith should always have a universal appeal to all peoples from all walks of life and all ages. This has always been the foundational precept of the establishment of the Christian faith. However, in Gibson's The Passion, the universality was not adhered to especially when it was given an R-rating as a result of the violent scenes portrayed in the movie. Thus, younger viewers were not able to watch this contemporary interpretation in visual form of the Gospels. The film was a little over two hours long and the violent scenes seem to have emphasized further than what is necessary. Particular amongst the scene were during the flogging of Jesus and his crucifixion. Gibson went through the most graphical portrayal of which and some audience who are not accustomed to such may feel unease. This…… [Read More]
Paul twice refers to his helper, Onesimus, as "Beloved" (Colossians 4:9 and Philemon 1:16). But then, in Ephesians, Paul begins to speak of all of those who have been saved as the "Beloved." This is the first instance of a group being given this special blessing. In Ephesians 1:5-6, Paul says that we have been adopted as children of God, by God's own free will and good pleasure and praiseworthy grace, and we have been accepted into the Beloved who have been redeemed by the Blood and forgiven of our sins.
Truly, being the Beloved of God is a special favor. Paul tries to tell the members of the church in Rome how, though each one is favored by God in a different way, each is a member of a group that is loved by one another (Romans Chapter 12: 6-10). In Verses 9 and 10, Paul says: "Let love…… [Read More]
In exchange for God's miracle work, the Jewish people are instructed to follow a rigorous, strident set of laws. These laws were delivered by God to Moses, who transmits them to the laypeople. The covenant between God and the Jews demands obedience to these scriptural laws. The detailed description of the construction of the tabernacle offered in Exodus illustrates the extent of the spiritual code that binds the "chosen people" with their Almighty.
The central theological theme of the Biblical book of Exodus is that God and humanity enter into a sacred contract. To break the contract means breaking a promise to God, a horrible offense punishable by the wrathful Creator. Ascription to the covenant will mean that God will continue to watch over the Jewish people and ensure their heritage in the Promised Land.… [Read More]
"That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises," (Hebrews 6:12). The promises referred to in the Bible include spiritual gifts like wisdom, and also the gifts of material abundance and fecundity. The Bible teaches that laziness, or sloth, is incompatible with wisdom or success. Moreover, the Bible teaches that only foolish people are lazy and slothful, because they allow themselves to be distracted by desires. The person who is distracted does not work, and when a person does not work, he or she cannot eat. "The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor," (Proverbs 21:25). Hands that refuse to labor are naturally hands that cannot provide food to sustain the body, let alone spiritual nourishment for the soul.
Thus, the Bible makes the connection between laziness and foolish desires. It is desire that causes laziness,…… [Read More]
Genesis as a whole establishes fundamental Biblical theology, defining the role of God in the world and God's relationship with and responsibilities to humanity. The establishment of patriarchal rule is a central theme of Genesis, evident in passages like Genesis 17:1-4. Although not Abram's first encounter with God, this interaction highlights several key elements of God's covenant with Abram, elucidates the necessity for total submission to God, and characterizes God as almighty and omnipotent. Also central to this passage is the promise to bless Abram's offspring, thus establishing Abram as the patriarchal leader of two distinct but biologically related lineages: that of Ishmael and that of Isaac. In Genesis 17:1-4, God bestows upon Abram the blessing of being the "father of many nations," and not just one great nation. The difference between God's injunction in Genesis 17:1-4 and the previous promise issued in Genesis 12:2 is powerful and has…… [Read More]
God's creation is completely distinct and separate from the Creator; this fact is reiterated throughout the Bible and precludes any speculation as to the possible presence of pantheism. Yet the Bible is sometimes misinterpreted as a pantheistic text. Harrison (1996) goes so far as to claim "Most versions of Christianity are pantheistic," based on the fact that God "can dwell in each person if they accept the grace of the Holy Spirit.." This latter fact in no way suggests a pantheistic Christianity. A more careful reading of the Bible reveals that pantheism is anathema to the Christian notions of grace and salvation.
Zaleha (1997) also claims outright that the Bible is a pantheistic doctrine. In the Book of Acts, Paul delivers a sermon to the Athenians, in which he states plainly "[God] is not far from each one of us 'for in him we live and move and have…… [Read More]
One of the most striking parallels between society in Malachi's time and today's world is expressed in Chapter 3, verse 15: "now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape." The arrogant among us are the people who are admired most: the sordid celebrities and celebrity athletes who lead lives distant from God. Furthermore, the "evildoers" of the world are prospering rather than the righteous. Those who make the most money are the ones who receive the most admiration -- not the ones who are the most faithful. Those who "challenge God" indeed "escape" from any social sanction in our world.
Fortunately, the Bible teaches remedies for the moral turpitude of modern society. Rebuilding relationships to God depends on simple steps. Those steps are clearly outlined in the Bible, but are apparently difficult to follow in practice. For instance, marriages must remain…… [Read More]
If the Incarnation were not a spiritual event, then more concrete terms would suffice in describing the Son of God. hurch schisms have evolved related to the misinterpretation and reinterpretation of the Incarnation of hrist. Prophecy also discounts the importance of time and place when studying the incarnation of hrist. As Walvoord (nd) points out, "prophecy does not necessarily include all the intermediate steps between the great events in view."
Because of the difficulties in interpreting prophecy and scripture, the Incarnation of hrist can best be understood from a personal perspective. hrist has had a profound impact on billions of souls, enabling the transformation of humanity and human history. At the most basic level, the Incarnation of hrist suggests the mystery and transcendence of God. The Incarnation reminds me of the limitations of the human mind and the power of God; in other words, the Incarnation humbles me and makes…… [Read More]
What does this small story tell us about Jesus? Try to discover the central message of this story, and then write it out. ead the stories before and after the text you chose, and write out their main messages.
In Mark 9:19-13, Jesus is being compared and contrasted with Elijah. Elijah is a harbinger of the messiah; not the messiah Himself. Thus, Elijah corresponds symbolically with John the Baptist. The story is one that establishes the true identity of Jesus Christ as Son of Man: a phrase that is used throughout the Bible. Here, the phrase clearly refers to Jesus during the transfiguration.
When the apostles ask, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?" Jesus replies, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things…Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written…… [Read More]
Encountering John: The Gospel in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective provides a remarkably thorough explication of John's gospel from multiple perspectives and points-of-view. The book is divided into five main parts, in addition to the appendices, indexes, and study tools. Author Andreas J. Kostenberger formats Encountering John as a textbook, and yet the tome also serves as a reference book that complements exegetical works and Biblical commentaries.
In the preface materials, Kostenberger clearly states that the book is intended for an audience of students. However, the tone is personal, informal, and familiar, rather than strictly scholarly or academic. This is due to in part to the fact that Kostenberger writes as a believer for believers, resisting the temptation to secularize biblical studies. The primary audience for Encountering John is students in biblical, theological, or seminary school who seek deep understanding of the gospel.
Part One of Encountering John covers…… [Read More]
This is how you can also receive eternal life: by dying to one life and taking that leap of faith. You must open your heart to receive Christ. In Christ, you are liberated. "In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence," (Ephesians 3:12). Have that confidence, for with eternal life comes many benefits that are impossible to receive in the world of sin.
The benefits of receiving eternal life begin with our knowledge that we are heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven. Paul states, we are "heirs together with Israel, members together of one body," (Ephesians 3:6). In eternal life we become spiritually strong, a strength that far surpasses that of the physical body. Christ shall "strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being," (Ephesians 3:16). Eternal life means that we understand the love that "surpasses knowledge," a transcendent gift…… [Read More]
The Incarnation is like a metaphor for the Incarnation of God in our hearts. Christ becomes a beacon of light for those who once dwelled in spiritual darkness. The act of faith is the greatest step an individual can take, and is how scores of Christians have survived persecution and difficult times. The Incarnation of Christ is a miracle but also a concrete sign of God's love. The Incarnation of Christ fulfilled prophesy, which encourages faith. Our faith becomes the key to our salvation, as we continue to ponder the mystery of Christ on the Cross and the Resurrection.
Christ has provided a means by which to create and sustain communities of faith. The Incarnation of Christ allowed for the creation of new communities of faith that were sustained by love alone. Freed from the old and outmoded laws, we are now able to experience God's love directly from Christ.…… [Read More]
Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses," (Acts 13:38-39).
Peter also delivers powerful sermons in the book of Acts. Like Paul, Peter addresses his sermon in Acts 2 to a Jewish audience. There are some key differences between Peter's sermon in Acts 2 and Paul's in Acts 13. Peter uses the miracles of Jesus as a rhetorical device, as a means to prove the power of Christ and to urge his listeners to pay attention. Paul relies more heavily on the faith of the Jews in the laws of Moses, although Peter does mention the prophet Joel and notes, "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people," (Acts 2:17). Therefore, both Peter and Paul show that Jesus Christ is a direct fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy. "Jesus of Nazareth was…… [Read More]
He indicates that even what Paul writes to people through his epistles is the Word of God. He is (again presciently) aware that the words might be twisted and misunderstood). But he has no doubt that Paul's writings (more prolific that his own were) as well as his own are divinely inspired Scripture. Paul, writing in Corinthians sums up the closeness of the role of the Holy Spirit in the furtherance of God's Words. He indicates that what he preaches does not come from him. hey are not his teachings, but directly the teaching of the Holy Spirit, which manifests itself in the form of words.
In recognizing Scriptures as the unadulterated Word of God, one must also consider biblical references of what Jesus, his apostles, prognosticators and epistle-writers thought of scripture. Simply put, what do the primary characters of the New estament think of the Old estament? Several centuries…… [Read More]
..hat in these last days spoken unto us by his Son...by whom also he made the worlds," thus arguing that Jesus' message is an expansion of the Old Covenant. (Ellingworth, 1993).
The Catholic interpretation of the Epistle to the Hebrews is that it is a firm announcement of the superiority of the New Testament revelations made by Jesus over the Old Testament revelations made by the lesser prophets. Further, the Epistle to the Hebrews successfully proves this point by comparing Jesus to the angels as mediators of the Old Covenant, Moses and Josue as founders of the Old Covenant, and by opposing the high priesthood of Christ. (Lane, 1985).
At its core, this passage is an extension of Pauline Christianity, or the version of Christianity advocated by the Apostle Paul and which survived as the dominant version of Christianity. First and foremost, as a part of the Pauline Christianity, this…… [Read More]
Bible Influence Political Thought and Action in Our Culture?
The Bible is a unique book that is different from others because it contains sacred text that has continued to influence societies from generation to generation. Generally, the impact of this sacred book is worldwide since it has affected every department of human activity. The influence of the Bible on society is derived from the fact that it contains various themes that are used to shape the moral progress of the world. In addition, the influence of this book is not restricted to Christians and Jews because it impacts more than 50% of the world population. One of the major ways that the Bible has influenced society is through its effects on politics, especially political thought and action. In most cases, the Bible is used as the basis for formation of laws and rules that govern society.
The Bible and Politics:…… [Read More]
Bible esoteric and dated. Fee and Stuart in How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, however, show the applicability of the Bible and provide readers with the tools of applying the Bible to their contemporary lives. For them there is no "then and there" to the text, rather than "then and there" of the text can equitably be applied to the "here and now" of contemporaneous living. The authors in effect build two bridges; there is the bridge between Church and lay man and the bridge between Church and exegetical scholar. Whilst the exegetical scholar approaches the text from the past trying to see 'what it meant," the author tell us that the text is far more than that: it is applicable not only for the "then" but also for the "now" and, therefore, people should approach it with the intent of 'what does it mean" and "what…… [Read More]
This point-of-view makes sense. Stuart and Fee have already suggested that the point of iblical interpretation is not to look for a novel or unique interpretation, but to really try to understand the point of the passages being studied. Therefore, their idea that people should feel free to consult commentaries, so that they can understand how other people have interpreted the texts, is a good one. Moreover, they suggest that people own multiple commentaries, with their ownership of each commentary geared toward the specific books being studied. Again, this is an excellent suggestion. Much like reading multiple versions of the ible, reading multiple commentaries on specific books is likely to stimulate intelligent analysis of the books in question.
Stuart and Fee do a very good job of helping guide people on how one should approach the ible. In fact, their book would be helpful for novices as well…… [Read More]
M. Louise Cornell is professor of education at Providence College in Otterburne, Manitoba, Canada. She believes the real influence of the Bible grew out of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century. The Bible at that time, according to Cornell, was "wrested" from the hands of the priests and placed in the outstretched arms of lay people during the Reformation, as the Christian mission was becoming a powerful movement (Thiessen, 1998). During the Reformation scholars and Christian activists emphasized that "each person, filled with the Holy Spirit, could interpret the Bible without help," Cornell explains.
But in order to understand the Bible, there was a critical need for literacy. And so many schools were established, Cornell continues in the publication Faith Today, and throughout the Reformation the Bible played a significant role. "By the time of the second generation of Christians," Cornell goes on, "the developing Christian community needed to…… [Read More]
Bible gateway. (2011). Retrieved July 7, 2011 http://www.biblegateway. / Fisher, Mary & Anne Ocepka. (2011). We' . Teacher Education pecial
Autism spectrum disorders affect millions of people every year, preventing them from hearing, seeing, and sensing normally. In addition to affecting patients, the disorder also affects their families and society as a whole. People suffering from autism experience difficulty creating social relationships, communicating with other individuals, and putting across normal behavior. The brain no longer functions ordinary because it is affected on a neurological level. Autism is a particularly complex disorder and can be seen in patients in diverse combinations and in the company of many other disabilities. Depending on patients and on the seriousness of the disorder autism can either have little effect on an individual's intelligence level or it can severely affect the patient, preventing him or her from being able to deal with the malady. It…… [Read More]
In the Bible, the flood is designed as a way to provide everyone with lessons about God's power and why it is important to respect him. He was focused on wiping out humanity in order to start again. To fully understand what occurred requires examining the lessons from the Bible and how this influence theological doctrine. Together, these elements will highlight its importance and how it shaped religious thinking.
In Genesis 6 -- 9, God is seeking out Noah to build an arc in order to prepare for the flood. During this process, he came to Noah and told him what was going to happen. The main reason was to re cleanse the Earth. This is based upon the way humans were acting by engaging in sinful behavior.
Evidence of this can be seen with Genesis saying, "When human beings began to increase in number on the earth…… [Read More]
The author claims that Christianity, in order to remain healthy and viable, needs to reclaim the Old Testament to maintain a tie to the world at large. Christianity, like all religions and cultures, needs connection, identification, and unity. Moreover, the New Testament, according to Rosenweig, should be viewed as a "counterpart," not as a canon that was "intended to supercede" the Jewish Bible (238). Rather, the New Testament can "supplement and outrange" the Old (238). Historically, the New Testament is like an organic outgrowth from the Hebrew Bible, a scripture that characterized a newly emerging religion and culture that while separate and distinct from Judaism is nevertheless intimately tied to it.
The Hebrew Bible is usually referred to "in a spirit of opposition" to the New Testament. Christianity views the "fruitful tension" between the Old and New Testaments as "a torment it wished to evade," (239). The need of Christian…… [Read More]
The Doctrine of Divine Providence
Divine Providence is the way God rules over all things in the world and the Heavens. Gotanswers. org states,
"The purpose, or goal, of divine providence is to accomplish the will of God. To ensure that His purposes are fulfilled, God governs the affairs of men and works through the natural order of things. The laws of nature are nothing more than a depiction of God at work in the universe. The laws of nature have no inherent power, nor do they work independently. The laws of nature are the rules and principles that God set in place to govern how things work" (Gotquestions.org, 2010)
The Bible, Proverbs 16:9 states: "The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Though God allows man free will, he also has a guidance control in our life.
In Acts 9, God directly deal…… [Read More]
The Bible and criminal procedures
There are several instances where the Bible speaks about the criminal procedures as well as justice in the society. These verses in the Bible were given as guidelines towards ensuring the protection of the innocent from undue punishment and holding the criminals to account for their crime. The verses given in the prompt affirmed my belief and conviction of how the criminal procedures should operate in a civilized society.
In the first instance, the prompt outlines the significance of having witnesses in the course of handling a case. I am in agreement two scriptures on the importance of corroboration by witness testimonies and the need for a second witness to act as a validation or affirmation of the events that led to the crime as accounted for by the first witness in order to fairly convict an individual. Deuteronomy 17:6 further gives higher…… [Read More]
The author of this report is to center and fixtate on a portion of the First Epistle to the Corinthians as written by Paul and analyze from a personal point of analysis as well as a scholarly one. The passage that will be used for this brief report is the first eleven verses of that first letter to the Corinthians. In that passage, Paul recites the resurrection and how it progressed from a procedural and chronological standpoint. He also makes it a point to assure people that they will be saved if they believe but they will fall if they do not. However, there is a little more complexity than just that when reviewing the passage. While being literal when engaging in biblical interpretations can be useful, there is also the use of metaphor and other literary devices and that needs to be recognized when assessing a passage…… [Read More]
The History of the Bible
Today's Bibles are the end product of a long process of transmission that involved diverse stages and many different communities. To understand how the various editions and translations of the Bible have come to us, one must first understand the vastness of the early the communities which copied and transmitted the work as well as the popularity of unauthorized translations and editions by unorthodox religious that compelled counter-editions to appear in later centuries. This paper will look at the transmission of the Bible from the early Greek/Hebrew editions to the standard Latin Vulgate edition of the Middle Ages and finally to the English and other language editions that appeared under Bede, Jean Wycliff, Martin Luther, Willam Tyndale, and in the Coverdale Bible, the Geneva Bible and the King James Version.
Because the Bible contains so much that is often interpreted in different ways, editions…… [Read More]
Bible & Depression
Depression is something that a lot of people suffer with in modern times and there is very much a tug-of-war between "modern science" and the Bible in terms of depression, how it should be dealt with and what actually makes things worse. The same can be said of the broader medical field as some people rely on faith alone rather than the "poison" and such of modern medicine. As with most things, neither extreme is wise and a middle ground that recognizes both science and faith should emerge. While it is possible to read too much into certain clips and phrases in the Bible, there are certainly portions and passages where depression certainly was pointed to or that almost certainly existed with or without mention.
The passages about Adam and Eve are a good starting point when it comes to depression and negative feelings. Indeed, Adam…… [Read More]