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Showing posts from February 5, 2014

Origins of the Samaritans

Origins of the SamaritansJohn 4:1-45
Excerpt ‎Josephus traces their origins to the foreigners (he calls them Cutheans) forcibly brought into the territory of Israel after its defeat by the Assyrians in 722 b.c.e. (2 Kgs. 17). The earliest evidence of the schism between Jew and Samaritan comes from the Persian period. This includes the more ambiguous mention of Samaritans in Ezra 4, which could be a geographical designation of peoples rather than a reference to a religious group.
Anderson, Robert T. “Samaritans.” Ed. David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, & Astrid B. Beck. Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible 2000 : 1159. Print.

Relationship Of Christians with One Another

Relationship Of Christians with One Another Excerpt ‎The whole verse is very similar to the recorded sayings of Jesus in Matthew 5:43, 44 (compareLuke 6:27, 28) and to some of Paul’s statements in his letters (compareRom 12:17; 1 Thes 5:15; 1 Cor 4:12); this has led many scholars to conclude that here we are dealing with traditional teaching material used in the early church, and Peter uses it here because it is very appropriate for his readers.
‎Pay back means doing something to someone as a result of what he has done; here it includes the idea of revenge or retaliation, which Christians are admonished not to do. Cursing with cursing harks back to 2:23. The word for cursing is used only three times in the whole New Testament (here and in1 Tim 5.14), and generally means “abuse” (NEB; compare Brc “injury”), but specifically refers to abusive language, hence “insult” (NAB, GECL, JB, Phps“angry word”). The source of this insulting language may be either believers themselves (compareJB “…

God Opens a Way (12:33-14:31)

God Opens a Way (12:33-14:31) Exodus 12:33-14:31
‎The God of Israel proves himself to be greater than all the gods of Egypt. Although the Israelites were slaves, the events of the exodus show that it is the Egyptians who are in spiritual bondage. God is going to show us that those whom he sets free are free indeed!

It seems almost too good to be true, but now, four centuries after coming to Egypt, the descendants of Jacob are finally on their journey out of Egypt to the land which God has promised to give them to inherit. This is their journey of a lifetime. God has opened a door for them; and walking through it is just the beginning of the adventure. …

Campbell, Iain D. Opening up Exodus. Leominster: Day One Publications, 2006. Print. Opening Up Commentary.

The Son Can Set You Free

The Son Can Set You Free Excerpt ‎This general principle, illustrated in the origin of the Jewish people by the parable of Isaac and Ishmael, has one absolute fulfilment. The Son, the true Son, is one. Through Him alone—in Him, in fellowship with Him—can lasting freedom be gained, seeing that He alone is free, and abideth unchangeable for ever.
‎If the Son therefore]  The Son and not the Father is represented as giving freedom, in so far as He communicates to others that which is His own.
‎[free indeed]  The word translated indeed (ὄντως) occurs here only in St John. It appears to express reality in essence from within, as distinguished from reality as seen and known (ἀληθῶς v. 31, 1:48, 4:42, 6:14,7:40). The conception of freedom which is given in this whole passage presents the principle which St Paul applied to the special case of external ordinances.
Westcott, Brooke Foss, and Arthur Westcott, eds. The Gospel According to St. John Introduction and Notes on the Authorized Version.…

The Function and Form of Psalm 1

The Function and Form of Psalm 1
Excerpt ‎This psalm serves as an introduction, or prologue, to the collection of the Psalms in its final form. It is a teaching, or wisdom, psalm advising the readers to dedicate themselves to the study of the Law of God, the Torah, and warning them of the consequences if they don’t.
‎The [Psalm] consists of two strophes. The first one (verses 1–3) describes the truly pious person, stating what he refuses to do (verse 1), what he does (verse 2), and then describing him as like a healthy tree (verse 3). The second strophe (verses 4–6) compares the evil person to chaff, which is blown away by the wind. Such a person will not share the future happiness of the righteous but will instead be destined to destruction.
Bratcher, Robert G., and William David Reyburn. A Translator’s Handbook on the Book of Psalms. New York: United Bible Societies, 1991. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

My Verse for Today

Today's Verse of the Day is From Nehemiah 9:21 KJV Translation: Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. NKJV Translation: Yes, forty years did you sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. Explore Thomas Nelson's King James Bibles and take your Bible reading further. © Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.

My Prayer for Today

Prayer Rev. Lynwood F. Mundy
947 If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say it is in that one word—prayer.—1.122
948 All our perils are nothing, so long as we have prayer.—1.204
949 Even as the moon influences the tides of the sea, even so does prayer—which is the reflection of the sunlight of heaven, and is God’s moon in the sky—influence the tides of godliness.—3.251
950 My own soul’s conviction is that prayer is the grandest power in the entire universe, that it has a more omnipotent force than electricity, attraction, gravitation, or any other of those other secret forces which men have called by name, but which they do not understand.—6.336
Spurgeon, C. H. 2,200 Quotations: From the Writings of Charles H. Spurgeon : Arranged Topically or Textually and Indexed by Subject, Scripture, and People. Ed. Tom Carter. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995. Print.

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

February 5

Why Does God Punish People?Exodus 11–13; John 2:13–3:25; Song of Solomon 2:1–3
In regard to why a good God would punish people, I recently heard one homeless man wisely tell another, “You wouldn’t want to live in a world where God didn’t punish injustices and just freely forgave sin—without any request for someone to choose the salvation He offers back. Imagine a place where injustice was never punished and people never recognized their sin and need for salvation. That would be terrible and painful.”

We all want justice to reign. For a good God to be truly good, injustice must be punished. This is why it makes complete sense that Jesus had to die. There must be a payment for the evil we inflict on the world and one another. Jesus’ death epitomizes God’s mercy and justice—and it all happened in one act.

This also makes sense out of the Passover event (Exod 12:1–31). I usually hear this preached about as a saving act, which indeed it was, but it was also brutal: God kills firs…