Skip to main content


Showing posts from August 2, 2014

Serpent in the Near Eastern Culture

Serpent in the Near 
Eastern Culture

Genesis 3:8

A general term for the various snakelike creatures found in the ancient Near East (Heb. nāḥāš, kārāp̱; Gk. óphis).

Representations of serpents in literature and other media (chiefly clay and bronze) occur throughout the ancient Near East. Serpents functioned largely as objects of worship or charms against evil, often that of snakebite. Enuma Elish depicts Tiamat, herself perhaps a serpentlike creature, as allied with a horde of creatures — many serpentine — in her battle with Marduk. While Gilgamesh is swimming, a serpent steals the plant that is to give immortality.

In the Gen. 3 story of the fall of humanity, a crafty serpent (cf. Matt. 10:16) talks Eve into eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which she then hands to Adam. God pronounces the consequences on the serpent, Eve, Adam, and the ground (only the serpent and the ground are cursed).This explains why the serpent has no legs; for humanity, it means …

Genesis 3:4

You Will Not Die

Genesis 3:4

You is second person plural in Hebrew, referring to the woman and the man. The construction of this phrase is literally “dying you [plural] will not die,” which may be translated in English “It is not really so that you will die,” or “Certainly, you won’t die,” or “Of course not; you won’t die.”See 2.16–17 for a similar construction. In this case again it will be natural in some languages to begin the speech with the word “No!” Two examples of this are, “No! You-two will not die,” and “No! That’s not true. You-two won’t ….” In one rendering the snake’s denial of the truth of what God has said is expressed as “God is telling a lie. You won’t die.”

Reyburn, William David, and Euan McG. Fry. A Handbook on Genesis. New York: United Bible Societies, 1998. Print. UBS Handbook Series.



Timothy is urged not to be ashamed of the testimony or of Paul, the Lord’s prisoner prisoner (1:8). Paul himself exemplifies not being ashamed of the gospel (1:12) and Onesiphorus, not being ashamed of Paul the prisoner (1:16). Given the potency of shame-honour systems in the first-century Mediterranean world, Bassler concludes that the author is constructing a new honour system, “to encourage bold proclamation of the gospel—in spite of the potentially ‘shameful’ consequences—among an honor-sensitive people.” So he avoids “shameful” components in the summary of the gospel (1:10) and infuses “shame-linked items” such as Paul’s imprisonment with “new categories of honor.”

These insights from the Graeco-Roman environment are frutiful, but the “sacred writings” that he commends (3:16) and the traditions of Hellenistic Judaism also provided concepts of being ashamed/put to shame. …

Wieland, George M. The Significance of Salvation: A Study of Salvation Language in the Pastoral Epi…



2. Greek assarion, (as-sar’-ee-on); of Latin origin; an assarius or a Roman coin equal to a tenth of a denarius or drachma. A coin formerly used in Great Britain worth one fourth of a penny.

Freeman, James M., and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998. Print.



In order to keep the clothing made from different panels of fabric in place, the various layers worn on top each other were hold together by fibulae. They have a loop with a string attached that could be tied around the pin so that it was secured.
Matt 19:24

The Keys of Death and Revelations 1:18

The Keys of Death andRevelations 1:18

...keys are the symbol of authority, and by having been raised from death, the glorified Christ has the power over death and the world of the dead; he has the power to leave people in death or to open the gates of Hades (see Isa 38.10; Matt 16.18 [RSVfootnote]) and let its inhabitants leave. This, of course, is a figure for the power to bring the dead to life.

Bratcher, Robert G., and Howard Hatton. A Handbook on the Revelation to John. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series

Inn of the Good Samaritan

Inn of the Good 

Whoever makes the journey from Jerusalem to Jericho finds the words of our Lord again and again recurring to his mind: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves.” One passes, in going eastward, directly between rugged hills, “sad and silent heights” of white rock now and then relieved by a curious rose-colored stratum with stripes of green on the terraces where shepherds watched their flocks of sheep and goats. Jericho lies thirty-six hundred feet below Jerusalem, so that the eastward journey is a literal “going down to Jericho.” The sudden appearance of the head or spear of a Bedouin above a pile of rock or the unsuspected encounter with a group of horsemen reminds one of the man of the parable “who fell among thieves.” The Jericho road has been the dread of travelers for twenty centuries because of the lawless Arabs that infest these hills, making their strongholds, as David was obliged to do, in the caves of the rocks high ab…

Jesus Witnesses about Himself

Jesus Witnesses about

Again Isa. 40–55 may well provide the background. Isa. 43:10 LXX, which employs the ‘I Am’ formulation, also speaks of two witnesses, Yahweh and Israel, the servant, who has just been portrayed as a light to the nations (Isa. 42:6). Through his claims here to be both the light of the world and the one who bears witness, Jesus can also be seen as taking on the role envisaged for the servant in God’s lawsuitwith the world.

Lincoln, Andrew T. The Gospel According to Saint John. London: Continuum, 2005. Print. Black’s New Testament Commentary.

Sennacherib Prisma

Sennacherib Prisma

This prism contains six columns of text in which Assyrian king Sennacherib describes his triumphs. On column three (shown), he recounts his campaign against Judah, presenting a version of the events narrated in 2 Kgs 18–19. Like the Bible’s account, he describes the victories that led to his siege of Jerusalem. He implies, however, that he left Hezekiah in Jerusalem “like a bird in a cage” after Hezekiah sent him the spoils of the city. Conversely, the Bible describes Sennacherib’s army departing after the Angel of Yahweh slew many of them.

KJV Verse of the Day

Today's Verse of the Day is From Habakkuk 1:12 KJV Translation: Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. NKJV Translation: Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, you have established them for correction. Explore Thomas Nelson's King James Bibles and take your Bible reading further. © Copyright Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Logos Verse of the Day

Bible Gateway Verse of the Day

James 1:22King James Version

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Read at Bible Gateway
Read all of James 1

Public Domain

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

August 2
Small Players

Isaiah 2:6–4:6; Luke 1:39–66; Job 1:13–22

A priest should know better. A man representing the spiritual state of God’s people shouldn’t be so quick to question God’s promises. But for Zechariah, obedience became complicated. When the angel Gabriel told him he’d have a son, he responded with doubt: “By what will I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years!” (Luke 1:18). Such happy news—such unexpected goodness—deserved a glad, believing response.

It’s easy to view doubting or believing responses like these in a distant way. We don’t expect to experience such miraculous events or such crippling loss in our own lives. Because of this, we feel like small players in God’s plan—small players who need only small faith.

Regardless of whether we encounter such earth-shattering events in our lives, we did experience the most dramatic, miraculous act of God in history when Jesus died. We have been buried with Him and will be resurrected with Him (Rom 6…