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Showing posts from December 26, 2014

Shrine equipment

Shrine equipment ‎All the artifacts pictured here come from a room (2 by 1 m) in Megiddo. The room dates back to the 10th century BCE. The depicted cult objects involve altars of burned offerings, sacrificial pillars, and other cult equipment. These objects were probably stored in this room and served as equipment for a shrine nearby. If needed, the objects could easily be brought from here to the shrine. ‎1 Sam 9:12–25; 1 Sam 10:5; 1 Sam 22:6; 1 Kings 3:2; 1 Kings 11:7; ‎All the artifacts pictured here come from a room (2 by 1 m) in Megiddo. The room dates back to the 10th century BCE. The depicted cult objects involve altars of burned offerings, sacrificial pillars, and other cult equipment. These objects were probably stored in this room and served as equipment for a shrine nearby. If needed, the objects could easily be brought from here to the shrine. ‎1 Sam 9:12–25; 1 Sam 10:5;1 Sam 22:6; 1 Kings 3:2; 1 Kings 11:7; 1 Kings 12:31–32; 1 Kings 13:2; 1 Kings 22:43; 2 Kings 12:3, 2 K…

Jerusalem: The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu

Jerusalem: The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu

‎Jerusalem. The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu—meaning the cock’s crow—was built in 1931 by the Assumptionist Fathers on the eastern slope of Mount Zion. This was identified by the Byzantines in the 5th century A.D. as the site of the house of the High Priest Caiaphas. They built a church in memory of Jesus’ words to Peter: “Before the cock crows thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:75).

Beware of the World

Beware of the World Excerpt John begins this verse by issuing the command that the believer is not to love the world or anything in the world. Initially this command sounds strange given the fact that John 3:16 says clearly and beautifully that God loves the world and the fact that 1 John 2:2 says the Son made atonement for the sins of the world. What is the difference? The difference is found in the way John uses the term kosmos in each instance. Contextual considerations are crucial. In these epistles and the Gospel, John employs this term in three distinct and basic ways: (1) the created universe (3:174:17;John 1:10); (2) the world of human persons (John 3:161 John 2:2); and (3) an evil organized earthly system controlled by the power of the evil one that has aligned itself against God and his kingdom (4:3–55:19John 16:11). In these verses John uses the third meaning. One should note that John is not advocating an ontological dualism or a dualistic cosmology in which the cr…

Well or cistern

Well or cistern
‎Many villages were built at places were it was relatively easy to obtain water by means of a well. If this was not possible, one constructed cisterns beneath the houses, in which the rainwater was collected during the winter month, and stored for the dry month of the summer. Both a well and a cistern required a container for reaching the water. The vessel was lowered deep down by a wheel in order to fill it with water. ‎Gen 16:14; Gen 21:30; Gen 24:16–42; Exod 21:33–34; Num 20:17; Num 21:17–18; Deut 6:11; 2 Sam 23:15–16; 2 Chron 26:10; Prov 5:15; Prov 25:26; Eccles 12:6; Isa 30:14; Isa 51:1; Jer 2:13; Jer 37:16; Jer 38:6–13; Judith 7:20–21; 2 Macc 10:37; Luke 14:5; John 4:6–14; Rev 9:1

Mount Tabor

Mount Tabor
‎To the right and to the east of our pilgrims, as they passed through the plains of Esdrælon, they would see Mount Tabor. Tabor is one of the traditional mounts of transfiguration. Hermon, on the north, contests with Tabor this honor. Churches have been built upon Tabor and pilgrimages have been made to it, and for fifteen centuries it has been honored as one of the shrines of the Holy Land. Tabor is situated on the frontier of Issachar and Zebulun. It was here that Deborah directed Barak to assemble an army, and hence the Israelites marched into the plain and defeated Sisera.—Judges, 4. It is more than 2,000 feet above the sea, and is dome-like in form. The slopes are wooded, the soil fertile, the pasture rich. The view from Mount Tabor is extensive. To the east the north end of the sea of Tiberias is visible, and in the extreme distance the blue chain of the Bashan Mountains. Toward the south and north the view resembles that from the high ground above Nazareth. To the …

The Roman Conflagration And The Neronian Persecution

The Roman Conflagration And The Neronian Persecution Excerpt ‎The first of these imperial persecutions with which the Martyrdom of Peter and Paul is connected by ecclesiastical tradition, took place in the tenth year of Nero’s reign, a.d. 64, and by the instigation of that very emperor to whom Paul, as a Roman citizen, had appealed from the Jewish tribunal. It was, however, not a strictly religious persecution, like those under the later emperors; it originated in a public calamity which was wantonly charged upon the innocent Christians. ‎A greater contrast can hardly be imagined than that between Paul, one of the purest and noblest of men, and Nero, one of the basest and vilest of tyrants. The glorious first five years of Nero’s reign (54–59) under the wise guidance of Seneca and Burrhus, make the other nine (59–68) only more hideous by contrast. … More Schaff, Philip, and David Schley Schaff. History of the Christian Church. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910. Print.

Bowl, mallet and peg

Bowl, mallet and peg
‎The picture shows objects that are mentioned in Judg 5:25–26 as playing a role in Sisera’s death. Whilst Sisera drank milk from a lordly bowl, The picture shows objects that are mentioned in Judg 5:25–26 as playing a role in Sisera’s death. Whilst Sisera drank milk from a lordly bowl, Jael took a mallet and crushed his head, and she took pegs and pierced his temple. Judg 5:25

Her Seed

Her SeedGenesis 3:15 Excerpt זֶרַע (zera˓). Sowing, seed, offspring. This noun is used 224 times. Its usages fall into four basic semantic categories:1. The time of sowing, seedtime; 2. the seed as that which is scattered or as the product of what is sown; 3. the seed as semen and 4. the Seed as the offspring in the promised line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or in other groups separate from this people of promise. The most important theological usage is found in the fourth category. Commencing with Gen 3:15, the word “seed” is regularly used as a collective noun in the singular (never plural). This technical term is an important aspect of the promise doctrine, for Hebrew never uses the plural of this root to refer to “posterity” or “offspring.” The Aramaic targums pluralize the term occasionally, e.g. the Targum of Gen 4:10, but the Aramaic also limits itself to the singular in the passages dealing with the promised line. Thus the word designates the whole line of descendants as a unit…


Epaphroditus Excerpt A Macedonian Christian from Philippi. There are no grounds for identifying him with Epaphras of Col. 1:74:12, or Phm. 23. His name means ‘comely’ or ‘charming’. Paul calls him your messenger (hymōn apostolon, Phil. 2:25), where the word used is one more frequently translated elsewhere as ‘apostle’. This does not mean that Epaphroditus held any office in the Philippian church; he was simply a messenger (cf.2 Cor. 8:23) who brought the gift from the church to Paul in prison at Rome. He became seriously ill, possibly as a result of over-exerting himself in journeying from Philippi to Rome, or in serving Paul at Rome. Theav says ‘he regarded not his life’ (see Phil. 2:30), but rsv more correctly ‘risking his life’. The word used is paraboleusamenos, ‘having gambled with his life’, from paraboleuesthai ‘to throw down a stake, to make a venture’. More Swann, D. O. “Epaphroditus.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary1996 : 326. Print.

The Mosque of Omar, Jerusalem

The Mosque of Omar, Jerusalem
‎This beautiful mosque has a meaning within and above its beauty that no other edifice can claim. It is the shelter or inclosure of the great altar of the world. It has a post of sublime interest, and one always asks oneself, “What will be the next great event in its history?” Away back in the childhood of the world Abraham climbed these heights, yet untouched by man, and laid his son, Isaac, there for an offering to the Lord, who had claimed it. After the trial was over it became the “Mount of the Lord,” and the Messiah was then promised. Later the great plague that fell upon Israel was stayed at this spot—“the threshing floor of Oman, or Araunah”—and here David saw the great angel stand between the heaven and the earth, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. And another altar was built by David, upon which the Lord sent holy fire. A few years later Solomon laid the foundation of the Lord’s house around the rock altar, and the gr…

Church or Lair?

Church or Lair? Excerpt Dragons, of course, are fictional beasts—monstrous reptiles with lion’s claws, a serpent’s tail, bat wings, and scaly skin. They exist only in the imagination. ‎But there are dragons of a different sort, decidedly real. In most cases, though not always, they do not intend to be sinister; in fact, they’re usually quite friendly. But their charm belies their power to destroy. ‎Within the church, they are often sincere, well-meaning saints, but they leave ulcers, strained relationships, and hard feelings in their wake. They don’t consider themselves difficult people. They don’t sit up nights thinking of ways to be nasty. Often they are pillars of the community—talented, strong personalities, deservingly respected—but for some reason, they undermine the ministry of the church. They are not naturally rebellious or pathological; they are loyal church members, convinced they’re serving God, but they wind up doing more harm than good. … More Shelley, Marshall. Well-Intent…

The Counselor

The Counselor Excerpt John took time to counsel people personally and prepare them for baptism and their new life of faith. He admonished the people in general to be generous and share what they have (Acts 2:44–45;4:32–37). He charged the tax collectors to be honest and the soldiers to be just. (Perhaps he knew that the soldiers and publicans worked together to extort money from the people.) Luke mentions tax collectors three other times (5:2715:119:2). These soldiers were not likely Romans (see however Matt. 8:5–13), but were probably Jewish soldiers belonging to the temple guard or the court of Herod. It is interesting that John did not condemn the tax collectors’ and soldiers’ professions; he simply told the publicans and soldiers to do their jobs honestly and not to hurt people. They could remain in their vocations and serve God. More Wiersbe, Warren W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992. Print.

A Pool Called Bethesda

A Pool Called Bethesda Excerpt Jesus is back in Jerusalem at an unspecified feast. He visits a pool at the northeast corner of the city where people with various illnesses gathered to seek healing.* This pool was actually two large trapezoid-shaped pools with a twenty-one-foot-wide space between them. The whole structure was enclosed by porches on each side, with a fifth porch over the area dividing the two pools. The water was occasionally disturbed, perhaps from an underground source such as a spring with irregular flow or drainage from another pool. People believed one could be healed by getting into the pool when this disturbance occurred. It is implied that at least some of those who got into the pool when it was stirred actually were healed (5:7).* More Whitacre, Rodney A. John. Vol. 4. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Nazareth: The Church of Joseph - Garden

Nazareth: The Church of Joseph - Garden
‎A small, well-kept garden greets those coming to the Church of St. Joseph Carpentry. A high column in the garden serves as a pedestal for the statue of the Virgin Mary, looking at the churches of Nazareth which were built in the places where Jesus grew up and spent the first thirty years of his life on earth.

The Stele of Adad

The Stele of Adad ‎Adad, chief god of the Babylonian-Assyrian pantheon—and of the Northwest Semitic pantheon as Hadad or Baal—is here pictured on his symbolic animal, the bull. This depiction is from the mid-eighth century BC.

Source of the Fire

Source of the FireJames 3:6 Excerpt the tongue is only the fuse; the source of the deadly fire is hellitself (lit., “Gehenna,” a place in the Valley of Hinnom south of Jerusalem where human sacrifice had been offered [Jer. 7:31] and where continuous burning of rubbish made it a fit illustration of the lake of fire). More Blue, J. Ronald. “James.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 828. Print.

Be Reconciled to Your Brother

Be Reconciled to Your Brother Excerpt Our relationship with God is partly contingent on how we treat others. God will not accept our gift at the altar until we reconcile with our neighbor (see similarly m. Yoma 8:9). Again Jesus depicts the situation graphically, since his Galilean hearers might have to travel a considerable distance to leave the Jerusalem temple and then return (vv. 23–24). Jesus’ following crisis parable shows how urgent the situation is (vv. 25–26). Imprisonment was generally a temporary holding place until punishment; here, however, a longer penalty is envisaged. The last penny (Greek kodrantēs, Romanquadrans) refers to the second-smallest Roman coin, only a few minutes’ wages for even a day laborer. Through a variety of terrible images, Jesus indicates that when we damage our relationships with others, we damage our relationship with God, leading to eternal punishment (compare 18:21–35).More Keener, Craig S. Matthew. Vol. 1. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, …


‎Jericho. An aerial view of the lowest city in the world, 250 meters below sea level, 10 kilometers north of the Dead Sea, surrounded by cultivated fields and water reservoirs blue as precious stones set in an ornament. The spring that made Jericho an oasis, Ein-al-Sultan, is associated with the prophet Elisha, who purified its water with salt in response to a request from the people of Jericho, as told in II Kings 2:19–22.

Mundy's Quote for Today

Mundy's Quote for Today Reverend Lynwood F. Mundy

Simeon’s Prophecy
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
    29      “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,     According to Your word;     30      For my eyes have seen Your salvation     31      Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,     32      A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,     And the glory of Your people Israel.”
33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to M…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

December 26

God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Gal. 6:14
The cross is the great center of God’s moral universe! To this center God ever pointed, and the eye of faith ever looked forward, until the Saviour came. And now we must ever turn to that cross as the center of all our blessing, and the basis of all our worship, both on earth and in Heaven—in time and throughout all eternity.

D. L. M.

Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

December 26

GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN Stanzas by John W. Work, 1871–1925

You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” (Isaiah 40:9)

For many people, another Christmas season is merely a rerun of the trivial and the sentimental. But for the devoted Christian, Christmas is much more than a once a year celebration. It is a fresh awareness that a Deliverer was sent from the ivory palaces of heaven to become personally involved in the redemption and affairs of the human race. The impact of this realization becomes a strong motivation to share the good news with needy and desperate people who need to know that there is an Emmanuel available who can meet their every need. Men everywhere must hear these glad tidings if they are to benefit from them. With absolute clarity they must hear the message, “Here is your God!”
Negro spir…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, December 26                                   Go To Evening Reading
         “The last Adam.”  — 1 Corinthians 15:45
Jesus is the federal head of his elect. As in Adam, every heir of flesh and blood has a personal interest, because he is the covenant head and representative of the race as considered under the law of works; so under the law of grace, every redeemed soul is one with the Lord from heaven, since he is the Second Adam, the Sponsor and Substitute of the elect in the new covenant of love. The apostle Paul declares that Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Melchizedek met him: it is a certain truth that the believer was in the loins of Jesus Christ, the Mediator, when in old eternity the covenant settlements of grace were decreed, ratified, and made sure for ever. Thus, whatever Christ hath done, he hath wrought for the whole body of his Church. We were crucified in him and buried with him (read Col. 2:10-13), and to make it still more wonderful, we are risen with hi…

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

December 27: Love Is Good News
Jeremiah 51:1–64; Romans 13:8–14:12; Proverbs 28:1–28

Love is good news for those seeking guidance. Love is the guide we need.

Many first-century Jewish Christians faced the question of what to do with the Law (the first five books of the Bible), by which they had lived previously. Now that they had Jesus, what would they do with their traditions? Paul’s answer is based on love: “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another, for the one who loves someone else has fulfilled the law” (Rom 13:8). He goes on: “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are summed up in this statement: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does not commit evil against a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom 13:9–10). These are beautiful words, and I’m not saying that because they let me off the hook for keeping the law…