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Showing posts from January 3, 2015

Dagon Temple

Dagon Temple ‎The Byzantine painting shows a plundered temple. An idol is ravaged, and its head is cut off. The cult objects are destroyed, and lying around on the floor. ‎1 Sam 5

Palace of Herod, Samaria or Sebaste

Palace of Herod, Samaria or Sebaste
‎Thirty years of silence in the midst of which our Savior grew up is broken only once. This was upon the occasion of the visit of the Holy Family to the feast of the Passover, when Jesus was twelve years of age. “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.” The feast of the Passover began on the 8th of April, according to Dr. Andrews, and this visit to Jerusalem was made by the Holy Family in the year A. D. 8, according to the same authority. 
It must be remembered, in order to understand the calendar which began the Christian era, that from some error in the calculation it is four years too late. The journey of Jesus and His mother, from Nazareth in Galilee to the Holy City of Jerusalem, would be full of historic associations which the lad with His ample knowledge of the Jewish Scriptures would readily recall. The lad of Shunem …

Bowl, mallet, and pegs

Bowl, mallet, and pegs ‎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

The Will of God

The Will of GodVer. 1 Thessalonians 4:3.—For this is the will of God. The phrase, “the will of God,” has two significations in Scripture: the one is the determination of God—his decree; the other is his desire, that in which he delights—a will, however, which may be frustrated by the perversity of his creatures. It is in this latter sense that the word is here employed. Even your sanctification; complete consecration; holiness taken in its most general sense. Our holiness is the great design of Christ’s death, and is the revealed will of God. Some (Olshausen, Lünemann) restrict the term to moral purity, and consider the next clause as its explanation (oomp. Rom. 12:1). That ye should abstain from fornication; a vice fearfully prevalent among the heathen, and which, indeed, they hardly regarded as wrong. Especially it was the great sin of Corinth, from which the apostle wrote, the patron goddess of which city was Venus.
Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. 1 Thessalonians. London; New York: Fun…

Paul's Trust

Paul's TrustPhilippians 2:24
I trust can also be rendered “I am confident” (NEB NAB). The verb used is a strong one, carrying the components of confidence, reliance, and hope. The ground of this confidence and hope is in the Lord Every mood of Paul’s life is regulated by the will of the Lord. I trust has here the force of “if the Lord wills it” (Brc; cf. 1 Cor 4:19). It is only in the Lord that the apostle can look ahead with confidence, and with this confidence he says I myself will be able to come to you soon, that is, to follow soon after Timothy.
For the translation of I trust in the Lord, see the similar phrase in verse 19. In this context, in the Lord may suggest either the agency of the confidence, for example, “the Lord has given me confidence that”; or the condition for the content of what is believed or hoped, for example, “I trust that, if it is the Lord’s will, I myself will be able to come to you soon.”
Languages differ rather radically in the so-called “locative vie…

Armor of God

Armor of God
‎The Apostle Paul, inspired by God, wrote a letter to the church of Ephesus from a Roman prison. As he wrote, Roman soldiers guarding the prison walked about in the armor of first century legionary.

The Punishment of the Serpent

The Punishment of the SerpentGenesis 3:14-15 The serpent’s punishment has three aspects: (1) consignment to crawling on its belly, (2) the eating of dust “all the days of your life” (v. 14), and (3) its ultimate destruction by the wounded “seed” of the woman (v. 15). Several elements in the oracle echo the temptation (3:1–5). “Cursed” (ʾārûr) is another wordplay on the earlier “crafty” (ʿārûm; cf. 3:1). Both verses describe the serpent’s distinction within the animal world. Ill-use of his shrewdness resulted in divine censure. “Eating” dust reflects Eve’s temptation to “eat” of the tree and the couple’s subsequent fall by eating. 
Also the retaliation of the woman’s seed over against the viper’s offspring (v. 15) answers the snake’s first triumph. His triumph will not be the last word.
These punishments are related to the snake’s life of humiliation and subjugation in the natural world. God’s condemnation is not directed against the reptile per se but the adversary that it represents…

The Outcome of Jerusalem Council

The Outcome of Jerusalem CouncilActs 15:1-21 Results of the Conference. Three important decisions emerged from the Jerusalem Council.

    1.      The church decided that obedience to the Mosaic law was not a condition for salvation to be imposed on Gentiles.

    2.      The church urged that Gentile Christians avoid certain practices for the sake of harmonious Jewish-Gentile relationships.

    3.      The church preserved a unity that gave credibility to its witness of the gospel.

Lea, Thomas D., and David Alan Black. The New Testament: Its Background and Message. 2nd ed. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003. Print.

General View of Tyre

General View of Tyre
“Then Jesus went thence and departed into the coast of Tyre and Sidon.” It was here that a woman of Cana—the Syro-Phœnician—made that plea for her daughter grievously vexed with the devil. It was here that Jesus wrought a cure and said to the woman, “O, Woman! great is thy faith!” 
Tyre is a very ancient city. Its ancient and present name is Sûr. It was powerful as early as 1200 B. C. During Solomon’s reign two hundred years later it had the largest commerce anywhere on the Mediterranean. There were two (or really three) cities. Old Tyre (Palsetyrus) lay on the mainland; on two rocky islands in front of this lay the sea-port, arsenals and storehouses; on the mainland Tyrus, of perfect beauty, made glorious in the midst of the sea, “stood,” with all her palaces, temples, castles, towers, her beautiful gardens and fountains. “Tyre was a fair and beautiful possession” which nearly all the old conquerors wished to make their own. The names of Sargon, King of Assyria…

John Wycliffe


“Trust wholly in Christ; rely altogether on his sufferings; beware of seeking to be justified in any other way than by his righteousness.”

John Wycliffe left quite an impression on the church: 43 years after his death, officials dug up his body, burned his remains, and threw the ashes into the river Swift. Still, they couldn’t get rid of him. Wycliffe’s teachings, though suppressed, continued to spread. As a later chronicler observed, “Thus the brook hath conveyed his ashes into Avon; Avon into Severn; Severn into the narrow seas; and they into the main ocean. And thus the ashes of Wycliffe are the emblem of his doctrine which now is dispersed the world over.”
“Master of errors” Wycliffe had been born in the hinterlands, on a sheep farm 200 miles from London. He left for Oxford University in 1346, but because of periodic eruptions of the Black Death, he was not able to earn his doctorate until 1372. Nonetheless, by then he was alread…

Inscription with the name Hazael

Inscription with the name Hazael ‎This small ivory plate was found in Arslan Tash; it has the name Hazael engraved on it. ‎1 Kings 19:15, 19:17; 2 Kings 8:8–29; 9:14–15; 10:32; 12:17–18; 13:3, 13:22–25; Amos 1:4

Oil press

Oil press
‎Oil is extracted from the olives by pressing. They had to be crushed under considerable weight. There were different kinds of olive press, but the basic idea was to roll a heavy stone over the olives. This kind of press is pictured at the bottom: Persons or animals moved a smaller stone in which a long pole was inserted over a large cylindrical stone. Another method to press olives is illustrated at the top: The olives were put into special baskets that were placed under a log anchored in a wall. The long log had heavy stones attached and acted as a kind of fulcrum on the olives. The fulcrum produced weight on the olives—or on the tiny bags with the pulp and seeds that resulted from crashing the olives -, squeezing the oil out. ‎1 Kings 5:11; Job 24:11


TWISTED SCRIPTURE Genesis 12:10–20Mormons claim that while Abraham was in Egypt he wrote The Book of Abraham, one of the Mormon sacred scriptures, which had been lost until it fell into the hands of Joseph Smith in 1835. After Smith allegedly translated the papyrus into English, it passed through several hands before landing at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. Egyptology immediately identified it as a portion of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, dealing with funeral customs and worship of the various Egyptian gods. Smith’s identification of the manuscript and his translation were completely wrong.To this dayMormons refuse to accept the scholarly evaluation and cling to Smith’s erroneous claims.

Cabal, Ted et al. The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007. Print.

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

The Way, the Truth, and the LifeJohn 14:6 Hence the function of “truth” and “life” is more likely one of elucidation: Jesus is the way as he is the truth and the life. While “life” has an eschatological flavor in John (11:25), these terms serve to effect the redirection to the present that one finds in v. 7, although they do not involve any conflict with what precedes. No direct models have been found for linking the three terms. At most, we read of the way(s) of truth or life in the OT, and the law is separately called way, truth, and life in rabbinic works, though this does not warrant any antithesis of Jesus and the law in this or other passages. The Gnostic idea of the heavenly journey of the soul can hardly have had much influence, for elsewhere in John hodós occurs only in 1:23, there is no reference to the heavenly origin of souls or to their return, the orientation is to the coming again of Jesus rather than the death and subsequent journey of the disciples, and John lays litt…


Praise Excerptpraise of them that do well—Every government recognizes the excellence of truly Christian subjects. Thus PLINY, in his letter to the Emperor Trajan, acknowledges, “I have found in them nothing else save a perverse and extravagant superstition.” The recognition in the long run mitigates persecution (1 Pe 3:13).
Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Vol. 2. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997. Print.


‎Next to arable and stock farming, the hunt came third as a fundamental possibility to earn one’s livelihood. Normally one went hunting with bow and arrow. ‎Gen 10:9; 25:27; 27:3, 27:30, 27:33; Lev 17:13; 1 Sam 26:20; Ps 22:title

Mount Carmel: Carmel

Mount Carmel: Carmel
‎The Carmel appears in the Bible as a symbol of nature’s abundance and beauty. Israelis, hungry for its green shade, refer to it as “Little Switzerland”. The peaks of the Carmel are crowned with pine forests and its slopes are clothed in natural woodland of oaks and terebinths. In the spring it is resplendent with wild flowers such as anemones, crocuses, buttercups and tulips.

Leviticus 16

Leviticus 16
Excerpt‎The Day of Atonement ritual required two goats which were used to bring atonement for the people’s sins. ‎The high priest would cast lots to determine which would go to God and which would go to “Azazel.” He would then sacrifice the goat assigned as God’s goat as a sin offering. Azazel’s goat is sent off into the wilderness to make purification. The exact meaning of the term “Azazel” is unknown; it may refer to a wilderness demon, a rocky cliff, or a goat bringing destruction. Essentially, Azazel’s goat was a scapegoat which departed into the desert and removed or carried away the sins of the people. ‎Leviticus 16:11–18 tells how the high priest is to sacrifice the bull to atone for his sins, then how to sacrifice the goat for the people’s sin offering. … More Butler, Trent C. “Day of Atonement.” Ed. John D. Barry et al. The Lexham Bible Dictionary 2012, 2013, 2014 : n. pag. Print.

God Justifies

God JustifiesRomans 8:33–34 Excerpt The next two questions Paul raised and answered are forensic or legal in nature. Who will bring any charge (enkalesei, “make a formal accusation in court; press charges”; cf. Acts19:4023:2926:2) against those whom God has chosen? Satan is identified as “the accuser” of God’s people (Rev. 12:10; cf. Zech. 3:1). His accusations are valid, because they are based on the believer’s sinfulness and defilement. But Satan’s accusations will be thrown out of court, because it is God who justifies. The Judge Himself declares the accused person righteous on the basis of his faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:245:1). As a result all accusations are dismissed and no one can bring an accusation that will stand. The related question is, Who is He that condemns? The Greek participle ho katakrinōn can have a future sense, “will condemn,” which seems preferable here. (Cf. katakrima,“condemnation, punishment” in 8:1.) Jesus Christ is God’s appointed Judge (John 5:22

No Fellowship with the Unfruitful

No Fellowship with the UnfruitfulExcerpt And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. The point of this exhortation is in the adjective “unfruitful.” The works of darkness are unfruitful: they produce no goodness, give rise to no satisfaction, to no moral results that are “a joy for ever;” or, it fruit they have, it is shame, remorse, despair. Contrast this with the renovating, satisfying, joy-producing, fruits of righteousness. But rather even reprove them. Do not be content with a passive attitude towards them, but take the aggressive and expose their wickedness, whether in public or in the domestic circle. A testimony has to be lifted up against ways that are so shameful and that bring down the wrath of God. More Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. Ephesians. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.


ThereforeRomans 5:1
5:1–5 The “therefore” with which chap. 5 begins connects it to what Paul had written in the previous verses. In fact, “since we have been justified through faith” (v. 1) summarizes the entire argument of chaps. 1–4. Those who have placed their trust in Christ can rest assured that their faith has been credited to them as righteousness (Rom 4:24). Their confidence is based on the fact that Christ was put to death for their sins and raised again that they might be declared just (Rom 4:25).

Mounce, Robert H. Romans. Vol. 27. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995. Print. The New American Commentary.

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the Day Reverend Lynwood F. Mundy
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, January 3                                        Go To Evening Reading
         “I will give thee for a covenant of the people.”  — Isaiah 49:8
Jesus Christ is himself the sum and substance of the covenant, and as one of its gifts. He is the property of every believer. Believer, canst thou estimate what thou hast gotten in Christ? “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Consider that word “God” and its infinity, and then meditate upon “perfect man” and all his beauty; for all that Christ, as God and man, ever had, or can have, is thine—out of pure free favour, passed over to thee to be thine entailed property forever. Our blessed Jesus, as God, is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent. Will it not console you to know that all these great and glorious attributes are altogether yours? Has he power? That power is yours to support and strengthen you, to overcome your enemies, and to preserve you even to the end. Has he love? Well, there is not a drop of love in his …