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Showing posts from February 9, 2015

Threshing Flail

Threshing Flail
‎Sometimes referred to as a “stick” or a “rod,” in the Bible, the threshing flail was actually two sticks attached together by a short chain.

Fig Tree

Fig Tree ‎Due to its sweetness, the fruit of the fig tree is highly appreciated in the Near East. The tree with its deeply loped leaves is an ideal shade tree in the hot summer months. ‎Gen 3:7; Deut 8:8; Judg 9:10–11; 1 Kings 4:25; 2 Kings 18:31; Ps 105:33; Prov 27:18; Isa 34:4; Jer 5:17; Jer 8:13; Hos 9:10; Joel 1:7, Joel 1:12; Joel 2:22; Micah 4:4; Zech 3:10; 1 Macc 14:12; Matt 21:19–21; Mark 11:13, Mark 11:20–21; Luke 13:6–7; Luke 21:29; John 1:48, John 1:50; James 3:12; Rev 6:13

Walls of Jericho

Walls of Jericho ‎The excavations of the ancient city Jericho yielded several walls. In the early stages of archaeology, one of these walls was seen as connected to Joshua’s conquest of the city. However, in the meantime research could demonstrate that Jericho was not a fortified settlement around 1200 BCE, the time in which the conquest by the Israelites took place. At that time Jericho was at best occasionally visited by nomads. The narrative about the conquest of Jericho in Josh 6 originated at a time when people had no longer a special memory of the events around 1200 BCE. Only when the location became important again due to its nearness to the frontier of the empire, and next to a pass over the Jordan River, a foundation legend was needed. With the stylized narrative about he conquest people wanted to show that the place was not conquered in battle, but was given to the Israelites by God’s grace. ‎Josh 6

Many Parts, One Body

Many Parts, One Body1 Corinthians 12:14–27
Excerpt in first-century pagan society the body image was used to quell political factions (Mitchell 1991:556–76; D. Martin 1995:39): as each person or group performed the hierarchically assigned roles given by nature (often class determined), then and only then would the whole body politic be preserved from chaos. This is not Paul’s use of the metaphor in this section. Instead he reverses the standard use and argues that there is no hierarchy of important or elite versus unimportant persons in the body that is Christ’s. All are important and necessary to the realization and functioning of the one body that God has put together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it (v. 24). More Johnson, Alan F. 1 Corinthians. Vol. 7. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series

Purity of Life

Purity of Life Excerpt Verse 1begins with the Greek imperative “Become, therefore, imitators of God.”The “therefore” (RSV) links this command with what immediately precedes, that is, forgiveness of one another as God has forgiven us. The command to “imitate God” is unique in the New Testament.* It is justified by the fact that Christiansare God’s dear children. As children, they must imitate their heavenly Father. The specific application of the command to imitate God is found in verse 2: it is love, as the rule of the Christian life, which enables the children to be like their Father. The clause Since you are God’s dear children may be expressed as “since you are God’s children whom he very much loves”More Bratcher, Robert G., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Screech Owls

Screech Owls ‎Just as the owl and the eagle owl, the screech owl belongs to the “unclean animals” that were not allowed to be eaten. ‎Lev 11:17; Deut 14:16; Ps 102:6; Zeph 2:14

Paul's Ministry to the Churches

Paul's Ministry to the Churches Excerpt The first aspect of Paul’s ministry involved suffering. Perhaps Paul reflected here on the words of explanation at his conversion experience. God told Ananias that Paul would learn how many things he must suffer for Christ’s sake (Acts 9:16). From the beginning of his ministry, Paul and others knew that unique suffering would be his lot. That knowledge came through direct revelation from God. Perhaps, further, Paul reflected on the fulfillment of that prediction in the various experiences of suffering in his ministry. Even at the time of writing, Paul was suffering in house arrest for the sake of Gentile churches. In a unique way, the apostle was granted the privilege of suffering for the Messiah. More Melick, Richard R. Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Vol. 32. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1991. Print. The New American Commentary.

Prayer for His Disciples

Prayer for His Disciples Excerpt Here the Divine Intercessor turns from himself, and from the approaching glory of his own mediatorial Person and position, to meditate, for the advantage of his disciples, on what had already been done for them, in them, to them. He clothes these meditations in the form of a direct address to the eternal God, and makes the series of facts on which he dwells the groundwork of the prayer which follows for his disciples, as representative of all who, like them, have come into relations with the Father through him. More Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed.St. John.Vol. 2. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.

The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel ‎Since the 3rd millennium BCE, towers in form of a terraced pyramid, so called ziggurats, were constructed in Babylon and at other places in Mesopotamia. Temples were built on the upper platform. The Tower of Babel was about 90 m high, and it was called Etemenanki (“House between Heaven and Earth”). ‎Gen 11:1–9

I Tell You the Truth, The Poor Widow Has Put More into the Treasury than all the Others

I Tell You the Truth, The Poor Widow Has Put More into the Treasury than all the Others

“I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in everything—all that she had.” Mark 12:43–44
It is unclear how these women freed themselves from the familial and financial structures of first century Palestine; it is clear that Jesus gratefully accepted their support. The reciprocity of these relationships is clearly seen between Christ and Mary of Bethany. Because of her love and gifts of hospitality, he allowed her to sit at his feet and learn. In response, as recorded in John 12, she took an “alabaster flask of pure nard, very costly,” and anointed him. The oil was worth about 300 denarii—almost a whole year’s wages for a vineyard worker. Her sense of the greater purpose of Christ’s mission inspired her to make this costly temporal sacrifice.
In New Testament times women were restricted from…

God Appears to Moses

God Appears to MosesExodus 3:2–5 Excerpt Here, at Horeb, God appeared to Moses as the Angel of the Lord (vid., p. 118f.) “in a flame of fire out of the midst of the thorn-bush” (סְנֶה, βάτος, rubus), which burned in the fire and was not consumed. אֻכָּל, in combination with אֵינֶנּוּ, must be a participle for מְאֻכָּל. When Moses turned aside from the road or spot where he was standing, “to look at this great sight”(מַרְאֶה), i.e., the miraculous vision of the bush that was burning and yet not burned up, Jehovah called to him out of the midst of the thorn-bush, “Moses, Moses (the reduplication as inGen. 22:11), draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground”(אֲדָמָה). More Keil, Carl Friedrich, and Franz Delitzsch.Commentary on the Old Testament. Vol. 1. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996. Print.

Loyalty and Faithfulness

Loyalty and FaithfulnessProverbs 3:3 Excerpt Loyalty and faithfulness are a combination of qualities that occur in such passages as Gen 24:49;Ex. 34:6;Deut 7:9; andPsa 25:10 and express the ideal relationship between people or between God and people. The two words overlap considerably in their meanings. In Gen 47:29 the word rendered loyalty(Hebrew chesed) is used of the relationship of Joseph to his father Jacob and inEx. 34:6of the relationship of the Lord to his own people. An essential element in loyalty is love, and the word is sometimes translated as “love.”NJB says “faithful love.”More Reyburn, William David, and Euan McG. Fry. A Handbook on Proverbs. New York: United Bible Societies, 2000. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the Day Reverend Lynwood F. Mundy

God’s Final Judgment and Glory
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His …

Catholic Lectionary


              First Reading       Genesis 1:1–19
              Response       Psalm 104:31b
              Psalm       Psalm 104:1–2a, 5–6, 10, 12, 24, 35c
Gospel Acclamation       Matthew 4:23
Gospel Mark 6:53–56

Catholic Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009. Print.

The Episcopal Church. Book of Common Prayer Lectionary


Psalms (Morning)       Psalm 80
Psalms (Evening)       Psalm 77 (79)
Old TestamentIsaiah 58:1–12
New Testament Galatians 6:11–18
GospelMark 9:30–41

The Episcopal Church. Book of Common Prayer Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010. Print.