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Showing posts from October 23, 2015


Ephesians 5:15

II. In the New Testament
By and large NT wisdom (sophia) has the same intensely practical nature as in the OT. Seldom neutral (although cf. ‘the wisdom of the Egyptians’, Acts 7:22), it is either God-given or God-opposing. If divorced from God’s revelation it is impoverished and unproductive at best (1 Cor. 1:17; 1 Cor. 2:4; 2 Cor. 1:12) and foolish or even devilish at worst (1 Cor. 1:19ff.; Jas. 3:15ff.). Worldly wisdom is based on intuition and experience without revelation, and thus has severe limitations. The failure to recognize these limitations brings biblical condemnation on all (especially the Greeks) who haughtily attempt to cope with spiritual issues by human wisdom. The truly wise are those to whom God has graciously imparted wisdom: Solomon (Mt. 12:42; Lk. 11:31), Stephen (Acts 6:10), Paul (2 Pet. 3:15), Joseph (Acts 7:10). One of Christ’s legacies to his disciples was the wisdom to say the right thing in times of persecution and examination (Lk. 21:…

Socoh and Azekah

Socoh and Azekah
1 Samuel 17:1
Now: this is the common Hebrew conjunction, which, at the beginning of this new section, may not need to be translated at all in some languages. But others may substitute a discourse marker showing that a new story is beginning. Gathered. while certain English versions use the technical military term “mustered” (REB, NJB), the verb used here is a very general one for gathering together. But it is followed by the words “for battle,” which clearly indicate a military purpose. Socoh and Azekah were located about thirty kilometers (about eighteen miles) southwest of Jerusalem. Socoh was one of three towns by this name in the Old Testament. To indicate which of these towns is intended, the writer adds which belongs to Judah, that is, this Socoh was located in the lowlands of Judah. The name Socoh comes from a root meaning “to hedge” or“to shut in.”NBE translates this name as Vallado, that is, “Enclosure.” Azekah: another town in the lowlands of Judah, about fiv…

The Boldness of a Blind Man

The Boldness of a Blind ManJohn 9:30–33“He put mud on my eyes” (John 9:15). Witness is telling what you know by experience. We may not know much about Jesus, but anyone can tell what Jesus has done for him or her.
They were divided (John 9:16). The Pharisees were not divided over whether to believe in Jesus. They were divided as to how to explain His miracle away.
“Do you want to become His disciples too?" (John 9:27). This remark drips with sarcasm and reflects the blind man’s frustration with the constant nagging of the Pharisees.
“We know that God does not listen to sinners” (John 9:30–33). The blind man is bolder than his parents, who refuse to take any position on their son’s healing because of the known hostility of the religious leaders to Jesus (cf. vv. John 9:20–23). The once blind man openly expressed the obvious fact that the leaders were intent on trying to hide. The blessing of sight restored was so great that nothing the leaders could do would intimidate him.
Let’s rem…

The Amarna Letters

The Amarna Letters ‎This collection of cuneiform tablets is named after the place they were discovered—modern Amarna, the ancient Egyptian city of Akhetaten. Written in the late 14th century BC, these letters record correspondence between Egypt (under Pharaohs Akhenaten and Tutankhamun) and its vassal states. They provide information about trade and government of the time.

Thomas Finds Nathanael

Thomas Finds NathanaelVer. 45.—Further convictions of the disciples. (b) The theme of the Old Testament. Philip findeth Nathanael. He has no sooner accepted the Lord who found him, than he is eager to communicate the Divine secret to others. It seems widely accepted, though without any positive proof, that this Nathanael was identical with the Bartholomew (Bar Tolmai, son of Ptolemy) of the four lists of apostles, on the following grounds; (1) In ch. John 21:2 Nathanael once more appears among the innermost circle of the apostles, and is moreover mentioned there in company with Thomas. In the synoptic Gospels Bartholomew is associated also with Philip, although in Acts, Luke ranks him with Matthew. (2) It is probable that Nathanael was one of the twelve, and, this being so, it is more probable that he should have been identical with Bartholomew than with any other. He is distinguished from Thomas and the two sons of Zebedee in ch. John 21:2 and the whole circumstance of his call sugg…

Reconstruction of Incised Relief of Standing Figure and Lions from the Synagogue Forecourt

Reconstruction of Incised Relief of Standing Figure and Lions from the Synagogue Forecourt
Fig. 5. Reconstruction of incised relief of standing figure and lions from the Synagogue forecourt (C. S. Alexander). © Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/Harvard University.
These two well-known relief techniques admit considerable stylistic variation, depending on location and date. Even though locally made, the Sardis plaque clearly reflects an awareness of other artistic media. The sculptor’s main interest plainly lay with the lions, who are given the naturalistic proportions, features, and attitudes seen in contemporary depictions of wild animals. The greatest number of such images survive in floor mosaics depicting scenes of the arena and the hunt, occasions that occupied an increasingly important place in the Roman imagination. Mosaicists soon found that the untidy spontaneity of animal combat lent itself to the scattering of figures across a blank field, without the need for a unifying…


BethsaidaJohn 1:44
From Bethsaida (ἀπο Βηθσαιδα [apo Bēthsaida]). Same expression in John 12:21 with the added words “of Galilee,” which locates it in Galilee, not in Iturea. There were two Bethsaidas, one called Bethsaida Julias in Iturea (that in Luke 9:10) or the Eastern Bethsaida, the other the Western Bethsaida in Galilee (Mark 6:45), perhaps somewhere near Capernaum. This is the town of Andrew and Peter and Philip. Hence Philip would be inclined to follow the example of his townsmen.

Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933. Print.

Ra, the Sun-God

Ra, the Sun-God

Free Gift of God is Eternal Life in Jesus Christ Our Lord

Free Gift of God is Eternal Life in Jesus ChristOur Lord


Paul now exhorts them to claim the basic fact that comes from faith (“But now [nuni de; cf. Romans 3:21] that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God”) and on the basis of this to reap the benefit that “leads to holiness” (or sanctification), whose end, goal, or “result is eternal life” (Romans 6:22). Subtly but powerfully Paul summarizes his appeal in Romans 6:23 by an ironic contrast between slavery to sin and slavery to God, for one has to work for sin and receives death as its wages, whereas God gives eternal life as a gift, made possible in Christ Jesus our Lord, who properly receives pride of place at the conclusion of the argument, for it is through his work that the believer is justified as a sheer gift of grace.

Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995. Print. Baker Reference Library.

Corinth: Road

Corinth: Road ‎The remnants of the shops in Corinth are visible in the foreground. As in other Hellenistic-Roman cities, they were situated alongside the major roads. ‎Acts 18:1, Acts 18:8; Acts 19:1; 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 1:1, 2 Cor 1:23; 2 Cor 6:11; 2 Tim 4:20

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

October 23

  As my lord the king hath said, so will thy servant do
1 Kings 2:38
There is something infinitely better than doing a great thing for God, and the infinitely better thing is to be where God wants us to be, to do what God wants us to do, and to have no will apart from His.

G. Campbell Morgan

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

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

October 23: The Time, Space, and Money Continuum
Ezekiel 45:1–46:24; Revelation 22:1–21;Job 39:11–23

When we think of setting things apart for God, we usually think of money first. But what about our time or even a place? Ezekiel 45:1 speaks of setting aside land for God: “And when you allocate the land as an inheritance, you shall provide a contribution for Yahweh as a holy portion from the land, its length being twenty-five thousand cubits and its width ten thousand cubits; it is holy in all its territory, all around” (Ezek 45:1).
We’re comfortable with the idea of donating money; we recognize that others need our help and our churches need our support. But there are other reasons for giving. Giving itself is a righteous and perhaps sacred act. It forces us to acknowledge that all we have belongs to God—He is the provider. Giving puts us in right standing before God in a powerful way.
Similarly, allocating time and space to God helps us understand our place before Him. When we desig…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

October 23rd
Not a bit of it!

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away. 2 Cor. 5:17.

Our Lord never nurses our prejudices, He mortifies them, runs clean athwart them. We imagine that God has a special interest in our particular prejudices; we are quite sure that God will never deal with us as we know He has to deal with other people. ‘God must deal with other people in a very stern way, but of course He knows that my prejudices are all right.’ We have to learn—‘Not a bit of it!’ Instead of God being on the side of our prejudices, He is deliberately wiping them out. It is part of our moral education to have our prejudices run straight across by His providence, and to watch how He does it. God pays no respect to anything we bring to Him; there is only one thing He wants of us, and that is our unconditional surrender. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit begins to work His new creation in us, and there will come a time when there is not a bit of the o…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, October 23      Go To Evening Reading
 “Will ye also go away?”           — John 6:67
Many have forsaken Christ, and have walked no more with him; but what reason have YOU to make a change? Has there been any reason for it in the past? Has not Jesus proved himself all-sufficient? He appeals to you this morning—“Have I been a wilderness unto you?” When your soul has simply trusted Jesus, have you ever been confounded? Have you not up till now found your Lord to be a compassionate and generous friend to you, and has not simple faith in him given you all the peace your spirit could desire? Can you so much as dream of a better friend than he has been to you? Then change not the old and tried for new and false. As for the present, can that compel you to leave Christ? When we are hard beset with this world, or with the severer trials within the Church, we find it a most blessed thing to pillow our head upon the bosom of our Saviour. This is the joy we have to-day that we are saved …