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Showing posts from March 16, 2016

Jewish Marriage Customs

Jewish Marriage Customs

Matthew 1:18–23

Excerpt


Marriages were arranged for individuals by parents, and contracts were negotiated. After this was accomplished, the individuals were considered married and were called husband and wife. They did not, however, begin to live together. Instead, the woman continued to live with her parents and the man with his for one year. The waiting period was to demonstrate the faithfulness of the pledge of purity given concerning the bride. If she was found to be with child in this period, she obviously was not pure but had been involved in an unfaithful sexual relationship. Therefore, the marriage could be annulled. If, however, the one-year waiting period demonstrated the purity of the bride, the husband would then go to the house of the bride’s parents and in a grand processional march lead his bride back to his home. There they would begin to live together as husband and wife and consummate their marriage physically. Matthew’s story should be read with…

Rome: Ponte Fabricio

Rome: Ponte Fabricio

‎The Fabricius’ Bridge, which is still in use today, was built in 62 BCE; it connects the Tiber Island with Rome’s the inner city. ‎1 Macc 1:10; 7:1; 8:3, 8:17, 8:19; 12:1, 12:3; 14:16, 14:24; 15:15; Acts 2:10; 18:2; 19:21; 23:11; 28:14, 28:16; Rom 1:7, 1:15; 2 Tim 1:17

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.

Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark

‎Genesis tells the extraordinary story of the ark God commanded Noah to build to escape the great flood that covered the earth. The flood destroyed all life but Noah’s and “those who were with him in the ark” (Gen 7:23).

Were the Disciples Drunk?

Were the Disciples Drunk?

Acts 2:14–15

Excerpt


To “lift up one’s voice” (literally in the Greek) may merely mean “to begin to speak in a loud voice.” In a loud voice is more often rendered simply as “to speak loudly to” or “to shout to.”

It is interesting that the Greek verb which Luke has chosen for speak is one which places emphasis upon the high quality and articulate nature of the words spoken (see 2.4). The word occurs here, following the charge of drunkenness, and in 26.25 after the charge of madness.


Newman, Barclay Moon, and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the Acts of the Apostles. New York: United Bible Societies, 1972. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Ancient Bridge, Rome

Ancient Bridge, Rome

‎We are standing just above the new iron bridge called Ponte Rotto. We are looking to the northwest, and the bridge we see above the old arch is the Ponte Fabricio, that runs from the left bank of the Tiber to the Isola Tiberina. The Ponte Fabricio runs from the bank to this island, and the Ponte Cestio runs from the island to the right bank. The old arch we see between these bridges is the last remaining arch of the ancient Pons Æmilius, built 181 B. C. On the Isola Tiberina is the church of St. Bartolomeo. This stands, in all probability, upon the site of the ancient temple of Æsculapius. It was built A. D. 1000, by the Emperor Otho III. The island was connected with Trastevere by an ancient bridge built by Augustus. The old arch we see was in its place when St. Paul was in Rome; and as he lived here on his first stay in Rome for two years, we do not doubt that his eyes rested upon it. Rome has seven ancient bridges; five of them are still in use. The other two…

Filthiness

Filthiness

Excerpt


Ver. 4.—And filthiness; αἰσχρότης, implying that such things are disgraceful, ugly, revolting, the opposite of καλός, fair, comely, attractive. And foolish talking or jesting, which are not becoming. This would be well understood in sensual, frivolous Ephesus; a light, bantering, jesting kind of talk, seasoned with double entendres and obscene allusions, very pernicious in its moral effect. There is no reason to suppose that the apostle meant to condemn all play of humour, which is a Divine gift, and which in moderation has its own useful place as a means of refreshing and invigorating the spirit; it was the jesting associated with ribaldry that drew his reproof.


Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. Ephesians. London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909. Print. The Pulpit Commentary.

Connect the Testaments

March 16: It Will Seem Simple in Retrospect
Numbers 17:1–18:32; 1 Corinthians 1:1–31;Psalm 18:1–12

We’re all faced with difficult tasks. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he was forced to confront their spiritual problems, which were slowly destroying God’s work among them. Paul was thankful for them (1 Cor 1:4–8), but he was also called to a high purpose as an apostle. His calling meant saying what people didn’t want to hear (1 Cor 1:1).

There were divisions among the Corinthians that were going to rip their fledgling church apart, and Paul implored them to make some difficult changes: “Now I exhort you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that … there not be divisions among you, and that you be made complete in the same mind and with the same purpose. For … there are quarrels among you” (1 Cor 1:10–11). And here’s where something amazing happens that we often overlook. Paul, a confident man and a former Law-abiding Pharisee, could have stated why he was right and moved …

Morning and Evening

Morning, March 16      Go To Evening Reading
         “I am a stranger with thee.”     — Psalm 39:12
Yes, O Lord, with thee, but not to thee. All my natural alienation from thee, thy grace has effectually removed; and now, in fellowship with thyself, I walk through this sinful world as a pilgrim in a foreign country. Thou art a stranger in thine own world. Man forgets thee, dishonours thee, sets up new laws and alien customs, and knows thee not. When thy dear Son came unto his own, his own received him not. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. Never was a foreigner so speckled a bird among the denizens of any land as thy beloved Son among his mother’s brethren. It is no marvel, then, if I who live the life of Jesus, should be unknown and a stranger here below. Lord, I would not be a citizen where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hand has loosened the cords which once bound my soul to earth, and now I find myself a stranger in the land. My speec…

My Utmost for His Highest

March 16th
The master assizes


For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Cor. 5:10

Paul says that we must all, preacher and people alike, “appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” If you learn to live in the white light of Christ here and now, judgment finally will cause you to delight in the work of God in you. Keep yourself steadily faced by the judgment seat of Christ; walk now in the light of the holiest you know. A wrong temper of mind about another soul will end in the spirit of the devil, no matter how saintly you are. One carnal judgment and the end of it is hell in you. Drag it to the light at once and say—‘My God, I have been guilty there.’ If you don’t, hardness will come all through. The penalty of sin is confirmation in sin. It is not only God who punishes for sin; sin confirms itself in the sinner and gives back full pay. No struggling or praying will enable you to stop doing some things, and the penalty of sin is that gradually you get used to it a…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

March 16

  Come behind in no gift
1 Cor. 1:7
The Scripture gives four names to Christians, taken from the four cardinal graces so essential to man’s salvation: Saints for their holiness, believers for their faith, brethren for their love, disciples for their knowledge.

Thomas Fuller

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