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Showing posts from April 13, 2016

The “Alexander Sarcophagus” from Sidon

The “Alexander Sarcophagus” from Sidon
‎A Turkish archeologist discovered this masterpiece of Hellenic sculpture near Sidon, Lebanon in 1887. He thought it was the sarcophagus of Abdalonymus, whom Alexander the Great appointed king of Sidon, but later scholars attribute it to a slightly earlier period and aren’t sure who was buried in it. Called the “Alexander Sarcophagus” because it depicts scenes from Alexander’s life, notably the Battle of Issus (333 B.C.), the marble sculpture is now an antique in the Istanbul Archeology Museum. ‎Isa 23:2–4, Jer 25:22, Jer 27:3, Dan 11:3–4

Aqueduct at Ephesus

Aqueduct at Ephesus

‎One of the most wonderful cities of ancient times was Ephesus. It is a heap of ruins to-day, but it was once the glory of the plain on which it rose, and of the mountains that overshadowed it, and to the sides of which it clung. A beautiful sea stretched out from its presence toward the setting sun. The whole land that lay back of it, the islands that dotted the classic sea in front of it, the distant cities and shores that sent their rich and varied commerce to its gates—all these knew of it and praised and patronized it. Splendid city! Rich and busy, crowded with peoples of all lands and tongues, full of pomp and pleasure, full of sin and idolatry! Caravans of camels came from afar into its gates from the east, and fleets of ships passed into its ample harbor on the west. To-day silence reigns over the empty plain. The desolate hills echo to the cry of wild birds and wild beasts. The ruins of houses and temples are buried under the surface, and but for the ente…

Philippi in the Time of Paul (c. A.D. 60)

Philippi in the Time of Paul (c. A.D. 60)
Philippians 3:3
3:3. In contrast to those promoting physical circumcision (v. 2), the true people of God (the circumcision) are those who worship by the Spirit of God (cf. John 4:23–24). They glory in Christ Jesus (cf. Phil. 1:26) and put no confidence in the flesh (that is, as Calvin put it, in “everything that is outside of Christ”). This verse mentions all three members of the Trinity: “God” (the Father), “Christ Jesus” (the Son), and “the Spirit of God” (the Holy Spirit).
Crossway Bibles. The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008. Print.

“I AM” in Hebrew

“I AM” in Hebrew

Excerpt


The verb form used here is אֶהְיֶה (’ehyeh), the Qal imperfect, first person common singular, of the verb הָיָה (haya, “to be”). It forms an excellent paronomasia with the name. So when God used the verb to express his name, he used this form saying, “I am.” When his people refer to him as Yahweh, which is the third person masculine singular form of the same verb, they say “he is.” Some commentators argue for a future tense translation, “I will be who I will be,” because the verb has an active quality about it, and the Israelites lived in the light of the promises for the future. They argue that “I am” would be of little help to the Israelites in bondage. But a translation of “I will be” does not effectively do much more except restrict it to the future. The idea of the verb would certainly indicate that God is not bound by time, and while he is present (“I am”) he will always be present, even in the future, and so “I am”would embrace that as well (see also Ruth…

Disease and Healing in the First Century

Disease and Healing in the First Century

Acts 4:9

In the early Christian period illness may be caused by numerous demonic entities who are not always acting at Yahweh’s command (Matt. 15:22; Luke 11:14), and not necessarily by the violation of covenant stipulations (John 9:2). Illnesses mentioned include fevers (Mark 1:30), hemorrhages (Matt. 9:20), and what has been identified by some scholars as epilepsy (Mark 9:14–29). The cure for illness may be found in this world, and not simply in some utopian future.

Christianity also may have attracted patients who were too poor to afford fees charged in many Greco-Roman traditions (cf. Matt. 10:8). Some Greco-Roman traditions insisted that travel to a shrine was necessary for healing, but Christianity, with its emphasis on the value of faith alone, in effect announced that travel to a shrine was not required (Matt. 8:8). Likewise, Christianity resisted temporal restrictions on when healing could be administered (Mark 3:2–5).

Nonetheless, ear…

Paul Explains His Status

Paul Explains His Status

Excerpt


In v. 8 we have another newly-coined term which means literally leaster (elaxistoterō), that is “less than the least.” Paul’s sense of unworthiness was profound, because, even while he was persecuting Jesus’ followers of Jesus, Jesus’ grace was extended to him. This is not false modesty but rather profound gratitude, indicating how Paul really felt about the matter, as a text like 1 Cor. 15:9 shows. This sort of language falls under the ancient rhetorical rules for inoffensive self-praise. The rhetorical aim of such statements is to create a deep emotional response (pathos) in the audience, but it also makes it difficult to reject for if Paul is giving all the credit to God, to object to what he says is to object to what God has done. Humility, while not considered a virtue in the larger Greco-Roman world, was seen as a virtue in the Christian community and so could be referred to in a persuasive manner. The remarks also have a leveling effect, placing…

Oil lamps

Oil lamps


‎These two oil lamps are characteristic for the monarchic period in Israel. A wick was placed over the nozzle and extended into the oil chamber so that it could suck up the oil. ‎1 Sam 3:3; Jer 25:10; Zeph 1:12; Let Jer 6:19

My Utmost for His Highest

April 13th
What to do under the conditions


Cast thy burden upon the Lord. Psalm 55:22.

We must distinguish between the burden-bearing that is right and the burden-bearing that is wrong. We ought never to bear the burden of sin or of doubt, but there are burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off, He wants us to roll them back on Him. “Cast that He hath given thee upon the Lord.” (R.V. margin) If we undertake work for God and get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility will be overwhelmingly crushing; but if we roll back on God that which He has put upon us, He takes away the sense of responsibility by bringing in the realization of Himself.

Many workers have gone out with high courage and fine impulses, but with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, and before long they are crushed. They do not know what to do with the burden, it produces weariness, and people say—‘What an embittered end to such a beginning!’

“Roll thy burden upon the Lord”—you hav…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

April 13

  God … hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
2 Cor. 4:6
Christian! rest not until thou knowest the full, the unbroken shining, of God in thy heart. To this end, yield to every stirring of it that shows thee some unconquered and perhaps unconquerable evil. Just bring it to the light; let the light shine upon it, and shine it out. Wait upon the Lord more than watchers for the morning, for “the path of the just is as the shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day.” Count upon it that God wants to fill thee with the light of His glory: wait on Him more than watchers for the morning. “Wait, I say, on the Lord.”

Andrew Murray


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