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Showing posts from August 2, 2016

Caesarea Promontory Palace

Caesarea Promontory Palace
‎Caesarea Promontory Palace from southeast

Arcadian Way from Ephesus theater

Arcadian Way from Ephesus theater


Jerusalem: Dome of the Rock

Jerusalem: Dome of the Rock

‎Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock shines from the center of the Temple Mount, in the Old city. The eastern section of the perfectly preserved wall is viewed from above the Mount of Olives.

The Scapegoat

The Scapegoat
‎Among the strangest and most memorable of the ceremonies commanded for the Hebrews was that of “the scapegoat.” Once every year, “as an everlasting statute,” were they commanded to assemble so as to offer a sacrifice of atonement for all their sins. 
Two he-goats were brought before the high priest and, selecting one by lot, he slew it upon the altar; then the other was brought forth, and the high priest’s direction was that he “shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness.”
‎The mystic tragedy of the fate of this poor goat thus driven forth alone into the wilderness weighed down with all the sins of a nation has always attracted both poets and painters. Holman Hunt’s picture stands out as perhaps the most celebrated conception of the lo…

The Role of Women in John’s Gospel

The Role of Women in John’s Gospel

Excerpt


‎There are many interpretations of John’s careful attention to individual women in his Gospel. Since the 1960s many people have argued that John depicts women as independent disciples and apostolic witnesses—prototypes of women in John’s own Christian community and models for women in Christian ministry today. John’s stories could be viewed as a reflection of Jesus’ endeavor to reform first-century patriarchy.

‎Another line of interpretation emphasizes the symbolic value of John’s female characters. The Samaritan woman, for example, is thought to represent Samaritans (just as Nicodemus represents Pharisees), while Mary and Martha speak for first-century Christians whose family members have died. The mother of Jesus symbolizes the earliest Christian community, and Mary Magdalene represents Christians whose faith is based not on what they have seen, but on what they have heard. Many interpreters, most of them Roman Catholic, contend that the women…

Evil

Evil

Romans 12:9, 17, 21

Excerpt


EVIL (Heb. ra’; Gk. kakos, ponēros, phaulos). Evil has a broader meaning than *sin. The Heb. word comes from a root meaning ‘to spoil’, ‘to break in pieces’: being broken and so made worthless. It is essentially what is unpleasant, disagreeable, offensive. The word binds together the evil deed and its consequences. In the NT kakos and ponēros mean respectively the quality of evil in its essential character, and its hurtful effects or influence. It is used in both physical and moral senses. While these aspects are different, there is frequently a close relationship between them. Much physical evil is due to moral evil: suffering and sin are not necessarily connected in individual cases, but human selfishness and sin explain much of the world’s ills. Though all evil must be punished, not all physical ill is a punishment of wrongdoing (Lk. 13:2, 4; Jn. 9:3; cf. Job).


Howley, G. C. D. “Evil.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary1996 : 348. Print.

Grace and Peace

Grace and Peace

Excerpt


Paul’s greetings have always combined the Greek (“grace”) and Hebrew (“peace”) greetings, but they are also theologized as an eschatological promise that the Christian experiences God’s grace and the peace in an entirely new way as a result of what God and Christ have done. What the Greeks and Hebrews symbolically sought in their greetings has now been actualized in Christ. Finally, we can truly experience God’s grace and find peace. The reason is that God is our Father, establishing a whole new intimacy in our relationship with him, and Christ has become our Lord as a result of his resurrection (see especially v.4 above).


Osborne, Grant R. Romans. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004. Print. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series.

Connect the Testaments

August 2: Small Players
Isaiah 2:6–4:6; Luke 1:39–66; Job 1:13–22

A priest should know better. A man representing the spiritual state of God’s people shouldn’t be so quick to question God’s promises. But for Zechariah, obedience became complicated. When the angel Gabriel told him he’d have a son, he responded with doubt: “By what will I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years!” (Luke 1:18). Such happy news—such unexpected goodness—deserved a glad, believing response.
While Zechariah fully expected to encounter God in the temple, Mary wasn’t anticipating anything like Gabriel’s appearance. Yet she readily responded to the angel’s declaration, simple allegiance: “Behold, the Lord’s female slave! May it happen to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Her alignment with God echoes Job’s response after he endured crippling loss: “Naked I came out from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. Yahweh gives, and Yahweh takes. Let Yahweh’s name be blessed” (Jo…

Morning and Evening

Morning, August 2 Go To Evening Reading

         “Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” —Ephesians 1:11
Our belief in God’s wisdom supposes and necessitates that he has a settled purpose and plan in the work of salvation. What would creation have been without his design? Is there a fish in the sea, or a fowl in the air, which was left to chance for its formation? Nay, in every bone, joint, and muscle, sinew, gland, and blood-vessel, you mark the presence of a God working everything according to the design of infinite wisdom. And shall God be present in creation, ruling over all, and not in grace? Shall the new creation have the fickle genius of free will to preside over it when divine counsel rules the old creation? Look at Providence! Who knoweth that not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father? Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. God weighs the mountains of our grief in scales and the hills of our tribulation in balances. And shall there be a…

My Utmost for His Highest

August 7th
Prayer in the Father’s house


Wist ye not that I must be in My Father’s house?Luke 2:49 (R.V.).

Our Lord’s childhood was not immature manhood: our Lord’s childhood is an eternal fact. Am I a holy innocent child of God by identification with my Lord and Saviour? Do I look upon life as being in my Father’s house? Is the Son of God living in His Father’s house in me?

The abiding Reality is God, and His order comes through the moments. Am I always in contact with Reality, or do I only pray when things have gone wrong when there is a disturbance in the moments of my life? I have to learn to identify myself with my Lord in holy communion in ways some of us have not begun to learn as yet. “I must be about My Father’s business,”—live the moments in My Father’s house.

Narrow it down to your individual circumstances—are you so identified with the Lord’s life that you are simply a child of God, continually talking to Him and realizing that all things come from His hands? Is the Eternal…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

August 2

  He entered into one of the ships … and … sat down
Luke 5:3
When Jesus sits in the ship everything is in its right place. The cargo is in the hold, not in the heart. Cares and gains, fears and losses, yesterday’s failure and today’s success do not thrust themselves in between us and His presence. The heart cleaves to Him. “Goodness and mercy shall follow me”, sang the Psalmist. Alas, when the goodness and mercy come before us, and our blessings shut Jesus from view! Here is the blessed order—the Lord ever first, I following Him, His goodness and mercy following me.

Mark Guy Pearse

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