Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Where does the Bible come from (Bibliology)?


Can we trust the Bible? Why should we believe that it's true? These are questions that are often put to Christians, and for which Christians should have a ready answer.

One of the ideas out there today is that a group of church officials at the Council of Nicea (4th cent. AD) selected out of dozens of religious books the ones they wanted to put in the Bible, and in the process, invented Christianity. This is the view presented in the Da Vinci Code book and movie. But despite the fact that the book admits to being fictional, many people have accepted it as a fact. But this is not even close to what actually happened. So what is the truth? Where do we get our Bibles from?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019

Belshazzar and the Writing on the Wall


“He should have seen the writing on the wall.” This expression refers to clear evidence—evidence that was ignored—of a bad or dramatic event about to happen.  This connection between impending doom and writing on a wall traces all the way back to the Bible, to a miraculous event in the life of Daniel the prophet, and to one of the most important turning points in all of history.

This was back at a time when the Jewish people were in exile in Babylon, one of the lowest moments in their history.  The depth of their despair is captured in the opening verse of Psalm 137:  “By the rivers of Babylon—there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion” (Psa. 137:1).  Their exile meant the end of Israel’s existence as an independent kingdom, the end of their national sovereignty, and the end of their personal freedom.   It looked very much like the final chapter in God’s special relationship with the Jewish people.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jacob's Trip to Haran and Back


Two weeks ago, we talked about Jacob and his trip to Haran.  We talked about the dream he had at Bethel—the dream of the ladder—and the promise he made to God there.  We also talked about how he fulfilled that promise many years later when he got back to the Land of Israel.  

Today we’re going to talk about the rest of Jacob’s adventure:  his time in Haran and how God used that time to shape him into the man of God he later became.  Because if there’s one thing we know for sure about Jacob, it’s that when he started off in life, he was trouble.  Oh yes, he was a good boy, a mama’s boy (Gen. 25:27,28).  But he was also a liar and a cheater; a deceiver.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Jacob's Vision at Bethel

Bethel:  site of Jacob's Vision

Do you know the song “We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder”?  It’s an old Negro slave spiritual.  It expressed the slaves’ faith that after this life of difficulties and trouble, they would be admitted to heaven.  Notice that the song understands Jacob’s ladder to be a symbol of the believer’s spiritual ascent into heaven:  “we are climbing Jacob’s ladder.”  The ascent is agonizing, but the result is glory. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Images of Prayer in the Worship of Israel


Acts 3:1:  "But Peter and John were going up into the Temple for the hour of prayer, the ninth hour." 

So often through the years, Christianity has been presented as a total break with Judaism, a completely different religion that has nothing in common with the ancient religion of the Jewish people.  Instead Christianity has been presented as a philosophical faith that has more in common with Greek philosophy than with the Bible.  But if that's true, why were Peter and John coming here, to the Temple, to pray, after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus?  (Jesus ascended to heaven in Acts chapter 1, this is chapter 3.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Scripture Garden II

Well and Watering Troughs

Last week we talked a little about the Scripture Garden where my wife and I used to work.  We covered about half of the items in the garden, and this week we’ll take a quick look at the other half.