Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wordless: Verse 16

Acts 13: 4-5.......Sent out by the Holy Spirit, Saul and Barnabas went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. There, in the town of Salamis, they went ot the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God.
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Friday, July 27, 2007

Emergency Phone Numbers...The Bible Version

When in sorrow…..call John 14
When people fail you…..call Psalm 27
If you want to be fruitful…..call John 15
When you have sinned…..call Psalm 51
When you worry…..call Matthew 6:19-34

When you are in danger…..call Psalm 91
When God seems far away…..call Pslam 139
When your faith needs stirring…..call Hebrews 11
When you are lonely and fearful…..call Psalm 23
When you grow bitter and critical…..call I Corinthians 13
For Paul’s secret to happiness…..call Colossians 3:12-17
For understanding of Christianity…..call II Corinthians 5:5-19

When you feel down and out.....call Romans 8:31
When you want peace and rest…..call Matthew 1:25-30
When the world seems bigger than God…..call Psalm 90
When you want Christian assurance…..call Romans 8:1-30
When you leave home for labor or travel…..call Psalm 121
When your prayers grow narrow or selfish…..call Psalm 67
For a great invention/opportunity…..call Isaiah 55

When you want courage for a task….call Joshua 1
When you need to get along with others…..call Romans 12
When you think of investments and returns…..call Mark 10
If you are depressed…..call Psalm 27
If your pocket book is empty…..call Psalm 37
If you are losing confidence in people…..call I Corinthians 13
If people seem unkind…..call John 15
If discouraged about your work…..call Psalm 126
If you find the world growing small and yourself great…..call Psalm 19

For dealing with fear…..call Psalm 34:7
For security…..Psalm 121:3
For assurance…..Mark 8:35

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

13 Things About the Book of Levitcus

This is the third in a series of posts with factoids concerning the books of the Bible:
1. The name Leviticus is from the Greek translation and means “pertaining to the Levites”.

2. The original Hebrew title was Wayyiqra which means “and we summoned”.

3. Moses is the accepted author

4. The book centers on how God’s people can sustain a right relationship with Him.

5. The first way is to enter a relationship with God based on forgiveness of sins.

6. Forgiveness is obtained by offering the right sacrifice the right way and by the right priest.

7. The second path to a right relationship with God is by living according to his regulations.

8. This means that His people are separate and are different from others.

9. Leviticus teaches that God in His holiness has the right to instruct His people down to the smallest detail.

10. Many of the chapters on the priesthood (chapter 21 and chapter 22) foreshadow Christ’s perfection as the ultimate priest.

11. “Blood” occurs more than sixty times in Leviticus. Clearly it is an important concept. Blood is outpoured through ritual sacrifice and is the key to atoning for sins (17:11).

12. This knowledge helps us to understand the violent death of Christ.

13. Chapters 1-10 involve the laws on sacrifice and priesthood. Chapters 11-16 deal with uncleanliness in a variety of ways. Chapters 17-26 contain laws concerning holy living, and chapter 27 instructs followers regarding tithes and vows.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sunday Seven: Verse 6

This week I'm focusing on the concept of time as I give thanks....

It's been another great week…..This week I’m thankful in random order for:

1. Time alone with my husband. It’s always nice to get away for dinner and a concert.

2. Time alone in my home….my children have had a busier social life than normal this week.

3. Time to study and reflect on God’s word.

4. Time to spend with extended family….packing everything up and visiting my in-laws to fix dinner for them at their house.

5. Time to shop and lunch with my daughter one day and by myself the next.

6. Time to work on a major writing project I’m trying to accomplish.

7. Time to straighten my home and complete laundry...gee, you skip one day and it suddenly mounts up.

If you would like to post your own Sunday Seven list you can join in HERE.

If you need more weekend reading check out the Georgia Carnival at Georgia On My Mind. The posts cover much more than just Peach State topics.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

13 Things About the Book of Exodus

1. There are 40 chapters.

2. Moses is the accepted author.

3. Exodus presents the story to show how Israel became a nation.

4. One purpose of Exodus was to show the Lord as redeemer as seen by the Hebrews when they were delivered from slavery.

5. The second purpose of the second book of the Bible regards law. Laws were established for the Lord’s redeemed people to live by.

6. The first extensive poetry in the Bible, Israel’s Song, is found in chapter 15.

7. The themes of Exodus are the Lord, plagues, redemption, convenant, Ten Commandments, and the tabernacle.

8. Jesus is symbolized in the Passover story (12:13).

9. The events of Genesis were written down to provide a history for the young nation.

10. The only account of the actual exodus of the Hebrew people is in the Bible. There are no references to it in any other work nor is there archeological evidence to date.

11. Some Egyptian sources do confirm the general situation that occurs at the end of Genesis and the beginning of Exodus.

12. These Egyptian sources tell of the Habiru, a nomadic people that entered the Pharoh’s land due to famine.

13. Extrabiblical literature does confirm the Egyptians used slave labor for their extensive building projects (1:11).

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Did the Ancient Greeks Invent the Computer?

Many years ago off the Greek Island of Antikythera sponge divers located several pieces that made up a very strange device comprised of thirty bronze gears. It has been studied and attempts to replicate the device have taken place in the years since, but it took the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project to use modern technology to determine the purpose of the device and to build an accurate replica.

Today it is believed the Antikythera Device is an analog computer. More than likely it was used to plot the orbits of planets, predict eclipses, and set the dates for the quadrennial Olympic games. There are several inscriptions on the device. One in particular refers to “Ispania” and is one of the earliest known text references to Spain.

Researchers believe the device dates to 100-150 B.C.

One theory is that the device was being transported to Rome to be part of a trumphal parade staged by Julius Ceasar when the boat that was carrying it sunk of the Greek Island.

This site and this site also have very detailed accounts of the Antikythera Device.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Seven: Verse 5

Well….a family wedding kept me from posting my seven yesterday, but I’m determined to keep it up….so even though it’s late here goes:

1. We have had lots of rain this week on and off. I’m not really fond of rain but considering we had none in June I won’t complain.

2. Last week I said I was thankful because my pastor had left the church. I’m even more thankful now that our minister of education sent out a letter explaining everything that had happened to cause him to resign. I think we are better off now that I have read the letter. Apparently the staff has been in a real turmoil for months.

3. I wan’t feeling too well this morning. I was elated to get to church and discover it was our department’s breakfast Sunday. Instead of splitting up into our classrooms our department meets together in the fellowship hall and everyone brings something to contribute to a potluck breakfast. I needed something to eat when I arrived at church so discovering I had breakfast waiting on me was a nice treat.

4. I’m thankful I was able to purchase some nice things for my husband’s birthday on the 11th. He received a nice Polo shirt, two history videos, two ties (extra-long because he’s soooo tall), and I will be paying for golf lessons and golf in October at Chateau Elan. He’ll pay for room and meals……I guess I’ll just have to give in and visit the spa while he’s golfing….

5. I’m thankful for my children. They are lovely people who do me proud in public….privately….well, that’s another story. They are an average for a boy who is 22 and a girl who is 14. They eat me out of house and home and leave their belongings all over the house. I was not too sad when the older one returned to his college campus tonight, but he’ll be back on Thursday until August 21st. My quiet summer is evaporating.

6. I’m thankful for my sister. While we are very different people physically and in many of our actions we can’t help but understand each other since we grew up in the same house. Sometimes we know what each other is thinking without saying a word.

7. I’m thankful I have been given the opportunity to visit the gym. I hope I can make it tomorrow, Wednesday, and Friday.

I look forward to the week, I hope you are as well.

If you would like to join Sunday Seven you can find the directions HERE.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

13 Facts About the Book of Genesis

1. There are 50 chapters.

2. The accepted author is Moses.

3. Genesis provides background regarding how everything began.

4. The word Genesis means “origin” or “beginning”. The English title is based on the name given by Greek translators.

5. The Greek name can be translated to mean “source” or “generation”.

6. The original title in Hebrew is Berephith and translates to “In the beginning”.

7. Genesis tells us how people were created and placed in a perfect environment.

8. Genesis also explains how sin began and how God would treat evil.

9. Want to know how nations began? Where language came from? How people divided work? The answers can all be found in Genesis.

10. God focuses on one family---Abraham’s and we learn how the Hebrew people began with stories including Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

11. Genesis reveals God’s glorious plan to build a kingdom of redeemed people.

12. The themes in Genesis are creation, death, flood, covenant, and providence.

13. Is Jesus mentioned in Genesis? Yes! When God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (22:8) we see a substitute being offered in the form of a ram just as Jesus acted as our substitute.

The picture with this post is a page from Genesis from the 10th-11th Century A.D.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wordless: Verse 14

This painting is by Marc Chagall and it shows Boaz and Ruth together. I’ve posted the verses from Ruth (4:9-11) under comments.

Find out more about Wordless Wednesday here

Monday, July 9, 2007

Did Moses Write the Pentateuch?

The word Pentateuch is taken from the Greek penta + teukhos meaning “5 scrolls”, and it is commonly used by scholars to describe the first five books of the Old Testament. However, Jews refer to this same group of books as The Torah or “the law” since Jewish law is contained there. In this post I will use the words Pentateuch and Torah interchangeably.

Moses is generally listed as the author for the Petateuch. However, many still doubt this. They wonder if Moses actually wrote the text?

More space is given to the life and teachings of Moses than any other Old Testament figure. We learn about the 40 years Moses lived as an Egyptian prince, the 40 years he spent as a desert shepherd, and the 40 years he served as Israel’s greatest leader.

Many scholars accept the testimony of scripture at face value, as I do, and therefore affirm Moses authored the first five books of the Old Testament. Christian as well as Jewish tradition also agrees that Moses wrote the books. Jesus and Paul both confirm Moses authored the book (Jn. 7:19 and Romans 10:19). The Old Testament claims he wrote it as seen in Exodus (17:14, 24:4, and 34:27). Other Old Testament validations occur at Numbers (33:2) and Deut (31:19). New Testament claims are made at Luke (24:44) and 1 Corinthians (9:9). However, for some people references in the Bible are not enough for scholarship on the Moses question.

Hartman, a German scholar, had argued that Moses couldn’t be the author because writing would not have been invented during his time. Today, we know better. Moses could have written the Torah. He could have written it in Egyptian hieroglyphics, Hebrew script, and Accadian cunneiform. In Acts 7:22 Paul reminds us that Moses was educated “in all the learning of the Egyptians.” It also makes sense to me that as the leader of Israel Moses would have wanted to provide a written history of his people since every nation records their history.

In 1753, Jean Astruc, a French doctor, claimed Moses, like many writers today, used two documents to write Genesis. The evidence he used was the text itself. Moses refers to God in two ways. Astruc’s reasoning is that the text used various names for the Lord depending on which resource was being used. Astruc said one resource represents the sections of the Pentateuch where Moses refers to God as Elohim. Scholars use the letter “E” to refer to this source. Another source was used where Jehovah is used to refer to the Lord. The letter “J” is used to denote the Jehovah source.

Over the years the theory was elaborated on and other documents were discovered that might possibly have been sources for the Pentateuch. The Deuteronomic source is referred to as “D”, and the Priestly resource is referred to as “P”.

String all of these letters together and you have something called the JEDP Theory. Some scholars believe these resources were put together by other writers in the ninth and in the sixth century B.C.

The debate really heated up in 1878 when questions were raised and the idea that Moses wrote the Pentateuch was basically abandoned by many. Jules Wellhausen, a German scholar, supported and publicized the Document Theory that created an alternate scenario regarding the authorship of the Pentateuch. He as well as others heavily pushed the belief that the Torah evolved over time…in fact, over several centuries, and was finally compiled from various sources during the time of Israel’s kings.

When you do a parallel check as to what was going on in the world during this time it is very easy to see why the JEDP Theory was so attractive to 19th century critics. This was the Age of Darwin, and the JEDP Theory fit very well with the anti-supernaturalistic ideals of the 1800s where many had an agenda to ramp the Bible down to a human level. In their thinking the Bible could not have been divinely inspired because it was nothing more than a compilation of various sources of literature.

A critical look at the JEDP Theory shows some obvious cracks:

*the scholars who worked on the theory pick and choose various sections of the Pentateuch to analyze which means there is no uniform method of comparison.
*there is no historical evidence to date which indicates knowledge of the resources or acknowledges any compilation efforts by any persons
*we now know of many archeological findings that support Torah writings are ancient and not products of the ninth and sixth centuries B.C. For example, the Ebla Tablets contain many of the same type names found in the Torah. There are also other examples from before the ninth century B.C. that use the language forms found in the Torah.
*From a literature standpoint the Pentateach follows a logical sequence, and the style of writing is consistent throughout the five books.

There are also other objections to the idea that Moses wrote The Pentateuch. Some state that Moses was not alive at the time the events occurred in Genesis, there were no written resources for Moses to use, and therefore based on that he could not have written it. Well, based on the JEDP Theory we know that people were writing during this time, resources were available, and it makes sense that at the time Israel was becoming a nation they would have recorded their history.

Did Moses really need a written resource to relate the events in Genesis? Moses was given the Ten Commandments directly from God (Exodus ). Doesn’t it also make sense that if God gave Moses the Ten Commandments He also gave Moses the divine inspiration to record the events in Genesis?

Christians believe that ultimately the entire Bible was authored by the Holy Spirit. The authors of each book were divinely inspired. In fact many scholars that favor divine inspiration state that the Bible has dual authorship. This does not mean that human and divine worked together. It does mean that the works are all human and all divine at the same time. The divine author kept the human author from any errors.

As stated before I believe Moses was involved with writing the Pentateuch. He had the knowledge, he had the skills, and he had a direct line to the Lord.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Sunday Seven a Bit Early...7 on 7 in '07

I’ve been absent from Sunday Seven for a bit, but I hope I can get back into the habit of finding seven things to be thankful for. Perhaps if I make it a goal to think of something each day then by week’s end I’ll have something……

So, here are seven things I’m really, really thankful for this week.

1. My husband…he is the gardner, and I’m the hot house flower. I’m high maintenance and he can handle it. He knows me better than I know myself. He puts up with a lot and I get all the benefits. Note to self----do more for hubby.

2. Our pastor left…yes, I know that’s a strange thing to be thankful for, but he didn’t fit our church. There were many things he knew about and agreed to when he was hired, but once installed he began the process of dismantling things. I mean really…..who ever heard of a Southern Baptist church without Sunday school and a music program. The Lord has the right person out there for us and we will find him at the right time. I have no doubt.

3. Youth trips…my daughter is in Orlando this week with the Youth Choir. Yay! Unfortunately my college age child decided he’d skip class this week and come home. Boo! He only missed one class……I missed my time totally alone.

4. I started going to the gym today. I’m thankful I took the plunge. Hopefully I will continue to go on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

5. My country….this being the week of the Fourth how could I not mention it. We live in the greatest nation in the world even though some of us don’t think correctly all the time. The political tone in this country has got to change, but I wonder if it will…

6. A good report on my mother-in-law. She had to go back in to the hospital following hernia surgury a few weeks ago. The incision wasn’t healing properly and they wanted to take a look. I won’t go into the gory details, but they fixed the problem and it could have been a lot worse.

7. The British bombing attacks being thwarted….I’m so glad those doctors couldn’t get their bombs to activate. The British authorities are really heroes. Seems like from the reports they were really on top of this thing. Seems like all those cameras really paid off. However, a boo and hiss goes to the new Prime Minister who has vetoed using the terms War on Terror and does not want to identify these folks as Muslim extremist. Like we don’t know…..

Well, before I go off on a rant I’ll stop. There’s my list. I look forward to reading some of the other lists. Looks like many more names have been added since the last time I did this…….

Catch me later for my Thursday 13s. I’m going to start a series regarding 13 things about each book of the Bible until we get to the end. Then I’ll come up with something else.

Have a great week!

BTW…The Georgia Carnival is up over at Georgia On My Mind. You might find some great blogs there you didn’t already know about.

If you would like to join Sunday Seven you can find the directions HERE.
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