Posts Tagged Old Testament
I recently taught a discipleship training class at our church entitled The Feasts of the Lord: Jesus Fulfills the Feasts. It was a three week (1x wk.) course.
I know I was blessed by and learned more from the study, preparation and teaching than anyone listening. Even so, I have an opportunity for an encore at the Sweetwater Aglow November meeting. It will be November 13, 10am-3pm at the Holiday Inn Express in Sweetwater. Lunch will be provided free of charge, and everyone is invited to attend. I hope to see you there.
One of these days, I will get around to posting about this.
For the next three (3) Sunday nights I will be teaching a series at our church entitled The Feasts of the Lord: Jesus Fulfills the Feasts. It’s a topic that is absolutely fascinating, and I hope I am able to do it a little justice.
I believe the series will be recorded, and, if so, I will try to post the audio here. At the very least, I will try to post summaries each week.
I hope it goes well. Pray for me.
And if any of you happen to be in the Sweetwater, TX area any of the next three (3) Sundays, feel free to drop in.
Many of you are aware of my preoccupation with Genesis. It is both a blessing and a curse, but a good kind of curse.
Said preoccupation, naturally, results in my reading a lot about Genesis. I am forever grateful to the publishers who have provided books for me to review at my request, and I am especially thankful to those who have taken the initiative to ask me to review books related to Genesis.
From much of this recent reading, several thoughts have emerged (most are obvious):
Efforts to reconcile the “creation” account in Genesis with “science” are futile, if fun to read. There is far too big a gap between the ancient Israelite culture and language and present-day Western culture and English to even know all that is meant by Genesis 1 & 2, much less prove what we cannot know. Absent a Mosaic or Pauline revelation from the Lord Himself (which I am still anxiously anticipating, whereafter I will immediately post all the answers), I’m afraid we will always be left wondering.
We shouldn’t stop wondering. The futility in seeking answers to ultimately unanswerable questions is no reason to stop asking. There are plenty of lessons to be learned short of, but probably more important than, the actual who’s, what’s, when’s and where’s (why’s deliberately excluded because we should know the why’s).
Fighting about it is also pointless. And we should stop that. Honestly, has anyone ever been converted by argument. Christian’s bashing anything or anyone acknowledging scientific evidence as such doesn’t help our cause.
No theory is exactly right, but maybe none of them are entirely wrong either. And isn’t that really the beauty of the Bible, generally, and Genesis, particularly. Do these ideas have to be exclusive of the others? Certainly not. The array of plausible ideas is perhaps the best evidence of a God worthy of our praise and His multi-dimensional Word worthy of our study.
The What’s in the Bible? website describes this new video series as follows:
What’s in the Bible? is a new DVD series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer designed to walk kids and families through the entire Bible.
As you can imagine, I was excited to be included among those asked to review the first two episodes in this series, especially since my 20-month old daughter (The Libster) and I are VeggieTales-aholics.
So, here goes. First, What’s in the Bible? with Buck Denver (and friends), is a puppet-human collaboration in the tradition of Sesame Street. The hosts are Phil Vischer (human) and Buck Denver, Man of News, (puppet). The cast of puppet characters includes the gray-haired Sunday School Lady, the piano playing Pastor Paul, explorers Clive & Ian, and other memorable characters. There is also an entertaining meta-character, Michael, who is a puppet child traveling in the backseat of a vehicle that appears at the beginning and between segments asking his mother to change DVDs. He’s quite amusing, really.
Second, each episode, which consists of two half-hour programs, begins with a “Big Question” such as, “What is the Bible?” “Who wrote the Bible?” and “Who picked the books to be in the Bible?” There are also “new words” where Biblical and theological terms and concepts are explained.
Each episode is filled with song, self-deprecating humor, sarcasm, and, of course, Bible stuff. The first episode, “In the Beginning,” explains “What is the Bible?” in the first segment and takes the viewers through the first eleven chapters of Genesis in the second segment. The second episode, “Let My People Go,” takes the viewer from Abraham to Moses and through Exodus.
The theology appears to be traditional Protestant/Evangelical. The humor ranges from slapstick to high-brow and everything in between. The concepts covered are considerably more complex than what can be found in Christian cartoons and Bible-story programs. This is because What’s in the Bible? aims at teaching the Bible and not just Bible stories. It’s a bold move, but one I expect to pay off.
The downside, if there is one, is that the audience might be limited to children over a certain age. On the Libby test, What’s in the Bible? struggled to hold the attention of a 20-month old. She liked the music and the children interviews, but she has yet to make it through a 30 minute segment after three or four attempts (as opposed to similar length VeggieTales episodes, which she can watch and still want more). I doubt, however, the audience is intended to be so young.
I do appreciate the working assumption: that children are capable of learning and appreciating more than simple Bible stories. Buck Denver and his crew take on concepts such as “redemption,” “salvation,” and the Christian “canon,” and they do so quite well. I suspect there are many adults as well who need refresher courses in these concepts.
In short, if you are looking for VeggieTales retold, look elsewhere. What’s in the Bible? is a more grown-up kids series. It is, however, a great way to introduce kids to more complicated Biblical ideas and to go beyond Bible stories. I would recommend for parents and children to watch together if possible. I would also recommend this series for Sunday school classes, vacation Bible school curricula, even as a supplement to grade school and possibly junior high age lessons.
I think you will be surprised by how easily complex matters are handled and explained. Enjoy!
Buy What’s in the Bible from Amazon?
- Buy What’s in the Bible? Episode 1-In the Beginning from Amazon
- Buy What’s in the Bible? Episode 2-Let My People Go from Amazon
My regular readers will know that I’m a fan of searching out obscure, often lost, stuff in scripture. Well, I must admit, I never thought to research the inn in Bethlehem referenced in the story of the birth of Jesus.
Now, I don’t have to. It was the subject of our pastor’s sermon Sunday morning. I guess I do if I want to figure out if he’s right, there was a little scriptural hopscotch being played to make the connections he made, but my initial reaction was, “that’s pretty cool.” And I still haven’t come up with a reason why it’s wrong, so it must be right. Right? ;)
The goal for this week was to cover two chapters, but we only made it through chapter 8. I suppose it was a little ambitious to try and cover chapters 8 and 9, but 9 will just have to wait until next week.
In verse 1, the author is again referencing Psalm 110, a Messianic Psalm which the author has referenced repeatedly throughout the book of Hebrews. And he or she says:
Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. Hebrews 8:1-2 (NASB)
The high priest, who is also the Messiah, has taken his place in Heaven and in the true tabernacle. This is the end of the need for sacrifices. The high priest has now entered the heavenly sanctuary and is now the mediator of a better covenant, the old now being obsolete.
So that it is clear, this is not a reference to the Abrahamic land grant covenant, but to the Mosaic covenant. Until the high priest became the mediator of the new covenant, the law was written in stone. Now the laws are in the hearts and minds of the believers.
This principle actually led to the liveliest discussion of the evening in our effort to determine when and how this imprinting upon the hearts and minds takes place. Does it occur upon becoming a believer, at baptism, during the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Without reaching definite conclusions, I think the general consensus was that (1) the Holy Spirit is the mechanism, and (2) it happens when the Holy Spirit becomes activated by faith in Jesus (which we also believed was distinct from the baptism in the Holy Spirit – which could happen simultaneously, but doesn’t always, or even usually).
We again were landed with a ministry opportunity which consumed a fair amount of the time, but the tradeoff was well worth it.
These are my study notes for Hebrews Chapter 8. I don’t know if they will make much sense to anyone else, but if they are helpful to anyone feel free to use them.
The scripture references and discussion notes should have aligned with the appropriate scriptures, but I lost that somehow when I loaded the table into my blog. On the left is, obviously, the Bible text, the center column contains the scriptures I referenced or wanted to reference, and the right-hand column has discussion topics.
|Hebrews Chapter 8 (NASB)
1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
2 a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer.
4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law;
5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “SEE,” He says, “THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN.”
6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.
8 For finding fault with them, He says,
9 NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS
10 “FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
11 “AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN,
12 “FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES,
13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete but whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
8:1 – Psalm 110.
8:5 – Col 2:17; Exodus 25:40.8:8 – Jeremiah 31:31.
8:9 – Exodus 19:5, 24:6-8; Deuteronomy 5:2.
8:10 – Romans 11:27.
8:1-2 – true tabernacle as distinct from the tabernacle of Moses.
8:5 – make according to the pattern shown on the mountain – everything is a copy or pattern of what is in heaven or to come.
8:6 – the law was only a copy/shadow of better covenant to come.
8:9-10 – new covenant is not like the old covenant, it’s not written in stone, but on our hearts and in our minds.
8:13 – the old is ready to disappear.
The NLT Interlinear is now online. I just signed up (which is a short and painless process). It looks great. Check it out. (Old Testament interlinear is not up yet.)
My intention for week 6 was to cover all of Hebrews chapter 7. But, you know what they say about intentions (actually, I have no idea what they say about intentions, but it sounded good in my head).
Suffice it to say, we didn’t make it through all of chapter 7, but the discussion was great anyway. It seems that ministry opportunity after ministry opportunity has presented itself during our Bible study (and, henceforth, I will use that term loosely). I’m just trusting that God is trusting our little group with these ministry needs, and I am so thankful for our core group who is more than capable of ministering the gospel, ragtag bunch that we are.
We spent a fair amount of time recapping what we learned about Melchizedek in week 3 because it has, in real time, been over a month since we discussed it. To this Melchizedek, Abraham apportioned one tenth of the spoils (from his battle with the kidnapping kings). We discussed this as the first reference to the Mosaic law of tithing. Also, that the author of Hebrews suggests this as a tithe:
And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Hebrews 7:9-10 (NASB)
And, although we are not under the law of Moses, the spiritual principle of making the whole holy by tithing remains operable. And, while we give our tithes to men, Jesus receives them in heaven, “In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on.” Heb. 7:8. Thus the principle of the tithe predates the law of Moses and continues on through the New Covenant.
As I mentioned, the balance of our discussion time was spent ministering to the newest member of our group. It was yet another unexpected, but totally awesome week. May there be plenty more of them.