The Apocrypha, Lesson 14: 2 Maccabees and Purgatory

Purgatory2

Recap After we had looked into prayers for the sainted dead in 2 Maccabees, one person in class wanted to explore the verse that followed.  Your teacher tactfully avoided doing so to keep the Lesson on task.  Today, to honor this person’s august wishes (it is August, after all!), we delve deeper in to what […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 13: 1-2 Maccabees, Pt. 3

Paul and Onesiphorus 2

Recap In 164 BC, with the ouster of Antiochus Epiphanes from Israel, the Israelites began to celebrate a festival every year to remember the dedication, or restoration, of the Temple.  For the one who claimed to be God in human flesh was defeated and proper worship restored. Jesus used His celebration of this feast (John […]

Church History, Lesson 4: The Didache, Pt. 1

The Didache 2a

Recap In 49 AD, the Church met in her first council to resolve issues of incorporating Gentiles into, then, an ethnically Jewish Church.  The Gentiles did not need to be circumcised for, as the Apostle Paul would later write, baptism supersedes circumcision in the New Covenant (Colossians 2:11-13). However, Gentiles did need to give up […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 12: 1-2 Maccabees, Pt. 2

Cleansing the Temple 2

Recap A representative of Antiochus confronts Mattathias in his town to be the first to offer a pagan sacrifice and become a “friend” of the king.  When Mattathias refuses, another man steps in, hoping to receive favor.  Angry, Mattathias kills both the opportunist and the king’s agent.  The Maccabean revolt begins. At first, Mattathias focuses, […]

Church History, Lesson 3: The Normalization of Church Practices

Anointing Oil

Bringing Gentiles into the Church   Recap and Introduction Last week, we followed the Church as she spread to Samaria during Jewish persecution.  Christians fled proclaiming Jesus as the world’s Savior from sin and the Deliverer of eternal life.  The Church’s first pastors, the Apostles, however, did not flee with the others (Acts 8:1). So, […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 11: 1-2 Maccabees

11, Timline Leading Up to the Maccabees

Introduction 1 Maccabees describes the attempts at Hellenization by the Seleucid ruler, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (1:1-2:70), moving on to cover the exploits of Judas Maccabeus (3:1-9:22) and his brothers Jonathan (9:23-12:53) and Simon (13:1-16:24).  Judas and his brothers battle to remove the Greek influence from Israel. The book was written after 134 BC since the […]

Church History, Lesson 2: The Holy Spirit Descends on All in the New Covenant

Pentecost and the Holy Spirit Descending

Faithful and Fervent   Pentecost Day: The Speaking in “Tongues” Old-Covenant Pentecost: In the Old Covenant, Pentecost was one of three feasts God required Israelite men to travel to the Temple and celebrate (Deuteronomy 16:16).  Pentecost was a harvest festival celebrated 50 days after Passover.  God’s people set apart the first loaves of bread from […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 10: Tobit, Pt. 3

We finished with Tobias sending Azariah (the angel Raphael) to retrieve the 30 years’ worth of wages.  After the 14-day wedding celebration, Tobias and Azariah plan to head home.  We now get a snapshot of what is taking place Tobit and Anna.   Tobias and Azariah Return Home 10:1 Meanwhile, day by day, Tobit kept […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 9: Tobit, Pt. 2

Tobias and Sarah are Married

Last week, we learned of Tobit, who became blind from bird droppings.  After remembering he had saved about 30 years’ worth of wages, he sends his son, Tobias, to retrieve his wealth.  So Tobias readies himself for the journey.   The Introduction to Some New Characters Today, some new characters will come our way. Gabael: […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 8: Tobit, Pt. 1

Tobias Leaving His Mother and Father

Introduction Though Tobit includes historical reality in its background setting, it is not history but a religious novel to teach the faithful.  Like Judith, this book contains information known not to be true, drawing the hearer to focus on the religious content, not the historical facts.  For example, the sequence of Assyrian kings is incomplete […]