Church History, Lesson 1: The New Covenant Begins

Jesus on the Cross and the Lords Supper Host (610x351)

This is a new study series, which begins with Jesus establishing the New Covenant and finishing (we hope) with the Church recognizing and listing the texts of both the Old- and New-Testament Scriptures in 397 AD. Jesus Establishes What Is to Take Place in His Church   The New Covenant Ready to go to the cross, […]

The Comfort in our Grief

This is our pastor’s article for the July-August edition of our congregational newsletter.   The Apostle Paul directs us not to be unaware about those who left this life trusting in God.  Why?  “So you will not grieve like others, as those without hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).  So we are reminded, once more, of this […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 7: Judith, Pt. 2

Judith with Sword

Recap Last week, we learned Judith “put sandals on her feet, and put on her anklets, bracelets, rings, earrings, and all her other ornaments, and made herself very beautiful, to entice the eyes of all men who might see her.”  So, Judith and a servant make their way to the Assyrian camp.   Judith Goes […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 6: Judith, Pt. 1

Judith

Introduction Judith is work of religious fiction without the pretense of recounting actual history.  The story opens with a fictionalized Nebuchadnezzar making war on an invented King of the Medes, Arphaxad.  The first hearers of Judith would catch this, clueing them in to understand Judith for its religious value.  The real Nebuchadnezzar was king of […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 5: The Greek Portions of Daniel, Pt. 3

Bel and the Serpent

Earlier, we learned about the Prayer of Azariah, the Hymn of the Three Young Men, and Susanna.   Today, we study Bel and the Serpent.   Who or What is “Bel”? The Babylonian god, “Bel” is a variant of the word, “Baal,” which means “Lord” and is another name for the Babylonian god, Marduk.  Non-biblical sources […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 4: The Greek Portions of Daniel, Pt. 2

Two Elders Trying to Get Susanna to Sin

Last week, we looked at the Prayer of Azariah and the Hymn of the Three Young Men, which are placed between Daniel 3:23 and 3:24.  Today, we study the story of Susanna, which becomes Daniel, chapter 13.    Susanna Susanna is the story of a woman, whom two “dirty old men” accused of committing adultery.  […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 3: The Greek Portions of Daniel, Pt. 1

Fourth Man in the Fire

The Protestant edition of Daniel is written in Hebrew (1:1-2:3, 8:1-12:13) and Aramaic (2:4-7:28).  The Daniel of the Septuagint is all Greek, with some portions not being a translation but with an original Greek text.  These include a couple of liturgical pieces: The Prayer of Azariah and the Hymn of the Three Young Men, which […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 2: How We Lost the Apocrypha

Apocrypha Removed

Last week, we learned what the Scriptures were for Jesus and his Apostles: The Septuagint, the Greek-language version of the Old Testament.  Jesus also affirmed this in His Scripture quotes, which favored the Septuagint and when He told the Sadducees they didn’t know the Scripture, referring to the book of Tobit (Matthew 22:29).  In 397 […]

The Apocrypha, Lesson 1: Background–The Jews Lose their Hebrew

KJV with Apocrypha

In Jesus’ day, Greek was the “universal” language around the Mediterranean world.  Earlier, most Jews lost their ability to read and speak in Hebrew during their captivity in Babylon.  Hebrew became the domain of rabbis, who learned it to read the Scriptures.  We learn of this loss in Nehemiah. Read Nehemiah 8:1, 5-8 The household […]

Romans, Lesson 30: Greetings and Conclusion

Romans

  After asking the congregation in Rome to welcome Phoebe, a deaconess, and likely the courier for his letter, Paul now mentions many names in the congregation at Rome.   Read Romans 16:3-15     Jewish Male (5) Jewish Female (2) Gentile Male (13) Gentile Female (7) Acquila Prisca (Priscilla) Epaenetus (Greek) Mary (common Jewish […]