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What is Scripture?

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

Scripture – What is Paul referring to here in his letter to Timothy? Of course we, a couple thousand years later, love to use this verse in reference to the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, but that’s not what Paul is referring to. The New Testament, as we know it, didn’t exist during the time of Paul’s writings. The only Scripture that Paul knew was the Tanakh. In fact, every time you read the word “scripture” in the Bible, the New Testament isn’t part of it. Continue reading “What is Scripture?”

Convert or Repent?

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3 (KJV)

Converted – With this simple word comes an entire theology about the conversion of unbelievers into Christianity. Every time someone accepts Yeshua as their Savior we rejoice thinking that Christianity has grown by one more number. And because of this many actively pursue the unbelievers by preaching in the streets, passing out flyers, and even traveling to far off places with the hopes that they might convert others. If we get them to just believe in Yeshua, then alls well and our Greek understanding of conversion, a cognitive process, is fulfilled. Continue reading “Convert or Repent?”

Pavement of Stones

When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

John 19:13 (KJV)

Gabbatha – Ready for some confusion? This is a Chaldean word with Aramaic origin, not translated into Greek, but left in its Hebrew pronunciation, and it ultimately means pavement. It’s only mentioned once in the New Testament, and its Hebrew equivalent is found only once in 2 Kings 16:17. Now remember it’s really not a Hebrew word, so there is no exact equivalent, but the meaning of the word in the Hebrew context can be found in 2 Kings. Continue reading “Pavement of Stones”

A Hardened Heart

And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

Exodus 4:21

Harden – The picture here is that YHWH actively hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he would become stubborn. Whereas Pharaoh was previously softer and possibly could have been merciful, YHWH caused it not to be so. Imagine the philosophical problems that arise from this. Continue reading “A Hardened Heart”

Coals of Fire

Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Romans 12:20 (KJV)

Heap coals of fire upon his head – Why is this the metaphor we’re made to associate with being kind to our enemies? Sounds rather drastic, doesn’t it?  Did people actually heap coals on people’s heads?  If so, how could it possibly be related to doing kindness to an enemy?  This phrase produces so many questions, but most of us probably just read past it without digging much further. Continue reading “Coals of Fire”

The River

And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.

Exodus 1:21 (KJV)

Cast into the river – Israel has an amazing history with “the river”. This is the scene that sets in motion the redemptive power of YHWH. And it is here where Moses’ life begins, when so many other Hebrew boys die. Continue reading “The River”

Love the Sinner

Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 104:35 (KJV)

Sinners – Love the sinner, but hate the sin. Isn’t this how we’ve come to understand it? Shouldn’t we have compassion and patience toward those who are sinful and work with them in love to bring them to Yeshua? Well not according to David, or should I say, not according to most English translations of this specific verse (NIV, NASB, NRSV, ESV, etc.). Continue reading “Love the Sinner”

Law of Liberty

And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.

Exodus 32:16 (KJV)

Graven – So many of us look at the law as a burden, or restrictive. We definitely don’t refer to it as freedom, or life-giving. But the Hebrew language provides a little gem here in verse 16 that might just cause us to rethink our bias. Continue reading “Law of Liberty”

The Will of God

And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;

Romans 2:18 (KJV)

Knowest his will – Who knows the will of God? Who knows His plan for our lives? We’re always searching for some explanation of what’s to come, but maybe we should be looking to the past? Who knows the will of God? Well Paul tells the Romans that they (the Jews) do – they know His will. Continue reading “The Will of God”

Walking Without Sin

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Luke 1:6

Blameless – No one likes to read these words, and most won’t acknowledge what they clearly state. Zacharias and Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, were walking without sin during this time in their lives. How is this possible? Aren’t we taught that we sin everyday? This description of John’s parents reveals a path we know is ideal, but many of us have accepted an ‘outside’ theology that it’s impossible. Continue reading “Walking Without Sin”