The Book of Esther comes to us in two versions. There is the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Septuagint. The Greek is a bit longer as it has additions to the text, mostly in the form of prayers from Mordecai and Esther (as well as Mordecai’s prophetic dream in the first chapter and his remembering it in the last).
For centuries, the Jews debated whether Esther was even inspired Scripture because in the Hebrew version there are no explicit references to God. The Greek additions seem to be a conscious corrective to that lack.
I like having both versions in front of me. The… Continue reading
Finished Job again last night in my three-year plan through the Old Testament.
It is one of my favorite OT books although it raises as many questions as it answers. It is often pointed to as the Bible’s answer to the Problem of Evil but I think Habakkuk is a little more explicit about that. The answer to the POE in Job is basically, “The answer is above your head because you are finite and I, God, am not. You try running the universe for a day!”
Of the minutiae in the book, I have always thought it interesting that when Job was restored he… Continue reading
Two verses particularly stood out for me in today’s passage, “
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life… But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but… Continue reading
Morning Gospel: Today, Jesus calms a storm that has His disciples terrified.
“23 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑎 𝑠ℎ𝑖𝑝, ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑑 ℎ𝑖𝑚. 24 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑒ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑, 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑎 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑡𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑠𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑎, 𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑖𝑝 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑠: 𝑏𝑢𝑡 ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑎𝑠𝑙𝑒𝑒𝑝. 25 𝐴𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑝𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑐𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑖𝑚, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑤𝑜𝑘𝑒 ℎ𝑖𝑚, 𝑠𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝐿𝑜𝑟𝑑, 𝑠𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑢𝑠: 𝑤𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑠ℎ. 26 𝐴𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑎𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚, 𝑊ℎ𝑦 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑒 𝑓𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑓𝑢𝑙, 𝑂 𝑦𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒 𝑓𝑎𝑖𝑡ℎ? 𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑛 ℎ𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑒, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑟𝑒𝑏𝑢𝑘𝑒𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑎; 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝑐𝑎𝑙𝑚. 27 𝐵𝑢𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑒𝑛 𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑣𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑑, 𝑠𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑊ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓… Continue reading
Evening Scripture: Finished 1 Kingdoms/ 1 Samuel by reading chapters 30-31 in my two-year Old Testament program. Saul and his sons meet their end at Mt. Gilboa while David rescues his kidnapped loved ones.
What a contrast between Saul and David there is in these last chapters of this book!
In their moments of weakness and despair, each one desperately sought the Lord. But David did so God’s way with an ephod while Saul used a method forbidden by God in consulting the witch of Endor.
The Gospel Transformation Bible sums up some of these contrasts wonderfully:
“The contrast between David and Saul continues to… Continue reading
There is no doubt about it. The last several centuries have been an adjustment for Bible believers. Beginning with the realization that the unanimous view of geocentrism was wrong, the switch to a heliocentric model of the universe was difficult for many Christians. They saw the new science as a betrayal of the literal and clear teaching of Scripture by godless scientists. Reading the comments of men like Luther and Calvin in response to Copernicus is a lot like listening to Ken Ham and Kent Hovind rail against Darwin.
One of the new sciences which began during this period was geology. It was established by… Continue reading
“If god commanded you to kill your children or loved ones, would you do it?” It is a pretty common question to be asked when talking to atheists online.
No, because I would assume I am a kook if I heard that or the Dark Side of the Force was tempting me.
However, if I had the one on one relationship Abraham is portrayed as having with God, trusted in His promise to bless the world through my son when he was grown, knew that God was the Author of Life and able to raise the dead, etc. I might feel differently. Abraham’s choice has… Continue reading
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily” (Mt. 1:19).
What does true righteousness look like in practice? Joseph was confronted with what appeared to be a clear case of infidelity when he learned that his betrothed Mary was pregnant. This verse gives his response to the news: “being a just (or righteous) man and not willing to make her a publick example”. These words seem to indicate that BECAUSE Joseph was a righteous man he did not want to expose Mary’s apparent sin and cause her… Continue reading
Many Bible students are familiar with the concept of types and figures of Christ in the Old Testament.
There is the First-Created man Adam. Just as he is the father of all men according to the flesh so Jesus, the Second Adam, is the spiritual father of all the faithful.
Consider Job who in his suffering and profound grief, saw nothing before him but a miserable death bereft of human consolation fell down to the ground and prayed, humbling himself to God’s will. Then see Christ praying in anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Then there is Noah. Just as he was the only just… Continue reading
1. Review of the Book of Judges
Samson was born during the seventh of the seven cycles that keep recurring throughout the book of Judges. Cycles of sin, suffering, supplication and salvation. Each section begins with a phrase like: “And the children of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” because everyone was “doing what is right in their own eyes” rather than what is right in God’s. So the Lord allows them to enter a time of suffering, being oppressed by those same nations that they were supposed to have conquered when they entered the… Continue reading