Greetings, since we have been at this a month and a half, I thought I would change how I have been commenting. Up until now I have sort of been doing whatever I wanted each day. However now I would like a more systematic approach, because there are many ways to study the scriptures—and all can be helpful. So I would like to model some of the ways you can read the Bible each week. My idea is to have a different type of Bible study technique used each day, you than both know what to expect and what can think about these types of Bible study techniques even when I am not using it on that day.
Please go ahead and read the blogpost about it for full details but here is the brief schedule.
Monday: Salvation History
Tuesday: Historical Criticism
Wednesday: Reader Response
Thursday: Law and Gospel
Friday: Textual Criticism
Saturday: Sabbath—just read and pray
Feb11SunFebruary 11, 2018
[Act 4:1-22 RSV] 1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sad'ducees came upon them, 2 annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the morrow, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to about five thousand. 5 On the morrow their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Ca'iaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, "By what power or by what name did you do this?" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, 10 be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 But seeing the man that had been healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, "What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is manifest to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any one in this name." 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard." 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people; for all men praised God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
[Deu 19:1-21 RSV] 1 "When the LORD your God cuts off the nations whose land the LORD your God gives you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses, 2 you shall set apart three cities for you in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess. 3 You shall prepare the roads, and divide into three parts the area of the land which the LORD your God gives you as a possession, so that any manslayer can flee to them. 4 "This is the provision for the manslayer, who by fleeing there may save his life. If any one kills his neighbor unintentionally without having been at enmity with him in time past-- 5 as when a man goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down a tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies--he may flee to one of these cities and save his life; 6 lest the avenger of blood in hot anger pursue the manslayer and overtake him, because the way is long, and wound him mortally, though the man did not deserve to die, since he was not at enmity with his neighbor in time past. 7 Therefore I command you, You shall set apart three cities. 8 And if the LORD your God enlarges your border, as he has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which he promised to give to your fathers-- 9 provided you are careful to keep all this commandment, which I command you this day, by loving the LORD your God and by walking ever in his ways--then you shall add three other cities to these three, 10 lest innocent blood be shed in your land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, and so the guilt of bloodshed be upon you. 11 "But if any man hates his neighbor, and lies in wait for him, and attacks him, and wounds him mortally so that he dies, and the man flees into one of these cities, 12 then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die. 13 Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you. 14 "In the inheritance which you will hold in the land that the LORD your God gives you to possess, you shall not remove your neighbor's landmark, which the men of old have set. 15 "A single witness shall not prevail against a man for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed; only on the evidence of two witnesses, or of three witnesses, shall a charge be sustained. 16 If a malicious witness rises against any man to accuse him of wrongdoing, 17 then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days; 18 the judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, 19 then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother; so you shall purge the evil from the midst of you. 20 And the rest shall hear, and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. 21 Your eye shall not pity; it shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
[Deu 20:1-20 RSV] 1 "When you go forth to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. 2 And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people, 3 and shall say to them, 'Hear, O Israel, you draw near this day to battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint; do not fear, or tremble, or be in dread of them; 4 for the LORD your God is he that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.' 5 Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying, 'What man is there that has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. 6 And what man is there that has planted a vineyard and has not enjoyed its fruit? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man enjoy its fruit. 7 And what man is there that has betrothed a wife and has not taken her? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her.' 8 And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, 'What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest the heart of his fellows melt as his heart.' 9 And when the officers have made an end of speaking to the people, then commanders shall be appointed at the head of the people. 10 "When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. 11 And if its answer to you is peace and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. 12 But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it; 13 and when the LORD your God gives it into your hand you shall put all its males to the sword, 14 but the women and the little ones, the cattle, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as booty for yourselves; and you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you. 15 Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. 16 But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, 17 but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Per'izzites, the Hivites and the Jeb'usites, as the LORD your God has commanded; 18 that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices which they have done in the service of their gods, and so to sin against the LORD your God. 19 "When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them; for you may eat of them, but you shall not cut them down. Are the trees in the field men that they should be besieged by you? 20 Only the trees which you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down that you may build siegeworks against the city that makes war with you, until it falls.
[Job 13:1-28 RSV] 1 "Lo, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. 2 What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. 3 But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God. 4 As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all. 5 Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom! 6 Hear now my reasoning, and listen to the pleadings of my lips. 7 Will you speak falsely for God, and speak deceitfully for him? 8 Will you show partiality toward him, will you plead the case for God? 9 Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man? 10 He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality. 11 Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you? 12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay. 13 "Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may. 14 I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand. 15 Behold, he will slay me; I have no hope; yet I will defend my ways to his face. 16 This will be my salvation, that a godless man shall not come before him. 17 Listen carefully to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears. 18 Behold, I have prepared my case; I know that I shall be vindicated. 19 Who is there that will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die. 20 Only grant two things to me, then I will not hide myself from thy face: 21 withdraw thy hand far from me, and let not dread of thee terrify me. 22 Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and do thou reply to me. 23 How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. 24 Why dost thou hide thy face, and count me as thy enemy? 25 Wilt thou frighten a driven leaf and pursue dry chaff? 26 For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me inherit the iniquities of my youth. 27 Thou puttest my feet in the stocks, and watchest all my paths; thou settest a bound to the soles of my feet. 28 Man wastes away like a rotten thing, like a garment that is moth-eaten.
From Pastor Tim:
Let me offer a word on the question of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” This statement is used today in a very aggressive way, people will say, “they did such and such to me so even the Bible says I get to do the same to them.” Indeed here in Deuteronomy it does indeed declare an eye for an eye. However, in this context it is not a statement of revenge but one of restraint. In a world without police or modern laws, often time people would seek a greater revenge than the damaged that was done to them. So if you hit me I may kick you. You having been kicked felt like you got the worse end so you threw a rock at me, I then took a bat to you, until one of us is seriously injured. The feeling of pain and suffering is almost always greater than the feeling of revenge so we do something more so we feel balanced. However the person we are seeking revenge on then feels the scale is not balanced so they take revenge on us. This law is constraint, meaning if someone knocks out your tooth, the worst you can do to them is knock out one of their teeth. The same with an eye, if they cause you to lose your eye, the worst you can do to them is cause them to lose their eye. Later Jesus will teach us something even better, the notion of mercy, but this constrains sin, and gives us justice.
We are reading through the Bible in order to celebrate the anniversary of the reformation, we would invite you to join us where ever we are, or you could just start reading daily. Remember Luther wanted to get Scripture into the hand of everyone so they would grow to know God better. Join us!