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
Feb7WedFebruary 7, 2018
[Act 1:1-26 RSV] 1 In the first book, O The-oph'ilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. 4 And while staying with them he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me, 5 for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama'ria and to the end of the earth." 9 And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away; 13 and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. 15 In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, 16 "Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. 18 (Now this man bought a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their language Akel'dama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; and 'His office let another take.' 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us--one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection." 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab'bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi'as. 24 And they prayed and said, "Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place." 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi'as; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.
[Deu 11:1-32 RSV] 1 "You shall therefore love the LORD your God, and keep his charge, his statutes, his ordinances, and his commandments always. 2 And consider this day (since I am not speaking to your children who have not known or seen it), consider the discipline of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm, 3 his signs and his deeds which he did in Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land; 4 and what he did to the army of Egypt, to their horses and to their chariots; how he made the water of the Red Sea overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the LORD has destroyed them to this day; 5 and what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place; 6 and what he did to Dathan and Abi'ram the sons of Eli'ab, son of Reuben; how the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households, their tents, and every living thing that followed them, in the midst of all Israel; 7 for your eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD which he did. 8 "You shall therefore keep all the commandment which I command you this day, that you may be strong, and go in and take possession of the land which you are going over to possess, 9 and that you may live long in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 For the land which you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your feet, like a garden of vegetables; 11 but the land which you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, 12 a land which the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. 13 "And if you will obey my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. 15 And he will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you shall eat and be full. 16 Take heed lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, 17 and the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and he shut up the heavens, so that there be no rain, and the land yield no fruit, and you perish quickly off the good land which the LORD gives you. 18 "You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20 And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. 22 For if you will be careful to do all this commandment which I command you to do, loving the LORD your God, walking in all his ways, and cleaving to him, 23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves. 24 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your territory shall be from the wilderness and Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphra'tes, to the western sea. 25 No man shall be able to stand against you; the LORD your God will lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that you shall tread, as he promised you. 26 "Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods which you have not known. 29 And when the LORD your God brings you into the land which you are entering to take possession of it, you shall set the blessing on Mount Ger'izim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30 Are they not beyond the Jordan, west of the road, toward the going down of the sun, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, over against Gilgal, beside the oak of Moreh? 31 For you are to pass over the Jordan to go in to take possession of the land which the LORD your God gives you; and when you possess it and live in it, 32 you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the ordinances which I set before you this day.
[Deu 12:1-32 RSV] 1 "These are the statutes and ordinances which you shall be careful to do in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live upon the earth. 2 You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains and upon the hills and under every green tree; 3 you shall tear down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Ashe'rim with fire; you shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy their name out of that place. 4 You shall not do so to the LORD your God. 5 But you shall seek the place which the LORD your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there; thither you shall go, 6 and thither you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the offering that you present, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock; 7 and there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the LORD your God has blessed you. 8 You shall not do according to all that we are doing here this day, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; 9 for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the LORD your God gives you. 10 But when you go over the Jordan, and live in the land which the LORD your God gives you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you live in safety, 11 then to the place which the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, thither you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the offering that you present, and all your votive offerings which you vow to the LORD. 12 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your menservants and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no portion or inheritance with you. 13 Take heed that you do not offer your burnt offerings at every place that you see; 14 but at the place which the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you. 15 "However, you may slaughter and eat flesh within any of your towns, as much as you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and as of the hart. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out upon the earth like water. 17 You may not eat within your towns the tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstlings of your herd or of your flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the offering that you present; 18 but you shall eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God will choose, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, and the Levite who is within your towns; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you undertake. 19 Take heed that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land. 20 "When the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, 'I will eat flesh,' because you crave flesh, you may eat as much flesh as you desire. 21 If the place which the LORD your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, then you may kill any of your herd or your flock, which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your towns as much as you desire. 22 Just as the gazelle or the hart is eaten, so you may eat of it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood; for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out upon the earth like water. 25 You shall not eat it; that all may go well with you and with your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD. 26 But the holy things which are due from you, and your votive offerings, you shall take, and you shall go to the place which the LORD will choose, 27 and offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the LORD your God; the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God, but the flesh you may eat. 28 Be careful to heed all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you for ever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God. 29 "When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 take heed that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods?--that I also may do likewise.' 31 You shall not do so to the LORD your God; for every abominable thing which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 "Everything that I command you you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to it or take from it.
[Job 9:1-35 RSV] 1 Then Job answered: 2 "Truly I know that it is so: But how can a man be just before God? 3 If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times. 4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength--who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?-- 5 he who removes mountains, and they know it not, when he overturns them in his anger; 6 who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; 7 who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars; 8 who alone stretched out the heavens, and trampled the waves of the sea; 9 who made the Bear and Orion, the Plei'ades and the chambers of the south; 10 who does great things beyond understanding, and marvelous things without number. 11 Lo, he passes by me, and I see him not; he moves on, but I do not perceive him. 12 Behold, he snatches away; who can hinder him? Who will say to him, 'What doest thou'? 13 "God will not turn back his anger; beneath him bowed the helpers of Rahab. 14 How then can I answer him, choosing my words with him? 15 Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser. 16 If I summoned him and he answered me, I would not believe that he was listening to my voice. 17 For he crushes me with a tempest, and multiplies my wounds without cause; 18 he will not let me get my breath, but fills me with bitterness. 19 If it is a contest of strength, behold him! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him? 20 Though I am innocent, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse. 21 I am blameless; I regard not myself; I loathe my life. 22 It is all one; therefore I say, he destroys both the blameless and the wicked. 23 When disaster brings sudden death, he mocks at the calamity of the innocent. 24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he covers the faces of its judges-- if it is not he, who then is it? 25 "My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no good. 26 They go by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on the prey. 27 If I say, 'I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad countenance, and be of good cheer,' 28 I become afraid of all my suffering, for I know thou wilt not hold me innocent. 29 I shall be condemned; why then do I labor in vain? 30 If I wash myself with snow, and cleanse my hands with lye, 31 yet thou wilt plunge me into a pit, and my own clothes will abhor me. 32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together. 33 There is no umpire between us, who might lay his hand upon us both. 34 Let him take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me. 35 Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.
From Pastor Tim: Reader Response
So I don’t know about you, but I always have a moment of sadness for poor Barsab'bas. Here he was passed over for the initial draft of the 12 disciples, but apparently he was “one of the men who have accompanied [them] during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among [them], beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up.” Now they are going to choose a new twelve disciple and Barsab’bas is put up as one of the contenders but God himself choose the other guy Mathias. I imagine it is tough to lose an election, but how much worse is it when God is doing the voting! Although that is my first reaction, I know there is much more to it than that. First because all the disciples are going to be martyred (except maybe John) so being “elected” that position comes with a death sentence. Second, and maybe more important, God’s election of another does not in any way negate the good he calls us to do. Barsab’bas and us too should be excited to hear about the good that God is doing in another place and in no way should be jealous but energized to see what God is doing in our world. People are worried that when they tell me about a great pastor they have met or seen they will make me ashamed or worried, but I have learned to say, “praise God!” because the harvest is plentiful and we need more to harvest.
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!