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
Feb9FriFebruary 9, 2018
[Act 2:14-47 RSV] 14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day. 21 And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' 22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know-- 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him, 'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope. 27 For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou wilt make me full of gladness with thy presence.' 29 "Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, 35 till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.' 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." 37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him." 40 And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
[Deu 15:1-23 RSV] 1 "At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the LORD's release has been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner you may exact it; but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. 4 But there will be no poor among you (for the LORD will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance to possess), 5 if only you will obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment which I command you this day. 6 For the LORD your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you. 7 "If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, 8 but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. 9 Take heed lest there be a base thought in your heart, and you say, 'The seventh year, the year of release is near,' and your eye be hostile to your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the LORD against you, and it be sin in you. 10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him; because for this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11 For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in the land. 12 "If your brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13 And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed; 14 you shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your wine press; as the LORD your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. 16 But if he says to you, 'I will not go out from you,' because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you, 17 then you shall take an awl, and thrust it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your bondman for ever. And to your bondwoman you shall do likewise. 18 It shall not seem hard to you, when you let him go free from you; for at half the cost of a hired servant he has served you six years. So the LORD your God will bless you in all that you do. 19 "All the firstling males that are born of your herd and flock you shall consecrate to the LORD your God; you shall do no work with the firstling of your herd, nor shear the firstling of your flock. 20 You shall eat it, you and your household, before the LORD your God year by year at the place which the LORD will choose. 21 But if it has any blemish, if it is lame or blind, or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 You shall eat it within your towns; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as though it were a gazelle or a hart. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.
[Deu 16:1-22 RSV] 1 "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover to the LORD your God; for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 And you shall offer the passover sacrifice to the LORD your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place which the LORD will choose, to make his name dwell there. 3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction--for you came out of the land of Egypt in hurried flight--that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days; nor shall any of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain all night until morning. 5 You may not offer the passover sacrifice within any of your towns which the LORD your God gives you; 6 but at the place which the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the passover sacrifice, in the evening at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt. 7 And you shall boil it and eat it at the place which the LORD your God will choose; and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. 8 For six days you shall eat unleavened bread; and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD your God; you shall do no work on it. 9 "You shall count seven weeks; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you first put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall keep the feast of weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you; 11 and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place which the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes. 13 "You shall keep the feast of booths seven days, when you make your ingathering from your threshing floor and your wine press; 14 you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. 15 For seven days you shall keep the feast to the LORD your God at the place which the LORD will choose; because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. 16 "Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at the place which he will choose: at the feast of unleavened bread, at the feast of weeks, and at the feast of booths. They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed; 17 every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you. 18 "You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality; and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God gives you. 21 "You shall not plant any tree as an Ashe'rah beside the altar of the LORD your God which you shall make. 22 And you shall not set up a pillar, which the LORD your God hates.
[Job 11:1-20 RSV] 1 Then Zophar the Na'amathite answered: 2 "Should a multitude of words go unanswered, and a man full of talk be vindicated? 3 Should your babble silence men, and when you mock, shall no one shame you? 4 For you say, 'My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in God's eyes.' 5 But oh, that God would speak, and open his lips to you, 6 and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For he is manifold in understanding. Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves. 7 "Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? 8 It is higher than heaven--what can you do? Deeper than Sheol--what can you know? 9 Its measure is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. 10 If he passes through, and imprisons, and calls to judgment, who can hinder him? 11 For he knows worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it? 12 But a stupid man will get understanding, when a wild ass's colt is born a man. 13 "If you set your heart aright, you will stretch out your hands toward him. 14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in your tents. 15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure, and will not fear. 16 You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. 17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. 18 And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety. 19 You will lie down, and none will make you afraid; many will entreat your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is to breathe their last."
From Pastor Tim:
So the part that grabbed me today is not quite textual criticism, but is more like exploring the language, because we will hear a lot about the Ashe’rah poles later, but here is the first time the word has jumped out of me (although I will be honest I may have read it in the last 100 days and something else grabbed my attention). We hear, “21 "You shall not plant any tree as an Ashe'rah beside the altar of the LORD your God which you shall make. 22 And you shall not set up a pillar, which the LORD your God hates.” Part of me wonders, why would you put an Ashe’rah beside the altar of the Lord? Well of course history sometimes clouds things but Ashe’rah (and her tree) were a symbol of a Goddess that was married at various times to Ba’al or Anu. She was even sometimes associated with Yahweh as his consort or wife. The thought would be easy for us to understand, as Yahweh and the Jewish people came and pushed out Ba’al and the Canaanites Yahweh became the new husband to Ashe’rah in some people’s mind. Therefore in some places people would plant a tree next to the altar of Yahweh. This of course mixed the religion of the people before with the religion revealed by God and thus was forbidden. However when we reach Samuel and Kings the Ashe’rah will be referenced quite a bit.
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!