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
Jan16TueJanuary 16, 2018
[Mat 18:1-20 RSV] 1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, 3 and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 "Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes! 8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. 10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. 11 Other ancient authorities insert verse 11, [For the Son of man came to save the lost.] 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. 15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
[Num 5:1-31 RSV] 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Command the people of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one having a discharge, and every one that is unclean through contact with the dead; 3 you shall put out both male and female, putting them outside the camp, that they may not defile their camp, in the midst of which I dwell." 4 And the people of Israel did so, and drove them outside the camp; as the LORD said to Moses, so the people of Israel did. 5 And the LORD said to Moses, 6 "Say to the people of Israel, When a man or woman commits any of the sins that men commit by breaking faith with the LORD, and that person is guilty, 7 he shall confess his sin which he has committed; and he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it, and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong. 8 But if the man has no kinsman to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution for wrong shall go to the LORD for the priest, in addition to the ram of atonement with which atonement is made for him. 9 And every offering, all the holy things of the people of Israel, which they bring to the priest, shall be his; 10 and every man's holy things shall be his; whatever any man gives to the priest shall be his." 11 And the LORD said to Moses, 12 "Say to the people of Israel, If any man's wife goes astray and acts unfaithfully against him, 13 if a man lies with her carnally, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and she is undetected though she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her, since she was not taken in the act; 14 and if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him, and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself; or if the spirit of jealousy comes upon him, and he is jealous of his wife, though she has not defiled herself; 15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest, and bring the offering required of her, a tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it and put no frankincense on it, for it is a cereal offering of jealousy, a cereal offering of remembrance, bringing iniquity to remembrance. 16 "And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD; 17 and the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. 18 And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and unbind the hair of the woman's head, and place in her hands the cereal offering of remembrance, which is the cereal offering of jealousy. And in his hand the priest shall have the water of bitterness that brings the curse. 19 Then the priest shall make her take an oath, saying, 'If no man has lain with you, and if you have not turned aside to uncleanness, while you were under your husband's authority, be free from this water of bitterness that brings the curse. 20 But if you have gone astray, though you are under your husband's authority, and if you have defiled yourself, and some man other than your husband has lain with you, 21 then' (let the priest make the woman take the oath of the curse, and say to the woman) 'the LORD make you an execration and an oath among your people, when the LORD makes your thigh fall away and your body swell; 22 may this water that brings the curse pass into your bowels and make your body swell and your thigh fall away.' And the woman shall say, 'Amen, Amen.' 23 "Then the priest shall write these curses in a book, and wash them off into the water of bitterness; 24 and he shall make the woman drink the water of bitterness that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain. 25 And the priest shall take the cereal offering of jealousy out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the cereal offering before the LORD and bring it to the altar; 26 and the priest shall take a handful of the cereal offering, as its memorial portion, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall make the woman drink the water. 27 And when he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and has acted unfaithfully against her husband, the water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her body shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away, and the woman shall become an execration among her people. 28 But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then she shall be free and shall conceive children. 29 "This is the law in cases of jealousy, when a wife, though under her husband's authority, goes astray and defiles herself, 30 or when the spirit of jealousy comes upon a man and he is jealous of his wife; then he shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. 31 The man shall be free from iniquity, but the woman shall bear her iniquity."
[Num 6:1-27 RSV] 1 And the LORD said to Moses, 2 "Say to the people of Israel, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, 3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink; he shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink, and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. 4 All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins. 5 "All the days of his vow of separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the LORD, he shall be holy; he shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long. 6 "All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body. 7 Neither for his father nor for his mother, nor for brother or sister, if they die, shall he make himself unclean; because his separation to God is upon his head. 8 All the days of his separation he is holy to the LORD. 9 "And if any man dies very suddenly beside him, and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it. 10 On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons to the priest to the door of the tent of meeting, 11 and the priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned by reason of the dead body. And he shall consecrate his head that same day, 12 and separate himself to the LORD for the days of his separation, and bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering; but the former time shall be void, because his separation was defiled. 13 "And this is the law for the Nazirite, when the time of his separation has been completed: he shall be brought to the door of the tent of meeting, 14 and he shall offer his gift to the LORD, one male lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish as a sin offering, and one ram without blemish as a peace offering, 15 and a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and their cereal offering and their drink offerings. 16 And the priest shall present them before the LORD and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering, 17 and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of peace offering to the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread; the priest shall offer also its cereal offering and its drink offering. 18 And the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the door of the tent of meeting, and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offering. 19 And the priest shall take the shoulder of the ram, when it is boiled, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazirite, after he has shaven the hair of his consecration, 20 and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD; they are a holy portion for the priest, together with the breast that is waved and the thigh that is offered; and after that the Nazirite may drink wine. 21 "This is the law for the Nazirite who takes a vow. His offering to the LORD shall be according to his vow as a Nazirite, apart from what else he can afford; in accordance with the vow which he takes, so shall he do according to the law for his separation as a Nazirite." 22 The LORD said to Moses, 23 "Say to Aaron and his sons, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 24 The LORD bless you and keep you: 25 The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: 26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. 27 "So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them."
[Ecc 5:1-20 RSV] 1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words. 4 When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. 5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6 Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake; why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For when dreams increase, empty words grow many: but do you fear God. 8 If you see in a province the poor oppressed and justice and right violently taken away, do not be amazed at the matter; for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. 9 But in all, a king is an advantage to a land with cultivated fields. 10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money; nor he who loves wealth, with gain: this also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, they increase who eat them; and what gain has their owner but to see them with his eyes? 12 Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much; but the surfeit of the rich will not let him sleep. 13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, 14 and those riches were lost in a bad venture; and he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. 15 As he came from his mother's womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil, which he may carry away in his hand. 16 This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go; and what gain has he that he toiled for the wind, 17 and spent all his days in darkness and grief, in much vexation and sickness and resentment? 18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and to be fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life which God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Every man also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and find enjoyment in his toil--this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
From Pastor Tim: Greetings all, well I and my family are finally healthy again so I will start up with comments again. Today we are looking at Historical Criticism. Right away today we must address the reading from Numbers. The first thing I have to note is the vow of the Nazirite this is a vow that is taken for a certain time to dedicate oneself to the Lord. It requires different requirements than normal living. If you noticed if someone who has a Nazirite vow is near or touches a dead body (even their closest relatives) they have to offer a sin offering. If you remember normally if you touch a dead body you are just unclean you do not have to make a sin offering. This is important because there is a difference between uncleanliness and sinfulness. The most practical one is that a sin requires a sin offering and uncleanliness just requires purification. If you read all the ways a person becomes unclean you soon realize that a person could not stay clean all of their lives. For instance the act of having a child makes you unclean, but having children is not sinful, it just makes you unclean and you must be purified. The fact the Nazirite has to make a sin offering if he or she touches a dead body reminds us that because of the Nazirite vow, what was just a matter of cleanliness has now become sinful.
Second thing I have to talk about because it is one of the most interesting passages in Numbers to me is the test of a wife’s faithfulness. Back when I was younger and got network TV there used to be shows that would do a DNA test and determine if someone was really the father of their girlfriend’s (or ex-girlfriend’s) baby. There was a lot of drama and both the mother and father would get really emotional. There were men who swore there was no way they could be the father and they turned out to be and mothers who swore it couldn’t be anyone else’s child, yet it turned out to be. A passage like this reminds me of how little people have changed. The issue of parentage has been a major issue since at least the time Numbers was written and I am willing to guess longer. God gives the people a way to deal with it. He has the women eat a curse on herself if she has been unfaithful. It protects the woman from male aggression toward their suspicions (it is much better to let the priest test than be violent toward her) and it gives her a chance to redeem herself and be beyond his questions. Now it is also only applicable to women, you may notice there is not test given for if a man has cheated. However this is a protection from women from the jealously of their husbands.
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!