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Summary – How God became King

The main message of this book is to do with the gospels – what are they there for? The answer in short is that Jesus came not just to die that we could be saved via justification by faith, but to start the process of bringing the world back to God’s original plan. After Adam went astray that project started again with Abraham. Israel’s scriptures speak about a time when God’s will would be done on earth as in heaven (Isaiah 40-55). Jesus came to set this in motion. In words used by the gospel writers Jesus came to bring the...

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Finding God in the Psalms

This is a collection of unpolished thoughts on this book which I have been reading over the last month. What I have taken away which I consider of most importance is that all of creation is worshipping God, and that when we engage in worship, especially singing and praying the psalms, we are transformed. Like the tree mentioned in Psalm 1 beside a stream that produces fruit at the proper time, worship transforms us. I also found it helpful to consider the different context of each Psalm. Was it written near the Temple, or after its destruction, or far away...

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Which came first the Didache or the Gospels?

The Didache definitely has common material with the gospel of Matthew. The Didache presents this as the teaching of the apostles; Matthew presents this as the teaching of Jesus. Is this a significant difference? Surely the followers of Jesus would follow Jesus, and his teaching, if they are faithful. The Didache does say the teaching of the Lord through the apostles. It also talks about the Lord giving commands such as “Do not give what is holy to the dogs (9:5).” One point – he does mention Bishops and Deacons (15:1). That surely is not earliest Christianity, as these positions come...

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Matthew’s interweaving of Old Testament Texts

Matthew often quotes from more than two places. Here he has the main body from Isaiah 9, but hints from Isaiah 42, such as using ‘sat in darkness’ as in Chapter 42 rather than ‘walked in darkness’ as in Chapter 9. The implication is that Jesus is the light to the nations. There is another link with the light dawning echoing the Septuagint in spring forth in 42:9. The implication is of new things bursting forth.   Matthew 4:12-17 12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 He left Nazareth and made his home...

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Seutonius on Jesus

In Claudius 25 Suetonius refers to the expulsion of Jews by Claudius and states (in Edwards’ translation): “Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.” In Acts of the Apostles (18:2) the writer makes the following parallel commentary “And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome: and he came unto them” And about Nero’s laws. Punishment was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to...

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