If not then what?

In this post I am thinking about the Old Testament. In particular, how do I know it is true? This will not be an answer more in note-ish form . What does it teach? That God created the world. He had some sort of early encounter with a man, or group which was...

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Stoicism

This topic has come up in N T Wright’s Magnus Opum – Paul and the Faithfulness of God as one of the factors that would have been highly influential in the time of Paul, particularly in the Greek world. Key foundations are logic, physics and ethics.Watch...

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The New Perspective on Paul

So I haven't posted for a while. I am half way through my Introduction to the New Testament module, and now on Romans. The New Perspective on Paul - basically this means that recent protestant Theologians have recognised that first century Jews did not believe that...

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Shabir Ali vs Dr William Lane Craig

Resuscitation theory - liberal German scholarship 1700s and 1800s - discredited The Qur'an says clearly that Jesus not crucified( Sura 4) Other place crucifixion mentioned  in Sura 5 it is not equated with death (So can't say they meant no crucifixion as didn't die by...

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A light for the Gentiles

In the gospel of Luke, as well as being presented as the hope of Israel, Jesus is clearly shown to be "a light for the gentiles". This is portrayed in several ways: 1] Ancestry to Adam (3:23-38) Jesus' descent is traced back to Adam, symbolically the father of mankind...

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Is the Gospel of John Historical?

These are a few preliminary thoughts for an essay I will shortly write. Q. John's portrayal of Jesus is so different to that in the Synoptics that some scholars have no confidence in its historicity. Discuss. Differences in accounts do not imply that one source is...

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Deity of Jesus in Matthew

What would a Jew in the first century of thought of the Gospel of Matthew on first reading, given no prior knowledge of Christianity? What would they thought of Jesus? Would they have considered that he was portrayed as divine?Movie A Dog's Purpose (2017) Consider the...

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The Deity of Jesus in the Synoptics

I am involved with quite a bit of debate with Muslims in the Bradford area which I really enjoy.  One accusation that is frequently asserted is that Jesus did not claim to be God. Now the most explicit answer would be to redirect the reader to John 8:58 "Before...

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5 Greek Words in 1 John

Parrhsia – The original meaning of this word is ‘freedom of speech’. If you were a citizen in a Greek city-state you had the right to speak out freely at a public assembly. The word came to mean frankness or outspokenness, and then confidence and boldness. In the...

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The Holiness of God in Christ

I have recently been thinking about every aspect of God by looking at Christ. This is nothing bizarre but simply a logical response to verses such as Hebrews 1:3: "The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things...

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Sam, Michael and Anna

Once upon a time there were three children called Sam, Michael and Anna. Now these children were best friends and all went to the same school. One day it was RE. Today Miss T. Ollertant was teaching about Buddhism. She told the class that Buddhism was the best...

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Agents/recipients of wrath

There are many examples in the Old Testament of people and nations being instruments of God's justice only to find themselves later rebuked or destroyed themselves. Jehu -  After destroying Ahab's family (2 Kings 9,10) which seemed at the time to be accomplishing the...

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Elijah vs Elisha

When Elijah flees for his life to Mount Horeb God tells him "anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet" (1 Kings 19:15-16). Elijah only got round to...

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Thoughts on Samuel, Saul and David

Poor Saul has been judged harshly. He had massive issues to deal with. The Philistines held a major dominance in the land and he had to deal with that. On top of that he was the first king in a land with no administration and not even a proper army. His people were...

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Samuel and Saul: A Negative Symbiosis

This article by Moshe Reiss challenges the orthodox view that would consider Samuel an upright man beyond reproach and Saul as a failure of a king. Saul’s faults? It asks some interesting questions that are worth considering: What command did Saul break when he...

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The Judges: an overview

Judge: Othniel Tribe: Judah Ref: 3:7 - 11 Oppressor: Aram Naharaim Years of oppression: 8 Years of peace: 40 Judge: Ehud Tribe: Benjamin Ref: 3:12 - 30 Oppressor: Moab, Amalek, Ammon Years of oppression: 18 Years of peace: 80 Judge: Deborah/ Barak Tribe: Naphtali Ref:...

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Order and Creation in the Ancient Near East

The three great influences on the Hebrew Bible are Canaan, Egypt and Babylon. Each of these had well developed beliefs about the gods, creation and order in the cosmos. In the Ancient Near East they had no concept of nothingness before creation. For them the opposite...

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What is Redaktionsgeschichte by Robert Stein

This article looks at defining Redaktionsgeschichte. It compares it with form criticism. Form criticism is interested in analyzing each supposed source that makes up the gospel. Analysing the tree instead of the forest. If the gospel writers only copied sources and...

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The importance of the Exodus to Israel

The importance of the Exodus to Israel and the revelation of God as a Father This essay explains and elucidates the following statement: ‘The Exodus is such a significant event in Israel’s history, that it serves as more than just an account of the wandering in the...

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Personal Evaluation

This essay looks at one way in which this module has challenged my thinking, two new spiritual disciplines I have found beneficial and three ways in which my inner life has been edified. I also make a small comment about possible changes to the module. This module...

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Daughter Zion Speaks in Auschwitz by K.M. Wilson

Daughter Zion Speaks in Auschwitz: A Post-Holocaust Reading of Lamentation [1] In this very interesting article Kelly Wilson makes the reader engage properly with the suffering of the women and children in the book of Lamentations. By comparing the suffering...

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The Oracles of Balaam

Numbers 22-24 Balaam son of Beor is a curios character - a man of extremes. He was from Pethor near the Euphrates so hundreds of miles east from Moab. On the one hand he held to what God said. He refused to curse Israel against God's will. However, he was lured by...

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A Crescendo of Plagues

Aaron’s Staff Becomes a Snake Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts Ex 7:11 Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said. Ex 7:13 1. The...

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Abraham in context

Just watched video from http://brucegore.com/VideoPlay2.aspx Was interesting but not as good as the videos on Enuma Elish and The Epic of Gilgamesh. Some interesting points. When looking on map I saw the main cities along the fertile crescent: Allepo, Damascus, Haran,...

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Epic of Gilgamesh

In a recent post we looked at the similarities between the creation account found in Genesis 1 and the Akkadian legend of Enuma Elish. We saw that there were similarities in the way physical things are described but great differences in the way that God or gods are...

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Genesis 3 and 4

Similarities between Genesis 3 and 4. 1. God has warned Caan as he warned Adam and Eve. 2. God confronts Caan as he did Adam. 3. A curse is pronounced. 4. There is a sending away. Caan is sent away from farming to being a restless wanderer. 5. There is mercy even in...

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