Revenge in the Old and New Testaments: Eye for Eye, Tooth for Tooth

Does the Old Testament demand literal retaliation for a wrong? Should an eye or a tooth be gouged or knocked out—physically? What about the teaching of Jesus? Does he raise our vision to a higher calling? How do we forgive a tort or a physical injury? How do we get compensated for damages?

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Who Were the ‘Sons of God’ in Genesis?

I updated this post yet again. Who were the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis? This post also covers the “sons of the Most High” in Psalm 82 and the “sons of God” in Job 1-2 and other verses. Earlier update: This post also looks into the phrase “because of the angels” in 1 Cor. 11:10.

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Healing Infertility in Genesis

In Genesis healing is about fertility. It is God’s promise to those who live by his commands. It is his blessing. And this first book of the Bible teaches us that God can answer prayers for fertility, to remove the sadness of infertility.

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New Testament Must Always Filter Old Testament

American Bible teachers appear confused about biblical interpretation between the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). Some claim, for example, that David will share the throne with his superior descendant, Jesus. A third temple will be built, and animal sacrifices will be reinstituted. Christians must keep the Sabbath by command today. What about replacement theology? So confusing!

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Slavery and Freedom in the Bible

Critics of the Bible forget that it also advocates liberty. It’s the Grand Arc of the Biblical Narrative, from Genesis to Revelation. Let’s see if we can discover universal truths from these historical, culture-bound slave laws.

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God’s Love and Grace in Job, Psalms, and Proverbs

This is for your Bible study and sermon series and personal edification. All the words for love and grace in these three books of the biblical Wisdom literature are found here. Great for your personal edification or a series in a Bible study or sermons.

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Does Torah Really Order Girl to Marry Her Rapist against Her Father’s Will?

Scripture: Deuteronomy 22:28-29 and Exodus 22:16-17. Is the titled question true? Or are there circumstances that clarify what was really going on? A parallel case in colonial Philadelphia is also included here.

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7. Torah and Slavery: Marrying Captives of War

Scripture: Deut. 21:10-14. War was a fact of life in the ancient Near East. When a soldier whose army was victorious saw a woman he was attracted to, what could he do? The Torah regulates this cultural fact.

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6. Torah and Slavery: Foreign Slaves

Scriptures: Lev. 25:44-46 and Deut. 23:15-16 (and Exod. 21:16, again, with its parallel Deut. 24:7). As we have observed in this series, slavery was a cultural fact of the ancient Near East. When an Israelite bought a foreign slave or a foreigner residing among them, what were his obligations to care for them and what rights did the slaves have? This post also has two parallel cases in colonial Virginia.

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5. Torah and Slavery: Protecting Slave Women from Injustice

Scripture: Lev. 19:20-22. One OT scholar says that this law protected a slave woman when she was caught in the middle between three men.

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4. Torah and Slavery: What Happened When Masters Punished Their Slaves?

Scriptures: Exod. 21:20-21, 26-27; Lev. 25:43, 46. There were two cultural (and unpleasant) facts in the ancient Near East, long before the Torah existed: (1) Masters hit their slaves to punish them, and (2) slaves had secondary status. How does the Torah intervene and regulate those two pre-existing facts? (I also include cases of a servant girl dying allegedly from a beating and a servant boy who was flogged for theft, in colonial Philadelphia.)

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3. Torah and Slavery: Impoverished Father Sells His Daughter to Be a ‘Secondary Wife’

Scripture: Exod. 21:7-11. In a culture of arranged marriage and widespread poverty, fathers in the ancient Near East did this long before the Torah existed. Now the Torah has to intervene and tell the men what the daughter’s legal rights were. This post also looks at polygamy.

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2. Torah and Slavery: Israelite Indentured Servants

Scriptures: Exod. 21:2-6; Lev. 25:39-42; Deut. 15:12-18. The Torah balances out fairness with generosity, yet it is still obviously situated in the ancient world–its own cultural context. It is always best to evaluate these ancient texts on their own terms and in their own times. Let’s see what we can discover. For comparison, this post includes the case of an indentured servant in colonial Philadelphia.

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1. Torah and Slavery: Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar

Scripture to be studied: Gen. 16:1-4. Hagar was a handmaid to Abraham’s wife, Sarah. Critics claim that Abraham could have sex with Hagar whenever he wanted because she was a slave. This post also looks into polygamy. It also includes a case of a slave woman named Lucy and her three children in 1827-1828, South Carolina, America, just for a comparison.

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False Prophets in Sinai Covenant and Imperfect Prophets in New Covenant: Life and Death Differences

Youtube critics daily, it seems, call for the blood of Christian prophets who are mistaken about some of their prophecies. The critics read Deuteronomy 13 and 18 and demand the death penalty for their ministries. But what did Paul say about them? Let’s do a side-by-side comparison of the OT and the NT.

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John 10:34-36 and Psalm 82: Who Were the ‘Gods’ and ‘Sons of Most High’?

Who were the “gods” and “sons of the Most High” in Psalm 82:6? Whom does Jesus say they were in John 10:34-36? Many commentators offer their opinion, and they are unanimous about who they were not. Now what about–who they were?

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One Decisive Difference Between Sinai Covenant and New Covenant

This difference is what Jesus established and the New Testament authors laid out in the Scriptures. It’s really very simple.

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What Do Words ‘Eternity,’ ‘Eternal’ Fully Mean in the Bible?

This is an old-fashioned look at a Hebrew lexicon and two Greek lexicons, but in an easy-to-read format for nontechnical readers of the Bible. The definitions are wide-ranging and unexpected.

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Why Tithing Does Not Apply to New Covenant Believers

God’s New Covenant plan is much better than an obsolete, national, theocratic tax designed to support an obsolete, national, religious system. God has a better way for the New Covenant church.

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Do Christians Have to ‘Keep’ the Ten Commandments?

Do we ignore the Old Law so we can be free to live as we wish in the New Covenant? What about Christian Sabbath keeping? What does the Bible really say?

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What Does the New Covenant Retain from the Old?

How much continuity and discontinuity is there between the New Covenant and the Sinai Covenant? This article is designed to answer the confusion between hyper-grace on the one side and legalism on the other.

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Does God Cause Natural Disasters to Punish People Today?

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and tsunamis—natural disasters slam humankind every year. Did God do that? What does the Bible say? Two different covenants make all the difference—a progressive revelation.

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