The Torah is the first five books of the Bible. Yes, God’s love and grace can be found in this section of Scripture. It is not always and only wrath and judgment. Great for your personal edification or a series in a Bible study or sermons.
This article is the conclusion to the series on postmodernism and the Bible. A good summary of the entire series.
The words “the truth” will shock postmodernists and deconstructionists. Good. But it asks: How do we study and interpret the Bible? How do we find truth which really is out there, around us? This post is a simple reply to claims of unsolvable ambiguities in the Bible.
It is now time to counter the extreme views spelled out in Part Five. Who was Jesus, really?
Deconstruction overturns privileged hierarchy and meaning. Defenders promise us that they do not practice Anything Goes in their deconstruction of texts. Do they keep their promise? How do we verify it? Click on this link only if you have courage.
Do you want to know what deconstruction really is? Read about it from its practitioners.
Postmodernism has produced all sorts of confusing interpretations of Scripture. For the postmodernist, Scripture has turned into a pot of stew.
Does postmodernism spring out of the head of Zeus unconceived or misconceived? Or does it carry a heavy debt on its back to earlier movements and trends?
So begins an eight-past series. In the late 1980s or early 1990s, a pastor reported this conversation (as I recall it) between him and a woman from his large congregation. She apparently wanted him to approve of something.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
An old-fashioned Bible study here. There is a lot of confusion in certain quarters of the global Renewal Movement. How can we clear up the confusion? What did Paul really teach in 1 Corinthians 14? Are we willing to obey his teaching or just run roughshod over it?
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?
That’s a shock. Aren’t we supposed to obey the Ten Commandments? Well … only if you don’t do something else first.
“Four blood moons!” said popular books. If we interpret the following passages literally, then the cosmos (earth, sky, heavens, stars, worlds, seas, planets, sun, moon, and so on) would not exist as we observe it today. Instead, let’s use wisdom to interpret the Bible in its context.
He seems to be a mysterious figure. Some say he was a Christophany (manifestation) of the preincarnate Christ. But who was he according to the entire Scriptures that mention him? An old-fashioned Bible study here.
How do biblical covenants bear on that extremely important question today? Does the New Covenant cancel the Abrahamic covenants? What does the remnant mean in the Bible?
Paul begins and ends each letter with grace. Great for your personal edification or a series in a Bible study or sermons.
What are those alternatives? Only one man, inspired by the Spirit, turned the problem and solution on its head.
One approach says, “Just do it!” The other one says, “It’s already been done.”
Hint to its meaning: Think about it and take it on credit.
Several years ago, my city installed cameras at various intersections, and I got caught three times. I “miraculously” became an awesome driver!
The New Testament issues all sorts of commands and imperatives that many of us can’t live up to. What then?
What does “being justified” mean? Acquittal in law court, put right in a covenant, or both, or what?
This study looks at the Old Testament passages that Paul quotes in his writings, and the post places the references in categories.
The “Grace Revolution” must adequately deal with this topic, for a change.
How does Paul use of the Old Testament in this most important epistle? Does he put people under the Old Covenant, by referring to its Scriptures? If not, then why borrow from them in the first place?
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?
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.
It is important to distinguish law from the gospel. If we don’t, we’ll get confused about how to walk the walk.
A brief history of a controversy over the Bible in America, since the 1970s. I offer my view of Scripture, at the end.
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.
Christ fulfilled or paid off your debt to the Law. It’s paid in full. He accomplishes this by fulfilling the holiness demand in the law and the fullest revelation of God’s character.
When the Old and New Testaments are interpreted carefully and rightly, using Scripture to interpret Scripture, this truth will emerge: Jesus Christ fulfills the old law, in many, many areas.
God accommodated humanity when he inspired ancient authors to write infallible Scripture to ancient people. Now we follow him by accommodating ancient Scripture when it seems to make scientific claims about the world of nature.
Augustine lived from 354 to 430. He was easily one of the most profound thinkers who ever lived. His words are relevant today.
Here is a list of the principal works referenced or used at this site. More will be added as time goes on, so please check back.