As you may have noticed, it has been quite awhile since my last post.
I'm taking a break from working on this website.
While my Bible study is important to me, I am also busy working on my (double) bachelor's and two other websites!
I will be back someday...probably later this year, but at the latest in 2014. I'll finish school in Dec. 2013, so will have some time next year (hopefully!).
Anyway, enjoy what content is here.
1 Then the Lord said to Noah: "Go into the ark, you and all your household, for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just.
2 Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs, a male and its mate; and of the unclean animals, one pair, a male and its mate;
3 likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs, a male and a female, and of all the unclean birds, one pair, a male and a female. Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth.
4 Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth every moving creature that I have made."
5 Noah did just as the Lord had commanded him.
6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood waters came upon the earth.
7 Together with his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives, Noah went into the ark because of the waters of the flood.
8 Of the clean animals and the unclean, of the birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground,
9 [two by two] male and female entered the ark with Noah, just as the Lord had commanded him.
10 As soon as the seven days were over, the waters of the flood came upon the earth.
11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month: it was on that day that
'All the fountains of the great abyss burst forth,
and the floodgates of the sky were opened.'
12 For forty days and forty nights heavy rain poured down on the earth.
13 On the precise day named, Noah and his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of Noah's sons had entered the ark,
14 together with every kind of wild beast, every kind of domestic animal, every kind of creeping thing of the earth, and every kind of bird.
15 Pairs of all creatures in which there was the breath of life entered the ark with Noah.
16 Those that entered were male and female, and of all species they came, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in.
17 The flood continued upon the earth for forty days. As the waters increased, they lifted the ark, so that it rose above the earth.
18 The swelling waters increased greatly, but the ark floated on the surface of the waters.
19 Higher and higher above the earth rose the waters, until all the highest mountains everywhere were submerged,
20 the crest rising fifteen cubits higher than the submerged mountains.
21 All creatures that stirred on earth perished: birds, cattle, wild animals, and all that swarmed on the earth, as well as all mankind.
22 Everything on dry land with the faintest breath of life in its nostrils died out.
23 The Lord wiped out every living thing on earth: man and cattle, the creeping things and the birds of the air; all were wiped out from the earth. Only Noah and those with him in the ark were left.
While there is more than one Enoch (as well as an Enosh) referenced in the Bible, I am referring to the Enoch spoken of in Genesis 5:18-24.
18 When Jared was one hundred and sixty-two years old, he became the father of Enoch.
19 Jared lived eight hundred years after the birth of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters.
20 The whole lifetime of Jared was nine hundred and sixty-two years; then he died.
21 When Enoch was sixty-five years old, he became the father of Methuselah.
22 Enoch lived three hundred years after the birth of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters.
23 The whole lifetime of Enoch was three hundred and sixty-five years.
24 Then Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him.
Why is Enoch of interest? Because of the simple phrase "Then Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him." In this phrase, he is one of only two people (the other being Elijah) in the Bible who do not die...instead they go directly to/with God. This mysterious phrase gave rise to much extrabiblical literature focused on his "heavenly secrets," commonly referred to as the book(s) of Enoch (Brown, Fitzmyer, & Murphy, 1990, p.14). These are considered part of the apocalyptic literature written after the exile. More recently, those who have adopted the (extremely) recent idea of the rapture believe that all the faithful will be taken up like Enoch was before for the "Tribulation."
The word 'with' implies familiarity with God, not just a distant or awe-filled relationship. Perhaps the lesson to take from Enoch's life, even if only granted a mysterious single sentence in the Bible, is that he 'walked' with God, implying a long, steady, continuous journey with God (MacDonald, 1995, p.38).
Brown, R.E., Fitzmyer, J.A., and Murphy, R.E. (1990). Genesis. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Catholic Book Publishing, “St. Joseph Edition, New American Bible.” New York, NY: Catholic Book Publishing.
MacDonald, W. (1995). Genesis. Believer's Bible Commentary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc.
Sumer was part of the Fertile Crescent. It was a region in Mesopotamia south of modern Baghdad. To those of Biblical times, it was a classical civilization of knowledge viewed much as how we view Greek and Roman civilizations today. It's time period of activity includes the mid-fourth century B.C. (perhaps earlier) to 1750 B.C.
Of note, "the Sumerians created the world's earliest writing system, cuneiform...They invented the whell, the potter's wheel,...and compiled collections of laws. In architecture they developed the arch, dome, and vault" (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 2005, p.10). As you can see from these amazing accomplishment (and how early they were), their effect on civilization both in Biblical times and even today cannot be underestimated.
Note: I have not included a map due to copyright reasons, etc. Plus, it's so easy to do a search of your own.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. (2005). New International Version: Archaeological Study Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Corporation.
Were the “Sons of God” angels who married human women?
There are a few different interpretations and beliefs about exactly who the 'sons of God' (or 'sons of heaven,' depending upon Bible translation) were.
1) The first theory is that these ‘sons of God’ were angels. This seems to be the most popular theory, mentioned first in three different books! “The ‘evil angel’ interpretation of Genesis 6 may give us a clue as to why some angels are presently bound in prison and others are not (2 Peter 2:4)” (Rhodes, 2008, p.23).
2) Both the Believer’s Bible Commentary and The Big Book of Bible Difficulties put forth the theory that the “sons of God” refer to the godly line of Seth intermingling with the godless line of Cain” (MacDonald, 1995, p.40).
3) This third explanation, to be blunt, I don’t understand at all. So I’m simply going to quote directly, and let you draw your own conclusions. “Other scholars believe that ‘sons of God’ refers to great men of old, men of renown. They point to the fact that the text refers to ‘giants’ and ‘mighty men’ (v. 4). This also avoids the problems of angels (spirits) cohabiting with humans” (Geisler & Howe, 1992, p.40).
Geisler, N. & Howe, T. (1992). Genesis 6:2. “The Big Book of Bible Difficulties.” Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books.
MacDonald, W. (1995). Genesis 6. Believer's Bible Commentary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc.
Rhodes, R. (2008). Genesis 6:2. “Commonly Misunderstood Bible Verses.” Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers.
Threatened but Trusting
1 A psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom.
2 How many are my foes, Lord! How many rise against me!
3 How many say of me, "God will not save that one."
4 But you, Lord, are a shield around me; my glory, you keep my head high.
5 Whenever I cried out to the Lord, I was answered from the holy mountain.
6 Whenever I lay down and slept, the Lord preserved me to rise again.
7 I do not fear, then, thousands of people arrayed against me on every side.
8 Arise, Lord! Save me, my God! You will shatter the jaws of all my foes; you will break the teeth of the wicked.
9 Safety comes from the Lord! Your blessing for your people!
6:5-8: The St. Joseph edition has this to say about the flood: “The story of the great flood here recorded is a composite narrative based on two separate sources interwoven into an intricate patchwork…Both Biblical sources go back ultimately to an ancient Mesopotamian story of a great flood, preserved in the eleventh tablet of the Gilgamesh Epic.” (The first sentence referring to sources is going off of the Documentary Hypothesis, a widespread theory that is losing favor slowly among some scholars.)
Cultures from around the world have flood narratives in their ancient histories, with multiple similarities. Pursuing a study of the various narratives is an interesting task but beyond the scope of this website. For those interested, I would start with the Mesopotamian, Akkadian, Sumerian, and Egyptian versions, and then work from there.
Whew! I have to admit that constantly doing in-depth Bible study is hard work. And while I will continue to do it (after all, I love it!) I am going to incorporate a lighter side to this blog. So, look for more frequent posts and a bit of lighter content.
A Sunday school teacher was telling her? class the story of the Good Samaritan. She asked the class, "If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?"
A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, "I think I'd throw up.."
As there were multiple cultures, countries, and cities in the early days, it also follows that there were multiple creation myths. While fascinating, it is also important to have an overview of these various stories. They were stories that the Hebrews would have been familiar with. People that lived around them would have subscribed to these stories just as much as the Hebrews subscribed to their beliefs. While a complete description of all creation myths could fill a book, I’m going to try to give a brief overview of some of the major beliefs that the Hebrews might have come in contact with. In today’s post, we’ll cover the basic Hebrew creation concept. Future posts will cover Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Greek, and Roman beliefs.
From St. Joseph: “God’s heavenly seat rests above the superior waters. Below these waters lies the firmament or sky which resembles an overturned bowl and is supported by columns. Through the openings (floodgates) in its vault the superior waters fall down upon the earth in the form of rain or snow. The earth is a platform resting on columns and surrounded by waters, the seas. Underneath the columns lie the inferior waters. In the depths of the earth is Sheol, the home of the dead (also called the nether world).
While studying the Hebrew conception of the world, we have not only do have the Biblical example of creation to read, but graphics developed by scholars. Genesis: Chapter 1 has a description of the formation of the world, giving an outstanding view of how the Hebrews would have viewed the world. I suggest reading various Bibles to see how the word descriptions vary (not to argue about various points, but to appreciate the adjectives, and expand ones’ view).
From the “Archaeological Study Bible, p. 5, ‘Ancient Creation Narratives’” (which I recommend to everyone to buy! This is an indispensable resource!) “The Genesis account implicitly challenges the claims of these ancient creation myths by affirming God’s unity and sovereignty, by portraying the heavenly bodies and great sea creatures as his creations and by presenting humans as God’s stewards—and indeed image bearers—rather than as an after-thought born of divine need or laziness.”
Catholic Book Publishing, “St. Joseph Edition, New American Bible.” New York, NY: Catholic Book Publishing.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, “New International Version: Archaeological Study Bible.” Zondervan Corporation: Grand Rapids, MI, 2005.
About a year ago, I published a devotional in a book called “Faith and Finances.” The book focused on what God teaches us about money- the basic being that money itself is not evil. However, Christians must learn to balance between squandering our money and hoarding our money. An added benefit of saving money is that one can give more, a valuable and good thing, provided we verify that our charity is going to beneficial causes.
So, how does one save money? One way is to spend the time to make use of the many resources online. Online resources include printable coupons, shopping for “points” or “cash back” which you can trade in. (Literally, I’ve gotten back over $250 from collected points!)
Another way to save money is to use physical coupons. Yes, I still get the Sunday paper…and I get it just for the coupons. Also, many stores are starting to put a ‘coupon basket’ by the front door in which customers drop off coupons they don’t want and search through looking for coupons they do want.
But one of my favorite ways to save money is to use coupon codes when I shop online. Did you know that when you buy from a store, a good portion of them have coupon codes? Coupon codes for a certain percentage off, free shipping, or other deals (such as 2 for $20 video games). Almost all of the major retailers have coupon codes online: Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, etc.
So, where to find these online coupon codes?
Frugal Dad is one of my favorites. First, it is reputable. It has been featured in ‘The New York Times,’ ‘The New Yorker,’ and ‘Kiplinger’ among many others. (I personally verified ‘The NY Times’ feature, making me certain I can trust the others.) Speaking of the site being reputable, it has archives going back to 2007! Trust me, the longer a site has been around, the better it is in general. It shows the site owner is dedicated to what they are doing and are very familiar- probably an expert- with the topic they are writing about.
It has coupon codes for a large variety of stores, including coupon codes from Walmart
. Just a few of the other stores he features coupon codes for is Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Macy’s (among many, many others). My advice: if you’re looking for coupon codes, check out Frugal Dad, located at: http://frugaldad.com/