Many of us are frustrated by why no one seems to be able to come up with one perfect English Bible translation. Why are there so many versions? Why can’t we just have one final, best English translation? A major reason is because of one aspect of language that most of us don’t appreciate. When […]
The word “fear” is common in the Old Testament, and to many it sounds like we should cringe in dread of God’s presence. Of course, we also find “fear” in the New Testament too. The Gentiles who believed in God were called God-fearers, and the early church was said to be built up in the […]
The idea that emotions are irrational and unnatural arose from Greco-Roman philosophy and has influenced Western theology for thousands of years, giving rise to the idea that God is “impassible,” emotionless. Many of our problems with God come from this unbiblical idea.
At this time of year, people everywhere are setting up nativity scenes. We’re used to having an odd mixture of characters around the manger — some scruffy shepherds, some glittering angels, a few animals, and of course a brand new little family. To many of us, the characters that are oddest are the magi, or […]
There’s no end, it seems, to how people can interpret the words of Jesus. It’s not hard to pluck out a line here and there and read it in some strange new way. How can we know how they actually sounded to his original audience? I’ve discovered that a great place to look for answers […]
I used to struggle with why we have the stories we do in Genesis – about the sons of Jacob destroying the city of Shechem, or Reuben sleeping with his father’s servant girl. My expectation was that the Bible was a book of simple moral stories to teach me how to live. Actually, the point […]
If you’ve read my article, “Learning from Jesus’ Jewish Prayer Life,” you know the richness of the Jewish pattern of prayer that encourages a person to “bless the Lord” at all times. Below I’ve put a list of some of the many blessings that are traditionally said on all sorts of occasions. (You can also […]
The Jewish prayers of Jesus and Paul were very different than how we do today. Discovering how they “blessed” the Lord can enrich our faith.
A lot of people who learn about their Jewish roots start using a new lingo that makes others shy away. They often respond by withdrawing from others who don’t “get it.” But our great commission is to teach others what you’ve learned yourself.
To modern Christians, many Old Testament laws seem arbitrary. One in particular may strike you as odd — the commandment to wear tassels. In Numbers it says, Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels […]