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Showing posts from October, 2017

If you wanted to write a Gospel, where would you start?

We're on our second visit to the Gospels this week, and we're still nowhere near Christmas, so I guess that's good. Instead, after looking at where and when the Gospel story takes place, we're going to look at where and how the different versions of the story begin. Enjoy!

(2) Who Do We Say That He Is? If you look at more than one “chronology” of the New Testament, you’ll probably find different verse references, changes in the order of events, some events combined while others are split… etc. Yet the Gospels all tell one story. 1.Can you think of any reason why it might be hard to combine them into a single account? 2.Can you think of any advantage we gain from having several accounts? 3.Does the fact that the accounts aren’t the same make them more or less believable? 4.Do you wish there were more than one account of other events too—creation for example? (Look at Genesis 1:1-4 vs Genesis 2:4-7. Do you think maybe there is more than one account of creation?) And, thinki…

If you wanted to understand the gospels, where might you start?

We've shortened our Bible study meetings, so I'm trying to shorten the lessons. This is the second half of the original first lesson. It looks at what we know about the places and people of the gospel, and why we know these things.

(1) Where do the Gospels take Place? Caesarea was an important harbor for international trade and a Roman fortress (for protection of Roman borders on the outskirts of the empire). Excavations have uncovered a stone inscribed with Pontius Pilate’s name.
1.What Biblical events happen at Caesarea? A fishing boat dating from Jesus’ time was uncovered by the sea of Galilee during a drought. Digs beneath the 4th century synagogue in Capernaum have probably revealed the foundations of Peter’s house where Jesus stayed.
2.What happened at Peter’s house and in the Capernaum synagogue?
Steps have been uncovered at the Southern end of Temple Mount. These were probably how poor people entered the Temple. Jesus may well have sat there to preach. Pools on the Nort…

If you wanted to read the Gospels, where would you start?

Our weekly Bible Study group has just started a new study on the gospels. We're going to read them, as far as possible, chronologically. But we'll probably find lots of discrepancies in different chronologies. There again, finding stuff is half the fun, and surprises are what make us stop and think.

To start with, we're thinking about where and when all these events took place:

(0) Introducing A Gospel Chronology Let’s start by making sure we know what the world was like in the time of the Gospels. 1.Which nation dominated the world? Where was its capital in relation to Judea?
2.Which nations had previously dominated Judea?
3.Why had Judea been important to the world?
4.Was it still important?
5.Who ruled Judea?
6.Who ruled Judea’s ruler?
7.Was the local government stable?
8.Was the world government stable?
9.How centralized religion in Judea?
10.How secular was religious rule in Judea?
11.How divided were religious people in Judea?
12.How global was Judean religion?
13.How was Judea a…

Was it the End of Days or the Beginning of a New World Order? Or both?

We're up to the final study in Daniel now, with prophecies that might be apocalyptic - end of days - or might just herald a new world order - the New Testament world. What do you think? Enjoy.

(53) The End of Days and the Start of a New World Order Critics believe Daniel’s vision moves toward end-times prophecy at Daniel 11:35. Many Jews believe the king in verse 36 is the Antichrist. Many Christians agree, viewing this as prophecy of Christ’s return, matching the destruction of the image in chapter 2 and the destruction of the horn in chapter 7 (Daniel 2:44-45, Daniel 7:11-14). 1.Read Daniel 11:36-39 a.Who or what do you imagine as you read this? b.What might be a god of fortresses? c.What is the king’s attitude to God or gods? d.What is his attitude to women (The one desired of women is sometimes translated women’s desires)? 2.Read Daniel 11:40-41. Given where Israel is, how many directions might it be under attack from? 3.Read Daniel 11:41-45 a.Who wins, and how? b.If God was in char…

Were Daniel's Visions Historical?

Daniel's final vision contains a lot of history... and some things that we haven't yet managed to interpret as historical. Here's some of the history. The next study just might move into the future... or not...


(52) Daniel and History Daniel’s 4th vision contains a lot of history… does that mean the vision is no longer relevant? Just to recap: 1.Daniel 7 takes place during Babylon’s decline, presents a statue representing 4 kingdoms – Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greek, then ten-toed Rome (like Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2) 2.Daniel 8, taking place under Medo-Persian rule, represents kingdoms with animals and horns, predicting the quartering of Greece’s empire and offering hope for the days of Antiochus Epiphanes. 3.Daniel’s fourth vision begins toward the end of the exile (though Daniel will remain at the Persian court). Here’s where he learns what’s written in the Book of Truth… Read Daniel 11:1-4. Cyrus II is the ruler at the time of the prophecy. Four future kings are 1.C…