Showing posts from May, 2017

Lions, Bears, Leopards, Monsters and More: What Did Daniel See?

It's the end of another Coffee Break Bible Study year, which doesn't seem at all possible. But here we are, back at Daniel, looking at his future that's already our past, before we start with everybody's future in September. Enjoy. Shortly before the Medo-Persian conquest (i.e. before Cyrus, and before the last parts of Isaiah and Zechariah were being read to the Jews of the return) Daniel, still at the Babylonian court, received some amazing visions. Remembering that prophecy often has three applications – to the time of the prophet, to a time of trials when comfort comes from God, and to a future event – we’re going to look at how Daniel’s visions applied (and were applied) to future of his people – and to the present day (which doesn’t mean this is the end of days – just that this could be one of many future times of trials). Daniel’s first vision concerns four winds, four beasts, eleven horns, and the Ancient of Days. 1.        Read Daniel 7:1-6 At first thou

Are we living in an insecure, unfaithful, dangerous world?

Our study group follows the school year, so we're stopping soon for summer. Which is kind of weird. We started the previous year with Samuel, hoping to finish all the prophets in a year. Then we broke for summer, starting this year with Daniel and hoping to get back to Daniel's visions of the future by the end of the year. Now we're in sight of the finish line but we know we're not going to reach it. Maybe next week we'll look at Daniel in the light of the "future" from there to John the Baptist (our intended finish-line), and look at the end of the world after summer. But first we'll take some end-of-the-word, and some end-of-tradition glimpses out of Zechariah, following on from the end of Isaiah. (49) Zechariah and the Promise of Salvation An angel interprets each vision in the first half of Zechariah, but the second half is more obscure. The chapters are believed to have been written (or at least edited) at the time when Jerusalem was being

Which Matters More: The Age Of The Prophets or The Age Of A Prophet?

We're coming to the end of Isaiah and Zechariah - coming to the end of the words of the prophets in history - and coming to the end of this year's Bible study.  So... did Isaiah live to an enormous age and continue writing in a rebuilt Jerusalem? Did his followers rewrite or revisit his words? Did a follower write in the voice of Isaiah? Or are the words in the book even more ancient than they appear? Perhaps a better question would be: are details of dates and age of a prophet as important as the message conveyed from that "age of the prophets"? I'm still hoping we'll reach John the Baptist by the summer break, but we'll see. Meanwhile, whenever we believe Isaiah and Zechariah were written, their words were surely read in that rebuilt Jerusalem, where enemy nations warred over coast and highway, and rebuilding/nation-building led to thoughts of an age to come. (48) Isaiah and the Promise of Salvation The latter parts of Isaiah and Zechariah mu