Monthly Archives: February 2016

  • Read through the Bible, Part 7

    Numbers 6-22; Mark 1-5

    The title of the fourth book of our English Bibles is unfortunate. Numbers comes from the Greek translation of the OT called the Septuagint (sometimes simply referred to by the Roman numerals LXX which, of course, stands for seventy. The number comes from the legend that the OT was translated from Hebrew into Greek by seventy scholars in the span of seventy days. But that’s a different story for a different time). The Hebrew Bible usually draws its titles for books from the first couple of words of the book itself. Rather than the title Numbers, which latches onto a minor theme of the book, the Hebrew title is in the wilderness. This helps capture the context as well as the theological and practical import of the book. At the heart of this book is God’s people … Read More »

  • Read through the Bible, Part 6

    Leviticus 18 – Numbers 5; Matthew 25:31-28

    There is nothing new under the sun. Fanatics in every generation have read their current situation and circumstances in the text of Matthew 24-25. While it took the printing press to allow Bible readers to read the Bible with one hand and the paper with the other, the practice, in principal, is nothing new. Perhaps the only thing really new is that the fanatics of our day are widely embraced by many in the church. Until recently, those who approached texts of Scripture in this way were marginalized, at best, and in some cases, demonized.

    You will remember that Matthew is framed around five major discourses (chps. 5-7; 10; 13; 18; 23-25). Chapters 23-25 are the fifth and we refer to it as the Olivet discourse because of the geographical location from which it … Read More »

  • Read through the Bible, Part 5

    Leviticus 4-17; Matthew 22:25 – 30

    In our Old Testament reading we are in the throes of Leviticus. Leviticus is a bloody book. Instructions about God’s house had been given toward the end of Exodus. What was to take place in that house—worship—was instructed more specially in Leviticus. On many of us, the bloodiness of Leviticus is lost. Many of us go to the store and grab our nice, clean meat all packed up for us and that is the extent of

    Leviticus is an invitation to live, to be made whole and right; to live because someone or thing has died instead of us.

    our interaction with our food source. That’s fine. Not everyone is called to be a rancher or farmer or butcher or hunter. But to have some familiarity with the process doesn’t hurt either.  As I read the … Read More »