Let us consider the question pertaining to whether Jesus’s resurrection was a historical event. One of the first tasks of the historian is to gather a pool of sources reporting an event and assess them. Let’s begin with those written later and work ourselves backward in time.
…he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross
Crucifixion was considered worse than decapitation, being killed by wild animals, or being burnt alive.1 It was considered “a terrible calamity”2, it “was a punishment in which the caprice and sadism of the executioners were given full rein;”3 it was the supreme Roman punishment. Continue reading “The Shame of the Cross”
When the Passover lamb can be… a goat?
I never read THAT before – and I know what you said is wrong.
Sometimes you just know what the bible says – except that you don’t. Case in point, someone asked me why you could have a Passover Goat. Of course I knew this was not possible, but they insisted their version said it was ok. I checked. Continue reading “Passover goats”
Taking the time to carefully understand the Biblical culture of the passage at hand
“We can easily forget that Scripture is a foreign land and that reading the Bible is a crosscultural experience. To open the Word of God is to step into a strange world where things are very unlike our own. Most of us don’t speak the languages.We don’t know the geography or the customs or what behaviours are considered rude or polite. And yet we hardly notice… we tend to read Scripture in our own ‘when’ and ‘where’, in a way that makes sense on our terms.” 1
Those who have had the opportunity to travel overseas understand the need to learn about local culture in the places they are going to visit. It could be dangerous not to! You might behave quite differently in Dubai compared to how you would in London or New York. Yet we can be so familiar with the Bible that we forget that opening its pages is an experience of different languages and cultures to our own. Continue reading “Bridging the Gap – Culture and Language”
For sixty years archaeologists and looters have been searching for a twelfth cave. Would another one ever be found? Most didn’t think so. This is what makes the announcement from Hebrew University so astounding: A twelfth cave has been discovered!
Should everyone be a Bible student?
A recent conversation shocked me. I was talking to a believer I had always admired, one who in my limited judgement, not only possesses the gifts of grace and service, but regularly applies them. However they confessed to me they felt a failure as they were not a bible student. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Tim 2:15 was the passage brought forward as evidence of their deficiency and lack of self-worth. Continue reading “The necessity of study”