The second edition of The International Bible Commentary, an update

The second edition of The International Bible Commentary, an update

AMREADING. As well as my other readings, I’ve been looking into The New International Bible Commentary. The first edition was released in 1979. This second edition is part of Zondervan’s Understand the Bible Reference Series.

What’s different? The basic text used is changed from the Revised Standard Version to the New International Version (NIV).

What is it? A commentary is a verse by verse or chapter by chapter-by-chapter detailed analysis.

What do I think so far? Continue reading “The second edition of The International Bible Commentary, an update”

A vow of poverty to write

A vow of poverty to write

DEVOTIONAL. Do you give enough? I feel I don’t whenever I read the passage in the gospel of Matthew about the rich young man, as if I am rich, which I am not.

Saint Francis of Assisi took the passage literally and lived a life of poverty. Isn’t the writer’s life the same? A vow of poverty to write. Not that I am in that boat at all…

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Tackling an entrenched doctrine for “serious Bible students” and others

Tackling an entrenched doctrine for “serious Bible students” and others

Once Saved, Always Saved? (David Pawson)

BOOK REVIEW. 168 pages, Published 1996, Publisher Hodder and Stoughton.

This 1996 book explores the “once saved, always saved” doctrine. The general belief of once saved always saved is that when someone believes in Jesus, they can be assured of going to heaven and not hell. They cannot lose their salvation even if they lose their faith. Author of the book David Pawson says many evangelicals accept this view, but within that there is a spectrum of belief.

Pawson explains in the book that once saved always saved has its roots in the patriarchal period but is not what the early church taught. The focus there was more on salvation from sin.

From the early church to the church fathers, through the Middle Ages, and into the church reformation, to the revivals of the 18th century, Pawson has obviously plied careful research skills to provide an historical overview of the topic. As well, there are philosophical points of interest and practical concerns related to the topic, and two appendices. The last appendix is about the disciple Judas, who betrayed Jesus. Pawson makes comments and critique and through it all Pawson builds a clear and convincing case against once saved always saved.

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Alive

Alive

I have been reflecting on the Gospel of John. The read has been enjoyable and compelling. This week, I have been reading the chapter on Lazarus and I learnt why Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead. I now share my findings from the gospel itself.

Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha, who lived in the village of Bethany, two miles from Jerusalem, in the first century. Jesus at the time was staying on the far side of the Jordan and was told that Lazarus was unwell.

Two days later, Jesus said to his disciples that Lazarus was physically dead. Jesus explained to his disciples, who were with him, that he meant that Lazarus was resting–meaning his disembodied spirit was resting in Hades, the waiting place for judgment of the dead (as David Pawson explains in “The Road to Hell”). Lazarus was not in heaven or hell. He was resting, in a waiting place for the spirits of the dead.

Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters and was going to wake Lazarus up, so his spirit would come back to his body. Lazarus would come back to life. Jesus went to Bethany and met up with Mary and Martha. Lazarus had been in a tomb four days and Jesus prayed and Lazarus came out of the tomb, alive.

Why did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead? Love. Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters. They would have been grateful they got their brother back and Jesus delivered on this for them.

I discovered that Jesus’ love in raising Lazarus has a much wider application as well.

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Myths and facts

Myths and facts

I have come across some odd sayings in my day. But more than odd, they were controversial sayings, but delivered palatably, with even with a hint that it should be accepted. Except when I heard it, I may have had the advantage of my knowledge over others in the crowd.

The controversies were told at church, but if one knows their Bible quite literally, as I do, you would think twice about the saying. You would recognize it as controversial and that it did not quite fit the evidence of the Bible. Maybe they were aiming for mass and consumer acceptance, but I sat there dismayed. Waiting for someone to correct. So here it is. The fallacies that appeared from time to time on my journeys. How do I reply…

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Brands

Brands

I was in the middle of watching a advertisement about sagging skin and the product they claimed would get rid of this ‘physical problem’ under the eyes. It seemed it would alleviate the emotional pain that came with having physical unattractiveness as well. That was never said, but isn’t feeling unattractive emotional? Then put the cream on again and again and make sure you get a good night’s sleep for good measure! That does not solve the emotional side of it.

I was hearing the reviews customers gave about the product and how it solved their problem. I always find reviews in advertisements a little if not a lot ingenuine. How can one prove the review is sincere in a format intended to promote a product? I guess some people feel this way about churches.

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Identity

Identity

So, as I was talking about in my previous post, I have been taking notes on the gospel of Mark. From what I gather, if I remember right, the gospel of Mark is about personal identity. Namely, the identity of Jesus.

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What happened to the second person in the godhead when Jesus (the Son of God) came to earth?

What happened to the second person in the godhead when Jesus (the Son of God) came to earth?

I have put on a song called “Endless” that was released in 1994 and is sung by a Christian musician named Eric Champion. The song is about God’s endless love. It got me thinking about the godhead.

As I listened, I may not know a lot about God’s love, but I got to thinking about the godhead, that I believe God is three persons in one, and are bound together by love. But I have a question.

Continue reading “What happened to the second person in the godhead when Jesus (the Son of God) came to earth?”