Showing posts from June, 2024

Christ Formed in You

  My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed [ morpho- to fashion] in you .         Galatians 4:19 We believe the Apostle Paul wrote this his first letter, around 48 AD, to address the churches located in Galatia, established in his first missionary journey. These churches became representative of the transition required to bring old-covenant Jews into a new covenant relationship with God since questions were raised about the role of the Law of Moses within this new relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A council would be held in Jerusalem, led by the Apostle James, to determine this matter for all of Christianity, particularly for Gentiles (see Acts 15). In Verses 19-21, James concludes:   “ Therefore, it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles, but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. For


  Now Naomi had a kinsman [ moda - person closely related to someone and having the right of the kinsman redeemer] of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field and glean [ laqat – taking care of the needy by allowing them to pick or gather from the field] among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So, she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, “May the Lord be with you.” And they said to him, “May the Lord bless you.” Then Boaz said to his servant, who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” The servant in charge of the reapers replied, “She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the

Rabbinic Judaism

Rabbinic Judaism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century, after the codification of the Babylonian Talmud. Rabbinic Judaism has its roots in the Pharisaic school of Second Temple Judaism. It is based on the questionable belief that Moses at Mount Sinai received both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah from God. The Oral Torah, transmitted orally, explains the Written Torah. At first, it was forbidden to write down the Oral Torah, but after the destruction of the Second Temple, it was decided to write it down in the form of the Talmud and other rabbinic texts for preservation. Rabbinic Judaism contrasts with the Sadducees, Karaite Judaism, and Samaritanism, which do not recognize the Oral Torah as a divine authority nor the rabbinic procedures used to interpret Jewish scripture. Although there are now profound differences among Jewish denominations of Rabbinic Judaism concerning the binding force of Jewish religious Law and the willingness to challenge preceding

Living as a Prophet

Abraham Heschel wrote two amazing books entitled “The Prophets I & II.” In them, he examined the biographies and writings of several Old Testament prophets to ascertain a description of their “consciousness” as they reported the thoughts of God, which resulted in Holy Scripture. His introduction states, “ My aim, therefore, is to attain an understanding of the prophet through an analysis and description of his consciousness , to relate what came to pass in his life – facing man, being faced by God – as reflected and affirmed in his mind. By consciousness, in other words, I mean here not only the perception of particular moments of inspiration but also the totality of impressions, thoughts, and feelings which make up the prophet’s being. ” The uniqueness of each Scripture writer’s experience and mindset provides the rich canvas through which God delivers His truth and character to those who gaze on the Scriptures. In 2 Peter 1:20-21, But know this first of all, that no prophecy of

The Divine Pathos

In Matthew 16:15, Jesus asked Peter, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter’s answer was, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." He recognized Jesus as the one prophesied by the Scriptures who would come to deliver His people. At this point, Peter and the other disciples had very little understanding of who He really was and why they should follow Him when threatened with suffering and even death. Jesus became their friend, but He was so much more than that. He was God in the flesh! This begs the question of who Jesus is to us. A person’s perception depends upon his experience, assumptions, categories of thinking, degree of sensitivity, environment, and cultural atmosphere. A person will notice what he is conditioned to see. It also depends on his perception of the vital role that God could play in his life. A closer look at the relationship of the Old Testament prophets to God provides great insight into how their experience of inspiration conditioned th