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Artisanal Bible Study

So what is artisanal Bible Study? It’s something I read somewhere. Can’t remember where – but it got my attention. Sounded interesting.

And that’s what things in this category are about. It’s not “traditional” study, where we go through the grammar and other scholastic stuff like that.

Instead, it’s about the culture of the time – because we’re just not living in anything like what the world was like in Biblical times. We can’t really relate to what the Bible says unless we can walk in the shoes – or sandals – or bare feet – of the people we’re reading about.

And it’s about Hebrew and Greek word meanings. Their language was so much richer than ours today. We try to cram in the single best word scholars can come up with. The scholars and translators have to do that, otherwise the Bible will be way too long. No one would read it.
And yet, by making those choices, we lose so much of what transpired. We lose nuances. We lose idioms. We get such a watered down version that we don’t really understand the impact of what was said.
In one case, we read of Paul calling his pre-conversion life as anything from a waste of time to rubbish. But what he actually said was about something we’d sit on the toilet for today. Since we’re comparing his pre and post conversion life and beliefs – that’s a difference we should know about!

So that gives you the flavor of what’s going on here. Verses and passages that we probably know. But in a whole new light. A light that will, I pray, give us a better understanding of why Christianity, as we call it today, was so exciting to the early church! They risked their lives for “The way” as it was know then. But today we have a hard time even getting to church on Sundays. Obviously, something’s different. It’s not God. It’s us. And we’ve got to get “it” back!

What else does God want from us?

What else does God want from us?

What else does God want from us? Since it says what else, obviously this isn’t the only thing God wants from us. Further, since this is part two, this is, possibly, the second thing God wants from us. Something that comes after we love God. Any ideas about what it is?

What does God want from us?

What does God want from us?

What does God want from us? When we pray, we often ask God for all sorts of things.  And we’re often disappointed if we don’t get everything we wanted – NOW!  Have you ever thought about it the other way around? What do you think He wants from us?  And do you think maybe He’s disappointed when we fail to give Him what He wants?

The “knowledge of evil” versus “actual evil”

The "knowledge of evil" versus "actual evil"

What’s the difference between knowledge of evil versus actual evil? Well, in But I was certain that evil existed, we saw that both good and evil have always been present in our part of God’s creation. But if both have always existed, then how come God said, after He created everything, “it was very good”? Did God just say that evil was good?

But I was certain that evil existed

But I was certain that evil existed.

Evil Exists: “Only minutes ago I doubted anything that might be called supernatural; now I knew that I had been naive. I knew neither the extent of it nor the means by which to deal with it, but I was certain that evil existed. I had come face-to-face with it and survived long enough to know at least that much.” from “Immanuel’s Veins” by Ted Dekker

Who is the wise one in Jesus’ parable about building?

Who is the wise one in Jesus' parable about building?

Who is the wise one in Jesus’ parable about building? In the parable of the wise and foolish builders, Jesus compared, obviously, a wise builder and a foolish one. Of course, we want to emulate the wise builder. So let’s take a look at him. What is it that made him “wise”? Was it conventional wisdom of the time? Or was it something else?

Parables told by Jesus

parables of Jesus

The parables told by Jesus are in the New Testament. However there’s no such thing as a complete list that all denominations agree on. So, we’ll use this list:

What religion was Abraham?

what religion was abraham

What religion was Abraham? After all, he is claimed as the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Two of those religions took one path to get from Abraham to their religions that exist today. However, the other one took a different path to get from the man who used to be Abraham to that religion today. Notice, I worded that very carefully. Let’s find out why. And learn what those two paths are.

Jesus healed a leper. Why was more required?

Jesus healed a leper -Jesus healed a leper. Why was more required?

Jesus healed a leper. Why was more required? Do you remember? But if he was healed, why did Jesus tell him to go see a priest? The event is recorded in three of the Gospels. And they all tell it pretty much the same way. All three leave us with questions. Why did the healed man have to go see a Jewish priest? Why was that necessary? And to make it even more odd, Jesus told the man not to tell anyone how he was healed! What’s going on?

Is the Holy Spirit the Spirit of the Father or the Spirit of the Son

Is the Holy Spirit the Spirit of the Father or the Spirit of the Son

Who is the Holy Spirit? Is He the Spirit of the Father? Or maybe the Spirit of the Son? Does it matter? And is it “who” or “what”? So many questions! And it’s tempting to just ignore them. Or assume they don’t really matter. Just call it/him the Spirit of God and be done with it. And yet, the Holy Spirit is one of the three “persons” of God. And so, it is important to know what we can about Him.