Reflecting Back, Looking Forward- The Blog after One Year

The year is nearly over. As I look back, the struggle to write these out in a clear way on a weekly basis has been a challenge at times, but one that I think has been mutually beneficial. Writing is a great exercise. Sometimes it's been hard to boil down or select from all the material I have, other times (coughIsaiahcoughcough), it's been hard to generate enough new and useful material for posts. My goal has been to spread enthusiasm, knowledge of resources, understanding of the Old Testament, … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 44: Ezekiel 43, 44, 47

Ezekiel's temple

Just as the Book of Ezekiel opened with a cryptic vision (1:1 "the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God..., wheel within wheel") so too does it close with one. The final eight chapters, 40-48, constitute one long vision of a different sort than the first. Ezekiel is now fifty (the prescribed year of retirement for priests, according to Lev 4:3), and has spent half his life in Babylon, among a foreign language, culture, and religion. As a former priest, he is very familiar with temple … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 43: Ezekiel 18, 34, 37.

Parental Advisotry

Up until this point, prophets have largely been northern or southern. Ezekiel is the first of the classical prophets to be prophesying in Babylon. Ezekiel is a priest, or was, before he was forcibly removed to Babylon at age 25, in c. 597/6 BCE.  After being in Babylon five years, Ezekiel receives his calling as a prophet to preach to the exiles, and the temple is destroyed roughly five years later (587/6 BCE). Ezekiel records it in chapter 24. In the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the t … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 42: Jeremiah 16, 23, 29, 31

We continue our scattered reading of Jeremiah. I'll be sequential this time. … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 41: Jeremiah 1-2; 15; 20;26; 36-38

What's left of Shiloh, on the ground

Jeremiah! The man, the book, the bullfrog...We know more about Jeremiah than any other Old Testament prophet, because for reasons unknown, much more biographical information is included. First, though, the setting. We are now in Jerusalem, c. 625 BCE. Josiah the reformer has been on the throne for 15 years. Israel is technically an Assyrian vassal, but under the direct administrative control of Egypt. Lehi is either at his Jerusalem residence or north of Jerusalem at his ancestral home. We … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 40- Isaiah 54-56, 63-65

Today we come to the last of our Isaiah lessons. These chapters cover a variety of topics, and I'm going to jump between a few of them. … [Read more...]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 39: Isaiah 50-53

Gustav Doré's Destruction of Leviathan

One theme throughout these chapters is the redemption and recovery of Israel, specifically from Babylonian exile and previous scattering by the Assyrians. The lesson manual focuses on the messianic foreshadowing of Jesus as redeeming figure. Scholars refer to these as the "Suffering Servant" passages, and the text is well-known to many people through Handel's Messiah. I want to focus on a few different passages, though, which invoke certain attributes of God's power as they relate to creation, … [Read more...]

Recommended NT Resources, Part 2: General and Reference


 (Cross-posted at Times&Seasons) Many of these can be purchased in paper, kindle, or from Logos or Accordance. (I'm a big Logos user.) As with all my recommendations, take them with a grain of salt. I neither fully endorse nor vouch for everything said in these, but you will certainly learn and grow by reading them.Samples are often available from Amazon or Google books, and in some cases I've linked to others here or in the past.If you missed it, part 1 is here. … [Read more...]