Gospel Doctrine Lesson 45: Daniel 1,3,6 AND Esther 3-5, 7-8.

Four in the Furnace, by Ted Larson

Today we are (sigh) covering Daniel AND Esther, although next week is devoted solely to Daniel 2. What's interesting is how the comparison between Daniel and Esther actually serves the manual's purpose, which is to "help class members have the courage to live according to gospel standards." How so? Daniel doesn’t hide his Jewishness, even being a bit extravagant, while Esther is apparently able to pass, to fly under the radar as a non-Jew. Significant, perhaps, that "noticeably absent [in Es … [Read more...]

Recommended NT Resources Part 3

(Cross-posted at Times&Seasons.) First, Amazon is offering 30% off any book you buy for the next two days. Great time to pick up that hardcover Jewish Study Bible,  Jewish Annotated New Testament, NRSV, or similar "expensive" hardcover you can't get otherwise. Amazon link.Short list.This was really hard to put together, much more than my OT list.  … [Read more...]

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...]