New Testament 142

Jesus, with disciples

  Mark 6:6-13Luke 9:1-6Compare Matthew 9:35; 10:1, 7-11, 14 This is a fundamental scripture for Latter-day Saints, and represents, really, the beginning of the Christian Church in the Old World. Still today, the apostleship is fundamental to the organization and authority of the Church.  Not merely in the historical sense common to Christian churches generally, but as a living reality. The number twelve is probably connected … [Read more...]

“Why women aren’t having children”

Trees without leaves

  http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/04/why-women-arent-having-children/390765/ I'm not sure that this essay actually overcomes Pope Francis's declaration -- to which. along with the book from which it draws, it's responding -- that a fertile couple's conscious decision not to have children is "selfish." In fact, at one or two places, it comes close to confirming his point. And it might even give support to the … [Read more...]

New Testament 141

Bloch, "Christ Healing the Sick"

  John 5:2-47 Just a quick comment on this wonderful story: We often quote John 5:39 as an imperative, exhorting us to study the scriptures:  "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." That's a good use of the passage.  But it's probably built upon a misunderstanding. The verb likely isn't an imperative, and the passage is aimed at zealous Jews who already did … [Read more...]

“Religion poisons everything!” (8)

Grand entrance to Presbyterian Hospital in NYC

  My parents spent all too many days, especially during their last months, in Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, of Whittier, California.  Both eventually died there. My granddaughter spent the whole of her brief mortal life in Florida Hospital Orlando, part of the health system of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, where the nursing staff and even some of the doctors were phenomenally kind and caring, unafraid to say that they were praying for her and for u … [Read more...]

“Who will stand?”

A building at Princeton

  He'll be denounced, mocked, ridiculed, and derided for this: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/04/who-will-stand Of course he will. But that virtually inevitable reaction is actually part of what he's talking about. And I don't fear for him:  Robbie George is very nearly as bright and certainly almost as courageous as the anonymous online mob that will shortly bare their fangs against hi … [Read more...]

The trouble with reality

Aerial view of suburban housing development

  I ran across this the other day: "The trouble with reality is that there's no background music."   … [Read more...]

New Testament 140

J'lem from Scopus

  John 5:1 is so short that I'll just give you the full text here, in both English and Greek: "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." Μετὰ ταῦτα ἦν ἑορτὴ τῶν Ἰουδαίων, καὶ ἀνέβη Ἰησοῦς εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα. I want to concentrate, simply, on the idea of "going up" to Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem is situated on a relatively high mountain ridge, with the Mediterranean coast to the west and the … [Read more...]

“You deserve Hillary’s bloodless, condescending campaign”

Westminster Coronation Chair

  Or, as the subtitle says, "We had it coming." http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/16/you-deserve-hillary-s-bloodless-condescending-campaign.html   … [Read more...]


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