My friends and worship leaders at my church, Fred and Andrea Butson, have put out a new worship album. Listen to the music and watch the video below.
Labels: Sunday Morning Prep
In his post Why I Believe the Canon is Theoretically Open (and Am Fine With It), Michael C. Patton writes about whether or not the Canon of Scripture is open or closed. He believes it is open (theoretically), although he doesn't believe any more will be added to it. One of the reasons I liked the post is because it addressed the misuse of Revelation 22:18-19:
No matter how hard you look, you would be hard pressed to find a place that definitely “closes” the canon. Revelation 22:18-19 is often referred to as evidence:
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.The problem with using this passage is that it is specific to the book of Revelation. Just because the book of Revelation occurs last in our canon does not mean this warning applies to the entire Bible. It is meant to communicate a general statement about those who would be tempted to add to or take away from God’s word in general, and to the book of Revelation specifically. Yet the same warning is given in the books of Deuteronomy and Proverbs:
Deuteronomy 4:2: You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.Does this mean that once Deuteronomy or Proverbs were complete, no one was supposed to add any other books? I don’t know anyone who would make that argument.
Proverbs 30:6: Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
The War Scroll is part of the Dead Sea Scrolls and mostly describes the battle between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness. You can read it here. Most of it consists of mundane details of battle order but there were some interesting parts. I was initially curious to read it because of some commonalities with Ephesians:
The first attack of the Sons of Light shall be undertaken against the forces of the Sons of Darkness, the army of Belial...Also, notice the passage below echoes the Ephesians verses as well:
- War Scroll Col 1:1
For you were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord. Walk as children of light,
- Ephesians 5:8
wherein aforetime ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience;
- Ephesians 2:2
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
- Ephesians 5:6
...You yourself made Belial for the pit, an angel of malevolence, his [dominio]n is in darkne[ss] and his counsel is to condemn and convict. All the spirits of his lot -- the angels of destruction-- walk in accord with the rule of darkness, for it is their only [des]ire...Belial is another name for Satan and his angels are described as angels of destruction. I talk about that in my post on Satan as well. In that post, I also talk about Satan's function of testing. See the passages below regarding testing:
- War Scroll Col 13:10-12
...Throughout all our generations You have made Your mercies wondrous for the rem[nant of the people] during the dominion of Belial. With all the mysteries of his hatred they have not led us astray from Your covenant. His spirits of destruction You have driven [away from us. And when the me]n of his dominion [condemned themselves]...Also, compare the passage below with Eph. 5:11:
- War Scroll Col 14:9-10
When [Belial] prepares himself to assist the Sons of Darkness, and the slain among the infantry begin to fall by God's mysteries and to test by these mysteries all those appointed for battle,
- War Scroll Col 16:11
...For they are a wicked congregation, all their deeds are in darkness;This battle is described as a "Day of Vengeance" like I talk about in my Ephesians post on The Day of Destruction.
- War Scroll Col 15:9
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
- Ephesians 5:11
...All of them shall be volunteers for battle, pure of spirit and flesh, and prepared for the day of vengeance...Ultimately, I don't think Paul was alluding to The War Scroll when he wrote Ephesians but they do seem to share a common vernacular.
- War Scroll Col 7:5
You may not agree with Greg on everything but I thought this was pretty good.
Labels: Greg Boyd
You may have heard that the Valley of Himmon (Gehenna) was a place where garbage was continually burned. Turns out there isn't much evidence for that claim. The Baker Book House Church Connection blog quotes an article in Bibliotheca Sacra
The traditional explanation that a burning rubbish heap in the Valley of Hinnom south of Jerusalem gave rise to the idea of a fiery Gehenna of judgment is attributed to Rabbi David Kimhi’s commentary on Psalm 27:13 (ca. A.D. 1200). He maintained that in this loathsome valley fires were kept burning perpetually to consume the filth and cadavers thrown into it. However, Strack and Billerbeck state that there is neither archeological nor literary evidence in support of this claim, in either the earlier intertestamental or the later rabbinic sources.You can read the rest here.
Labels: Sunday Morning Prep
You may have heard the story of how the high priest wore a rope around his ankle, so that, if God struck him dead in the Holy of Holies, the other priests could drag him back out. But this story doesn't seem to have much evidence to support it. ChristianAnswers.net discusses the matter:
Dr. W.E. Nunnally, a professor of Hebrew and early Judaism, has reported:You can read the rest here.
“The rope on the high priest legend is just that: a legend. It has obscure beginnings in the Middle Ages and keeps getting repeated. It cannot be found anywhere in the Bible, the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, the Pseudepigrapha, the Talmud, Mishna, or any other Jewish source. It just is not there.”