The Conceptions of Jesus and John the Baptist – Luke 1

The Book of Luke s addressed to “Theophilus,” who most scholars believe was a Gentile; and he certainly has a Greek name. Not much is known about him, but from Luke’s way of addressing him here and in the Book of Acts, he seems to be someone of nobility or in some higher office.

English: Nativity of John Baptist, 15 c, Hermi...

English: Nativity of John Baptist, 15 c, Hermitage/ Рождество Иоанна Предтечи (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verses 5-24 deal with the foretelling and conception of John the baptist. It is the only one of the gospels that gives us that information. Verses 26-38 document the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary, telling her of the coming birth of her son, Jesus.

Mary is also told by Gabriel of the conception of her cousin Elizabeth’s son (John the baptist). In verses 39-45, Mary visits Elizabeth, and when she comes close with her baby in the womb, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb is said to “leap with joy.” Such a detail is not told to us frivolously, and the implication is undeniable for Christians. The baby in the womb is a person — not just tissue.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Col. 1, Col. 2, Col. 3, Col. 4, Luke 1

 

___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The Resurrection- Mark 16

Mark 16 “marks” the end of his gospel with the most important event in the history of the world — the resurrection. The events described in the four gospels seem to differ in some details on the account (Mark’s is the shortest, of course). This writer’s attempt at harmonizing those accounts, which (I believe) demonstrates that they complement rather than contradict each other, can be read in this previous post.

resurrection01Some early manuscripts do not include verses 9 and following of this chapter (a favorite fact of those skeptics, who try to discredit the Bible). But there are very good arguments that make the case that they are part of the inspired word. And it should also be remembered by Christians faced with accusations of a Bible that is inconsistent that out of the thousands of verses in the 66 books, only a miniscule number are disputed. And none of those contain in any doctrinal significance. And these verses from verse nine to the end contain events that are found in other gospels.

The important thing for us is that the tomb was found to be empty, though it had been under guard. And our Lord showed Himself to about 500 witnesses, including the apostles. He conquered death then, and has promised to do so for us.

 

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click here to read or listen to audio of this week’s chapters in Mark and Galatians

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Who Was the Naked Runner? – Mark 14-15

Mark 14 is the longest in his gospel and one of the longest in the New Testament at 72 verses. It truly demonstrate the fast pace of Mark’s writing we spoke of earlier, as there is a lot of history in the chapter. It covers Jesus’ anointing at Bethany, the institution of the Lord’s supper, prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, Judas’ betrayal, and Peter’s denial. This makes a detailed study of the chapter in this blog practically impossible. But there is so much to be learned from such a study, considering all of those events. Most of them have been covered in previous posts here.

Sunrise over the Mount of Olives. The Garden of Gethsemane is to the left of the large building on the right.

Sunrise over the Mount of Olives. The Garden of Gethsemane is to the left of the large building on the right.

That being the case, I want to focus on two verses that are almost always overlooked because of all of the other important details. When you read (or listen to) the chapter, pay attention to verses 51 and 52, which seem to be out of step with the entire chapter. The context is the arrest of Jesus, during which His followers ended up fleeing:

And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

Why is this seemingly insignificant and strange account included in such a succinct gospel account? Does it have any meaning for us? There are some scholars who believe that the young man spoken of here is John Mark himself, and that the passage serves as a sort of signature for the author — somewhat like John’s reference to “the disciple that Jesus loved” in his gospel. That has a ring of truth, and well may be the case.

But it does serve to illustrate that Jesus’ captors did seek to arrest those who followed Him, and would certainly have loved to get their hands on the apostles. But this insignificant man was the only one they got their hands on — and he got away. The Lord had indeed guarded His disciples from harm in this ordeal. It was His will that they would not be harmed. Just one in a long line of examples that God’s will always gets done.

Chapter 15 is only 47 verses, but once again, it is filled with many important events. Jesus appears before the Sanhedrin, who send Him to Pilate, who has Him scourged (trying in vain to get the crowd to have him release Jesus instead of Barabbas). He is mocked and beaten and spat upon, and then led to be crucified. At His death, he utters the famous words taken from Psalm 22 — “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

After His death, it was a respected member of the Sanhedrin council itself who went to Pilate  and obtained permission to take the body for burial. It was a truly courageous thing for a man in his position to do; and Mark tells us that he “was also himself looking for the kingdom of God.” As is so often the case, God used one of the most unexpected of people to see His will done. And that is always a reminder to us that everyone who seeks the Lord has the ability to do something meaningful in His kingdom.

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click here to read or listen to audio of this week’s chapters in Mark

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Not One Stone- Mark 12-13

Reading the whole NT this year – less than 5 minuter per day – Mon thru Fri  (This week: Mark 11-16)

Chapter 12 begins with Jesus telling the crowd the parable of the tenants, which is obviously about God sending His Son to the world, only to have the people kill Him.  To solidify that, in verse 11 he quotes Psalm 118:22-23 — which is a clearly Messianic passage. Verse 12 demonstrates that the Pharisees were on the verge of having Him arrested already, especially upon realizing that He was talking about them.

Herod's Temple, Jerusalem model city.

Herod’s Temple, Jerusalem model city.

In verses 19-26, the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, tried to stump him with a question about it. But what is important to us in His answer is his affirmation of the resurrection, as well as the fact that in the end, there will be no real death because death is the last enemy Jesus defeats for us:

…have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.

Verses 41-44 are about the Widow’s offering. It lets us know that even if we are not wealthy, our gifts from the heart are just as valued by the Lord as those from the rich, and often even more so.

In chapter 13, the disciples were pointing out the majesty and beauty of the temple, when Jesus makes an obvious prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem to come in A.D. 70:

Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.

Verses 3 -24 are somewhat difficult, and many have interpreted those verses in different ways. Some of it has apocalyptic language such as in the book of Daniel (the “abomination of desolation” and other poetic language). To some, it seems clear that Jesus is a first talking about the destruction to come in A.D. 70 (and that must be the case). But some also believe that he then shifts in verse 24 to speak of the second coming.

This latter theory is problematic, however. It seems unmistakable that Jesus is giving the people warning of the signs to look for, so that Christians can get away from Jerusalem before the Romans destroy it. This writer believes that the apocalyptic language in verses 24 and following are just that, and that the entire discourse is about the same event. Note how He finishes in verse 30: Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

But then in verse 32 and following, it begins to sound more like He is talking about the second coming. In this case, I think it is logical to consider that He may very well have been referring to both A.D. 70 and the second coming in these verses. Both of them fit very well, and His audience would not likely have understood at that time that the A.D 70 event would take place.

 

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click here to read or listen to audio of this week’s chapters in Mark

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

The Kingdom of God- Mark 9-10

Mark chapter 9 begins with a stark reminder that the chapter divisions of the Bible, unlike the scriptures themselves, are not divinely inspired. In point of fact, like many other chapter beginnings, verse one clearly should have been the end of chapter 8. But the fact that it was made the first verse of this chapter instead has resulted in a plethora of misunderstandings and theories. Here is what the verse says:

And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”

rich ruler

The rich fool in Jesus’ parable was not only rich and a fool, but very greedy and covetous. He wanted to keep his riches to himself and not share it with others in need

The first five words indicate that Jesus was still talking to the same crowd that He had called to Him with His disciples in Mark 8:34-38. But alas, some scholars have still tried to link the meaning of the verse to the Transfiguration that follows in the chapter. Frankly, that explanation of “seeing the kingdom of God come into its power” seems the most ludicrous of all the explanations that scholars have offered. Well, perhaps not. Some have offered that it refers to His second coming. That certainly cannot be the case because He has not yet returned, and none of that crowd still lives today. It is the opinion of this writer that the kingdom of God that He refers to is Jesus’ church.

Jesus goes on to cast out a demon that the disciples could not deal with. Jesus makes it pretty plain in verse 19 that it was a matter of faith on their part. A few verses later, they are arguing about which one of them was the greatest. The lesson Jesus tries to teach them is that serving in His kingdom is not about being the greatest. It is about serving.

In verses 42-50, Jesus talks about cutting one’s hand or foot off, or plucking out one’s own eye if they cause you to sin. This is not a literal command obviously — any more that He is saying that they are literally salt in verses 49-50. The point is that one must make big changes in their life in order to avoid temptations. Sometimes that mean removing one’s self from the company of those who would tempt them, or avoiding places and things that cause temptation.

Chapter 10 begins with the Pharisees trying to trap Him about divorce.  His answer is that God takes the marriage vow very seriously, and just as He says in Matthew 5:32, it is His expectation that they stay married, with adultery being an acceptable exception. But clearly, God would prefer that a man and woman stayed married even then. God can forgive any transgression. So can we.

The rich young man who Jesus spoke to in verses 17-22 was told that what he lacked in order to please God was to sell all he had and give it to the poor. This makes some wonder whether this is what is expected of everyone. Jesus knew this man’s heart, and that heart belonged to his possessions. Many people are rich and serve God well. But this man could not. There are some who probably would be better off if they did not have so much material wealth. No man can serve God and money.

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click here to read or listen to audio of this week’s chapters in Mark

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Jesus Begins His Ministry – Mark 1-2

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pi...

First page of the Gospel of Mark, by Sargis Pitsak, a Medieval Armenian scribe and miniaturist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the synoptic gospels, and was likely written to a Roman audience. Therefore, it does not focus on Jesus’ birth; and there is no need for the genealogy that is found in Matthew and in Luke. Lineage was important in Matthew because it was written to the Jews. And it would be important in Luke because a significant number of the gentiles would have been “God-fearers,” and would thus be familiar with the prophecy of the House of David.

The gospel opens with John the baptist in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism for repentance and forgiveness of sins. This is a new concept for Jews, and for the Bible itself. But it is one that Jesus fully embraces, as John is preparing the way for The Son of God to become the “Lamb of God,” which will enhance the meaning and significance of baptism. John, as the messenger, did not come up with the idea all on his own, we realize. Verses 2-3 state:

Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’

Isaiah is cited as the source because most of the quote does come from the better known prophet (Isaiah 40:3), but part of it also comes from Malachi 3:1.

By verse 12 of the first chapter, John has already baptized our Lord, and He is led by the Spirit out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Mark uses the Greek word “euthys,” a total of 41 times in his gospel. It means “immediately,” or “at once.” But it should be remembered that certain words have different connotations in different ages. The Book of Mark is a short and fast-paced gospel, and the word helps to set the tempo of the book.

This gospel is intended to show the power, authority, and decisiveness of the Lord and His actions. The word for Immediately here usually denotes the introduction of new and significant event — sometimes within the context of another. It is enough to know that when it is used, no other significant events occurred between the two on “each side” of the word for “immediately.”

Jesus begins His ministry then, preaching that the kingdom is at hand, and that people should believe the gospel, or “good news.” The quick pace has him picking up his apostles quickly in chapters one and two; and it is often, I believe, wrongly assumed that he just happened upon Peter, Andrew, James and John (and later, Levi, or Matthew), and that they followed Him at a word without having ever laid eyes on Him. It is more likely that they had spoken with each other on several occasions by then, and that they knew each other quite well.

Jesus preaches from town to town, healing the sick and lame, and even cleanses a leper. By the end of the first chapter, his fame had spread far and wide. In chapter two, Mark begins to establish Jesus’ power and authority in earnest. The crowd around Him at Capernaum was very large at the chapter’s beginning. Some men were carrying a paralyzed man to be healed, so they lowered him through the roof. Jesus then told the man that his sins were forgiven. This was the most important thing He could do for the man.

Christ and The Pharisees

Christ and The Pharisees (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But when that statement brought murmurings of blasphemy from the scribes who were present, he then told the man to stand up, carry his bed, and go home. When the paralyzed man did exactly that, Jesus established that He had the power to both forgive sins and perform a miracle.

Jesus then comes upon Levi and adds him to the number that would be His apostles. The rest of chapter two is then filled with encounters with the Pharisees. First, they complain that Jesus eats with sinners. He counters that with the fact that He came to call sinners. When asked why his disciples did not fast as John’s did, he gives the examples of the new cloth on an old garment, and new wine in old wineskins (as well as the “bridegroom” analogy). The point of these two examples is that He has brought the new gospel, or “good news,” and that the kingdom of God is not just a patch or an extension for the Mosaic law. It is doubtful that the Pharisees he addressed understood what he meant, much less believed it.

In verses 23-28, the disciples’ act of plucking the heads of grain to eat was not work or unlawful by the Law of Moses. It was counter to the rules that the Pharisees had established themselves. When accused, he gave them the example of David and his men eating the bread of the presence in 1 Samuel 21:1-6. Although this act by David was clearly unlawful, Jesus knew that the Pharisees would not say so. Jesus then refers to Himself as “lord even of the Sabbath.” Here is one of several instances that prove wrong those who claim Jesus never claimed to be anything but a mere man.

 

 

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click here to read or listen to audio of this week’s chapters in Mark

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Bob’s Boy’s Plans for 2015

This year, I’m reading the entire New Testament. One chapter per day and five days per week. My blog will still be published on Tuesdays and Fridays, with frequent Sunday editions as always. In addition to commenting on the week’s Bible reading chapters, I will be working on growing in faith and in my relationship to the Lord. I hope that you will join me, and that you may be enriched in your walk with God, as I know I will be.

One of the books I am currently writing is about the subject of apologetics. I don’t know how long that one will take to write, as I am just beginning it. But my 2015 blogs will be sure to have much to say on Christian evidences and such, as a result. I am in the editing stages of publishing my 5th book on the Gospel of Luke. The title has been selected, and I will reveal it in this blog before publication.

Reading the New Testament in one year will certainly enrich your life. The average chapter in the New Testament is 30 verses (7956 verses divided by 260 chapters). I selected a chapter with about 30 verses and clicked the link to listen to a reader who reads it at a leisurely pace. It took 3 minutes and 37 seconds. Less than 4 minutes per day out of your life – five days a week – to enrich your life for years to come.

Join me this year, as we strive to get closer to the Lord and make a real difference in our lives,as we prepare for a home with Him!

 

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click here to read or listen to audio of this week’s chapters in Mark

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Elect Exiles – 1 Peter

Cappadocia was the largest province of Asia Minor, located in what is today eastern Turkey. It became more easily accessible to points south, including Jerusalem, after the Romans constructed roads through the Cilician Gates in the Taurus range. Despite the Roman empire's disdain for Christians, these roads actually helped the Gospel to spread.

Cappadocia was the largest province of Asia Minor, located in what is today eastern Turkey. It became more easily accessible to points south, including Jerusalem, after the Romans constructed roads through the Cilician Gates in the Taurus range. Despite the Roman empire’s disdain for Christians, these roads actually helped the Gospel to spread.

Peter’s first letter begins with him declaring his authorship, and it was accepted as such by the early church fathers. It is addressed to the “elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…” These are all in an area of Asia minor which is now northern Turkey. Because Peter speaks to them as “exiles of the Dispersion,” some have taken that to mean that Peter is addressing Jews that have scattered to these lands.

But it is clear from many passages in the letter that Peter is addressing all Christians – and probably Gentiles in particular – in this letter. One such example is 1 Peter 1:14, where Peter urges them not to “be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,” which is indicative of Gentiles. Obviously, he refers to a more symbolic form of exile and dispersion, as he says they are exiles according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ.” The best explanation is that these Christians, who will dwell in heaven, are in a strange land – this world is not our home. “The foreknowledge of God” refers to the fact that God always knew that the Gentiles would be part of the kingdom, as evidenced in many passages, all the way back to, and including, Genesis 12:3, where God tells Abraham that in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

English: Political map of Asia Minor in 500 BC

English: Political map of Asia Minor in 500 BC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several references in the text indicate that Peter probably wrote this letter before the persecutions by Nero began, putting it about 62-63 A.D. It is also indicated that he wrote it from Rome. The mention of Babylon in 1 Peter 5:13 is believed by most scholars to be a figurative reference to Rome. The order of the churches addressed in that opening section of chapter one is thought by many to be the actual order in which the letter would have been delivered. 1 Peter 5:12 states that it was to be delivered by Sylvanus (another name for Silas). If coming by way of the Black Sea, a logical port for a starting point would be Pontus. Then a counter-clockwise circuit through the other cities would end up at Bithynia.

The letter is full of encouragement for those who are suffering, and reminders of the suffering and resurrection of the Lord, Jesus. There is much encouragement to remember the hope they have of their inheritance of an eternal home (1 Peter 1:3-9); and they admonished to live righteously, abstaining from fleshly passions (1 Peter 2:11; 1 Peter 3:7). But the most famous passage in this letter might be the one that has become synonymous with the area of apologetics (1 Peter 3:15), which says:

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…”

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

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Prayer – Supplication

Prayer is the language

Prayer is the language (Photo credit: Lel4nd)

Earlier this year, we began a series intended to help us develop our prayer life, with an emphasis on the ACTS method of prayer in this article. As we have emphasized, there is no requirement for any set formula for prayer, but the method referred to by the acronym can be useful. The elements of prayer represented by the ACTS method are adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Today we will focus briefly on supplication.

Supplication is defined as “to ask for humbly or earnestly, to beseech or to make a humble entreaty to.” Philippians 4:6 says:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Another word for supplication that is often used is “petition.” Of course, one thing we do with supplication in prayer is to take our confession to the next logical step in asking God for his mercy and forgiveness. But these humble petitions are not only to be made by us for ourselves. Rather, most important is the use of supplication on behalf of others. Ephesians 6:18 says we are to be “praying at all times in the Spirit,awith all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” It is one of the ways that we are commanded to encourage one another as in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and Hebrews 10:25. Making supplication for others is one hallmark of a truly caring and dedicated child of God. For how can we love others as ourselves without praying for what they need most?

We’ll leave you with this simple prayer adapted from Psalm 50, in which David is grieving because of his great sin against the Lord:

Have mercy on my, O God,
according to thy great mercy;
according to the abundance of thy compassions,
blot out all my transgressions….
A sacrifice to you, O God, is a broken spirit,
a broken and contrite heart—
these, O Lord, you shall not turn away from.
I pray also, O Lord, for your tender mercy
for those among me who are grieving
for those who are in need of comfort
and for those who have turned away
from your loving arms.
Grant them, I pray, the blessing of repentance
and the strength which flows
from your boundless grace and love.
In Jesus name, Amen.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

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To the Hebrews

The New Testament book that we simply refer to as “Hebrews” has been something of a mystery as to its author forever. The earliest church traditions ascribe it to Paul. But there are problems with doing so, not the least of which is the fact that the writing style is so different from anything else he wrote. Also, Paul’s entire ministry, as ordained by the Lord, was devoted to spreading the gospel throughout the Gentile world. So scholars throughout the ages have had to concede that only the Lord knows who wrote it.

Hebrews 10:23

Hebrews 10:23 (Photo credit: [Share the Word])

But neither of those arguments preclude preclude Paul from teaching Jewish Christians. In fact, at a time when Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles was well established, it makes perfect sense for him to do so. Secondly, a different writing style would not be unusual at all when you think about it. The author was addressing his fellow Jewish born Christians, and their backgrounds and frame of reference would certainly be different. They would also have different challenges and experiences with persecution from many of the Gentiles, particularly in the area of idolatry. It hardly matters, though. We have enough information from its acceptance by the early church and from its content itself to be certain of the book’s inspired nature.

English: The world as known to the Hebrews. A ...

English: The world as known to the Hebrews. A map from “Historical Textbook and Atlas of Biblical Geography (1854)” by Coleman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was clearly written in the first century, as the references to Timothy indicate. And the author often writes about the Jewish sacrificial system in the present tense, indicating that it still was being practiced as Jews would expect (such as in Hebrews 9:6-7). This would indicate a date before 70 A.D. The author obviously was familiar with his audience, as indicated by Hebrews 13:17-19:

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls…Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order cthat I may be restored to you the sooner.”

The message of the book is to encourage the saints to endure, and to not forsake Christ. His promise of eternal life is just as reliable as any of God’s promises ever have been. It also confirms Him as being fully God, and the upholder of all of creation. He is higher than the angels, and as the new “High Priest,” He is higher than the earthly priesthood of the old covenant.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.

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