What We are Doing at Faith

We are in a time of transition with Bible study and teaching so I would like to take a minute to lay out what the plan is.  If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to talk to me.

  • Sunday Worship: Romans 8– As you may have noticed, I am taking a break from Samuel and we are diving into Romans 8. This chapter of the Bible is central to the Christian life.  Take time each week to read the chapter before Sunday and begin to meditate on it.  This will make the sermon easier to follow and apply to your life.
  • Sunday School: Mark– Sunday school will be basic and simple. Mark is one of the simplest books of the Bible and it is a great place to go as a new believer or when doing evangelism and discipleship.  I desire to equip you to understand the gospel presented in the book of Mark and be able to use it when talking and meeting with others.
  • Wednesday Night: Daniel– There is much curiosity accompanied by confusion concerning the end of all things.  It is hard to find a topic that is more intriguing for people yet at the same time more daunting than eschatology (the study of end times). For this reason we will be going through the book of Daniel starting this Wednesday.
  • One-on-one: First Steps for New Disciples- I am currently going through a five-week study one-on-one with some of you and would love to sit down individually with more of you for this basic discipleship study.

 

God is good, and His Word is sufficient to transform and equip us.  I look forward to seeing how God sanctifies us through the teachings and discussions.

Unicorns According to the Bible

Painting of the Elasmotherium sibiricum or ‘Siberian unicorn’ above by Heinrich Harder. Photograph: Public Domain

Much attention in the past two days has been devoted to something quite unexpected -Unicorns.  In the midst of headlines detailing an attempted plane hijacking in Cyprus[1] and a suicide bomber in Pakistan killing 69 people, [2] we find headlines about unicorns.  Unicorns clearly get people’s attention as they have, for the most part, been grouped along side of leprechauns and fairies in a long list of other childhood fairytales.   Not so much anymore though. A fossil discovered by scientists show that these animals may have roamed the earth at the same times humans did.  Though they may have not had rainbow fur, they did have one horn and looked much like a cross between a horse and a rhino. [3] To be fair, scientist have known of the existence of the Siberian Unicorn for some time, but until now it has been assumed that they went extinct long ago and never roamed the earth at the same time that humans did.  Job is an interesting place to look in this regard considering the KJV use of “unicorn” in its translation.  Below is the translation in the ESV and the KJV.

Job 39:9–10 (KJV 1900) Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee,Or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? Or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

Job 39:9–10 (ESV) “Is the wild ox willing to serve you? Will he spend the night at your manger? Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes,or will he harrow the valleys after you?

The reason why I give you both the KJV and the ESV is because the ESV here follows the Ancient Hebrew manuscripts while the KJV translates the Hebrew but uses the specific term unicorn from the Greek Septuagint (called the LXX, a translation of the Hebrew).  The Hebrew term here is רְאֵם which is a general term for wild ox or another two horned animal like it (Heberew may not have had a specific name for some animals).  It gets interesting though because the ancient translators of the LXX understood this word for ox here to refer to a unicorn.  So the translators took רְאֵם (wild ox) and translated it as μονόκερως which is best translated unicorn in English or one horned animal (μονό- one).  This is why the KJV (as well as Luther in his German translation in 1534) translated this as unicorn.

This translation of the Hebrew word רְאֵם for ox here into the Greek word for unicorn is at the very least interesting, especially in light of the recent discovery.

See our other “According to the Bible” articles:

Church Structure According to the Bible

Church Worship According to the Bible 

Women in Combat According to the Bible

Abortion According to the Bible

Gender Roles According to the Bible Part 1 & Part 2

 

 

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/30/world/middleeast/egypt-plane-hijack-cyprus.html?_r=0

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/29/opinion/another-bombing-this-time-in-pakistan.html

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/mar/29/siberian-unicorn-extinct-humans-fossil-kazakhstan

Two Questions to Ask When Reading the Bible

One important thing that I seek to do as a pastor is help christians read the Bible on your own.  Many christians struggle as they open the Bible to read having trouble understanding what they are supposed to getting from the text.  You may have even asked yourself if it is worth it.  I ran across two helpful questions to ask when reading through the Bible book by book. The main questions that we should ask when reading the scriptures is what does this passage tell me about by fallen condition and how does redemption in Jesus fix it.  This question is so important because this is ultimately what the Bible is all about.  When we begin to ask other questions, we can begin to see the Bible as a book of rules.  When see see the Bible as simply a bunch of regulations, the Gospel hard to find and apply to our lives. Though the Bible does give commands to Christians, the central message of the Bible is redemption in Jesus Christ, let us read the Bible with that in mind.

When we read the Scriptures with a focus on Christ, we will seek to understand the fallen condition that is seen in the the passage and how the text points to the redemption found in Jesus.  This focus does justice to the authors intention which should be the focus of a faithful Christian.  An incorrect way of going about this is by going beyond the authors intention and place our own meaning on the text in order to force it to say something about Jesus. This is not good.  We should always want to discover what the text says about ourselves and Jesus, not what we want it to say.

I pray this helps you as you seek to live a live driven and informed by the Bible.

Also see How we may Read the Scriptures with the Most Spiritual Profit.