Jesus is not like Joshua.
This week I have been teaching on the books of Joshua and Judges in my Old Testament Survey course. We talked through the painful issue of the slaughter of the Canaanites, under the leadership of Joshua. It’s a really challenging part of Scripture (as is so much of the Old Testament).
With that, here are some further reflections I wanted to offer on the topic.
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Each year I teach on the book of Micah as we cover the minor prophets in my Old Testament survey class. In general, we don’t read or know much about these “minor” prophets. This includes Micah.
In particular was speaking to the small towns “out in the country,” if you will (what they called the Shephelah). And, so, to introduce this small book, I always kick off with John Denver’s “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” I am no country music fan, but I love this song.
And, hopefully, some students will now remember even a little about the prophet Micah.
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Not too long ago, I read through the book of Leviticus. We don’t usually run to Leviticus as a place for spiritual nourishment. I suppose we could summarize it as a book of sacrifice and strange laws. At least they’re strange laws for us today.
We may recall the Day of Atonement, which is told of in ch.16. Yet there is still so much about linen undergarments, bulls, goats, blood and bathing in that chapter alone that we may still find it difficult to connect with.
Leviticus is demanding. It demands our full attention to the details to understand what’s going on. And it’s those demanding details flowing out of an ancient culture that seem to bog us down. Continue reading →
You might not have been aware but, at the beginning of 2014, some labeled this year as “the year of the Bible” in regards to film releases. Religion News columnist, Jonathan Merritt, posted an interesting article on this very topic back in January.
There were to be 5 film releases in 2014 that connect to the storyline of the Bible. It’s interesting how the Bible’s narrative keeps popping up these days in films, whether done for good, bad or indifferent. I’m not convinced it’s due to some religious resurgence abounding in America. Something else typically controls the Hollywood scene – whatever will make a buck. Remember what they did to promote the Man of Steel film amongst churches? Still, I’m happy that, through these releases, interest could be piqued about Noah or Exodus or even Christ himself.
Anyways, those 5 “Bible” films of 2014 are: Continue reading →
Over at Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog, regular contributor, RJS, recently posted about what looks to be an interesting book – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary).
The point of RJS’s post, and referencing the book, is to note the parallel nature between the early Genesis accounts in Christian Scripture and that of other accounts that existed within the ancient near eastern context.
Sounds boring to some, but for me, it’s fascinating.
Why? Continue reading →