David Was Not A Wimp

The underdog status of David is often overstated. We all know about the seven to nine foot-tall Goliath that he faced. But have you ever really considered what a stud David was? He may have been just a teenager at the time, but he was proficient with the sling. Not the child’s slingshot that most people think of. The sling of ancient times was a weapon of war, used alongside archers with their bows and arrows. An expert with a sling could hurl rocks up to 150 MPH. David was an expert and, as a shepherd, often defended his sheep from fierce predators. Does the following account sound like a wimpy little boy? (more…)

The Importance of the Revelation of God

Transcendence and revelation are two of the most important themes found in the Bible. According to Merriam-Webster, “transcend” means “to be prior to, beyond, and above (the universe or material existence).”1 When theologians say that God is transcendent, they refer to the fact that God exists outside and independent of the universe that he created. John Oswalt describes the Bible as saying “God is not the cosmos, and the cosmos is not God.”2 The understanding of the concept of transcendence is important when studying the revelation of God. If God does not exist outside of the creation, what insight could God possibly offer to humanity that could not be ascertained by someone, given enough time and effort?

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John N. Oswalt Book Review

The following article is an assignment submission for Intro to the Old Testament for my graduate studies at Liberty University.

Introduction

The author, John N. Oswalt, opens his book with an introduction into the comparative study of the Old Testament and the religions and cultures of other peoples from the Ancient Near East. The Bible Among the Myths begins with the assertion that while the data has remained unchanged since the 1960s, the analysis has shifted. Scholars used to believe that the Old Testament was unique among the other beliefs in the Ancient Near East, but now scholars predominantly hold the view that the Old Testament is virtually identical to the other religions of its day.[1]

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The Bible: All or Nothing

John N. Oswalt asserts that the theological reliability of the Bible depends, in part, on its historical reliability. Oswalt assumes an all-or-nothing approach in determining the Bible’s trustworthiness. Oswalt’s approach seems appropriate for two reasons. First, when an account has been proven to be inaccurate in one area, it follows that the accuracy of the other accounts ought to be called into question. Second, the Bible itself allows no room for partial accuracy. The Bible’s authors explicitly state that its source is divine in nature.

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To Judge or Not to Judge

Old gavel and court minutes displayed at the Minnesota Judicial Center.*

It has been said that the most popular verse in the Bible is not John 3:16. Most people, though they cannot cite the book, chapter, and verse, invariably know how it goes: “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” (Matthew 7:1).

Nearly without fail, this verse gets whipped out whenever someone challenges a person’s less-than-godly behavior. Often, the most ardent defenders of this verse are those who do not even follow Christ.

For example, someone makes the assertion that homosexuality is wrong. “Don’t judge me.”

It’s probably not a good idea to get plastered every weekend. “Don’t judge me.”

Sex before marriage is a sin. “Don’t judge me.”

Let’s be honest. What people really ought to say is, “I know what I’m doing is wrong and I don’t like people pointing it out.” (more…)

The Name of God

tetragrammaton

The tetragrammaton in Hebrew.

Jehovah’s Witnesses stress the importance of using God’s proper name, Jehovah, when referring to the Heavenly Father. The name ‘Jehovah’ is actually one of the transliterations used when referring to the Hebrew word used for God, YHWH. The other commonly used transliteration is the name ‘Yahweh.’ Jews often used the word Adonai (translated ‘Lord’) in place of YHWH (also referred to as the tetragrammaton) out of fear and reverence to God. Most English translations of the Bible use the word ‘LORD’ (all caps) in place of YHWH. Although, some versions (such as the King James Version) use the name ‘Jehovah’ in select passages. An example of this is found in the book of Psalms: (more…)