Category Archives: Bible Study

Posts dealing with Biblical studies.

Psalms is Long!

I’m still in Psalms, I haven’t been sleeping until WAY too late lately, which means by the time I get to bed I’m already seeing double, and since I’m reading at night that means I’m not reading much each night.

In any case, I’m almost done with Psalms, I haven’t been blogging much through Psalms because, well, Psalms is pretty well covered by everyone else and I haven’t found much new to add.

I can’t wait to get to Isaiah though, I’m hoping to have a lot to say then lol.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bible Study

Psalms that make you go hmmmm….

Psalm 82 (JPS) – A Psalm of Asaph.

God stands in the devine assembly;
among the devine beings He pronounces judgement.
How long will you judge perversely,
showing favor to the wicked? Selah.
Judge the wretched and the orphan,
vindicate the lowly and the poor,
rescue the wretched and the needy;
save them from the hand of the wicked.

They neither know nor understand,
they go about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth totter.
I had taken you for divine beings,
sons of the Most High, all of you;
but you shall die as men do,
fall like any prince.

Arise, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are Your possession.

Any thoughts?

1 Comment

Filed under Bible Study, Music & Songs

Psalm of the day

Titus 3:1-11 (NRSV) – text here is JPS translation…

O Lord, I set my hope on You;
    my God, in You I trust;
    may I not be disappointed;
    may my enemies not exult over me.
O let none who look to You be disappointed;
    let the faithless be disappointed, empty-handed.
Let me know Your paths, O Lord;
    teach me Your ways;

    guide me in Your true way and teach me,
    for You are God, my deliverer;
    it is You I look to at all times.
O Lord, be mindful of Your compassion
    and Your faithfulness;
    they are old as time.
Be not mindful of my youthful sins and transgressions;
    in keeping with Your faithfulness consider what is in my favor,
    as befits Your goodness, O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore He shows sinners the way.
He guides the lowly in the right path,
    and teaches the lowly His way.
All the Lord’s paths are steadfast love
    for those who keep the decrees of His covenant.
As befits Your name, O Lord,
    pardon my iniquity though it be great.

Whoever fears the Lord,
    he shall be shown what path to choose.
He shall live a happy life,
    and his children shall inherit the land.
The counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him;
    to them He makes known His covenant.

My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
    for He will loose my feet from the net.
Turn to me, have mercy on me,
    for I am alone and afflicted.
My deep distress increases;
    deliver me from my straits.
Look at my affliction and suffering,
    and forgive all my sins.

See how numerous my enemies are,
    and how unjustly they hate me!

Protect me and save me;
    let me not be disappointed
    for I have sought refuge in You.
May integrity and uprightness watch over me,
    for I look to You.

    O God, redeem Israel
    from al its distress.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bible Study, Music & Songs

what to say, what to say…

I’ve been trying to do a blog for a couple of days, sat down for that purpose, but I really don’t have much to say.  I’ve finished Nehemiah and Esther now.

Nehemiah is about the restoration of Jerusalem and while it was a good piece of reading, there’s nothing I feel particularly inclined to blog about.  Esther, was about, well, Esther and Mordecai, and while there’s a lot I could say, I’m not sure it’s something I want to blog about. 
So… I think I’ll just leave this a short post and just say I’m touching base :P


Filed under Bible Study

Let’s see… where was I?

So the holidays are over, and it’s high time I got back on track with the whole posting thing. I’ve been reading semi-regularly and am currently about halfway through Nehemiah.

Since I didn’t get around to posting much over the past few months, I covered a lot of reading without saying much.  I’ll do a quick recap from what I can remember… I think my last mention was of First Kings…

  • Chronicles and Kings complement each other and basically cover the same (very long) chunk of history.  Kings is insanely hard to follow because it keeps jumping back and forth with each generation between the royal lineage of Judah and Isreal.  Chronicles only follows Judah, so it’s a little easier to follow.  When I get the chance, I would love to go back and actually do a timeline to lay out the rules, cuz I think it’d be interesting to see.
  • Comically enough, this read through is the first time it actually DAWNED on me that Israel and Judah were two separate kingdoms and had two separate lines of kings… how on EARTH did I miss that the first two times I read the old testament??  I’m aghast, but it really does make the rest of the Bible make a LOT more sense! lol.

Let’s see, what else…

  • Some REALLY cool stuff happened in the stories of different prophets — peppered here and there through the four books — a lot more than just the few things we hear taught about.  I’ll have to go back and make a list of them at some point. 
  • I developed a much greater respect for Solomon – I always had a kind of mild disdain for him, not quite sure why.
  • There’s a very beautiful prayer for the dedication of the Temple in 1 Kings 8 — very much worth the read, it made me cry – I think it’s repeated somewhere in Chronicles too.
  • Reading about Elisha and Elijah this time around gave me the distinct impression that Elisha was like a puppy dog following Elijah around … :)
  • not much I can think to mention about Ezra right now
  • I’m about halfway through Nehemiah, and all I have to say right now is that the wall of Jerusalem was one ENORMOUS wall lol.

I’m trying to get back on a daily or bi-daily posting schedule from here on out, here’s hoping I manage :)

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bible Study


I’m straying off-topic a bit here, because I need to share my views on a subject before I get myself into a heated argument with someone who might not be capable of comprehending what I’m saying anyway.

The Bible is very clear that drunkenness leads to sin, and that it’s foolish to get drunk. That said, it does not, at any point, say that drinking itself is a sin.

I, personally, have used alcohol medicinally on numerous occasions, and actually love the flavor of hard drinks. I, however, have never been drunk (I did get a buzz once, but that was when I was too stupid to know how much it took, and when someone else was handing me the drinks).

The argument that was put to me was that “Christians should never drink” and later that it was a sin. When I put this to question, by vaguely mentioning a few scriptures (such as the one where Jesus turned water into wine for a wedding party where everyone had already been drinking for days), asking for a clarification as to whether he was speaking of drinking or rather of getting drunk, he either didn’t understand the distinction, or just tried to avoid it.

He made the argument that drinking then was different because he thinks the wine was only 1 and 2 percent alcohol back then. He argued again against drunkenness, saying “nobody ever became an alcoholic without taking the 1st drink”. But he never addressed the original question, which was whether he put drinking (in any case) with the sin of being a drunkard.

So… here’s my response, which I’m not sure I will give him, because I’m not sure it would be productive…

Wine is created by a fermentation process that is introduced by adding yeast to a sugary liquid. The process has not changed in thousands of years, and the roman empire had wine with the same basic alcohol content as what we drink today, which ranged from about 12-18%. The only reason wine was less potent in ‘those days’ was because people diluted their wine with water, often drinking 1:2 or 1:4 parts wine to water with their meals.

This does not mean that they never drank wine straight, though. If juice is left to ferment completely it will always reach 12-15% abv. The Roman empire was known for it’s wine consumption and production, and even without distilaries they had figured out how to get even higher alcohol contents (up to about 25%) (see the alcoholic beverage wiki for most of these facts). Re Acts 2:15: at 12%, the average man can still get drunk on 3 glasses of wine. Peter wasn’t saying there was no possible way they were drunk at that hour, he was just pointing out how incredibly unlikely it was that that many people had been drinking that early in the day (the taverns weren’t likely open).

Jesus himself drank wine, and the Pharisees and lawyers tried to use this passage in Proverbs to accuse him:

Proverbs 23:19-21
23:19 Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.

23:20 Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:

23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

His reaction to this is recorded in two different gospels:

Luke 7:33-35
7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
7:34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
7:35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.

Matthew 11:18-19
11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

If Christ had been a glutton or a windbibber then He would have been a sinner. We know this is NOT the case even though He drank (and said of Himself that He drank). The only way to rectify this is to admit that it is possible to drink without being sinful.

That said, I’m not saying that one should drink. There are a number of people who probably should never drink, or who are incapable of drinking in moderation. The argument can also be made that a Christian should never drink around anyone who might believe that drinking (even without getting drunk) is a sin, as this would be “causing one’s brother to stumble”. This particular argument could even be taken to the extreme that someone seeing you buy alcohol could be caused to stumble as well, so Christians should never be seen drinking or buying alcohol.

However, the not causing one’s brother to stumble argument was made in regards to eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols, and I don’t believe that’s something that Jesus ever did. The fact that Jesus openly drank, and that anyone reading the Bible can see these scriptures, leads me to the conclusion that anyone who is so finnicky that they get confused by seeing me buy alcohol is probably going to get just as confused reading the scriptures. I believe this is a case of needing to educate them about the difference between drinking and being a drunkard, rather than avoiding it in hopes of not offending them.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bible Study


Okay, so this isn’t exactly Sunday anymore, but since I slept all day, and I’m not sleeping now, I can pretend it’s still Sunday.

Okay this is going to be a short post because I just wrote a long one and deleted it all. I just finished Judges. I typed a lot before I realized I was rambling, and had nothing intelligent to say.

Judges confuses me. I’ll leave it at that.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bible Study

off the path

I haven’t posted for a while, mainly because I’ve been too busy. I’ve also taken to reading just before I go to sleep, which means I’m not near a computer.

I’m currently somewhere in Joshua, but this post is actually going to center around a passage in John. The sermon at church this Sunday evening was based on John chapter 9, and something struck me when the passage was read, that was quite different than the sermon, so I figured I’d mention it here.

It’s important to read through the entire chapter. The short version of the story is this (completely paraphrased):

  1. Jesus comes across a beggar who is blind (from birth)
  2. The disciples ask Him what sin caused the man’s blindness.
  3. Jesus answers that there was no sin in this case, the man was blind so that God could be revealed in his healing.
  4. Jesus heals him.
  5. He rejoices, people marvel, the people take him to the Pharisees (most likely to judge the validity of the miracle).
  6. The Pharisees question whether someone from God would heal on the sabbath; they question the man’s identity and history; they attempt to get him to say that Jesus is a sinner; and they interrogate the man hoping to get him to recant his story.
  7. After enduring their questions a couple of times, the man preaches to them — pointing out that he is the one who was blind, but they are the ones acting like blind men. He further points out that their own teachings insist that He could not have performed this miracle without the blessing of God.
  8. Not being able to argue with him, they pull the “born in sins” card (they believed that being born blind was a punishment for some sin he or his parents committed) and kicked him out for daring to try to teach them (even though they had been asking for his opinion at first, when they couldn’t agree with each other).
  9. Jesus finds the man after hearing that he was driven out.
  10. Jesus reveals himself as God to the man (in front of some of the pharisees).
  11. The man believes (note: he did not believe in Jesus as Lord until this point, he was healed before believing).
  12. Jesus uses the situation as a starting-off place for some prophecy and teaching…

And here is where the lessons start.

The beggar who had been blind believed as soon as the truth was revealed to him. The pharisees, having seen miracle after miracle, and having just come face to face with a verified miracle, chose to remain blind to the truth. In Jesus words, “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” (John 9:39, KJV).

The pharisees got the point, and responded sarcastically, basically saying “surely you’re not calling us blind?” (paraphrase). Jesus responded, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” Recognize that they believed someone who was blind was obviously in sin, so this response would have no doubt seemed absurd to them. At the same time, in the context it would have made perfect sense. They would have had to have known, deep down, that they were just searching for some way to discount Him so that they wouldn’t have to change their world view. They knew that they were confused (or they never would have asked a beggar’s opinion earlier), so they knew that saying they could see (in the figurative sense) was a lie, and Jesus called them on it.

From here it moves in to chapter 10, which is not a separate story but a continuation of the lessons that are started in chapter 9. John 10 might just be my new favorite passage, and I have too much to think about to cover it here without writing another book, so I think I’ll probably write about it in my next post.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bible Study

Deuteronomy 4:25-39 (NASB) reads:

“When you become the father of children and children’s children and have remained long in the land, and act corruptly, and make an idol in the form of anything, and do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord your God so as to provoke Him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will surely perish quickly from the land where you are going over the Jordan to possess it. You shall not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed.

The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord drives you. There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it? Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived? Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him. Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire. Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.

Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.”

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bible Study

What an ass!

Balaam’s, that is. A loyal ass indeed.

I finished Numbers today, but I’m starting in Numbers 22. I imagine most everyone has heard the story of Balaam and his ass, but it gets glossed over most of the time and shrunk down to a silly story about a donkey talking.

So here’s the full story:

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bible Study