Some Notes on Genesis 3

Genesis 3 is the chapter about Adam, Eve, and the apple. It’s an essentially self-contained narrative (although the last verse of chapter 2 foreshadows it and the first verse of chapter 4 rather logically follows it — and, for that matter, the murder recounted in chapter 4 sadly and inevitably comes next). Its 24 verses … [Read more…]

A Dialogue on Scripture

This post, presented as a dialogue, addresses what I think are some basic issues raised by Christians’ recognition and use of Scripture. What do you mean by Scripture? Most dictionary definitions say simply it is writing that a particular religion holds to be “sacred” or “holy.” So it is writing that is God-related, but of … [Read more…]

The Old Testament Books — in Fifteen Couplets

The Old Testament Books — in Fifteen Couplets Creation of all, and Jews starting:  That’s Genesis. In Exodus, Moses is Pharaoh’s arch nemesis. Leviticus is “legal”; for Numbers, think “census.” Deuteronomy doubles what we have for lenses. — The twelve books that follow are all Jewish hist’ry. They show that God’s frequent dismay is no … [Read more…]

The Lord’s Prayer as Chiasm

I think there’s a case to be made that the Lord’s Prayer has a chiastic structure: Opening (“Our Father, Who art in Heaven”) > > Glory – Kingdom – Power (“name”=glory, “kingdom”=kingdom, “will”=power) — in all places (“on Earth as it is in Heaven”) > > > > Asking for two very important things (bread … [Read more…]

An Easter Thought

Happy Easter! He is risen! Some may ask, Is it really true that someone can go to Heaven, after leading a bad life, simply by repenting and professing one’s belief in Jesus Christ at the last moment, and without ever doing a good work? We know that apparently the answer is, Yes — because it … [Read more…]

Top Books of the Bible

What a ridiculous title this post has! Well, yes. It’s all Scripture and it’s all worth reading, and what business does anyone have ranking the different parts of God’s Word? And even putting it in terms of, “Which four books would you want to have with you on a deserted island?” seems a bit silly: … [Read more…]

A Similarity in Old and New Testament Structure

This is just a brief post noting a similarity in the basic structure of the Old and New Testaments. In the Bible we Protestants use, both testaments begin with a founding core (the Pentateuch/Torah — Gospels), followed by some subsequent history (Joshua through Esther — Acts), and then a long series of books that are … [Read more…]

Jesus and Pascal’s Wager

Did Jesus implicitly use an argument similar to Pascal’s Wager in his parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl (Matthew 13:44-46)? Here are the parables: 44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he … [Read more…]

Pharaoh’s Hard Heart

I had the idea one time for a post on “Most Difficult Bible Passages” or maybe “Most Disturbing Bible Passages.” I might still do that, and in any event my Exhibit A would be the topic of this post, namely when God in Exodus deliberately “hardens the heart” of Pharaoh so he won’t do the … [Read more…]