Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Brief Outline of Bible Study Tips and Links Updated 16.09.12

These embedded links below are to free stuff that is online.  These have been helpful resources for me even though I don't necessarily agree with everything or endorse the organization that makes it available.  Check out the website (doctrinal statement, links, sponsoring person or organization, etc.) or Google the person to find out more about them. The important thing is that you understand the perspective and orientation of the source. Be aware of who you are using.  
Precepts Austin has a lot of links to resources in all categories and has helpful information about how to study the Bible.  The Bible Hub also has a collection of translations and tools.
I usually have a five-step approach to commentaries and study tools.
First, I become familiar with the passage.  I look at the larger context by looking at the general setting and reading the passage before and after the one I am focusing on.  Then I read my specific verses several times.  I continue to read the passage in several versions that include more formal or literal translations (Young’s Literal, KJV, RSV, NASB) and some of the more dynamic translations and paraphrases (like the NIV84, Wuest, NET Bible, Amplified, New Living, and The Message).  I like to compare them verse by verse from literal to dynamic making note of the variations.  
Second, I use linguistic/language tools and commentaries to clarify the meaning of the grammar and words.   

 Great Treasures allows you to see the kjv, nasb, esv, and niv84 side by side.
Third, I also check cross references and cultural resources to better understand the meaning of the text.  I will typically focus on places where there was greater variation between the translations.  I also like to study parallel passages and allusions the New Testament makes to the Old Testament.  During this phase, I am making notes about questions I have about the passage meaning.

Fourth, I will refer to a variety of commentaries to get the insights of knowledgeable men on the passage.  I have my favorites, but I try to check commentators from more that one perspective.  It both allows me to see original arguments for the other side of an issue and, most importantly, enrich my understanding and perspective on the passage.  I work from more objective to ones that comment on more subjective aspects of the text.  “Healthy skepticism” are the watchwords when referring to commentaries.

Finally, I will sometimes refer to commentators with a more devotional and application bent.  They are usually not as helpful for dissecting the meaning of the text but help me think about how the passage applies to everyday living.  Sermons by accomplished preacher are also good for that, and they give helpful ideas for presenting the passage if you are going to have to teach.
 Web sites tend to come and go, so I hope none of these links go to the wrong place.

Num 4-7

4.3  from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years...  This is a different standard than for the rest of Israel (men 2o and up ready for battle).
5.14 a spirit of jealousy...  This seems to my 21st century mind to be a bizarre ritual.  A couple things come to mind though.  The husband wasn't to take matters into his own hands.  I assume this was a miraculous exersize of God's justice, inferring that sometimes we should just leave things in His hands.  I wonder what kind of marriage counseling you would need if the woman turned out to be innocent.
6.27  so they shall put My name on them...  This is an interesting statement and I am not sure what it means.   NET Bible translation note: The idea of their putting the name of Yahweh on the people is somewhat problematic. The pronouncing of the name of Yahweh in this context over the people was taken to be the effectual means of blessings. “Putting the name on them” is an expression that emphasizes the truth that he is their God and they are his people or that having his name is having his blessing.
7.12  Hashon for Judah
7.18  Nethnel fo rIssachar
7.24  Eliab for Zebulun
7.30  Elizur for Reuben
7.36  Shelumiel for Simeon
7.42  Elisaph for Gad
7.48  Elishama for Ephraim
7.54  Gamaliel for Manasseh
7.60  Abidan for Benjamin
7.66  Ahiezer for Dan
7.72  Pegiel for Asher
7.78  Ahira for Naphtali
7.84  The repetitious lists are fascinating.  Why did they need to be repeate“The account may strike us as repetitious, but this sort of formula was used by people in the ancient Eastern world to reflect ever-increasing joy: look how much these many people gave for their altar!” --(Maarsingh, p. 29.) from Notes of Numbers by Thomas Constable
>silver platter - 130 shekels  (flour mixed with oil)
>silver bowel - 30 shekels  (flour mixed with oil)
>gold pan - 10 shekels (full of incense)

>young bull
>male lamb in its first year - burnt offering

>kid - sin offering

>peace offerings -
2 oxen
5 rams
5 male lambs in their first year

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Love in Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words

Love (Noun and Verb)
 A. Verbs
   1. agapao
   2. phileo

B. Nouns
   1. agape
   2. philanthropia

A1.     Love

[Verb] agapao and the corresponding noun agape (agape below) present "the characteristic word of Christianity, and since the Spirit of revelation has used it to express ideas previously unknown, inquiry into its use, whether in Greek literature or in the Septuagint, throws but little light upon its distinctive meaning in the NT. Cp., however, Lev 19:18; Deut 6:5.
"Agape and agapao are used in the NT
(a) to describe the attitude of God toward His Son, John 17:26; the human race, generally, John 3:16; Rom 5:8; and to such as believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, particularly, John 14:21;
(b) to convey His will to His children concerning their attitude one toward another, John 13:34, and toward all men, 1 Thess 3:12; 1 Cor 16:14; 2 Pet 1:7;
(c) to express the essential nature of God, 1 John 4:8.
"Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. God's love is seen in the gift of His Son, 1 John 4:9,10. But obviously this is not the love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects, Rom 5:8. It was an exercise of the Divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself, Cp. Deut 7:7,8.
"Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 5:14; Eph 2:4; Eph 3:19; Eph 5:2; Christian love is the fruit of His Spirit in the Christian, Gal 5:22.
"Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments, John 14:15,21,23; John 15:10; 1 John 2:5; 1 John 5:3; 2 John 1:6. Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.
"Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all, Rom 15:2, and works no ill to any, Rom 13:8-10; love seeks opportunity to do good to 'all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith,' Gal 6:10. See further 1 Cor 13 and Col 3:12-14." [ From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 105.]
In respect of agapao as used of God, it expresses the deep and constant "love" and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential "love" in them towards the Giver, and a practical "love" towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver. See BELOVED.
See also : agapao

A2.     Love (Noun and Verb) 

[Verb] phileo is to be distinguished from agapao in this, that phileo more nearly represents "tender affection." The two words are used for the "love" of the Father for the Son, John 3:35 (agapao); John 5:20 (phileo); for the believer, John 14:21 (agapao); John 16:27 (phileo); both, of Christ's "love" for a certain disciple, John 13:23 (agapao); John 20:2 (phileo). Yet the distinction between the two verbs remains, and they are never used indiscriminately in the same passage; if each is used with reference to the same objects, as just mentioned, each word retains its distinctive and essential character.
Phileo is never used in a command to men to "love" God; it is, however, used as a warning in 1Cor. 16;22; agapao is used instead, e.g., Matt 22:37; Luke 10:27; Rom 8:28; 1 Cor 8:3; 1 Pet 1:8; 1 John 4:21. The distinction between the two verbs finds a conspicuous instance in the narrative of John 21:15-17. The context itself indicates that agapao in the first two questions suggests the "love" that values and esteems (cp. Rev 12:11). It is an unselfish "love," ready to serve. The use of phileo in Peter's answers and the Lord's third question, conveys the thought of cherishing the object above all else, of manifesting an affection characterized by constancy, from the motive of the highest veneration. See also Trench, Syn., xii.
Again, to "love" (phileo) life, from an undue desire to preserve it, forgetful of the real object of living, meets with the Lord's reproof, John 12:25. On the contrary, to "love" life (agapao) as used in 1 Pet 3:10, is to consult the true interests of living. Here the word phileo would be quite inappropriate.
Note: In Mark 12:38, AV, thelo, "to wish," is translated "love" (RV, "desire").
See also : phileo

B1.     Love

[Noun] agape the significance of which has been pointed out in connection with agapao, is always rendered "love" in the RV where the AV has "charity," a rendering nowhere used in the RV; in Rom 14:15, where the AV has "charitably," the RV, adhering to the translation of the noun, has "in love."
Note: In the two statements in 1 John 4:8,16, "God is love," both are used to enjoin the exercise of "love" on the part of believers. While the former introduces a declaration of the mode in which God's love has been manifested (1 John 4:9,10), the second introduces a statement of the identification of believers with God in character, and the issue at the Judgment Seat hereafter (1 John 4:17), an identification represented ideally in the sentence "as He is, so are we in this world."
See also : agape

B2.     Love 

[Noun] philanthropia denotes, lit., "love for man" (phileo and anthropos, "man"); hence, "kindness," Acts 28:2; in Titus 3:4, "(His) love toward man." Cp. the adverb philanthropos, "humanely, kindly," Acts 27:3. See KINDNESS.
Note: For philarguria, "love of money," 1 Tim 6:10, see MONEY (love of). For philadelphia, see BROTHER.
See also : philanthropia

Vine, W. E., Merrill F. Unger, William White, and W. E. Vine. Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words. Nashville: Nelson, 1985. Print.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Num 1-2

1.2  I am thinking about why Moses needed to know how many people there were and why the process of counting them was important.
1.20 by their genealogies by their families, by their father's house, according to the number of names, every mail individually from twenty years old and above, all who were able to go to war...  Seems that the bottom line was the potential army.  It is also interesting that this verse is repeated twelve times which would seem to indicate that it might be important.
Reuben     46.0k
Simeon     59.3k
Gad            45.6k
Judah       74.6k
Issachar   54.4k
Zebulun    57.4k
Ephraim   40.5k
Manasseh 32.2k
Benjamin  45.4k
Dan              62.7k
Asher         41.5k
Naphtali    53.4k

2.3  east side: Judah, Isschar, Zebulun
2.9  first to break camp...
2.10  south side:Ruben, Simeon, Gad
2.16  second to break camp...
2.18 west side: Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin
2.24 third to break camp...
2.25 north side: Dan, Asher, Naphtali
2.31  break camp last...
It is interesting to note that the leaders and census numbers were mentioned again in this organizational listing.  I wonder how they determined the lead tribe for each section.