Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hebrews 2.1 and Current Events

"DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) says the omission of ... the word God in the party platform was a 'technical oversight' because it is 'many pages long.' " --Real Clear Politics
There is much political hay to make about this debacle, but it is a sober reminder of how easy it is to get so busy with the "many pages" of our lives that God that gets left out. It reminds me that we must "give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away." (Heb 2.1)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dr. Bob Utley on Greek Verb Tenses Used for Salvation

Salvation is not a product, but a relationship. It is not finished when one trusts Christ; it has only begun!
It is not a fire insurance policy, nor a ticket to heaven, but a life of growing Christlikeness.


Therefore, salvation begins with an initial faith decision (cf. John 1:12; 3:16; Rom. 10:9-13), but this must
issue in a process of lifestyle faith (cf. Rom. 8:29; Gal. 4:19; Eph. 1:4; 2:10), which will one day be
consummated in sight (cf. I John 3:2). This final state is called glorification. This can be illustrated as
1. Initial salvation–justification (saved from the penalty of sin)
2. Progressive salvation–sanctification (saved from the power of sin)
3. Final salvation–glorification (saved from the presence of sin).

The Superiority of the New Covenant: Hebrews by Bob Utley

Hebrews 1:5-14 "Why the Angels"

Front Cover

"In 2:1-4, in other words, the author casts the angels in a positive, though inferior, role.1  This positive role is basic to the rhetorical argument that the hearers need to take seriously the  revelation delivered through the Son,  so the answer to our questions "Why the angels?" has nothing to do with the worship of them and everything to do with the execution of a skillful argument on the part of our author.  To be sure, the listeners had a high regard for and interest in angels, as did others from a worship orientation in Greek-speaking Judaism.  At this time Jews placed a great emphasis on angels as intermediaries between God and people.  They were seen as exalted beings who functioned as heavenly emissaries.  This fact makes the rhetorical argument all the more powerful.  The audience's respect for the role of angels provided a reference point from which to speak of the much higher position (and, therefore, authority) of the Son of God.  In this insight on finds the author's purpose for 1:5-14:  The preacher wishes to impress on his listeners the Son's supreme unequivocal authority." 
Lane, Hebrews 1-8, p. 17   
The NIV Application Commentary, p. 72

2012-2013 TBC Men's Bible Study - Lesson 02 - “The Better Messenger: Superiority to the Prophets” - Hebrews 1:1-4

Lesson 02        “The Better Messenger: Superiority to the Prophets”       Hebrews 1:1-4
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”) 
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.) 
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
1.      Read chapter one and then reread verses 1-4 several times (in a more dynamic version like the NIV9, NET Bible, or Living and in a more literal translation like the NASB9, NKJV, or ESV9.).  (Note that Hebrews 1:1-4 form one skillfully composed sentence in Greek even though most English translations break it up to make it more readable.)
2.      (CR)  Some commentators see a reference to Psalm 110.1 in verse three.  Since Hebrews 1:14 specifically refers to the same verse in Psalm 110, take a few minutes to carefully read Psalm 110 and make special note of verse one.
3.      (WS)  (1) Some versions say God spoke in various “times” and others translate polymerōs with words like “portions” or “parts.”  Look up the Greek word and look at the context.  What do you think?  Compare and contrast the God’s revelation through the prophets with His revelation through a Son.
4.      (CR)  (2) What is meant by the expression “in these last days?” (Joel 2.28-29; Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy3:1; 2 Peter 3:3)
5.      (ID)  (2b-3) List the things that these verses say about Christ.  Do you see any divisions or progression in the list (See page two of this lesson for an example.)?
6.      (ID)  (1-3) Indentify references to Christ’s role as Prophet, Priest, and King in 1:1-4.
7.       (ID)  (4) Verse four is a transition verse.  What is the main idea in verse four that verses 5-15 develop and expand on? 
The WALK: What should I do?
1.      If God has now spoken to us by His Son, why should we bother reading the Old Testament?
2.      How do these statements about Christ (2b-3) relate to our lives today? How do they impact our mindset and everyday decisions, words, and actions? 
3.      The word translated “image” or “representation” in verse 3 is the same Greek word that is the root for our English word character.  How well does your character represent Christ
4.      Thomas Constable writes that, “Some students of Hebrews have concluded that the writer did not identify himself or his readers because he wanted to make Jesus Christ primary in the readers’ thinking throughout this epistle.”  What are distractions that keep the Lord Jesus Christ from being front and center in our lives and in our Christian testimony?
Going Beyond with Scripture memory:  Memorize the 7 truths about Christ in verses 1:2b-3

-----------------------------Page Two--------------------------

chi·as·mus  [kahy-az-muhs]  [-mahy]noun, plural chi·as·mi 
a reversal in the order of words in two otherwise parallel phrases, as in “He went to the country, to the town went she.”

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms by Chris Baldick provides a more complete description:
chiasmus [ky-AZ-mus] (plural -mi), a figure of speech by which the order of the terms in the first of two parallel clauses is reversed in the second. This may involve a repetition of the same words ("Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure" —Byron) or just a reversed parallel between two corresponding pairs of ideas … . The figure is especially common in 18th century English poetry, but is also found in prose of all periods. It is named after the Greek letter chi (x), indicating a "criss-cross" arrangement of terms. Adjective: chiastic.

An example is Matthew 23: 11-12.
A.    "Whoever exalts himself 
B.    will be humbled,
B'.    and whoever humbles himself 
A'.    will be exalted."

 Another good example comes from Genesis 9:6:
A.    Whoever sheds
B.   the blood
C.   of man
C'.   by man shall
B'.   his blood
A'.   be shed


Chiasmus in Hebrews 1:2b-3
George Guthrie, in The NIV Application Commentary on Hebrew, points out an example of a chiasmus in this week’s passage in Hebrews 1:2-3.  It helps give order and focus to a string of statement that, at first glance, can appear to be somewhat random.

A  Whom He has appointed heir of all things                                   enthronement
            B  through Whom also He made the worlds                         cosmic action
                        C  being the brightness of His glory                             relation to the Father
                        C’  the express image of His person                             relation to the Father
            B’  upholding all things by the word of His power             cosmic action
                 (when He had by Himself purged our sins)                        (descriptive - incarnation)
A’  [He] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High      enthronement

When you look at this pattern and think about the arrangement, it not only makes it easier to remember, but also helps add focus to the idea of who Christ is in relation to the Father.

2 Kings 8-11

2 Kings
8.25  now the rest of the acts...  Which I understand to be the things that were not important to the Scripture narrative.   It is sobering to think about how much of my life will be relegated to some chronicles of something or other
10.19  Jehu acted deceptively, with the intent of...  You have to admire Jehu's spunk, but his methods (and quite possibly his motives) were another story.  Note Merrill Unger's comments:
"Extirpation of Ball worship and the house of Ahab was divinely commended.  That did not mean that the LORD approved of the ways ta means Jehu used, nor did He condone Jehu's motives.  The LORD overruled the wickedness of Jehu to accomplish His purposes of righteousness and to fulfill His word." 
10.29  However Jehu did not turn from the sins of ...  This is a sad and disappointing verse in this chapter.  Hopefully it will not be in my biography.
11.10  spears and shields ... which were in the temple of the LORD...  It seems odd to have enough armaments to supply hundreds of men in the Temple.
11.21  seven years old...  A seven yer old will do pretty good with the likes of Jehoiada at his side. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Genesis 5 tragic duh moment

Genesis 5
5.30  After he begot Noah, Lamech lived five hundred and ninety-five years, and had sons and daughters. So if Noah was the oldest child with younger brothers and sisters and lived 350 years after the flood, it seems reasonable to assume that his siblings and their children would have been alive when the flood destroyed ever living thing.  Where were Lamech's other children and grandchildren when the flood came?  It seems they must either have all died premature deaths or were part of the ungodly masses destroyed in the flood.  Either way ...  how tragic! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Consider Christ

Dr. J. Vernon McGee intoduction to Hebrews

Dr. McGee challenges us to use the book of Hebrews to consider Christ.  Let's ponder Him as we study the Word.

κατανοέω  katanoeō 
1) to perceive, remark, observe, understand
2) to consider attentively, fix one's eyes or mind upon
Hebrews 3.1
1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house.

ἀναλογίζομαι  analogizomai
1) to think over, consider, ponder 
Hebrews 12.3
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.