In Leviticus 21 God outlines requirements for the priests of Israel. One part of this passage says that those suffering from physical disabilities are not to serve as priests:
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the LORD’s food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.
Now, how should we interpret this? Gregory the Great treated this passage allegorically in chapter 11 of his “Book of Pastoral Rule” – a manual for pastors. What is allegory? Here’s a reminder:
When we call something a symbol but the Bible doesn’t support that conclusion we’ve just created allegory.
- What is Typology?
So how did this work out for Gregory? Let’s take a look: Continue reading
I get more search engine traffic to this blog for an off-topic series of posts I wrote back in 2011 than almost anything else on the site. Now that I’m actually learning Koine Greek I thought it time to update the main article.
Check it out again: How NOT To Use Strong’s Concordance
This is the first entry in a series of posts on the use of Strong’s Concordance:
How NOT To Use Strong’s Concordance
How NOT To Use Strong’s Concordance Part 2
How To Properly Use Strong’s Concordance
A Good Example of Using Strong’s Concordance
What is Strong’s Concordance? It’s a list of every Hebrew (OT) and Greek (NT) root word in the King James Bible. It numbers each of these roots and lists every occurrence throughout the Bible. Using this tool one can look up the underlying root word which the translators rendered into English. Accompanying this is a list of every occurrence of this word in the Bible and a short English definition called a “gloss.”
“This people honors me with their lips, but their concordances are far from me.”
Matt 15:8 (DSP – Dave’s Sarcastic Paraphrase)
What’s the Big Deal?
This sounds like a great resource that we should use more! While it’s true that Strong’s concordance (and similar resources) is a powerful Bible study tool, it is abused almost as much as Continue reading
E. Langston Haygood wrote two very interesting articles, both named, “Preaching Christ from Proverbs” for The Journal of Pastoral Practice. I’m going to look at his first article, published in 1979, today.
He begins by asking three very important questions about Proverbs: How are we supposed to read it?
- What method should the Christian use in applying the moral principles of Proverbs to his own life-style?
- What is the relationship between Christ and Proverbs?
- Where does Proverbs (or Wisdom) fit into the totality of the history of redemption?
Further, he wants to explore where Christ is in the midst of Proverbs. It’s easy to jump to Proverbs 8 in this quest and call Jesus wisdom personified. But that’s not helpful when reading the rest of the book: “That does not tell us where He is among all those particular ethical principles.”
So where is Jesus throughout the Proverbs? Conspicuously absent: Continue reading
I’m amazed when I read narrow views of the atonement. Some people say the Father poured out his wrath on sin only. Others say the Son gave his life in an offering of love only. Still others see a good example only, or a political statement only, or something else only.
Most people hold to only one view of the atonement.
The different views of the atonement – so far as they are orthodox – are not mutually exclusive. They all have scriptural support. They all communicate to us something about God. They exist together.
How do I know this? Scripture clearly shows us. Let’s look at the “Suffering Servant” of Isaiah 53. Continue reading
Previously I said we might be preaching the cross too much because the gospel is not just the cross. Propitiation isn’t the only aspect of the gospel. There are also other facets to God’s redemptive work including renewal, adoption and victory. In addition to “cross-centered” our gospel-centered sermons can be:
Today I want to look another way we can be gospel-centered without constraining ourselves to being only “cross-centered.” Continue reading
You already know how to see Jesus in the whole Bible. But now you might want to know how to integrate this into a sermon or Bible study:
- Where do you put the gospel connection in the message – at the start or at the end?
- How do you tie it to the message of the text?
There isn’t one best answer. It depends on your communication style, the audience and the passage you’re working with. Here is how I do it. Continue reading