November - Reading 1

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Good evening -

    The beginning of our November readings also marks the beginning of three new Books.

    Job

    When we began Nehemiah I had said that it was my favorite Book with the possible exception of this ancient literary masterpiece, Job. This book is unique in the Bible in both its style and in the view it gives us of the Nature of God. The Books primary focus is on a term known as theodicy. Briefly, theodicy has to do with the justice of God in perspective to human suffering. The Book is masterfully put after the Books of history whose theme was repeated again and again that obedience leads to blessing and disobedience leads to punishment. But what of individual humans? Mankind still ponders the question: why do bad things happen to good people?

    Enter Job, a righteous, godly man in whom the Lord delights. Satan (which literally translated means "accuser") goes before God and accuses Job of being righteous because of the favoritism that God shows him. In doing so, he makes the claim that Job's good is actually evil because God does not allow it to be tested. Satan challenges God over the faith of this one mortal man. If Job curses God it will prove that he is indeed not righteous, and that man will never be worthy to have the fellowship with God promised to us in Genesis 3 and Revelation 21.

    Job is unquestionably Israelite. The dating of the story is as ancient as the Patriarchs and the composition predates the exile. Because of its antiquity it is a challenge for many translators. The Septuagint rendition is about 400 lines shorter than the hebrew text. Nonetheless, what an incredible treasure we have preserved for us in this story.

    Ezekiel

    Of all the Books of the Bilble, Ezekiel is by far the eaiest to date because of the multitude of time references he supplies. What we lack, however, is any autobiographical source outside of the Book that bears his name. Ezekiel was born into a priestly family but was unfortunate enough to be one of the 10,000 Jews that went into exile in 597BC, 58 years before the fall of Jerusalem. While in Babylon he received the call to become a prophet.

    Parts of our readings in this Book will seem "detatched" while others will be quite vivid and passionate. Another brilliant man, Ezekiels message will be that the Jews are not going to return to a restored Jerusalem. The first seven years of his ministry are of preaching the gloom of the impending destruction (chapters 1-24) but his message then turns to one of hope. The theme and theology of the Book is evident: God is sovereign. Even the name echoed 93 times in this Book, son of man, attest to this feature.

    2 Peter

    The author of this Book identifies himself as "Simon Peter, an servant and apostle of Jesus Christ." The character of the Book attests to the fact that it is indeed Peter who wrote it. However, the authenticity of this claim has been challenged by many scholars. Their cheif argument lies in the fact that the style varies from the first Epistle to bear the name. This is not conclusive, however, in that the vocabulary and the fact that this is claimed by the author to be the "second letter" sent to the readers. Most noteworthy and in favor of the traditional view is the fact that "Silas" (1Peter 5:12) is not mentioned. Silas was Peter's secretary and a very knowledgable man concerning Greek linguistics. The absence of this translator may well account for the variance in style and composition.

    This Letter addresses how to deal with false teachers and evildoers in the church. The charge is to remain vigilant until the Lord's return.
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Good evening once again -

    As we begin our reading of Ezekiel, we see that the Book picks up on Ezekiel's life in his thirtieth year. This would have been the age that he would have entered the priesthood but since he was among the exiles, ostracized from the Temple and all of its ceremony and ritual, the point was moot. Instead, we see Ezekiel get another commission to serve God's purpose. Through a vision, Ezekiel is called to be a prophet. Of course, chapter one is well known among many who have seen or read any documentaries on UFO's. In Biblical terms however, the vision is fraught with symbolism. The creatures (cherubim) have four faces. The animals represented show power: the "man" having dominion on the earth, the "lion" the strongest of wild beast, the "ox" strongest of domesticated animals, and the "eagle" most powerful of the birds in the air. These creatures will once again appear in Revelation 4:7 and came to represent the four Gospels in pre-Renaissance art.

    In 1Peter, the author reassures his audience that the knowledge for salvation is inherent in the teachings of the Gospels and that this knowledge has come to us from God Himself. The progression of Christian attributes is a wonderful guide for the Christian that clearly shows the progression that we should follow for true spiritual growth.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  4. mark brandwein

    mark brandwein
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    0
    Welcome back. In (John), is this the "Feast of Tabernacles"? " Quenching one's thirst through Christ" this is a part of salvation. (2Peter) : Was this book written in Greek or Aramaic? Peter spoke Aramaic. Are there a lot of similarities between 2Peter and Jude? (Job): Is this part of a poem? (Esekiel):1-3, Is this the commission of Esekiel? God Bless
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    William Burkitt's Expository notes says about John 7:37:

    The feast of tabernacles (which is the first here meant) lasted eight days; the first and last of which were to be kept holy with religious assemblies and sacrifices; and it was a custom among the Jews, upon that solemn day, to offer up a pot of water unto God, which they drew out of the fountain of Siloam: with reference to this custom, Christ here cries with a loud voice, inviting the people to fetch and draw from him, as from a living fountain, all the sanctifying gifts and saving graces of the Holy Spirit.

    Learn hence, That Jesus Christ is the original and fountain of all saving grace, whom, if we thirst after, repair to, and by faith depend upon, as a Mediator, we shall certainly receive what influences of grace soever we want and stand in need of.


    As you may be aware, we do not have any original autographs of any Biblical texts, rather we have only copies which we often refer to as MSS. The ealiest MSS that we have of this Letter are in Greek. It would not be uncommon for a Galilean to know this language, particularly one who made his living through a maritime trade such as fishing as Greek was spoken throughout most of the Graeco-Roman world of this time, including Palestine.

    From the introduction to 2Peter in the NIV Study Bible, ©1995, Zondervan Publishing:

    There are conspicuous similarities between 2 Peter and Jude (compare 2Pe 2 with Jude 4 - 18), but there are also conspicuous differences. It has been suggested that one borowed from the other or that they drew from a common source. If there is borrowing, it is not slavish borowing, but one that adapts to suit the writer's purpose. While many have insisted that Jude used Peter, it is more reasonable to assume that the longer letter (Peter) incorporated much of the shorter (Jude). Such borrowing is fairly common in ancient writings. For example, many believe that Paul used parts of early hymns in Php 2:6-11 and 1Ti 3:16.

    International Standard Bible Encylclopedia
    Indeed it is. [​IMG]
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Sunday School lesson 6/5/05

    Ezekiel 1-3

    All of the classic characteristics of a prophet’s call are found in these Passages outlining the call of Ezekiel: (1) Confrontation by God; (2) Commission to the task; (3) A message conveyed; (4) Objection to the commission because of inadequacy; and (5) The empowering of the individual by God to rise to the task. Though a priest before the commission, it is at this point that Ezekiel begins to exist within the Spirit’s power. After this awesome experience, Ezekiel will be denied many of the normal patterns of life. He will become quickened and enlivened.

    In Jeremiah’s call, God called his attention to the things around him that a country poet would recognize: plants, craftsmen, etc. In Ezekiel’s case he will have an ecstatic vision that a lifetime of priestly training afforded him. The Spirit will take what is in a man as a natural or conditioned talent and enhance and magnify it to something to be used for God’s Glory. Ezekiel’s call and ministry show how God uses an individual’s personality to the fullest benefit.

    Ezekiel 1:1-3 The Superscription

    Much debate and speculation has arisen around the “thirtieth year” mentioned in verse 1. Some contend that this refers to the thirtieth year after Josiah initiated the reforms of the Jewish Law. Others say that it refers to the thirtieth year of his life, a very important point in a Jewish priest’s life (Numbers 4:3). Still others assert that this was the time from his initial call, perhaps into the priesthood. Still others claim that it refers to the thirtieth year after the reign of Nabopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar's father, a natural dating for one exiled in Babylon. Whatever the reference, however, of the thirtieth year in verse 1, verse 2, the only third person narrative in the Book and one of two citings of the prophet’s name, gives us a precise date of the call: July 31, 593BC.

    The vision occurred on the banks of the Chebar (KEE bahr) canal, a waterway we assume was an irrigation channel from the Euphrates River. We find it mentioned in Nippur business documents from the period as a channel that flowed into, through and out of the city of Babylon and then exited once again into the Euphrates.

    Ezekiel 1:4-14 The Theophanic Vision – The Storm and the Creatures

    In this well-known Passage, Ezekiel details for us the nature of the vision he had when he received his call. The details he describes in verse 4 imply that Ezekiel first witnessed a gathering storm from the north. From this earthly event, however, Ezekiel witnessed a miraculous sign. When we read these accounts we must remember that what Ezekiel was seeing was hard, if not impossible, to describe. We must not overlook the fact that Ezekiel obviously put great thought into describing these visions as he uses the words “like,” and “likeness,” repeatedly.

    The creatures he describes seem to be seraphim (Isaiah 6:2) or cherubim (Psalm 99:1). The four faces are of man, the noblest of God’s creations, the lion, the fiercest and by tradition the strongest of the animal kingdom, the ox, strongest of the domesticated animals, and the eagle, the mightiest of the predatory birds. In any case, the creatures’ significance lies in their association with the throne of God and their role as attendants or guardians of such.

    Ezekiel 1:15-21 The Four Wheels

    This particular Passage has remained a puzzle throughout the ages. What were these wheels that Ezekiel saw? Had the gyroscope existed in Ezekiel’s day the description of a “wheel within a wheel” would have been quite apt. Archaeological evidence shows us that ancient gods were sometimes pictured as traveling in floating thrones above the backs of sacred animals. Perhaps the wheel is symbolic of the mobility of God, that He was merely the local deity of Palestine but able to go into all the kingdoms. Perhaps the wheels may be actual wheels upon the chariot in which God was perceived as moving.

    Ezekiel 1:22-25 The Voice

    From above the creatures and the wheels, a voice like thunder was heard, obviously implying that the voice was that of the Lord Himself as the text states in verse 28. The presence from which the voice emanated was like the firmament, that is to say, like a canopy over the head of the creatures like the sky over the earth. The Hebrew term for “presence” is kabod. It implies an embodiment and is used in priestly circles with the embodiment of God over the Tabernacle or in the Temple. Through this experience, God demonstrates to Ezekiel that His presence knows no boundaries and He freely moves throughout His creation.

    Ezekiel 1:26-28 The Enthroned God

    Ezekiel’s description of the glory of the Lord mirrors the Old Testament assertion that the manifestation of the inner holiness of God is approachable but its pure essence is not.

    The most remarkable element of this account, however, is once again the repeated terminology of “like” and “likeness.” It shows a grappling on the part of the writer to express in human terms what can not be expressed. Human language is far too limited to describe what Ezekiel saw. We see a similar wrestling with description in Revelation 4.

    Ezekiel 2:1-3:3 The Mandate to Proclaim the Given Word

    In the calls to the prophets, we are given pictures of man’s inadequacy and God’s Grace. When Ezekiel beheld the visions and heard the voice, he fell prostrate to the ground, knowing that he was standing in the awe of the presence of God. It is only when man shows his abject humility to God that God can raise him to the zenith of his potential. It is man’s duty to be subservient to God. It is God’s prerogative to lift him to his feet.

    The term “son of man” as it used in Ezekiel is somewhat different than later Old Testament use and Christ’s designation of Himself. Whereas in those instances it designates the Messiah in human form, here it shows Ezekiel’s frailty in the face of the divine. It will be used as a title for the prophet 93 times in this Book. It is a reminder that even though Ezekiel witnessed this magnificent vision, he was still just a man.

    Once the Spirit entered him, a new condition existed. It was the entrance of the Spirit which enabled Ezekiel to have a revelation of the nature of God. It was the indwelling of the Spirit which gave him revelation. It would be through the incursion of the Spirit that God would give the son of man, Ezekiel, auditions, insight, and mandates.

    Unlike Jeremiah who was to prophesy to nations, Ezekiel’s task is to proclaim the message to a rebellious people: the Israelites. Like Jeremiah, however, they would respond the same way. They would react with threats, with chiding, with rebuke. He is told not to be concerned with his personal safety but to concentrate on relaying the given word. The true messenger of God will be rejected because of the message he gives (John 7:7). Whether they listened or not, however, was not relevant to Ezekiel’s purpose. He was to proclaim the words so that the people would know that God was among them.

    Though his people were rebellious, Ezekiel is commanded to obedience. He is then commanded to eat a scroll. The scroll is unusual in that it has writing on both sides. The content is of “lamentation, mourning and woe.” This implies that the message was a harsh and stern message of judgement.

    By eating the scroll, Ezekiel makes it a part of himself. The metaphorical expression of eating implies digestion and assimilation. Ezekiel would have intellectual assent and mental acknowledgement of the message. As the Psalmist proclaims in 19:10, the words were sweet. We have here an introduction to the concept of a religion based on written words and statutes that will become an important revelation to Ezekiel.

    Ezekiel 3:4-15 The Mandate to Achieve Prophetic Endurance

    God here warns Ezekiel not to fall into a common pitfall among those who proclaim His word. Just because the message is from God and the prophet has been commanded to speak does not mean that the audience will receive the message. God tells Ezekiel that the foreigners would be more receptive than the Israelites, because the Israelites were hardheaded and hard-hearted. They were willfully obstinate.

    To offset this resistance, God would empower Ezekiel with an ability to endure equal to their power to resist. The thrust of the prophet towards good would be more adamant than their bent towards evil. It would not be the son of man that would have this ability, however. It would be the Spirit that had come upon him. Just as the Spirit imbues him with this strong will, so it lifts him up and sets him on task. When he arrives at Tel-Abib, he sits overwhelmed among the people there. What caused this trauma? Though the Scriptures are not specific, we can surmise that he was overwhelmed because of the awe of his vision, the condition of the exile, the message of woe that had become a part of him, and the obvious change in his role now that he had been commissioned. Just as Jesus in Gathesemane, the awesome cup that could not pass from him contained all the worlds woe, sin, despair and hopelessness.

    Ezekiel 3:16-21 The Mandate of Responsibility

    It was a common simile among the prophets to be “watchmen.” This task in ancient times was of one who watched from the city walls for any impending danger. One who cried out at the approach of a foe. They were ever vigilant and any lapse in duty could have catastrophic consequences.

    In essence, it was really God who was the watchmen. The prophet was the relay or the messenger. God would “put the words” into the mouths of the prophets who would then sound the alarm. Whether the message was received or not, it was the prophet’s duty to proclaim it.

    This Passage in 18-21 introduces us to a concept that will be greatly expounded upon as the Book progresses, that of individual responsibility. This personalizing of man’s relationship to God went against the grain of common Jewish thought. It was not just a nation or an ethnicity that had been exiled, it was a group of individuals. This concept of judgment and responsibility becomes a hallmark of Ezekiel’s ministry.

    Ezekiel 3:22-27 The Mandate of Faithfulness to Calling

    In the first of many symbolic acts enacted by God and performed by Ezekiel, the prophet is shut up in his home and struck mute. The mandate comes in a place of solitude, the plain. It was in this place apart from others that Ezekiel once again sees the glory of the Lord displayed. Just as the people of Israel would attempt to bind Ezekiel from prophesying, so he would bind himself in his home. Since they would not listen, God would not let him talk.

    This implies that Ezekiel had already begun proclaiming the message at this point. The implication is that if man refuses to hear, God will refuse to speak. That silence in itself will have an effect, however, and when it is lifted, some may actually begin to listen. When the voice of the prophet is missing from life3, a yearning grows for its return. It is God an d not the prophet, however, who knows the right time for fruitful proclamation.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Job

    Sunday School 6/4/06

    Job

    Introduction





    It is difficult to write a brief introduction to the Book of Job. It has been called the greatest piece of literature in history. It is a true literary masterpiece. It is an ancient story from the time of the Patriarchs but it has always held an interest for every generation because in it we see the philosophies of the theologian come head to head with the experience of the everyman. In Job we see the essence of true religion on a personal level.

    We all wish to be the Job we meet in the prologue of chapter 1. He is wealthy, pious; he has raised his children well. He is well known and well respected. However, we all empathize more with the Job of chapter 3 who cries out to a silent God for answers when tragedy strikes us. In the end, like Job, we must face the fact that we will not know all in this lifetime. God created us with reason and intuition but it is limited and it is with the realization of that limitedness that we understand that wisdom begins with the Biblical edict to fear the Lord.

    Authorship and dating: Scholarspresume that due to the variety of styles and vocabularies found in Job that it is a poem edited over the centuries, some portions dating back as far as the 10th century BC. One commentator compared it to the construction of a medieval cathedral in which a variety of architects added to the design over a century working towards one marvelous masterpiece. Only a trained eye can tell where one stage ends and another begins.

    The antiquity of the original story is shown in that there is no mention of the Covenant, the Patriarchs, or the Temple. The author is obviously Jewish as the Covenant name of Yahweh is used in the Book, though sparingly. Instead we see mention of various peoples from around the Palestinian area as supporting characters. Further, the scene in the Heavenly courtroom tells of “the sons of God,” beings that would in later literature be named “angels.”

    Theme: This is a broad topic in the Book of Job but we are introduced to a few of the main themes in the first couple of chapters. Job is the story of a righteous man and a righteous God. It is an answer to the prevailing thought of many theologies that state that blessing is a sign of righteousness while misfortune is a sign of sin. Job asks the question of those of us who claim to be religious: Do you love the gift or do you love the Giver? Job states it well in 1:10: Shall we receive good at the hands of God and not receive evil?

    Another theme that is explored with some depth is the pastoral failings of Job’s friends. If we are quite honest with ourselves we may see ourselves in them at certain points. We are quick to shout advice to Job from safe ground. We hide behind our theological props. We become terrible comforters as Job becomes a theological proposition rather than a person who needs our friendship. We feel threatened as Job confronts God and we become angry rather than recognizing the limits of our own doctrines.

    So as we begin our study of the Book of Job we must ask the same questions that the original author faced all those many years ago as he saw human suffering with those who are righteous. If God is almighty, how can he allow the suffering of His servants? The logical answers may be somewhat troubling. Perhaps He is not Almighty or perhaps is not just. Of course, Job’s author knew as well as we do that neither of these conclusions are in the realm of possibility. God is almighty and He is just. Yet, the suffering of good people defies theological logic. Human experience teaches us that there is a flaw in absolute thinking concerning blessing and reward.

    Man has never come to grips completely with that flaw in our thinking and thus Job remains one of the most well known stories in the Bible. Even after all these years it still breaks out of the theological mold and states the great truth that it is sometimes in our suffering that we have the opportunity to express the highest form of godliness in human beings.

    The role of the adversary: It should be noted as we begin that the name “satan” means “accuser” and it is not a proper name appearing in the original language of the narrative. Just as the term angels came after the writing of Job, so too did the designation of the devil as one named “satan.” Nonetheless, this is exactly who we are dealing with in the story. Unable to contend with God hand to hand, his strategy is to thwart God’s plan for the creation made in His image. He attempts to alienate us from God. He seeks to create a situation that will remove us to a point that there can be no reconciliation. In the Book of Job he makes a radical assault on our relationship.

    The adversary attempts to assail God’s beloved servant Job and make God look like a fool in one swift thrust. He states that Job’s godliness is in fact evil. He claims that Job’s uprightness lacks integrity, that it is, in fact, a sin. Job’s piety, says the adversary, is self-serving and he only acts the way he does because it pays. The adversary boldly claims that if God removes the favor He bestows on the righteous, they will be exposed as charlatans.

    If this claim plays out to be true, then the plan for redemption is unthinkable. If human righteousness is actually evil, then the only choice God has is to sweep us all away with terrible judgment. Once stated, the adversary’s accusation can not be ignored. It strikes at the very essence of God’s relationship with His fallen creature. So God let’s the adversary have his way with Job, with certain restrictions.

    The twist in the story is that the adversary is never again mentioned after chapter 2. From that point forward, Job is assailed by the orthodox theology of his friends.

    The Gospel in Job: Jewish theology was quite familiar with covenant mediators. Noah, Moses, Joshua and others filled those roles. They filled an important function for the corporate people of God in the Old Testament. But Job was an individual man on the verge of death who was not seeking vindication in the afterlife but in the here and now. In chapter 9 from the depths of his despair, Job cries out for a mediator, literally, an umpire, so that he may have contact between himself and God. In chapter 16, that mediator is called a “witness in Heaven” who will plead with God as a mortal with a friend. In chapter 19 the mediator is referred to as filling the role of next of kin. Elihu in chapter 33 refers to the mediator as the Heavenly messenger who could bring about Job’s healing. The mediator would be one who plays counter to the role of the adversary. Though the mention of the mediator is tentative and intermittent, the call for Christ is evident in a story that predates Jesus’ incarnation by centuries.
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    Job

    Job 1-2


    Job 1:1-5 Job Introduced

    The opening phrase “there was a man” sets the stage that this is a story of an individual’s experience. The problems that arise will revolve around one man, not a nation nor all of mankind. This one man’s name was Job. The name is found 56 times in the Book that bears his name. He is mentioned in Ezekiel in the company of Noah and Daniel showing that he was a well known hero of old. There are various translations of the name including “he who weeps,” “the assailed,” and “where is my father.” Because of the antiquity of the Book, we can never be sure of the exact translation.

    Job was characterized with four qualities. He was blameless (KJV – perfect), upright, feared God and turned from evil. In short, he was a well adjusted, wise, wholesome, morally sound man.
    ]
    In addition to this, or, in the theology of the day, because of this, he was blessed with great wealth. That wealth was measured not in land but in livestock, servants and children. Job had an abundance of each. The children had been raised properly and the family unit was strong, gathering together for meals and religious observances. Job shared his wealth with the children as the sons are noted as having houses of their own. The daughters, normally not included in such gatherings, also came to feast and when it was all said and done, the pious Job would have them prepare themselves ceremonially and would offer sacrifices to cover any potential sins committed by them. The role of the father as priest also points to the early origin of the story.

    The reader is left with no doubt as to Job’s character. He enjoyed a very prosperous life: spiritually, familial, economically and spiritually.

    Job 1:6-12 The Setting in Heaven

    God initiates the conversation with the adversary. He asks him, “Where have you been.” The reply is “going to and fro,” a play on words with the word “satan.” It is used elsewhere of the spying eyes of the king.

    Again, it is God who initiates the subject of Job. “Have you considered Job?’ giving him the title of servant. He repeats the four attributes of verse one and also adds that there is none like him to strengthen the credentials. The adversary does not question any of the claims about Job but instead aims at his intention. Does Job love God for naught? He is asking if Job is motivated by prophet. The instrument by which this question will be tested is suffering. The adversary’s claim is that should God remove His providence, Job will no longer fear Him. To the contrary, he will curse Him. God accepts the challenge but He keeps the devil on a leash. He can not touch Job himself.

    Job 1:13-22 The Setting in Job’s Home

    All of the prosperity Job had according to verses 2-3 are removed almost simultaneously. The adversary had called for a removal of “all that he has” in verse 11 and now that quickly comes to pass.

    The four catastrophes move from least to greatest. First was the 500 yoke of oxen and the 500 mare donkeys. The loss of one thousand animals and many servants would be a tremendous blow. The next tragedy was the loss of 7000 sheep to (perhaps) lightning. The third was an attack by the pre-Babylonian Chaldeans upon his servants who kept his camels and the loss of those animals. Then the fourth and most devastating blow to Job came. All ten of his children were killed when a violent wind, perhaps a tornado, leveled the eldest son’s house with them all inside. It is at this point that Job finally speaks.

    It is also at this point that the adversary was sure he would win his bet. Rather than cursing, Job humbled himself and worshipped God. His devotion ran deeper than his earthly possessions. Job did mourn, however, and as was the custom of the time he shaved his head and tore his robe. We can assume that the benediction of verse 21 was as much for the benefit of the four messengers as it was for himself.

    Job speaks of the Lord taking away, showing us that he is completely unaware of the role he is playing in the struggle between light and darkness. Nonetheless, the final statement of verse 22 shows that the adversary had failed miserably.
     
    #8 Clint Kritzer, Oct 31, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2006
  9. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    2 Peter

    2Peter

    Introduction




    While 1Peter has always held a secure place in the canon and has historically faced little real opposition as to its authenticity, 2Peter has from the beginning weighed heavy with controversy. The first and foremost argument against it being an authentic work of the Apostle Peter is that we find no substantial mention of the writing before the third century. 2Peter is far from alone in having been doubted as authentic. Jude, James, 2nd and 3rd John also fall into the category of disputed works. Eusebius wrote in his definitive church history in 325 AD that while these writings were disputed, they were also already well known by his time.

    Three main arguments lay at the base of the early church’s hesitancy to accept 2Peter. First among these is that the Book was practically unknown before the third century. Origen (217-251 AD) wrote in his commentary on John 5:3 that Peter had left one acknowledged Letter (our 1Peter) and a second disputed one that bore his name (our 2Peter). Secondly, the textual differences between the two Books are obvious. The polished and refined Greek of 1Peter is seriously lacking in 2Peter. The vocabulary is quite different as well. Third, The striking similarity with points of 2Peter and Jude caused the church to hesitate. The message that both Books convey seem to be addressing the Gnostic heresy in a much later stage of development than it would have been in Peter’s time.

    On the other side of the coin, there is a school of thought that accepts 2Peter as fully authentic. For these theorists, the arguments against authenticity can be answered satisfactorily. Though Origen mentioned 2Peter as being a disputed work, he went on to quote it in his writings numerous times without any hesitancy or explanation. Also, other early writings may have used the work but the phrases are not long enough to draw a positive conclusion. In any case, none of the early church fathers outright rejected 2 Peter or the authorship as being Petrine.

    As for the grammatical variances in 1st and 2nd Peter, proponents of Petrine authorship point to the mention of Silvanus at the end of the first epistle. Since no scribe is mentioned in 2Peter, it is theorized that a different scribe was used or even that Peter himself, a blue-collar, informally educated man penned the Letter.

    The issue of the heresy the Book addresses is explained by comparing it to two other widely accepted New Testament Books: Colossians and Ephesians. Both of these writings also address a Gnostic-like heresy that seems more full blown than what we currently know about the Gnostic movement.

    In short, when one wades through the volumes of literature dedicated to the debate over the authorship of 2Peter, it all comes down to how one weighs the evidence and what one wishes to conclude.

    It is unfortunate that such debate is raised over authorship as it detracts from the remarkable message within the Book. Regardless of authorship, the Book was composed to combat heresy. It warns its readers of the coming of false teachers and reassures them of the Second Coming of Christ. These false teachers that were coming based their teachings on a denial of Christ, defiance to God’s authority, and an inevitable failure on the part of God’s judgment. Chapter 1 begins establishing a baseline of true full knowledge as possessed by those who believe in Christ.
     
  10. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4
    2 Peter

    2Peter 1:1-11


    2Peter 1:1-2 The Salutation

    Without delving further into the claims of authorship, Simon is the real, Hebrew name of the Apostle while Peter is the Greek nickname Christ gave him while they were together. He became the leader among the Twelve and in the early years after the Lord’s Ascension he was the leader of the Jewish segment of the church in Jerusalem.

    There is no geographical mention of the place of writing or its final destination. Instead those being addressed are “those who have attained a faith of equal standing with ours.” The word “ours” may refer to the Jewish Christians which would make the recipients Gentiles. The nature of the heresy addressed also indicates a Gentile audience. The unusual phrasing of “our God and Savior, Jesus Christ” may be an opening rebuttal to the heresy being addressed.

    The customary prayer for peace is accompanied with knowledge of God and of Jesus. The word rendered “knowledge” in our text is actually a compound word more accurately meaning “full knowledge.” As such it presents a play on words as Peter is praying for “epignosis” in contrast to the “gnosis,” or knowledge of the heretics. The grace and peace he prays for is rooted in the full knowledge of God and Jesus Christ.

    2Peter 1:3-11 Knowledge Which Transforms

    Having prayed for full knowledge for his readers in the salutation, Peter now informs them of the nature and correct view of such knowledge and the effect it has on the life of the Christian. This true knowledge is, once again, rooted in “he who called us.” Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    He has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” indicating that there is no need for further revelation as the Gnostics contended. God through Christ provides for us all the things necessary for life and for an appropriate style of life. The Gnostics contended that salvation was purely spiritual and had no relation to the physical life. Knowledge rooted in God held that salvation touches the whole of the person, body, mid and soul.

    By His divine power He made it possible for us to share in his own glory and excellence. He has made it possible for us to share in His very nature. Through that experience He gives us “precious and very great promises” which assure us that we can escape controlling evil and corruption.

    For this very reason we have a corresponding responsibility towards upright living. We are to make every effort towards conforming our behavior to the divine nature God has enabled us to know. Such a life is described in a series of qualities that build one upon the other beginning in verse 5.

    The foundation principle is faith and it is upon faith that all other Christian characteristics rest. Faith entails trusting God and His promises. Added to faith is virtue which denotes moral excellence. Next to be added is knowledge which is practical understanding so that virtue will not be misdirected. Then comes self-control or temperance, which in this particular instance refers to good moral character and restraint of one’s impulses. Next on the ladder is steadfastness which is the common New Testament term for patience in staying the course. Upon that steadfastness is godliness which means to be god-like, conforming to the divine nature. That brings us to the twin qualities of brotherly affection and love. Brotherly affection is the love of the brethren, the philadelphia feeling we have as a fellowship. Love is the agape love that refers to putting supreme value upon another. This is the fitting crown of a life that begins properly with faith.

    A life that follows the course set out in verses 5 through 7 will prevent us from being “ineffective or unfruitful.” If one lacks these qualities he will lose his way and live in blindness. He will forget that he has been forgiven of his former sins. He will therefore forget that he has abandoned his former life. He will turn to the emptiness from which he was rescued.

    In verse 10, the “therefore” is not the usual connecting word but is instead a phrase meaning “wherefore, rather.” Instead of the blind emptiness described in verse 9, the Christian is urged towards a zealous life as found in the valid life touched by Christ. The word for “zealous” or “diligence” is the verb form of the word from which we get our English word “hasten.” It means to make every effort to make what is being considered a reality.

    Living in such a manner will enable one to walk the rough road of life without stumbling over the rocks. It will lead us to the final consummation of glory with our Lord. The eternal kingdom is our ultimate goal and living a life based on faith proceeding to love will bring us to the entrance of that kingdom. Christ has richly provided us the way.
     
  11. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2001
    Messages:
    7,739
    Likes Received:
    4

Share This Page

Loading...