2462. Psalm 110 is the pinnacle and head of all Scripture. It gives an account of the kingdom and the priesthood of Christ in the most splendid manner, in that it states that it Christ who rules over everything and comes for everyone and has everything in His hand. It is an excellent spiritual exposition. This Psalm is invaluable, and whenever I am sick I rely on it. (p. 217).
18. Children’s faith and lives are the best, because they hold fast to the Word and simply know God, and they believe in God for certain, just as He said and promised. But we old fools suffer from heartache and hellish fire, debate the Word at length, and finally must follow their example and cling to the Word. It’s the devil’s clever little trick, yes, pranks, that we let ourselves be led away from the Word so wretchedly that not even we know how. We are foremost poor souls, for whom it would be best if we died early and were hastily covered with dirt. (p. 392).
When you think back on your spiritual journey, who were the people God used to encourage you in the faith? Your parents? Maybe a teacher or a pastor? A grandparent? A close friend? Most believers can think of at least one or two people who were instrumental in their Christian growth.
In Philippians 2:19-24, Paul introduces Timothy, his spiritual “son in the faith,” whom he planned to send to the church in Philippi as an encouragement. Paul trusted that Timothy would show genuine concern for the people there and would serve as a positive role model of Christ-like living.
What can we learn from Timothy’s example? And what does his life teach us about Jesus?
That is the question I tried to answer this past Sunday when I preached this passage at Christ’s Covenant Church. You can listen to the audio here.
And of course, if you want to read more about this passage, you can check out my commentary here.
Over at the The Paul Page, Don Garlington has written a lengthy review of Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo. While surveying all of the essays, he devotes special attention to the three essays by James D.G. Dunn, Stephen Westerholm, and N.T. Wright because of their relevance to the discussion about the so-called Old and New Perspectives on Paul. The entire review is worth reading, but here is Garlington’s conclusion:
All in all, this volume is more useful than many Festschriften in its accumulation of essays that provide exegesis of biblical texts, interaction with current scholarship, and applications to the church at large. Apart from disagreements that advocates of the new perspective might have with the honoree, this is a book that should be consulted often. No doubt, we will remain in Doug Moo’s debt for some time to come.
3530. It is God’s greatest blessing when love continues to bloom in marriage. At first love is passionate, an intoxicating love, which blinds us, and like a drunk we forge ahead. But when we have slept off our intoxication, then there remains among the faithful true married love, while those without faith have regrets. (p. 51).
For the last two months I have been working on another secret project: serving as a beta tester for Bibleworks 10. I have been using Bibleworks for over 20 years (starting with version 3.0!), and it has become an essential tool for me in studying God’s Word. Hardly a day goes by where I do not open Bibleworks, whether it’s to help me work on a lecture, write a book, prepare a sermon, or simply grow in my relationship with God. It is the Bible software that I recommend to my students and train them how to use. The value of what you get in the base package is simply without parallel in the world of Bible software. With the release of version 10, Bibleworks has further cemented its place as the premier software for studying the Biblical text, especially in the original languages.
The base package includes a number of improvements to an already strong foundation. In addition to several changes that allow the user greater flexibility in the interface, Bibleworks 10 includes a number of new features. An EPUB reader allows you to use e-books to enhance your study of Scripture. The Forms tab instantly allows you to see all the forms of a word and the number of occurrences of each form. The User Lexicon Tab allows you to create your own custom lexical entry for words that is saved automatically. High resolution images of the Leningradensis Codex allow you to see the manuscript basis for many of our Hebrew texts, joining an existing collection of key NT manuscripts. Sound files for the Greek NT allow you to listen to the text being read.
Bibleworks 10 also has several new add-on modules available for an additional cost. Perhaps the most exciting are the Stuttgart Original Languages Packages OT and NT editions. These modules contain the critical apparatus found in the printed text (NT=NA28; OT=BHS4) as well as other tools produced by German Bible Society. The ESV Bible Atlas is another helpful resource available as well.
6664. We are all great sinners, but we should not despair or abandon hope because of our sins. For God has made it known to all that forgiveness of sins applies to everyone who acknowledges and confesses their sins from the heart, and that no one is excluded who remains true to his word and clings to the faith (p. 466).
3828. Everything that comes to pass in the world is based on hope. No farmer would sow grain if he did not have hope for the seed. No young man would marry if he had no hope of offspring. No businessman or daily wage earner would work if he did not expect a profit or wages. And even more does the hope for eternal life carry us on! (p. 424).
669. If God is for us, who can be against us [Romans 8:31]? Death is swallowed up by victory (1 Cor 15:55]. And if that is the case with death, then it is the same with sin. If death, then also with all diseases. If death, then also all suffering. If death, then also all acts of the devil. If death, then also the fury of the world. But all of that is not yet apparent. Yes, today we see the opposite. Therefore faith is important. The unveiled manifestation of things will, in due time, follow faith. What is now invisible will, at that time, will become visible. Likewise, (just as it was in the beginning) the visible will be made from the invisible world (p. 399-400).
The most recent issue of the Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters contains an article I wrote entitled “Letter Carriers and Paul’s Use of Scripture.” Here is the abstract:
Within the discussion of Paul’s use of Scripture, scholars have frequently wondered how his predominantly Gentile congregations would have recognized his often subtle allusions to and echoes of the Old Testament, let alone their broader context. One solution has been to suggest that the carrier of the letter played a role in further explaining its contents. In order to assess the validity of this possibility, this article begins by exploring the role of letter carriers in the ancient world. A survey of the Pauline epistles indicates that his letter carriers performed a similar range of tasks; they were more than merely couriers. They were similar to Greco-Roman envoys, sent as a manifestation of Paul’s παρουσία and authorized to act on his behalf. As a result of this survey, two implications emerge for the study of Paul’s use of Scripture and the audience’s competency to recognize it: (1) Paul’s use of envoys suggests they were authorized to explain the contents of the letter further, including his use of Scripture. (2) Given the letter’s role to mediate the very presence of Paul himself, it is reasonable to conclude that his envoys engaged in teaching, a central component of his own ministry. Thus, there are solid grounds for suggesting that Paul’s letter carriers played a role in helping the audience to recognize Old Testament allusions and echoes, as well as their original context.
If you are interested in the study of the how the NT authors use the OT, this article is for you.