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Staying faithful when the pressure was most intense. That's what these two did. The Jewish people had reason to be depressed. Their nation had been conquered. Their hometown was in ruins. They were living in captivity. Yet from the ashes, God raised up two key figures to preserve the Jewish race. Daniel was among the first of the captives carried away by the Babylonians. Although he lived in a culture opposed to God, he was always faithful to the Lord - even in the face of death - and ultimately was able to influence kings and rulers. Esther was in exile during the time of the Persian Empire. Like Daniel, the Lord also placed her in a position to influence those in power. God also called her to step out in faith and risk her life to foil a plot against her people. As a result of her bold actions, the entire Jewish race was saved from annihilation. The Life Lessons with Max Lucado series brings the Bible to life in twelve lessons filled with intriguing questions, inspirational stories, and poignant reflections to take you deeper into God's Word. Each lesson includes an opening reflection, background information, an excerpt of the text (from the New International and New King James versions), exploration questions, inspirational thoughts from Max, and a closing takeaway for further reflection. The Life Lessons series is ideal for use in both a small-group setting and for individual study.
There has been an explosion of interest in wisdom literature, and many studies are now available. There is every opportunity for people to 'get wisdom, get insight' (Prov. 4:5). However, in today's world it seems that the practical sensibilities that come from wisdom are found in very few places. Wisdom literature is needed now more than ever. By walking in the way of wisdom we will 'find favour and good success in the sight of God and man' (Prov. 3:4). Richard Belcher's valuable study begins with a survey of the problem of wisdom literature in Old Testament theology. Subsequent chapters focus on the message and theology of the books of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes. These books point forward to the need for Christ and the gospel. Belcher concludes by exploring the relationship of Christ to wisdom in terms of his person, work and teaching ministry.
Some chose to follow God. Others followed only fame and fortune. They lived through times of difficulty and times of triumph, through political and emotional turmoil, through popularity and through discontent. This ten-session LifeBuilder Bible Study focuses on the character of the Kings of the Old Testament and what we can learn from them. For over three decades LifeBuilder Bible Studies have provided solid biblical content and raised thought-provoking questions-making for a one-of-a-kind Bible study experience for individuals and groups. This series has more than 120 titles on Old and New Testament books, character studies, and topical studies.
Stephen D. Eyre leads you to explore this story of God's people seeking after him. As you trace their journey, experiencing their forward progress, their detours and their obstacles, you, too, will learn to follow God more closely.
Isaiah 24-27 has been an enduring mystery and a hotly contested text for biblical scholars. Early scholarship linked its references to the dead rising to the New Testament. These theories have remained influential even as common opinion moderated over the course of the twentieth century. In this volume, Christopher B. Hays situates Isaiah 24-27 within its historical and cultural contexts. He methodically demonstrates that it is not apocalyptic; that its imagery of divine feasting and conquering death have ancient cognates; and that its Hebrew language does not reflect a late composition date. He also shows how the passage celebrates the receding of Assyrian power from Judah, and especially from the citadel at Ramat Rahel near Jerusalem, in the late seventh century. This was the time of King Josiah and his scribes, who saw a political opportunity and issued a peace overture to the former northern kingdom. Using comparative, archaeological, linguistic, and literary tools, Hays' volume changes the study of Isaiah, arguing for a different historical setting than that of traditional scholarship.
A theological exploration of Genesis 2 which renews our vision of the purpose of marriage as the central drama within God's salvation plan. Marriage seems increasingly irrelevant to many people today. But is this a true understanding of marriage? Could it be that God may have expectations for marriage which are distinct from our own, and wholly unaffected by our feelings or debates? If God is the author and definer of marriage, then we must look to the Author to discern its meaning rather than ourselves. The Genesis of Marriage sets out a biblical theology of marriage, grounded in the Marriage Text of Genesis 2:18-25, and investigates how it fits in its own context of Genesis 1 - 3 and the whole of Scripture. Examining the Marriage Text exegetically and theologically, Shenk shows this as the climax and conclusion of the two creation accounts, and explores what this reveals about the nature and character of God. The doctrinal implications of this are then explored, answering such practical questions such as, 'What are the ethics of marriage?' and 'How do we approach the real-world concerns of separation, divorce, and remarriage?'. Shenk's exploration helps dispel our modern disillusionment with marriage, or at least our ideas and beliefs about marriage which may be at odds with God's, to reveal deep truth about the nature and character of God.
In Biblical Theology, Ben Witherington, III, examines the theology of the Old and New Testaments as a totality. Going beyond an account of carefully crafted Old and New Testament theologies, he demonstrates the ideas that make the Bible a sacred book with a unified theology. Witherington brings a distinctive methodology to this study. Taking a constructive approach, he first examines the foundations of the writers' symbolic universe - what they thought and presupposed about God - and how they revealed those thoughts through the narratives of the Old and New Testaments. He also shows how the historical contexts and intellectual worlds of the Old and New Testaments conditioned their narratives, and, in the process, created a large coherent Biblical world view, one that progressively reveals the character and action of God. Thus, the Yahweh of the Old Testament, the Son in the Gospels, and the Father, Son, and Spirit in the New Testament writings are viewed as persons who are part of the singular divine identity. Sensitive to do a more than merely thematic reading of the Bible which strips texts out of their original context, Witherington's progressive revelation approach allows each part of the canon to be read in its original context and with its original meaning. The result is a Biblical theology that allows Jews and Christian's to dialogue about and appreciate the sacred scriptures in both testaments. The capstone work of an internationally known theologian, Biblical Theology also offers new insights on key theological issues, including the character of God, grace, covenants, salvation, election, and eschatology as they relate to the doctrine of God.
It is well-known that Jesus was Jewish and that there are considerable connections between the Old and New Testaments. This book details the astonishingly large number of these connections and reveals how much of what Jesus taught had already been written in the Old Testament. The fact that he was Jewish is often interpreted ethnically and not in terms of his religion. When the pagan additions to Christian doctrine are removed what is left is the teaching of a superlative Jewish prophet. What is revealed in this book is the unexpectedly large overlap between Judaism and Christianity. The main body consists of comparative quotes from the Old and New Testaments, followed by a chapter showing the darker side of Jesus' teaching, which is a result of his place, time and circumstances. There is a chapter quoting those teachings which transcend his circumstances and are his spiritual gift to humanity. The book ends by discussing antisemitism historically and includes an analysis of Nostra Aetate, the Catholic Church's alleged exoneration of the Jewish people from the attribution of eternal guilt for the crucifixion. Rescuing Jesus from Christianity will appeal to readers with an interest in religion, spirituality and inter-faith communication.
New York pastor Timothy Keller is known for his ability to connect a deep understanding of the Bible with contemporary thought and the practical issues we all face in our lives. My Rock; My Refuge - his first devotional, consisting of all new material - offers inspiration for every day of the year, based on the book of Psalms. Here Keller helps readers apply the principles he laid out in his book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. He walks them verse by verse through the entire Psalter, the one biblical book designed to teach us how to pray, how to spiritually handle every possible life situation, and how to actually know God. This title is published in the US as The Songs of Jesus.
For classical philosophers, friendship was a serious topic of ethical reflection, yet in contemporary discussions on ethics, this subject is largely absent. Drawing upon Aristotelian ethics based on virtue, Patricia Vesely examines friendship as a moral category in the Book of Job, illuminating those virtues, motivations, and perceptions that this relationship entails. She argues that for Job, the virtues of loyalty, compassion, courage, humility, honesty, hospitality, and practical wisdom are essential to a relationship of friendship. These traits of character are most fully embodied in actions of advocacy. In addition to a detailed examination of friendship in the Book of Job, Vesely addresses topics such as the contribution of virtue to human flourishing, the role of tragic literature in moral formation, friendship in Hellenistic and biblical contexts, and ethics in heroic societies. Her book brings together topics spanning philosophy, ethics, and biblical studies, yielding a work that will appeal to a broad range of audiences.
The people of Israel were carried away to Babylon, where they lived as exiles and outcasts. God sent this judgment on His people because of their continued unfaithfulness to His word-but the day came when He called them to return to Jerusalem. However, when they arrived there, they discovered things had dramatically changed for the worse. The Temple was destroyed, the city walls were torn down, and the land had been taken over by people who did not want them back. There was work to be done, and it was not going to be easy. In this study, John MacArthur guides readers through an in-depth look at the historical period beginning with Ezra's early return to Jerusalem, continuing through the teachings of Israel's prophets during the time, and concluding with Nehemiah and the people's rebuilding efforts in the city. Studies include close-up examinations of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and others, as well as careful considerations of doctrinal themes such as "Unequally Yoked" and ""Worshiping God." The MacArthur Bible Studies provide intriguing examinations of the whole of Scripture. Each guide incorporates extensive commentary, detailed observations on overriding themes, and probing questions to help you study the Word of God with guidance from John MacArthur.
1 and 2 Kings unfolds an epic narrative that concludes the long story of Israel's experience with institutional monarchy, a sequence of events that begins with the accession of Solomon and the establishment of the Jerusalem temple, moves through the partition into north and south, and leads inexorably toward the nation's destruction and the passage to exile in Babylon. Keith Bodner's The Theology of the Book of Kings provides a reading of the narrative attentive to its literary sophistication and theological subtleties, as the cast of characters - from the royal courts to the rural fields - are variously challenged to resist the tempting pathway of political and spiritual accommodations and instead maintain allegiance to their covenant with God. In dialogue with a range of contemporary interpreters, this study is a preliminary exploration of some theological questions that arise from the Kings narrative, while inviting contemporary communities of faith into deeper engagement with this enduring account of divine reliability amidst human scheming and rapaciousness.
Full color pamphlet explains the type of Proverbs and includes discussion questions for group study.
Worship is a daunting task. For that reason, God gave us the Psalms. This collection of hymns and petitions was written over a span of centuries, in many different settings, by kings such as David and Solomon and commoners like Asaph, Heman, and the sons of Korah. Some of the psalms are defiant; others are reverent. Some are meant to be sung; others are to be prayed. Some are intensely personal; others are written as if the whole world is to use them. But all have one purpose - to help us express our hears to God. So don't just read these psalms but actually pray them along with the saints who composed them. As you do, you will experience their energy, appreciate their honesty, and enjoy their creativity. The Life Lessons with Max Lucado series brings the Bible to life in twelve lessons filled with intriguing questions, inspirational stories, and poignant reflections to take you deeper into God's Word. Each lesson includes an opening reflection, background information, an excerpt of the text (from the New International and New King James versions), exploration questions, inspirational thoughts from Max, and a closing takeaway for further reflection. The Life Lessons series is ideal for use in both a small-group setting and for individual study.
In this engaging book, Graeme Goldsworthy reflects with clarity and practical insight on reading and using the Old Testament. By showing us how Jesus is central to the Old Testament's message, he encourages us to reinstate it as essential and transformative to our lives, churches and mission in today's world. The author asks important questions: Where is Jesus in the whole biblical storyline? How does the kingdom of God relate to him? In what way is he central to the divine revelation? This is a must-read for those who wish to transform their biblical understanding.
This volume explores the aesthetic dimensions of biblical poetry, offering close readings of poems across the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. Composed of essays by fifteen leading scholars of biblical poetry, it offers creative and insightful close readings of poems from across the canon of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (Psalms, wisdom poetry, Song of Songs, prophecy, and poetry in biblical narrative). The essays build on recent advances in our understanding of biblical poetry and engage a variety of theoretical perspectives and current trends in the study of literature. They demonstrate the rewards of careful attention to textual detail, and they provide models of the practice of close reading for students, scholars, and general readers. They also highlight the rich aesthetic value of the biblical poetic corpus and offer reflection on the nature of poetry itself as a meaningful and enduring form of art.
The Book of Proverbs' frequent use of binary oppositions - righteous and wicked, wise and foolish - has led many to assume that its vision of the moral world is relatively simplistic. This study demonstrates that Proverbs in fact presents a remarkably sophisticated response to ethical questions of profound concern to the Israelite sages who crafted the book: what motivates human beings? How do they learn? How does the power of desire shape human characters? Anne W. Stewart analyzes Proverbs' multifaceted collection of images and metaphors to reveal their complex understanding of the development of the moral self, which suggests that character formation requires educating all of the senses and not simply the cognitive faculties. One of few works to make explicit connections between the poetic form of Proverbs and its pedagogical function, Poetic Ethics in Proverbs will appeal to all those interested in literary approaches to the Bible.
A political crisis erupts when the Persian government falls to fanatics, and a Jewish insider goes rogue, determined to save her people at all costs. God and Politics in Esther explores politics and faith. It is about an era in which the prophets have been silenced and miracles have ceased, and Jewish politics has come to depend not on commands from on high, but on the boldness and belief of each woman and man. Esther takes radical action to win friends and allies, reverse terrifying decrees, and bring God's justice into the world with her own hands. Hazony's The Dawn has long been a cult classic, read at Purim each year the world over. Twenty years on, this revised edition brings the book to much wider attention. Three controversial new chapters address the astonishingly radical theology that emerges from amid the political intrigues of the book.
A fundamental part of understanding one's ancestors is knowing when they were born, how long they lived, and when they died. Here in The Genesis Genealogies lies that crucial core information about the forebears of Christianity. Rev. Abraham Park has meticulously analyzed the information in The Book of Genesis. Taking the explicit date references in Genesis and performing math calculations forward and backward in time, he builds a complete chronological Biblical timeline from Adam to the Exodus, including the duration of construction of Noah's ark. With this Bible study of the cornerstone text of The Old Testament, we can more deeply understand the layers of meanings that Genesis offers. The Genesis Genealogies is a must-have for every Church Library. This title is part of The History of Redemption series which includes: Book 1: The Genesis Genealogies Book 2: The Covenant of the Torch Book 3: The Unquenchable Lamp of the Covenant Book 4: God's Profound and Mysterious Providence Book 5: The Promise of the Eternal Covenant
Offers a history of the interpretation of Chronicles in theology, worship, music, literature and art from the ancient period to the present day, demonstrating its foundational importance within the Old Testament * Explores important differences between the same topics and stories that occur in Chronicles and other biblical books such as Genesis and Kings, including the pious depiction of David, the clear correlation between moral behavior and divine reward, and the elevation of music in worship * Examines the reception of Chronicles among its interpreters, including rabbis of the Talmud, Jerome, Martin Luther, Johann Sebastian Bach, Cotton Mather, and others, * Features broad yet comprehensive coverage that considers Jewish and Christian, ancient and modern, and secular and pop cultural interpretations * Organizes discussions by verse to illuminate each one s changing meaning across the ages
The book of Job speaks to some of the most universal issues of our human experience. Feelings of grief, misery, sorrow and distress are played out against the backdrop of a man resolute in his claim of innocence of the accusations, brought by three of his alleged friends, of being an unrepentant sinner. But Job's sufferings serve to demonstrate more truth than Job and his friends grasped. Walter Kaiser guides us through this often-neglected book to find that pure worship in suffering is not only possible, but that such times of suffering can deepen our insight into the character of God.
The complex and dramatic story of Joseph is the most sustained narrative in Genesis. Many call it a literary masterpiece and a story of great depth that can be read on many levels. In a lucid and engaging style, Alan T. Levenson brings the voices of Philo, Josephus, Midrash, and medieval commentators, as well as a wide range of modern scholars, into dialogue about this complex biblical figure. Levenson explores such questions as: Why did Joseph's brothers hate him so? What is achieved by Joseph's ups and downs on the path to extraordinary success? Why didn't Joseph tell his father he was alive and ruling Egypt? What was Joseph like as a husband and father? Was Joseph just or cruel in testing his brothers' characters? Levenson deftly shows how an unbroken chain of interpretive traditions, mainly literary but also artistic, have added to the depth of this fascinating and unique character.
The Teach the Text Commentary Series utilizes the best of biblical scholarship to provide the information a pastor needs to communicate the text effectively. The carefully selected preaching units and focused commentary allow pastors to quickly grasp the big idea and key themes of each passage of Scripture. Each unit of the commentary includes the big idea and key themes of the passage and sections dedicated to understanding, teaching, and illustrating the text.
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