Category Archives: Biblical Studies

Purim

Purim

Purim is a holiday celebrated by Jewish people for centuries to commemorate the defeat of Haman, who had plotted to have all the Jews massacred in the kingdom of the Xerxes, king of Persia. This sinister plot is revealed and ultimately stopped due to the boldness of Esther and her uncle Mordecai. You can read all about this in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible. Continue reading

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How the Son of Man Will Evaluate “All the Nations”

How the Son of Man Will Evaluate “All the Nations”

The story told by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46 begins with this introduction:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25.31–32)

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“Blood Moon” Passages in the Bible

“Blood Moon” Passages in the Bible

In light of tonight’s celestial event, I thought it would be good list the passages in scripture that refer to the “moon turning to blood.”  There are three such passages, with one being a duplicate:  Peter’s quote of Joel on the Day of Pentecost (the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, or “Weeks”).  The other is from the book of Revelation.  While there are other biblical passages that describe signs and events in the heavens (the most well known being the star signifying Jesus’ birth), these are the only three that mention what has popularly been called “blood moons”.

Note that the “moon to blood” also includes other celestial events, such as the sun being darkened (all three) and stars falling to the earth (Revelation only).  Additionally, Peter seems to be saying that this prophecy from Joel was being fulfilled at Pentecost.  I quote each of them at length for context: Continue reading

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Marc Brettler: “A Jewish Perspective on the New Testament”

Marc Brettler: “A Jewish Perspective on the New Testament”

The 2015 David S. Lobel Visiting Scholar Lecture at Stanford was given by Dr. Marc Brettler, co-editor of the Jewish Annotated New Testament (JANT) with Amy Jill Levine.  In the lecture Dr. Brettler gives some background on the work of the JANT, and then gives examples of his understanding of the Jewish context of several passages in the New Testament.  The lecture begins 5 minutes into the video, and the contextual examples begin about 21 minutes into the video.

It is a long lecture, but I highly recommend watching it if the first century context of the New Testament is of interest.

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The New Yorker on Everett Fox and Bible Translation

The New Yorker on Everett Fox and Bible Translation

Really good article in the New Yorker about Everett Fox’s fantastic (in my opinion) translations of the Hebrew scriptures.  I have yet to read another translator who has so accurately captured the feel of the Hebrew text. While some have criticized the English of Fox’s work, I think (with others) that a text from a foreign language and culture should continue to feel foreign even in translation.  One of the aspects of meaning is the world of the source language. Continue reading

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Biblical Hebrew Classes

Biblical Hebrew Classes

I’m excited for the upcoming online classes on biblical hebrew.  If you are interested, there are three class opportunities each week: Mondays 9pm-10pm, Thursdays 6am-7am, Fridays 12pm-1pm.  There are a couple of spaces left in each of the Monday and Thursday sessions, and only one in the Friday sessions.  Drop me a line if you would like to be included or would like more info.

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