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Showing posts from March, 2020

Citizens of....

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Citizenship in Rome and in Heaven "Only let your manner of life be worthy [act as citizens] of the Gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in on spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel"- Phillipians 1:27 ESV These words were from a man sitting in a prison cell (maybe house arrest) for crimes he didn't commit. His name was the Apostle Paul. Paul was writing a personal letter to all the Christians in the city of Philippi, giving them many practical encouragements as he waited for a trial before the Emperor of Rome (or his bureaucratic support).
As a citizen of the Roman Empire, Paul had many special legal privileges, among them the ability to request a trial in front of the Office of Caesar (Acts 25:11). In the Roman Empire, citizenship was a special privilege- among the peoples of Rome there were citizens, slaves and others. Millions of people did not have full legal c…

Central States Society of Biblical Literature 2020

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This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Central States Society of Biblical Literature meeting (again). This was my 2nd year volunteering/observing at the meeting and was able to get some exposure to the world of biblical scholarship (especially to Old Testament)- a field in which I plan to pursue as a vocation, God leading.
SBL involves professors, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to present early versions of their research papers on various topics of biblical studies with papers ranging from discussions of beheadings and homosexuality around the area of Sodom, to Jesus being a "living constitution" in the Book of Philippians. For both years I've attended, it has been hosted at the beautiful (though quite progressive) Eden Theological Seminary- a seminary of the United Church of Christ in a St. Louis suburb.

Being inexperienced in the field of biblical scholarship, I heard many new (and some familiar concepts)- some of which may not be the gr…

Word for Word: Episode 56

Our Home: The Earth
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים יִקָּו֨וּ הַמַּ֜יִם מִתַּ֤חַת הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ אֶל־ מָקֹ֣ום אֶחָ֔ד וְתֵרָאֶ֖ה הַיַּבָּשָׁ֑ה וַֽיְהִי־ כֵֽן׃ וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים לַיַּבָּשָׁה֙ אֶ֔רֶץ וּלְמִקְוֵ֥ה הַמַּ֖יִם קָרָ֣א יַמִּ֑ים וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־ טֹֽוב׃
And God said to the water under the sky, "Get together into one place, so that which is dry can be seen". And so, it happened. God called the dry stuff "land" and the gathered waters he called "seas". And God saw that it was good.  -- Genesis 1:9-10 (dynamic equivalent translation).
The narrative of the creation of the world we know is a bit simplistic to us in that God just seems to tell inanimate matter to act on its own accord. The translation "let [this happen]" to give room for natural laws to just go into affect and form stuff on its own. In the case of water and bedrock, this is quite literally what happens when a liquid flows into a solid basin, "seeki…