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Showing posts from November, 2013

Didache—Chapter 13

13 Every Genuine prophet
13:1 Every genuine prophet who wants to live among you is worthy of support.
13:2 So also, every true teacher is, like a workman, entitled to his support.
13:3 Every first fruit, therefore, of the products of vintage and harvest, of cattle and of sheep, should be given as first fruits to the prophets, for they are your high priests.
13:4 But if you have no prophet, give it all to the poor.
13:5 If you bake bread, take the first loaf and give it according to the commandment.
13:6 If you open a new jar of wine or of oil, take the first fruit and give it to the prophets.
13:7 If you acquire money or cloth or any other possession, set aside a portion first, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment.
This chapter can be a little tricky if it’s taken out of context so we need to address a couple of things. First up is the idea of a “prophet.” What’s a prophet? Are there prophets today?
In Judaism, a prophet was a spokesperson for G_d and could be eith…

NT Eschatology—Background Part 04

In this last stop of our very brief Old Testament eschatological expedition of poetic imagery, we come to the book of Malachi. It’s here that a fascinating picture comes to us. The fourth chapter states:

Malachi 4:Look, the day is coming, burning like an oven. All the arrogant ones and all those doing evil will become straw. The coming day will burn them, says [Yahweh] of heavenly forces, leaving them neither root nor branch.

But the sun of righteousness will rise on those revering my name; healing will be in its wings so that you will go forth and jump about like calves in the stall.
You will crush the wicked; they will be like dust beneath the soles of your feet on the day that I am preparing, says [Yahweh] of heavenly forces.
Remember the Instruction from Moses, my servant, to whom I gave Instruction and rules for all Israel at Horeb.
Look, I am sending Elijah the prophet to you, before the great and terrifying day of [Yahweh] arrives. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children and …

Weekly Gospel Reflection—24 November 2013

Luke 23.33-43: When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” They drew lots as a way of dividing up his clothing.
The people were standing around watching, but the leaders sneered at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he really is the Christ sent from God, the chosen one.”
The soldiers also mocked him. They came up to him, offering him sour wine and saying, “If you really are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” Above his head was a notice of the formal charge against him. It read “This is the king of the Jews.”
One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentenc…

Didache—Chapter 12

12 Welcome Anyone Coming in the Name of the Lord

12:1 Welcome anyone coming in the name of the Lord. Receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, but then, test them and use your discretion.

12:2 If he who comes is a transient, assist him as far as you are able; but he should not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be.

12:3 If he wants to stay with you, and is a craftsman, let him work for his living.

12:4 But if he has no trade, use your judgment in providing for him; for a Christian should not live idle in your midst.

12:5 If he is dissatisfied with this sort of an arrangement, he is a Christ peddler. Watch that you keep away from such people.

Again, there’s some really good practical advice from this early community following The Way. Notice that the idea here is to help assist anyone who comes into the community. We’re to “receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord.” But not blindly. We’re also to “test them and use [our] discretion.” This ties right into…

NT Eschatology—Background Part 03

We’ve been taking a very brief look at the Old Testament’s use of a literary genre called Apocalyptics. This is a very poetic type of literature where cosmic language is often used to describe the destruction of a nation. In this post, we’re going to look at some of the “time statements” of prophecy, i.e., when those warnings should take place.
The timing of the event is as much a part of the event as the description of what’s going to happen. However, more times than not, the “time statements” are given in real time. That is, they give a concrete (or dare I state “literal”) timetable about when something would take place. However, as a way of dealing with these time statements, some people will try and use the saying, “With the Lord a single day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a single day” (2 Peter 3.8; cf. Psalm 90.4). But that’s not always possible. In fact, more often than not, the prophecies come to pass exactly when they were supposed to. Here are just a f…