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Listen to the whole NLT or GNT Bible in 365 20-minute-long podcasts!

Phil Fields


    • Jan 4, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • monthly NEW EPISODES
    • 20m AVG DURATION
    • 424 EPISODES


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    Latest episodes from Daily Bible Reading Podcast

    Beginning of the year: Clearing up confusion

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2022 8:25

    Hey there! It seems like we are off to a good start this year in the Daily Bible Reading Podcast. I have already gotten one email indicating some confusion on the part of one listener, so I will explain about that in just a few moments. First I want to ask you to share the DBRP NOW with your friends. If you started listening to the podcasts just a few days ago, then perhaps it has occured to you, “Hey, this podcast would be perfect for” this or that friend. If so, please share with them right away. This first week of the yearly plan is a great time to start listening, and if your friend wants to, he/she can easily catch up with you. Then you can discuss the readings together. If you visit the Read This First pages linked in the header of dailybiblereading.info, you can find the Sharing page, which has images that you can use for sharing on social media posts. I will give you some reasons for contacting me below, so let me share now that my favorite way for you to contact me is via the Contact button at dailybiblereading.info. It's in the upper right hand corner of the screen. I have recently revised much of the information found in the Read This First pages linked in the banner of dailybiblereading.info. That's the place to go for information about Bible apps, podcast apps, Bible sites useful for digging deeper. and also information about me. Last year, I followed the 3D reading plan again, but did not listen to any of the podcasts. This year, I am going to listen to all of them again in a concentrated way, looking for things to improve. And already I have made improvements to some podcasts from episode 1 through 26. I always want to know if you find a mistake in something I have said in one of the recordings. Here is the item of confusion mentioned above that I wanted to share with you: YouVersion now has an audio play button at the bottom of the page for the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. Because that reading plan is sponsored by the Daily Bible Reading Podcast, some people will think that the play button is giving them the recordings for the podcasts. It does NOT. If you hit the play button, you get a Siri/Alexa-like voice that reads the devotional content page, and after that page, the app will play whatever voice is bundled with the translation you have selected. If any of the people who have recently subscribed to the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan in the YouVersion app are confused like that, then they won't get the message about their mistake, since they will never see the extra podcast that I release like this one. However, when the voice pronounces the name of Job as job, I hope that they will figure out that they are not listening to a podcast. Actually following the 3D reading plan that way is not too bad. I'm just sorry that those who do this will miss out on some of the extra information that I can give in podcasts and also the prayers at the end of each podcast. For more information about my two full-Bible reading plans in the YouVersion app, please visit the Read This First pages linked at dailybiblereading.info, and look for the page that is about Listening to podcasts. I want to close this podcast with a selection of quick tips. For all of these items, you can find more complete information in the Read This First pages. If you have any questions about why I have recorded the NLT and the GNT for the DBRP, please see the Read This First pages. Those two are the most understandable English translations for those consuming Scripture in audio form. If you started listening to episode 1 podcast on January 1st, if you don't want to install a podcast app, you can simply go to dailybiblereading.info or dailygntbiblereading.info. Your daily episode will be near the top. This is also a great method if you want to use a computer instead of a smaller device. If you are somewhere in the middle of the year or are irregular in your listening, a good podcast app will make it easy to select the next episode without having to remember the day number or search for it. If my reading is too slow for you, a good podcast app will let you choose to speed up the audio. My favorite speed is 1.25. I don't recommend listening to Scripture at 1.5 speed if your aim is to understand it and think about it. When I was reading the 3D plan last year and not listening to the audio, I enjoyed using the MyBible app, which works on both Apple and Android devices. It has MANY options for customization. A simpler app that allows you to follow the 3D plan is called Quick Bibles. The Indonesian version of that program is the most popular Bible app in Indonesia. For listening to the 3D plan using smart speakers, please see the Read This First pages at dailybiblereading.info. Please, if you are listening to the DBRP on your commute to work, have things set up with your podcast app so you do not need to touch your phone. I want to repeat my appeal from the top of this episode: Please share with your friends about the 3D reading plan and the Daily Bible Reading Podcasts. Any day of the year is a good day to start listening to the Bible. The Holy Spirit will never tell you not to read the Bible. That message comes from someone else. Expect the Holy Spirit to speak to you each time you read or listen to the Bible. Please forget about me and listen to Him. Gale and I send you our New Year's greetings, and as always, I say, May the Lord bless you ‘real good'.

    2021 year-end notes

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2021 7:10

    Hey, happy New Year to you all! If you happen to be one who started the DBRP at the beginning of 2021, you have surely noticed that our readings have contained one prophetic figure of speech or metaphor after another that all say that, “In the end, Jesus, the Son of God and Lion of Judah WINS. Blessed are you if you faithfully endure as a believer and follower of Him. The times that we are living through will be increasingly tough. Stand firm in holy living and in doing good works that glorify God. You will not be disappointed in the results!” In 2022 my prayer is that we believers become better ambassadors of the basic beliefs taught in the Bible. How can we help our friends, family, or casual acquaintances to see the errors in the pagan worldview that is being promoted in the media today? I recommend the videos, podcasts, and books by Greg Koukl. His organization is called Stands to Reason, and his website is str.org. In particular, I recommend his book called Tactics. Be sure to get the 10th Anniversary Edition, which is available also as a Kindle book/audio book. The great thing that Koukl teaches is how to use questions in discussions with people holding different views, so that your conversations don't turn into arguments. (All the links for things I mention today are found in the episode notes.) At this time every year I give suggestions for other audio Bible podcasts, so that after listening to me for a year, you can listen to another voice. The great granddaddy of daily Bible reading podcasts is the Daily Audio Bible. Another good one is the Daily Radio Bible. As you choose a reading program for next year, I urge you to remember the basics that I give in my How to Study the Bible video, https://youtu.be/sPyAp8ZxDBE. Be sure to pick a plan that will have you reading some of the NT every day, not zipping through the NT starting in September or October. Some of you who listened to the NLT podcasts this year may want to listen to my GNT podcast series next year. If so, the site is dailyGNTBiblereading.info. If you want to use the YouVersion Bible app for your daily Bible readings, my 365-day plan is called ‘Digging Deeper Daily'. You can search in the YouVersion plans for Digging Deeper Daily, or find the direct link in the episode notes. Digging Deeper Daily: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1314-digging-deeper-daily If you would like to listen to David Suche reading the NIV Bible (as I did in 2020), I suggest that you follow the YouVersion plan named ‘Read to Me Daily'. If you select the NIV UK edition as your Bible, then David Suche is the reader. You can search in the YouVersion plans for ‘Read to me daily'. Read to Me Daily: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/13707-read-to-me-daily This 365-day reading plan is presented in four semesters. For information about other apps you can use for Bible reading or listening to the Daily Bible Reading podcasts, please see the Read This First pages that are linked in the top bar of the dailybiblereading.info site. If the app you are using does not show you the episode notes with clickable links and paragraph formatting, there are many other apps that will do a better job of that. For people following the Daily Bible Reading podcasts in 2022, I will not be starting a new Facebook group or sending our special emails next year. But if any of you will be starting groups on some social media platform for a small group following the Digging Deeper Reading plan, I would like to offer my help and encouragement. If your group has questions that I might answer from a Bible translator's viewpoint, you can invite me to join your group. I won't have time to be active in multiple groups, but I would be glad to answer questions and encourage your group. I will continue sending out news or informational podcasts at random times, like this one. Finally, I want to remind you that these 4-5 days are the peak times when people make resolutions to read the Bible. Please share with your friends about the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan and the DBRPs. Please give them the link: dailybiblereading.info. Gale and I wish you a joyous year in 2022. May the Lord bless you ‘real good'!

    December 2021 Update from Phil

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 16:29

    Hi friend, I'm so glad you're listening to this update. I will share a very useful tip today. Before I tell you about that, I want to ask for your help: Are you one who made a New-Year's resolution last year to read the whole Bible? Well, how did that go for you? Would you be willing to share a word of testimony from your year reading the Bible to encourage others? If so, please use your voice memo app on your cell phone to record your message. You might share a verse that meant a lot to you this year, or share some way God used his Word in your life. I will post your comments at the dailybiblereading.info website. I will tell you how to make and send your audio file to me at the end of this episode. If you are one of those who made that decision a year ago and have kept up your reading since January 1, you know that we are now in the big Prophecy binge-reading time at the end of the year, reading minor prophets, Isaiah, and Revelation. The possibility of seeing correspondences between your three daily readings goes up to about 95%. Some people find the prophetic genre difficult. Recently I had a conversation with one of our church's elders. He had undertaken to do a thorough study through the book of Jeremiah, and found it very difficult. More than that, he complained about his frustration in understanding the book of Revelation. I want to offer a little help in this area that I re-discovered recently. Here's the tip I mentioned: Dr. Bob Utley's Free Bible Commentary (http://www.freebiblecommentary.org/) Note the word Free! What you get in Utley's commentary is expert information that is gleaned from a lifetime of research. Dr. Utley has dedicated himself to making a high-quality commentary on every book in the Bible. His work is scholarly, yet written so that it is easy to understand. So, in view of our current prophecy-reading binge, I would like to share some thoughts on the prophetic genre, which is also called the Apocalyptic genre. Many of us recently read the book of Daniel. You may recall that chapter 11 is filled with incredible details prophesied to Daniel by an awesome angelic messenger. I am not going to go into any of the details now. What I will do is to give you some introductory material from Bob Utley's commentary on Daniel 11. I will summarizing some general points about the prophetic genre that Bob Utley quoted from D. Brent Sandy's book Plowshares and Pruning Hooks: Rethinking the Language of Biblical Prophecy and Apocalyptic. From Daniel 2, "What Makes Prophecy Problematic?" "the question is whether emotional language is necessarily exact language," p. 41 "hyperboles, in effect, stretch the truth in order to increase the impact of the words," p. 41 "a prophet's intent may be to express emotion more than exactness," p. 41 "at what level are readers supposed to understand the prophetic visions—every detail? The overall picture?" p. 48 From Daniel 3, "How Does the Language of Prophecy Work?" "if we fail to grasp the inherent metaphorical nature of language, we fail to understand prophecy," p. 59 From Daniel 5, "How Does the Language of Apocalyptic Work?" Are the details in the vision allusive and symbolic or precise and explicit? Generally, the images lack precision," p. 117 "anticipating the details of political events of the fourth through the second centuries raises the issue whether the point of the vision is the details or the overall impact," p. 119 "but we must not begin with the specific lest we fail to grasp the global!" p. 122 "it is also expected with the nature of apocalyptic language that some details may simply be for effect; stated another way, some details may be make-believe," p. 124 "details may have no particular significance other than to give the account more emotive power," p. 126 "there is a certain amount of futility; therefore, in trying to determine the significance of all the details of apocalyptic visions," p. 126 "to read the Apocalypse with a microscope, even striving to decipher the significance of the most minute detail, defrauds the genre of it intended function," p. 127 "understanding the orality of the Apocalypse underscores the point that correct interpretation pays more attention to the overall impression of the visions than to the individual details," p. 127 "from the vision in Daniel 8 we learn that while apocalyptic may seem on the surface to describe the future in detail, in point of fact, it does not. Some details may in the end match up with a precise event, but it would have been impossible to see that in advance," p. 128   From Daniel 6, "How Have Prophecies Been Fulfilled?" "the already fulfilled prophecies demonstrate a pattern of translucence rather than transparency. The intent was apparently not to give specific information about the future," p. 146 "figures of speech abound in the poetry of prophecy. That should suggest that correct understanding of prophetic poetry is often not possible until after the fulfillment," p. 150 "if we grasp the intent of prophecy as primarily prosecution and persuasion, we will not expect it to reveal details of the future," p. 154   Daniel 7, "How Will Prophecies Be Fulfilled?" "because prophecy is poetic, it is inherently ambiguous and in some ways less precise," p. 158 "given the nature of prophecy, we should probably deduce that it offers panorama, not close-up details," p. 163 "prophecy and apocalyptic: it is a stained-glass window, not a crystal ball," p. 184 "the function of the prophets' language was to draw attention to basic ideas about the future, not to reveal precisely what will happen and when it will happen," p. 184   Conclusion "the fundamental question is, does the language of prophecy intend to give us details from which we can preconstruct how the future will unfold?" p. 206 "biblical prophecies were generally not understood before they were fulfilled," p. 199 This perspective has helped me as I struggled with Dan. 9:24-27. It is less helpful with chapter 11 because there are so many corroborated historical details from Dan. 11:2 to 11:35. Daniel 11:36-45 parallel Dan. 7:7-8,11,24-25 and 9:24-27. These seem to fit into Jesus' words in Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; Paul's words in 1 and 2 Thessalonians; and John's words in the Revelation. However, as the NT authors saw fulfilled OT prophecy only after Jesus' life, these end-time events are not all literal, historical predictions. Only time will tell. But for those last generation of hurting and dying believers, many (but not all) of them may be very literal to encourage them to faith and hope (which is the purpose of all apocalyptic literature). It was actually my Bible translation team in Indonesia who re-introduced me to the Free Bible Commentary series. They described the commentaries like this: “Utley doesn't promote only his own interpretation of a passage. Instead he equips the reader with all the information needed to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of differing opinions, giving you the tools needed to make good interpretive decisions.” My wife, Gale, has been leading two groups of women at our church every week in studying Isaiah 40-66. It used to be that I would find post-it notes on the dining room table with questions for me to answer. Ever since I showed her Bob Utley's commentary, I seldom find post-it notes on the breakfast table. Now, to let Bob Utley help us with the book of Revelation, I would like to read a couple of paragraphs from his Introduction to that book: Most of my adult academic/theological life I have had the presupposition that those who believe the Bible take it "literally" (and that is surely true for historical narrative). However, it has become more and more obvious to me that to take prophecy, poetry, parables, and apocalyptic literature literally is to miss the point of the inspired text. The author's intent, not literalness, is the key to a proper understanding of the Bible. To make the Bible say more [than the original writer intended] (doctrinal specificity) is as dangerous and misleading as to interpret it in such a way as to make it say less than was intended by the original, inspired writer. The focus must be the larger context, the historical setting, and the intention the author expressed in the text itself and in his choice of genre. Genre is a literary contract between the author and the reader. To miss this clue is surely to lead to misinterpretation! The book of Revelation is surely true, but not historical narrative, not meant to be taken literally. The genre itself is screaming this point to us if we will only hear it. This does not mean that it is not inspired, or not true; it is just figurative, cryptic, symbolic, metaphorical, and imaginative. The first century Jews and Christians were familiar with this type of literature, but we are not! The Christian symbolism in The Lord of the Rings or the Chronicles of Narnia might possibly be modern parallels. … These apocalyptic works were never presented orally; they were always written. They are highly structured, literary works. The structure is crucial to a proper interpretation. A major part of the planned structure of the book of Revelation is seven literary units, which parallel each other to some extent (e.g., the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls). With each cycle the judgment increases: seals, 1/4 destruction; trumpets, 1/3 destruction; bowls, total destruction. Within each literary unit the Second Coming of Christ or some eschatological event occurs: (1) sixth seal, Rev. 6:12-17; (2) seventh trumpet, Rev. 11:15-18; an end-time angel judgment in Rev. 14:14-20; (3) seventh bowl, Rev. 16:17-21 and again in Rev. 19:11-21 and still again in Rev. 22:6-16 (also note the three-fold title for God in Rev. 1:4,8 and Christ in Rev. 1:17,18, "who is, who was, and who is to come," notice the future aspect is left out in Rev. 11:17 and Rev. 16:5 which means the future has come [i.e. second coming]). This shows that the book is not chronologically sequential, but a drama in several acts which foresees the same period of time [expressed] in progressively violent OT judgment motifs (cf. James Blevins, Revelation as Drama and "The Genre of Revelation" in Review and Expositor, Sept. 1980, pp. 393-408). There is so very much more that I could share. Here again is the link to Dr. Utley's commentary on Revelation: http://www.freebiblecommentary.org/new_testament_studies/VOL12/VOL12.html Once again, if you have been blessed by reading the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan this year (no matter where you are in year's readings), please share your blessing by recording a voice memo for me. This request is for anyone who has been following the Digging Deeper Daily plan, no matter if you have been reading in a Bible, or listening to the daily podcasts. To send your audio file, use the contact button at dailybiblereading.info. Please write a short message to me saying that you have recorded a message for me. You won't be able to attach the file. But I will reply to that email, and then you can attach your audio file to your reply to me. May the Lord bless you ‘real good'! Phil & Gale

    My favorite Bible verses of 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 16:34

    I hope that it will be interesting to you to share 14 verses that rang a bell for me this year. In collecting these verses, until recently I didn't plan on sharing these with you. Rather, this is more like letting you see verses I wanted to use to preach to myself. Stay tuned at the end. I would like YOU to share your favorites with me! Random:GW'20 Proverbs 29:2 2 When righteous people increase, the people ⌞of God⌟ rejoice, but when a wicked person rules, everybody groans. I've heard many groans this year. Remember, by the way, that when the nations of Israel and Judah sinned, one way that the Lord repeatedly punished them was by giving them bad kings.   GW'20 2 Chronicles 26:16 16 But when he became powerful, his pride destroyed him. … My thought here is that some things have gone well in my life and ministry this year. But I pray that I can avoid pride, because it is such a trap and so dangerous. How King Uzziah must have regretted going into the temple to burn his own incense during all the remaining years of his life, excluded from visiting the temple, living in a separate house, and receiving reports of how his son was ruling in his place!   PCF Ecclesiastes 10:1 1 One dead fly can make a whole bottle of perfume stink. Even so, a little foolishness can outweigh great wisdom and honor. I am at the place in my life where I want to finish well. I want to leave behind a good smell (so to speak) when people remember me. The word ‘foolishness' in Proverbs refers to bone-headed refusal to obey God. The last thing I want to do is to mess up at the finish line. A little stupidity at the end can leave a stench that obliterates a God-honoring testimony.   GW'20 Proverbs 14:14 14 A heart that turns ⌞from God⌟ becomes bored with its own ways, but a good person is satisfied with God's ways. When I struggle with impure thoughts, it helps me to think that if I gave myself up to follow the cravings of my lower nature, my joy in that kind of a lifestyle would last about 10 minutes. Boredom would come so quickly, and eventually I am sure I would repent. But the resulting wound of remorse in my heart would never totally heal.   Faith: PCF/GW Proverbs 23:17-18 17 Do not envy sinners in your heart. Instead, continue to fear the LORD.18 There is indeed a future for you, and your hope will not be crushed.   I picked this verse to use in preaching to myself. I don't often envy sinners, but just the good fortunes of others. A powerful thing to remember when tempted to envy or lust is that I have a really fantastic future promised by God. The hoped for outcomes there are safe, in that place where moths and rust don't ruin things. Don't look back. Keep looking forward! The next verse tells us what we are gazing at.   PCF/NLT 1 Peter 1:8-9 8 You love him,even though you have never seen Him.And even though you do not see Him,you believe in Himand celebrate with glorious joythat goes beyond anything words can say, 9 since you are receiving the proper goal of your faith,namely, the rescue of your lives.   Love Him. Don't forget your rescue, and the privilege you have in knowing Jesus through all of God's Word. Keep hold of joy! PCF/GW Matthew 12:39 39A He responded, “The people of an evil and unfaithful era demand miraculous signs. …   There is a reason why the Lord gives miracles sparingly. Miracles may help give someone's belief an initial nudge, but miracles never grow mature faith. People who seek to go from one miracle to another (if the Lord permits that to happen) continue to need to be spoon-fed. Most of the heroes of faith in chapter 11 of Hebrews did not receive what they trusted God for. They developed a faith that could stand any test Planning: NET Luke 14:28 28 Which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn't sit down first and compute the cost? …   This verse is leading up to Jesus' teaching about counting the cost of being his disciple. However, let me make a tangential point: Some people have gotten the idea that Christians shouldn't plan anything, but just be led by God without planning. I believe that this is totally false. A parent doesn't want to always have to tell his child to take a bath or to go to bed. God wants his children launched into this world prayerfully making their plans and moving ahead to complete them.   GW'20 Proverbs 16:3 3 Entrust your efforts to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.   Read that several times. So I ask you: What will happen if you don't make any plans? It's a good idea to pray! NET/PCF Matthew 7:11 11 If you then, though you are so sinful, know how to give good gifts to your children, just think how much more your Father in heaven will give good gifts to those who ask him!   So I ask again: What will happen if you don't ask God for good gifts? (And by ‘gifts' I mean the answer to prayers about plans you have made for glorifying God in your life.)   This is like  NET Matthew 7:7 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. I'll pause in order for you to answer out loud. So what happens if you don't knock, don't seek, and don't ask?!   ESV Hebrews 11:6 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.   This is the foundation for receiving what you ask God for in prayer.   GW'20 Matthew 6:6 6 Whenever you pray, go to your room and close the door. Pray privately to your Father who is with you. Your Father sees what you do in private. He will reward you.   After those other verses, I might as well follow the same pattern and ask: What will happen if you DON'T go into your private place and pray?  There is a big promise there that I don't want to fail to cash in on! Consider: We are going before the Almighty King of the Universe. Through Christ Jesus, we have the wonderful privilege to be able to appear before God the Father and make our requests. I take this verse literally and urge you to do so also. That is, actually go into a private room, actually close the door. Realizing that you are entering the throne room of God, do what people did throughout the pages of the Bible: Humble yourself and be reverent! Get down at least on your knees (if you are physically able to do this) or even bow down lower. Pray. Then rejoice in that promise.   ESV/PCF Psalms 145:18 18 The LORD is near to all who cry out to Him, to all who cry out sincerely.   The ESV says, ‘to all who cry out in truth.' To me this means that we will not be just going through the motions, saying the right words, but not really meaning them. This is why I translate ‘in truth' as ‘sincerely'. Sincere prayer is also believing prayer, like James 1 tells us.  I wrap up all that I have shared with this verse, Eccl 12:11. The ‘wise advisor' in this verse is Solomon, and definitely not me. However we can extend the idea to the Lord being the wisest advisor. The translation of this verse is my translation of how this verse comes out in the Plain Indonesian Translation.   PET Eccl. 12:11 The teaching of a wise advisor is like a shepherd's stickthat is used to guide and direct his sheep.May every saying given by this advisor and shepherd be nailed into the mind of every learner and guide them in living rightly. Please pray for my visa to Indonesia to be granted, so that I can go there on November 2. If it is granted, I will need to quarantine for eight days in a hotel before being released to live like I normally do in Jakarta. Exciting things are happening there with the use of the Plain Indonesian New Testament.   Sometime before the end of the year I want to publish a podcast with YOU reading your favorite verse from this year. Here's what to do: Use a voice recording app on your phone to record your favorite verse. Then say something about why that verse spoke to you. Try to limit your explanation to 3-5 sentences. I recommend going into an echo-free room, like maybe your clothes closet, and hold the phone away from where it will catch explosions of air when you say some words. Send the audio file to me at phil.fields@pbti.org.   May the Lord bless you ‘real good'. Phil

    Update from Phil and August 2021 Reader: Take Note

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 18:07

    I have been back from Indonesia for over a month now, and my life has slowly calmed down to the point where I can make a podcast again. If you listened to my last update, sent from my hotel room in Jakarta, and prayed for me, I want to say Thank You! The Lord answers prayers! If you would like to see a follow-up to my prayer requests from my last update, a link to our recent prayer letter is here in the episode notes. LINK Heads up, people: I have some cool downloads for this episode. You can see all the links to those in the episode notes. In my last update, I mentioned that I would share something about my article in Indonesian which started out with the title, The Heritage of the King James Version. After John Wycliffe, the first famous English Bible translator, I learned a bit more about William Tyndale. He fled for his life, and finally was betrayed and cruelly martyred in 1536. But his work greatly influenced Bible translations after him. One estimate says that 84% of the KJV shows influence from Tyndale. Beyond that, through subsequent translations, Tyndale's influence is still felt. Bringing this home to the present day, if you read the ESV, Tyndale's influence is discernible in that Bible. How amazing and I think this shows God's fingerprints: The first Bible translator martyred is still influencing our Bible translations. Before the KJV, there were two English translations of note: The first is the Great Bible, authorized by Henry the VIII. This was translated by Miles Coverdale. It was called ‘great' because of its size. King Henry's Secretary of State, Thomas Cromwell, directed the clergy to provide “one book of the Bible of the largest volume in English, and the same set up in some convenient place within the said church that ye have care of, whereas your parishioners may most commodiously resort to the same and read it.” Note that this means that Cromwell and the king did not consider that parishioners might want their own copy! Coming only three years after Tyndale's incomplete translation, Coverdale primarily revised and corrected Tyndale's work. Coverdale translated the remaining books of the OT from the Latin Vulgate, not from the Hebrew. The second precursor to the KJV that I want to mention is the Geneva Bible. It was published in 1560, 51 years before the KJV. Under the reign of Mary Queen of Scotts, when protestants were persecuted and more than 300 were martyred, many protestant theologians fled to various places in Europe. In particular, many fled to Geneva, where John Calvin was in the later years of his life. In 1557 they formed a committee to translate the Bible. Just a year later, Queen Elizabeth I gained the throne of England, and the dedication of the Geneva Bible was addressed to her. The Geneva Bible scored an amazing number of FIRSTS: It was the first English Bible translation that was translated entirely from the original languages, Hebrew and Greek. It was the first Bible translated by a committee instead of by a lone individual. The Geneva Bible was the first to be printed in an easy to read Roman font. The Geneva Bible was the first study Bible, with Bible maps, and explanatory notes on every page. Note also that these notes were written by leading scholars of the Reformation. This was the first printed Bible with chapter and verse numbers. The Geneva Bible was the first one to use italic font for words that were added to complete English grammar, differentiating those words from all those that were direct translations of the source text. This Bible was printed in versions that were small enough to be easily carried and inexpensive enough that ordinary believers could own a copy. The Geneva Bible (and not the KJV) is the Bible that was used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John Knox, John Donne, and John Bunyan (the writer of The Pilgrim's Progress, 1678). This is the Bible that in 1620 was carried to America on the Mayflower. Twenty-four copies of this Bible are housed in libraries and museums in America. If you are interested in the Puritans and what the protestant reformers believed, get the Geneva Bible. Facsimile copies of the Geneva Bible are available to buy, one of the 1560 edition, and the second of the 1591 edition. I have already given away my facsimile of the 1560 edition. However I have found a complete PDF that contains the complete 1560 edition, and the link for downloading it is here in the episode notes. (This PDF is only 259 MB because it is a black and white scan.) If you don't want to learn to read the antique font in the PDF, Biblegateway displays the Geneva Bible complete with its footnotes. However, when King James came to the throne of England, he did not like the Geneva Bible. One of the issues was those excellent study notes I mentioned above. You see, some of the notes contain critical remarks about what ‘kings or queens shouldn't do'. (This is no wonder, seeing what the authors had been through!) James decreed that the new translation would not have any study notes.  It is an odd quirk of history, that the KJV has so dominated in its influence, because in its time it was  not considered the most exact translation, not considered poetic in its style, not considered as the only authoritative Bible. But it became the dominant Bible in England and eventually in the USA partly because its printing was authorized by the Crown, thereby suppressing the printing of the Geneva Bible. However, beyond doubt, the King James Bible has been, and still is, the world's most influential book. I will not take the time here to list its many influences over our English language and culture (as such praises can be found all over the Internet), but I highlight one influence not normally mentioned: The KJV has exerted a huge influence over Bible translations into the world's languages. Most of the time, Bible readers of this time do not realize that what is sold as a King James Version they use is not really the same as the original KJV. That is why a better name for the modern editions of the KJV is the Authorized Version. You can download a PDF of the whole KJV 1611 first edition here. (The whole Bible is 1.8 GB because this scan is in color.) [naked link: https://archive.org/details/1611TheAuthorizedKingJamesBible/page/n5/mode/2up] One of the differences between the normal Authorized Version and the real 1611 KJV is that the Authorized Version won't contain the Preface entitled The Translators to the Reader. If you think that you're good at understanding King James English, I challenge you to read the original Preface. To make it easier to download, I have linked a copy of just the preface HERE. When you discover how difficult it is to read the original font and spelling, I have linked a PDF that contains the KJV Preface with modern spelling HERE. Unfortunately, what we need is a modern language translation of this important document, with footnotes explaining references to events, literary figures, or customs common to that era that leave modern readers in the dark. Back in the 1980s, I wrote a letter to a special friend and supporter because he and his family had joined the King James Only movement. My short article with quotes from the Preface was later reprinted and used by Wycliffe Bible Translators. The letter is linked HERE, and it explains why the King James translators themselves would not have agreed with the King James Only movement. There is so much more to discuss about the history of Bible translation up to our times, which will someday be in the article I was writing in Indonesian. For now I want to jump to a notable Bible translator who is now largely forgotten. His name is Richard Francis Weymouth (1822-1902). Weymouth was a school teacher, an authority on literature, a published linguist, and a published Greek scholar. His NT in Modern Speech was published posthumously by his secretary in 1903. Weymouth was WAY ahead of his time. He realized that all the English translations published up to 1900 retained the wooden literalisms of Tyndale, making them hard to understand. He set out to make the first ever natural-sounding English translation, that is a translation that would make it sound like Paul and other NT writers had written in English, instead of Greek.  So Weymouth made the first ‘meaning based translation', although that term and terms like ‘dynamic equivalence' had not yet been coined. His NT in Modern Speech is wonderfully accurate and still sounds amazingly modern, given that it was first published in 1903. It was not until 1966 that the Good News Translation appeared. The Weymouth NT was published in two forms, one with footnotes, one without. If you are going to read this NT, be sure to get a copy with the footnotes. It is not hard to find used copies. You can download a copy here for free (9.7 MB), complete with the footnotes. (It is available in the MyBible app, but without the footnotes.) A prettier copy, evidently in higher resolution is found here (48.2 MB). Recordings of ten books of the Weymouth NT are read quite dramatically and available for free download through LibreVox. Now turning to news about the NLT side of the Daily Bible Reading Podcast: Tyndale House Foundation changed their years-old copyright policies, so that they now have a policy for podcasts. I am thrilled that they have granted permission for my NLT Daily Bible Readings to still be made available. As per their request, the complete copyright notice has been placed at the end of the episode notes for every podcast. I will read it here: Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations in these podcasts are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. I will be slowly adding brief audio summaries of the notice to every podcast. I give a shout out to my volunteer secretary, Vicky Pool, who has done the job of putting that copyright notice at the end of 365 episode notes. She's also the one who makes sure that episodes are published every single day. So thank you to Vicky! I have been thinking about the wonderful privilege God gives us in listening to our prayers. Here are some verses that I have been thinking about: Hebrews 11:6 Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for anyone who approaches Himmust believe that He existsand that he rewards those who seek Him. Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call out to Him,to all who call out to Him sincerely. Matthew 6:6 When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Psalm 95:6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! The Bible also tells us to “pray without ceasing.” So we can't always be praying in our secret room and can't always be kneeling while praying. However, when we have important things to pray about, I think it is a good idea to do just what these verses say. Our God is awesome, and we should approach Him in full reverence and with the utmost honor and respect.  Gale and I send our greetings to you and say:May the Lord bless YOU ‘real good'!

    Update from Phil quarantining in Jakarta

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2021 10:53

    Hello! I’m sending this update to you from Jakarta, where I am in my third day of five in quarantine after arriving here. This audio update is for any of you listeners to the Daily Bible Reading Podcast who would like to hear about my work as a Bible translator. This is not one of the Reader Take Note series where I discuss various topics in God’s Word.  For those of you who are new DBRP listeners who don’t know much about our ministry as Bible translators in Indonesia, here is the back story: Gale and I came to Indonesia as aspiring Bible translators in 1983. After learning the Indonesian language for 6 months, in mid-1984, we chose to work among the Orya language group. That project lasted for 21 years. The Orya New Testament was dedicated in 2005. But even before completing that project, I was convinced that Indonesia’s national language needed a better Bible translation. So in that same year, 2005, we started what eventually was named the Plain Indonesian Translation. In order to publish a Bible translation for Indonesia’s national language, I found it necessary to start a non-profit Bible translation organization. The OurLanguage Bible Organization (which I will refer to as Albata) was started in 2012. Then in 2014, the Plain Indonesian Translation NT was published in its first edition. Skipping to the present: It is not fun to have to wade through the list of requirements to do international travel these days. One bright spot, however, was that this time the planes were quite empty. All the passengers had extra room on the 12 ½ hour flight from Dallas to Narita (Japan), and the 7 hour flight from Narita coming here. Once on the ground in Jakarta, all the passengers were herded through 8 different checking stations. Normally it would take me around half an hour to get through the immigration check and pick up my luggage. This time it took 2 ½ hours. At the end of the line, in a process supervised by the police, all foreigners coming into the country have to quarantine in a hotel for 5 days at their own expense. During the 5 days I will get two PCR Covid tests. At least, as one fellow passenger observed, the good thing in all this is that Indonesia’s government is trying their best to limit new strains of the Covid virus from entering the country. So here I am on the 16th floor of a 4-star hotel, all alone, getting 3 very good meals per day, and finding it hard to stay awake and even harder to force myself to exercise in my room. In November of last year, I started working with four members of our translation team here to revise our Plain Indonesian New Testament. I finished my main part in that revision process just before starting this trip. I am looking forward to what God will do through his Word in this new edition and ask for your prayers. For the first time ever, in this third edition, the New Testament will be published using high quality Bible paper and with a more durable cover. Instead of looking like a fat paperback book, this time the New Testament will look like a sacred book should look. I am certain that readers will enjoy our more concise and more precise translation with added footnotes. Much enthusiasm for the Plain Indonesian Translation has come through a partnering group called the Good Seed Network, which is challenging people to read the whole NT in 90 days. People have been participating from all over Indonesia. We will be giving away thousands of New Testaments this year to people who are in this program. About a month ago, Balazi, the director of our organization here in Indonesia, brought it to my attention that many Indonesians use the KJV as their final authority when confused by Indonesian Bible translations. Two things have bothered me about that: Indonesian students of the Bible need better tools to be able to discover what the Hebrew and Greek source texts actually say. The source language of the Bible is not the English of the KJV. And secondly, students of the Bible in Indonesia need better information about how we got our Bible, including information about how the original language texts were preserved for us and what happened in the history of Bible translations, including the far-reaching influence of the KJV. So I started writing a short history of Bible translation which is now about 80% finished. I have enjoyed discovering so many things I never knew about all this, and I hope to share them with you in one or two Reader Take Note series podcasts, sometime after I get back home (at the end of June). If you have listened to this so far, I ask you to pray for my time in Indonesia. Here are three prayer requests: In four to eight years our Bible translation organization here (Albata) will be able to publish the Plain Indonesian Bible with a complete Old Testament. I hope to live to see that day. But our six team members here are looking farther into the future and asking, “After that, what will we do?” We will be having meetings starting next week to discuss that topic. The answer to that question will tell Albata’s leaders what they need to do in the next few years to prepare for the future. My main concern now is to set operating principles and establish an organizational culture that will help Albata continue as a ministry that the Lord will be pleased to use in the future. Please pray that the Lord will give us his wisdom. One of our partner organizations is called Faith Comes By Hearing. They do many of the audio Bible recordings all over the world. They have given us 100 audio Bible players (called Proclaimers) that are for the Orya people. I look forward to being among the Orya people when we start distributing those in June. Now FCBH have promised to give us 400 more Proclaimer units which we will give to people who are unable to read or those who have vision problems. I hope to be present when we distribute a few of those during my trip. The solar powered Proclaimer units are expensive, and we never would be able to afford so many of them. We are so grateful for FCBH’s support! Please give thanks to the Lord for the gift of the 500 Proclaimer units, and pray that the Lord will lead us to those who need and will cherish these. Please pray for me in many divine appointments, that I can be the Lord’s representative, speaking with the help of the Holy Spirit.   In family news, our daughter, Hannah, with Brandon and three kids will soon be leaving Jakarta. Brandon has accepted a job directing a ministry to refugees in Greenville, SC. I will only get to eat dinner with them a couple of times before they leave. Gale will travel from Arkansas to Greenville to see them shortly after they arrive there. Then Gale will drive a rented car from there to visit her Mom in Georgia. Her Mom has been under hospice care for over 6 months now. She is so ready to be in the presence of her Savior.   Thank you for praying for us, and we pray for you that the Lord will bless you ‘real good’.   Phil

    Reader: Take Note Day 85

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 26, 2021 57:27

    Greetings and welcome to this bonus edition of the Reader: Take Note series, which I am releasing at day number 85. This is an occasional series aimed at providing extra commentary and encouragement for those following the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. No matter where you are in the reading calendar, I hope that the things I share in this episode will support the idea that God’s Word has many treasures for us, and it always pays to dig deeper. My mistake from the last podcast was that I gave an incorrect author name for the book I recommended. The book is entitled How People Grow. One author is Dr. Henry Cloud. The second is Dr. John Townsend, not Towns. Glenn Lewis gets the prize so far this year for a mistake found in day number 70. I said while summarizing Numbers 3 that The 12,000 Levites were the substitute for Israel’s 12,273 first-born sons. Now the podcast has been corrected to say this: The 22,000 Levites became substitutes for Israel's 22,273 first-born sons. So the difference was between 12,000 and 22,000. Hey, I was only off by 10,000! If you have questions, comments, or find a mistake for me to correct, my favorite way for you to send messages to me is via the contact button at dailybiblereading.info. I’m always interested to hear your thoughts. For this episode I am not going to be talking about any of the passages we have read recently. If we were going by episode numbers, I should label this bonus episode as for Day 314 or 315, because the topic today is Daniel chapter 2. After my introduction of the topic, I will play the audio from my pastor’s sermon on that chapter from March the 7th, 2021. I think it is timely to share Dr. Tad Thompson’s sermon with you, as I consider this message so important for the time we are living in. Now, I am thankful for the timelessness of the Bible, so that things that I commented on as early as 2014 in the NLT series podcasts are still relevant. But back then, I had no idea of the huge changes that would take place in our culture, that we have come to see so clearly in the last few months. Tad’s sermon will give some contemporary perspective that I think will be helpful to all of you who listen to my podcasts. His sermon notes are included in the episode notes. The site where you can see recent sermon videos or listen to the audio is linked here in the episode notes: https://www.covenantsiloam.com/sermons Let me read all of Daniel 2 to you now from the God’s Word translation. Dan 2:1-6: 1 During the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’os reign, he had some dreams. He was troubled, but he stayed asleep. 2 The king sent for the magicians, psychics, sorcerers, and astrologers so that they could tell him what he had dreamed. So they came to the king. 3 The king said to them, “I had a dream, and I’m troubled by it. I want to know what the dream was.” 4 The astrologers spoke to the king in Aramaic, “Your Majesty, may you live forever! Tell us the dream, and we’ll interpret it for you.” 5 The king answered the astrologers, “I meant what I said! If you don’t tell me the dream and its meaning, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be turned into piles of rubble. 6 But if you tell me the dream and its meaning, I will give you gifts, awards, and high honors. Now tell me the dream and its meaning.” Dan 2:7-18: 7 Once more they said, “Your Majesty, tell us the dream, and we’ll tell you its meaning.” 8 The king replied, “I’m sure you’re trying to buy some time because you know that I meant what I said. 9 If you don’t tell me the dream, you’ll all receive the same punishment. You have agreed among yourselves to make up a phony explanation to give me, hoping that things will change. So tell me the dream. Then I’ll know that you can explain its meaning to me.” 10 The astrologers answered the king, “No one on earth can tell the king what he asks. No other king, no matter how great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, psychic, or astrologer. 11 What you ask is difficult, Your Majesty. No one can tell what you dreamed except the gods, and they don’t live with humans.” 12 This made the king so angry and furious that he gave an order to destroy all the wise advisers in Babylon. 13 So a decree was issued that the wise advisers were to be killed, and some men were sent to find Daniel and his friends and kill them. 14 While Arioch, the captain of the royal guard, was leaving to kill the wise advisers in Babylon, Daniel spoke to him using shrewd judgment. 15 He asked Arioch, the royal official, “Why is the king’s decree so harsh?” So Arioch explained everything to Daniel. 16 Daniel went and asked the king to give him some time so that he could explain the dream’s meaning. 17 Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah about this matter. 18 He told them to ask the God of heaven to be merciful and to explain this secret to them so that they would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise advisers in Babylon. Dan 2:19-30: 19 The secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision during the night. So Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 He said, “Praise God’s name from everlasting to everlasting because he is wise and powerful. 21 He changes times and periods of history. He removes kings and establishes them. He gives wisdom to those who are wise and knowledge to those who have insight. 22 He reveals deeply hidden things. He knows what is in the dark, and light lives with him. 23 God of my ancestors, I thank and praise you. You gave me wisdom and power. You told me the answer to our question. You told us what the king wants to know.” 24 Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy Babylon’s wise advisers. Daniel told him, “Don’t destroy Babylon’s wise advisers. Take me to the king, and I’ll explain the dream’s meaning to him.” 25 Arioch immediately took Daniel to the king. He told the king, “I’ve found one of the captives from Judah who can explain the dream’s meaning to you, Your Majesty.” 26 The king asked Daniel (who had been renamed Belteshazzar), “Can you tell me the dream I had and its meaning?” 27 Daniel answered the king, “No wise adviser, psychic, magician, or fortuneteller can tell the king this secret. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets. He will tell King Nebuchadnezzar what is going to happen in the days to come. This is your dream, the vision you had while you were asleep: 29 Your Majesty, while you were lying in bed, thoughts about what would happen in the future came to you. The one who reveals secrets told you what is going to happen. 30 This secret wasn’t revealed to me because I’m wiser than anyone else. It was revealed so that you could be told the meaning and so that you would know your innermost thoughts. Dan 2:31-49: 31 “Your Majesty, you had a vision. You saw a large statue. This statue was very bright. It stood in front of you, and it looked terrifying. 32 The head of this statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were made of silver. Its stomach and hips were made of bronze. 33 Its legs were made of iron. Its feet were made partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 While you were watching, a stone was cut out, but not by humans. It struck the statue’s iron-and-clay feet and smashed them. 35 Then all at once, the iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were smashed. They became like husks on a threshing floor  in summer. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a large mountain which filled the whole world. 36 This is the dream. Now we’ll tell you its meaning. 37 “Your Majesty, you are the greatest king. The God of heaven has given you a kingdom. He has given you power, strength, and honor. 38 He has given you control over people, wild animals, and birds, wherever they live. He has made you ruler of them all. You are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to power after you. Then there will be a third kingdom, a kingdom of bronze, that will rule the whole world. 40 There will also be a fourth kingdom. It will be as strong as iron. (Iron smashes and shatters everything.) As iron crushes things, this fourth kingdom will smash and crush all the other kingdoms. 41 You also saw the feet and toes. They were partly potters’ clay and partly iron. This means that there will be a divided kingdom which has some of the firmness of iron. As you saw, iron was mixed with clay. 42 The toes were partly iron and partly clay. Part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. 43 As you saw, iron was mixed with clay. So the two parts of the kingdom will mix by intermarrying, but they will not hold together any more than iron can mix with clay. 44 “At the time of those kings, the God of heaven will establish a kingdom that will never be destroyed. No other people will be permitted to rule it. It will smash all the other kingdoms and put an end to them. But it will be established forever. 45 This is the stone that you saw cut out from a mountain, but not by humans. It smashed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told you what will happen in the future, Your Majesty. The dream is true, and you can trust that this is its meaning.” 46 King Nebuchadnezzar immediately bowed down on the ground in front of Daniel. He ordered that gifts and offerings be given to Daniel. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Your God is truly the greatest of gods, the Lord over kings. He can reveal secrets because you were able to reveal this secret.” 48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many wonderful gifts. Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel governor of the whole province of Babylon and head of all Babylon’s wise advisers. 49 With the king’s permission, Daniel appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to govern the province of Babylon. But Daniel stayed at the king’s court. Tad’s sermon highlights what he calls a sandwich structure found in Daniel chapter 2. He wisely didn’t use the technical term, but if he did he would say that Daniel chapter 2 has a chiastic structure. This shows that Daniel carefully constructed this chapter. This sandwich structure of topics, as you will hear, can be represented by the letters A B C B A. (Bread on the top and bottom, and fixings on either side of the meat.) This chiastic structure is also the outline of Tad’s sermon, so I will list the 5 points, to help you follow them: (A) The Absence of Divine Revelation Reveals the Futility of the Pagan Nations (B) God’s People are Blessed with Divine Revelation (C) The Supremacy of a God Who Speaks (B) The Blessing of Divine Revelation is the Only Hope for Pagan Nations (A) Divine Revelation Reveals the Supremacy of the Kingdom of God Divine Revelation and the Supremacy of the Kingdom of God Tad Thompson Introduction: A Clash of Worldviews • What we see in Daniel Chapter 2 is an epic contest between the gods of the Babylonians and Daniel’s God, who is of course the one true God. • It is a clash of worldviews. Babylonian religion focused on nature. More then 2,500 different gods have been discovered in various texts and records and most of them has some correspondence to an aspect of nature, sun, moon, stars, the rain, wind, and weather. • In the pagan worldview of the ancient world and the rising paganism today have this in common, even though there may have been many gods - these gods were merely personifications of various aspects of nature. So paganism believes only in nature and denies the supernatural. It can be called “oneism • There is an impressive sunken garden in front of the Beinicke Rare Book Library on Yale University’s campus. It is meant to simulate the universe. A large marble pyramid stands in one corner, symbolizing time. Another corner sports a huge doughnut shaped structure standing on its side. It signifies energy. In a third corner is a huge die perched on one tip as if ready to topple any which way. It is the symbol of chance. This is the world view of modern man: ‘a self-existing universe consisting of energy, time and chance.’ And those in Babylon, ancient or modern, don’t know which way the die will fall. Chance is opaque. It is the world of whatever. • Biblical Christians think the Yale garden is a lie. They hold that there is a transcendent God who knows and orders the course of history down through the rise and rubble of nations until the days when he sets up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed (44). We can call the Christian worldview - twoism. There is a transcendent God who is the cause and creator of the universe and everything in it. An not only is he the creator God, but he is a God who speaks, who reveals mysteries. • Think about how unbearably sad Joe and Jane Pagan might be, for they go out their front door in the morning and have no idea where history is heading. This is the same dilemma faced by the wise men of Babylon, they have many gods, but none of them speak or reveal mysteries. • Our story has a structure that develops the main theme. It is an ABCBA structure. (A) The Absence of Divine Revelation Reveals the Futility of the Pagan Nations (2:1-13) • King N wants his wise men to tell him his dream, he wants them to know his thoughts, he desires more than an interpretation, he desires revelation. • vs. 10-11 is the key to understanding the dilemma of the enchanters - “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. 11 The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” • They can’t do it because their gods don’t reveal anything, they do not dwell with flesh, communicate with flesh and they can’t because they are inanimate objects. • We see this is the world today where people choose to worship the created rather than the creator. People have abandoned the notion of twoism - they have no authority outside of self, so they seek to discover truth by looking within and they consistently come up empty handed - there is no absolute truth to be discovered that will satisfy your soul a part from divine revelation. (B) God’s People are Blessed with Divine Revelation (2:14-19) • The next scene in the story contrasts the worldview of Daniel and his companions with the worldview of the wise men of Babylon. • Daniel wisely asks Arioch for an appointment with the King, and promises that he will be able to tell Neb. his dream - and then what do they do? They pray, they seek mercy from the Lord and believe that he is a God that interacts with his people and has the capacity to reveal hidden mysteries. • Notice that the purpose of asking for this divine revelation is so that they will not be destroyed. • Is this not the heart of the Gospel? That God reveals the mysteries of his grace in the person and work of Jesus Christ that we might escape the wrath of God to come. • You are a Christian because you have been blessed with divine revelation - I Pet 1:23-25 “since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” • We are people who believe that God has spoken to us, revealed himself to us - this is why we stand upon the inerrancy, sufficiency, and authority of Scripture! It is God’s Word that marks us out as His people! (C) The Supremacy of a God Who Speaks (2:20-23) • vs. 20-23 is Daniel’s prayer of praise to God for answering his prayer. • This forms the center of the story and ultimate message of chapter 2 - The God of the Bible is Supreme because he is a God who speaks. • Notice some of the core elements of Daniel’s Worldview: a. God is a God of wisdom and might b. God is sovereign over nature and nations c. God is a God who knows all things and reveals all things. The contrast between the pagan notion of oneism is astounding - if your worldview is basically time, energy, and random chance then your life has no intrinsic value, worth or meaning. We are seeing this played out in the world today. We live in a world that is literally destroying every ounce of human dignity left by denying the fact of gender - this is the ultimate form of self worship - it is paganism 101. Daniel praises his God who speaks while the wise men are going - the gods don’t dwell with flesh they got nothing - our God is such a speaking God that he came into the world to take on flesh - as the ultimate word, the ultimate truth - he took on flesh to reveal God to us! To reveal God’s love to us! To offer God’s forgiveness to us! (B) The Blessing of Divine Revelation is the Only Hope for Pagan Nations (2:24) • vs 24 is paired with 14-19 - God’s people are blessed with divine revelation, therefore divine revelation is the only hope for the pagan nations. • The word of God given to Daniel spares the wise men of Babylon. • This points to the Christian mission of declaring the mysteries of God to the nations. • Paul writes in Col 1:24-29 “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (A) Divine Revelation Reveals the Supremacy of the Kingdom of God (2:25-49) • This final section is paired with the first - it highlights once again, in graphic detail the futility of the pagan nations and the supremacy of the Kingdom of God. • The purpose of the dream is not for us to figure out which literal nations are being referred to in the dream. The point of the dream is vs. 44-45 - the God of heaven, the God who has given N. his present Kingdom (vs. 37) will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed and will fill the entire earth. • vs 46 - something amazing happens, the most powerful man in the world bows to honor an exiled slave and N. promotes Daniel and his friends. • This is so important for us to remember as we live as exiles in the world - the supremacy of the kingdom of God. • Revelation 5 - One Day Every knee will bow, the knee of every ruler will bow to Jesus - a crucified Jewish carpenter will receive the worship of Kings. Right now, in heaven, there is a multitude of those who have been redeemed from the nations who worship Jesus. How will you live - will you live as one who worships the God who speaks or will you live your life by time, energy, and random chance?    

    Reader: Take note! 38-59

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 28, 2021 35:24

    Greetings and welcome to this third edition of the Reader: Take Note series. This is an occasional series of podcasts aimed at providing extra commentary and encouragement for those following the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. No matter where you are in the reading calendar, I hope that the things I share in this episode will support the idea that God’s Word has many treasures for us, and it always pays to dig deeper. In this episode I will discuss * my mistake in the last Take Note podcast, * things modern readers may miss in the story of the 10 plagues in Egypt, * why the descriptions of the construction of the Tabernacle are so hard to visualize, * which order were the synoptic Gospels written in? * and two verses that are difficult to translate in Luke. Did you catch my mistake in the last Take Note podcast? I said that John the Baptist’s father (Zechariah) quoted from Malakai 4, about ‘NLT'07 Malachi 4:6: 6 His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. … Zechariah actually said, GW'20 Luke 1:76:76 “You, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High. You will go ahead of the Lord to prepare his way. His words are reminiscent of Malachi 3-4. But the one who actually quoted Malakai 4:6 was the angel Gabriel, who (speaking to Mary about Jesus) said, GW'20 Luke 1:17:17 He will go ahead of the Lord with the spirit and power that Elijah had. He will change parents’ attitudes toward their children. He will change disobedient people so that they will accept the wisdom of those who have God’s approval. In this way he will prepare the people for their Lord.” If you have questions or comments, or corrections to what I have said, my favorite way for you to send messages to me is via the contact button at dailybiblereading.info. I’m always interested to hear your thoughts. Let’s open to Exodus 3— if you happen to have a Bible handy and are not listening to this while driving. When we were checking our translation of Exodus with a consultant (Norm Mundhenk by name), he showed us several things I had never noticed. In the story of the burning bush: NLT'07 Exodus 3:2-4:2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” 4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. So who is in the bush, the angel or God? The interesting observation here is that Moses seems not to like having the Lord do things that are physical or visible, such as making a bush be on fire. In this story, the angel messenger never speaks, but GW'20 Exodus 3:5-6:5 God said, “Don’t come any closer! Take off your sandals because this place where you are standing is holy ground. 6 I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. Another example is found in chapter 14: NLT'07 Exodus 14:19-20:19 Then the angel of God, who had been leading the people of Israel, moved to the rear of the camp. The pillar of cloud also moved from the front and stood behind them. 20 The cloud settled between the Egyptian and Israelite camps. As darkness fell, the cloud turned to fire, lighting up the night. But the Egyptians and Israelites did not approach each other all night. The angel of the Lord made the very visible pillar of cloud and fire, but just a few verses later: NLT'07 Exodus 14:23-25:23 Then the Egyptians— all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers— chased them into the middle of the sea. 24 But just before dawn the LORD looked down on the Egyptian army from the pillar of fire and cloud, and he threw their forces into total confusion. 25 He twisted their chariot wheels, making their chariots difficult to drive. “Let’s get out of here— away from these Israelites!” the Egyptians shouted. “The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt!” There are Bibles that capitalize the word for Angel in these cases where God is so closely connected with some physical manifestation. In Genesis the same thing happens. When angels appear, they most often speak God’s words directly using the first person for God. Now the word in both Hebrew and Greek that we translate as ‘angel’ means messenger. In later OT books (and especially Daniel) angels are indeed just that, messengers, and sometimes even with names, who speak about the Lord in the third person. Now let’s look at the 10 plagues that God wreaked upon Egypt. Our consultant, Norm, had us compare the similarities and differences in * location, at the river, or more likely at the palace? * Whose staff was used, Moses’ or Aaron’s? Or did God say to lift up their hands, or did Moses just pray? * the magicians’ reaction, or the reaction of Pharaoh’s officials * Pharaoh's reaction, in particular, Did Pharaoh harden his own heart, or did God do that? If you do the analysis, you will notice patterns and a crescendo building toward the 10th plague. Then there is something I only recently learned from a different source: I perhaps heard in a sermon, but never remember looking into the claim that each of the 10 plagues showed that God is more powerful than Egypt’s gods. Rather than repeating information penned by others, let me suggest that you search on the Internet for ‘ten plagues of Egypt’ and choose the article by GotQuestions.org, or find the link here in the episode notes: https://www.gotquestions.org/ten-plagues-Egypt.html This site also has a beautifully done video with the same information as their excellent article. I find the 9th plague particularly interesting: “The ninth plague, darkness, was aimed at the sun god, Re, who was symbolized by Pharaoh himself. For three days, the land of Egypt was smothered with an unearthly darkness, but the homes of the Israelites had light.” “The tenth and last plague, the death of the firstborn males, was a judgment on Isis, the protector of children.” Remember that Pharaoh’ own son and heir to his throne died on that night. (Ex. 11:5) Next, have you ever had trouble visualizing the sacred tent or tabernacle? I certainly have! Let’s concentrate on chapter 26:1-6.  Exo 26:1-6: "“Moreover, you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet yarns; you shall make them with cherubim skillfully worked into them. The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits; all the curtains shall be the same size. Five curtains shall be coupled to one another, and the other five curtains shall be coupled to one another. And you shall make loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain in the first set. Likewise you shall make loops on the edge of the outermost curtain in the second set. Fifty loops you shall make on the one curtain, and fifty loops you shall make on the edge of the curtain that is in the second set; the loops shall be opposite one another. And you shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to the other with the clasps, so that the tabernacle may be a single whole." One of the problems is that the Lord (or Moses) didn’t organize the material to make it easy to understand for those who didn’t get to see the virtual guided tour or YouTube shown to Moses up on Mount Sinai. (Actually, I am sure that Moses was shown something much better than a YouTube.) First we are told to make ten curtains of linen that are 42 feet by 6 feet. These sheets are called ‘curtains’ by both ESV and NLT. So I ask you, when I say ‘curtain’ do you envision something laying horizontally or hanging vertically? My problem in understanding started here, because these are not curtains that hang vertically, but would be better called sheets of cloth that lay over something. These sheets will lay over a framework to make the roof and hang down over the walls on the north and south, and also on the west. The front door faces east. Then the text says that the curtains were joined together on ‘one side’. Because of the word curtain, I always imagined joining the long sheets on the short side, and imagined we were making the curtain fence that was made to surround the Tabernacle. That is wrong again. The Hebrew text never clearly says, but these 42 foot long sheets were actually joined on the long side. That's why joining them required 50 clasps. To me, it helps a lot to simply say right from the beginning of the description that all this is to make the roof of the Tabernacle. There are also other things that are not clear. The Hebrew text doesn’t specifically say that they were to ‘sew’ the 10 sheets into two sets. The Hebrew says they would be ‘joined’ or ‘attached’. The ten sheets were probably sewn together, with five in each set, sewn along the long edge. Each set would then measure 42 feet by 30 feet.  Above the linen layer, there was a slightly bigger goat's hair layer. Over those two layers of cloth, they made a ram’s skin leather layer. The skins were dyed red. Think how many male lambs were sacrificed to make that?! Then a mysterious final layer was placed on top of that. We really don’t know how to translate the material for the top layer. It has been translated as fine goat’s skin, or as sea cow hide. The way we translated it (since no one  knows what it was made of) is to say that it was ‘water proof leather’. Now that you understand about the 4 layers of the roof and walls, let’s take another look at the linen cloth. The NLT says, NLT'07 Exodus 26:1:1 “Make the Tabernacle from ten curtains of finely woven linen. Decorate the curtains with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim. The Hebrew text is not clear that the pattern was applied by embroidering. Think of the 42 by 30 foot long sheets being spread out over a frame that is 15 feet high. Inevitably there would be a lot of rubbing and friction on the decorated surface of the cloth due to frequent disassembly and reassembly. If the design was embroidered, it would quickly become abraded. Instead, I propose that the beautiful designs of blue, purple, and scarlet were woven directly into the fabric. As we worked on this book with our translation consultant, we found evidence that Egyptians of this period had linen cloth with elaborate woven designs. The Hebrew slaves would likely have been involved in this art. Note also, whether or not the design was woven into the material, it would take a seriously big loom to make 6 foot wide bolts of cloth. Where would the Israelites have gotten all the tools to make bronze castings, and to engrave gemstones, and to weave cloth? Think how magnificent the visual result would have been! Someone with the initials R W has created 12 wonderful Youtube videos of the Tabernacle construction. You can find them by searching for ‘Youtube 3D Tabernacle The boards’ and especially see ‘Youtube 3D Tabernacle The curtains’. This is a series of 12 videos.  Now I want to shift our attention to the Gospel of Luke. In the last episode in the Take Note series, I mentioned that I was reading a book entitled Perspectives on the Ending of Mark. The last chapter in that book is by David Alan Black. He defended his position supporting the longer ending of Mark based on evidence for the order of the writing of the first three Gospels. Let me very briefly summarize. According to some ancient sources, Mattew was written first, and written at a time when most believers were from a Jewish background. That Gospel was carried far and wide as Christianity spread.  However, as Paul spread the Gospel among the non-Jews in far away places, the need became increasingly apparent for a Gospel to be told from a Greek world view, instead of the Jewish world view. Luke came with Paul to Jerusalem as one of those who brought financial help to the believers. (Acts 20) He evidently stayed in the area during Paul’s two year imprisonment, which is the most likely time for him to pen his Gospel. One wonders how often Luke came to Caesarea to visit Paul and share about his research, such as interviewing Mary the mother of Jesus, and other early followers of Jesus. It might be that Paul was the one who asked Luke to write his own well-researched account. All the exact details that Luke included would appeal to Greek readers. Luke followed much of the outline of events as given by Matthew, with a notable exception in the accounts of John the Baptist’s and Jesus’ birth. If Luke took the draft of his Gospel on the voyage to Rome, I wonder how he kept it dry in the shipwreck at Malta! Somehow he must have. The problem, as Black reconstructs the situation, is that a Gospel from a non-witness like Luke would not have been accepted well, so Luke delayed the release of his Gospel. During some part of the time that Paul was in Rome, Peter was there as well, along with Mark. So Black further posits that Paul arranged with Peter to have public lectures in Rome where Matthew’s account of a portion would be read, then Luke’s account, and afterward Peter would give his recollections of the same event. I would have loved to be present at those lectures! Evidently in Rome, there were scribes that were experts at shorthand. Black again posits that one such person was employed to write down Peter’s words. That account, then could be used by Mark to write his Gospel, which everyone recognizes shows Peter’s influence. This explains why events where Peter was not present (like the birth of Jesus) are not told in Mark’s Gospel. The ordering of Matthew first, Luke second being based on Matthew, and Mark third based on Peter’s reactions to both Matthew and Luke— does a fair job of answering why various details are differently related between the three accounts. Well, you may remember that I started the Digging Deeper Reading plan with Mark as the first NT book in the year because I said that it was written first. It turns out that there are various theories. A remark by Augustine of Hippo at the beginning of the fifth century presents the gospels as composed in their canonical order (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), with each evangelist thoughtfully building upon and supplementing the work of his predecessor. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synoptic_Gospels#:~:text=A%20remark%20by%20Augustine%20of,hypothesis%20(Matthew%E2%80%93Mark).) However another wikipedia article under the title of Marcan priority, states that  The tradition handed down by the Church Fathers regarded Matthew as the first Gospel written.[3] This view of Gospel origins, however, began to be challenged in the late 18th century, when Gottlob Christian Storr proposed in 1786 that Mark was the first to be written.[4][5] Gottlob Storr’s opinion was largely ignored for a while, and then picked up and debated. And by the time of the last century, the Wikipedia article states: Many scholars in the twentieth century regarded Marcan priority as no longer just a hypothesis, but an established fact.[14] So it turns out that the theory I took as ‘an established fact’, which I picked up from various sources, was really 20th century opinion. But that opinion was strongly influenced by the scepticism of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Dr. Black’s reconstruction of the order of writing is supported by writings of Eusebius, who is a far earlier source than the experts of just 170 years ago. Eusebius of Caesarea (260/265—339/340 AD), EH6.14.5–7, speaking of (*?no longer extant) writings of Clement (35-99 AD) states 5 Again, in the same books, Clement gives the tradition of the earliest presbyters, as to the order of the Gospels, in the following manner: 6 The Gospels containing the genealogies, he says, were written first. The Gospel according to Mark had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark, who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it. 7 When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it. … I think Eusebius is right, and probably Dr. Black has perhaps filled in too many details, but is pointing us in the right direction. It just goes to show: In the realm of historical information circulating about the Bible, ideas regarded as established facts in our time are often just opinions currently in vogue. Because I have mentioned reading a book or two, I want to admit that I seldom sit down to read books. But wonder of wonder, I am actually in the process of reading another book. It is How People Grow, by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Towns. I have been so impressed with this book that a few days ago I ordered 5 copies to give away. Lots of authors share how to make your life better or how to become a more effective person. But these two authors have a breadth of counselling experience and they have learned Biblical principles that actually work. It turns out that how people grow is related to how our Creator has made us, plus other principles found in God’s Word. Even at 71 years old, I want to keep growing. I hope you do too. GW’20Luk 11:34-36: "Your [eyes are//eye is] the lamp of your body. When your [eyes are//eye is] healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when [they are//it is] bad,** your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you [become//be] darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”" **Translation note: The Greek use the singular eye (ὀφθαλμός), but there is no reason to not use plural in our translation, as this is more natural, and Luke would have used plural had he been writing in English. Footnote in our Indonesian translation: eyes are bad Literally, “your eyes are evil/diseased.” Jesus was speaking to the Jewish leaders, including the members of the Pharisees and the Law experts. In the context of this chapter, we see that they had seen many miracles which proved that Jesus was sent by God, but it’s as if they became blind to all of those miracles. (11:29-30) In fact, they say that He worked by the devil’s power. Bad eyes are also frequently interpreted as meaning greedy for money, as in Matt. 6:19-24. See Luke also 16:14. GW'20 Luke 14:34-35:34 “Salt is good. But if salt loses its taste, how will you restore its flavor? 35 It’s not any good for the ground or for the manure pile. People throw it away. “Let the person who has ears listen!” Many people can’t fathom how salt could lose its flavor. Modern pure white salt crystals never lose their flavor. But when we were living with the Orya people, they had salt that could lose its flavor. Out in the forest, around a hundred miles from the coast, there are salt springs. Back in the early 1980’s when we first were there, the people would still go out to the spring and boil salt water in pans until the water would evaporate and salt would be left. The water was not clean and smoke went into the pan, so the resultant salt was black and gritty with impurities. They kept it wrapped in leaves hanging over their cooking fire, so that it would stay dry. They called it ‘black salt’. In the tropical climate, black salt that wasn’t kept dry would collect moisture and the salt water would drip out. If that happened, all that was left was slightly salty black sand. Just like Jesus said, it is good for nothing and people throw it away. But what’s the point? Why did Jesus give this teaching about salt? For people groups who have trouble figuring out why Jesus would talk about salt (and who don’t figure out that He is speaking figuratively), translators can explicitly give a hint: “You are like salt.” ESV Colossians 4:6:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. Jesus finished his teaching with a favorite saying of his, and I have found it very hard to translate.  ESV Luke 14:35b:He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” This memorable saying always comes at the end of something Jesus is teaching. It is pointing backwards. In other words: “Listen to that, what I just said.” Here’s how we translated those verses in Orya and Indonesian: 34 “Each of you who follows Me is like salt. Of course, salt is used to make food tastier. But if its taste has disappeared, the salt won’t be useful at all, 35 either for the field or as fertilizer. In the end such salt is just thrown out. “Don’t let that last teaching of mine go in your right ear and out your left! Meditate on it.” Let’s pray: Truly, Father, please transform us so that we might be called the salt of the earth and lights in this world. Please help us to keep our spiritual eyes clear. When we have opportunities to give a word of testimony about You or don’t know what to say to people, we pray that you would bring to mind what we have read from your Word. Teach us how to keep your Word in mind and to meditate on it. We pray that we would have the joy of feeling your presence as we lean and rely on You. Amen. May the Lord bless you ‘real good’.

    Reader: Take note, Days 15-27

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 6, 2021 30:16

    Reader: take note, for days 15-37 Greetings and welcome to this second edition of the Reader: Take Note series. This is an occasional series aimed at providing extra commentary and encouragement for those following the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. No matter where you are in the reading calendar, I hope that the things I share in this episode will support the idea that God’s Word has many treasures for us, and it always pays to dig deeper. If you have questions or comments, my favorite way for you to send messages to me is via the contact button at dailybiblereading.info. I’m always interested to hear your thoughts. On day one of our journey I mentioned Solomon in connection to Job. I challenge you to find similarities to Solomon’s writings in Job, in particular, I am most often thinking of Ecclesiastes. Actually, not all commentators think that Solomon was the writer of Ecclesiastes. But that need not concern us. As for Job, I found in a Wikipedia article that scholars consider that Job was written surprisingly late, from the 7th to 4th century BC. However Solomon lived in the 10th century BC. Other writers think the writing of Job to far predate Soloman. So far I have found no one who supports my hypothesis that Solomon wrote the book of Job. Nevertheless, let’s look at some parallels. Job hated his life and so did Solomon.GW'20 Job 7:16: 16 I hate my life; I do not want to live forever. Leave me alone because my days are so brief. GW'20 Job 9:21: 21 If I am a man of integrity, I have no way of knowing it. I hate my life! GW'20 Job 10:1: 1 “I hate my life. I will freely express my complaint. I will speak as bitterly as I feel. GW'20 Ecclesiastes 2:17: 17 So I came to hate life because everything done under the sun seemed wrong to me. Everything was pointless. ⌞It was like⌟ trying to catch the wind. GW'20 Ecclesiastes 2:18: 18 I came to hate everything for which I had worked so hard under the sun, because I will have to leave it to the person who replaces me. Both Job and Solomon complained that life is hard and futile. GW'20 Job 7:1-4: 1 “Isn’t a mortal’s stay on earth difficult like a hired hand’s daily ⌞work⌟? 2 Like a slave, he longs for shade. Like a hired hand, he eagerly looks for his pay. 3 Likewise, I have been given months that are of no use, and I have inherited nights filled with misery. 4 When I lie down, I ask, ‘When will I get up?’ But the evening is long, and I’m exhausted from tossing about until dawn. GW'20 Ecclesiastes 1:2-3: 2 “Absolutely pointless!” says the spokesman. “Absolutely pointless! Everything is pointless.” 3 What do people gain from all their hard work under the sun? Job chapter 9 is full of the idea that it is futile to argue with God, which agrees with Solomon’s complaints. GW'20 Job 9:14-22: 14 “How can I possibly answer God? How can I find the right words ⌞to speak⌟ with him? 15 Even if I were right, I could not answer ⌞him⌟. I would have to plead for mercy from my judge. 16 If I cried out and he answered me, I do not believe that he would listen to me. 17 He would knock me down with a storm and bruise me without a reason. 18 He would not let me catch my breath. He fills me with bitterness. 19 If it is a matter of strength, then he is the mighty one. If it is about justice, who will charge me with a crime? 20 If I am righteous, my own mouth would condemn me. It would declare that I am corrupt even if I am a man of integrity. 21 If I am a man of integrity, I have no way of knowing it. I hate my life! 22 It is all the same. That is why I say, ‘He destroys ⌞both⌟ the man of integrity and the wicked.’ GW'20 Ecclesiastes 7:13-15: 13 Consider what God has done! Who can straighten what God has bent? 14 When times are good, be happy. But when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one time as well as the other so that mortals cannot predict their future. 15 I have seen it all in my pointless life: Righteous people die in spite of being righteous. Wicked people go on living in spite of being wicked. Unique in Job: The need for a mediator Job 9:32-33: "A human like me cannot answer God, ‘Let’s take our case to court.’ There is no mediator between us to put his hand on both of us." Uncertainty of an afterlife Job 14:10,14: "But a human dies and is powerless. A person breathes his last breath, and where is he? … “If a person dies, will he go on living? I will wait for my relief to come as long as my hard labor continues." Eccl 3:19-22: "Humans and animals have the same destiny. One dies just like the other. All of them have the same breath ⌞of life⌟. Humans have no advantage over animals. All ⌞of life⌟ is pointless. All ⌞life⌟ goes to the same place. All ⌞life⌟ comes from the ground, and all of it goes back to the ground. Who knows whether a human spirit goes upward or whether an animal spirit goes downward to the earth? I saw that there’s nothing better for people to do than to enjoy their work because that is their lot ⌞in life⌟. Who will allow them to see what will happen after them?" The wicked often have seemingly blessed lives Job 21:7-8,13: "“Why do the wicked go on living, grow old, and even become more powerful? They see their children firmly established with them, and they get to see their descendants. … They spend their days in happiness, and they go peacefully to the grave." Eccl 8:10: NLT "I have seen wicked people buried with honor. Yet they were the very ones who frequented the Temple and are now praised in the same city where they committed their crimes! This, too, is meaningless." Eccl 8:14: NLT "And this is not all that is meaningless in our world. In this life, good people are often treated as though they were wicked, and wicked people are often treated as though they were good. This is so meaningless!" Where is wisdom found? Job 12:12,16: "“Wisdom is with the ancient one. The one who has had many days has insight. … “God has power and priceless wisdom. He owns ⌞both⌟ the deceiver and the person who is deceived." Job 28:28: "So he told humans, ‘The fear of the Lord is wisdom! To stay away from evil is understanding.’ ”" See all of chapter 28. There are many verses like that in Proverbs 1-9. I will quote only the most famous: Prov 9:10: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." We see in these examples that Job is a book to display the author’s struggle with accepting the boundaries that have been placed on human existence by God. This book is much more than just a debate on why God allows good people to suffer. For any of my listeners who actually say, “I hate my life,” I beg you to remember these points: God has given these books of wisdom to help you, and particularly to tell you that He understands your struggles. The writers of the wisdom literature in the Bible did not yet have the wonderful knowledge and promises revealed through Christ. I encourage you to be in close fellowship with believers, and especially with older, experienced believers, who will take the time to listen and pray with you. Turning to Mark I found some interesting ideas about Mark’s Gospel while doing some other reading. Maurice Robinson reports that Warren A. Gage discovered an Elijah sub-theme in Mark. Unfortunately, Gage’s unpublished research was only summarized by Robinson, and I have not been successful in getting a response from Dr. Gage to get his complete article. According to Gage, we could say that Mark presents Jesus as the new Elijah. (Evidently there is a similar sub-theme in John’s Gospel with Moses.) Not only does Mark overtly use Elijah’s name 9 times, but he alludes to Elijah around nine more times. Allusions to Elijah frame the beginning and the end of Mark, and the overt mentions occupy a long stretch in the middle of this Gospel.  Mark 1:2 (Mal. 3:1; 4:5) WEBBE Mark 1:2: 2 As it is written in the prophets, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you: WEBBE Malachi 3:1: 1 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes!” says the LORD of Armies. WEBBE Malachi 4:5-6: 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” When Mal 3:1 and 4:5 are paired together, we see that the messenger prophesied to come is identified as Elijah.  By the way, Mal 4:6 should remind you of what John’s father (Zechariah) said a week after John’s birth. 1:6 GW'20 Mark 1:6: 6 John was dressed in clothes made from camel’s hair. He wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. In our Indonesian translation, we have a footnote at this verse which says that John’s clothes and food choices would have reminded Jews of his day of Elijah. After all, Elijah spent a long time living alone in the wilderness. 12–14 GW'20 Mark 1:12-13: 12 At once the Spirit brought him into the desert, 13 where he was tempted by Satan for 40 days. He was there with the wild animals, and the angels took care of him. This can remind us of when Elijah was in the wilderness and ravens brought him food (1Kings 17), and chapter 19 when an angel fed him before Elijah took the long journey to Mt. Horeb. 7:24–25 GW'20 Mark 7:24: 24 Jesus left that place and went to the territory of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know that he was staying in a house there. However, it couldn’t be kept a secret. This can remind us of Elijah, when the stream dried up, and when he then went and a widow in this same area took care of him. Both stories take place in the same Gentile territory. In the case of the widow of Zerephath (1Kings 17), Elijah raised her son from death. In Jesus’ case, He expelled a demon from a Greek woman’s daughter. ————Explicit mentions of Elijah GW'20 Mark 6:15: 15 Others said, “He is Elijah.” Still others said, “He is a prophet like one of the other prophets.” GW'20 Mark 8:28: 28 They answered him, “Some say you are John the Baptizer, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” GW'20 Mark 9:4: 4 Then Elijah and Moses appeared to them and were talking with Jesus. Note that Elijah is mentioned first by Mark. Both Matthew and Luke put Moses first. GW'20 Mark 9:5: 5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s put up three tents—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” GW'20 Mark 9:11-13: 11 So they asked him, “Don’t the experts in Moses’ Teachings say that Elijah must come first?” 12 Jesus said to them, “Elijah is coming first and will put everything in order again. But in what sense was it written that the Son of Man must suffer a lot and be treated shamefully? 13 Indeed, I can guarantee that Elijah has come. Yet, people treated him as they pleased, as Scripture says about him.” ————Another allusion to Elijah 12:1–7  Jesus tells this parable: GW'20 Mark 12:1,7: 1 Then, using this illustration, Jesus spoke to them. He said, “A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, made a vat for the winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to vineyard workers and went on a trip. … 7 “But those workers said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ This reminds us of 1Kings 21 where Jezebel connived to murder Naboth in order that Ahab could confiscate Naboth’s vineyard. Naboth had refused to sell the property because it was his inheritance. ————————Explicit mention of Elijah  GW'20 Mark 15:34-36: 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 35 When some of the people standing there heard him say that, they said, “Listen! He’s calling Elijah.” 36 Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar. Then he put it on a stick and offered Jesus a drink. The man said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.” ————————Two more allusions to Elijah 16:19 GW'20 Mark 16:19: 19 After talking with the apostles, the Lord was taken to heaven, where he received the honored position— the one next to God the Father on the throne. GW'20 2 Kings 2:11: 11 As they continued walking and talking, a fiery chariot with fiery horses separated the two of them, and Elijah [was taken up/went] to heaven in a windstorm. LXX+ Βασιλειών Δ 2:11: 11 καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτῶν πορευομένων ἐπορεύοντο καὶ ἐλάλουν, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἅρμα πυρὸς καὶ ἵπποι πυρὸς καὶ διέστειλαν ἀνὰ μέσον ἀμφοτέρων, καὶ ἀνελήμφθη Ηλιου ἐν συσσεισμῷ ὡς εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν. RP'2018 Κατά Μάρκον 16:19: 19 Ὁ μὲν οὖν κύριος, μετὰ τὸ λαλῆσαι αὐτοῖς, ἀνελήφθη εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν, καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ ϑεοῦ. Gage (reported by Robinson) includes the allusions to Malachi 3:1 and 4:5 at the beginning of Mark's Gospel;  the placing of Elijah ahead of Moses in 9:4;  and the question whether Elijah will come down to rescue Christ from the cross in 15:36,  where the latter text “anticipates the conclusion of the Gospel wherein Jesus is translated into heaven in a manner remarkably like Elijah (16:19).” ———— Residue: I can’t see why Gage (via Robinson) listed these verses: **3:22 and 4:41; 14:12–14; 15:25, 31–39 ———— GW'20 Mark 16:15-19: 15 Then Jesus said to them, “So wherever you go in the world, tell everyone the Good News. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 “These are the miraculous signs that will accompany believers: They will use the power and authority of my name to force demons out of people. They will speak new languages. 18 They will pick up snakes, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them. They will place their hands on the sick and cure them.” 19 After talking with the apostles, the Lord was taken to heaven, where he received the honored position— the one next to God the Father on the throne. Jesus passes on his mantle, so to speak, as Elijah did.  The apostles and other followers will work miraculous signs like Elijah’s successor (Elisha) did.  Jesus was taken up to heaven like Elijah was, using the same turn of phrase. Now before I bring an important point about all this, I would like to point out that one of the characteristics of Mark’s Gospel is that he likes to not leave loose ends. As Robinson says, Mark's consistent habit is to demonstrate the reliability of Jesus' words by narrating their fulfillment, even when that narration is incidental to the flow of the main story.  In Mark 7:29, for example, Jesus tells the Syrophoenician woman who comes seeking healing for her daughter, “You may go—the demon has left your daughter.” The reader can trust Jesus' words; the pericope can conclude. But it doesn't. Mark 7:30 says, “So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.”  Similarly, in Mark 10:46–52, Jesus heals blind Bartimaeus. In verse 52a Jesus says, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Surely Jesus' words will come to pass. Yes, we know they come to pass because Mark tells us they do in 52b: “Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.” Following the same pattern of tying up loose ends, the fulfillment of Mark 14:62 (being seated at God’s right hand) is recorded in other places in the NT, but of the 4 Gospels, only Mark contains the fulfillment. (16:19) Mk 14:62: NLT "Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of [honor//power] at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven. ”" Mk 16:19: NLT "When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand." (Matt 22:44; 26:64; Luke 20:42; 22:69; Acts 2:33–34; Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet 3:22; cp. the hints in Rev 5:1, 7.) I didn’t tell you above that the book that I have been reading is Perspectives On The Ending Of Mark, which gives the text of four presentations from a seminar that was given at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2007. The first presentation was given by Dr. Daniel Wallace. I was shocked that this eminently respected scholar, and the driving force behind the New English Translation, represented the view that Mark intended his Gospel to end with chapter 16, verse 8. I will remind you what Mark 16:8 says: NET Mark 16:8 NET: 8 Then they went out and ran from the tomb, for terror and bewilderment had seized them. And they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. I can’t imagine anyone thinking that could be the ending intended by Mark! Robinson says, “A Markan intention to end at 16:8, expecting the reader(s) to supply what is “missing” on the basis of subjective reflection, and thereby intuitively filling in gaps in light of a community-based “resurrection faith” or some such concept, requires a sophisticated postmodern viewpoint not typically found within ancient classical literature (even the short Fables of Aesop required moralia to explain the point).” Remember what I showed above. Mark doesn’t like to leave loose ends. And he is not intending to present a bunch of stories and leave the reader to decide. Had he been doing that, he would not have started his book with GW'20 Mark 1:1: 1 This is the beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Since Mark was presenting a case for Jesus being the Son of God, certainly he would end with Jesus at the place of honor beside the Father (as shown above). And if Mark were presenting Jesus as the new Elijah, then it is a nice touch to say that Jesus was taken up to heaven in words recalling Elijah’s being taken up. And just like Elijah leaving behind his mantle and miraculous gifts for Elisha, Jesus leaves miraculous gifts for his apostles in chapter 16:17-18. Many other reasons for the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 are found in my 5th EveryWord podcast from last year. This is where my reading and study intersected with my desire to give you extra insights to think about in Job and Mark. Before I pray to close this session, I think it fitting to read the last verse of Mark: NLT Mark 16:20: 20 And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs. I’m thankful that Mark tied up that final loose end, telling us what happened to the disciples. The exciting thing is that this process is still continuing. The Lord Jesus is still working through people who go and preach the Good News. He is still confirming the Gospel in human hearts, bringing people to repentance and new birth, and working in many other miraculous ways. If you tell me that you haven’t seen this happening, then I encourage you to go and start preaching. Let’s pray: Our Lord and our God, through your Word which You have preserved for us, we almost are taken up on the holy mountain where we can still hear the echo of your words, “This is my Son, whom I love and in whom I delight.” In our spirits we feel the confirmation of the treasure you have given us in your Word. So our desire is to pay attention to it, as to a light that shines in a very dark place, and we wait with increasing confidence for the day of your coming, when the morning star will fully rise in our hearts. Amen. And may the Lord bless you ‘real good’.

    Reader: Take note! Days 1-14

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 14, 2021 28:46

    Greetings and welcome to this first edition of an occasional series of podcasts that I am starting to add extra commentary for those following the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan. I hope that the things I share in this episode will be relevant to those who have arrived at day number 14. I have taken the title for this series from Mark 13:14 (GW). As Jesus is prophesying in that chapter about the destruction of Jerusalem, he says, “When you see the disgusting thing that will cause destruction standing where it should not (let the reader take note), those of you in Judea should flee to the mountains.” [God’s Word Translation] The parenthetical note, “let the reader take note” probably was addressed to the one who read out loud to others. In Mark’s day, not many people in a congregation would know how to read. The Greek word for ‘read’ in this verse actually means ‘to read out loud’. Because of that, some commentators feel that this warning to understand was not just for the reader, but was intended as a plea to the reader to explain to his listeners about Daniel’s prophecy that mentions ‘the disgusting thing that will cause destruction’. So here I am, your reader (for the whole Bible, not just Mark’s Gospel). I thought it might be helpful to you to give some information that doesn’t fit in the daily podcasts, but I still, of course, will not have time to answer all questions. My intent is to encourage you to dig deeper by sharing things I find to be interesting and inspiring in the passages you have read or listened to already in the 3D plan. If you have questions or comments, my favorite way for you to send messages to me is via the contact button at dailybiblereading.info. Incidentally, from now on I will quote a lot from the translation called God’s Word for the Nations, because I am personally reading that version in my own devotional readings this year. And this year I personally am reading a real-book Bible. See the godsword.org site linked in the episode notes for information on how you can get a gorgeous GW Bible at a great price. And the newest edition is available in YouVersion and the MyBible app. (GW'20) The first verse I would like to share about is Genesis 1:1 (NLT). “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Some translations say ‘heaven’ singular, but the Hebrew is actually plural, ‘heavens’. When my team and I translated that into Indonesian, because Indonesians haven’t previously known a concept of plural heavens, we translated this verse as, “… God created the levels of heaven and the sky.”  When Scripture talks of plural heavens, the sky is the lowest layer, and ancient people had the concept that there were three or perhaps seven layers of heaven. Some of you will recall that Paul was caught up to the ‘third heaven’ in 2 Corinthians 12. It is for this reason that I see verse one as not being a summary of what is to come in Genesis 1-2, but as a hint of acts of creation that we are not told about which happened before the creation of this world. There were principalities and powers and myriads of angels in the heavenly places that were put there before God started counting the six days of creation. To me, it is kind of awesome to think about that. Now quoting from Genesis 1:14 (NLT), “Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.” Instead of ‘seasons’ the God’s Word translation translates ‘religious festivals’.  The word that can mean ‘seasons’ as NLT translated it is normally translated ‘religious festivals’ all throughout the rest of the OT. In our Indonesian translation, we translated it as ‘seasons’ but we provided a footnote to tell readers that this word often is translated as ‘religious festivals’. Here’s the thing I think that is neat about this: Translators have frequently chosen to translate ‘seasons’ because it is kind of strange to talk of religious festivals when there are not yet any people on earth on the 4th day of creation. BUT consider this: God was preparing all of creation, including the sun and moon, to support humans who would worship Him. We can say that the love and worship of Himself was God’s ultimate goal in the creation of the universe. We exist for his worship. In Genesis 4:19-21 we read that, “Lamech married two women, one named Adah and the other Zillah. Adah gave birth to Jabal. He was the first person to live in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the first person to play the harp and the flute.” Isn’t it interesting that the harp and flute are mentioned so early in human history! Certainly Jubal not only played the flute and harp, but he invented and constructed the first ones as well. I think this little story shows that God wanted to provide for glorious worship of Himself. Did you realize that when you hear an instrument play a note, that you don’t just hear that note, but harmonic frequencies above that note. It is the relative strength and weaknesses of the harmonics that lets us hear the difference between the sounds of a harp, flute, trumpet, and all the other instruments.  As I play a low D on the piano, I will help you hear the harmonics. Fundamental note D, octave D, 5th above that, then the octave again, and then another D, and the last that I will play is a third, F#. That forms a D major chord. This happens to be the same overtones that can be gotten with a simple flute made of PVC pipe keeping all my fingers down. The natural harmonics of the strings of a harp or piano or guitar, form a major chord. The natural harmonics of well-constructed flutes form a major chord. God built this system right into the atmosphere and physics of our world. There is a reason why people think songs in major keys are happy sounding. Our ears like the resonance that naturally occurs due to the reinforcement of overtones. I think God intended this beautiful resonance. God created the human ear, in order to give the delight of hearing beautiful music. Note also that God designed the human hand so that simple instruments like a harp and flute can be played easily with our fingers, like when I play a scale on a flute with just 6 finger holes. Then consider how beautiful our voices are when we sing. My friend Arie Scholten says, “When people sing in unison together, we each coordinate 26 muscles together in unity, and the devil hates both the sound and that unity.” Our Creator is awesome and deserves awesome praise. Ps 66:1-2: "Shout happily to God, all the earth! Make music to praise the glory of his name. Make his praise glorious." Now let me explain something that people always ask about: NLT Genesis 6:1-4: 1 Then the people began to multiply on the earth, and daughters were born to them. 2 The sons of God saw the beautiful women and took any they wanted as their wives. 3 Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.” 4 In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times. NLT Genesis 6:5: 5 The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, … So who are these sons of God? There are many interpretations of what kind of ‘sons’ are intended. Most interpretations can be classified into two alternatives: 1) The children of God intended are fallen angels— those who sided with the devil in his rebellion, then they were punished by God and thrown into this world. Those angels are now called evil spirits or demons. If so, maybe the spirits possessed male humans, and in that way married the girls. 2) Or, the children of God intended are descendants of Seth. This is in accordance with many verses in the OT that call the Israelites— all of whom were descendants of Seth— as ‘sons of God’. In Ex. 4:22, the nation of Israel is also called the ‘firstborn son’ of God.  Personally the 2nd choice seems fanciful and naive to me. It seems that something ugly and evil is implied, so I go with the first choice. I think that we must admit that we do not always have enough information to interpret things like this.  GW'20 Deuteronomy 29:29: 29 Some things are hidden. They belong to the LORD our God. But the things that have been revealed in these teachings belong to us and to our children forever. We must obey every word of these teachings. The two interpretations I have shared are not harmonious with Job 1:6 and 2:1 where ‘sons of God’ are also mentioned. I don’t think you will find one totally satisfactory conclusion about this that will explain this for both contexts. Whoever the supermen were in Genesis, they were wiped out in the flood. The two interpretations I just mentioned are not harmonious with Job 1:6-8 or 2:1. I don’t think a harmonious interpretation exists for the ‘sons of God’ in both Genesis and Job. And so, let’s segue to Job. GW'20 Job 1:6-8: 6 One day when the sons of God came to stand in front of the LORD, Satan the Accuser came along with them. 7 The LORD asked Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From wandering all over the earth.” 8 The LORD asked Satan, “Have you thought about my servant Job? No one in the world is like him! He is a man of integrity: He is decent, he fears God, and he stays away from evil.” GW'20 Job 2:1: 1 One day when the sons of God came to stand in front of the LORD, Satan the Accuser came along with them. The ‘sons of God’ here seem to be angelic princes who never lived on earth and did not participate in the fall. But whatever they are, it makes no difference because they play no part in the story. We just get the impression that the heavenly nobility have assembled for a meeting of the court around God’s throne. These heavenly nobility are part of the principalities and powers, like what I mentioned talking about Genesis 1:1. Satan makes a crashing entrance here in Job. His name comes up only 14 times in the OT, and all but three times are here in the first 2 chapters of Job. His name means adversary or accuser. He is pictured without a name in other places, such as the ‘serpent’ in the garden of Eden, or is pictured as like the ‘king of Tyre’ in Ezekiel 28, etc. In the NT he is spoken of with his Hebrew name and also with his Greek name, διαβόλου, or the devil. That title or name means the same as the Hebrew name: false accuser, or slanderer. Considering what an important role Satan plays, it is kind of amazing that his name comes up so infrequently. Our adversary has many names! And actually, he likes to stay anonymous. From start to finish, the Bible portrays a prolonged battle between the forces of Satan and God’s forces. We are living right in the middle of the battle field right now.  In the Garden of Eden the serpent incited Eve to distrust God’s good intent. What we see in Job is Satan acting according to his name. He accuses Job to God. Then God allows Satan to act, but only with limitations.  GW'20 2 Corinthians 4:4, we see another way of referring to Satan. 4 The god of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. As a result, they don’t see the light of the Good News about Christ’s glory. It is Christ who is God’s image. Satan does not work all by himself, of course. There are the fallen angels (or demons) working at his command. They are working overtime now to spread spiritual blindness. In believers, they love to whisper accusations against us and to cast doubt on God’s good intentions for us. Let’s keep our spiritual armor on according to Ephesians 6. The spiritual battle is real, but God supplies our armor, and it is powerful and effective. It is important that we don’t start relying on our own power or trusting in our own supposed maturity in this battle. To some listeners, I may seem really naive to believe that there is a being named Satan, or that demons exist. Let me tell you one of my experiences: I think it was the beginning of the summer of 1970. I was 20 years old, and driving home to Hutchinson, Kansas, from Wichita State University. It was an hour long trip which I made frequently while I was in school there, but on that day, it was the last trip home before the summer vacation. On campus, I was president of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and probably people thought I had my act together. I was coming home to help out at Kansas Bible Camp, just outside of my hometown. But something very strange happened that made this trip to my hometown different from any other trip on that road. I had a deep sense of shame because I couldn’t control my thought life, and of course that means lust. Girls liked me, and I liked them … too much. So all during that trip I prayed out loud, crying out to God with tears. I couldn’t live with the hypocrite I had become. How could God forgive me when I had to keep asking for forgiveness for the same sins every single day?  Pulling myself together, when I got into town, I stopped to go into a supermarket to buy a couple of things, like soap and shampoo. When I came out, a woman met me, a long-time family friend. This was a woman I had enjoyed looking at since I was old enough to notice women. She had seen me go in and had waited for me to come out. She hugged my arm repeatedly and invited me to come to her house where we could be alone. What a thing to happen! One might make jokes about the timing, but I won’t. What could I do?! I couldn’t bring myself to go back on all that I had prayed to God. After bearing my soul to God so deeply, how could I take advantage of the perfect opportunity to make a plunge into sin. I stupidly mumbled something about being on my way to the Bible Camp, and turned her down. Too politely, I might add. In fact, I walked her to her car and said, “I’ll come another time.” When I got back in my car, I couldn’t believe it! First, I was overwhelmed because I knew that this wasn’t just a coincidence. I said to God right there, “I should never doubt that You answer my prayers or that you are watching me!” And then it occured to me also, “Hey, wait a minute! Did God know that I was going to meet a big temptation and move me to pray? Or did Satan know that I was praying and set me up with that temptation to destroy any spiritual progress I was making?” That summer I certainly had the time to visit that woman at her house, but I never did. God had so clearly forbidden it. For me to do that would be to totally leave any relationship with Him.  So I leave you with these thoughts: Do not doubt that Satan and his dark forces exist.  Satan is out to get you. God is watching over YOU more intimately than you realize! God hears your prayers. Keep asking for God to forgive you. Confess your sins explicitly, not just saying, “Please forgive my sins.” After saying exactly what you have done, ask for insight on how to overcome persistent sin problems. Look for God to help you at just the right time. Let me pray for you now.  Our Lord God and our King Jesus, thank you for my friend who has listened to me in this podcast. Lord, I ask You to prove yourself to my listener and help him or her to find treasures in your Word that will be like keys unlocking spiritual growth and transformation. Please help us to confess our sins and keep our consciences clear in your sight. Amen.  

    December 31 Special

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2020 36:07

    Greetings friends to this end of the year podcast! Before I share my own stories, I want to give you our last two Listener Stories for 2020, one from Tom and another from Tammy. I think Tammy’s story is especially interesting because the Coronavirus pandemic had a big impact on her. I think her story will resonate with many of you.  Hello, my name is Tammy.  I recently retired from being a principal and before that a school teacher, a job I had done and loved for over 30 years.  I had oodles of plans for what I was going to do, places I was going to go and things I was really looking forward to doing-  like working with children at our church this summer.  When COVID hit and closed down school as we knew it on March 13, 2020, my life really changed.  I didn’t get to say goodbye to my students, parents and staff, it just all ended that Friday in March.  I was really struggling with what to me felt like a major loss. (This is in no way to disrespect those that have had greater losses due to COVID.) I was talking to my husband explaining how I was feeling such an absence of being needed and like I was just wandering looking for what I was supposed to be doing with my life at this time.  My sweet husband said some very wise words to me.  He said, “Tammy, I believe God is just giving you this down time to recharge you and prepare you for what He has planned next for you to do for Him.  Take this time and use it to its best.”  While I knew he was right, I have to say I DON’T  do down time well.  When you work 60 hours a week for oodles of years and have people consistently needing things from you, to have that come to a screeching halt, really put me off kilter.   I was struggling trying to figure out what God wanted me to do.  Then one morning in my devotion time God put on my heart that I have been wanting to complete a read through the Bible in a year program for a long time.  Even though it was August, I thought, this doesn’t have to wait until January to be a New Year’s Resolution, it can be my New Life Resolution. What a blessing this decision has been!  I looked at all different types of programs.  I found Digging Deeper Daily and liked the explanation of how this program was laid out. I wanted to learn about the “threads that unify the message of the Old and New Testaments”. I also like the fact that there were brief devotional notes that I thought would help me see the connections clearer.   I started this journey on August 20th and upon hearing the first reading, I fell in love with this journey.  Phil’s voice was so calming and yet assured in what he was saying and reading.  The brief stories he shares of his work as a Bible translator make me feel like I have a new friend.  This adventure has helped me grow daily in my understanding of God’s word.   Being a Christian since a child, I had heard many stories from the bible, now I understand more deeply what was happening before, during and after those isolated events.  It has really helped make the Bible come to life for me.   Phil explains how he started this project as a gift to leave his grandchildren.  He wanted to read the entire bible to them.  I feel his love each morning as I listen to him read and explain the daily passage, its as if for those brief moments I have been adopted into his family.  This has not only been a way for me to learn more about the Bible, grow closer to God, but also to feel like I am being gathered into the fold each morning.   The brief explanations at the end of the readings are so helpful.  I always look forward to the prayer Phil delivers to close the devotional time.  Often, I will replay the prayer a time or two more.  At the end of “our time together” I try to conclude with a prayer for Phil and all those doing God’s work to bring His word to the nations that don’t have the Bible yet.  This reminder of what a gift the Bible is to us, that I often take for granted because I haven’t known a time without it, has made my daily time with God even more precious.   Early on in the program, Phil was reading to us from Matthew.  When He read Matthew 11:28 which says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” I cried.  This to me reiterated what my husband told me.    I was in need of this passage.  When Phil read this verse, with such love in his voice, I felt as if it was God speaking it to me.  I needed rest, yet I wouldn’t let myself admit it.  Now, each morning I consider my time listening to Phil read God’s word as a time of rest, connection and recharging.   I can’t wait to find out what great adventure God has in store for me next, or where He needs me in this stage of life, what I do know though is that Phil Fields and Digging Deeper Daily will be on that amazing ride with me.   Thanks so much, Tammy, for your story! And with a sincere blush, I also say thanks for your kind words. I am so pleased— more than that— filled with joy, when people are able to look through the kind of one-way mirror that podcasting is, to become my friends and even adopted family.  Thanks to Tom giving me this next story. Tom is mainly a reader (not a regular podcast listener). The 3D YouVersion plan he has followed for 2020 is called Read To Me Daily. (Link given in the episode notes.) Tom is a long time friend, dating back to my music teaching days. There is one odd, totally unplanned, similarity between his story and Tammy’s. I think you will catch it. My name is Tom and I am a sixty-year-old Arkansan.  I have read through the Bible several times using different plans.  The last few times, using electronic media, such as Digging Deeper Daily, has aided me greatly through ease of access.  Reading the Bible entirely in one year gives one little time for Bible study, but I value the discipline of daily reading which stirs my thoughts and continually whets my appetite to, what else, dig deeper. I read through the Bible this year using the Amplified Bible, Classic Edition.  In the past I have used various translations and even some paraphrases and I may have been wiser to use the recommended New Living Translation or Good News Translation.  Instead, however, I wanted to use the AMPC this year to slow me down.  The many bracketed words and phrases in the AMPC which are used to further describe a translated word or passage, forced me to ponder over a word or passage and think about how an idea was being explained.  I did enjoy the New Living Translation as well as the Good News Translation versions referenced most often in the devotionals.  I found multiple translations of the same verses to be quite helpful. Most years when using a daily reading plan I plowed right past the devotional passages and read only the scripture.  This year I was determined to include reading the devotionals, again, to slow me down and to help me think about what I was reading.  I enjoyed reading the Digging Deeper Daily devotionals which often gave the translator’s perspective of a passage, citing examples of difficult passages to translate and including real-life examples of working with an indigenous people group to help them understand the Bible.  In addition to translation notes, I appreciated the occasional summaries from prior days, reminding me of an important passage, even to the point of repeating some passages over consecutive days for emphasis.  I also appreciated being prodded by the devotional to live up to its title to, here it is again, dig deeper into particular passages. I appreciated how the daily readings were divided up between Old and New Testaments, particularly saving Isaiah for the end of the calendar year with so many relevant passages for the advent season.  My favorite passage, personally, occurred late in the calendar year on September 21.  Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (NLT)  I am never more at peace than when I surrender to Christ’s yoke. Finally, while I spent the year in the daily reading plan rather than listening to the daily podcasts, I did enjoy utilizing the audio podcasts through the Old Testament genealogies.

    Four 3D Listener Stories

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 26, 2020 15:09

    Today I am sharing four listener stories.  Before I do that, I want to respond to Sunny and Nate, who commented on my pronunciation of Bible names in the podcasts. Surely others have wondered about this, so let me explain. Some may, like Sunny, assume that I am saying the names right. (Well after all, one would think a Bible translator ought to know the right pronunciation!) So here’s my (somewhat embarrassed) explanation of what I have done. After studying a few other languages, I consider the standard English pronunciations of the letters a, i, and e, in many Bible names to be ugly. I really wish I could start a trend to pronounce Bible names differently! Basically, what I have done is to take the English spellings and pronounce them with the pure phonetic vowels of the Indonesian language. I don’t like pronouncing the letter a or e in multiple ways like English, so instead of pronouncing the two a’s differently in ‘Ray-h@b’s name, I say her name ‘Rahab’. And instead of Heze’kEYEya, I pronounce his name He’ZEKya when reading the Bible text. When reading my introductions, I try to give the correct English pronunciation. So my pronunciations cannot be called ‘right’ or even consistent, but pronouncing names with the pure vowels of the Indonesian language happens to make some names more like the Hebrew or Greek pronunciation. I strived to be more consistent in my pronunciation choices in the GNT podcast series. I send my thanks to Catherine and Luisa, who have given us our first two listener stories. Here they are: Before I play the next two listener stories, I have some listener feedback from Joy. She had a story like Julie from my last podcast with listener stories, but she added this little PS: Along with following another whole reading plan this year, she also read the YouVersion plan named Day by Day with Billy Graham. This is a 366 day reading plan, which often gives a reading of only one verse and a very short and interesting and pointed devotional thought. This has got to be a good one, because it has 50,000 completions. The link to this reading plan is in the episode notes. Our next story is from Iryna. I couldn’t place her accent, and when I took a guess, I was way wrong. She is from Crimea, which became a Russian territory in 2014. She writes that her name (Iryna) derives from Greek, which is true for many names in Russia and the Ukraine. Her name means peace. Iryna is married to an Australian and they live in Australia. Many thanks to Iryna. She sent pictures of two of the verses she has illustrated for the walls of their home. These can be seen at the bottom of the home page of the Read This First site. The link for that site is in the program notes, and it is the first link found at dailybiblereading.info. Next I want to send my thanks to Nicole for this last listener story today. Her testimony wins the prize for being the best recommendation the Daily Bible Reading Podcast has ever received. So thanks, Nicole, for your very kind words.  If you have questions or comments, my favorite way for you to contact me is via the Contact link at dailybiblereading.info.  As I said in the podcast a couple of days ago (Three 3D Stories from Listeners), I will publish a podcast on December 31 which will contain my personal story including insights from my own Bible reading and Bible translation work.  1Ths 5:23-24: GNT “May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being — spirit, soul, and body — free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you will do it, because he is faithful.” May the Lord bless you ‘Read Good’!

    Three 3D Stories from Listeners

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2020 11:19

    I am sharing three audio listener stories in this podcast in preparation for a Special Podcast that will be released on December 31. If you started the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan on January 1st this year, I hope you have remembered that this is a leap year. Some of you heard a Christmas day greeting today, that was one day early. Because of leap year, there would be no podcast released for December 31st, so I will release a special edition for that day. I have received 8 encouraging listener and reader testimonies that I will share in the next days, and these will all be linked on the Read This First site that is linked at dailybiblereading.info. You can easily share these stories by using the share buttons, or all of them will be available all year on the home page of the Read This First site. Before playing the first listener story, I would like to tell you that my YouTube video entitled How to Study the Bible — for beginners is back on the same page, the home page of the Read This First site. It is also linked in the episode notes for this podcast: https://youtu.be/sPyAp8ZxDBE Beth started listening to the Daily Bible Reading podcast this year, and she contacted me early in the year. I later enjoyed a video call with Beth and her husband Steve, as they are interested in Beth getting involved in Bible translation. She sent me this message: Our next listener story is from Julie. I will expand on some of the things Julie mentions. First let’s listen to her message: Julie is correct, even though some people seem to listen to me for more than one year at a time, I don’t encourage anyone to do this. (Hey, you can always come back after a few years, like Julie will.) I am listing links to the three Bible reading plans I usually mention: Daily Audio Bible with Brian Hardin Bible in One Year 2021 by Nicky Gumbel Daily Radio Bible by Hunter (and I don’t easily find his last name). If you decide to still follow the Digging Deeper Reading plan, but would like to listen to a different voice for the Bible readings, Julie was right. My favorite option for the audio for the plan is to sign up for the Read To Me Daily YouVersion reading plan, listen to the NIVUK version, which is read by the famous actor David Suche. Then Julie gives me the opportunity to say this also: There are two meaning-based translations that I hope every Christian reads all the way through at least in their lifetime. They are the New Living Translation (NLT) and the Good News Translation (GNT or GNB, also previously known as the Today’s English Version TEV). Many people fail in their plans to read the Bible in a year if they use a literal translation. Literal translations are great for study, especially when paired with a meaning-based translation. But literal translations are not friendly especially in audio form. That is why I have recorded the Digging Deeper Daily Bible reading plan in two translations: the NLT and the GNT. If you go to dailybiblereading.info, the GNT podcast site is right in the top bar. Here is the link: dailygntbiblereading.info. Our last listener story is from Laura. I want to say a big Thank You to Beth, Julie, and Laura. The podcast on December 31 will contain my own story of things that have been meaningful to me this year, both in my reading and Bible translation work. I also have five more listener stories that I will publish like this in the next few days.

    GN-Day327 Nehemiah 5-6; Isaiah 36; Philippians 4

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2020 24:09

    NEHEMIAH 5-6:Yesterday Nehemiah gave a listing of the people who rebuilt the wall. This included Shallum and his daughters, and two named goldsmiths, merchants, priests and Levites. The residents of the land opposed to the construction were threatening violence, so the people armed themselves and had men on guard at all times. Nehemiah and his men stayed fully armed at all times, and in the last verse of chapter 4 NLT says ‘even when they went for water'— which I take as a euphemism for going potty. That little phrase is very obscure in Hebrew, and GNT translates it in a different way. ISAIAH 36:It was interesting to find this verse near the beginning of Isaiah's beautiful chapter 35: 3 Give strength to hands that are tiredand to knees that tremble with weakness. This verse was probably in the mind of the writer of Hebrews in chapter 13. And in fact, the Holy Highway and its destination is very much like the ‘place' we ‘come to' in Hebrews 13! Today we start on the prose portion of Isaiah from chapters 36-39. PHILIPPIANS 4:I have found deep meaning and great spiritual help from the portion around verse 13 in chapter 3. And I am certainly not alone in that. Here are some of the most quoted verses in this letter: Php. 3:13 NLT No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved [perfection//it], but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things... I would like to point out that twice in this chapter Paul points us to heaven. One is in the verses I just quoted, and the other in verse 20, where he says, “We are citizens of heaven.” Note that he calls all of us to keep our focus forward and lengthen our stride as we run toward heaven. All of us! There is no other destination for believers ever mentioned in the Bible. Wherever Jesus is, that's where we'll be. And that's why Paul says repeatedly, dying is better and would simply bring him nearer Christ. If as Revelation portrays, the New Jerusalem comes down to earth, then that is heaven and that's where we will be. There is no such thing as a Purgatory. And neither is there a separation of believers, where the really holy ones get to go to heaven and the not so good ones stay on earth. There is only hell and heaven. And if you are a believer in Christ, you are a citizen of heaven and you will be right where Jesus is.

    2020 October News Post

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2020 11:11

    The year has been flying by for Gale and me. For the most part, we have not been too inconvenienced by the pandemic and are healthy. I hope the same for you! How has it gone with you in listening to the Daily Bible Reading podcast, or following the Digging Deeper Daily reading plan? I would be very interested in hearing back from you, and for you to tell me about things like this: If you are a listener, what podcast app are you using to listen, or do you use our website? If you have a favorite app that you would recommend to others, please tell me what you like about it. Have you experienced difficulties in finding your next day's podcast? Have you experienced any difficulties while using the YouVersion Bible app? To share with me, just reply to this message. Just before the beginning of next year, I will report back on what I learn from your responses. If you have enjoyed this year's readings or podcasts, please give our website address to your friends: dailybiblereading.info. Many of you who started 2020 with day 1 of our Digging Deeper Daily reading plan have just started an intensive course in Bible prophecy that will run to the end of this year— with readings in Ezekiel, Isaiah, minor prophets and Revelation. I want to touch on just a few important points. One is that human teachers never get their interpretations of prophecy correct. The prophets in Jerusalem didn't know what God was going to do in Ezekiel's day, The Jews didn't get it right about what the Messiah would do. Just the other day I heard a radio preacher teaching an ordering of events for the end times that I think will be proved way wrong. Remember, God possesses all wisdom, and humans predicting what God will do based on prophecy have gotten it wrong time after time. (So I will only dare give a few major points below!) If you are like me, we have joined Paul and John in praying "Come, Lord Jesus!" For a lot of my life, I have wished that I could see the Lord fulfill some prophecies signalling a quickening of the pace toward the return of Jesus. Guess what folks! Things are happening, and now we're saying, "Oh Lord, please stop it!" We all know that we are to avoid any marks on our hands and foreheads that could resemble any interpretation of 666. Those who refuse to receive the mark of the beast won't be able to buy or sell. But I sort of missed the implication that we who don't follow the beast's party line will one day be locked out of social media, sources of impartial news, and probably even the whole Internet.  Let's not miss this often-repeated warning: We must learn to trust the Lord and endure in faithfulness to Him no matter what happens. Please consider what God has done in the past. He told Abraham what would happen to the Jews. Then it happened: They were enslaved in Egypt, and then God brought them back to the promised land, just as He said He would. No other God has done something like that! Then God told Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah (and others) about a similarly big thing that would happen. Over and over we read that the Jewish people would be unfaithful and would be exiled to far-away country— to Babylon, as it turns out. But God promised to return them to their country. Then in Isaiah, God even tells the name of the king who would allow the Jews to return to Israel, some hundreds of years before it happened. In that same passage God Himself asks the readers, "What other God has ever done something like that?!" God told the exiled people that he would take care of them in exile, and He did. So, I am sure that God will take care of us in whatever suffering (even tribulation) that we face. “This means that God's holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.” (Rev. 13:10) We will see in our prophecy readings that many things that God predicts eventually get fulfilled multiple times. One of the chief examples of this is Daniel's prophecy about a king who would oppose the people of God. "The king will do as he pleases, exalting himself and claiming to be greater than every god, even blaspheming the God of gods." Extending from Roman kings, to Hitler, and now into our time, the closer we come to the end, the more like the antichrist our rulers will become. We hate to see this happen! But there is a comforting side: God is in control. He is not surprised by what is happening. The best thing we can do to prepare for the times to come is to study His Word. Use God's Word to answer those who do not know the truth. More and more I pray for God to open minds. 2Cor. 4:3 says that “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. …” In verse 6 Paul says, “For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” Just so, I am confident that as YOU lovingly share the simple Good News with people, God will turn on the lights in the minds of some to behold the glory. But as Paul says in verse 7, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.” That's how God wants us to be at this time. Join the club feeling fragile! If you are in the USA, I urge you to know the issues and vote. In Revelation, Jesus' saying, "He that has and ear let him hear," is repeated eight times. And of course, there are many times in the Gospels where Jesus says that. I have been amazed as a Bible translator at how many times I have needed to revise that saying. It is very hard to get that one right! Recently we revised all those verses in our Indonesian translation. Let me tell you that that saying always points backward. Jesus is not telling people to listen to what He's going to say. He's telling people to pay attention to what He's just said. In our Indonesian translation, the problem was that— the way we had expressed it— Jesus was coming off as angry or impolite. We had translated like what I have given as the meaning in the Daily Bible Reading podcast: "Ya got ears, don't ya?! Well listen!" So in searching for an answer, Balazi (the head of our translation program) said, "Ya know, there's something that Indonesian teachers and pastors say frequently, and here it is: Don't let what I've said go in your right ear and straight out your left." In English we say, "Don't let what I said just go in one ear and out the other!" That's our translation of Jesus' saying, except there needs to be one last command: "Meditate on it!" Yes, meditate on it! That's what we need to be doing with all our Bible readings at the end of this year. The Daily Bible Reading podcast has done well in 2020. Our daily downloads are about 50% higher than around February, or on many days are 90% higher than they were last year at this same time. Amazing things are happening in Indonesia. I normally would be there now, but not this year. My next trip will happen the spring of next year, Lord willing. You on this list did not get my updates about our work, but you can see our August letter here and our October letter here.  May the Lord bless you ‘real good’! Phil

    EveryWord005 Mark 16

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 2, 2020 64:10

    Welcome to the FIFTH episode of the Every Word Podcast. This is a podcast series for those who enjoy studying details found in God’s Word. In every episode I will read from Dr. Wilbur Pickering’s fresh-sounding translation of the New Testament, which he named, “The Sovereign Creator Has Spoken.” In today’s episode, I will read and comment on Pickering’s translation of Mark chapter 16.  Dr. Pickering’s translation is based on the Majority Text of the Greek New Testament, which is also called the Byzantine Text.  Beginning in 1881 there was a shift in the Greek text used for English Bible translations, caused by the influence of the Wescott and Hort Greek New Testament, which was based on a very small sampling of manuscripts of the Alexandrian Text Type, that is from Egypt.  [The main two manuscripts they relied on are Codex Sinaiticus (abbreviation א [Aleph] or 01) and Codex Vaticanus (abbreviation B or 03). Those are dated at 330-360 AD and 300-325 respectively.]  At the time Wescott and Hort were working, it was anticipated that research into the most ancient manuscripts newly discovered in Egypt would reveal a coherent textual stream that would point to the authentic initial form of the Greek text. Now, over a century later, those ancient Egyptian manuscripts have been analyzed, but they do not reveal a coherent textual stream that can be followed. Instead they reveal that Egyptian scribes very freely edited the texts they copied. However the myth continues to be taught that Alexandrian manuscripts are better despite evidence to the contrary, and despite that only the first two picked by Wescott and Hort are still the only ones that are given priority. In contrast, the Majority Text of the New Testament was made by copyists who lived in the same places as the original recipients of the apostles’ writings. Individual scribal errors have been weeded out, since this text type is based on the majority reading of thousands of Greek manuscripts. The Majority Text has been stable over the centuries and is the best academically defendable text of the Greek New Testament that we have today. It is my hope that these podcasts will build awareness of the faulty Greek text that underlies almost all of the English Bible translations of the last century, starting with the ASV (1901), and including RSV, NASB, NIV, GNT, NLT, NET, and ESV. If you have questions you would like me to try to answer, please write. Aside from questions, please let me know where I have made mistakes. My favorite way for you to send your comments is via the Contact button at dailybiblereading.info. If you would like to send me a recording of your comments, it is very possible that I will play it. About 4-5 years ago, the pastor at our church in Siloam Springs preached an expository series of sermons on the Gospel of Mark. Our pastor does a great job of preaching through books of Scripture, even through some of the hardest material in the Bible. So I was shocked that on the Sunday when we were all expecting to hear the last message in Mark’s Gospel, the pastor started his message by telling us that he would not be preaching on chapter 16. Before he launched into the new topic he had chosen for that Sunday, he said something like this, “I decided that I would not preach on this passage, because, after all, we don’t know whether it is part of inspired Scripture or not.” I want you to know that my pastor believes in the inspiration of God’s Word. Was the pastor right to doubt if Mark 16:9-20 was written by Mark? Is he being inconsistent in his belief in the inspiration of the Bible if he doubts that the long ending of Mark is the correct text? What’s the evidence? This is an important point, and that’s what we will deal with today. After I read Pickering’s translation of Mark 16, I will read Pickering’s article, entitled Mark 16:9-20 and the Doctrine of Inspiration. This is the Appendix E in his book entitled The Identity of the New Testament Text. (See the Resources section of the episode notes for information on where you can download this book, or purchase it. The complete text of the article I will read parts from is in the PDF file attached to this podcast. To download the PDF, find the podcast entitled EveryWord005 at dailybiblereading.info.) I think some of you will be disappointed that Pickering doesn’t put the overwhelming textual evidence for the inclusion of the last 12 verses of Mark right at the front of his article. So if you don’t have time 45 minutes of interesting discussion that leads up to that info, you can skip to minute xxxx. I think it is good for us to start out considering the impact that the ending of Mark has upon our attitude toward the reliability of all of Scripture. I think Pickering’s article is a faith builder. -------------------------------------- My (PCF's) comment at minute 33:54   Let me discuss briefly one of the ‘poison passages’ that Pickering mentioned, the one found in Luke 3:33. LUKE 3:33Majority Text: The son of Aminadab, the son of Aram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, Eclectic Text: The son of Aminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah Dr. Timothy Friberg says in his What is what article:The reading of the Traditional Text is consistent with the known Old Testament account of Jesus’ ancestors (1Chronicles 2) and also Matthew 1, while the text of the Bible Society Text has no known Old Testament support. For a link to Friberg’s article, see the Resources section, at the bottom of the episode notes. PCF's comment: Of new Bible translations, only NIV sort of follows the BT and harmonizes with 1Chronicles 2. All the others contain the fictitious Arni. I am surprised by this. It must be that most translators felt that most people would not notice a little change in Jesus’ genealogy. As I show in my Playing Follow the Leader article, in important places where readers will notice a difference, the translators for versions of the last century departed from the Eclectic Text about 30% of the time. Whenever translators do this, they show they are ashamed of the Eclectic Text. No one should deny that it contains the kind of ‘poison’ Pickering speaks of. ------------------------------------ Dr. Pickering named his NT, “The Sovereign Creator Has Spoken.” That title contains three concepts that were not believed by Wescott, Hort, and the succeeding managers of the Eclectic Text. They did not believe that our Creator created humans as described in Genesis. They did not believe in the sovereignty of God. Nor did they believe that God actively inspired and has preserved every word of Scripture for us. Moses and Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word of God.” (Deut. 8:3; Mat. 4:4; Luk. 4:4) May the Lord bless you ‘real good’!   Resources: Fields, Philip: Playing Follow the Leader in Bible Translation, 2019, by Phil Fields. See the Resources list in that article for many more helpful articles on the superiority of the Majority Greek Text. Friberg, Timothy:  On the text of the Greek New Testament that also happens to be the right one for cousin audiences Although the title of this four-page paper refers to translating for Muslims, the principles and summary is widely applicable.  I suggest reading this paper before reading Friberg’s other articles listed below. Layman’s Guide — A modest explanation for the layman of ideas related to determining the text of the Greek New Testament, 2019. What is what? — Differences between the Traditional Text and the Bible Society Text of the Greek New Testament. Some data for the reader to weigh, 2019. Pickering, Wilbur: New Translation of the New Testament: The Sovereign Creator has Spoken Greek Text of the New Testament based on Family 35 The Identity of the NT Text IV This book is available as a free download for the Kindle reader app, and also can be purchased from Amazon. All of Pickering’s articles and books are freely available for download at PRUNCH.net. All are released under the Creative Commons license. Additionally, his second edition (2016) NT translation is available for a free download via the Kindle app. It is also freely available as a module in the MyBible program for Android and Apple devices.  Robinson, Maurice: The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform, 1991, 2005, 2018.  This is available in free digital form in the MyBible Bible app, and in other ways. Article: Full Text of the 105 verses lacking overall Greek Manuscript Support in the NA edition 27

    DBRP July 2020 news update

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2020 12:07

    I’m really thankful for all of you Bible readers and listeners! I hope that you are staying healthy. Gale and I are fine.  I am thankful to see that DBRP listeners are a faithful bunch. I can tell from the download statistics that many of you have kept on listening daily even in the worst of the Covid19 epidemic. Some of you skip listening on the weekends because you listen while commuting to work, but you catch up again during the work week. Keep it up, friends! In our troubled times, knowing God’s Word is the rock and anchor we need. For some DBRP listeners, especially for any listeners who are not in sync with those who started listening on January first, you might have difficulty finding your next episode at certain times of the year. (This has to do with how episodes are rescheduled for broadcasting.) If it ever happens that you can’t find the day number you want, you should always be able to find that day’s episode at our website, dailybiblereading.info. Another cause of the problem could be the podcast app you are using. It will help if you choose a podcast app that allows you to track your position in the calendar and automatically download a certain number of episodes in advance. Please share your favorite app for that with me, so that I can add the information to our website. I want to express thanks to my volunteer secretary, Vicky Pool, who does the queuing up DBRP episodes every week. After I have my Bible reading time in the morning, I listen to a podcast I hope you have heard about called The World And Everything In It. It gives world news from a Biblically-based world view. If you haven’t listened to it, I recommend that you give it a try. I want to apologize to all those who are listening to the NLT Daily Bible Reading Podcasts. I have been listening to those again this year, one day ahead of people who started on January first. I keep finding mistakes and have fixed quite a few of them, and I have made notes for fixing some episodes later. But here is the main problem: The NLT series was recorded when I was new to podcasting. The initial recording quality was awful for half of the year. So when I now record little improvements (perhaps a sentence or two), the voice quality is significantly different. Some episodes have become a patchwork quilt, with corrections or improvements made over time, which make me sound like five different men. Oh, and by the way, back in 2014 when I first made those podcasts, I was using an older edition of the NLT.  This leaves me with a problem: I am very focused now on my Bible translation work for Indonesia. I cannot take the time this year or next to re-record the NLT Bible series, either in part or all of it. Someday, I hope to record the whole Bible again, but not now. But I have thought of the solution! How about if YOU record a 20 minute podcast episode for one of the days in 2021?! How about if there were voices from all around the globe that would do this, and we could look forward to hearing from different people every day? We have time to make this happen for 2021 if we start now. But I will need several volunteers who will be willing to act as editors and organizers for this. If you want to hear more about this opportunity, I will give more information after the close of this podcast. Some of you have been interested in what I have shared in the EveryWord podcast series, for which I have published just 4 episodes and will soon publish the 5th. This is the podcast where I read from Wilbur Pickering’s translation of the NT which is entitled The Sovereign Creator Has Spoken. I have had a difficult time making the 5th episode, making several starts, then scraping that material and starting over. After praying about it, I have decided to cover the ending of Mark 16 in this next episode. Verses 9-20 of Mark 16 are enclosed in brackets in most Bibles today, but should they be?! Recently a fellow missionary serving in Indonesia heard me mention that we support using the Majority Text for Bible translations, and he fired back the question, “Do you think that Mark 16:9-20 was part of the original text?” I feel that the answer to that question is vitally important. Here are a few verses that have stood out to me in Ps 119 recently: Ps 119:89: Lamedh Your eternal word, O LORD, stands firm in heaven. Now I wasn’t thinking of textual variants in Greek when I marked that. We can be comforted in our time that there is one thing that can be an anchor for our hearts and minds in this troubled time. God is in control and He is causing his purposes to be fulfilled. Let’s recommend God’s unchanging Word as the answer and source of truth for this world which has lost its moorings. Ps 119:105: Nun Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. These verses comfort me in a time when we all seem so vulnerable and the world seems to be falling apart: Ps 119:114,116: 114 You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.  116 LORD, sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed. Ps 119:123: 123 My eyes strain to see your rescue, to see the truth of your promise fulfilled. Let’s pray: Lord, we call out to You, and we seek at this time to more sincerely put all our hope in You. Be our strong tower, our place of refuge, and the source of our quiet confidence. Please open our minds to be able to find treasures in your Word that will give us new hope, not just for ourselves, but also to share with others. At this time our eyes strain to see your rescue, especially to see Jesus coming back again. No matter how You choose to rescue us today, please let your Word and your presence with us be our source of joy. May the Lord bless you, ‘real good’!   Now if you are staying around to hear more about what I am hoping for next year, here is what I hope some of you will want to participate in. I love the way the podcasts for The World and Everything In It start, with a new voice giving a greeting, telling who they are and perhaps a sentence about where they are and what they do. I would like opening greetings to be like that for each episode recorded by you and other listeners next year, and your voice would continue to read the day’s Bible readings. You could base your introductory comments and the prayer at the end on mine, or you could embroider and improve on what I have written down. If you want to, feel free to involve other members of your family in your recording. Another difference for next year: You can choose which version you would like to read from a list I will provide.  To do these recordings, we hope that you are someone who can read in such a way that listeners can follow the meaning. I freely admit that I often have to record some sentences three or more times before I get them down without mistakes and carrying the intonation I am aiming for. So if you are someone who makes mistakes like me, then I hope that you can edit your audio file yourself, or be willing to learn that skill. It isn’t hard, and someone else will help polish the file you give us. I hope that next year we will hear old and young voices, voices that reveal different ethnicities, and speaking with accents from various regions and countries.  I need several people who will be able to help me put all this together. One would be someone who could manage the audio polishing process I just mentioned. We will give more pointers about how to make good recordings to people who express interest. The best way to contact me is to use the contact button at dailybiblereading.info.  And again, Gale and I say, May the Lord bless you ‘real good’!

    NL-Day167 2 Samuel 16; Psalm 115; Romans 16

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2020 14:35

    2SAMUEL 16:Absolom first stole the hearts of all Israel by being a shrewd politician. Then he mounted a rebellion against his own father. David fled Jerusalem to avoid bloodshed, and as he left, he planted several carefully chosen people to work for him. PSALM 115:I know I have said it a lot, but can’t help saying it again: This is one of my favorite psalms. Our God is so different than idols. He is in heaven and does whatever He pleases. ROMANS 16:Having told of his plans to visit Rome on his way to Spain, and how he must first go to Jerusalem, Paul now turns to greeting his friends in Rome. I really enjoy this section! There is real closeness in the family of God. When we call each other ‘brother’ or ‘sister’, we really mean it. And our love and bonds of fellowship often span long distances. I enjoy seeing this in every phrase in this chapter. GNT Translation notes:Rom. 16:17 I urge you, my friends: watch out for those who cause divisions and upset people's [belief in Christ//faith] and go against the teaching which you have received. Keep away from them! 22 I, Tertius, the [secretary who wrote this letter for Paul//writer of this letter], send you Christian greetings.25 Let us give glory to God! He is able to make you stand firm in your [believing//faith], according to the Good News I preach about Jesus Christ and according to the revelation of the secret truth which was hidden for long ages in the past. NLT Translation note:Ps. 115:8 And those who make idols [will be//are] just like them,as [so will be//are] all who trust in them.

    NL-Day166 2 Samuel 15; Psalm 114; Romans 15

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2020 17:16

    2SAMUEL 15:In our last reading, we heard how Joab creatively arranged to persuade David to bring Absalom back from exile. And how eventually David agreed to let Absolom meet him directly. PSALM 114:This poem praises God for the miraculous deliverance from Egypt. Re-reading ROMANS 15:Chapter 15 of Romans comes to this summary sentence in verse 13: “May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your [believing//faith] in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.” GNT Translation notes:Rom. 15:1 We who are strong in [our belief in Christ//our belief in the freedom we have because of our union with Christ//the faith] ought to help the weak to carry their burdens. We should not please ourselves. 2 Instead, we should all please other believers for their own good, in order to build them up in [believing//the faith]. 3 For Christ did not please himself. Instead, as the scripture [quotes the Messiah’s words to God//says], “The insults which are hurled at you have fallen on me.”13 May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your [believing//faith] in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit. NLT Translation notes:Rom. 15:6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ].   (similarly in 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 18, 27)13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you [fully believe//trust] in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.22 In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in [those//these] places.23 But now I have finished my work in [those//these] regions, and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you.30 Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.

    NL-Day165 2 Samuel 14; Psalm 113; Romans 15

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 12, 2020 16:52

     2SAMUEL 14:There is more than one way in which David did not obey God’s instructions for kings. The big one of course is the Bathsheba affair, but God had already said that kings should not have lots of wives. David’s daughter Tamar was raped by her half brother Amnon. And after two years, Absolom (Tamar’s brother) murdered Amnon. PSALM 113:This is a song praising our incomparable God. ROMANS 15:Paul continues what he was ‘on about’ in yesterday’s reading. We must accept other believers even though we don’t agree on prohibitions, practices, or rituals. Disputes over these things often come from our differing backgrounds. GNT Translation note:[The psalmist uses ‘his name’ as a metonymy for God himself. To us in English, it sounds like idolatry to praise a name rather than the Person of God Himself.]Ps. 113:1 Praise the Lord! You servants of the Lord, praise [him//his name]!  2 May his name [be held in reverence//be praised], now and forever.[Another way is to just go directly to the topic of the metonymy: “May He be praised …”3 From the east to the west [let the name of the Lord be held in reverence//praise the name of the Lord]!====Rom. 15:1 We who are strong in [our belief in Christ//our belief in the freedom we have because of our union with Christ//the faith] ought to help the weak to carry their burdens. We should not please ourselves. 2 Instead, we should all please other believers for their own good, in order to build them up in [believing//the faith]. 3 For Christ did not please himself. Instead, as the scripture [quotes the Messiah’s words to God//says], “The insults which are hurled at you have fallen on me.”13 May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your [believing//faith] in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit. NLT Translation notes:Rom. 15:6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ].9 He also came so that the [non-Jews//Gentiles] might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote:“For this, I will praise you among the [non-Jews//Gentiles];I will sing praises to [you/your name].”[The psalmist uses ‘your name’ as a metonymy for God himself. To us in English, it sounds like idolatry to praise a name rather than the Person Himself.]10 And in another place it is written,“Rejoice with his people,you [non-Jews//Gentiles].”11 And yet again,“Praise the LORD, all you [non-Jews//Gentiles].Praise him, all you people of the earth.”12 And in another place Isaiah said,“The heir to David’s throne will come,and he will rule over the [non-Jews//Gentiles].They will place their hope on him.”13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you [fully believe//trust] in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.16 I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you [non-Jews//Gentiles]. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit. 18 Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the [non-Jews//Gentiles] to God by my message and by the way I worked among them.

    NL-Day164 2 Samuel 13; Psalm 112; Romans 14

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 11, 2020 18:14

    2SAMUEL 13:Yesterday we heard of David's moral failure with Bathsheba. That sin led to the death of the noble husband of Bathsheba, Uriah. Nathan gave one of his most stunning prophecies. David immediately and utterly repented. Even so, the baby son of Bathsheba and David son died. I mentioned yesterday that sin always has consequences, even when there has been forgiveness. Another lesson from this story is that one sin leads to more sin. PSALM 112:Like Psalm 111, Psalm 112 carries similar themes with the book of Proverbs. Verse 9 is quoted in the New Testament. Re-reading ROMANS 14:I am very happy that Paul didn't just give the churches a list of the celebrations and days that Christians were to consider as sacred. He did not give us a list of foods to not eat. That would have been the easy thing to do. To me it is a proof of God's inspiration that Paul does the counterintuitive thing: He tells us each to decide as our conscience dictates before God. Paul was not interested in establishing a man-made religion. The things that matter are “living a life of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” And when choosing our actions, let our conscience be our guide. GNT Translation notes:Ps. 112:7 He is not afraid of receiving bad news; his [belief in God//faith] is strong, and he trusts in the Lord.====Rom. 14:1 Welcome those who are weak in [their belief//faith], but do not argue with them about their personal opinions. 2 Some people's [beliefs allow//faith allows] them to eat anything, but the person who is weak in [their belief//the faith] eats only vegetables. 8 If we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die, it is for the Lord that we die. So whether we live or die, [(or do anything else,)] we belong to the Lord.15 If you hurt others because of something you eat [— by eating it right in front of them], then you are no longer acting from love. Do not let the food that you eat ruin [a//the] person for whom Christ died!23 But if [you//they] have doubts about what [you//they] eat, God condemns [you//them] when [you//they] eat it, because [your//their] action is not based on [your beliefs//faith]. And anything that is not based on [belief//faith] is sin. NLT Translation notes:Rom. 14:1 Accept other believers who are weak in [way that they believe//faith], and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.Rom. 14:5 In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced [in your decision about this matter//that whichever day you choose is acceptable]. Rom. 14:8 If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, [(or do anything else,)] we belong to the Lord.Rom. 14:13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.Rom. 14:15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it [right in front of him]. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died.Rom. 14:23 But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and [eat/do] it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

    NL-Day163 2 Samuel 11–12; Psalm 111; Romans 14

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2020 19:35

    2SAMUEL 11-12:David showed kindness to Jonathan's only living son. Then we heard the story of how suspicion caused offence, which led to all-out war with the Ammonites. And David was victorious again against the Arameans and Ammonites. Today I want to highlight some important realities: God is watching. Our sins may be forgiven, but there will still be consequences. PSALM 111:This beautiful psalm of praise is an acrostic poem in Hebrew. ROMANS 14:In yesterday’s reading, Paul taught us to submit to rulers and government officials, then he urged us to love one another and lead holy lives. Now chapter 14 covers the divisive area of rituals and traditions. GNT Translation notes:Rom. 14:1 Welcome those who are weak in [their beliefs//faith], but do not argue with them about their personal opinions. 2 Some people's [beliefs allow//faith allows] them to eat anything, but the person who is weak in [their belief//the faith] eats only vegetables. 8 If we live, it is for the Lord that we live, and if we die, it is for the Lord that we die. So whether we live or die, [(or do anything else,)] we belong to the Lord.15 If you hurt others because of something you eat [— by eating it right in front of them], then you are no longer acting from love. Do not let the food that you eat ruin [a//the] person for whom Christ died!23 But if [you//they] have doubts about what [you//they] eat, God condemns them when [you//they] eat it, because [your//their] action is not based on [your beliefs//faith]. And anything that is not based on [belief//faith] is sin. NLT Translation notes:2Sam. 12:14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the [0//word of the] Lord by doing this, your child will die. (The Hebrew text doesn’t seem to contain ‘word of’.)Rom. 14:1 Accept other believers who are weak in [the way they believe//faith], and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.5 In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced [in your decision about this matter//that whichever day you choose is acceptable].8 If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, [(or do anything else,)] we belong to the Lord.11 For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will [confess and give praise//declare allegiance] to God. ’”15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it [right in front of him]. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died.

    NL-Day162 2 Samuel 9–10; Psalm 110; Romans 13

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2020 13:47

    2SAMUEL 9-10:David realized the incongruity that he was living in a beautiful cedar palace while God's dwelling place was in a tent. Then God gave Nathan the prophet a long message for David. He told him that his dynasty would last forever and that his son would build God’s temple. David’s beautiful prayer of response is recorded for us. Then God gave a string of stunning military victories to David. PSALM 110:The first verse of this short psalm is one of the most repeated verses of the New Testament. It certainly was very important for the early Christians. And the 4th verse becomes an important theme of the book of Hebrews. Re-reading ROMANS 13:We are now solidly in the middle of the practical part of this letter. Today we hear the part about obeying government authorities and our obligation to love everyone. I especially like the section at the end contrasting light and dark, and taking up our spiritual weapons. GNT Translation notes:2Sam. 9:8 NLT Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who [am I,//is]  your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?” ====Rom. 13:14 PET Instead, [let us become more and more like the Lord Christ Jesus, so that when people see us, it is like seeing Him.//NLT clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.] And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.[The literal is ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ’. And I’m not ‘putting you on’! This is one case where that English idiom could almost get in the way. I don’t feel that NLT is accurate in adding ‘presence’. It does allow them to keep the clothing figure— but at the expense of significantly changed meaning! Our PET translation drops the clothing figure entirely, but probably is closer to the meaning received by the original readers. The GNT has done a good job also in representing a different interpretation of the meaning.] NLT Translation note:2Sam. 9:8 Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who [am I,//is]  your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?” ====Rom. 13:14 Instead, [let us become more and more like the Lord Christ Jesus, so that when people see us, it is like seeing Him.//clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.] And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.[The literal is ‘put on the Lord Jesus Christ’. And I’m not ‘putting you on’! This is one case where that English idiom could almost get in the way. I don’t feel that NLT is accurate in adding ‘presence’. It does allow them to keep the clothing figure, but at the expense of significantly changed meaning. Our PET translation drops the clothing figure entirely, but probably is closer to the meaning received by the original readers.]

    NL-Day161 2 Samuel 7–8; Psalm 109:15-31; Romans 13

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2020 20:09

    2SAMUEL 7-8:At last, David became the king of all Israel, then the Lord gave him two great military victories over the Philistines. Then, after a botched attempt, David moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He danced with all his might before the Lord. Psalm 109b:When you feel that you are surrounded by people who gang up against you and slander you, then this is the psalm for you. Note that Jesus would have had every right to pray like this from the cross, but He didn’t! ROMANS 13:Remember my challenge to you about Romans 12:1? Did you discover where the opening ‘Therefore’ goes back to? Romans 12 is one of the most beautiful of all of Paul’s practical teaching chapters. He deals with the basics, ending with the most basic of all: “Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good.” Chapter 12 teaches us about how to evaluate ourselves and how to use our spiritual gifts, and how to respond to people who do wrong to us. Key to all of this is the first two verses. Let’s remind ourselves of those verses before reading chapter 13. Romans 12:1-2 PET[The PET (Plain English Translation) is how our Plain Indonesian Translation (TSI) sounds if translated into English.]1 Based on all I have said before now about the various ways God has been so kind to us, it's only proper that we return His kindness! We should all think like this, “Lord, I give my body to you as a sacrifice”— even though we actually continue to live. A decision like that amounts to a holy sacrifice which pleases the Lord. 2 This means that we can no longer follow a bad lifestyle like what has become the habit of worldly people. But let's surrender our bodies as sacrificial offerings to God, and He will renew our minds— so that we can know what His will is for us, and what is best in every situation. By that I mean we can understand and choose what is good and what is most proper for us, along with what pleases the Lord. GNT Translation notes:2Sam. 8:18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was in charge of David's bodyguards; and David's sons were [royal advisers//priests]. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 109:20 May those curses become the LORD’s punishment for my accusers who speak [such] evil of me.30 But I will give repeated thanks to [You//the] LORD,praising [You/him] to everyone.31 For [You stand//he stands] beside the needy,ready to save them from those who condemn them.

    NL-Day160 2 Samuel 5–6; Psalm 109:1-19; Romans 12

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2020 19:18

    2SAMUEL 5-6:General Abner defected to David, but it cost him his life on the same day at the hands of Joab, the commander of David's forces and the brother of the slain Asahel. One result was also that Ishbosheth was murdered by two army captains who thought that they would be rewarded for doing David a favor. PSALM 109a:If you feel that you are surrounded by people who gang up against you and slander you, then this is the psalm for you. One of the verses in this psalm was quoted by Peter about Judas in Acts 1. You are certainly given permission by this Psalm to pray for vindication and justice, but contrast this with what Romans 12 says about praying for your enemies— which we also read today. Note this: In the NLT, verses 6 through 19 contain a very long quote of slander against the Psalm-writer, David. Or, in GNT, these verses are part of David’s prayer for vindication. Re-reading ROMANS 12:Chapter 12 marks the beginning of the practical part of Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians. This part packs a big punch, and verses 1-2— which form the topic sentence for this section, are must-memorize verses. If everything that Paul said before now is true, then THIS is the logical and appropriate response of how we are to live. This is how we ought to respond to God's wonderful kindness to us. And these two verses reveal a major truth about how the transformation of our minds takes place, and what must happen if we are to discern God's will in our decisions. GNT Translation notes:[God works a miracle in us by renewing our minds. What must we do first? Our PET translation helps helps readers make the connection:]Rom. 12:1 PET Based on all I have said before now about the various ways God has been so kind to us, it is only proper that we return His kindness! We should all think like this, “Lord, I give my body to you as a sacrifice”— even though we actually continue to live. A decision like that amounts to a holy sacrifice which pleases the Lord.2 PET This means that we can no longer follow a bad lifestyle like what has become the habit of worldly people. But let's surrender our bodies as sacrificial offerings to God, and He will renew our minds— so that we can know what God's will for us is, and what is best in every situation. By that I mean we can understand and choose what is good and what is most proper for us, along with whatever pleases the Lord. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 109:20 May those curses become the LORD’s punishment for my accusers who speak [such] evil of me.30 But I will give repeated thanks to [You//the] LORD,praising [You/him] to everyone.31 For [You stand//he stands] beside the needy,ready to save them from those who condemn them.====Rom. 12:1 And so [/therefore], dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all [the merciful things] he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[See the GNT translation notes for how we translated verses 1-2 into Indonesian.]3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the [true beliefs//faith] God has given us.6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much [belief//faith] as God has given you.

    NL-Day159 2 Samuel 3-4; Psalm 108; Romans 12

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2020 18:46

    2SAMUEL 3-4:In yesterday's story, David was anointed as king over his own tribe of Judah, while all the rest of Israel followed Saul's son, Ishbosheth. Ishbosheth was not a strong leader, but was put in place by Abner, the general. Joab was David's military commander. In the first battle, it is significant that Abner killed Joab's brother Asahel. David's troops decisively won their first battle in the civil war. PSALM 108:This is a psalm of exalted praise, and a song asking God for military victory. ROMANS 12a:Yesterday at the end of Romans 11, we came to the end of the long parenthesis. God is seen as both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who refuse to believe. Belief is not something that just happens without our control. It is an act of the will to believe. That is why the stubborn disbelief of the Israelites is called 'disobedience'. This chapter marks the beginning of the practical section of Romans. In other words, this part shows the way we should live based on the teachings given in the chapters before. GNT Translation notes:Ps. 108:1 I have complete confidence [in You], O God! I will sing and praise you! Wake up, my soul! 7 From [your//his] sanctuary [O God, You have//God has] said, “In triumph I will divide Shechem and distribute Sukkoth Valley to my people.  11 Have you really rejected us? Aren't you going to march out[ O Lord] with our armies?13 With [You, O God,//God] on our side we will win; [You//he] will defeat our enemies.==== Rom. 12:1 So then, my friends, because [God has shown such great mercy to us in many ways//of God's great mercy to us] I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. 3 And because of God's gracious gift to me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of [belief//faith] that God has given you. 6 So we are to use our different gifts in accordance with the grace that God has given us. If our gift is to speak God's message, we should do it [in accordance with what we believe//according to the faith that we have]; NLT Translation notes:Ps. 108:6 Now [please] rescue your beloved people.Answer and save us by your power.7 [O] God [You have//has] promised this by [your/his] holiness:“I will divide up Shechem with joy.I will measure out the valley of Succoth.13 With [your help, O God,//God’s help] we will do mighty things,for [you/he] will trample down our foes.====Rom. 12:1 And so [/therefore], dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all [the merciful things] he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.3 Because of the privilege and authorityc God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the [true beliefs//faith] God has given us.6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much [belief//faith] as God has given you.

    NL-Day158 2 Samuel 2; Psalm 107:23-43; Romans 11:17-36

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 5, 2020 22:28

    2SAMUEL 2:David heard of Israel’s terrible defeat and of Saul and Jonathan's deaths, and he exacted the death sentence from the lying messenger. David and his men mourned for the deaths of  Saul and Jonathan, and David composed a funeral song for them. PSALM 107b:Yesterday I commented on how quickly our culture forgets about God. After a natural disaster, it becomes popular in the media to talk about praying for the victims. But God is not even mentioned, and soon any pretense of awe or fear of God is dropped. But Psalm 107 speaks of people who see God’s hand at work and make lasting changes. The poem ends with this summary: NLT The godly will see these things and be glad,while the wicked are struck silent.43 Those who are wise will take all this to heart;they will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD. ROMANS 11b:Paul comes to the end of a long parenthesis at the end of this chapter. He ends with a conclusion just before a doxology: NLT 33 Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!34 For who can know the LORD’s thoughts?Who knows enough to give him advice?35 And who has given him so muchthat he needs to pay it back? NLT Translation notes:Rom 11:11 Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the [non-Jews//Gentiles]. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves.12 Now if the [non-Jews//Gentiles] were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.13 I am saying all this especially for you [non-Jews//Gentiles]. God has appointed me as [an//the] apostle to the [non-Jews//Gentiles]. I stress this,14 for I want somehow to make the people of Israel jealous of what you [non-Jews//Gentiles] have, so I might save some of them. 16 And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy—just as the entire batch of dough is holy because the portion given as an offering [to God] is holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.17 But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you [non-Jews//Gentiles], who were [like] branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.21 For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’tf spare you either [if you turn from your belief].25 I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters,g so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of [non-Jews//Gentiles] comes to Christ.28 Many of the people of Israel are now enemies of the Good News, and this benefits you [non-Jews//Gentiles]. Yet they are still the people he loves because he chose their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.30 Once, you [non-Jews//Gentiles] were rebels against God, but when the people of Israel rebelled against him, God was merciful to you instead.31 Now they are the rebels, and God’s mercy has come to you so that they, too, will [some day/eventually] share in God’s mercy.

    NL-Day157 2 Samuel 1; Psalm 107:1-22; Romans 11:1-24

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2020 20:56

    2SAMUEL 1:David returned from being sent home from the battle with Israel only to find that his town had been ransacked by the Amalekites. He found strength in God, asked for God to direct him, and succeeded in retrieving everything, and even much more. However in Israel, Saul and his three sons died, and the Israelite army was completely defeated. PSALM 107a:We come to another of my favorite psalms. In E.C. Olsen’s book on the psalms (which is a transcription of his radio programs) he said that this psalm has a message for America. That message is in the repeated refrain found in this psalm. Then Olsen gave examples of the Great Depression starting in 1929, the Dust Bowl plagues in 1933-34, and the drought of 1936. Olsen observed, “Do you think we heeded [God’s warnings]? Indeed not. … Did we cease our wicked doings? Indeed not.” And I similarly ask about the increasing pace of disasters right now. My observation is that we as a nation turned to God when we confronted the first disasters. But our turning to God lasted only a few days. Now, even as natural disasters multiply, we steadfastly talk of Climate Change and never talk about God. Consequently, we do NOT do like the people we hear about in this psalm. ROMANS 11a:As Paul said in his topic sentence in this book (Rom. 1:16-17), the way God has revealed for making people right with himself is— from start to finish, by means of fully believing. In chapter 10 we have a great and succinct summation of the content that we are to ‘fully believe’. Our confessing the belief that is in our hearts is also important. At the end of chapter 10 there are a series of Old Testament quotes. Two of those quotes are about the non-Jews. Paul was not changing his topic. He is still talking about Jewish rejection of the Gospel. The two Old Testament prophecies about the non-Jews (19-20) are quoted as a powerful sign to the Jews. This is the topic Paul continues with in chapter 11. NLT Translation notes:Rom 11:11 Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the [non-Jews//Gentiles]. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves.12 Now if the [non-Jews//Gentiles] were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.13 I am saying all this especially for you [non-Jews//Gentiles]. God has appointed me as [an//the] apostle to the [non-Jews//Gentiles]. I stress this,14 for I want somehow to make the people of Israel jealous of what you [non-Jews//Gentiles] have, so I might save some of them. 16 And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy—just as the entire batch of dough is holy because the portion given as an offering [to God] is holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.17 But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you [non-Jews//Gentiles], who were [like] branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.21 For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either [if you turn from your belief].25 I want you to understand this mystery, dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of [non-Jews//Gentiles] comes to Christ.28 Many of the people of Israel are now enemies of the Good News, and this benefits you [non-Jews//Gentiles]. Yet they are still the people he loves because he chose their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.30 Once, you [non-Jews//Gentiles] were rebels against God, but when the people of Israel rebelled against him, God was merciful to you instead.

    NL-Day156 1 Samuel 30–31; Psalm 106:24-48; Romans 10; Romans 11:1-2a

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2020 20:04

    1SAMUEL 30-31:The Philistines mustered their armies for full-scale war with Saul and the Israelites. Saul had already done a right thing in expelling all the mediums from Israel. But, since God had turned from him and would not answer him, he resorted to a medium during his darkest hour. It does not bother me too much to say that God spoke through that medium. It seems so by the evidence. But if so, it was an exception. God's word says to never consult a medium. In fact, mediums are to be stoned to death. David was preparing to go to war in support of Achish, or was he really?! PSALM 106b:Psalm 106 is a companion to 105, as it again is a historical psalm. I see a very significant correspondence with the section of Romans we are now reading. Can you see it? Re-reading ROMANS 10, plus 11:1-2a:Some of the most famous and often quoted words of the New Testament are in this chapter. Paul continues to compare and contrast God's way vs. the Jewish default way. GNT Translation notes:Ps.106:26 So he [gave//have] them a solemn warning that he would make them die in the desert====Rom. 10:6 But what the scripture says about being put right with God through faith is this: “You are not to ask yourself, Who will go up into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down).7 “Nor are you to ask, Who will go down into the world below?” (that [would be//is], to bring Christ up from death).8 What it says is this: “God's message is near you, on your lips and in your heart”—that [would be//is], the message [about believing//of faith] that we preach.10 For it is by our [believing//faith] that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved.17 So then, [people believe through//faith comes from] hearing the message, and the message [is conveyed//comes] through preaching [about] Christ.18 But I ask: Is it true that [the people of Israel//they] did not hear the message? Of course they did—for as the scripture says: [PET “The sun, moon, and all of the stars speak the news about God to the whole world that He is the one who created everything. So people have no reason not to know God.”//“The sound of their voice went out to all the world; their words reached the ends of the earth.”]19 Again I ask: Did the people of Israel not understand? Moses himself is the first one to answer[, when he quotes God’s words]: “I will use a so-called nation to make my people jealous; and by means of a nation of fools I will make my people angry.”20 And Isaiah is even bolder when he [quotes God, saying//says], “I was found by those who were not looking for me; I appeared to those who were not asking for me.” NLT Translation notes:Ps. 106:34 [And then] Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land,as the LORD had commanded them.====Rom. 10:6 But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven [for us]?’ (to bring Christ down to earth).7 And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead [for us]?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” 8 In fact, it says,“The message is very close at hand;it is on your lips and in your heart.”And that message is the very message about [fully believing which//faith that] we preach: 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who [believes//trusts] in him will never be disgraced.”[Here in rapid succession, NLT used three English words for one word in Greek. I continue to maintain that using one word will help us understand what Paul is saying. I think the NLT would be better if either ‘trust’ or ‘believe’ were used consistently. ‘Faith’ is too fuzzy and abstract in English, which can lead to strange, unbiblical interpretations.]17 So [people fully believe through//faith comes from] hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. 19 But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said,“I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation.I will provoke your anger through the foolish [non-Jews//Gentiles].”

    NL-Day155 1 Samuel 28–29; Psalm 106:1-27; Romans 10

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2020 18:20

    1SAMUEL 28-29:Saul came after David again with 3,000 men, and David showed his integrity again and his daring. But even though Saul repented again, David made the decision to get out of the country so that he would not continually be in danger. He went to Achish the Philistine king in Gath. The part about the raids upon three enemy people groups is not one of the noble chapters of David's life. PSALM 106a:Psalm 106 is a companion to 105, as it again is a historical psalm. I see a very significant correspondence with the section of Romans we are now reading. Can you see it? ROMANS 10a:In our second reading in Romans 9 we saw that the differing responses of the Jews vs. the non-Jews to the Good News was already predicted by God. The majority rejection of the Gospel by the Jews was no surprise to God. People today continue to stumble over the ‘great rock’ God has placed in their path. GNT Translation notes:Ps.106:26 So he [gave//have] them a solemn warning that he would make them die in the desert====Rom. 10:6 But what the scripture says about being put right with God through faith is this: “You are not to ask yourself, Who will go up into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down). 8 What it says is this: “God's message is near you, on your lips and in your heart”—that is, the message [about believing//of faith] that we preach. 10 For it is by our [believing//faith] that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved.17 So then, [people believe through//faith comes from] hearing the message, and the message [is conveyed//comes] through preaching [about] Christ.18 But I ask: Is it true that [the people of Israel//they] did not hear the message? Of course they did—for as the scripture says: [PET “The sun, moon, and all of the stars speak the news about God to the whole world that He is the one who created everything. So people have no reasonnot to know God.”//“The sound of their voice went out to all the world; their words reached the ends of the earth.”]19 Again I ask: Did the people of Israel not understand? Moses himself is the first one to answer[, when he quotes God’s words]: “I will use a so-called nation to make my people jealous; and by means of a nation of fools I will make my people angry.”20 And Isaiah is even bolder when he [quotes God, saying//says], “I was found by those who were not looking for me; I appeared to those who were not asking for me.” NLT Translation notes:Rom. 10:8 In fact, it says,“The message is very close at hand;it is on your lips and in your heart.”And that message is the very message about [fully believing//faith] that we preach: 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who [believes//trusts] in him will never be disgraced.”[Here in rapid succession, NLT used three English words for one word in Greek. I continue to maintain that using one word will help us understand what Paul is saying. I think either ‘trust’ or ‘believe’ could be used consistently. ‘Faith’ is too fuzzy and abstract in English.]17 So [people fully believe through//faith comes from] hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.19 But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said,“I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation.I will provoke your anger through the foolish [non-Jews//Gentiles].”

    NL-Day154 1 Samuel 26–27; Psalm 105:23-45; Romans 9:6-33

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2020 21:45

    1SAMUEL 26-27:Yesterday we heard the story of the cur Nabal and his intelligent and beautiful wife, Abigail. After Nabal was struck down by the Lord, Abigail became one of David's wives. PSALM 105b:Today’s psalm is for teaching and reminding each generation of the children of Israel about the great things God has done for the Jewish people. ROMANS 9b:Note that we have entered a difficult section of Romans. Romans 12 starts with, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercies, …” But if you look back at what goes right before that in chapter 11, that doesn’t seem to be what Paul is going back to with the word ‘Therefore’. Can you find what Paul was going back to and how the sections we will read for the next few days fit together? GNT Translation notes:Rom. 9: 30 So we say that the Gentiles, who were not trying to put themselves right with God, were put right with him through [believing//faith];32 And why not? Because they did not depend on [believing//faith] but on what they did. And so they stumbled over the “stumbling stone”33 that the scripture speaks of: “Look, I place in [Jerusalem//Zion] a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall. But whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” NLT Translation notes:Ps. 105:37 The LORD [then] brought his people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold;and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled.====Rom. 9:24 And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the [non-Jews//Gentiles].25 Concerning the [non-Jews//Gentiles], God says in the prophecy of Hosea,“Those who were not my people,I will now call my people.And I will love thosewhom I did not love before.”30 What does all this mean? Even though the [non-Jews//Gentiles] were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by [their fully believing//faith] that this took place. 32 Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by [fully believing his promises//trusting in him]. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. [Here the NLT was inconsistent. Before now they have used ‘believe’ and ‘faith’ to translate the same root ‘pistews’ And now they used ‘trust’. Of course, every word of every language has a range of meanings. I have no problem with translating ‘pisteos’ as ‘trust’, per se. It is just that using ‘trust’ here does not help us see the continuity of what Paul has been saying in this book. I would be quite happy to go back through all of Romans and change ‘fully believing’ to ‘fully trusting’. It is important we keep the cohesion between v.32, 33, and 10:4.]33 God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said,“I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble,a rock that makes them fall.But anyone who [believes//trusts] in himwill never be disgraced.”

    NL-Day153 1 Samuel 25; Psalm 105:1-23; Romans 8:28-35; Romans 9:1-24

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2020 22:08

    1SAMUEL 25:God gave protection and victory to David. In a scene that must have caused Saul's men to roll their eyes several times, Saul was humbled before them as David directly confronted him. But after making peace, they didn't go back to the capital together. PSALM 105a:Today’s psalm is for teaching and reminding each generation of the children of Israel about the great things God has done for the Jewish people. ROMANS 9a:What wonderful promises God has given to us in chapter 8 of Romans! That chapter always reminds me of a time when a Christian leader did wrong to me, and then said that it really didn’t matter because it would all turn out OK because of Romans 8:28. That is the ultimate of hypocrisy! It ruined that verse for me for a long time. But God DOES indeed work all things for good for all of us who fulfill the conditions stated. This chapter also reminds me of Eloise Burson— the wife of one of my spiritual fathers, Richard. Some years after her husband's death, she showed me how her Bible— if you just let it fall open, would always open to Romans 8. There is no richer passage to meditate on or to memorize. Note that we are entering a difficult section of Romans. Romans 12 starts with “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercies, …” But if you look back at what goes right before that in chapter 11, that doesn’t seem to be what Paul is going back to with the word ‘Therefore’ and ‘mercies’. Can you find what Paul was going back to and how the sections we will read for the next few days fit together? NLT Translation notes:Rom. 8:33 Who will accuse God's chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty!34 Who, then, will condemn [us//them]? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us!37 [No, but//That’s true, but//No,] in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!Rom. 9:24 And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the [non-Jews//Gentiles].25 Concerning the [non-Jews//Gentiles], God says in the prophecy of Hosea,“Those who were not my people,I will now call my people.And I will love thosewhom I did not love before.”30 What does all this mean? Even though the [non-Jews//Gentiles] were not trying to follow God’s standards, they were made right with God. And it was by [their fully believing//faith] that this took place. 32 Why not? Because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the lawo instead of by [fully believing his promises//trusting in him]. They stumbled over the great rock in their path. [Here the NLT was inconsistent. Before now they have used ‘believe’ and ‘faith’ to translate the same root ‘pistews’ And now they used ‘trust’. Of course, every word of every language has a range of meanings. I have no problem with translating ‘pisteos’ as trust, per se. It is just that using ‘trust’ here does not help us see the continuity of what Paul has been saying in this book. I would be quite happy to go back through all of Romans and change ‘fully believing’ to ‘fully trusting’. It is important we keep the cohesion between v.32, 33,and 10:4.]33 God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said,“I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble,a rock that makes them fall.But anyone who [believes//trusts] in himwill never be disgraced.”

    NL-Day152 1 Samuel 23–24; Psalm 104:19-35; Romans 8:12-39

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2020 23:39

    1SAMUEL 23-24:As David fled from Saul, he went for help to Ahimelech the priest. He needed food and wanted to consult with the Lord, and it happened that Ahimelech also gave him Goliath's sword. All this resulted later in Ahimilech's death and the deaths of all of Ahimilech's family— except one. PSALM 104b:This psalm starts and ends with the same refrain, and it is the same refrain as in Psalm 103. This psalm expounds on the majesty of God— especially as seen in His creation. ROMANS 8b:The power behind the new lives that God wants us to live is the Holy Spirit. A side observation here: We can see that the Holy Spirit can equally be called the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ (vs. 9-11). He is the power for transformation in our lives. But having God's Spirit in our lives does not mean that we will not suffer. In the second half of today's reading, note the Holy Spirit's role for us in the midst of our sufferings. Then at the end, note the wonderful promises given to us! Four times in this chapter Paul refers to us as God’s ‘sons’. GNT translated ‘sons’ as gender sensitive children, and that is an acceptable translation. But I feel this time translating using the word ‘sons’ is better, but I will need to explain. Just as men feel a bit squeamish about being included in the ‘bride of Christ’ in Ephesians, I am sure there are some of the women listeners who will not feel comfortable being included as sons. But look for the treasure here! This passage and Ephesians 1:5 show that we are given legal adopted status as sons. In Roman law, the adoption of a son could not be undone. God has made the unchangeable decision that we would be his legally adopted sons and have all the rights and privileges of that status. Thank the Lord for our union with his Son, Jesus! Note that in the middle of the references to ‘sons’, Paul also used the Greek word that means ‘children’. The change between the two words is part of the reason that I think the use of ‘sons’ was important to Paul. GNT Translation notes:1Sam. 23:25 Saul and his men set out to look for David, but [David//he] heard about it and went to a rocky hill in the wilderness of Maon and stayed there. When Saul heard about this, he went after David.====Ps 104:19 You [O Lord,] created the moon to mark the months; the sun knows the time to set.  The young lions roar while they hunt, looking for the food that God provides.21 The young lions roar while they hunt, looking for the food that [You provide//God provides].31 [O Lord, may your glory//May the glory of the Lord] last forever!May [You,//the] Lord be happy with what [You have//he has] made! 32 [You look//He looks] at the earth, and it trembles; [You touch//he touches] the mountains, and they pour out smoke.  33 I will sing to [You, O Lord my God//the Lord] all my life; as long as I live I will sing praises to [You//my God]. 34 May [You//he] be pleased with my song, for my gladness comes from [You//him].====Rom. 8:9 But you [no longer//do not] live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God's Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.14 Those who are led by God's Spirit are God's [sons//children]. 15 For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's [sons//children], and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, “Father! [(Abba)] my Father!”19 All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his [sons//children].23 But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his [sons//children] and set our whole being free.28 We know that in all things God works for [the] good [of//with] those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.34 Who, then, will condemn [us//them]? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us!36 As the scripture [so realistically//truly//appropriately] [admits//says], “For your sake we are in danger of death at all times; we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.”37 [That’s true, but//No,] in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! NLT Translation notes:Ps. 104:21 Then the young lions roar for their prey,stalking the food provided by [You, O] God.34 May all my thoughts be pleasing to [You, O God//him],for I rejoice in [in You, O Lord//the LORD].====Rom. 8:5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature [just] think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature [any longer]. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 [0/And] Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you lifed because you have been made right with God.

    NL-Day151 1 Samuel 21–22; Psalm 104:1-18; Romans 8:1-30

    Play Episode Listen Later May 29, 2020 20:00

    1SAMUEL 21-22:Yesterday we heard the touching story of David and Jonathan's deep friendship, and how Jonathan realized at last the secret plot that his father, Saul, had against David. Jonathan seems to have been a prophet, for he realized that he would not succeed his father as king. PSALM 104a:This is a companion with Psalm 103. This psalm also starts and ends with the same refrain as the one in Psalm 103. This poem expounds on the majesty of God. ROMANS 8a:Paul said something in 7:5 that he felt needed to be explained from verse 7 to the end of chapter 7. (Of course there were no chapters or verses when Paul wrote it.) He said that the Law “aroused evil desires.” How could something good seemingly do something evil? Be sure to always link what Paul was saying before this explanation with what comes after it. Give the part after that explanation (chapter 8) priority. Keep in mind that the explanation that Paul makes (a long parenthesis (after 7:7) about how evil desires work) is not supposed to be our pattern for living now. Our pattern for living is explained in this chapter! GNT Translation notes:Rom. 8:9 But you [no longer//do not] live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God's Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.14 Those who are led by God's Spirit are God's [sons//children]. 15 For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God's [sons//children], and by the Spirit's power we cry out to God, “Father! [(Abba)] my Father!”19 All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his [sons//children].23 But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God's gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his [sons//children] and set our whole being free. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 104:21 Then the young lions roar for their prey,stalking the food provided by [You, O] God.34 May all my thoughts be pleasing to [You, O God//him],for I rejoice in [in You, O Lord//the LORD].====Rom. 8:5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature [just] think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature [any longer]. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 [0/And] Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.

    NL-Day150 1 Samuel 20; Psalm 103; Romans 7:7-25; Romans 8:1-4

    Play Episode Listen Later May 28, 2020 20:30

    1SAMUEL 20:Yesterday we heard the slow escalation of David's problems stemming from Saul's jealousy. Saul made David his son-in-law, but only because of the hope that David would be killed by the Philistines. For only the first time in yesterday's reading, we heard how Saul was humbled because of the results of acting on his jealousy. But he doesn't learn from it. PSALM 103:How it must please the Lord when we pray this psalm, which is another favorite! Note that the psalm starts and ends with the same line. ROMANS 7:8—8:4:The second key to being released from the power of sin is God's Spirit! (v.6) Paul then launched into an exposition of what he meant in verse 5: “When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.” The explanation that extends from verse 7 to the end of the chapter should NOT be construed to negate what he said in verse 6, in the preceding chapters, and in chapter 8! Notice that in the second half of chapter 7, Paul stops mentioning Christ. That’s a hint that he is not talking about our life in union with Christ. Also, I found it interesting to do a search of Romans searching for the word ‘Spirit’. Look at the pattern of where the word ‘Spirit’ is used! GNT Translation notes:Rom. 8:1 [So then,] There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. NLT Translation notes:Rom. 7:10 and [might as well as killed me. I died— spiritually speaking.//I died]. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me [— (because I couldn’t keep them)]. 15 I don’t really understand [my own self//myself], for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing [the] wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.23 But there is another powere within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that [lives on//is] [0/still] within me. [PET 24-25] [So you see how it [was//is]: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.///[NLT] 24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord[./!] //So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.][It seems to me (and I am not alone in this) that reordering Paul’s words here helps to remove the impression that Paul is contradicting everything he has said so far about the believer’s victory over the power of sin. From verse 7 on, Paul is expounding on verse 5: “When we were controlled by our old nature,b sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.” If I am right, then, NLT is wrong to use the present tense in “you see how it is”. I don’t have a problem with this connecting phrase showing the logical connection. I just want to change the verb tense. The Greek only says, “So then,” which is really enough.This is a very unfortunate chapter break (not made by Paul but by Robert Estienne around 1552). This chapter division has contributed to the wrong understanding of the end of this chapter. I recommend that everyone always keep reading past it!]

    NL-Day149 1 Samuel 18-19; Psalm 102; Romans 6:19-23; Romans 7:1-17

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2020 22:56

    1SAMUEL 18-19:In yesterday's story, David showed that he was more concerned with God's reputation than for his own safety. May we all face our imposing enemies with more belief in the unseen God than in the very present enemies! PSALM 102:This psalm starts out like the prayer of anyone in distress and trouble calling out to God. As we read further, many see parallels with what our Savior would have prayed in his darkest days on earth. ROMANS 6:19—7:The last verse of yesterday’s reading shows why it is better to take what we are given, rather than what we have earned! This is a big problem for some. My Dad's “having lived a good life” was one of the biggest blocks to him humbly coming to God and receiving the gift of eternal life. I don't think he ever understood how God would not be so impressed by his supposed integrity. The spiritual reality expressed starting at the beginning of the 6th chapter is a key to place along with a second key that we will hear about in today’s chapter. GNT Translation notes:[In Hebrew, one can talk directly to God (or a king) as if talking about ‘the Lord’. To keep the feeling of a prayer, English would normally use ‘You’.]Ps. 102:15 Then the nations will tremble before [You,//the] LORD.The kings of the earth will tremble before [your/his] glory.16 For [You//the] LORD will rebuild Jerusalem.[You/He] will appear in his glory.17 [You/He] will listen to the prayers of the destitute.[You/He] will not reject their pleas.23 [You, Lord, have//The Lord has] made me weak while I am still young;[You have//he has] shortened my life. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 102:15Then the nations will tremble before [You,//the] LORD.The kings of the earth will tremble before [your/his] glory.16 For [You//the] LORD will rebuild Jerusalem.[You/He] will appear in his glory.17 [You/He] will listen to the prayers of the destitute.[You/He] will not reject their pleas.====Rom. 7:10 and [might as well as killed me. I died— spiritually speaking.//I died]. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me [— (because I couldn’t keep them)]. 15 I don’t really understand [my own self//myself], for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing [the] wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.23 But there is another powere within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that [lives on//is] [0/still] within me. [PET 24-25] [So you see how it [was//is]: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.///[NLT] 24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord[./!] //So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.][It seems to me (and I am not alone in this) that reordering Paul’s words here helps to remove the impression that Paul is contradicting everything he has said so far about the believer’s victory over the power of sin. From verse 7 on, Paul is expounding on verse 5: “When we were controlled by our old nature,b sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.” If I am right, then, NLT is wrong to use the present tense in “you see how it is”. I don’t have a problem with this connecting phrase showing the logical connection. I just want to change the verb tense. The Greek only says, “So then,” which is really enough.This is a very unfortunate chapter break (not made by Paul but by Robert Estienne around 1552). This chapter division has contributed to the wrong understanding of the end of this chapter. I recommend that everyone always keep reading past it!]

    NL-Day148 1 Samuel 17; Psalm 101; Romans 6

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2020 18:38

    1SAMUEL 17:God told Samuel to anoint one of Jesse's sons as the next king of Israel. Anointing another king while one is still ruling is rather dangerous. So God told Samuel how to do that without making it public. That story included this memorable quote: “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” PSALM 101:This psalm tells the aspirations of a great king. Re-reading ROMANS 6:Pay attention! Paul is telling us the keys to how the process of transformation takes place whereby we are released from the ‘power of sin’ and ‘death’ to live a new life!

    NL-Day147 1 Samuel 16; Psalm 100; Romans 6

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2020 15:24

    1SAMUEL 16:Yesterday's reading told the story of Saul's incomplete obedience and the rejection of Saul as king— by both God and Samuel. In the process Samuel said some of the most important statements in Scripture, which I will underline here: Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. A second quote: He who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!” PSALM 100:This psalm probably ranks second in the most-memorized psalms, next to Psalm 23. ROMANS 6:Mankind can at best only hope for the kind of partial obedience we have seen in Saul. We can't just ‘try harder’ to please God. We always ‘fall short’ of ‘God's glorious standard’— as we have heard before in Romans chapter 3. The only hope for us is for God to recreate us. This is done through  our understanding and applying spiritual realities which we cannot see, and one of crucial importance is found in chapter 6. We have a short reading today. I encourage you to take time to think about the spiritual concepts Paul has been talking about in these last chapters— particularly Romans 5-6. The way to apply unseen spiritual realities in your life is to ask God to help you fully understand and believe them.

    NL-Day146 1 Samuel 15; Psalm 99; Romans 5; Romans 6:1-4

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2020 18:04

    1SAMUEL 15:Jonathan saved the day! He and his faithful armor bearer kind of took a leaf out of Gideon's play book and agreed on a sign that would show what God wanted them to do— although they didn't ask for confirmation like Gideon did. They took the adventure God set before them and won an amazing victory, and God worked with them by causing panic among the Philistines. After lapses and dithering at the beginning, Saul went on to be a great military leader. Note that Ahijah, the priest, is Eli's grandson. PSALM 99:Take off your sandals, because this ground is holy! Enjoy this psalm proclaiming God’s majesty and holiness. ROMANS 5—6:4:God’s ways are always counter-intuitive for humans. One would think that if one is right with God and at peace with him, that everything would be smooth sailing from then on, with health, wealth, and prosperity. God shows his love for us by treating us like sons and heirs— meaning, He gives us problems and trials to cause us to grow and better reflect his glory. There is a wonderful side to Christ's dying for us and being resurrected: He lives now and is deeply involved in continuing to help us. At the end of the chapter Paul draws important comparisons and contrasts between Adam and Christ. GNT Translation notes: [I have modified the GNT so that this whole psalm will be understood as speaking to God, as does the CEV.]Ps. 99:1 [You, Lord, are king//The Lord is king],and the people tremble.[You sit on your//He sits on his] throne above the winged creatures,and the earth shakes.2 [You, O Lord, are//The Lord is] mighty in Zion;[You are//he is] supreme over all the nations.3 Everyone will praise [your//his] great and majestic name.[You are holy!//Holy is he!]…6 Moses and Aaron were [your//his] priests,and Samuel was one who prayed to [You//him];they called to [You, Lord, and You//the Lord, and he] answered them.7 [You//He] spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;they obeyed the laws and commands that [You//he] gave them.====Rom. 5:1 Now that we have been put right with God through [believing//faith], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 He has brought us by [means if our believing//faith] into this experience of God's grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God's glory! 20 Law was introduced [in order that people might realize how greatly they have sinned//in order to increase [mankind’s awareness of] wrongdoing]; [But as people sinned more and more, God's grace became even more abundant.//but where sin increased, God's grace increased much more. ]21 [NLT So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God's wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.//So then, just as sin ruled by means of death, so also God's grace rules by means of righteousness, leading us to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. NLT Translation notes:1Sam. 15:27 As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of [Samuel’s//his] robe.====Rom. 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by [believing//faith], we have peace with God because of what [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord has done for us.2 Because of our [believing//faith], Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.3 We can [even] rejoice[ 0//, too,] when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.7 [PET: Now it is very difficult for someone to sacrifice himself to save someone else— even if that person is good and honest. But a person might sacrifice himself and die to save his close friend.//Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.]9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation [at the final judgment].10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved [because God’s Son now lives and watches over us!//through the life of his Son [now that we are his friends].]13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin [(as such)] because there was not yet any law to break.17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ].18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone [who believes].19 Because one [man/person]* disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other [Man/person] obeyed God, many will be made righteous.[*This is gender sensitivity taken to the extreme in the NLT! And it is inconsistent, since previously in verse 15 they used ‘man’ to translate ‘anthropos’.]20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they [are/were]. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord.

    NL-Day145 1 Samuel 14; Psalm 98; Romans 5

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2020 21:01

    1SAMUEL 14:Hostilities with the Philistines heated up to full war, and Israel was badly outnumbered. The Israelites had been kept down so much that they were basically unarmed for war. Saul and his son's army dwindled down from 3,000 men to only 600, and Samuel doesn't show up for the important before-war sacrifice. PSALM 98:Another favorite psalm! I love psalms where things like oceans, rivers, or trees clap their hands. I recommend this psalm for anyone who feels that we can only worship God with the good old hymns. ROMANS 5:Every little detail in the story of Abraham is important. Note in yesterday's reading that Abraham “figured his body was as good as _dead_,” and “Abraham believed in the God who _brings the dead back to life_.” Then we read that we must “believe in [God]— the one who _raised Jesus our Lord from the dead_.” And we will find a new concept related to this theme about death and resurrection later. GNT Translation notes:Rom. 5:1 Now that we have been put right with God through [believing//faith], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 He has brought us by [believing//faith] into this experience of God's grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God's glory! NLT Translation notes:Rom. 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by [believing//faith], we have peace with God because of what [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our [believing//faith], Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.3 We can [even] rejoice[ 0//, too,] when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.7 [PET: Now it is very difficult for someone to sacrifice himself to save someone else— even if that person is good and honest. But a person might sacrifice himself and die to save his close friend.//Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.]9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation [at the final judgment]. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved [because God’s Son now lives and watches over us!//through the life of his Son [now that we are his friends].] 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin [(as such)] because there was not yet any law to break.17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ].18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone [who believes]. 19 Because one [man/person]* disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other [Man/person] obeyed God, many will be made righteous.[*This is gender sensitivity taken to the extreme in the NLT! And it is inconsistent, since previously in verse 15 they used ‘man’ to translate ‘anthropos’.]20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they [are/were]. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord.

    god jesus christ lord man romans psalm israelites rom romans 5 1 samuel philistines nlt psalm 98 hostilities nlt translation gnt translation christ jesus jesus christ
    NL-Day144 1 Samuel 13; Psalm 97; Romans 4

    Play Episode Listen Later May 22, 2020 16:13

    1SAMUEL 13:In yesterday's story, God's Spirit came powerfully upon the new king Saul, and he succeeded in mobilizing all of Israel's fighting men. They won a stunning victory over king Nahash and the Ammonites. Afterwards, Samuel led the people in renewing Israel's call to Saul to be king and then Samuel confronted them all about staying true to the Lord. PSALM 97:Even though the psalms (and our translations) may cast a verse in the present tense, the intent of the writer may be about future things. Hebrew is very fuzzy as to verb tense. But also we may consider that all times are present to the Lord, and the psalmist may see things as happening or already happening in his vision that refer to future events. We see an example of this in today’s psalm. ROMANS 4b:The new way of being made right with God by means of fully believing which Paul has been talking about, is it a new religion, or is it based on the past? It is based on the past. We follow Abraham's example of believing, and this also fulfills the prophetic promises given to Abraham. Not only that, but we become heirs to the same promises. And note: Paul uses questions to propel his logical arguments all the way through Romans— just like I did at the start of this paragraph. GNT Translation notes:Rom. 4:11 He was circumcised later, and his circumcision was a sign to show that because of his [believing//faith] [before he had been circumcised//0] God had accepted him as righteous [0//before he had been circumcised]. And so Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God and are accepted as righteous by him, even though they are not circumcised. 12 He is also the father of those who are circumcised, that is, of those who, in addition to being circumcised, also live the same life of [believing//faith] that our father Abraham lived before he was circumcised.14 For if what God promises is to be given to those who obey the Law, then [our believing//faith] means nothing and God's promise is worthless. 16 And so the promise was based on [believing//faith], in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God's free gift to all of Abraham's descendants—not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all; 17 as the scripture says, “I have made you father of many nations.” So the promise is [valid//good] in the sight of God, in whom Abraham believed—the God who brings the dead to life and whose command brings into being what did not exist. 20 His [did not waver in his believing//faith did not leave him], and he did not doubt God's promise; his [believing//faith] filled him with power, and he gave praise to God. 22 That is why Abraham, through [believing//faith], “was accepted as righteous by God.” NLT Translation notes:Rom. 4:3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his [fully believing//faith].”4 When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their [believing//faith] in God who forgives sinners. 9 Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised [non-Jews//Gentiles]? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his [fully believing//faith].11 Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had [believed//faith] and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have [believed//faith] but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their [fully believing//faith]. 12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they [believe the same way Abraham did//have the same kind of faith Abraham had] before he was circumcised.13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by [fully believing//faith].14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then [believing//faith] is not necessary and the promise is pointless.16 So the promise is received by [believing//faith]. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we [believe like Abraham did//have faith like Abraham’s]. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. [Here is my new attempt at rendering the meaning of this verse:] So the promise is received by [believing//faith]. It is given as a free gift. And if we become Abraham’s spiritual children by believing like Abraham did, we are certain to receive it— whether or not we live by the Law of Moses. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.]19 And [Abraham did not weaken in his belief//Abraham’s faith did not weaken], even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his [believing//faith] grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of [Abraham fully believing God’s promise//Abraham’s faith], God counted him as righteous.25 [Jesus/He] was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

    NL-Day143 1 Samuel 11-12; Psalm 96; Romans 4:1-17

    Play Episode Listen Later May 21, 2020 19:49

    1SAMUEL 11-12:Yesterday we heard of the way God arranged for Saul to meet Samuel, and how God revealed amazing details to Samuel about what would happen to Saul in the short term. Saul became king. It is such a shame that Saul fulfilled the earlier prophecy given by Samuel a few chapters back, rather than continuing to be humble like he was at the start of his reign. PSALM 96:EC Olsen’s chapter on this psalm is entitled, “A Psalm which ought to give every living person a thrill!!” He’s right. This psalm is like vitamins for the soul. This is one of the most loved of all psalms. ROMANS 4a:Yesterday Paul arrived at the first explanation of his main point in 3:23-31. This happens to be a difficult passage to translate. GNT and NLT do a great job making many difficult concepts clear. You might particularly compare verses 23 and 26 with a literal translation. GNT Translation notes:Rom. 4:3 The scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and because of his [belief//faith] God accepted him as righteous.” 5 But those who depend on [believing//faith], not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this [believing//faith] that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself. 6 This is what David meant when he spoke of the happiness of [a//the] person whom God accepts as righteous, apart from anything [the//that] person does:9 Does this happiness that David spoke of belong only to those who are circumcised? No indeed! It belongs also to those who are not circumcised. For we have quoted the scripture, “Abraham believed God, and because of his [belief//faith] God accepted him as righteous.”11 He was circumcised later, and his circumcision was a sign to show that because of his [believing//faith] [before he had been circumcised//0] God had accepted him as righteous [0//before he had been circumcised]. And so Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God and are accepted as righteous by him, even though they are not circumcised. 12 He is also the father of those who are circumcised, that is, of those who, in addition to being circumcised, also live the same life of [believing//faith] that our father Abraham lived before he was circumcised.14 For if what God promises is to be given to those who obey the Law, then [our believing//faith] means nothing and God's promise is worthless. 16 And so the promise was based on [believing//faith], in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God's free gift to all of Abraham's descendants—not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all; [Here is my new attempt at rendering the meaning of this verse:]16 So the promise is received by [believing//faith]. It is given as a free gift. And if we become Abraham’s spiritual children by believing like Abraham did, we are certain to receive it— whether or not we live by the Law of Moses. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.]17 as the scripture says, “I have made you father of many nations.” So the promise is [valid//good] in the sight of God, in whom Abraham believed—the God who brings the dead to life and whose command brings into being what did not exist. NLT Translation notes:Rom. 4:3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his [fully believing//faith].”4 When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their [believing//faith] in God who forgives sinners. 9 Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised [non-Jews//Gentiles]? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his [fully believing//faith].11 Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had [believed//faith] and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have [believed//faith] but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their [fully believing//faith]. 12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they [believe the same way Abraham did//have the same kind of faith Abraham had] before he was circumcised.13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by [fully believing//faith].14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then [believing//faith] is not necessary and the promise is pointless.16 So the promise is received by [believing//faith]. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we [believe like Abraham did//have faith like Abraham’s]. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. [Here is my new attempt at rendering the meaning of this verse:] So the promise is received by [believing//faith]. It is given as a free gift. And if we become Abraham’s spiritual children by believing like Abraham did, we are certain to receive it— whether or not we live by the Law of Moses. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.]19 And [Abraham did not weaken in his belief//Abraham’s faith did not weaken], even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his [believing//faith] grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of [Abraham fully believing God’s promise//Abraham’s faith], God counted him as righteous.25 [Jesus/He] was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

    NL-Day142 1 Samuel 9–10; Psalm 95; Romans 3:9-31

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2020 21:15

    1SAMUEL 9-10:In yesterday's reading, Samuel was formally made a judge, and then he led the people of Israel into victory over the Philistines. But when Samuel was old and after the appointment of his two sons as judges in his place, his sons perverted justice for bribes. So the people asked to have a king. God had already long ago said this would happen, in fact, this idea was in Hannah’s prayer. Samuel was displeased, not for the sake of his sons, but because the people were rejecting God as their king. PSALM 95:This is a gem among the psalms. Note the exuberance of worship in this psalm! And this is balanced by reverence to God. The last half of this psalm is quoted in full in Hebrews and is an important topic in that New Testament book. ROMANS 3b:In Romans chapter 3 Paul refutes important misunderstanding and wrong teaching in the process of resoundingly proving that Jews cannot save themselves by their own power by means of fulfilling the Law. (In his use of the term ‘the Law’, Paul was following the custom of including other Old Testament books.) In the verses he quoted, he made it very that not even one person can claim to be righteous in God's sight. So God has provided another way to become right in His sight, which is actually foretold in the Law and Biblical prophetic writings. GNT Translation notes:Rom. 3:22 [NLT We are made right with God by [(fully) believing//placing our _faith_] in Jesus Christ. [0//And] this is true for [all//everyone] who _believes_[in Christ], no matter who we are.//GNT God puts people right through their _faith_ in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who _believe_ in Christ, because there is no difference at all: 23 [because] everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence.[Here is an excellent example of the point I keep harping on. Note that using the verb form ‘believe’ instead of the abstract noun form makes it clear that the same word is used later in the verse. Cohesion of ideas makes better understanding. Secondly, it is easier for people to ‘do’ a verb than it is to ‘do’ an abstract noun. It is easier to ‘practice’ something than it is to ‘make a practice of’ something. It is easier to ‘eat’ apples than it is to ‘practice the consumption of’ apples. Sometime during this last year, the pastor of our church gave a sermon where one of his main points is that ‘faith’ has an object. And that object he gave is of course that we place our faith in Christ as explained in the Gospel. Note that this major part of his teaching would be unnecessary if we simply start substituting the word ‘believe’ (including ‘belief’/’believing’). One automatically expects to find an object for believing in the context. If you say to someone, “Have faith,” they might say, “How do I do that?” Note that ‘faith’ is not perceived as a volitional act. But ‘believe’ is. To believe is a choice we can make. And that is exactly what Paul is pushing for here.][The same change was made in reading verses 25-26.]30 God is one, and he will put the Jews right with himself on the basis of their [believing//faith], and [he] will put the Gentiles right through their [believing//faith]. 31Does this mean that by this [believing//faith] we do away with the Law? No, not at all; instead, we uphold the Law. NLT Translation notes:Rom. 3:21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him[, and this way is not based on// without keeping] the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Mosesi and the prophets long ago. [The Greek says “apart from the Law,” so NLT’s translation is technically possible, but I think it is saying something Paul is NOT saying and is doctrinally defective. In most of my suggested changes to the NLT text, I am concerned with clear communication, here however I am concerned with avoiding misunderstanding that would lead to wrong teaching.]22 We are made right with God by [fully believing//placing our faith] in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.[Here is an excellent example of the point I keep harping on. Note that using the verb form ‘believe’ instead of the abstract noun form makes it clear that the same word is used later in the verse. Cohesion of ideas makes better understanding. Secondly, it is easier for people to ‘do’ a verb than it is to ‘do’ an abstract noun. It is easier to ‘practice’ something than it is to ‘make a practice of’ something. It is easier to ‘eat’ apples than it is to ‘practice the consumption of’ apples.]27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on [fully believing//faith]. [Notice again the cohesion of the verb ‘believe’ in 26-31.]28 So we are made right with God [by our fully believing//through faith] and not by obeying the law.]29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the [non-Jews//Gentiles]? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by [believing in that message (the Good News)//fully believing//faith], whether they are Jews or [non-Jews//Gentiles].31 Well then, if we emphasize [fully believing//faith], does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have [fully believe//faith] do we truly fulfill the law.

    NL-Day141 1 Samuel 7–8; Psalm 94; Romans 2:25-29; Romans 3:1-20

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2020 18:41

    1SAMUEL 7-8:Having won the war with Israel, the Philistines thought their idol Dagon had given them victory. The ark of God was put in Dagon's temple. Then God not only proved that He is greater than Dagon by what happened in the temple, but He also struck the Philistines in all five of their territories with plagues of death, tumors, and rats ravaging the land. The Philistine fortune tellers and priests devised a creative plan to test if these disasters had happened on their own, or because of God's hand was against them. In the story it is clear that the Philistine people knew about the plagues God used against the Egyptians. Once again, God proved that He is God. For any any agnostic or atheist in the audience, this seems to me to be the kind of story that no one would have just made up, especially if you compare this with literature of the same age. PSALM 94:This is a psalm of trust in the face of injustice. The psalmist asks for God’s vengeance on arrogant and evil leaders. Those who take advantage of others are called ‘stupid fools’. There is a parable that forms an interesting parallel: Luke 12:20, where God says to the rich man, “You fool, this very night your soul will be required of you.” ROMANS 2:25—3:In chapter 2 of Romans, Paul warned of a coming judgment of God, where God will judge everyone's secret life. The trouble is, however, that we all will be judged guilty of sin. Paul has shown us that it doesn't matter if you are Jew or non-Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, we all need a radical transformation. We need to become a ‘true Jew’, which is “one whose heart is right with God].” What each one of us needs is “a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit.” Paul calls this “circumcision of the heart.” GNT Translation notes:Ps. 94:14 [You, O Lord//The Lord] will not abandon [your/his] people; [You//he] will not desert those who belong to [You//him].17 If [You//the Lord] had not helped me, I would have gone quickly to the land of silence.22 But [You, O Lord my God, defend me//the Lord defends me]; [and protect//my God protects] me.23 [You//He] will punish them for their wickedness and destroy them for their sins; [You, O//the] Lord our God[,] will destroy them.====Rom. 3:4 Certainly not! God must be true, even though all human beings are liars. As the scripture says [when David was speaking to God], “You must be shown to be right when you speak; you must win your case when you are being tried.”8 [But] Why not say, then, “Let us do evil so that good may come”? Some people, indeed, have insulted me by accusing me of saying this very thing! They will be condemned, as they should be.NLT Translation notes:Rom 3:21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him[, and this way is not based on// without keeping] the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Mosesi and the prophets long ago. [The Greek says “apart from the Law,” so NLT’s translation is technically possible, but I think it is saying something Paul is NOT saying and is doctrinally defective. In most of my suggested changes to the NLT text, I am concerned with clear communication, here however I am concerned with avoiding misunderstanding that would lead to wrong teaching.]22 We are made right with God by [fully believing//placing our faith] in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.[Here is an excellent example of the point I keep harping on. Note that using the verb form ‘believe’ instead of the abstract noun form makes it clear that the same word is used later in the verse. Cohesion of ideas makes better understanding. Secondly, it is easier for people to ‘do’ a verb than it is to ‘do’ an abstract noun. It is easier to ‘practice’ something than it is to ‘make a practice of’ something. It is easier to ‘eat’ apples than it is to ‘practice the consumption of’ apples.]27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on [fully believing//faith].[Notice again the cohesion of the verb ‘believe’ in 26-31.]28 So we are made right with God [by our fully believing//through faith] and not by obeying the law.]29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the [non-Jews//Gentiles]? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by [believing in that message (the Good News)//fully believing//faith], whether they are Jews or [non-Jews//Gentiles].31 Well then, if we emphasize [fully believing//faith], does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have [fully believe//faith] do we truly fulfill the law.

    NL-Day140 1 Samuel 5–6; Psalm 93; Romans 2:13-29

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2020 16:36

    1SAMUEL 5-6:Yesterday we saw the touching way that God revealed to Samuel how to listen for God's voice, and at the same time how He again warned Eli of impending disaster. Eli was incredibly able to recognize the way the Lord works, but at the same time was unconcerned about how God's words applied to him. Let us not be like him! Observe this link to Romans: God's judgment will come to us just as surely as it did to Eli's sons. PSALM 93:Like the Gettysburg Address, sometimes the noblest thoughts are best expressed with brevity. ROMANS 2b:In yesterday's reading, Paul continued to prove that man is not “basically good” (which one keeps hearing in Hollywood films and on the television). Not only are we sinful, but we tend to be self-righteous— which in itself is sinful. The ‘bad news’ is compounded in these additional points: “A day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. … There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil— especially for the Jews, but also for the non-Jews.” Verse 12 is difficult so I suggest reading verse 12 from the PET before picking up reading at verse 13.Rom. 2:12 PET So people who already know the Law and break it are just the same as those who've never heard about the law and commit sin. Sinners who don't know the Law will be destroyed. Similarly, people who already know the Law and commit sin will be judged according to the law. GNT Translation note:Rom 2:28 After all, who is a real Jew[and//,] truly circumcised? It is not the man who is a Jew on the outside, whose circumcision is a physical thing. NLT Translation notes:Ps. 93:5 NLT Your royal laws cannot be changed. [Holiness, O Lord, aptly adorns your house forever.//Your reign, O LORD, is holy forever and ever.][Using NLT’s version, the listener will likely misunderstand ‘holy’ as ‘wholy’.][NET] Holiness aptly adorns your house, O Lord, forever.//[HCSB] holiness is what makes your house beautiful for days without end.//[GW] holiness is the beauty of Your house for all the days to come.]====Rom. 2:9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—[especially for the Jews, but also for the non-Jews//for the Jew first and also for the Gentile].10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—[especially for the Jews, but also for the non-Jews//for the Jew first and also for the Gentile].12 [CEV [Non-Jewish people//Those people} who don't know about God's Law will still be punished {and destroyed} for {the wrong they have done//what they do wrong}. And the Law will be used to judge everyone who knows what it says.//PET So people who already know the Law and break it are just the same as those who've never heard about the law and commit sin. Sinners who don't know the Law will be destroyed. Similarly, people who already know the Law and commit sin will be judged according to the law.//When the [non-Jews//Gentiles] sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it.][The NLT starting with a ‘When’ phrase makes this sound like sudden destruction from God would come on non-Jews during their lives on earth. The original does not start with a ‘When’ phrase but with a ‘therefore/so’. The PET starts with a sentence of implicit information based on the grammatical parallelism of the Greek.]14 Even [non-Jews//Gentiles], who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. 24 No wonder the Scriptures say, “The [non-Jews//Gentiles] blaspheme the name of God because of you.”25 The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised [non-Jews//Gentile]. 26 And if the [non-Jews//Gentiles] obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people? 27 In fact, uncircumcised [non-Jews//Gentiles] who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it.

    NL-Day139 1 Samuel 3–4; Psalm 92; Romans 1:28-32

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2020 18:53

    1SAMUEL 3-4:Yesterday we heard Hannah's poetic and prophetic prayer of praise. R Then we heard of the contrast between the boy Samuel serving the Lord, while Eli's sons were scoundrels. Finally a “man of God” (a prophet or perhaps even an angel) gave a long prophetic warning to Eli. Today we will see that prophecy come true. PSALM 92:This is another favorite psalm of praise! ROMANS 2:Yesterday we heard the first part of some bad news which makes the Good News ‘good’. This reminds me of the movie Second Hand Lions. In the movie a main character has a lecture on ‘how to be a man’ that he frequently has given in his career. It starts out, “Understand this: All people are basically good.” However in the movie, all we see in that character's past life and in the current way he lives is that mankind can't be trusted and you gotta’ build high fences around your property, and have your gun and fists ready. According to Scripture and what we will read in Romans, mankind hasn't been ‘basically good’ since the Garden of Eden. GNT Translation note:Rom 2:4 Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. [CEV Can't you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin?//Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent. NLT Translation notes:Rom. 2:9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—[especially for the Jews, but also for the non-Jews//for the Jew first and also for the Gentile].10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—[especially for the Jews, but also for the non-Jews//for the Jew first and also for the Gentile].12 When the [non-Jews//Gentiles] sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it.14 Even [non-Jews//Gentiles], who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.

    NL-Day138 1 Samuel 2; Psalm 91; Romans 1:16-32

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2020 19:57

    1SAMUEL 2:Yesterday we heard of the wonderful answer to Hannah’s prayer and of her determination to fulfill a very difficult vow to the Lord. Samuel might have only been 3 years old when Hannah gave him up to stay permanently as a Nazarite serving at the Lord’s tabernacle. Hannah is such an example of a Godly woman. No wonder so many girls are named after her! I noticed an interesting detail in yesterday’s reading. Elkanah also had a vow. When Samuel was newly born and Hannah did not go with the family to Shiloh for the yearly sacrifices, the GNT drew my attention saying that Elkanah went “to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and the special sacrifice he had promised.” We don’t really know exactly what Elkanah’s special vow would have been. But it is conjectured by commentators that Elkanah was offering a sacrifice in fulfillment of Hannah’s vow about giving birth to a son. According to the Law, a wife’s vow could be revoked by her husband on the day he hears about the vow. But if he doesn’t forbid the wife about the vow on that day, the wife is bound by her vow and it is logical that the husband would share responsibility. As Elkanah left on that year, he told Hannah, “May the Lord make your promise come true.” This is a great example of doing what God commanded about vows. The principle was to always follow through whenever God’s name has been invoked. To do otherwise would be to mar God’s reputation.PSALM 91:This is a favorite psalm, frequently referred to in our hymns and worship songs. It is also the psalm Satan quoted to Jesus to tempt him to jump from the pinnacle of the temple. I feel that the promise that was quoted is not just for Jesus, but is for every believer. I preach to myself here: Let’s memorize and meditate upon this psalm! ROMANS 1b:Yesterday we saw how the theme of this letter is the Good News, and how believing this message is the center of the way God has designed and revealed for how we are saved— no matter if we are ethnically Jews or non-Jews. The start of this Good News is that our relationship with God has been broken. Understanding this fact is what makes the Good News ‘good’. We don’t start out as ‘nice people’ but as broken people. And Paul will show us in three chapters that this situation obtains for Jews (who think they are so good) and non-Jews (who start out not even having an appearance of ‘good’). GNT Translation notes:Rom. 1:17 For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through [believing//faith] from beginning to end. As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through [believing//faith] shall live.”  18 God's anger is revealed from heaven against all the sin and evil of [0//the] people whose evil ways prevent the truth from being known. 20 Ever since God created the world, his invisible qualities, both his eternal power and his divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made. So [0//those] [people (or mankind)] have no excuse at all!24 And so God has given [mankind (humans)//those people] over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other. NLT Translation notes: 1Sam. 2:21,27 The NLT edition I recorded for this podcast and the current edition display rather large differences in these two verses. Rom. 1:8 Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your [fully believing//faith] in him is being talked about all over the world.12 When we get together, I want to encourage you in your [fully believing in Christ//faith], but I also want to be encouraged [in the same way by you//by yours].16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—[both Jews, and also non-Jews//the Jew first and also the Gentile.[As I have said repeatedly already, translating pistis/pistew (same root word) by the different-appearing words in English ‘faith’ and ‘believe can cause misunderstanding for some English speakers. (This certainly happens in Indonesian where the same root was translated as ‘iman’ and ‘percaya’.) Keeping the word ‘believe’ in all places helps us to see the continuity/cohesion. Our being ‘made right’ in God’s sight is not accomplished by the fuzzy touchy-feely stuff Americans often refer to by the word ‘faith’.]17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by [our fully believing this message (the Good News)//faith]. As the Scriptures say, “It is through [fully believing//faith] that a righteous person has life.”

    NL-Day137 1 Samuel 1; Psalm 90; Romans 1:1-17

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2020 17:01

    1SAMUEL 1:Yesterday we heard the charming conclusion of the story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. The words of the town women have prophetic significance: “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family.” (NLT) The words have a double meaning for us today, as we see them looking forward to Jesus our Redeemer. Now if you have been listening closely, you didn’t hear the word ‘redeemer’ in the GNT. That word happens 8 times in Ruth, beginning at 2:20. GNT translated the correct meaning as “a close relative of ours, one of those responsible for taking care of us.” The term meant much more than— for instance, redeeming a family member who had been sold into slavery. The nearest kinsman would also revenge a murder or marry a widow of a close family member. The advantage of GNT’s term is that it accurately shows the meaning, but the advantage of translating using the word ‘redeemer’ is that readers will more quickly see the correspondence between what Boaz did with Jesus— who both came from Boaz’ line and is our redeemer. Continuing the history of Israel, we now move to the transition from the period of judges to the period of kings. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally one book in the Hebrew Scripture. They were separated in the Greek Septuagint. The books are named after Samuel, not written by him. In 1 Samuel, we see that Samuel is not just a judge, but also a prophet, and that he anointed both Saul and David. This book contains many of the favorite Bible stories told to children. PSALM 90:The traditional titles in the Psalms (given as headings or footnotes in our Bibles) were written centuries afterward by the Rabbis and we need not consider them part of the inspired Word. This title of Psalm 90 may identify Moses as the author, or the Rabbis may have meant that this psalm reflects a Mosaic perspective. No other psalm is labeled like this one. This is a good psalm for meditating on the meaning of our life and our short life-span. ROMANS 1a:Yesterday in the final chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul continued giving instructions on how to teach particular groups in the church, ending with teachings for slaves and for rich people. Note that those who give generously to help others store up heavenly treasures and “a good foundation for the future.” Paul's closing encouragements to Timothy are moving because we can sense Paul's deep love for Timothy. We move back in time slightly from 1 Timothy to Romans. Romans was written perhaps 6-9 years before 1Timothy, written at the time that Paul was in Corinth. The topic sentence for Romans is 1:16-17, and the book is an outstanding presentation of this thesis in impeccable logic. As a translator, I often use those two verses as an example of how hard it is to understand a literal translation versus a meaning based translation. I encourage you to compare the NLT with something like the ESV— to see what I mean. GNT Translation notes:1Sam. 1:20 The name Samuel actually means ‘name of God’ but has some sounds that are similar to the Hebrew verb ‘asked’. ====Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because the whole world is hearing about your [fully believing in Christ//faith].12 What I mean is that both you and I will be [mutually encouraged to believe more fully in Christ//helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours].13 [I want you to know//You must remember], my friends, that many times I have planned to visit you, but something has always kept me from doing so. I want to win converts among you also, as I have among other Gentiles.17 For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through [believing//faith] from beginning to end. As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through [believing//faith] shall live.” NLT Translation notes:Rom. 1:8 Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your [fully believing//faith] in him is being talked about all over the world.12 When we get together, I want to encourage you in your [fully believing in Christ//faith], but I also want to be encouraged [in the same way by you//by yours].16 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—[both Jews, and also non-Jews//the Jew first and also the Gentile.[As I have said repeatedly already, translating pistis/pistew (same root word) by the different-appearing words in English ‘faith’ and ‘believe can cause misunderstanding for some English speakers. (This certainly happens in Indonesian where the same root was translated as ‘iman’ and ‘percaya’.) Keeping the word ‘believe’ in all places helps us to see the continuity/cohesion. Our being ‘made right’ in God’s sight is not accomplished by the fuzzy touchy-feely stuff Americans often refer to by the word ‘faith’.]17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by [our fully believing this message (the Good News)//faith]. As the Scriptures say, “It is through [fully believing//faith] that a righteous person has life.”

    NL-Day136 Ruth 3-4; Psalm 89:19-52; 1 Timothy 6

    Play Episode Listen Later May 14, 2020 19:20

    RUTH 3-4:In yesterday’s start to the book of Ruth, we saw how Naomi was left all alone, and how one of her two daughters-in-law, Ruth, left her family and idols to accompany Naomi and to follow Naomi’s God. Then it just so happened that Ruth was noticed by a man named Boaz while gathering left-behind grain in his field. PSALM 89b:Ethan, the psalm-writer was very wise in his prayer. He started his prayer with praise and adoration. Then starting in verse 19 he reminded God of his promises to Israel about the everlasting dynasty of David. But this is all building up to the big problem that Ethan will bring up in verse 38. 1TIMOTHY 6:Yesterday we heard Paul’s instructions to Timothy about widows and about judging cases where church leaders are accused of wrong-doing. The chapter ended with two encouragements to Timothy. GNT Translation notes:1Tim. 6:10 For the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil. Some have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the [believing in true teachings//faith] and have broken their hearts with many sorrows.11 But you, man of God, avoid all these things. Strive for righteousness, godliness, [full belief in true teachings//faith], love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Run your best in the race of [full belief//faith], and win eternal life for yourself; for it was to this life that God called you when you firmly professed your [belief//faith] before many witnesses. 13 Before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who firmly professed his [belief//faith] before Pontius Pilate, I command you 21 For some have claimed to possess it, and as a result they have lost [their belief in true teachings//the way of faith].God's grace be with you all. NLT Translation notes:1Tim. 6:1 All slaves should show full respect for their masters so they will not bring shame on [God’s reputation//the name of God] and his teaching.10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true [true way of believing//faith] and pierced themselves with many sorrows.11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with [full and proper belief//faith], love, perseverance, and gentleness.12 Fight the good fight for [our true beliefs//the true faith]. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. 21 Some people have wandered from the [true way of believing//faith] by following such foolishness.[And to all who read this, may God’s grace be with you!//May God’s grace be with you all.]

    NL-Day135 Ruth 1–2; Psalm 89:1-29; 1 Timothy 5

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2020 21:45

    RUTH 1-2:The incident of the Levite and his concubine at Gibeah resulted in the civil war that we heard about yesterday. About 24,000 men died and many women and children as well. In certain things the army inquired of the Lord, and the Lord gave answers at his sanctuary. In the way they found wives for the decimated tribe of Benjamin, the men of Israel were repeatedly so concerned that they not break their vows. Paradoxically, they did many other things without any concern whatsoever about acting according to God’s revealed will. Let’s consider that story as a warning. Beware of the human tendency of myopic obedience to a prefered list of rules, while living like a pagan in other respects. Again the theme statement is repeated in the last verse of the book, “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” And now we turn to the book of Ruth. The Talmud attributes the authorship of this book to Samuel. The story of Ruth took place during the same time as the book of Judges, but the book of Ruth is a big contrast with Judges. Ruth shows that the times were not always as dark and sinful as what is portrayed in Judges. Ruth and her second husband, Boaz, figure in Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1. PSALM 89a:The author of this poem— who was named Ethan, praises God for the covenant the Lord made especially with David. The first 3/4 is beautiful in the recitation of the wonderful promises given to Israel and to David. In these, we readers at this time often see a fulfillment in Jesus, the ‘Son of David’. But suddenly at verse 38, the writer claims that God has broken his promises to David. We will hear that contrast tomorrow. 1TIMOTHY 5:In the 4th chapter of 1 Timothy, Paul showed that he considered his era as ‘the last times’. For the Jews, the coming of the Messiah signaled the beginning of the end times. Paul's advice is just as appropriate to us as to Timothy. Half of that chapter was personal advice and encouragement to Timothy in his role as a pastor, and God has passed those words on to all in church leadership today. GNT Translation note:1Tim. 5:16 But if any Christian woman has widows in her family, she must take care of them and not put the burden on the church, so that [the church//it] may take care of the widows who are all alone. NLT Translation notes:1Tim. 5:4 But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show [that they serve God in their homes/godliness at home] and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God. 1Tim. 5:8 But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied [our true way of believing//the true faith]. Such people are worse than unbelievers.12 Then they would be guilty of breaking their previous pledge [to live only for Christ]. 22 Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader.g [In this way, ] Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.24 Remember, [that] the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.25 In the same way, the good deeds of some people are obvious. [Be encouraged that your//And the] good deeds done in secret will someday come to light.

    NL-Day134 Judges 20–21; Psalm 88; 1 Timothy 4

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2020 22:21

    JUDGES 20-21:In yesterday's reading, the people of Dan took all the items in Micah's household shrine and Micah's Levite priest. The priest’s name was given at the end of the chapter. He was the grandson of Moses! And then the Danites slaughtered the unsuspecting residents of Laish, forgetting about the law about giving terms of surrender before attacking. Then we heard of the unnamed Levite and his concubine (meaning, additional inferior-status wife). Nothing happened according to God's will in this story. While the author says nothing negative about any of the characters, all had their faults. However, the Levite stands out as a terrible husband. And what happened at Gibeah— as we will see today, becomes the basis for Israel's first civil war. PSALM 88:This poem is perhaps the most-dark of all the despairing psalms. One encouragement to us is that God has now revealed things about our hope of heaven which were unknown to the writer. This psalm offers no hope or encouragement. But the presence of Psalm 88 in Scripture gives us permission when in our darkest depression to come to God in prayer speaking words like found here. 1TIMOTHY 4:Yesterday in the 3rd chapter of First Timothy we heard one of the key passages in God's Word on the qualifications of church leaders. The chapter ended with a fragment of an early worship song. GNT Translation notes:1Tim. 4:1 The Spirit says clearly that [in later times//0] some people will abandon [their belief in true teachings//the faith] [0//in later times]; they will obey lying spirits and follow the teachings of demons.6 If you give these instructions to the believers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus[. As the Lord’s servant, you must become increasingly mature in all the teachings that help us to believe more fully— like the good teachings that you already follow.//, as you feed yourself spiritually on the words of faith and of the true teaching which you have followed. ]11 Give [the believers//them] these instructions and [0//these] teachings.12 Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, [in fully believing true teachings//faith], and purity.16 Watch yourself and watch your teaching. Keep on doing these things, because if you do, you will save both yourself and those who hear you. Verses with ‘conscience’:1:5 The purpose of this order is to arouse the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and [(sincerely) believing in true teaching (without pretending/hypocrisy)//a genuine faith]. 3:9 [PET they must believe fully in the true teachings which God has revealed to us, and must live with a clear conscience.1:19 and [to keep on believing in true teaching//keep your faith] and [to live with] a clear conscience. Some people have not listened to their conscience and [have wrecked their minds so that they are no longer able to believe in true teaching//have made a ruin of their faith].4:2 Such teachings are spread by deceitful liars, whose consciences are dead, as if burnt with a hot iron. NLT Translation notes:14 O LORD, why do you reject me?Why do you [keep turning// turn] your face [away] from me?====1Tim. 4:1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from [true beliefs//our true way of believing//the true faith]; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by [believers//faithful people] who know the truth. 6 If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the [message of faith and] the good teaching[s] you have followed[— the teachings about our beliefs].[Literally “words of faith” is plural, unlike ‘message’. PET: 6 Teach things like this to the brothers and sisters in the faith there, so that you'll be proven to be His good servant before our Lord Christ Jesus. A good servant of Christ must become more and more mature in all kinds of teachings that build up our beliefs— like the good teachings that you already follow.]12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your [fully believing//faith], and your purity.

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