Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eerdman's Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament


On paper, this dictionary is three volumes and about 1656 pages. It was originally published in German in 1978-80. The English version was done in 1990. Thanks to Olive Tree, I can carry it around on my PDA.

To exegete a Bible passage is to rip it apart in order to fully understand it’s meaning. An exegetical dictionary takes individual words apart. This dictionary lists the forms, meaning and usage of every word in the Greek New Testament. This is what you need when you really want to understand a word. You are not just getting a definition. It discusses the historical, theological and exegetical significance of the words. You have the background you need to comprehend the word and it’s meaning in a passage.

A dangerous trick many people use in Bible study is to look up a word in a dictionary or Strong’s concordance or other lexicon. They then use multiple choice, picking through the various shades of meaning and come up with their declared meaning of the word. They might be right or they might be off base. Using proper tools in the right way will not only prevent these errors but in the end you properly understand the word and passage.

The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament is a great resource for in depth word study. To use it, you need to be able to look up words in Greek. That may be beyond the ability of many students of the New Testament. A way around that is using the Olive Tree Bible reader. Here’s how: use an English Bible from Olive Tree like the New American Standard or the Complete Word Study Bible that has hyperlinks that show the Greek word. Then copy the Greek word and paste it in the dictionary. A couple of steps and you are on your way to in depth exegesis of the word without reading or writing in Greek. This is something anyone can do regardless of their proficiency in Greek.

The goal of all Bible study and especially the type we have dealt with here shouldn’t ever be to have a knowledge that puffs up but a love that builds up. We need a love for God and His Word and we need to be changed into His likeness. That’s what I hope for.

Philip

Eerdman's Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament

Olive Tree

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Passion

As I write this, I am at Clement Park. I’m reading while my kids skateboard.

Across the park there is a softball game going on. Every few minutes the crowd erupts with screams and whistles. Someone has hit the ball and all hell breaks loose.

It’s Sunday morning. Many people are at church and I would presume that for many people, this softball game is their church. They are devoted and passionate. They aren’t ashamed to scream for their team. They give their all.

I think of the other churches – the Christian ones that are meeting this morning. Are we passionate or do we pass the time with a yawn? Are we checking our watches, thinking of the game this afternoon? What are we excited about?

Would we be ashamed to yell and whistle in church, let alone lift our hands, but can hardly contain our passion for other things?

What about money? How does it reflect our passion? Do we grudgingly give in the offering at church but have no problem laying out loads of cash for the latest toy?

Passion comes from the heart. Matthew 6:21 says, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. How about this: From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12 That sounds like passion; much better than lying on the couch flipping through channels.

Our church meets tonight. I’m hoping all heaven breaks loose. I want to give it my all.

Philip

Friday, October 17, 2008

Healthy Futures for Women

I came across this blog that seems very interesting. It's an expose of an abortion clinic in Englewood, Colorado.

Take a look.

Healthy Futures for Women

Philip

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible


If you spend much time reading Scripture, you will come across many unfamiliar things, characters and places.

What was manna? What was a Praetorian Guard? What are the different weights and measures used in the Bible? Is dung what I think it is?

For these kinds of questions, a good Bible dictionary comes in handy.

Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible is one I have been using recently. Specifically, I have been carrying it with me everywhere I go. That’s easy since it’s on my PDA.

I use the Olive Tree Bible reader. While I am reading, it is easy to tap on a word and the dictionary definition pops up. My question is answered immediately and I can go on reading with better understanding.

Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible was published in 2000. The print edition is 1425 pages and weighs several pounds. Try carrying that in your pocket. There are close to 5000 articles written by nearly 600 authors. Almost every conceivable topic is covered.

One of the things that I really like about my PDA and the Olive Tree Bible reader is that so much easily accessible information is in my hand. I love having questions answered as they arise. I have a hard time continuing reading something if I do not understand the details. It’s rare anymore for that to happen thanks to good tools.

Here are some links for these great resources.

Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible

Olive Tree

Philip

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Warning to Leaders

A WORD FROM GOD

Now when I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home, he said, "Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple. Let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you by night." But I said, "Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live? I will not go in." And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me a bad name in order to taunt me.
Nehemiah 6:10-13
Shemaiah was a false prophet who was hired by the enemies of Nehemiah. His objective was to make Nehemiah afraid so he would hide in the temple. If he had gone into the temple, he would have disobeyed God.

Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. He led a fearful, demoralized group of people and had many enemies. After much opposition, they finished the wall and only the doors on the gates remained to be set. The end was in sight.

His enemies tried to lure him away so they could harm him. He refused to meet with them despite their perseverance. Next, they sent out false reports about him. Finally, they hired Shemaiah. Nehemiah must have trusted Shemaiah because he met with him in private.

Here are the lessons I see in this. When God gives us a job to do there will be many obstacles. The job may seem impossible. The people who are to help us may need a lot of motivation and leadership. Fear and discouragement will come.

The enemy will attack us personally. Can he get us alone? Will rumors and attacks on our character work?

Attacks will come through other people we respect and trust. They may try to make us afraid but fear does not come from God. Does their advice line up with the clear commands from God? If not, reject it. If Nehemiah had gone in the temple, the people he was leading would have noticed his disobedience. His fear would have undermined their courage and his sin would have undermined the blessing from God.

Another thing to notice was how close they were to finishing the task. It was all done except for the gates. How many times do we give up when so close to victory? Ponder this quote:

When you feel you cannot continue in your position for another minute, and all that is in human power has been done, that is the moment when the enemy is most exhausted, and when one step forward will give you the fruits of the struggle you have borne.
Sir Winston Churchill
I heard something last night that fits with this: Pray for a strong back rather than a lighter load.

Summary:
What has God shown you to do?
Watch out for other people.
Watch out for bad advice that opposes God's Word.
Watch out for fear.
Be obedient.
Don’t give up.

Philip

Friday, October 10, 2008

Amendment 50 – Colorado

Shall we turn Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek into Las Vegas? That's what this one is really about.

Casino owners are complaining that revenue is down. The solution? Raise the bet limit from $5 to $100, leave the casinos open 24 hours a day instead of closing from 2:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and add other games of chance. The towns would have to vote to approve the changes but that's pretty much a done deal as the casinos really own the towns.

There are a few other perks for the casino owners in the amendment too.

We let the camels nose in the tent when casino gambling first came to Colorado. Now we are on the edge of getting the whole thing. The only real beneficiaries will be the casino owners. The people of Colorado will end up paying a lot more as we absorb the costs of the resulting societal damage.

I really dislike the advertising for this amendment. It's disguised as help for Community Colleges. Worse still is the coalition of Community Colleges who support it because they will get a piece of the pie; they sell-out for the almighty dollar. They are the Judas goat incarnate.

It’s too bad that so many people will be fooled by the promoters of this amendment. If it passes, all of Colorado will suffer for the greed of a few.

Another subject for me is the damage that gambling has done to Central City. My dad was born in the town of Russell Gulch in 1913. It’s about 2 miles southwest of Central City. I have many childhood memories of visiting that ghost town and it’s abandoned mines and then going into Central City after. We would eat and visit various places around town. It was a struggling town before casino gambling but now because of casino gambling it’s been completely changed for the worse. If Amendment 50 passes, I’m sure that the final blow for this historic town will come.

Philip

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Truth About the Financial Crisis

Here is an interesting link provided by the Rocky Mountain Family Council shining some light on the reason for the current financial crisis.

The Truth About the Financial Crisis

Very enlightening!

Philip

Monday, October 6, 2008

Referendum L – Colorado

This measure would lower the age from 25 to 21 for serving in the Colorado state legislature.

Some would argue that at 21 they are adults, can already vote and can serve in the armed forces. Others argue that at 21 they don’t have the maturity and real-world experience that a legislator should have.

I am against this amendment.

What came to mind when I heard of this amendment is a study of the brain I read about recently. While mostly contrasting a teen ager and a mid-twenties individual, it gives us something to think about with 21 to 25 also.

Here are some comments from the author of the study:

Dr. Jay Giedd, chief of brain imaging in the child psychiatry branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, has spent more than 13 years performing MRIs and studying the brains of more than 1,800 kids. Through high-powered MRI technology, he has discovered that the adolescent brain, while fully grown in size, is still a long way from maturity.

Long after the size of the brain is established, it continues to undergo major stages of development. One of the last regions of the brain to mature is the pre-frontal cortex—home of the so-called "executive" functions—planning, setting priorities, organizing thoughts, suppressing impulses and weighing the consequences of one's actions. This means the part of the brain young people need the most to develop good judgment and decision-making develops last!

This "under construction" nature of the adolescent brain helps explain why teenagers act they way they do, and why their behavior can be idealistic, energetic or enthusiastic at one moment, and cynical, lethargic and bored the next. At age 16, their bodies may look fully developed, but the minds are very much still in the development phase.

According to new studies, the pre-frontal cortex usually does not reach a level of genuine maturity until someone reaches their mid-twenties! "It's sort of unfair to expect [teens] to have adult levels of organizational skills or decision-making before their brains are finished being built," says Giedd.
Click here to read more about the study.

I don’t think we should entrust our future to individuals who may not fully understand the implications of future. I know there are some great 21 year olds out there. If they want to be involved in the legislature, there are plenty of safe places where they can plug in.

As Mike Rosen said: "Worldly wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age but it definitely doesn't come with youth."

Philip

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Love is a Choice

.
Dear young lady from church.

I heard you say a few weeks ago that you were going to get a divorce. I heard you say that you and your husband are never going to get along so divorce is what you are going to do.

I remember some years ago when I first saw you. We had just begun going to the church where you were. You were in your teens and unmarried. The pastor announced that you were pregnant. He asked the church to come around you, to pray for you and support you. I know we did. Time passed and you were pregnant again. Again, the church tried to be the church.

Your future husband was coming to church with you. From what I heard he wasn’t a Christian but maybe was coming along. He seemed to care for your children even though he wasn’t the father. You eventually married him. I didn’t see you for a long time after that.

Some months back you and he started coming around again. I heard things were rough. Then I heard those horrible words, “I am going to get a divorce.”

Has the church failed you? In our desire to help and support you, have we made it too easy for you? Too easy at least to do things your own way and then wonder why life is rough. You say that he has been unfaithful. Well, wasn’t he also before you married him and weren’t both of you impure with each other before you were married? You say drugs are involved but weren’t they around before you married him? It seems to me that he is the same guy you married.

Yes, your life is a mess and divorce may seem the easy way out. Do you want the church to surround you again, to pray for you and support you as you make this decision? If we did, I think that would be a great failure on our part.

I think the best thing we could do for you is hold your feet to the fire. We could help you see how your own unfaithfulness has felt to God. How you have lived your life the way you want and then you come back to church hoping that God will fix up the mess it has become.

Yet, that is the way it should be. Over and over, we like sheep go astray and the Master comes looking for us. But, one thing is for sure. If we want His help and blessing, we have to do it his way. He isn’t going to bend the rules, afraid that if he holds the line we will bolt. It’s His way or no way.

How about a clear command from God’s Word? If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. (1 Corinthians 7:13). From what I can see, you have a clear command from Scripture. Of course, it doesn’t mean you tolerate unfaithfulness or drugs and if there were threats of physical abuse there are ways to deal with that. There is a big difference between fighting for your marriage and looking for the easy out.

Dear young lady, you haven’t even begun to fight yet. Yes, your marriage and life are messed up but you are not the first. Next week my wife and I will celebrate thirty years of marriage. Before we were married, we learned that divorce was not an option and so we never used that dirty word. But I can tell you, there have been and are some very rough times. That’s the reality of two sinful human beings joining together. Sparks are going to fly. There are going to be disagreements, fights, battles, wars and a few nuclear explosions where only by the grace of God does anything remain after. And, there is the key – the grace of God. He takes a messed up man and woman and seeks to mold them into something different.

In Ephesians 5:32 there are some strange words: This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. This is said right after marriage instruction is given. It’s a clue – marriage is to show us what Jesus and the Church are. Try to figure that out and you will blow your mind. Yet, is that why marriage is under such attack? Are we losing something great when we give up on another person through divorce?

Dear sister, fight for your marriage. Let God make you into the person you are meant to be and then let Him work through you to bring your husband to Himself and to make him into a man that you can be proud of. I know this is not easy. I don’t have a handle on it myself but that’s where I’m going. I’m almost thirty years into it and I have a long ways to go but I’m glad to be on the journey and I’m not going to give up.

Remember, love is a choice. It’s sometimes the hardest choice. It’s even harder when the easy way out presents itself. It’s love that covers a multitude of sins and brings hope when all our eyes see is despair and our mind tells us to give up.

You and your husband are on my prayer list. I’m going to fight for you too.

Philip

Ps I wish I could give this letter to you but I hardly know you. I hope those closer to you will give you it’s message.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Breast Reduction

Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Proverbs 5:19

As far as I can tell, a woman's breasts serve two purposes. One is to nurse and satisfy her baby and the other is to satisfy and delight her husband.

Anymore, it seems I can hardly go anywhere without seeing women's breasts on display. It's not because they are nursing children and many more men are getting an eyeful than her husband, if she has one. Hey, it's happening in our churches too.

I'm calling for a breast reduction. I would like to see fewer breast available for public viewing.

I'd like the same in our churches. Hey sister, could you cover up your private parts? Save them for their intended purpose. There are many guys who may end up stumbling because of your display. It sure doesn't help when we are trying to focus on God.

I remember some years ago when my wife and I were together in a Sunday school class. The woman right in front of us, with a too short shirt, had her thong underwear on display. Sad to say, that's not the only time I have seen underwear on display in church. I thought underwear should be under. Which brings up this young guy thing of pants hanging down so the underwear are on display. Why can't we keep underwear under and unmentionables unmentioned?

I don't expect the world to listen but I hope that my sisters in Christ would understand that modern fashion has led to immodest dress. Ponder these words: Also, women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense. 1Timothy 2:9

"There will always be temptations to sin," Jesus said one day to his disciples, "but woe to the one who does the tempting. Luke 17:1

Philip

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