The Four Israels

The word “Israel” first shows up in the Bible when Jacob wrestles with the Angel of the Lord, and the Angel gives him that name. It means “to struggle/wrestle with God” (). Throughout the rest of the Bible, the word “Israel” shows up in the Bible about 2,300 times, and has four distinctly different meanings. Any […] […]

On Tattoos

Tattoos are all the rage these days. I keep saying that when I get old and retire, I’ll open a tattoo-removal parlor. I’ll make a killing! Somewhere along the line, we have to ask this: what does the Bible say about tattoos? There is an answer, of course: [+] You shall not eat any flesh with the […] […]

Sermon on the Mount or Sermon on the Plain?

Every now and then I’ll run into people (usually Dispensationalists) who insist that the Sermon on the Mount () is a different occasion than (a passage they refer to as “The Sermon on the Plain”). When they compare the two, they see two completely different occasions with two different sets of doctrines, ostensibly at different […] […]

Heaven’s Opinion of Hell

What do people in heaven think of people in hell? Can people in heaven see people in hell and vice-versa? While many within conservative Christianity prefer not to think about the question (and who can blame them?), the Bible actually addresses this question with some consistency. Here are a few passages worth considering. On one hand… I cannot find […] […]

Heaping Burning Coals

Studying Revelation in BSF has kinda put a different spin on Romans for me. Check out these passages [with comments]: [+] … I saw under the *altar* the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign […] […]

With Friends Like Matthew’s…

I’ve always been a bit leery of the use of the word “friend” in the 22nd chapter of Matthew. That’s the parable about the king who throws a wedding banquet for his son. The invited people refuse the invitation and kill the messenger, so the king kills them and burns their cities. But because he […] […]

A Hermeneutic Test for Psalms 51