Dec 10 2015

The Magdala Stone

Magdala Stone

A Carved Stone Block Upends Assumptions About Ancient Judaism

BEIT SHEMESH, Israel — The carved stone block is about the size of an occasional table. It has held its secrets for two millenniums. Whoever engraved its enigmatic symbols was apparently depicting the ancient Jewish temples.

But what makes the stone such a rare find in biblical archaeology, according to scholars, is that when it was carved, the Second Temple still stood in Jerusalem for the carver to see. The stone is a kind of ancient snapshot.

And it is upending some long-held scholarly assumptions about ancient synagogues and their relationship with the Temple, a center of Jewish pilgrimage and considered the holiest place of worship for Jews, during a crucial period, when Judaism was on the cusp of the Christian era.

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May 26 2015

Delivering Us From Evil


“The guardian’s role is to prevent evil; the judge’s role is to deliver from evil, once it has been allowed in.”

An excerpt from James B. Jordan’s commentary on Judges (47-51) concerning the role of Israel’s Messiahs.

What were the judges? They were civil rulers and deliverers of Israel. God is concerned with all of human life and society. It is false to try to limit His interest only to the institutional Church, though as the sacramental body of Jesus Christ, the Church is the foremost earthly “institution.” The judges show us God delivering His people from His and their enemies, in particular in social and political situations. According to Scripture, the civil magistrate bears the sword of iron (as distinct from the Sword of the Scriptures) as a threat to evildoers. A magistrate is a minister of God, no less than a Church officer is, but the magistrate is a minister of God’s vengeance, while the elder is a minister of redemption. (See Romans 13.)

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Aug 4 2010

A Good Reader

A. T. Ross gave Bible Matrix 4 out of 5 stars on

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Apr 9 2010

A Cast of Thousands

Band of Brothers – 2


Part 1 here.

One thing the Bible Matrix demonstrates is the nature of history. Sure, it repeats itself. Everyone knows that. But our personal histories are microcosms of the lives and deaths of families, churches, nations and empires. Reading the Bible is like looking through a glass onion.

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Jan 21 2010

A Deterritorialised God

A quote from a great book I picked up today. Observations from an (atheistic, agnostic?) Roman Catholic perspective, but, as the blurb says: ‘far from losing himself in a thicket of erudition, Debray knows how to touch on the essential.’

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Nov 12 2009

The Last Judge

championsAs the end of the ‘Creation week’ (slavery to Sabbath) that created a new nation, there were twelve judges. Twelve is the ‘offspring’ number, being the three of heaven married, multiplied with, the four of the Land.[1] However, we know these brave ‘champions’ were not a sabbath society but a rescue operation after the failure of the Levites.

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Sep 7 2009

Egypt or Tyre. Choose.


Solomon Snubs Ally with Trashy Gift

When I was in sales, I was taught that it takes twelve times as much energy to gain a new client as it does to keep an existing one by letting them know they are not taken for granted. Same goes in geopolitics.

James Jordan writes:

One way to understand the relevance of Egypt [during Solomon's reign] is to contrast Egypt with Tyre. Hiram, king of Tyre, had been a loyal ally of David. He loved David. He clearly was a converted man. When Solomon came to the throne, Hiram could not do enough for him. He volunteered to help build the Temple, because Israel’s God was his God also (1 Kings 5). He showered Solomon with gifts (1 Kings 9:11, 14). If there was any nation Solomon should have allied with, it was Tyre.

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Jun 19 2009

American Judah

tiglath-pileseriii“Assyria dominated the ancient world in the centuries before the exile of Judah. Sometime during the reign of Jeroboam II of Israel (832–792 bc), and probably toward the latter part of that reign, the Israelite prophet Jonah had been used by God to convert the city Nineveh and all its citizens to the worship of the true God. Jonah 3:5 and 4:11 indicate that God showed His mercy to the children of the city, so that we are entitled to assume that there were God-fearing people alive for the next seventy or so years in Assyria…

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Apr 21 2009

How to Read the Prophets

A friend of mine discovered John Piper and devoured just about every online sermon in under 12 months. It changed him profoundly. (I highly recommend Piper’s biographical series. I should listen to them again.)

Anyhow, my friend shared that Piper had made a comment about not ‘getting’ the prophets. As there are so many views on what the prophets are talking about, this is understandable. Based on what I’ve heard from James Jordan and my resulting studies, I would like to offer some helpful hints. They seem to play out, from what I can see.

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Apr 15 2009

Rediscovering Our Identity

totuschristus-sRediscovering our identity is the solution for this lack of confidence. Israel’s history is most assuredly our history, as much as a narrow trunk suddenly fills the sky with branches. This theme of trunk and branches, Adam and Eve, head and body, Old Testament and New, Christ and the church—the Whole Christ—is the deep structure that undergirds the entire Bible, and the New Testament is but the final, majestic sweep. To regain her identity, the church must develop not only an intimate knowledge of the Old Testament, but one that is totally integrated with the New.


Read the Introduction and Chapter 1 here.

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