Psalm 1 – Two Ways, a Wisdom Poem

August 13, 2013

The opening Psalm functions as a kind of preface or introduction to the whole collection. It orients the worshipper to a particular path and the value of pursuing the life the Psalter envisions. Indeed, it offers us a choice. There is the way of the wicked (sinners, scoffers) and the way of the righteous. There […]


Revelation 2:18-29 — Prophetic Oracle for Thyatira

June 17, 2013

Though often called the “letters to the seven churches” (with somewhat good reasons), the address to each church functions as a prophetic oracle. John has called his work a “prophecy” (Revelation 1:3) and in these “letters” the prophet calls the churches to respond in faithfulness much like Israel’s prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures. Thyatira, a […]


Amos 1:11-2:3 — Amos Addresses Edom, Ammon and Moab

January 16, 2013

Amos continues his prophetic word against the sins of the nations in Amos 1:11-2:3. He first addressed Damascus, Gaza and Tyre (Amos 1:3-10) which lie to the north and southwest of Israel and Judah.  Now he addresses Edom, Ammon and Moab which lie to the east and southeast of Israel and Judah. The pattern of […]


Amos 1:3-10 – Amos Addresses Damascus, Gaza and Tyre

January 9, 2013

International ethics are important to Amos.  He condemns violent aggression (perhaps even torture and wanton killing), enslavement of populations, and the slave trade. The oracles against the nations are intricately structured. They each follow the same rhetorical pattern. Address:  “The Lord Says” Proverb:  “Because of the three transgressions of … and because of four,  I […]


Amos Addresses the Nations: Amos 1:3-2:3

January 7, 2013

The first section of Amos startles us. The editorial heading prepared us to hear a word from Yahweh to Israel. Instead, the first six of eight proverbial sayings are addressed to regional nations. How does a Yahwehist prophet speak to the nations, on what basis, and about what? To be sure, he does finally get to […]


Sermon on the Mount and the Epistles, David Lipscomb Prioritizes

March 12, 2012

It may sound rather strange to some ears, but at the turn of the 20th century there was some debate among Churches of Christ whether the Sermon on the Mount was intended for Christians. For example, Lipscomb was asked on one occasion whether he could “show that it s a Christian duty to try to […]


Job 29-31 — Job’s Monologue

October 4, 2011

Whatever the nature of the pause in Job 28, the narrator resumes Job’s voice in Job 29-31. This is Job’s final speech (“the words of Job are ended,” 31:40). It divides into three sections: (1) Job remembers the past (Job 29), (2) Job protests the present, and (3) Job swears out a writ (Job 31). […]


Salvation: Sector 2

November 12, 2009

What is salvation? In my first post in this series I proposed the below chart as a way of answering that important question. In this post I will comment on the second sector (2).  I debated with myself (which is an interesting thing to observe :-)) whether to proceed numerically 1, 2, 3…. or to proceed […]