Showing posts from November, 2019

Notes on James, "Be Ye Doers of the Word, and Not Hearers Only", CFM study for Nov. 18 -24

About JamesI told my kids the best part about James is that they will understand almost all of it as they read!  It is refreshing to have this be the first book after the Pauline section of the New Testament.  James is written in the ancient "wisdom" style, like Proverbs.  The way I think of wisdom literature is that it's like someone gathered up all the best advice your grandparents want to pass on to the youngest generation.  James doesn't necessarily have one over-arching theme, but does return to some of the same kinds of advice several times -- wisdom, the importance of showing faith by action, the power of our words for good or ill, and prayer.The consensus is strong that the James who wrote this was not the the "Peter, James, and John" one but rather James the brother of Jesus who became a believer and a Church leader after Christ's death.  He played a prominent role in the Jerusalem council where circumcision was done away as a requirement for …

Notes on Hebrews 7-13 "An High Priest of Good Things to Come", CFM study for Nov. 11 - 17

These seven chapters are so beautiful and so Christ-centered.  If you are struggling to understand some of the symbolism, it really helps to visualize the ancient temple and the purposes of the sacrifices there.  The two videos below are a great foundation for understanding Hebrews.  The first video discusses the need for sacrifice, blood, and atonement in ancient worship and how it tells the story of Jesus.

And this longer video connects the various symbols of the tabernacle with the Atonement of Christ.

With those two videos as a foundation, Hebrews is simply beautiful.

The Melchizedek Priesthood, Hebrews 7:1-28The ancient priest Melchizedek, like Moses later, was a type of Christ.  He was a king of righteousness and king of peace.  It's obvious that the audience of Hebrews knew and understood more about him than is contained in our Bible.  The Dead Sea Scrolls contain a good amount of information about him."The Joseph Smith Translation of Hebrews 7:3 clarifies that it was…

Notes on Hebrews 1-6, Jesus Christ, "the Author of Eternal Salvation," CFM study for Nov. 4 - 10

About HebrewsDespite the title, Paul is likely not the author, at least not in the way he authored his other works, the book is not much like a letter, though there is an audience addressed, and it may not have been written to the "Hebrews" or the Jews.  This video presentation does a good job discussing reasons the letter may not have been written just to Jews.Of all the Pauline books, Hebrews is the one that has its authorship as the most uncertain.  The language is written in incredibly sophisticated Greek, unlike anything else by Paul.  Also unlike everything else by Paul, it never identifies an author at all.  Even early Church tradition has doubts about Paul's authorship, which is why this long letter is at the end of the Pauline section of the New Testament and not in length order like the rest of the section.  One early Church leader, Clement of Alexandria, said it was written in Hebrew and then translated into Greek by Luke.  But the Greek uses the Greek Septua…