Category Archives: Study Books

Nov. 27, 2018 Psalm 28, John 7:1-52, Psalm 51:1-19, (9)

This was in many ways a preview of the holy week in Jerusalem. Jesus initially told his brothers that he wasn’t going to go down to Jerusalem because it wasn’t his time. Then he later went down quietly and tried to stay out of sight. There was a lot of discussion in the text about whether Jesus was the Son of God and the Messiah or just some other pretender Messiah. His brothers didn’t have faith that he was the Messiah. However, he again taught in the temple and taught with authority to demonstrate that he was God and came from the father. We decided that we needed more time on this chapter so will continue on this chapter next week.

Dec. 19, 2018 psalm 104:1-17, john 6, psalm 18-35, (24)

this is a cbapter with the theme of bread. interspersed with bread is the beginning of communion, as well as several miracles. this is the basis of Catholics doctrine of transubstantiation. jews weren’t permitted to drink blood and this action by Jesus would have caused problems to the Jewish christians. Dualism and determinism come out of this chapter of John. there don’t appear to be explicit reference to evangelism, but he is reaching out in a number of of instances, like the Samaritan woman, the healing and other miracles. barley bread is the brread of poor people. when is the last day that Jesus talks about in verse 40. what about people who haven’t heard about jesus, are they condemned. this may be the basis of missionary work. what about the predestination message? am i just deluding myself that i have free choice in my life or are all my actions kniwn in advance and am i predestined to do the things i do. will there be a day when all will believe in God. 

Dec. 12, 2018 psalm 94, John 5, Psalm 97, (26)

this is a story dealing with not working on the Sabboth. there is a concern that Jesus said to the lame man he had healed that he should sin no more. does that mean that all suffering is caused by your sin. very troubling! is sin realy just missing the mark. you may be missing the mark may be more that you are at the wrong target. Al says that there are a number of rules about what could be done on Sabboth. some of it is quite ridiculous. verses 31-34, jesus talks about authority and who can verify the truth. there is a reference to Deuteronomy 18:15 where Moses talked about a prophet that would come and jesus in verse 46 says he is that prophet. your life may be the only bible someone sees. it may be the only witness to your faith that people see. verse 18 says the Jews pushed back agaist jesus weakoning the sabboth rules. verse 25-27 and 30 and 24 are intent on showing the authority of Jesus. verse 28 then talks about the resurrection of the dead and the judgement of who is saved and who is dammed. 

Dec. 5, psalm 132, john 4, psalm 133, (28)

the reading is about the Samaritan woman. the Samaritans were in the northern kingdom and intermarried with others when they were conquered by the Assyrians. Thus, they were lesser Jews and considrred inferior to those from Judea. a question was raised about  what baptism was then. iit was probably a purification ceremony.  did Jesus baptise or was it left to his disciples. jesus may have not wanted to baptize because then they would have thought them superior to being baptized by others. it is amazing that Jacob’s well still existed 1000 years after Jacob. this well is not mentioned in the testament. his route took him thru Samaria which was unusual. why did Jesus do uncustomary things. Maybe to reach out to other people who might not otherwise be reached. it appears that Jesus had some sort of plan for his ministry. john is conveying a message to us and thus is part of a whole sequence about the power of water. he gave her leave to tell others about him as messiah while jesus frequently admonished them not to tell others. at the time this was written christian jews were not allowed in synagogues. 

it was generally not acceptable for a rabbi to talk to a woman. 

Nov. 28, 2018 psalm 13, john 3, psalm 131, (26)

it is interesting that psalm 30 ends by referring to Israel in masculine  ot the usual feminine.  big discussion of John 3:16 at football games. john 3:18 implies that grace doesn’t save one, sort of once condemned you are lost. Nicodemus is F.s heros by dis using water and spirit. also john talks about the scientific method, probably the Greek influence. also noticetice how john weaves nicodemus into several places into his gospel. john is a more theoretical or philosophical gospel. in verse 5 He says one comes by way of water and the spirit. what is meant by kingdom of God. is it synonymous with heaven? are the various words used for this an attempt to provide people with examples of what is meant by the concept of heaven. 

Nov. 21, 2018 psalm 129, john 2, psalm 146, (19)

The two stories are the wedding at Cana and making wine from water, and the cleansing of the temple. mary is mentioned twice, once at begonning and agsin at the end. my time has yet to come means his time on the cross. what drives his mother’s anxiety,  and why did she turn to Jesus. weddings could last 3-5 days and different people supplied wine at different times, and Jesus could have been referring to that, but the crucifixion may be the stronger of the reasons. Bill recommends the gospel of Mary. joseph had another family and was probably older than Mary. john had likely died by this time.
jesus uses scripture to justify himself as the messiah. john probably knew about the other gospels, but chose to make a different emphasis for his life. this gospel is framed in terms of other things going on in the Jewish world  like  the festival of booths  etc.

Nov. 15, 2018 psalm 39, john 2, psalm 57, (27)

interesting oalm lots of different thoughts. wedding of Cana and the cleansing of the temple  is john deifying the body of christ. c has a book describing the veracity of the gospels and what is described in john 2 is a myth. probably not a christian group, they decided on the color coding byp concensus of a group of 14. this was done by the Jesus Seminar, wartburg seminar thought it interesting but not necessarily good scholarship. peter Block says the only thing we know for sure is that we were born. this is a very depressing thought. then we are left at the mercy of the people putting together a story and then selling it to us. al thinks the scholars in the Jesus Seminar were historical not tainted by the theology of a particular church body. each of us has a truth about my life  but others may have a different view about me. there was a story about Edison that his second grade teacher who sent a note home saying he was desruptive and said he was kicked out of school, his mother told him instead that he was too smart for the school.look what happened to him. pastor miller says that John is trying to tell us something about the nature of jesus.

Nov. 7,2018 psalm 71:1-16, john 1, psalm 71:17-24, (26)

debate about john who wrote and when  probably anywhere from 80-95  could be written by a disciple of john  what does it mean to see the word was god or in the beginning was eternal wisdom  could you say that in the beginning god was pure energy. dirk sees energy is from the spirit. the audience was the Greek people, and greeks understand the idea of logos and didn’t require them to know about Jewish history. maybe why there no parables. maybe true should be real. so what does it mean real light. this could be referring to the idea that jesus came as a real man. the Greek gods had human identities. did john the baptist really not know Jesus. their mothers knew each other well. synagogues used to have pools outside to cleanse before going in. this may be the beginning of baptism as sort of a cleansing act. the muslims have this tradition of cleansing. 

Oct. 3, 2018 Psalm 131, ecclesiastes 10, 11, Psalm 133, (21)

There are a lot of platitudes that tell us to live life to the fullest, but know that you are accountable to God. The message interpretation is a very good way to read this book. Cast your bread on the waters and you may receive a return in many days. When we are judged is it with your knowledge or without it. Does it make a difference. Ecclesiastes says you spend a lot time building up things only to have them come crashing down around you. Is this book a build up from other books and ideas of that time. This was written in a time of economic growth led by the Persians, thus there was a lot of Persian influence in this book. Ecclesiastes doesn’t have much to say about God or the nature of God. 

Sept. 26, 2018 psalm129, ecclesiastes 9 Psalm 130, (23)

We had a discussion on why ecclesiastes was lncluded in the Bible. D says he has been told the Bible is the organized or authorized argument of the church. Is this telling us we don’t have control of our lives but this denys free will. But the human aspect is that we make mistakes and hurt others. Is vanity pointing to the end of life. N says he hopes for a continuity of knowing. But Jesus came and gave us hope. This book has a lot of Persian influence. This was a well developed strain of thought and occurred close to the time of the New Testament times. At the time of Jesus the main thought of the Jews was that probably life after death was Sheol, the valley of the dead. Memories go back at most 4 generations. Don Madsen died at age 95 and he made a motion that the church should have a lay president, rather than a pastor. Proehl was a long term pastor at Zion and had always been the president of the congregation and resigned the day after the motion  passed. This chapter is a fatalistic point of view that got us off on this topic of the meaning of life.