Why Was Adam Created?

Well, it’s that time, again. My class on the Genesis creation stories begins next month. Accordingly, I’ve been spending time reflecting on topics that students invariably find difficult to accept. One good example is Genesis 2:4b-9. Many of us, familiar with the story of Adam and Eve, seem unwilling to accept the story’s basic premise – that God had created the human to be an agrarian drudge tasked with digging irrigation ditches for all  eternity.

To make this case, I’ve written an article, Because There Was No Rain, arguing that Adam’s role was to toil (heb = ‘evod‘)1)To get a feel for the meaning of this verb (evod), its noun form (eved) is most commonly translated as slave or bond servant. in the garden.

Now, go and study.

 

References   [ + ]

1. To get a feel for the meaning of this verb (evod), its noun form (eved) is most commonly translated as slave or bond servant.
Posted in Bible Study, Biblical Creation, Biblical culture, Creation, Genesis, Hebrew language, Word Study | Leave a comment

The Day of Preparation – Where Did This Phrase Originate?

At the time of Jesus, there was no such Jewish term as “day of Preparation” in Jewish usage. Strangely, virtually the only time that term appears in any literature from that era, it is, for all practical purposes, only from texts written by the four gospel authors, or, perhaps, from someone quoting the gospel sources. But it is not independently attested outside of the gospel sources, a good indication that this was not actually a Jewish term.

A great article on the Roman and Jewish calendars. Read the whole article here. You won’t regret it

 

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Faith Is No Longer a Virtue in America

… is the title of Salena Zito’s1)One of my favorite columnists who I discovered during the Trump campaign – when I was not a Trump supporter. She came to my attention with one of the most insightful bits of snark I’ve ever seen, to wit: “The press takes (Donald Trump) literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.” latest article in the New York Post.

But faith rightly understood, has never been an explicit Christian virtue. A Christian (or Jewish) virtue is a specific behavior2)Most Christian traditions define seven specific virtues of which there are 4 cardinal and 3 theological virtues – see here. sometimes referred to as a habit. More specifically, this habit expresses or gives evidence of an interior faith. Let’s summarize the implications in view here:

  • The Virtuous Christian: one who believes in Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour and who lives according to the precepts of the Christian faith.
  • The Non-virtuous Christian: one who believes in Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour but does not practice the principles of the Christian faith

So, do you see the problem? If Christians are saved by faith alone, then virtue has no place in the Christian understanding of salvation. Does this make sense to you? It didn’t make sense to James either (James 2:14-17).

To understand this business of faith and its relevance to salvation, you might want to read this article about faith and faithfulness.

References   [ + ]

1. One of my favorite columnists who I discovered during the Trump campaign – when I was not a Trump supporter. She came to my attention with one of the most insightful bits of snark I’ve ever seen, to wit: “The press takes (Donald Trump) literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”
2. Most Christian traditions define seven specific virtues of which there are 4 cardinal and 3 theological virtues – see here.
Posted in Faith, Faithfulness, Justification, Obedience, Salvation | Leave a comment

The New Perspective: Paul Reconsidered

I’ve updated my article on the New Perspective on Paul. For those of you who believe that Paul teaches salvation by faith alone (Luther’s formulation, for example), you may want to read this carefully along with the links at the bottom of the article.

Enjoy

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