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‘) in the garden.
Now, go and study.
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
… is the title of Salena Zito’s 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 behavior 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.
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.