History, Theology

Swaddling Cloths

Recently, I saw a video of a supposed Messianic Jewish rabbi talking about Luke 2:12. After declaring Jesus's birth in Bethlehem, the angelic host tells the shepherds: And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. This rabbi goes on to say… Continue reading Swaddling Cloths

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Ancient History, History

Herod and the Magi

Herod the Great It is important to understand that Herod was not just "a king." He had been declared the "King of the Jews" by the Roman Senate, a title which had been confirmed by Octavius Caesar when he became the First Man of Rome. Herod was an Idumean convert to Judaism who had ruled over… Continue reading Herod and the Magi

Ancient History, Solomon: The Tarnished Crown

Yahweh’s HESED to Abishag the Shunammite

Three weeks ago, I began a teaching series at Bedford Road on Solomon: The Tarnished Crown. Yesterday, I taught on Adonijah, the son of David who attempted to usurp the throne from Solomon. There is never enough time to talk about all the people who pass through the biblical narrative. I would never finish a… Continue reading Yahweh’s HESED to Abishag the Shunammite

History, Things We Shouldn't Discuss

Parts of the United States Most People Don’t Even Know Exist

The United States has fifty states, right? We tend to think of the United States only in terms of these states. And if we're being honest, a lot of Americans even forget about Alaska and Hawaii because they are not contiguous with the other forty-eight. But there is far more to the United States than… Continue reading Parts of the United States Most People Don’t Even Know Exist

History

The Conceit of Convenience

Technical fields that deal in the past - such as history and archaeology - have a necessary compression that takes place. It is an unavoidable conceit of convenience. (As far as I know, this is a new term I thought of in the car this morning.) What do I mean by conceit of convenience?  When an archaeologist… Continue reading The Conceit of Convenience

Ancient History

Herod – the End of His Life

Herod negotiated the complex relationship of the various Jewish groups, his Roman masters and the nations surrounding him with cunning, if not with ease. Herod’s cities and Temple complex attempted to bridge the gaps among these various groups, but there were simply too many moving parts and fissures appeared, especially among the rural Jews of… Continue reading Herod – the End of His Life

Ancient History

Herod and the Jews

Herod had seen the greatness of Rome. His sons were educated in Caesar’s household. His kingdom had a substantial, urban Gentile population which formed a substantial power block. Early in his reign, Herod even minted coins with Roman helmets on them, showing his reliance on (or at the very least, admiration of) the Roman system.… Continue reading Herod and the Jews