A number of key biblical themes are associated with the annual festivals of Israel. The late Dwight A. Pryor (1945-2011), founder of the Center for Judaic-Christian Studies in Dayton, Ohio, and beloved teacher at the Church of the Messiah, liked to summarize some of these themes with a series of English words beginning with the letter "r": redemption (for Passover), revelation (for Pentecost), remembrance (for the Feast of Trumpets), repentance (for the Day of Atonement), and rejoicing (for the Feast of Tabernacles). Festival seasons are preceded by periods of reflection (another "r" word), and the additional theme of resurrection can be associated with more than one festival.



Celebrating the festival days with the Church of the Messiah has been a great joy for Sherry and me-especially the Feast of Tabernacles, the high point of each year. We also treasure regular get-togethers with the Virtual Church at, hosted by Kenneth Westby. For the past dozen years, Ken has graciously invited me to prepare sermons for the Virtual Church on a number of festival days.


This issue of Grace & Knowledge includes five articles based on messages that I have given for "cyberservices" of the Virtual Church in 2011 and 2012. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread in 2011, I talked about the role of faithful women in making possible the preservation of the nation of Israel and Israel's Exodus from Egypt. My article "Heroines of the Exodus" contains a number of insights from Moses' Women by Shera Aronoff Tuchman and Sandra E. Rapoport, a book that I highly recommend.


On the Day of Atonement in 2011, I spoke about the symbolism of the torn temple curtain as suggested by Matthew's Gospel, particularly Matt 27:50-54. Here my main source was the dissertation of New Testament scholar Daniel M. Gurtner, published in the book The Torn Veil: Matthew's Exposition of the Death of Jesus. I summarize Gurtner's findings in the article "Interpreting the Torn Temple Curtain."


During the Passover season in 2012, I examined Paul's sermon at Pisidian Antioch recorded in Acts 13. It is in this chapter that Luke shifts from "Saul" to "Paul" in referring to the apostle to the Gentiles. Luke's reason for making this shift may be connected to the meaning of Paul's sermon, as I explain io the article "Why Luke Shifts from `Saul' to `Paul' in Acts 13." Then on Pentecost 2012, I discussed what likely happened to Paul after his house arrest in Rome described in Acts 28. The article "What Happened to Paul after Acts 28" covers the hints provided by the New Testament, history, and Christian tradition.


One American "prophecy fad" of 2012 has been Jonathan Cahn's book The Harbinger, which claims that Isa 9:10 contains a special message of judgment for the post 9/11 United States. I use this book as a springboard for a discussion of how not to interpret prophecy in the article " `The Harbinger' and Pesher Interpretation," based on a message from the 2012 Feast of Trumpets. We hope you enjoy these articles along with the rest of Issue 27.


Issue 27




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On 11 Nov 2012, 14:23.