Grace & Knowledge Blog

Grace & Knowledge Blog

Aug 2018 Oxford library sale

August 3, 2018

At the Oxford public library's annual book sale, I picked up one hardback book and 8 paperbacks for $5.  Some of them were

Tags: books, oxford library sale


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Recently sighted license plates

July 24, 2018

Some license plates that I have seen recently:

GIG 7578    That's a lot of gigs!  That person is keeping busy.

GOY 7090   There are a lot of Gentiles out on the highway these days.

EPH 6104   Ephesians 6 only has 24 verses, except in one very late manuscript, where this chapter is much longer with a very detailed description of the whole armor of God.

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New Article on Jesus' Nazareth Synagogue Sermon

July 24, 2018

When Jesus gave a sermon in his hometown synagogue at Nazareth, the people became angry and didn't let him finish.  I have posted an article, based on research by David Instone-Brewer, proposing a possible reason for their reaction.

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The Feeding of the 5000 and the New Exodus

June 27, 2018

There are a number of incidental details in the Gospel accounts of the feeding of 5000 that point to first-century Jewish customs.  For some of those customs, our earliest known evidence of them comes from the New Testament

The Gospel accounts are also presented to imply that Jesus is acting as a new Moses bringing a new Exodus.  I have posted more on this in a recent post to the Grace and Knowledge website.  

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Unusual Details in the Gospel Accounts of the Feeding Miracles

May 28, 2018

All 4 canonical Gospels include the feeding of the 5000.  5000 is the number of adult males in the crowd that Jesus fed with just a few loaves and fishes.  

We might wonder why only the men were counted.  It would be even more impressive to hear the total number of people. 

Another unusual detail is the fact that 12 baskets of bread pieces were collected after the meal.  Why was so much bread left uneaten, and why were the leftovers collected?

New Testament scholar David Instone-Brewer suggests some answers based on Jewish dining practices of that time.  I describe his answers in a new post at the Grace & Knowledge website.

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Immigration and the Bible

April 24, 2018

The best resource that I have found on immigration and the Bible is Dr. James Hoffmeier's book The Immigration Crisis (Crossway, 2009).  Hoffmeier is a leading Egyptologist, and his discussion of ancient Egypt's immigration policies is especially interesting.  I have posted a short article on Hoffmeier's book at the Grace & Knowledge website.

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Feb 2, 2018 Oxford Library Sale

February 4, 2018

The public library in Oxford had a used book sale on Feb 2, 2018.  I stopped by and picked up 6 books for $4, including, 

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The "Plundering of Egypt" Pattern in the Bible

December 30, 2017

When the Israelites were leaving Egypt on the exodus, they

"did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians" (Exod 12:35-36). 

This seemingly small detail receives quite a bit of emphasis in the Bible.  Before it happens, there are three announcements that it will happen, in Gen 15:14, Exod 3:21-22, and Exod 11:2. 

It's also foreshadowed by events that anticipate the Exodus and alluded to in later biblical events.  For example,

  • After Abram and Sarai take refuge in Egypt during a famine, they leave with substantial assets (Gen 12:10-20). 
  • Two generations later, Jacob flees Paddan-Aram with sizeable flocks and Laban's household gods (Gen 31:17-19).
  • When the Philistines capture the ark of the covenant, they soon set it free with golden treasure (1 Sam 6:8,11). 
  • When Jews return to Judea from exile in Babylon, King Cyrus gives them gold and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:7-11). 
  • The prophets envision a future exodus from exile when those who afflict Israel "shall become...
[More]

Tags: grace and knowledge articles


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Joseph as a Type of Jesus

November 29, 2017

Joseph, the main character in Gen 37-50, is viewed by Christians as a forerunner of Jesus.  In particular, Joseph's undeserved imprisonment and subsequent rise to power are believed to prefigure the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. 

The connection between Joseph and Jesus is not mentioned explicitly in the New Testament, but it is implied by a number of verbal allusions.  An article at the Grace & Knowledge website discusses these allusions.

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House Signs of Oxford 47: New Flavor on Elm Street

October 25, 2017

There's a new house sign on North Elm Street that is hard to miss--a bright orange sign sporting a likeness of Food Network star Guy Fieri and the words "Flavor Town".  Apparently some Fieri fans have moved in. 

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