If you are a frequent reader of this blog you know that I am a big fan of The Bible Project. The project/website is a great way to begin or deep dive into Sacred Scripture. Appropriately here on Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, they offer a great video (<5 minutes) on the Gospel of the Kingdom. You can find it here.
If you are a frequent reader of this blog you know that I am a big fan of The Bible Project. The project/website is a great way to begin or deep dive into Sacred Scripture. As you can see from the menu there are videos to watch, an app to download, podcasts, detailed studies, a blog – and an opportunity to support their mission and ministry.
Today’s blog post was super interesting: “God has a Name” Here is the opening paragraph:
Have you ever read the Bible, especially the Old Testament and thought God seems to be called by a lot of names? Who is this Yahweh, Elohim, El Roi, Adonai, Savior, Redeemer, and Angel of the Lord? What happened to the simple Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? There are in fact, dozens of ways in which the people of Israel referred to God. Many of these names are revealed to us in Genesis and the rest of the Torah. This multiplicity of names can be a little confusing for those who don’t know ancient Hebrew. So we thought we’d do our best to open up this fascinating can of worms and show you why it’s important to understand the many ancient names of God.
If you would like to see a video version you can find it here.
The first readings so far this week have been from the Book of Jonah. Earlier this year I posted a series of 14 or so blogs, a kind of mini-commentary on the Book of Jonah. You can see the groups of posts here, with the beginning post at the bottom of the stack. But if you would rather see an overview of the Book of Jonah, our good friends at The Bible Project have this great video on Jonah. As always, I encourage you to support the not-for-profit work of The Bible Project.
The Book of Esther is from the Old Testament and not a book that often appears in the lectionary cycle for Sunday readings. “The Book of Esther tells a story of the deliverance of the Jewish people. We are shown a Persian emperor, Ahasuerus (loosely based on Xerxes, 485–464 B.C.), who makes momentous decisions for trivial reasons, and his wicked minister, Haman, who takes advantage of the king’s compliance to pursue a personal vendetta against the Jews by having a royal decree issued ordering their destruction. The threat is averted by two Jews, Esther and Mordecai. Their influence and intervention allow the Jews to turn the tables on their enemies and rout their attackers. This deliverance is commemorated by the inauguration of the Jewish festival of Purim on the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar (mid-February through mid-March). The book confronts the modern reader with important themes, the evils of genocide and racism.” (Introduction to the Book of Esther, USCCB). Continue reading
The Book of Proverbs is an anthology of collections of sayings and instructions. The individual sayings and instructions are old, but collecting them together and adding an introduction (Chapters 1-9) is something that happened, most likely, in the early period after the return to Palestine from the Babylonian Exile (late 6th century BCE). The primary purpose of the book is to teach wisdom, not only to the young and inexperienced (1:2–4) but also to the advanced (1:5–6). Wisdom in the ancient Near East was not theoretical knowledge but rather practical expertise. Tradesmen using their skills were wise; Artists, too. Leaders, Judges and Kings who contributed to peace and prosperity in the land were wise. One could be wise in daily life, too, in knowing how to live successfully and without trouble in God’s universe. Ultimately wisdom, or “sound guidance” (1:5), aims at the formation of character.
As you might imagine, during my time as a Catholic priest, many folks have come to talk with me while they are in the midst of suffering. Suffering from a cataclysmic life event, a prolong encounter with illness, betrayal, a life that is heading in the wrong direction, the weight of dealing with a situation or with people – and many more topics. I rarely have solutions and even if I had a suggestion, that’s not why people come to talk. There is a very human need to say things out loud in a place they are sure that someone will listen. As best I can, I try to listen. I pray with them. I suggest they begin to take a look and see where they might find God in milieu of life that swirls around them. And sometimes I will inquire if they have read the Book if Job.
Earlier this year I posted a series of 14 or so blogs, a kind of mini-commentary on the Book of Jonah. You can see the groups of posts here, with the beginning post at the bottom of the stack. But if you would rather see an overview of the Book of Jonah, our good friends at The Bible Project have this great video on Jonah. As always, I encourage you to support the not-for-profit work of The Bible Project.
Isaiah, one of the greatest of the prophets, appeared at a critical moment in Israel’s history. To say that his ministry was part of one of the most complicated periods, is an understatement. During his time, the promised land had already split asunder. The people were no longer ruled under Jerusalem and the throne of David. Most of the tribes of Jacob formed the Northern Kingdom (referred to as Israel in this period) with the remaining tribes still loyal to Jerusalem and the throne of David – referred to as Judah.
Beyond the borders was the ever-looming threat of the Assyrian Empire whose capita city was Nineveh. It was in the area of modern-day Mosul in Northern Iraq. Compared to Israel, it is to the northeast at some distance.
Throughout the Easter Season, our first reading is often from The Acts of the Apostles. One of yesterday’s posts was on the first 12 chapters of the book. “Now… for the rest of story.” (thank you Paul Harvey
I thought it good to recommend to you to take a moment to watch The Bible Project’s video on the last half of the Acts of the Apostles – Chapters 12-38.
As always, I encourage you to support the not-for-profit work of The Bible Project.