Writings

Psalm 2 and 2 Peter 1

Tue, 17/09/2019 - 15:55 -- James Oakley

So often, when you read a commentary on part of the Bible you're studying, you have pages and pages of material but the commentator doesn't seem to be puzzling over the same details of the passage as you are.

How refreshing when the commentator asks exactly the questions you were asking, and has some very sensible things to say.

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Neither poverty nor riches

Wed, 28/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

This year is the 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe, the debut novel of Daniel Defoe published on 25th April 1719. It is said to be the first novel published in the English language, and since 1719 has been printed in many editions. It is many years since I read it, so I thought it time to do so again.

The novel starts with Robinson's father seeking to persuade the stubborn lad not to go to sea. His efforts are sincere and emotional, but in vain.

The angel Gabriel

Wed, 20/12/2017 - 13:20 -- James Oakley
Don't shoot!
Image Credit: SAJ-FSP

Angels don't normally have names in the New Testament. Why does Luke tell us that it was the angel Gabriel who appeared to Mary? Let's think this through.

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Structure of Daniel 2-7

Wed, 13/09/2017 - 10:58 -- James Oakley
Concentric and other Patterns
Image Credit: Rodney Campbell

Daniel chapters 2-7 are written in Aramaic; the rest of Daniel (chapter 1, and chapters 8-12) are in Hebrew.

The most obvious way to divide Daniel into two is to note that Daniel chapters 1-6 contain stories about Daniel, whereas chapters 7-12 contain visions seen by Daniel.

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What is an "Apocalpyse"

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 10:50 -- James Oakley
Four Horsemen of Apocalypse by Viktor Vasnetsov

I'll just park this here for future reference.

Sometimes you see writers say that certain parts of the Bible are written in the "apocalyptic" style of writing.

Recognising the "genre" of part of the Bible can be very important when it comes to reading it properly. For instance, parables and historical narrative communicate in very different ways; you'd completely misread the gospels if you confused them.

The Fall of Arrogant Rulers

Wed, 30/08/2017 - 10:48 -- James Oakley
Great empires become ruins
Image Credit: Margie Savage

“There seems to be one fundamental law of a very solemn kind which touches this question of judgement; and when I turn to the ancient prophets and recall the limited area of history they had at their disposal for making their inductions, I am always surprised at the curious aptness with which they seem to have found the formula in this connection — a formula which they put in a special position of priority.

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Change of person in Daniel 4

Wed, 23/08/2017 - 10:55 -- James Oakley
The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky
Image Credit: Bob West

Some commentators worry themselves about the fact that Daniel 4 is a mixture of first person account (Nebuchadnezzar speaking) and third person account (another narrator, writing about Nebuchadnezzar). They think this indicates that Daniel 4 was originally two different accounts, clumsily edited into what we now have.

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New songs

Thu, 23/07/2015 - 17:01 -- James Oakley

Psalm 33:3 says this:

Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy.

Note the three ingredients here of how we are instructed to sing to God.

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Use resources - but carefully

Tue, 30/07/2013 - 12:05 -- James Oakley

Book Shelves
Photo: Germán Póo-Caamaño
Lots of churches have had their summer holiday clubs for children - they do them as soon as term finishes. We do ours the other end of the summer - just after the bank holiday weekend.

(Quick plug: If you live in or near Kemsing, and have children who have just finished a year at primary school, we can probably still fit you in - 4 mornings starting Tuesday 27th August).

I'm looking over some of the resources we've got for the club. Never mind which one we're using, as I'm not wanting to make a point about any resource in particular. As it happens, I think the resource we're using for this year's club is excellent.

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