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Basic Facts from Hebrews (Part 2)

As we noted last week, the letter to the Hebrews is unusual because it reads almost like the transcript of a sermon instead of a letter, and the “title” of the sermon would be something like “Remember Why Christianity is Better Than Judaism.” The very first words set the stage for this comparison by noting that the authority of Jesus’ words supersedes that of the old testament’s prophets. The implied contrast between Jesus and the prophets is based on exactly…

Basic Facts from Hebrews (Part 1)

The letter to the “Hebrews” is the anonymous book of the new testament – no human writer’s name is referenced anywhere in it. Many bible scholars suppose that the apostle Paul was the inspired penman because of the style of writing and the content of the letter, and this is a reasonable assumption. Others, however, have offered arguments in favor of Christians such as Apollos, Barnabas, Luke, or even James as being the inspired writers of this treatise. One fairly…

Basic Facts from Philemon (Part 2)

Paul could have commanded Philemon to accept Onesimus back into his household, verse 8; he explains why he did not do so in verse 9 – “…for love’s sake.” He had already commended Philemon’s love for the Lord and for his fellow-Christians (vs. 5), and we could suppose Paul is here appealing to that reputation. More likely, however, is that Paul is concentrating Philemon’s attention on the principle of love, in effect saying that “Christian love should motivate you in…

Basic Facts from Titus (Part 3)

Titus 2:2-7 explains the “how” of verse one’s instruction for Christians to “beautify” or complement sound doctrine. We conform to the beneficial teaching of God’s word when we acknowledge the differences our Creator established between the two genders He created (cf. Genesis 1:27; 2:7 & 18-24). There is some noticeable overlap between the qualities laid out for men and women in Titus 2:2-7 as well as for the aged compared to those who are younger. Sobriety, reverence, and self-control should…