The hero of our story is David, youngest son of Jesse, whose family lived in Bethlehem. This section will seek to answer the who, what, when, where, why, how and how much questions; these are key to any serious exegesis of Scripture. Continue Reading
A new series entitled, “A Shadow of Good Things to Come”: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament, is now available simply by clicking on the underlined link or by looking in the right-hand column of this page under SERIES.
This series of 27 messages was delivered to the Tanglewood Church of Christ in Odessa, Texas during 2006-2007. I was moved to prepare this study after reading an excellent book by Dr. John M. Oakes titled, From Shadow to Reality: A Study of the Relationship Between the Old and the New Testament, published by my good friend Toney Mulhollan at IPI Books. Continue Reading
Here are four messages I delivered in 2010 exalting the Bible’s view of the Church. It was originally planned as a 7-lesson series, but was shortened to four. Following this series I will post two additional sermons I delivered in 2012 and 2013 as follow-ups to this series.
1. The Church in God’s Eternal Plan – “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:10-11) This morning we begin a seven lesson series we call, “7 Things to Know about the Church!” Our first message focuses on the role of the church in God’s eternal purpose. Some religious groups teach that the church is simply a “stop gap measure” by God until He can bring in the Kingdom at Christ’s second coming. Many groups and individuals seem to believe the church should be whatever they want it to be – in organization, worship, practice, finances, and purpose. Paul’s statement in Ephesians 3 (above) says that “through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.” The church reflects God’s planning, wisdom and purpose! It is not an afterthought or temporary measure. Continue Reading
During the first quarter of 2008, I had the opportunity to teach this series of twelve lessons on Sunday evenings at the Tanglewood Church of Christ in Odessa, Texas. This was a challenge since normally I teach this in the classroom instead of in a sermon format. Entitled “How to Understand the Bible,” my goal was to introduce our church to the actual work involved in studying the Bible, rather than just assuming everyone already knew how to study and understand. Click here to access the entire series.
- Another key character in our story is Goliath, typically referred to as a “giant.”
- It is interesting to me that the term “giant” is not actually used in Scripture of Goliath, even though his size clearly would satisfy our modern definition.
- Modern skeptics question the whole concept of giants in biblical times.
- So, as part of our background research for the story of David and Goliath, we want to look at some of what we find in the text of the Old Testament.
The “Jesus Documents” is a study of the writings we call the New Testament, but which are, in fact, the “Jesus Documents,” because they are the primary sources of our information and knowledge concerning Jesus. In this 8-lesson sermon series, we look at the criticism and challenges to these documents, and the reasons I believe we can trust in their reliability. Click here to access these messages, or find our title, The “Jesus Documents” in the Series list in the right-hand column of this page.
TEXTS: John 3:1-21; 7:50-52; 19:38-42
- In this Preaching Series, we are focusing on people with whom Jesus had relatively brief contact, but which were chosen by the Gospel writers to appear in the records about Jesus. We hope these studies illustrate the use of Biblical research resources to help assemble a coherent and appealing story about each person.
- We don’t see Jesus spending much time with people in “high places,” and most of those important people He did encounter produced negative results:
- Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas and Annas the High Priests, and King Herod
- Sadducees, Pharisees, lawyers, scribes, teachers of the Law, and priests
- To the contrary, He was criticized for those He did often keep company with:
- Tax collectors (publicans) and “sinners” (outcasts) – Matthew 9:10; 11:19
- Prostitutes and sinful women – Matthew 21:31; Luke 7:37; John 4 (Samaritan woman at a well)
- Fishermen, common people, and the poor
- Non-Jews like Samaritans, a Canaanite woman, and possibly a Roman centurion (Luke 7:1-10)
For the past three years (2017-2019) I have taught a “Christian History & Doctrine” course at the Sunset International Bible Institute where I work in Lubbock. I recorded all the classes during the 2018 school term and have posted them up on my channel on YouTube.
This is about 30 hours of video and includes the Powerpoint slides and video clips that were presented in the class. Here are the resources my students were required to use for the class: Continue Reading
In this series on the story of David and Goliath we are trying to provide four things:
- Demonstrate the value and importance of digging deeper into the context, background, and details of biblical stories and passages.
- Create useful research results for teachers and students wanting to see what “digging deeper” looks like.
- Make it possible for a teacher or student to use this research to teach others, as well as repeat this process in their own studies of other passages.
- Helping the Bible student realize that research and notes created for one study, even if unused immediately, then become resources already in hand for other studies further down the road.
“Saul and the men of Israel were gathered…”
I Samuel 17 is recording a war between the Philistine peoples of the southwestern coastal plain of Canaan and the Israelites who occupied the interior of Canaan between the coastal plain and the Jordan River valley. Conservative Biblical scholars use the approximate timeline below for Israel’s history in Canaan before I Samuel 17:
- 1446 BC – Exodus from Egypt by Israel led by Moses
- 1406 BC – Crossing of Jordan River and conquest of Canaan begins under Joshua
- 1396 BC – End of Book of Joshua
- 1396-1050 BC – Death of Joshua and Period of the Book of Judges
- 1050 BC – Saul crowned King of Israel by Samuel
- 1024 BC – 27th year of Saul’s reign; Israel’s army faces the Philistines at the Elah Valley
“Now the Philistines gathered together their armies for battle…”
The writer of I Samuel carefully chose what to include and not include in his chronicle. He would have done this because of the limited amount of space he would have (limited by what would fit on one scroll). Even more importantly, he would have chosen based on the purposes and point he wants to make in his recorded history. Critics may claim that this would be “creating” or “editing” history. Not so. Every historian today does the same thing, choosing what is included in his account which best illustrates his emphasis.
So, who are the Philistines? Continue Reading
Effective Bible study requires spending enough time and doing enough work and study to accurately represent what a certain passage, theme or topic of Scripture is about, how it was understood by its original audience, and then what the Holy Spirit intended in it for our edification today.
We are going to do a study of the story of David and Goliath to illustrate how I typically go about doing this. The original story is found in I Samuel 17. It has become a favorite for teaching children, and used to illustrate how we can be victorious against overwhelming odds if God is on our side. The expression “David and Goliath” has become a part of our English language. According to the online Oxford Dictionaries, it is “used to describe a situation in which a small or weak person or organization tries to defeat another much larger or stronger opponent.” But, to paraphrase an expression of former radio commentator Paul Harvey, let’s find out “the rest of the story!” Continue Reading