One cultural aspect that is important for us to understand when reading our New Testament is the symbolism of the "Sea" that existed in the minds of the Israelites and other ancient Near East people groups.
The "sea" and the storms associated with it represent the abyss, the enemy of God, and the primordial chaos.
Once we understand that symbolism, we can see a deeper meaning in the actions of Jesus.
The question we ask in this lesson is, "Who has authority over the sea?"
The depiction of Jesus having authority over the sea communicates to us that the Father's authority has been passed down to the Son.
Resource for your library:
Ryken, Wilhoit, Longman - Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
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Scholars have noted how important the land is to understand Jesus' message.
A phrase was coined to describe the life-setting of the land as the "Fifth Gospel." Just as we have the other four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - the land itself becomes the “Fifth Gospel” and profoundly speaks to us.
In the series that follows, we will explore many of the biblical stories that take place in the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee.
In each study, we will pay particular attention to the context (location and audience) of where the event is happening.
When we consider the Biblical event's location and who the intended audience is, we can often gain a deeper understanding of God's message.
For more pictures from the Sea of Galilee click here
Reference Material to help build out your library:
Bargil Pixner - With Jesus Through Galilee: According to the Fifth Gospel (Thrift Books)
Bargil Pixner - Paths of the Messiah (Thrift Books)
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In Jewish mystical thought (Lurianic Kabbalah), the human soul's three highest attributes are Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge.
These attributes have their counterpart in the "Heavenly Man" (Jesus), a manifestation of God's glory.
These three attributes are also associated with God creating the world (Proverbs 3:19-20).
In this lesson, we explore these attributes from Genesis through to Paul's letters and discuss how we can structure our own interactions with God through the Holy Spirit.
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"Repetition is the mother of all learning."
We learn through repetition. Each time we encounter a biblical concept, we see something we didn't see the first time. It's kind of like watching a movie a second or third time and seeing something you didn't see the first time.
Information - "in-forms" us. We are formed when we learn, and therefore we are different each time we encounter what seems to be the same information. We often feel this way when reading the Bible. Each time we read the same passage, it impacts us in a new way.
The "Heavenly Man" lesson is not an easy one as it resides in the mystical. Mystical, by definition, is a mystery.
In this lesson, we continue our exploration of the "Heavenly Man." As we review the first video's information (click here), we will add some additional verses to help you see deeper into this amazing concept.
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In 1 Cor. 15:49, Paul refers to Jesus as the "heavenly man" compared to the "first Adam."
The idea of the "heavenly man" was not new to the Jews of the first century. In fact, we see this term used in the writings of Philo of Alexandria who was a Jewish philosopher
(20 BC - 50 AD).
The "heavenly man" is derived from a mystical vision that Ezekiel records in Ezekiel 1.
Ezekiel sees the figure of a man sitting on a throne in heaven that is the fullness of the glory of God (Ezekiel 1: 26-28). The "heavenly man" is, therefore, a king.
Philo also calls this heavenly man - the Word (Greek Logos).
In this lesson, we will explore how both Paul and John use these terms to refer to Jesus and how it pertains to our spiritual growth as we transform into His likeness.
Class Handout to help with your studies:
Louis Ginzberg - Adam Kadmon -
Daniel Boyarin, "Logos, a Jewish Word: John's Prologue as Midrash"
Adam Kadmon - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Kadmon
We explore the idea of what it means to be a Christian.
Christ is the Greek word for "the anointed one" and is generally applied to a king.
Jesus is the Christ - the King. We then are "little kings" - little Christs - that are maturing in our faith to become "like" the King.
How can we conceptualize this for our walk in the world today?
In this video, we will explore the idea of becoming or being like a king.
Meister Eckhart was a 13th-century mystic.
He was known for using the Christmas story as a metaphor for our own spiritual journey.
Join us as we explore his teaching and how it can be metaphorically applied to our lives.
Soul and Psyche - Wayne G. Rollins
From Infinity to Man- Eduard Shyfrin
The Complete Mystical Works of Meister Eckhart - Maurice O'C Walshe
Luke's narrative of the birth of Jesus as the Christ - or the King - is set explicitly against the Roman Empire's Imperial Cult.
The reigning emperor at the time was Caesar Augustus.
Join us in this lesson as we see how the story of Jesus and Caesar Augustus intersect.
The New Testament writers are forcing us to ask the question, 'Who do you call Lord'?
Priene Calendar Inscription: An inscription was found in an ancient city called Priene, which is located in modern-day Turkey. The calendar inscription mentions that Caesar Augustus's birth was considered the "good news" for all humanity. You can read the full inscription here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_Inscription_of_Priene
Omrit: Omrit is located in Israel and was one of the (3) sites that Herod the Great built a temple to Caesar Augustus - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omrit
Over the past two thousand years, we have told and re-told the Christmas story so many times that details have crept in where they should not be.
In the next few videos, we'll take a closer look at the biblical narrative to see what is actually being said. People are usually surprised at what has been added over the years.
The website www.earlychristianwritings.com is a tremendous resource for documents that existed within the early years of Christianity.
In the video, I specifically mention a document called the Infancy Gospel of James. Here is a direct link: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/infancyjames-roberts.html
A second resource mentioned is the book Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes, by Kenneth Bailey.
Parables are used when trying to communicate something unknown or difficult. The use of a parable allows the listener to enter into the drama themselves and evaluate how they might behave or with whom they identify.
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is a masterful piece of storytelling as it causes all of us to react in a particular manner. Using this parable, Jesus challenges us all to examine our capacity to judge those around us.
The parable's setting is specific to a first-century Jewish audience who could have easily placed themselves into the drama.
It is set at the sacrifice (tamid) that occurred daily at 3 PM at the temple in Jerusalem. This sacrifice was significant in the faith of all Jews, whether in Israel or throughout the diaspora.
The daily afternoon sacrifice also becomes a key theme throughout Luke's Gospel and the Book of Acts.
Join me as we explore the many details of this incredible parable and how it still speaks to the deepest part of our humanity today.
To help you with your studies, please see the lesson plan below:
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Scott Broberg - I have a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethel Seminary - San Diego - Biblical Studies with and emphasis on the Old Testament.
- Ladder of Jacob
- Our Rabbi Jesus
- That the World May Know
- Early Jewish Writings
- Early Christian Writings
- Abarim Publications
- Hebrew 4 Christians
- Holy Land Photos
- Biblical Archaeology Society
- Ancient Hebrew Research Center
- First Fruits of Zion
- Jerusalem Perspective
- Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
- Flavius Josephus.org
- Bible Archaeology Report
- Hebrew Streams
- Biblical Resources