The purpose of this short post will be to look at one possible interpretation that the Jews had of psalm 89:27. This verse is referenced by Jesus in John 10:35 when defending his claim to be equal to God and speaks of beings other than God as being called gods. Reference has been made to this verse to prove that being Jesus is not necessarily seen as God almighty in John 20:28 but is merely a god in the same sense as those referenced in psalm 89:27.
Colossians 1:15 – The Firstborn of Creation
The Bible clearly teaches that Christ is the firstborn of God’s creation. Groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses see this as vindication of their teaching that Jesus was the first created being. The question that will be discussed here is whether this interpretation stands up to scrutiny or whether firstborn has another meaning that is in line with Trinitarian theology. This post will not be as thorough as I would like, however hopefully serves as a useful primer on some of the issues.
At the heart of the contradiction that is proposed by some reading the gospel narratives is the Matthean story of the Angel at the tomb and the number of angels/men that the women see.
Why, if the women saw the stone being rolled back and an angel sitting on it in front of a paralysed guard contingent did Mark, Luke and John not record this remarkable event? It does not seem to make sense for the writers of the gospels who have devoted much space to the resurrection narratives to not include this event. It is also asked whether there were two angels at the tomb as some gospels record or whether there were more.
Biblical discussions on the topic of homosexuality will invariably include a reference to Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. In these texts we are told “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” And also “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” The precise meaning of these texts has been hotly debated in recent years, with some arguing that this does not refer to homosexual activity at all, and by others that the texts are no longer applicable in modern times.
This post will seek to provide a positive case for the traditional interpretation of this verse, namely that it does refer to homosexual activity and is applicable for the modern era. Rather than Christians playing pick and mix with the Levitical commands, ignoring some such as the prohibitions on mixing cloth and accepting others, this post will show that the Levitical prohibitions of homosexual conduct are still in force today. In a future post I will address some of the counterarguments that are to be found in the literature.
The question that has been posed by those who deny biblical inerrancy is whether or not the visitation to the tomb was at early dawn, before dawn or when the sun had already risen? It seems that John and Mark at the least contradict each other here with John saying that it was still dark and Mark saying that the sun had risen.
It is this apparent series of contradictions in the passages above that will be assessed in this short post with the conclusion reached that these are not contradictory passages at all. I have deliberately chosen Darby’s version of Matthew 28:1 as he brings out the translational issue best when contrasted with the other gospels relating to whether the actions involved took place on the day of the Sabbath.
As I was walking in the Lake District today marvelling at the beauty of the scenery, the majesty of the mountains and the variety of colour in the autumn trees, my eyes caught sight of some sheep quietly grazing. Whilst not my immediate reaction I soon found myself reciting psalm 23 in my mind over and over again, newly experiencing its application to me as one returning to the church.
As a result of my reflections on those five hours of walking I have decided to do a short blog series on this psalm, looking at it exegetically and devotionally. Where the text is cited it will be my own translation from the Hebrew text.
When discussing the morality of homoerotic attractions and behaviour, the population size (prevalence / incidence) of impacted people is often raised by both sides of the debate. On the one hand it is used to show that the population being discussed is small, on the other that it is larger than you may think. Implicit in such assertions is the notion that demography impacts morality in some way and that therefore these numbers need to be discussed. Whilst there are legitimate usages of LGBT demographic data (such as addressing economic impact of legislation) this article will not address issues of morality other than agreeing with the philosopher John Corvino who states “…our numbers are irrelevant when determining whether homosexuality is natural in any morally significant sense.” (Page 81).
Instead of addressing moral issues, this article will seek only to show what some of the more recent studies say about the size of this population. During the course of this a number of problems with gaining accurate figures will be acknowledged. The final conclusion is that across two measures and general statements in the literature approximately 4-5% of the population is lesbian, gay or bisexual.