Archive for the ‘Classes’ Category

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, September 20, 2017

  • Somewhere in the middle, continued:
    • Tax collectors (publicans)
      • Bought position
      • Assessment arbitrary
      • Fill quota
      • Shaky heritage
      • High net worth
      • Very low esteem with all
      • Matthew 5:43-48
      • Matthew 18:15-17
      • Matthew 9:9-13
      • Luke 18:9-14
      • Matthew 21:23-31, 33-46
      • Luke 19:1-10 – Zaccheus was a rich tax collector.
  • The elites
    • The rich
      • Usually the most successful farmers and merchants
      • Not always Sadducees
      • Luke 15:11-32 – father of the prodigal son was a wealthy man
    • Pharisees, scribes
      • The religious elite
      • Rarely among the rich
      • John 3:1; 19:39 – Nicodemus was a Pharisee, but evidently a man of means.
    • Priesthood
      • The priestly elite
      • Usually among the richest
      • Priests made money on concessions around the temple and money-changing.
  • Regions, cities, enclaves of the Diaspora
    • Persia had largest regional Jewish population
      • Mostly remainders of Babylonian captivity
      • Had the lowest level of Hellenization of all Jews
    • Alexandria had largest Jewish urban population
      • About 200,000
      • Mostly around Heliopolis
      • Easy access to ports to rest of the world, relatively easy to get back to Jerusalem for worship
    • Enclaves from Morocco to India, Cape Horn to the Bosporus

Spiritually Minded?

Posted by mark under Classes

By Coy Baldwin

Benchley, September 17, 2017

  • The “spiritual” man …
    • I Corinthians 2:14-15, 6-10 – Judges (appraises) the gospel of the cross by the Holy Spirit’s confirmed revelation (compares spiritual things with spiritual).
      • I Corinthians 1:18, 22-24, 30-31 – The spiritual man understands and values the gospel.
      • I Corinthians 2:4-5
      • Just because a person believes in the gospel does not mean he is a spiritual man.
    • I Corinthians 14:37 – Recognizes the authority of the apostolic writings
    • Galatians 5:2 – 6:1 – Walks by the spirit
      • Galatians 6:7-8
  • The “spiritual” person is not …
    • Acts 17:22 – Simply religious
    • I Timothy 4:3-4 – In denial of lawful pleasures
    • I John 2:3-5 – Simply saying he knows God
    • II Corinthians 11:13, 15, 19-21 – Simply esteemed by others
    • I Corinthians 5:1-2 – Simply a member of a local church
  • Application
    • Matthew 7:15 – judging others
    • John 7:23-24 – judging ourselves
      • James 1:25
  • Why do we care?
    • Romans 8:5-6
    • Romans 7:24-8:2

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, September 13, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • Women in Jesus’ ministry
    • Social strata of Jerusalem and Judea
  • This lesson
    • Continue with social strata in Judea
      • Who were these people?
      • What made them tick?
  • What was the 1st century social scene?
    • Farmers, farmers, farmers, and fishermen
      • Farmers included shepherds, and lots of them
      • All had long days, hard work
      • Most formed the base of the social strata
      • Matthew 4:18-22; Luke 5:1-11
      • John 21:1-8 – Jesus appears to the disciples in a similar manner to the way in which He first called them.
      • John 5:2 – There was a gate near the temple used for bringing sheep in for sacrifices. Sheep were important!
    • Merchants
      • Distributed goods to/from other parts of the world
      • Ran markets where farmers, shepherds, fishermen sold
      • Generally better off than most agrarians/fishermen
      • One rung up from the agrarians/fishermen
      • Matthew 25:14-30 – Most merchants had servants. They needed their servants to help them make money or they would go out of business.
  • Somewhere in the middle
    • Tax collectors (publicans)
      • Bought position
      • Assessment arbitrary
      • Fill quota
      • Shaky heritage
      • High net worth
      • Very low esteem with all
      • Matthew 5:43-48
      • Matthew 18:15-17
      • Matthew 9:9-13
      • Luke 18:9-14

Psalms, Part 8

Posted by mark under Classes

By Jesse Jenkins

Benchley, September 10, 2017

  • Psalms 41-48
  • Psalms 44:8 – This should be our goal: to praise God all day long!
  • Psalms 44:9-21 – The reason God rejected them was because they had forsaken God. Compare Romans 8:35-36. This passage seems to present the view of God’s actions from the human perspective. People felt that God was forsaking them for no reason. We know from many other scriptures that this was not really true.
  • Psalms 45:6 – This is a Messianic prophecy. See Hebrews 1:8-9.
  • Psalms 48:12-13 – Know God and His word well so you can teach it to the next generation.

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, September 6, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • What changed going into the 1st century
    • How that contrasted with Jesus’ ministry
  • Question from last week
    • First century treatment of women
      • Sounds like what Muslims teach today
      • Where did they get those teachings?
    • Mohammed grew up in the trade caravans
      • Encountered many Jews and Christians
      • Islam is a hodgepodge of adaptations from both
      • Borrowed from Hellenism on treatment of women
        • Mistook Jewish tradition with scriptural mandate
        • Saw conflicts as indication that scripture was corrupt
  • This lesson
    • Women in Jesus’ ministry
    • Social strata of Jerusalem and Judea
    • Intro into the Diaspora
  • More about women
    • Luke 7:36-50
    • Luke 10:38-42 – This directly contradicts teaching from rabbis that said women should not be taught.
      • Mary had the ability to make the choice to be a disciple and she made the right choice.
      • Acts 22:3
    • Luke 8:1-3
    • Luke 8:40-56
  • What’s the point?
    • Status and dignity of women eroded
      • By culture
      • By religious tradition
    • Jesus did not regard either
      • John’s message was of a return to God’s Word
      • Jesus adds to that road-paving message
      • The choice is ours, but the Truth is unchanging
      • Matthew 11:28-30
  • What was the first century social scene?
    • Farmers, farmers, farmers, and fishermen
      • Farmers included shepherds, and lots of them
        • Sheep were a staple, used for both food and clothing
      • All had long days, hard work
      • Most formed the base of the social strata

Psalms, Part 7

Posted by mark under Classes

By Jesse Jenkins

Benchley, September 3, 2017

  • Psalms 35-40
  • Psalms 37:25 – Sometimes the righteous are left destitute for reasons beyond their control. However, God has a plan to help those who find themselves in this position through the church. If we trust in God’s arrangements and carry out his commands, those in need will be provided for.
  • Psalms 40:6-8 – This is a Messianic prophecy. Hebrews 10:5-10 quotes this and applies it to Christ.

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, August 30, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • How women were regarded in Old Testament times
    • What changed going into the 1st century
  • This lesson
    • What changed going into the 1st century
    • How that contrasted with Jesus’ ministry
  • Rabbinical justification
    • What???
      • Rabbis were not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was not an office created by God.
      • Matthew 15:1-9
    • Sometimes scripture, sometimes “reasoning”
    • Examples
      • Psalms 45:13 – Interpretation: A woman’s place is in the home.
      • Deuteronomy 4:9 – Interpretation: Don’t teach your daughters the law.
      • Rabbi Jose ben Johanan – Don’t talk to women!
      • Rabbi Rabbah – Women are to stay at home.
      • Rabbi Erubin – Women are to be covered and shut up at home.
      • Women’s court in the temple
        • Women limited to only the women’s court in the temple.
    • Contrasting tradition with gospels and epistles
      • Women not relegated to the home
        • Workers in the home, yes – Titus 2:3-5
        • But no mandate to exclusivity – Acts 16:11-15, 40
      • Women present in much of Jesus’ ministry
        • Not part of the 12 or of the 70
        • Almost constantly present during His ministry
        • Never chided or degraded in New Testament writings
    • The woman at the well
      • John 4:1-45
      • Brings up rift between Jew and Samaritan
      • Jesus proves His perfect knowledge
      • She decides to use that knowledge
      • Leads her to the knowledge that Jesus is the Messiah
      • She takes the message to the village
    • More about women
      • Matthew 12:46-50
        • Women included
        • Could be disciples
      • Luke 7:36-50
    • Coming weeks
      • Social strata of Jerusalem
      • Religious sects
      • Temple
      • Priesthood

Psalms, Part 6

Posted by mark under Classes

By Jesse Jenkins

Benchley, August 27, 2017

  • Psalms 30-36
  • Psalms 31:23 – “The Lord preserves the faithful.” This is still true today!
  • Psalms 32:1 – See Romans 4:4-8. The blessed man is the one who trusts not in his own works to save him, but has faith in God that is sufficient to cause him to obey God’s commandments.
  • Psalms 32:9 – See John 6:44-45.
  • Psalms 34:14 – See I Peter 3:10-12.
  • Psalms 34:15-18 – See I Peter 3:12.
  • Psalms 34:18 – See Isaiah 66:2.

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, August 23, 2017

  • Last lesson
    • Status of women in Old Testament times
      • Scriptural limitations
      • Roles filled by women
  • This lesson
    • How women were regarded in Old Testament times
    • What changed going into the 1st century
  • How women were considered in Old Testament times
    • Included in the covenant – Deuteronomy 29:9-12
    • Sources of wisdom – II Samuel 14:1-21
    • Wisdom personified as feminine – Proverbs 7:4; 8:1-6
    • Having great prudence – I Samuel 25:23-42
    • Wife is a very good find – Proverbs 19:L14; 18:22
  • How women considered – continued:
    • Life of a women on par with life of a man – Exodus 21:22-29
    • Books of Ruth, Esther, Song of Solomon
    • Book of Judith (uninspired)
      • Apocryphal book that tells the story of a rebel named Judith
  • Status of women in Old Testament
    • Marriages were arranged
      • Between father and prospective husband
      • Love was not a factor
      • Maintenance of tribal inheritance was
    • Emancipated widows free to seek their own
      • Ruth a good example
      • Wise woman of Tekoa presumably made choice
    • Beyond that, status was what she made of it
  • Cultural changes approaching 1st century
    • Encroachment of Hellenism throughout society
      • Embraced by some
      • Abhorred by others
      • Unavoidable by any
      • Numbness brought about by time
    • Gradual acceptance of cultural “norms”
      • Included many aspects of society
      • One change was women’s status
  • Effects of Hellenization on women
    • Neither seen nor heard
      • Harem system had roots in Hellenism
      • Woman’s place was in the home
      • Women not to be educated or to teach
      • Women to be “hidden” in public
    • Diminished legal standing
      • Could not testify in court
      • Disallowed from owning property

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, August 16, 2017

[Many thanks to Larry Bunch for catching me up on the notes I missed for this lesson. -MRW]

  • Last lesson
    • Role of women in 1st century Jewish society
      • Start with status in Old Testament times
      • Finish next week
  • Question from last week:
    • Did Josephus mention demon possession?
    • Answer:
      • Yes
      • Antiquities chapters 2, 5, 8, 45-48
      • Wars of the Jews chapter 7.6.3
      • Bizarre references to a root “described” by Solomon
      • “Eyewitness” account
      • No mention with regard to Jesus or disciples
  • Status of women in Old Testament times
    • Women’s main purpose
      • Promulgate God’s blessing on Abraham
        • Genesis 22:15-19
        • Psalms 105:24
      • Continuing the family line – Deuteronomy 25:5-10
      • Shame of being barren – I Samuel 1:1-11
    • Limitations of women
      • Scriptural (Old Testament) limitations few
      • Innovative limitations were multitudinous
  • Range of women’s activities in Old Testament times
    • Shared in the teaching of their children – Proverbs 1:8
    • Performed chores outside home
      • Genesis 29:9-10
      • Exodus 2:16
    • Prophetess: Exodus 15:20-21; Numbers 12; Judges 4; 2 Kings 22:14-20
    • Judge over Israel: Judges 4
    • Shadow combatant: Judges 4, 9
  • Women’s Old Testament activities continued …
    • Commerce, real estate, etc. – Proverbs 31
    • Manual labor – Exodus 35:25; Ruth 2:7; I Samuel 8:13
    • Musicians in the tabernacle/temple – Psalms 68:25
    • Lead women in song of praise – Exodus 15:20-21
  • How women were considered in Old Testament times
    • Included in the covenant – Deuteronomy 29:9-12
    • Sources of wisdom – 2 Kings 22:14-20
    • Wisdom personified as feminine – Proverbs 7:4, 8
    • Having great prudence – I Samuel 25:23-42
    • Wife is a very good find – Proverbs 19:14; 18:22
    • Life of a women on par with life of a man – Exodus 21:22-29
  • Coming weeks
    • Comparing women in Old Testament times to 1st century
    • Social strata of Jerusalem
    • Religious sects
    • Temple
    • Priesthood