Archive for the ‘Classes’ Category

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, October 11, 2017

  • What did the Pharisees believe? (continued)
    • High degree of dedication to law and prophets
    • Held oral traditions as equally important
      • Interpretations by noted rabbis
      • Given and relayed by word of mouth
      • Committed to writing around 70 AD and after
      • Pharisees developed many purity rituals that went far beyond the law. They taught that purity rituals the law required of priests must be followed by all in case a priest ate with someone who had not purified themselves and became unclean.
        • Matthew 15:1-11; 23:25-26
        • I Peter 2:4-5 – The priesthood is no longer physical. Holiness is not outward but inward.
    • Positions developed in schools of law
      • Hillel – humane and lenient
      • Shammai – strict and severe
    • Good motivation, misguided methods
      • Talmud: seven kinds of Pharisees
        • Shouldering Pharisee – wears good deeds on shoulder (Matthew 6:5)
        • Delaying Pharisee – makes everyone wait while he does a good deed
        • Bruised Pharisee – walks into a wall to keep from looking at a woman
        • Pestle Pharisee – walks head down in false humility
        • Ever-reckoning Pharisee – keeps mental balance sheet of good and bad deeds he has done
        • Fearful Pharisee – in constant fear of God
        • Loving Pharisee – loves God and seeks to keep His commandments
  • Some specific beliefs
    • Purification applies to all – Mark 7:1
    • Interpretation
    • Resurrection of the dead
    • Divine intervention
    • Hellenism
    • Free will of man
    • Inspiration of oral Torah, Talmud, Mishnah
    • Spiritual beings – Colossians 2:18-19
  • Essenes
    • Pharisees on steroids
    • Believed in spiritual afterlife, but no resurrection
    • Considered temple eternally impure – did not eat meat
    • Most lived communally – I Timothy 4:1-5 could be referring to Essenes
    • Best-known community was by Red Sea
      • Dead Sea Scrolls believed to have been written by Essenes
    • Refused to recognize proselytes and descendants
    • Marriage
      • Some groups practiced celibacy
      • Some required 3-year engagement before marriage
  • Communal life
    • No ownership or property or servants
    • Three-year probation period for new members
    • Shared many beliefs with the Pharisees
      • More meticulous about purification rituals
      • Held to the Torah, Talmud, and Mishnah
    • Similar groups in behavior, but not in belief
      • Nazareans – law and prophets were fraudulent
      • Ossaeans – much like Nazareans
  • Sadducees
    • Probably named for Zadok
    • Upper-tier priests – Acts 4:1-2; 5:17-18; John 1:19-24
    • Ruling class
  • First appearance as political force
    • Supporters for Onias III
    • Much of the priesthood joined in
  • Pharisees often prevailed in public matters

Psalms, Part 10

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By Jesse Jenkins

Benchley, October 8, 2017

  • Psalms 55-63
  • Psalms 55:12-15 – The companion in this psalm could be referring to Ahithophel, who had been David’s advisor, but left to conspire with Absalom.
  • Psalms 58:3 – This is hyperbole. We now from Ezekiel 18 and other passages that this is not literally true.

By Ed Whitt

Benchley, October 4, 2017

[Sorry, no audio available for this lesson due to technical difficulties. -MRW]

  • First persecution of the church
    • Happened soon after Pentecost
    • Result of Stephen’s stoning
    • Saul eager participant
    • Church was scattered
    • Went everywhere preaching Christ
    • Acts 8:1-8
  • Conversion of Saul
    • Completes the circuit on the Diaspora
    • Paul appointed apostle to the Gentiles
    • Jews are everywhere
    • Paul not first to teach the Gentiles
    • Followed by Christians in some places
    • Paul comes with apostolic authority
    • Acts 11:19-26
    • Acts 13:13-52 – Paul preaches to the Gentiles
  • The religious sects of the Jews
    • A Jew is not a Jew is not a Jew is not …
      • Just being a Jew was not the complete picture
      • Different divisions of beliefs and practices
      • The two major divisions were at odds
      • Unity was only attained via outside pressure
  • The Pharisees
    • “Separated ones”
      • Possibly derogatory term
      • Called themselves “great”
      • Embraced the name “Pharisees” after a time
  • Began in the early Hasmonean Dynasty
    • John Hyrcanus was a Pharisee
    • Lead to the civil war under Alexander Jannaeus
    • Pharisees made gains under Alexandra Salome
  • What did the Pharisees believe?
    • High degree of dedication to law and prophets
    • Held oral traditions as equally important
      • Matthew 15:1-20 – Jesus rebukes their tradition
      • Matthew 23:25-26
      • I Peter 2:4-5 – Our purity is internal, not external.
      • Interpretations by noted rabbis
      • Given and relayed by word of mouth
      • Committed to writing around 70 AD and after

Salvation

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Psalms, Part 9

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By Jesse Jenkins

Benchley, September 24, 2017

  • Psalms 49-54
  • Psalms 49:1 – The high, low, poor, and rich will all be alike in death.
  • Psalms 49:12 – Man’s body decays just like the bodies of beasts.
  • Psalms 50:10 – See Acts 17:25
  • Psalms 51:16-17 – God wants a contrite heart first before the sacrifices are acceptable.
  • Psalms 51:5 – This verse is often misused in Calvinist doctrine. We know that it does not mean David was sinful at birth (Ezekiel 18:2-4). Matthew 18:3 also tells us that children are not in sin.
    • Psalms 71:6; 139:13-14; 58:3
    • We know that this birth is not saying David was born out of wedlock. See Ruth 4:22. David was in the line to Christ and was certainly not illegitimate.
  • Psalms 53:1 – Declaring that there is no God identifies you as a fool regardless of your intellectual accomplishments.
  • Psalms 53:6 – See Ephesians 4:8, which applies this passage to those who are captives of sin.

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?

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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.