Archive for the ‘Psalms’ Category

This is a fine hymn by John Mason Neale, based on an ancient Greek church hymn. The opening question is particularly powerful: “Christian, dost thou see them on the holy ground, how the powers of darkness compass thee around?” Yes, the devil strikes in the very church and her worship as much as he can, just as he struck in the holy garden in the beginning.

Good words, but too often cheesy goofy music by John Bacchus Dykes. You may know the tune:

Spooky, spooky, spooky; spooky, spooky, spoooooook.

Spooky, spooky, spoooookeeeey; spooky, spooky, spoooook.

Happyhappyjoyjoy, happyhappyjoy!

Happyhappyjooooyjooooy, happyhappyjoy!


Read Full Post »

I was asked to provide comments on the rainbow in the Bible. Here are some for starters:

1. God puts his warbow in the sky for HIM to see and remember the covenant.

2. In Revelation 4-5, this warbow is around His throne, so He sees it all the time.

        a. It’s green, emerald.

        b. Emerald is the stone of Levi (BHOP 19: Behind the Scenes)

        c. The Levites were camped in a square closest around the Tabernacle.

3. The other tribes have other colors, and at are the next rank around the Tabernacle.

        a. In Revelation 21-22, the City has these twelve colored stones at her border.

        b. The colored stones are chips of frozen rainbow.

        c. God’s people are His rainbow, through which He views the world.

4. Baptism, especially by sprinkling, puts rainbow on us.

        a. Rainbow is caused by light prisming through water.

        b. In baptism, God’s light is prismed through water to us, rainbowizing us, so we join the rainbow.

        c. Baptism washes away sin, but also glorifies (rainbowizes) and enlists us in the Rainbow Army for holy war.

5. In the Tabernacle, two tapestries encircled the rooms inside and out, at the upper and lower levels.

        a. These had cherubim (guardians) on them.

        b. They were woven of red, blue, purple, and white: rainbow colors. (Red and Blue-purple are the extremes of the rainbow prism.)

        c. They signified the angelic rainbow host around God.

6. The High Priest had the same rainbow colors on him.

        a. His garment had the same colors.

        b. He wore the rainbow stones on his chest.

        c. Now we are all made high priests, living rainbow warriors.

7. In the ritual of Ascension (Leviticus 1), the worshipper is by proxy put into the rainbow colors of the fire, after being divested of his old skin-clothes, and receives new fire-rainbow clothes.

        a. Again, this is like the High Priest.

        b. It is also the rainbow colors of the bride, as the worshipper ascends by proxy as an ‘ishsheh, a bride for Yahweh.

        c. Psalm 45 is a human explication of this ritual.

        d. We are all dressed in rainbow to be part of the bride of Christ.

Read Full Post »

In our previous post, we examined the sundry texts from which Paul quotes in his great catena of quotations in Rom 3.10-18. But the thought unit is not yet complete; Paul makes his assessment of the implications in 3.19-20. This followup makes Paul’s intent clearer, although it is frequently misread (verse 19, in particular; I think this is likely also the case with verse 20, but my understanding of the verse is still being formed).


Read Full Post »

In our earlier look at Paul’s use of Scripture in Romans 3, we focused upon how Psalm 51, from which the apostle quotes in verse 4, determines and shapes our reading of 3.1-8. We also noted that the psalm contains a reference to divine righteousness (Ps 51.14), where it refers to God’s salvific activity. In this post, we move on to the next subsection, and begin our consideration of Romans 3.9-20. What are these passages from which Paul quotes? What do they contribute to our understanding of Paul’s train of thought?


Read Full Post »

It has always been important to pay attention to the Old Testament quotations we find in the New Testament, but in recent years, it has become even more clear that one must take into account the extended context of the passage cited, not simply the words directly quoted. This is understandable: unlike our situation, the ancient world largely communicated texts as an oral culture, and nobody footnoted.

But it is understandable on an even more important level: the New Testament writers are not manufacturing a de novo religion; they are drawing upon an inspired and authoritative text that has come to new light with the advent of Christ and the Spirit. (Indeed, this is what Paul says almost directly in 2 Corinthians 3.) And if this is the case, we can be sure that – no matter what our untrained eyes may lead us to believe at first glance – the writers of the New Testament were contextual and faithful to the Scriptures from which they drew. Our failure to recognize this stems, not from our superior training in hermeneutics, but from the poverty and weakness of our biblical understanding.

In the case of Romans 3, we have one of the heaviest concentrations of biblical citations to be found within the Pauline corpus. This means that proceeding to define terms and phrases must not be done in a vacuum; we must investigate the passages Paul cites.


Read Full Post »

Homo sapiens. Thinking man. That is, of course, the Latin phrase often used to describe and classify the human race. But does this description reflect a biblical way of thinking? Jim Jordan says no.

In “The Case against Western Civilization,” Jordan argues that man should be described, first and foremost, as homo adorans. Says Jordan:

“Human beings are not, as the Greco-Roman tradition teaches, homo sapiens, ‘thinking man.’ Rather, we are homo adorans, ‘worshipping man,’ something the Bible teaches and which the older pagans had not yet forgotten. Sadly, the Greek assumption seems to underlie most Christian education. Worship is basically left outside, and if included at all, is not foundational. As a result, education winds up being contextualized along a Greek, ‘thinking man,’ model.”

That doesn’t mean that learning to think and reason has no value; nor does it suggest that our worldly callings are simply what we do to kill time when not engaged in more “spiritual” things such as worship. Not at all.

The problem arises when we think of worship (whether consciously or subconsciously) as something extra tacked on to our regular lives, like pin the tail on the donkey. As Christians, we start the week gathered as the body of Christ to offer to him our praise and worship, where we are strengthened and fed. Then we go out to continue our labors. “Homo adorans” reminds us of who we are, and of the reason we can and should pursue our callings with zeal and joy, in service to the Lord who created us for himself.


Read Full Post »

Mr. Johnson,

In fact I wrote a long post trying to take your misgivings, and then it was lost because that Jeff Meyers guy had turned off comments! Well, c’est la vie. I’ll put this up there as a “new essay.”

I just put up that first essay (#29 in a series) because I’d made some math goofs in the version mailed out, and I thought some other people would be interested. If this kind of study does not interest you, that’s fine. The Kingdom is a big place. Also, as a postmil, I confess that we are still in the early days of the Great Conversation, so perhaps everything I mooted in that essay will prove inadequate. But that won’t happen unless people put stuff out there to be dealt with, which is what I’ve done.

I guess I can see that it might bug you to be told “go see what else I’ve written,” but surely you see that I can’t just put up on this blog several 20-30 page essays. At least the essays in Rite Reasons are fairly short and are on-line. For chiasms, see the books of Dorsey and Breck, and for that matter, anything done in Biblical studies in the last 20 years since literary analysis has found a place.

Chiastic literary analysis has completely destroyed liberal literary criticism. Liberalism is in tatters, bleeding and dying. Liberalism cannot survive Dorsey’s chiastic proof of the total unity of Isaiah, for instance.


Read Full Post »

Psalms 23-29: Analysis

This is the donation thank-you essay for January 2008. Our studies in the Psalms go out month by month in response to donations. I’m putting this one up here as an example, and also because the version I actually mailed out contained several egregious arithmetical errors! So, here is the corrected version. 

We rendered the fourth set of seven psalms in Book 1 of the psalter, Psalms 23-29, during 2006. (That set is available for a donation of $25.00.) There again seems to be a cycle of seven here. As we progress through Book 1, we are attempting to uncover structures and patterns and progressions. Doubtless when we are finished, we shall have to go back and make some corrections. For now, however, I shall attempt to tease out what might be a fourth set of seven psalms. To begin with, the names of God in Pss. 23-29. (For some reason the apostrophes at the beginnings of ‘el and ‘elohim, etc., are sometimes reversed when this goes up on the website, just as they are reversed right here! I don’t know how to fix it.) We find a focus on the Name Yahweh:

              1-7                  8-15               16-22              23-29

Yahweh     yahweh 36     yahweh 35       yahweh 45       yahweh 60
God          ‘elohim 10       ‘elohim 8          ‘elohim 10        ‘elohim 3
Mighty One                     ‘el 2                  ‘el 10               ‘el 1
My Lord    ‘adonai 1         ‘adonai 2         ‘adonai 2
Most High   `elyon 1        `elyon 1           `elyon 2
Mighty Protector                                     ‘eloah 1

                    Total 48        Total 48         Total 70           Total 64


Read Full Post »