Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 2: Exodus

by Henry Brinton, May 22 2020

At the heart of the Book of Exodus is the story of the Israelites escaping Egyptian bondage. This story is central to Jewish faith and identity, remembered each year in the celebration of Passover. The word exodus is from Greek and means “going out” — that is, going out of captivity in Egypt. The promise of the book is that oppressive empires are...

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Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 1: Genesis

by Henry Brinton, May 21 2020

The first book in the Bible is all about beginnings. Bereshit is the first Hebrew word in the book, translated into English as “in the beginning,” which gives the book its name in the Jewish tradition. When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, the book was called Genesis, which means “origin,” a name which continues to be used in our Englis...

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Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 66: Revelation

by Henry Brinton, May 20 2020

The Book of Revelation is filled with frightening images: A great red dragon, beasts from the sea and land, the bowls of God’s wrath, a great whore, an apocalyptic battle, and the final judgment. When the seventh trumpet blows, we learn of God’s plan “for destroying those who destroy the earth” (Rev 11:18). American pop-culture has picked up on th...

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Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 65: Jude

by Henry Brinton, May 19 2020

The author of this short letter was Jude, “a servant of Jesus Christ,” and he was writing to “those who are called, who are beloved in God the Father and kept safe for Jesus Christ” (Jude 1). Like John, he was addressing a church in conflict, and he spoke with concern about intruders “who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny ou...

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Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 64: 3 John

by Henry Brinton, May 18 2020

The third letter of John was written to an individual described as “the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth” (3 John 1). John wrote this personal letter to warn him about the danger of an insubordinate leader “who likes to put himself first” and had been “spreading false charges against us” (2 John 9-10), a reminder to us that there has been c...

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Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 63: 2 John

by Henry Brinton, May 17 2020

The second letter of John was written to “the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth” (2 John 1). This “lady” was probably a local congregation, not an individual, and “her children” were members of the church. He began by saying that he was “overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth” (2 John 4), followed by the w...

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Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 62: 1 John

by Henry Brinton, May 16 2020

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev 19:18). That’s what God said to the people of Israel in the Bible’s greatest hit from the book of Leviticus. As far as formulas go, it’s terrific. For thousands of years, it has worked well in most of the world’s religions. Hindus affirm that “one should not behave toward others in a way which is dis...

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Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 61: 2 Peter

by Henry Brinton, May 15 2020

The first letter of Peter encouraged the Christians in Asia Minor to stay the course in the face of persecution as well as milder forms of social boycotting and verbal abuse. “Beloved,” says Peter, “do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you” (1 Pet 4:12). He saw it as an opportunity to share in Christ’s suf...

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Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 60: 1 Peter

by Henry Brinton, May 14 2020

The apostle Peter wrote his first letter to Christians in Asia Minor, which is now Turkey, in a time of persecution by residents of the Roman Empire. “Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles,” he encouraged them, “so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge” (1 Pet...

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Stay-at-Home Scripture Study 59: James

by Henry Brinton, May 13 2020

Like Hebrews, the letter of James was written to Jewish Christians, and his focus was the proper relationship between faith and action. “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers,” he said to a group of Christians outside of Palestine (Jas 1:22). “Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead” (Jas 2:17). At the end of the letter, he turned his...

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