The question just popped into my head yesterday: “Who was King David’s mother?” The Bible doesn’t tell us her name. And that’s odd, because we are given the names of many kings’ mothers, none of whom was as important as David.
According to a tradition in the Talmud, her name was Nitzevet, daughter of Adael (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitzevet). But the Bible does make mention of her: in Psalm 86:16; and then in 1 Samuel 22: 3-4, David asks the king of Moab to provide sanctuary for his father and his mother.
Why are we not told more about her? I’m sure there are things that were left out of the Bible because they were so well known, at the time, that it wasn’t necessary to discuss them. Still, the mother of King David–well, as my friend Pastor Mark once said, the Bible tells us everything we need to know, but it doesn’t tell us everything we might want to know.
If He says no, the Romans will come gunning for Him. If He says yes, Jewish patriots will despise Him as a collaborator. This was a deadly trap set by Christ’s enemies to destroy Him. We need to appreciate that. The question was designed to have no right answer, and the wrong answer was intended to destroy Him.
Greg Uttinger wrote this article for Chalcedon’s print magazine back in 2004. We still live in times when Caesar lays claim to everything.
But Jesus says give Caesar back what properly is owed to him and belonged to him in the first place: but everything is God’s.
I’ve been thinking about giants lately. Were they real? Could they ever have been real?
The Bible has giants in it, throughout the Old Testament–lasting into historical times, in places like Gath, Hebron, and Bashan. Greek and Norse mythology is full of giants. And folklore all over the world offers tales of giants.
What is a giant? At 5’11”, Herman Melville was the tallest man aboard a certain whaling vessel. At 7 feet tall and change, Wilt Chamberlain dominated professional basketball. But if it gets much taller than that, you’re probably talking about a glandular or a genetic defect that’s going to keep you from reaching your 70th birthday: thank of Andre the Giant.
The giants in the Bible are truly colossal; and although no one has ever found a giant’s skeleton, or a giant’s weapons or armor, the Near East has several sites where normal-sized men created facsimiles of giants’ footprints, carving them in stone and placing them near public buildings.
Just because people lived a long time ago doesn’t mean they were stupid. So why did so many of them believe in giants, if there was no such thing as a giant? If no one could ever have seen a giant, why did so many different peoples, all over the world, preserve and hand down so many stories about giants?
These prints are obviously not real. But why did someone go to the trouble of carving them? Why display them in a busy public area?
Then again, maybe the whole thing was just some kind of advertising.
But how could there have been so many stories about giants, and no giants? Is it possible for a human body to function, beyond a certain size? Or did people in Biblical times use “giants” as a metaphor? Metaphors have probably been around even longer than giants.
We accept the Bible as being always true. But we grant that Bible writers sometimes used figures of speech that are not meant to be taken literally. Nor would Bible writers living 3,000 years ago have needed to explain certain things to their audience–things that only confuse us today. A lot of knowledge can be lost in three millenia.
I add, finally, that even as a little child, I never believed the Jolly Green Giant was real.
It used to be only crazy people denied plainly observable facts. Many countries in the Ancient Near East had dealings with Israel and Judah, and records of those dealings have survived. The existence of Israel is beyond dispute.
But now it’s not just lunatics who deny what’s right in front of them.
Of the Devil, Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “The truth is not in him.” Seems like the devil’s got a bumper crop of fans, these days.
For today’s post we will tackle the question the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: Who is the first and the last? Here are the answers which the skeptic believes indicate a Bible contradiction: God ““Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.” […]
The goal of every believer is to please God. We are told that faith is what pleases God. It gives substance to the things we hope for and makes them tangible. Faith opens the door to God’s favour and shows our dependence on Him. The Bible tells us we’ve all been given a measure of faith,…
You’d think that would be simple enough to understand; but it’s overlaid by many centuries’ worth of serious-sounding blah-blah–unpacked by Martin Selbrede in his essay for The Chalcedon Report. There’s a lot he has to unpack, but stay with it: there is wisdom here.
The whole conception is wrong, Martin explains, because it arises from the notion that “Evil is external to us, but intrinsic to the world.” This lets man off the hook and allows him to say he’s a victim, not a perpetrator.
A bad diagnosis can only lead to a bad cure. In this fallen world, the cure most often served up to us is revolution. Burn it all down! And what we build on the rubble will be paradise!
A quote to take away: “Revolutions merely shuffle the deck using the same cards.”
That’s why they always lead to mass graves and barbed wire.
How many times did the Lord warn us that His return would take the whole world by surprise? What part of “It is not for you to know” don’t we understand? Really–as if the whole thing was only about setting up another kingdom in Israel. Like this time it’ll be different?
Christ’s business was the salvation of the entire human race, and only God the Father knows the timetable. Jesus said we would be taken when we least expect it, and urged us to live in such a way that we would always be ready for it.