Posted in Bible

The Title of 1 and 2 Samuel

Since Samuel is the first major character introduced in the book, his name was chosen as its title. Although the events of 2 Samuel all transpired after Samuel’s death and that book contains no mentions of his name, it also bears his name as its title. Why? Second Samuel is named after Samuel because 1 and 2 Samuel were originally one book. When the book’s length (especially in its Greek translation, the LXX) was too great for a single scroll, it was divided approximately in half; the second half did not receive a new name but was marked as part two.

In their ancient Greek translations, these books carry different titles: 1 and 2 Samuel are known there as “1 Kingdoms” and “2 Kingdoms,” continued by “3 Kingdoms” (= 1 Kings) and “4 Kingdoms” (= 2 Kings). This titling minimizes any difference between the four books that chronicle the course of the ancient Israelite monarchy from its beginning with Saul until its termination at the Babylonian exile.

From Hoffner, H. A., Jr. (2015). 1 & 2 Samuel. (H. W. House & W. Barrick, Eds.). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Posted in Bible

First and Second Books in the Old Testament

Were the individual “books” of the Old Testament always distinct books or were they parts of a larger whole?

For example, 1 and 2 Samuel were once one book and were subdivided—initially only in the LXX, and subsequently in the Hebrew copies—because the text was too long to fit on a single scroll. However, there is no particular reason why a large Hebrew composition—one that may have spanned the entire history of the Israelites in their land—could not have existed on several scrolls.

These scroll-capacity-delimited “books” may have eventually received individual designations, such as Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings. This same procedure was undoubtedly followed earlier in the designation of the individual “books” of Moses.

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Posted in Bible

A Commentary on Mark 1:14-20

General Overview

The purpose of Mark’s Gospel is to proclaim Jesus the Son of God, who calls disciples to repent, to believe the Gospel, and to bear the cross. This will become evident in this section of the text.

The Gospel According to Mark is a Gospel of action. As compared with Matthew, Mark emphasizes the deeds of Jesus. The deeds of Jesus are by no means isolated from His words (the word is Jesus’ instrument in His deeds too). And Mark, repeatedly emphasizes the centrality of the word in the ministry of Jesus and the effect of its authority on men (1:14).

As you read Mark’s account of Jesus’ ministry and Passion, take special note of the emphasis on discipleship and faith, especially in Mark 1:14-20.

Jesus begins His ministry in Galilee with authority (1:14-3:12) and proclaims the rule of God and calls disciples (1:14-20).

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Posted in Bible, Christianity, Theology

Is Love Opposed to Truth?

Todd Wilken is interviewing pastor Bryan Wolfmueller about 2 and 3 John as part of a series on “Introducing the Books of the Bible.” In this clip, Pastor Wolfmueller comments on the way many people place truth in opposition to love or make love a higher priority than truth. For the apostle John, truth and love walk hand in hand.

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