Every culture has a particular way of thinking, pictures for certain concepts, and connotations for various words.  In Jesus’ day, it would have been the Greco-Roman culture that influenced how people thought.  Have the world of Jesus’ opened in a new way by studying the mind of the ancients.  **Since this is a story based blog, the posts are in chronological order, which is different than most blogs.**

Of Greeks and Israelites, Part 2

Last time I talked about the interaction between the Greeks and the Israelites around the time of the judges.  We talked about Mycenaean Greeks and tunics and Homer.  All wonderful things, and all to show how the (almost) constant contact between Greece and Israel makes it important to study “the mind of the ancients.” Now, […]

Sin v. Hubris & Atê

One of the fundamental building-blocks of the Judeo-Christian belief is that there is sin in the world.  Everything underpins this belief.  If you don’t believe in sin, there is no need for a savior. In the Bible, sin has a variety of meanings, but “gives no formal definition” of this all-important concept.  It’s described as […]

Both, And

“How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!” ~ Psalm 32:1 In one of my first classical studies courses, my professor told us the ancients didn’t think in terms of “either this, or that,” but rather as “both this, and that.”[1] This was said in relation to nature myths, such as […]

The Power of a Name

The ancient Hebrews deeply revered the name of God.  By Jesus’ day, they wouldn’t even utter it aloud.  It was too holy to be spoken by unclean lips.  We still know there’s power in the name of Jesus.  We know the verses, and we sing the songs…and then we go about our lives, never stopping […]

The God Who Sees

Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.  He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight….So Sarai treated [Hagar] harshly, and she fled from her presence.  Now the angel […]

The Philistines

This week, we’re back to the Greeks.  I always get excited when history, myth, and the Bible come together.  Today, we’ll see how they do just that during the time of the judges. Bible and History According to legend, the descendants of Heracles pushed out the Achaeans – whom we know as the Mycenaeans (a […]

Samson vs. Heracles

There is no one quite like Samson in the Bible.  His life is one of violence, anger, and impulse.  He had so much promise, only to waste it on women and pleasure.  He did whatever was right in his eyes, even though God had chosen him to be a deliverer before his birth. Why?  Why […]

The Act of Supplication

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” ~ Philippians 4:6 It’s the week of Thanksgiving, and so it would be easy to write about being thankful – which I will.  Eventually.  However, there is a fascinating word right before “thanksgiving” in […]