Category Archives: Misunderstood Bible Texts

Honour the text

From time to time I have heard the misquotation uttered in preaching or praying: ‘My God shall supply all my need.’ But what Paul had written in his letter to the church in Philippi is: ‘My God shall supply all … Continue reading

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WWJD? That is the question!

The question deciphered There was a time in the UK when it was fashionable for keen Christians to wear a bracelet of small coloured beads that bore the cryptic question: WWJD?  It was an aide memoire to the wearer to … Continue reading

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Why did God want to kill his faithful servant, Moses?

Moses and family were on the move. After four decades as a Bedouin-style shepherd he had left behind his desert life and was heading back to Egypt on a mission. While they ledged overnight in a wayside ‘B & B’, … Continue reading

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Where would Jesus choose to stay – then and now?

[] Famous first words Simon Peter was actively looking for the arrival of the long-promised Messiah – the new Moses who would deliver God’s chosen nation from slavery under the oppressive Romans. He and his pals sensed that he would … Continue reading

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When should we think ‘we’, and when ‘thee’ and ‘me’?

Speed-reading through the King James Version of all the New Testament letters sent to churches will reveal that the majority of issues concern ‘you’ plural (‘ye’, ‘we’, ‘they’, ‘all’) and comparatively few are demanded from, or are descriptive of ‘you’ … Continue reading

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When Messiah was a mystery

Coded references in the Old Testament The name Messiah is based on the Hebrew adjective mashiah (‘anointed’, pronounced ma-she-ach, ending with a guttural letter spoken as we Scots would clear the throat saying ‘loch’). It was used for kings (‘the … Continue reading

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What on earth is worldliness?  

 ‘Do not love the world or the things in the world,’ John bade his readers, adding: ‘If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him’ (1 John 2:15). What things? My devout father thought Hollywood … Continue reading

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What actually is ‘a mouth trap’?  

Should I have felt flattered to have two young ladies fighting over me in church? Well, they were youngish compared to me. I am as old as my tongue, slightly older than my teeth and considerably older than my dentures. … Continue reading

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‘Walking with God’? – Fresh light from distant stars

‘Walking with the Lord’ is common Christian parlance. But, like any popular phraseology, it can roll off the tongue while by-passing the brain. It is biblical, yet mentions of it are relatively sparse. But those few references are enlightening.             … Continue reading

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Variations in the voice of God through familiar scriptures

In a waiting room at the War Office the many applicants for a job vacancy in Communications sat restlessly wondering if the interviews would ever start. How surprised and disappointed they all were when at last an official appeared and … Continue reading

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‘The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away.’ What was taken? and by whom?

The riddle As a congregation we occasionally sing the lines: ‘He gives and takes away…My heart will choose to say, Blessed be his name.’ The song obviously derives its theme from Job’s initial response to the tsunami that ravaged his … Continue reading

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The kingdom of God is …

When Paul wrote to the community of Christ at Rome that: ‘… the kingdom of God is …a matter of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Romans 14:17), he did not intend to give them a definition of … Continue reading

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Songs of our heritage – in praise of Redwoods and parsley?

‘People of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon,’ which he vocalised in 1005 songs [inheriting his father David’s gift for music] as well as 3000 proverbs, few of which have survived. And his themes?  ‘He spoke … … Continue reading

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Serious signs that mere sightseeing can miss

‘Jesus left the temple and was going away, when the disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple’ (Matthew 24:1). The reason for their ‘sightseeing’ remarks is obvious when we remember what their Master had said … Continue reading

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Self-sufficiency – a wholesome goal in life

‘Self-sufficiency’ is the sociologist’s term for the ability to survive alone, as a Robinson Crusoe. Only Paul used it in Scripture – just three times. However, a major theme of his was Christian fellowship, how we should operate together socially … Continue reading

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Restoring the lost glow

I wonder how many of us evangelicals, reciting one of our essential Bible verses, ever stops to realise that we hardly understand it. We quote Romans 3:23 as if it says: ‘Each and every member of the human race, whether … Continue reading

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Reading between the lines of Jesus’ love letter to a bland church

The book of Revelation is cryptic throughout – even Jesus’ letters to seven churches are in code. Read carefully Revelation 3:14-22, his message to the church in Laodicea, and let’s savour the pairs of buzz words [bold/italic//underlined] that disclose his … Continue reading

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Quiet, please, for Church Aloud!

Heavenly worship The notice board outside the local meeting place of the Society of Friends invites all passers-by to join them on any Sunday morning for ‘an hour of quiet worship’. James Jordan, an advocate of church liturgy, reckons that … Continue reading

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