Posts tagged ‘Bible’

March 5, 2015

Daily Devotionals: (March 5th): Patrick’s Bible

by Aaron Dunlop

Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History

Reading: “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” Psalm 119:172  

We have no reliable dates for Patrick’s life. There are, however, a number of different pointers that can help narrow the possibilities—one of them is the Bible Patrick used. Patrick quoted over two dozen times from the Vetus Latina—the Old Latin. Jerome finished his Latin Vulgate around the year 400 AD which tells us that Patrick got his scriptural training before Jerome’s Vulgate was in common use.

One of Patrick’s greatest regrets was his wasted youth. Converted in slavery in Ireland in his late teens he looked back of the years in the home of a deacon and a godly grandfather and realized how much of the things of God he let go by him. He says, “We drew away from God and did not keep His commandments” (Confession, sec. 1), and again he regrets not having studied like others “who have successfully imbibed both law and Holy Scripture” (Confession, sec. 9).

Despite Patrick’s regrets, his writings are full of Scripture and his Confession and Letter breathe Scripture. One historian put it like this: “He was thoroughly acquainted with the Sacred Scripture, both of the Old and New Testament. He constantly uses the language of Scripture, whether consciously or unconsciously; and always uses it with telling effect. He was like St. Paul, filled with the Spirit of the Scriptures, and his language is, as it were a very outpouring of the language of Scripture.”

“Ask yourselves the solemn question. In proportion as you store your minds with biblical texts and biblical ideas – are you all the while seeking to have your heart filled with biblical feelings, and your life with biblical actions?”John Angell James

All quotations from the Confession or Letter of Patrick are taken from the edition by A. B. E. Hood, 1978.

March 5, 2013

Daily Devotionals: (March 5th): Patrick’s Bible

by Aaron Dunlop

Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History

Reading: “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” Psalm 119:172  

We have no reliable dates for Patrick’s life. There are, however, a number of different pointers that can help narrow the possibilities—one of them is the Bible Patrick used. Patrick quoted over two dozen times from the Vetus Latina—the Old Latin. Jerome finished his Latin Vulgate around the year 400 AD which tells us that Patrick got his scriptural training before Jerome’s Vulgate was in common use.

One of Patrick’s greatest regrets was his wasted youth. Converted in slavery in Ireland in his late teens he looked back of the years in the home of a deacon and a godly grandfather and realized how much of the things of God he let go by him. He says, “We drew away from God and did not keep His commandments” (Confession, sec. 1), and again he regrets not having studied like others “who have successfully imbibed both law and Holy Scripture” (Confession, sec. 9).

Despite Patrick’s regrets, his writings are full of Scripture and his Confession and Letter breathe Scripture. One historian put it like this: “He was thoroughly acquainted with the Sacred Scripture, both of the Old and New Testament. He constantly uses the language of Scripture, whether consciously or unconsciously; and always uses it with telling effect. He was like St. Paul, filled with the Spirit of the Scriptures, and his language is, as it were a very outpouring of the language of Scripture.”

“Ask yourselves the solemn question. In proportion as you store your minds with biblical texts and biblical ideas – are you all the while seeking to have your heart filled with biblical feelings, and your life with biblical actions?”John Angell James

All quotations from the Confession or Letter of Patrick are taken from the edition by A. B. E. Hood, 1978.

September 14, 2012

The Scripture in Metaphor: #1-The Scripture as Light

by Aaron Dunlop

Study notes: get the PDF – with study questions.

Key Scriptures: Psalm 119:105; John 1:5, 9; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Exodus 13:21–22; Numbers 9:15–23; Isaiah 50:10; Proverbs 4:18.

Light is perhaps the most extensive of all metaphors or symbols of Scripture used in the Bible. It is the light of Scripture that brings sinners out of the darkness of sin, guides saints through life, and leads them into that perfect day of eternal glory (Proverbs 4:18).

The Psalmist (119:105) says that the Word is a “lamp” and a “light.” The Psalmist clearly uses the two words synonymously, but it is possible to have the lamp but no oil to give light (cf. Matthew 25:1–13). The Jews had the Scriptures, but they did not see Christ there (John 5:39). John speaks of Christ as the light shining in darkness, but the rays of light did not penetrate the darkness (John 1:5)—they did not understand Christ. The oil of the Spirit of God is needed to give effect to the Words of Scripture (John 16:13; 1 Peter 1:22).

The Scripture light dispels darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6)

The darkness of the natural heart is dispersed by the light of the gospel. This darkness was like the chaos of the earth before light and order were established so that salvation is referred to as the creation of a “new creature” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). John speaks of the darkness blinding the eyes (1 John 2:11), but the light of the gospel opens the eyes of our understanding (Ephesians 1:18). As the sun’s rising in the morning and shining through the window wakens us, so Christ as the “Sun of righteousness arise[s] with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2) and awakens sinners.

The Scripture light directs saints (Numbers 9:15–23)

As the mariner uses the light of the lighthouse to direct his course and the miner his headlamp to direct his steps, so the Scripture directs both our course and our steps. The distinction between our course and our steps is an important one. Many have been correct in the general direction of life, but they miss a step or, to put it in the words of Paul, are “overtaken in a fault” (Galatians 6:1). Others may be entirely off course in life—in their family, in vocation, or in social life—but in particular incidents of life they do right and appear to be godly individuals.

Abraham was on the right course so that it could be said of him generally that he staggered not at the promises (Romans 4:20), and yet there were times in his life that his steps faltered (e.g., Genesis 16). Lot, on the other hand, lived a large part of his life off course when he pitched his tent towards Sodom, and yet he knew the correct action to take in a given situation when the angels visited. There was an aspect of Eli’s life that was horribly off course (how to train his sons) and yet he could direct the steps of the young Samuel in the temple.

The lesson is twofold: a man may do certain Christian actions but that does not mean that his life is going in the right direction. Conversely, one’s life may be on course, but he may falter in his step as David did when he sinned with Bathsheba. The Scripture speaks to the whole man—to his life in general life and to all the details of life—and the psalmist brings both into sync when he said, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37:23).

The Scripture light dispenses grace (Proverbs 4:18)

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March 5, 2012

Daily Devotionals: (March 5th): Patrick’s Bible

by Aaron Dunlop

Patrick of Ireland: A Devotional History

Reading: “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” Psalm 119:172  

We have no reliable dates for Patrick’s life. There are, however, a number of different pointers that can help narrow the possibilities—one of them is the Bible Patrick used. Patrick quoted over two dozen times from the Vetus Latina—the Old Latin. Jerome finished his Latin Vulgate around the year 400 AD which tells us that Patrick got his scriptural training before Jerome’s Vulgate was in common use.

One of Patrick’s greatest regrets was his wasted youth. Converted in slavery in Ireland in his late teens he looked back of the years in the home of a deacon and a godly grandfather and realized how much of the things of God he let go by him. He says, “We drew away from God and did not keep His commandments” (Confession, sec. 1), and again he regrets not having studied like others “who have successfully imbibed both law and Holy Scripture” (Confession, sec. 9).

Despite Patrick’s regrets, his writings are full of Scripture and his Confession and Letter breathe Scripture. One historian put it like this: “He was thoroughly acquainted with the Sacred Scripture, both of the Old and New Testament. He constantly uses the language of Scripture, whether consciously or unconsciously; and always uses it with telling effect. He was like St. Paul, filled with the Spirit of the Scriptures, and his language is, as it were a very outpouring of the language of Scripture.”

“Ask yourselves the solemn question. In proportion as you store your minds with biblical texts and biblical ideas – are you all the while seeking to have your heart filled with biblical feelings, and your life with biblical actions?”John Angell James

All quotations from the Confession or Letter of Patrick are taken from the edition by A. B. E. Hood, 1978.

December 31, 2011

Do you plan to read your Bible in 2012?

by Calvin Goligher

It is impossible to imagine Christianity without a Bible. Without that one book, there would be no church, no worship, no prayer, no instruction, no obedience—in short, no Christianity at all. We might invent substitutes for these using our imaginations, but we would never devise a religion that would be acceptable to God.On the other hand, it is entirely possible to imagine a Christianity with only the Bible. To take away every other piece of literature would no doubt greatly impoverish the church. Nevertheless, with only the Bible we have sufficient guidance to have true worship, prayer, obedience, repentance, faith, doctrine, evangelism, and church life.I think all Christians would readily agree that the Bible contains a greater wealth of truth than all other literature combined. We are used to the idea that without the Bible we can never know God, but that with the Bible we need nothing else to know Him. But how many of us demonstrate this principle in our daily lives? If you’re anything like me, you know that it is far too easy to neglect reading the Bible because we are busy reading history, theology, sermons, biographies, devotionals, or some other literature. As a result, we get our knowledge of God and our Christian experience secondhand, from the hearts and minds of some great authors rather than from the heart and mind of God.

There is nothing more important for our Christian life and health in the coming year than for us to come to know God in His Word, rather than in a series of books about His Word.

To encourage and help you in your personal reading of the Scriptures in this coming year, here are a few suggested reading plans. Each one has advantages and drawbacks, so choose the one you think will be best for you; it might even be a good idea to choose a different plan from the one you did last year.

M’Cheyne’s Bible Reading Plan is a classic. Four chapters per day from four different places in the Bible. In one year, you’ll read the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice.

If you are feeling ambitious, check out Grant Horner’s plan. It is deliberately less neat-and-tidy than M’Cheyne’s. Horner has provided ten lists of varying lengths. Each day, read one chapter per day from each list, and you’ll have a year of constantly reading and re-reading different parts of the Bible in new combinations.

Equally ambitious, and a little simpler, is James Gray’s method of reading the Bible for mastery. Taking one book of the Bible at a time, read it right through twenty times before moving on to the next book. Start wherever you like, and move at your own pace through each book of the Bible. Fred Sanders explains the rationale and advantages of this method.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to handle such heavy or rigid plans, you might appreciate the flexibility of the “Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers.” Read something from each genre (Poetry, History, Letters…) once per week.

If simplicity, independence, and flexibility are what you need, Don Whitney’s Bible reading chart might be the most helpful. Hang it up on your wall, and just cross the chapters off as you read them—in whatever order, and at whatever pace you please.

Scripture reading breeds Scripture reading! 

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