There are sixty-six books, but only five naming strategies.
Chapter counts, verse counts, and word counts for every book, chapter, and verse in the Bible.
An ancient empire oppressing the Jews, a young virgin, a descendant of Israel’s kings, a murder that didn’t quite take, a permanent yearly celebration of life… is Esther an Advent story?
Looking at familiar Scripture in new ways can help us see what it’s all about. Psalm 136 is famously repetitive, but don’t let “repetitive” become “boring.”
The Israelites were famously bad at math, but here’s an instance where they relied on a technique that wouldn’t even be invented for another 3,000 years.
Malachi 4:5 seems impossible, or at best a contradiction. What happens when Jesus’s disciples finally get up the courage to ask about it?
Who doesn’t love Hebrew puns foretelling destruction?
Hidden glory in “the boring part” of Numbers 33.
Learning about Mosaic law from Fiddler on the Roof.
The author of Esther embedded significant hidden structure in numbers. I can’t promise there will be no math.
God is always playing the long game. Here’s an example that takes five hundred years to play out.
Esther revisits these three titanic themes from the history of Israel all in one book.
God’s sovereignty is infinite, unquestioned, unknowable… but let’s try to make a list anyway.
Of all the women in Scripture, only Esther and Ruth get their own books. For Esther, here’s one important reason why—and it has nothing to do with her.
Who knew a hat could be so delicious?
Amalek somehow joins forces with all of Israel’s enemies but leaves no historical record.
Rigorously parsing the account of the flood in Genesis 7 and 8.
The Moabites get all the press, but the Ammonites were there the whole time.
Foreign nations and the Fourth of July.
A centuries-long story of firebombing, attempted rape, war, incest, idolatry, prophecy, assassination, child sacrifice, archaeology, familial loyalty, and, um, a talking donkey. And it all ends in Jesus.
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about King Jehoshaphat’s Prayer, but we haven’t really asked who he is until now.
In the spring of 2020, the world changed. The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic bringing with it panic, overwhelm, and fear. Fight back with an ancient prayer.
Physical Bible vs. digital Bible: Should you use your phone’s Bible app? Here are fifteen reasons to stick with a paper version.
Digital Bible vs. physical Bible: Digital Bibles cost less, weigh less, and fit in your pocket. Here are fifteen reasons to keep—or switch to—a Bible app.
The most famous number in the Bible may not be what you think it is.
John’s vision of the end of the world involves an awful lot of math. Putting some structure on all those numbers will help you make sense of it all. (Part 5)
John’s vision of the end of the world involves an awful lot of math. Putting some structure on all those numbers will help you make sense of it all. (Part 4)
Jacob had twelve sons, but the number of tribes of Israel is much harder to pin down. This handy chart shows you every time it changes.
John’s vision of the end of the world involves an awful lot of math. Putting some structure on all those numbers will help you make sense of it all. (Part 3)
John’s vision of the end of the world involves an awful lot of math. Putting some structure on all those numbers will help you make sense of it all. (Part 2)
John’s vision of the end of the world involves an awful lot of math. Putting some structure on all those numbers will help you make sense of it all. (Part 1)
If you’ve ever wondered why Revelation has 7 of everything, this article will help. (Warning: there’s a little bit of math.)
Now that resolution fever has settled down, let’s take a hard, serious, Biblical look at New Year’s resolutions.
Jesus tells us how to avoid losing the preparation of Advent and the hope of Christmas in the messiness of January. And February. And March…
Simeon sings the Nunc Dimittis, the fourth and final song of Advent, a joyous farewell after a lifetime of waiting for the Savior of Israel, Jesus the Christ.
Angels sing the Gloria In Excelsis Deo, the third hymn of Christmas, to shepherds near Bethlehem. A glorious response to the announcement of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Zechariah sings the Benedictus, the second hymn of Christmas. His first words after nine months of silence are, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel.”
Mary sings the Magnificat, the first hymn of Christmas, an amazing display of hope and humility, along with a fair bit of knowledge.
You’re part of the invasion force of Heaven, and every work you do for the Kingdom of God is part of the assured fall of Satan at the word of Jesus.
Sometimes I forget that God has a name. This psalmist is happy to remind me, over and over again.
Why does the author of Chronicles leave out the story of David and Bathsheba? That seems like a major oversight.
The mountaintop is waiting.
A lived example of Jesus’s proclamation about not hiding a lamp—or a woman—under a basket.
Matching the cycle of forgiveness with the cycle of sanctification.
The economy of God is not based on fairness, but on gifts and obedience.
Bringing the men who guard the gates of the tabernacle into the modern church.
When the psalms appear to disagree with Jesus’s lifestyle, we need to take a second look.
What do Pulp Fiction and J.G. Wentworth have to do with the parable of the sower?
Exploring the relationship of sin, repentance, and forgiveness with the help of a Pharisee and a prostitute.
How do we make sure we encounter God in the Bible, and not just a mirror of ourselves?
In which I challenge myself to participate in NaNoWriMo here at VerseNotes by writing every day for the month of November.
Three months? Mary stayed with Elizabeth for a long time! Think with me for a few minutes about that visit.
Close your eyes. Imagine God. What image appears? How does this image of God impact your prayers? your worship? your witness?
How did Luke hear the story of Jesus staying behind in the Temple as a little boy?
I do my daily devotionals on my phone pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, my phone is pretty dumb. Let’s make it a bit smarter.
Paul reaches back into history and into Scripture to write an old law in a new way for the Corinthians.
Have you ever been reading a book, and suddenly looked up and realized you have no idea what you just read? Here’s what to do about it.
All the details about graded numerical sequences that didn’t fit in the last post.
This little Hebrew idiom never fails to bring me joy when I encounter it.
Part 3 of how to start reading the Bible. In which we actually start reading the Bible.
Part 2 of how to start reading the Bible. What is the I.O.U.S. prayer, and why should you pray it before opening your Bible?
The best way to start reading the Bible is probably not what you think it is.
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