Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Adventures in the Septuagint

 

Let’s look at a few adventures in Bible exploration using the Septuagint (LXX), the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament. (For online access to the LXX, consider here or here.)

But why study the LXX? I’m glad you asked. It’s customary to say that the LXX is important because it’s the OT translation most used by the authors of the New Testament. That’s not wrong, but it can be misleading. I don’t think the NT authors took the LXX to be divinely inspired; when they draw from the OT, they draw from the Hebrew. But they’re writing in Greek, the common tongue of their era, and they don’t see any need to reinvent the wheel. So they usually opt to use the pre-existing Greek biblical vocabulary and idioms, and that means using the LXX.

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Married people or even anyone who has shared a romantic connection might have occasionally wondered: “Why can others not see what I see in this person? Why are they not thrilled and impressed as I am?” Everyone experiences something similar when trying and failing to share any focus of joy. From music and stories to […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Never Say Never

 

I think everyone must have their own “never say never” story, and this is mine. 

I have been involved with my church’s 20s/30s singles group for quite a few years now, and something we’ve done for a long time is discipleship groups (or d-groups). These are small gender-specific groups that meet during the week, usually at someone’s house, for deeper fellowship and Bible study. I really enjoy d-groups and signed up for one right away. But after I had been a member of a d-group a couple of times, our leader, Kelly, started asking me to think about leading or co-leading one. 

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As I have mentioned, I am now serving as a chaplain at a Christian gospel mission in downtown Seattle. You would not be surprised to learn that we, as a staff, are being urged to give many public service announcements about avoiding the spread of Covid-19. But along with the PSAs, we are still presenting […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Satan, Theologian

 

Today, we hear again of Christ’s temptation by Satan in the desert. Note what occurs in the second temptation:

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,

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Yesterday was Ash Wednesday for Catholics. It begins the penitential season of Lent. There is no clearer reminder for our neighbors than the mark of death (ashes) upon our foreheads that the will to assert claims of truth and claims of sin — identifying misbehavior so that all may flourish through right conduct — neither […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Family Second, Faith First

 

Recently I had the pleasure of listening to Lt. Col. Allen West speak during the service of a local church. His presence and purpose, as much as the words of his excellent message, brought to mind something that I had been mentally digesting since the recent death of the British philosopher and writer Sir Roger Scruton. Both Col. West and Sir Roger serve up mental meals far richer than this poor cook can scramble together but I do have a few beginning bites partially digested enough to serve up a notion or two from them.

It was Scruton’s reflection on faith and family that I had been pondering. He had taken to task the need for government to tout so-called “family-friendly” policies. He contended that when the health of a nation’s faith was solid, the fate of the family was secure. He did not discount the importance and need of a strong family culture for the nation to flourish. But the foundation of that family culture was not in policy but the strong faith of individuals. A nation with a strong culture of faith will have strong families which keep the values of the faith, culture, and nation alive.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

No need to thank me. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Its Ash Wednesday. More

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Start your week with the Three Martini Lunch as we dissect the good, the bad, and the crazy concerning the Nevada Democratic Caucuses. Join Jim and Greg as they experience more than a little bit of schadenfreude as Democrats thoroughly freak out over Bernie Sanders dominating the vote on Saturday. But they get more serious as ’60 Minutes’ and even CNN remind everyone how radical Sanders is and how he praised Fidel Castro and Marxists in Nicaragua and the Soviet Union. And they unload on Nevada Democrats for running terrible caucuses plagued by having too few officials to run some precincts effectively and still not finishing the vote totals by Monday morning.

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. Simply wonderful advice. Happy Sunday!  More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Stand Up Republic and Principles First are excited to announce a one-day grassroots summit in Washington, DC on Saturday, February 29, focused on reviving principled conservatism in the United States. We look forward to bringing together conservative speakers, thought leaders, and grassroots activists for a day of panels, speeches, networking, and substantive discussion about what […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Jesus Preaches on Isaiah

 

In Luke chapter 4, Jesus/Yeshua reads from Isaiah 61 and makes a shocking claim about it:

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. My Heart Is Still Aching

 

Twenty-five years ago, I was invited by a rabbi whom I’d interviewed for a book I was writing, to give a talk to a group of student rabbis and cantors. The students were attending a college in L.A. for their training, and I was invited to speak to them because I was a Jew who had essentially left my religion behind and became a Zen Buddhist. The rabbi who invited me thought I could shed some light on the reasons Jews were abandoning Judaism.

At the end of my talk (where I basically told my own story), we opened the floor for questions. Most people were kind and curious and, of course, disappointed that I wasn’t actively engaged in Judaism. I thought I’d made my own situation clear by explaining that I’d never connected with my heritage in a deep way and found that Zen fulfilled many of my hopes for a spiritual life.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Give Them Cake!

 

That expression has come to signify a person of privilege completely out of touch with common people. “Cake? Okay, queenie. How about we address the hunger first?” But we can do better. Why not cake?

Roger Scruton noted that the “form follows function” philosophy of architecture is mistaken when “function” neglects the constant human desire for beauty. In “Why Beauty Matters,” he referred to studies showing that the productivity of laborers is improved by working in beautiful settings. Modern architects were not wrong to emphasize utility. They were only misled to believe that beauty is a frivolous addition, rather than a practical aspect.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: In the Image of God

 

On the day of the March for Life, Jan. 24, I posted a QOTD on Psalm 8 which I used as a springboard for a teaching moment on why abortion is wrong, all of which climaxed with this as the central thesis:

Abortion is wrong for many reasons: the destruction of innocent life, the negation of love, the violation of human dignity. But those reasons are just satellites around the very core reason, that abortion violates the very image of God.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Candles in the Dark

 

Sunday was the Feast of the Presentation, when Christians recall the day Joseph and Mary presented the baby Jesus at the temple, offering Him back to God the Father. It is a mystery, like so many others, in which Christ in a sense returns home.

We do not belong to ourselves. Though so many choices are afforded to us to shape our own lives, our lives ultimately belong to our Creator. Our children are gifts for us to steward on His behalf. All of our many gifts are for giving again, including the gift of life itself.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Sweet the Sound

 

What would Black Gospel Music sound like if it blended with Eastern Orthodox liturgical tradition? Though liturgical traditions have a reputation for their timelessness, or at least for not changing, the Eastern Orthodox liturgy of singing and chanting antiphonally has changed over the past 2,000 years, particularly when Orthodoxy has met with other cultures whose own musical talents and understandings are different.

Though the broad outlines of a Russian or Greek liturgy are substantially identical, with the same prayers, the same order of service, the same structure, they do not exactly sound the same, even setting aside the language differences. Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Shawn Wallace, Director of Jazz Studies at Ohio State University, and an Orthodox Christian himself, presented a project long in his heart. How Sweet the Sound was a concert that presented an Orthodox vespers service as blended with, and sung in the style of Black Gospel music.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Exile: Portraits of the Jewish Diaspora

 

The nation of Israel is constantly in the news, a small nation whose very existence attracts a disproportionate interest from the rest of the world. Israel is also a modern creation, whose groundwork was laid in the late 19th century, and whose birth came as a promised land of safety and return after the horrors of WWII. Return from what? From the Diaspora of Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. From Roman Palestine, over the next 1900 years, the Jews spread throughout much of the world. And with the creation of Israel, many did return. But many communities of the Jewish Diaspora either remain where they planted themselves centuries (or even millennia) ago, or have continued to spread into different, and sometimes unlikely places around the world.

Exile, the first published book by an author already known here on Ricochet, Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, is Annika’s investigation into a number of these Diaspora communities. How did they arrive where they are? When did they arrive? And why do they stay, with the promise of a return to Israel beckoning? Over the past several years, Annika has been visiting some of the most unlikely or far-flung Jewish communities around the world, and she presents their stories here in a single volume.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QOTD: God Does Notice Us

 

God does notice us, and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.

Spencer W. Kimball

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