06 July 2010

Jul 6

Reference links:
Old Testament

More genealogy. Apparently, there are several more days of this.

It was interesting to learn that, according to this genealogy, Solomon was not even the oldest son of Bathsheba and David (assuming that this part of the list seems to follow the oldest to youngest convention of the rest). This also seems to contradict the story of Solomon's birth in 2 Samuel which claims that Solomon was the second son (and first legitimate son) born to Bathsheba and David.

New Testament

Paul neither wins nor loses his case as presented before the governor, Felix, and ends up being stuck in prison for a couple of years. During the trial, the Jewish high priests alleges that Paul is a leader of the cult of the Nazarenes. It is worth noting that the common translation of the word translate as 'cult' here is 'sect', a word with much less negative connotations.

I have noted before that the author of Acts seems to sometimes undermine his own credibility by using what seem to be ad hominem attacks on those who do not accept Jesus. Today we get what seems to be another instance of that tactic.

After Paul's trial, Felix and his wife Drusilla meet with Paul and listen to him talk about Jesus.
A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him.
That last bit, about hoping that Paul would bribe him, is the bit I take issue with. It seems that the author of Acts wants to give some excuse for why someone would not accept Jesus after talking regularly and deeply with Paul. The excuse that he lands upon is that Felix must be corrupt and trying to extract bribes.

Psalms and Proverbs

We have a bunch of terrible, but surprisingly relevant, proverbs today.

First, speaking of bribes...
Giving a gift can open doors;
it gives access to important people!
We also read about the Biblically approved way to settle disputes,
Flipping a coin ["casting lots" in Hebrew] can end arguments;
it settles disputes between powerful opponents.