Hanukkah and Christmas will soon be here. What is Hanukkah? Is it simply a Jewish substitute for Christmas? Hardly! Hanukkah (Hebrew, "dedication") is a Jewish feast mentioned in the New Testament (John 10:22) that celebrates the cleansing and eight-day dedication of the Second Temple in 165 B.C. after it had been desecrated by the Greek king, Antiochus IV ("Epiphanes") in 167 B.C. Thus Hanukkah is also called the Feast of Dedication. According to Jewish tradition, at the dedication there was only enough oil for the lampstand to burn for one day, but by a miracle from God it burned for eight days. Thus Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights. Part of the celebration today involves lighting a nine-branch Menorah. This year Hanukkah begins on November 28.
I have published a book on Peter's confession and related topics:
Upon This Rock: A New Look
Catholicism, Israel, and the Church
This is a technical, exegetical study of Matthew 16:13-20; John 20:21-23; 21:15-19; Romans 11; and Ephesians 2. Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., President Emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, wrote the Foreword. For more information, see our Web site, PetersConfession.org.
Latest Items Posted
- Islam! We have posted a review of a new and extremely important book: The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: An Informed Response to Islam's War with Christianity by Erwin W. Lutzer, senior pastor of The Moody Church, Chicago. The topic of the book is critical today, and the review itself, by Rev. Norman De Jong, a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, is very well written. It's crisp, powerful, and has its own climactic conclusion in the last few sentences of the review. Be sure to read this review on our Book Review Page--and then buy the book! (November 25, 2013)
- J. H. Jowett has a goodly number of very helpful meditations. We have added some to our "Daily Devotions from the Classics." Click here to read eight new entries. One of my favorites is "Preparing for Emergencies." (November 24, 2013)
- J. C. Ryle has a sermon worthy of serious reflection on our part. Do we truly long for Christ's speedy return? To our shame, the answer is probably no. Click here for the sermon itself, or here for all of Ryle's sermons. On Ryle's sermon page, we've also posted a three-part series on regeneration. (November 24, 2013)
- Have you ever read a sermon by John Calvin? We've posted our first Calvin sermon here. It's a study of 1 Timothy 2:3-5 with some very practical observations. (November 18, 2013)
- Should Demas forever be known as a backslider? Perhaps he deserves better. See this short and to-the-point article by John Rachoy entitled "A Note on Demas". (November 4, 2013)
- Ever wonder about the claim to have the gift of "speaking in tongues"? We just added a page to this site that has three excellent articles on this question as well as the broader issue of whether God gives any of the miraculous gifts from the Apostolic age today. See "The Miraculous Gifts of the Spirit". (November 2, 2013)
- Here is an enlightening excerpt from Olaf Moe's The Apostle Paul: His Life and His Work dealing with the chronology of the apostle's life: "Chronology of the Apostle Paul". For all our biblical chronology and genealogy papers, click here. (Sept. 26, 2013)
- Why did John Mark abandon Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13)? Here is a short, but enlightening, excerpt concerning this episode, which is directly related to the long-standing issue between what is known as the North Galatian theory and the South Galatian theory: "St. Paul's First Journey as a Narrative of Travel". (Aug. 31, 2013)
- Here is a most helpful excerpt on prayer that should prove an encouragement to all: "Praying and Caring". (Aug. 26, 2013)
- We have added an Author Index to our "Daily Devotions from the Classics, as well as a new entry for February 10th by Charles Feinberg. (Aug. 3, 2013)
- Check out our newest Bible quiz.
- "The repentance of Nineveh is one of the most singular events in history." Thus begins Hugh Martin's fascinating discussion in chapter 18 of The Prophet Jonah: His Character and Mission to Nineveh. When the Book of Jonah is mentioned, most people think of the "whale." But the purpose of Jonah's book is to present his message to this great city in the Assyrian Empire and Nineveh's response. Read "Nineveh's Repentance: Its Origin and Nature." (July 12, 2013)
We have long lamented the lack of depth in the preaching within Evangelical churches today. Many Christians possess only a shallow knowledge of both the Bible and theology. Check yourself with two questions that should be very simple to any Christian who attends a Bible-believing church.
Bible knowledge: The Psalmist wrote, "Sing the glory of his name" (Ps. 66:2). What is his name? What is the name of the God of the Bible, the God you worship?
Theological knowledge: What is the meaning of the word propitiation, which is used, for example, in 1 John 2:2?
The answer to the first question is Yahweh (often misspelled "Jehovah," based on an error made by European scholars of the Renaissance period). Why doesn't every Christian know the name of God? Part of the reason, no doubt, is that even though it is used about 6000 times in the Old Testament, our English translations foolishly render the Hebrew name Yahweh as "LORD" (all capital letters). However, every minister should be using God's name as he preaches and should also be explaining to his congregation how to recognize when the divine writers of Scripture are using it. For more information, read my paper, Who Is the King of Glory?"
The answer to the second question is appeasement of wrath. That the death of Christ appeased the wrath of God on us is central to the theology of salvation. Why doesn't every Christian know the definition of propitiation?
We hope that the Bible study material posted at this site will both increase your knowledge of the Bible and theology and also encourage you to buy and read books by great Christian preachers and theologians. On this Web site we've posted a number of condensations of classical works as well as full-length books by various scholars and theologians. There are also a number of sermons by the "Prince of Preachers," Charles Spurgeon. In addition, you'll find several original, in-depth Bible-study papers written by us. The Site Map shows you everything on this Web site at a glance.
We hope you enjoy this Web site and that the Lord will use it to stimulate your interest in the Bible and the theology it teaches. Comments and questions are always welcome.
Daily Devotions from the Classics
Carol's "Daily Devotions from the Classics" contains 365 short, insightful excerpts from great Christian scholars and preachers of long ago as well as the recent past. You will be blessed by the writings of these godly men, among them Matthew Henry, Thomas Watson, Charles Spurgeon, and J. C. Ryle. Click here for your "daily devotions from the classics"!
Our Sister Web Site
We have another Web site, Messiah Studies, that is devoted to a detailed study of Messianic prophecy. However, it is a new Web site, and so far there are only a few papers posted. It is our goal, however, to develop a series of papers dealing with the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament in historical order. The site is designed for Jewish inquirers, but Christians can gain much from these studies as well. There is also some Jewish music you can listen to, including HaTikvah, Hava Nagila, Jerusalem of Gold, and the Yigdal. Please take a look and send us your suggestions. (January 27, 2012)
The star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.