March 7, 2021

ImageThird Sunday of Lent

Find Sunday’s lectionary readings and Bible study helps here.

Find Sunday’s bulletin here.

The Exodus scripture for Sunday is the first listing of the Ten Commandments.

Did you know?

Some scholars date the Ten Commandments between the 16th and 13th centuries BCE because Exodus and Deuteronomy connect the Ten Commandments with Moses and the Sinai Covenant between Yahweh and Israel.

Because they may be part of a summary of prophetic teachings, the Ten Commandments may have been written after the OT prophecies of Amos and Hosea (after 750 BCE) or even later.

The Ten Commandments contain little that was new to the ancient world and reflect a morality common to the ancient Middle East.  They are a description of the conditions accepted by the community of Israel in its relationship to Yahweh.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Ten Commandments”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ten-Commandments. Accessed 6 March 2021.

Sunday February 7, 2021

cover imageFifth Sunday after Epiphany

Lectionary readings and Bible study are here.

Sunday’s bulletin is here.

Today’s reading from Isaiah is dated around the time of King Cyrus  the Great of Persia.  If you remember, King Cyrus gave the Jews permission to return to Palestine in 538 BCE.  According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Cyrus’s kingdom went from the Aegean Sea (between Greece and Turkey) eastward to the Indus River in Tibet. His successors conquered all of Asia Minor and Egypt.  From my atlas, here’s an overview of the area with the red marking the west (Aegean Sea) and east (Indus River) boundaries.  It helps to know that we now associate Persia with Iran.

Overview

Here’s some art work from the period.

This is Hercules doing his first of twelve “Labours.”

Heracles jar  Herakles

Here is a basilica located in Paestum Italy.                                                                             It precedes the Parthenon by 100 years.

Basilica

Here’re are some Persian smiles.

Persian smiles   Look at the smiles on these faces.  It was thought that art depicting humans should show some kind of “sign of life,”  thus the smiles on these statues.  Later in classical Greece, sculptors figured out how to depict the human body with more human expression (signs of life), so the smiling faces disappeared.