What is a Pericope?

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I was looking around in some files on my computer and found one that contained the phrase: “Pericopes in Mark” in the title. This is a word that non-Bible-scholars might have difficulty recognizing. Since I wanted to post the file that I found because I thought it would be useful to those who might be studying the Book of Mark, I thought I might first search around to see if I could find a good definition of PERICOPE. I think Adam Thomas did a pretty good job with the word in a rather humorous way…

Biblical scholars have an especially silly sounding word they use for “passage from the Bible.” It is pericope, and if you type this into Microsoft Word, Bill Gates will try to change the word into periscope, because (apparently) the latter is much more frequently used. ‘Pericope’ may look like a three-syllable word (like periscope without the ‘s’), but it has four syllables and rhymes with calliope.* If you are at a Bible study and drop the word ‘pericope’ your companions will probably stare at you and wonder how you got your hands on the Anchor Bible Commentary.

Pericopes are important because they define the amount of text you are going to study. The word is a mash-up of two Greek words meaning “to cut around,” so when you pick a pericope you are figuring out how much text you want to swallow at one go. If you pick too little, you may be in danger of ignoring the context of the bit you pericopized.** If you pick too much, getting your head around it all may be a difficult task.

If you want to impress someone, you will surely want to learn how to pronounce PERICOPE. That can be accomplished by clicking H-E-R-E.

The file that I found is a listing of all of the pericopes of the New Testament Book of Mark as seen in the New King James Bible. These are especially helpful because they also include references to parallel accounts in the other three accounts of the life of Christ. If you are studying the Book of Mark, this file should be a big help. You can find it by clicking H-E-R-E.

TRUTH, June 2018

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I received the June issue of TRUTH via Email. I thank Roger Campbell for sending it my way. With his permission I want to share it with you. In this month’s issue, Roger writes about…

  • Some Questions about Religious Titles
  • God’s Sabbath Instructions
  • The Roles Evangelists Play
  • Pictures of God’s People in the Book of 1 Corinthians

I am confident these articles are worthy of your consideration because I have just completed reading them myself. I encourage you to read them by clicking here: Truth1806 .

Study Guide for 1 John

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The following background remarks come from: Studies in 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John, edited by Dub McClish, pp. 27-32, and relate to matters of the particular time in which John wrote

“The Johannine Epistles were written during a maelstrom of conflict! The first generation of church leadership (i.e., the apostles) had ‘finished the race and kept the faith.’ Now, only one remained alive; and while some apparently thought that the Lord Himself would return prior to John’s death, history would prove them wrong. To John fell the task of dealing with the conflict which now surrounded the infant church; and deal with it he would! …

“Who, exactly, were these false teachers that John wrote to expose, and what was their doctrine? The exact identity of these false teachers has been called by some ‘a matter of controversy.’ Others, however, have researched the matter in such a manner as to provide clues as to their identity. From extra-Biblical research, and from Biblical statements, there are certain things that we do know. As John R. W. Stott says, ‘John describes them by three expressions, which draw attention to their diabolical origin, evil influence, and false teaching.’ Stott lists the three expressions as (1) ‘false prophets’ (1 John 4:1); (2) ‘deceivers’ (2 John 1:7); and (3) ‘antichrists’ (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7). And, in each case there are ‘many’ – ‘many false prophets,’ ‘many deceivers,’ ‘many antichrists.’ …

“Gnosticism took on many forms, but can basically be discussed under two categories — (1) those who denied the Deity of the Lord (Cerinthian Gnostics), and (2) those who died the humanity of the Lord (Docetic Gnostics). These denials were ultimately brought about by the Gnostics’ dualistic belief that matter is inherently evil and only spirit is good. For the Gnostic, the spirit was from God, and therefore good, since the Gnostic held God to be perfect and good; but matter, and especially the body, was not from God and therefore evil. Of course, with this particular view came two problems: (1) how to explain the creation, and (2) how to explain the incarnation, if matter is inherently evil (which the Gnostic believed) and if God is inherently good (which the Gnostic also believed), then God could not have created the world, for God (good) would not (could not) create evil. Thus, the Gnostics eventually ended up with an artificial system of ‘aeons’ or ‘emanations’, (i.e., ‘lesser gods’), one of which created the world. This was their only way around the problem of God’s directly creating that which they believed to be evil. The body likewise, being composed of matter, must also be evil, said the Gnostics, and therefore the incarnation of Christ (Deity’s inhabiting a literal body) could not have occurred.  …

“After all is said and done, of course, the whole system of Gnosticism can be shown to be in error by simply noting that it makes salvation available only to a few select people (those to whom the ‘special knowledge’ had been made available), and thereby makes God a respecter of persons. Acts 10:34-35, however, makes it clear that God may not be charged with that error. Also, Gnosticism makes salvation meritorious, by making one’s mental efforts, not the blood of Christ, the basis of that salvation. Eph. 2:6ff and many other passages are thus violated.

We have listed below links to study guides for each of the individual chapters of 1 John and a combined PDF file which includes all five chapters. If the guides are helpful, please help us to make them available to others using the social media buttons below.

1 John ALL Chapters… 6200sgCombo

1 John 1… 6201sg

1 John 2… 6202sg

1 John 3… 6203sg

1 John 4… 6204sg

1 John 5… 6205sg

Vocational Awareness

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Paul teaches about how Christians are to act by stating a challenge to develop a bit of “vocational awareness.”  In the earlier part of the letter to the Ephesians we are taught about WHO we are (Ephesians 1-3), and then, in 4:1, we are urged to live our lives accordingly.  “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1).

We commonly use the word VOCATION to describe our occupation, business, or profession.  Then there is the word AVOCATION, which is “something a person does in addition to a principal occupation” [dictionary.com].  Think about that definition for just a moment, especially that word, PRINCIPAL.  Is it not true, that as a Christian, if I truly have my priorities aligned properly, walking the Christian walk will be my vocation and whatever I do to earn money to support myself would have to be considered an avocation?  We do not deny that there is value and importance in what we do to earn a living (1 Timothy 5:8).  But that aspect of our lives relates to our temporal existence on the earth whereas walking the Christian walk has to do with the eternal existence.

The Bible teaches us that the way we are called (according to the way Paul uses the term here) is by hearing the saving message of the gospel (Romans 10:13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:14).

Now, think about the word WORTHY Paul uses.  He pleads with us that we will walk in such a way that our walk will be worthy of the vocation.  In the ESV, the expression is perhaps more clearly stated as: “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.” We might even say that Paul pleads for VOCATIONAL AWARENESS.

If we can ever gain a more complete understanding of the value of the gospel which CALLS us, and then apply Paul’s powerful words from this text to our lives, we will be so much less in the mood to object to matters related to a faithful walk with the Lord.

Does God’s Word give us examples of those who were “vocationally aware”?  I think that it certainly does with abundance.

One example would have to be the Apostle Paul, himself.  On the occasion of his meeting with the Ephesian elders at Miletus, Paul says, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).  This remarkable statement of dedication to the task is a reaction to the fact that he had been warned that bonds and affliction awaited him if he continued on in his planned itinerary to the city of Jerusalem.  Paul counted his project of delivering relief from the Gentile churches to suffering Jewish Christians in Judaea to be more important than sparing his own life.  It is my opinion that Paul considered this special collection to be a way of promoting unity between Jewish and Gentile brethren.  There is no question but that Paul had an awareness of the value of the gospel and of the importance of his own involvement in getting it spread by a UNITED body of Christ.

A second example of a man who was “vocationally aware,” would be young David.  At the time of this incident in his life, he was not yet king, but only the younger brother, sent by his father to check on the older brothers in Saul’s army.

Israel was encamped in battle array against the Philistines in the Valley of Elah (1 Samuel 17:10).  As David was on his way to see how his brothers were doing, he saw the host of Israel going forth to battle and we are told that he “shouted for the battle” (v. 20).  The giant, Goliath (9’9” tall) was coming out twice a day for 40 days issuing a challenge to a duel (v. 16) to anyone in Saul’s army.  On the LAST of those 80 boastful challenges, Goliath’s words reached David’s ears.  Though some 79 times Israel’s finest had heard this defiant Philistine make fun of them, no volunteers were to be found.

Along comes David with these words to his king: “…Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (v. 32).  And you know the rest of the story.

Here was young David, whose vocation was tending his father’s sheep.  Yet, he took offense at the proud Goliath’s loud and blasphemous chatter.  David could not sit idly by and allow his God to be insulted in such a way.  He knew that God would be his helper as this giant of a man would be humbled.

Brethren, we are in need of “vocational awareness” today.  We have instruction from Almighty God about how best to live our lives here.  When we disregard these instructions and live like the rest of the world is living, can we not see that we are disrespecting the gospel that has called us? What a TREASURE the gospel of Christ is and how vital it is for us to be respectful of it by the way we live our lives!

June 2018 STOP

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Vol. 29   No. 6                   June,   2018

PDF version

This Issue…

Study Guide on Mark

SGHeaderForWebsite.MkThings Emphasized in Mark [NIV First Century Study Bible, with notes by Kent Dobson, 2014, Zondervan, an Olive Tree Bible Study App Module].

  • The Cross. Both the human cause (12.12; 14.1-21; 5.10) and the divine necessity (8.31; 9.31; 10.33-34) of the cross are emphasized by Mark.
  • Discipleship. Special attention should be paid to the passages on discipleship that arise from Jesus’ predictions of his passion (8.34—9.10; 9.35—10.31; 10.42-45).
  • The Teachings of Jesus. Although Mark records far fewer actual teachings of Jesus than the other Gospel writers, there is a remarkable emphasis on Jesus as teacher. The words ‘teacher,’ ‘teach’ or ‘teaching’ and ‘Rabbi’ are applied to Jesus in Mark 39 times.
  • The Messianic Secret. On several occasions Jesus warns his disciples or others to keep silent about who he is or what he has done (1.34, 44; 3.12; 5.43; 7.36; 8.30; 9.9).
  • Son of God. Although Mark emphasizes the humanity of Jesus (see 3.5; 6.6, 31, 34; 7.34; 8.12; 10.14; 11.12), he does not neglect his deity (see 1.1, 11; 3.11; 5.7; 9.7; 12.1-11; 13.32; 15.39).

Click below for study guides on each chapter, or for one single study guide on the entire Book of Mark. If you find them helpful, please tell others where you found them.

The Book of Mark… 4100sg

Mark Chapter 1… 4101sg

Mark Chapter 2… 4102sg

Mark Chapter 3… 4103sg

Mark Chapter 4… 4104sg

Mark Chapter 5… 4105sg

Mark Chapter 6… 4106sg

Mark Chapter 7… 4107sg

Mark Chapter 8… 4108sg

Mark Chapter 9… 4109sg

Mark Chapter 10… 4110sg

Mark Chapter 11… 4111sg

Mark Chapter 12… 4112sg

Mark Chapter 13… 4113sg

Mark Chapter 14… 4114sg

Mark Chapter 15…  4115sg

Mark Chapter 16… 4116sg

Study Guides on James

LA.Logos.James“The consistent theme throughout the book of James is genuineness. Essentially, the entire letter is an attempt to cause members of the Lord’s body to recognize the ramifications of one’s becoming a new creature in Christ. It is as if James were simply saying that a real Christian will do such and such, and that he will refrain from responding in this or that way! It is an appeal to the Lord’s people to consider seriously whether or not they are living as true disciples should. Jesus had told believing Jews, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8.31). Since Christ’s disciples came to be called Christians (Acts 11.26), that is exactly what James was inspired to instruct his brethren to be—Christians indeed!” [“James—An Introduction,” by Garrell L. Forehand, in Studies in James, Valid Publications, 1990, p. 26].

The links below will take you to study guides based upon the wonderful Book of James. I hope they might be useful to you in mining the jewels to be found in this great treatise. If you will, please tell others about where they might come to find these guides.

James chapter 1… 5901sg

James chapter 2… 5902sg

James chapter 3… 5903sg

James chapter 4… 5904sg

James chapter 5… 5905sg

Combined PDF of all chapters… 5900.SGcombo

LemmonsAid Study Guides on Titus

Study Guides on Titus will help you in your study of this great New Testament Book. We will soon have a study guide for each of the 260 New Testament Books. We have a NT Study Guides Page, where the guides are listed in Bible order. If you are helped by them, please tell others to come study them also.

Study Guides on Titus
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The Basic Message of Titus and How it Lives for Men Today…

Luke does not mention Titus in the book of Acts, but this able and devoted companion of Paul is referred to in other places. We do not know his place of birth, but probably was in Antioch of Syria. At least, this is the conviction of many great scholars. Titus played a great part in the early history of the church and was of such character that the church could depend upon him for working to advance the spread of the gospel.

Titus Was a Valuable Servant

It is remarkable to note the prominence which Titus enjoyed in Paul’s epistles to the churches, showing the fact that Paul did regard him highly. Paul mentions him some nine times in Second Corinthians, and always with marked affection and appreciation. The difficult tasks which Paul gave him demonstrated Titus’ strength of character and ability to deal with people. For instance: (1) The collection for the Jerusalem Saints. When Paul needed someone to motivate the Corinthians in their duties toward aiding the saints in Judea, which they promised, he called upon Titus for that task. (2) He used Titus as a peacemaker. The church at Corinth was not void of her problems and Paul sent Titus there according to 2 Corinthians 7.5-16, to help this situation. (3) He was used to demonstrate a principle (Gal 2.1-5). When Paul and Barnabas left Antioch to go into the Galatian area to establish churches, some Judaizing teachers came to Antioch and taught that circumcision was still binding. It is at this point and time that Paul uses Titus to teach a great lesson to the Jews. (4) His work on the Island of Crete. Sometime after Paul’s release from his first imprisonment he and Titus did some evangelistic work at Crete. Whether this was the first effort among these people we know not. We do know however, that on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, there were representatives from Crete. Certainly it is possible that some of them obeyed the gospel, and later returned to their homeland and established the work. Be that as it may, we see from Titus 1.5 that Paul had left Titus there to set things in order.

Purpose of this Book…

When Paul left Titus in Crete, Titus had a big job on his hands. The task which Paul committed to him was a most difficult one. The immorality of the Cretans had reached such a low ebb that they gave themselves over to greediness, licentiousness, lying, and drunkenness; they were a people who were unsteady insincere, and factious.

Among such a people Titus’ assignment was no easy task. He had to to carry forward that work which Paul had already started. He must set in order the affairs of the churches which had arisen there. The first thing Paul instructed Titus to do was to select men who qualified for the work of elders. A task necessary to the growth of a congregation as men develop the requirements for such an office. Paul urged Titus to teach sound doctrine to all classes; including the old as well as the young, taking heed meanwhile that he himself is a pattern of good works. To stimulate faith in God’s chosen people and to lead them on to a more complete knowledge of religious truth, in the hope of eternal life was of utmost importance [William A. Wilder, “The Living Message of Titus,” in The Living Messages of the Books of the New Testament, Edited by Garland Elkins and Thomas B. Warren, pp., 244-245].

For a PDF copy of the Study Guides on Titus, click below:

First Chapter Study Guide  5601sg

Second Chapter Study Guide  5602sg

Third Chapter Study Guide  5603sg

Combined Chapters of Titus  5600.CombinedSGs

 

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TRUTH Articles for 2017

Truth 2017
Roger & Donna Campbell

Truth 2017 is now available on this site. One of my friends whom I truly admire, respect, and appreciate is Roger D. Campbell. He has spent many years in the foreign mission field. During that time he took it upon himself to learn two of the most difficult languages on earth: Mandarin Chinese and Russian. I was present in the assembly when he preached his first sermon in the Russian language in Kiev.

Roger is a great student of the Bible. For many months I have received from him his monthly publication, Truth, by Email. On the previous Maple Hill website I posted many of his Truth issues (with permission). Since we now have this new site I am combining all of last years’ issues into one PDF file. I then will begin posting the monthly.

Each issue  of Truth 2017 contains four one-page articles. Each will have an Old Testament article and one New Testament article, plus two other topical articles. I am listing those Bible text articles with page numbers as found in the combined issue. I am listing them in Bible order. Please download this PDF, read and study it, and then tell others where they can come to receive it, as well.

Bible Texts Covered in Truth 2017
  1. Genesis 50.24-26… The Bones of Joseph (2).
  2. Hosea… The Book of Hosea: A Brief Overview (6).
  3. Joel… The Book of Joel: A Brief Overview (10).
  4. Amos… The Book of Amos: A Brief Overview (14).
  5. Obadiah… The Book of Obadiah: A Brief Overview (18).
  6. Jonah… The Book of Jonah: A Brief Overview (22).
  7. Micah… The Book of Micah: A Brief Overview (26).
  8. Nahum… The Book of Nahum: A Brief Overview (30).
  9. Habakkuk… The Book of Habakkuk: A Brief Overview (34).
  10. Zephaniah… The Book of Zephaniah: A Brief Overview (38).
  11. Haggai… The Book of Haggai: A Brief Overview (42).
  12. Zechariah… The Book of Zechariah: A Brief Overview (46).
  13. Matthew 18.23-35… The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (12).
  14. Acts 9.31… The Churches of Galilee (20).
  15. Acts 27… Lessons from Paul’s Journey by Ship to Rome (48).
  16. 2 Corinthians 5.10-15… Judgment Matters (36).
  17. Ephesians 4.25-32… The Bible’s Teaching is Just Not Very Practical (8).
  18. Philippians 3.3… For We Are the Circumsision (32).
  19. 2 Thessalonians 1.3-4… Thank God for Brethren! (16).
  20. 1 Timothy 4.11… These Things Command and Teach (24).
  21. 1 John 2.3-6… Knowing God (4).
  22. 1 John 3.16-18… Loving in Deed and in Truth (40).
  23. 3 John 1.9-10… Diotrephes, the Preeminence Lover (44).
  24. Jude 1.5… But I Want to Remind You (28).

2017 issues of Truth… Truth2017merged

Finally, we would suggest that there are also four fine articles in the July 2018 issue: (1) Pointing Fingers at Others; (2) What Do You Remember about Abigail?; (3) Lord, Help Me Have a Spirit of Sacrifice; (4) Two Paths which Lead to Two Eternal Destinies. We encourage you to read and be edified by these four articles. Find them by clicking here… Truth1807