Recommend
14 
 Thumb up
 Hide
81 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: Reading through the Bible: Matthew rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: Reading_Through_The_Bible [+] Book_of_Matthew [+] [View All]
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There's a lot of people here with a lot of different opinions on the Bible and how to read it so I thought it would be interesting if we could read through it and comment on it together. I was going to start with Genesis (the old Testament fascinates me) but decided we may get more commentary and less divisiveness if we started in Matthew. Maybe I'm wrong but that's what I decided. So here goes....

I'm reading from here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%201

First, the genealogy of Jesus back to Abraham. There's some pretty interesting people there but, frankly, I don't care much about the genealogy so I'll move on. Verses 18-25 are pretty interesting. My church has done a Christmas play on just these verses and it's just amazing to think about. Joseph was going to marry Mary but then she got pregnant and rather than exposing her, he just wanted to divorce her quietly but then an angel appears to him in a dream and he changes his mind.

Chapter 2 talks about the magi from the east who let King Herod know that Jesus has a star. Joseph also gets another visit from an angel telling them to go to Egypt. Herod kills a bunch of babies then Herod dies and Joseph gets another angelic message telling him to go back and live in Nazareth.

So far, we have Jesus with genealogy back to Abraham, Joseph getting lots of angelic messages in dreams, magi following a star, and a mad king killing babies. Sounds pretty fantastic. What do you think?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Einmal ist keinmal
United States
Andover
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
quozl wrote:
Sounds pretty fantastic. What do you think?


Sounds like Fantasy to me too
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Desiderata wrote:
quozl wrote:
Sounds pretty fantastic. What do you think?


Sounds like Fantasy to me too


Yep, I was going for both meanings of fantastic there. Any other comments so far?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Green
United States
Belcher
Kentucky
flag msg tools
mb
Written as inspired by the Holy Ghost.
If its between the two covers - I believe it.

I read the King James (Not New King James) and Amplified.

All the other versions tend to water down God. Try to pull him down to comparison with human beings. Also some versions go so far as to change verses - omitting some and changing others.. till you end up with very important parts such as its the blood of Jesus that bought your salvation and that your healing is in his stripes.

King James and Amplified. Its the way to go. You can do a side by side reading. Amplified is so beautiful. King James is strong.

Always.. ALWAYS ask God to give you the understanding that he would have you have about what your reading. Lean not to your own understanding.

As far as you thinking that the whole thing seems fantastic - I believe the story about Job. I believe the story about Jonah and the whale. I believe the story about Adam and Eve. This whole thing is epic and with God all things are possible. Not what science or human brains think should be possible/plausible.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jorge Montero
United States
St Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
I'll take Manhattan in a garbage bag. With Latin written on it that says "It's hard to give a shit these days"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The first few chapters are not the deepest in terms theologically speaking, but they are nevertheless interesting.

Why did the writers feel that they had to link Joseph with Abraham directly?
Doesn't the text leave wide open the possibility of Jesus having siblings brother? Or did the angel just decide to avoid telling Joseph that he'd have no sons of his own? One would think that a deity that has the decency of telling a man who really fathered his wife's son would also let his genes carry on.

In chapter 2, it's interesting to see that matthew talks about a house, and doesn't mention much about shepherds or anything like that. There are few details, and they seem to serve only one purpose: Point out exactly how Jesus' life fulfills ancient prophecies.

All of this does point out that the book was written mainly for the Jews of the era. They would be the ones that would care the most about how Jesus fits with the Torah.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I always thought it was interesting how the genealogy in Matthew 1 is different from that in Luke 3.

Not much is said about Joseph in the bible but this passage always impressed me:
Quote:
19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

As far as he can tell he's been cuckolded, but he doesn't want to drag everything through the mud.

Some ideas for discussion:
Who was Jesus' father? Who were the magi and where did they come from?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Tucson
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hibikir wrote:
Doesn't the text leave wide open the possibility of Jesus having siblings brother? Or did the angel just decide to avoid telling Joseph that he'd have no sons of his own? One would think that a deity that has the decency of telling a man who really fathered his wife's son would also let his genes carry on.


Matthew 13 says:
Quote:
53When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. 55"Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" 57And they took offense at him.

I don't take issue with the idea that Joseph had children with Mary after Jesus was born.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jorge Montero
United States
St Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
I'll take Manhattan in a garbage bag. With Latin written on it that says "It's hard to give a shit these days"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Anything other than King James as a bad thing? That always seemed funny to me. I guess that the non English speaking world is screwed then, since they can't read the grandiose-sounding authoritative edition. Just like Shakespeare is not the same until it's read in the original Klingon.

If you want to be a bible snob, read Matthew in greek.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Green
United States
Belcher
Kentucky
flag msg tools
mb
Oh I know it sound snobbish but its not. Really.

Amplified is a translation out of the original greek.

And I'm not talking about what language its written in - I'm talking about the words that are actually in there. The King James bible is going to read the same whether it was translated to German or Japanese if you have a skilled translator.

What I'm getting at is how thing are purposefully left out or changed in other versions.

Don't take offense - I meant none.


By the way - Someone asked who was Jesus's father..
God was Jesus's Father.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
SH W
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My take on the issue is that Matthew is trying to bring out the theological significance of Jesus' kingship. "Who is the real king of the Jews? Is it Herod?"

1. The Genealogy is significant for that purpose. It is not intended to be accurate (Luke is probably better in that regard). It is fourteen generations from Abraham to David. Fourteen from David to the exile. And fourteen to Jesus. The first represent the formation of the kingdom, the second on its downfall, and the final on the exilic times. 7 is a complete number. 14 doubly so. The birth of Jesus hence symbolises the end of the exile, and also the start of the final 7.

2. The second importance of the genealogy rest on the 4 women mentioned. They are all oddballs (unwed mother, Moabite, prostitute, etc) that collide with the usual levitical obsession with strict adherence to norms (fish with scales, animals without defects etc.) There is a beautiful underlying message about the "new" kingdom being inclusive and outward looking.

3. There is a special significance in choosing Joseph rather than Mary as the leading role for Matthew's version. Joseph is from the line from David. If any of you would like to know more, read this.

4. The story about the Magi and Herod is extremely important on 2 counts. Firstly, Matthew wishes to contrast the "earthly" king from the new "king". Herod is an Idumean, and extremely insecure about his kingship, killing his own sons and wife etc. Read this. Compare this with Jesus who is Christ (the anointed one), from the line of David, fulfilled in prophecy and in natural signs. Secondly, the mention of the gentile magis continue the inclusive agenda of Matthew's gospel. Who could they be? Read this and this. The striking thing of this incident should be the usual jewish disdain for astrologers and diviners.

5. The escape to Egypt and the return to Nazareth continues Matthew's message about how Jesus is the new Israel. "Out of Egypt I call my son". Jesus will bring about a new kingdom that is against the existing world order that extols power, violence and treachery. Archelaus is no less mad or cruel than his father. But the message is clear. Dear Jews (and the world), the exile is over, the promised one is here, God is now with his people, and he is Jesus.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chaddyboy
United States
Olathe
Kansas
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Bloooooop.
badge
Bluuuuuurp.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hotmailsucks2 wrote:
Oh I know it sound snobbish but its not. Really.

Amplified is a translation out of the original greek.

And I'm not talking about what language its written in - I'm talking about the words that are actually in there. The King James bible is going to read the same whether it was translated to German or Japanese if you have a skilled translator.

What I'm getting at is how thing are purposefully left out or changed in other versions.

Don't take offense - I meant none.


By the way - Someone asked who was Jesus's father..
God was Jesus's Father.


I know people have their favorite translations, but I think you can get the gist of it from almost any version out there. I personally prefer NIV because it's easy for me to understand without having to wade through the wordiness of King James. King James just frustrates me since it's written in a way different than what I would write or speak, making it awkward for me to read. I think whatever version makes it the easiest for you to understand should be the one you read. For you, it's King James. For me, it's NIV. Either way, we're both getting our daily bread from our reading.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chaddyboy
United States
Olathe
Kansas
flag msg tools
admin
designer
Bloooooop.
badge
Bluuuuuurp.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
BTW, are you going to make this a regular series of forum posts, Jonathan? For some reason, I just haven't been motivated to do much Bible reading lately. I'd love to do this regularly to keep me reading like I should.

In fact, I would appreciate any prayers anyone could lift up for me for God to fire me up again. I just haven't been feeling excited about God lately. I know it's one of those valleys every Christian goes through from time to time where you just don't feel like there's much to get excited about, and I just need to be reminded that there's an awful lot to be excited about as a Christian.

Speaking of prayer, would anyone be interested in a weekly prayer list? I don't know if that's too personal for some people to post in a public forum. I know I'd be comfortable with it since I have no qualms with people knowing what I'm needing help with, but just wanted to put some feelers out as to what people think.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Isaac Citrom
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hotmailsucks2 wrote:
And I'm not talking about what language its written in - I'm talking about the words that are actually in there. The King James bible is going to read the same whether it was translated to German or Japanese if you have a skilled translator.


That is incorrect. Research a bit more and you will see not only the differences between versions of the New and Old Testaments but also how they differ from translation to translation.

example: This post
.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Wiles
United States
Macon
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
chaddyboy_2000 wrote:

Speaking of prayer, would anyone be interested in a weekly prayer list?


Sounds like a guild waiting to happen.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you for all of the comments so far. It is very interesting to see the diversity of opinions on the subject.

Reading on... http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=47&chapter=3&ve...

John the baptist comes on the scene wearing camel hair and eating locusts. Instead of people thinking "crazy guy", they go to him to confess their sins and get baptized. Then the religious leaders of the day come to John and he rebukes them, calling them a brood of vipers.

Jesus then goes to John and John reluctantly baptizes him and God opens up the heavens. Then, in chapter 4, Jesus goes to the desert to be tempted by the devil. I really like this scene as it is "bible verse warfare" where the devil quotes the bible and then Jesus quotes it back. It reminds me that I need to take the whole bible into account, not just the parts I like.

After that, John gets thrown in prison and Jesus takes over what John was doing. (for how long? I don't know)

Jesus then picks the first disciples: Peter and Andrew, James and John and says they will be fishers of men. Then Jesus' ministry gets bigger:

Quote:
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kunnagh Scott
England
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jeffwiles wrote:
chaddyboy_2000 wrote:

Speaking of prayer, would anyone be interested in a weekly prayer list?


Sounds like a guild waiting to happen.


And would be good, except that guilds based on this kind of thing are not in the approved list. I'm sure they were explicitly banned at some point, but I can't find the link just now.

If this could be done by geekmail, for instance, I'd be up for it - Christians in community is a great thing.

Meanwhile, on topic, Jesus def had brothers and sisters, as well as being related to some of his disciples as well.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
King of All Simians — Not a Mere Diplomat
United States
Wilmington
Select State
flag msg tools
designer
I love you.
badge
I love you.
Avatar
mb
I think this is a great idea; it could be really hip if the chapters being discussed were actually quoted here in the forum, so they're always within arm's reach.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kunnagh Scott
England
Bristol
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
quozl wrote:
Then, in chapter 4, Jesus goes to the desert to be tempted by the devil. I really like this scene as it is "bible verse warfare" where the devil quotes the bible and then Jesus quotes it back. It reminds me that I need to take the whole bible into account, not just the parts I like.


One of the things I like about this passage is that Jesus goes alone into the desert, which means that the gospel accounts are based on him telling the story to someone else, rather than on a third party. One of my bible-truisms is 'there's a psalm for every occasion' and the devil proves my point here...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jorge Montero
United States
St Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
I'll take Manhattan in a garbage bag. With Latin written on it that says "It's hard to give a shit these days"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
3:7 to 3:12 is the most interesting part of the chapter IMO.

It's the first mention of the righteous' disdain for Pharisees. Are they so bad because of what they built around the Torah, or because they just don't follow the spirit of the law?

3:9 says that one doesn't have to be a Jew to be saved. Yet another message sent to Jews in just three chapters.

3:10 and 3:12 can be read as 'Jesus will rid us from sin', or as a reminder of the existence of hell for those that aren't worthy. It's hard to find two interpretations that are further away from each other.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
3:7-10 is also repeated by Jesus later (not sure if it's in Matthew or not). Is Jesus quoting John the baptist or are they both quoting God?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Holmes! wrote:
I think this is a great idea; it could be really hip if the chapters being discussed were actually quoted here in the forum, so they're always within arm's reach.


They're just a mouse-click away.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
King of All Simians — Not a Mere Diplomat
United States
Wilmington
Select State
flag msg tools
designer
I love you.
badge
I love you.
Avatar
mb
quozl wrote:
Holmes! wrote:
I think this is a great idea; it could be really hip if the chapters being discussed were actually quoted here in the forum, so they're always within arm's reach.


They're just a mouse-click away.

Ugh! I've gotta pick up my finger, move it to the mouse button, then put my finger down...
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed Holzman
United States
Seffner
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
As grey traces of dawn tinge the eastern sky, the three travellers, men of Willowdale, emerge from the forest's shadow. Fording the river, they turn south, journeying into the dark and forbidding lands of The Necromancer...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Koldfoot wrote:
I find the geneology to be interesting.

Take, for example Ruth. If we were to rate books of the old testement, the book of Ruth would be considered a pretty minor book by most people.

The book of Ruth is the story of the founding of Christ's family tree, many view it merely as the story of a honorable woman. Ruth was a Canaanite, not a Jew. Boaz was the son of Rahab the Harlot.

Interesting to see how God can work through famine, displacement, and ungodly people to bring his plan in to place.

Lots of quirky things like that in the family tree of Jesus.

Agree with your opinion about the genealogy (which could be further traced back to the book of Joshua when Israelite spies first met Rahab at Jericho) but the pedant in me feels compelled to point out that Ruth was a Moabite, not a Canaanite.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
SH W
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Johnaton! 2 chapters a day is a punishing pace! But I do think it would be too plodding otherwise.

1. It is important to understand what is Matthew's Sitz im Leben. It is quite like that he is trying to reconcile the Jewish and Gentile factions in his church. The antagonism is not as intense as John's situation, but certainly it is on the rise. Matthew's aims are always two-fold. To show how the gentiles is always part of God's salvation plan, and to correct the Judaisers from their ethnocentric mindset.

2. John the Baptist probably belongs to one of the many many Jewish sects at that time, like the Qumran community. He has 2 roles. To prepare the way for Jesus through the message of repentance. And to testify to Jesus' uniqueness. To answer Hibikir, I would say that there is no definitive concept of heaven and hell at this point. It is probably a more Jewish mindset of blessing and judgement.

3. The baptism of Jesus continues the message about Jesus' kingship. "To fulfill all righteousness" means Jesus must fulfill God's plan "by humbly identifying himself with God's people, by taking their place, sharing in their penitance, living their life and ultimately dying their death" quoting Tom Wright from Matthew for Everyone.

4. The temptation of Jesus continues the narrative about Jesus' identity. God declares him to be "my Son", meaning he is the anointed king of God's people. Can he live up to this billing? Or would he fail just like those in the wilderness? The 3 tests focus on his interpretation of what it means to be a child of God. In the 40 years, the Israelites grumbled and disobeyed God's laws; wondered about God's providence and frustrating him; and yearn for quick success by worshiping the fertility gods. But in 40 days, Jesus proved the child of God can be truly different, by depending on God's word instead of materialism, develop a relationship of trust and finally to pursue the path of glory that comes with true sacrifice.

5. Needless to say, with the call and the testing completed, the king for the kingdom of heaven is inaugurated. The preaching starts, the calling of its people (disciples) starts and the healing begins. What is this kingdom of heaven like? Stay tuned!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Latria wrote:
Johnaton! 2 chapters a day is a punishing pace! But I do think it would be too plodding otherwise.


Thanks for keeping up with this. I find your comments particularly enlightening. I do, however, plan on slowing down next chapter when we hit the Sermon on the Mount.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.