Monday, February 29, 2016

DBRP_061 LEV.17 LEV.18 PSA.19 LUK.12.21-59

Let’s open to LEVITICUS 17-18.

Yesterday we learned about regulations concerning uncleanness caused by bodily discharges of all kinds. Then we heard the procedures for the high priest to perform yearly on the day of atonement.

Translation notes:
24 Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these acts, for that is how the [godless people groups//pagans] made themselves unclean, those [godless peoples//pagans] who lived in the land before you and whom the Lord is driving out so that you can go in.
28 and then the land will not reject you, as it rejected the [godless people groups//pagans] who lived there before you.

Turning to PSALM 19:

Today’s Psalm is a famous poem celebrating the heavens and God's creation, and secondly celebrating the perfection of God's Word.

Translation notes:
3 [The sun and the moon don’t use speech or words—//No speech or words are used,]
no sound is heard;
11 [O Lord,] They give knowledge to me, your servant; I am rewarded for obeying them.

Let’s turn for the second time to LUKE 12.

In yesterday’s reading in this chapter, Jesus warned about hypocrisy, and one of our biggest fears— fearing what other people will think of us. I want to read a clear version of these three verses:
8 “I tell you the truth, everyone who says publicly here on earth, ‘I am a follower of Jesus’, I, the Son of Man, will also acknowledge them as my followers in the presence of God’s angels. 9 But those who deny me here on earth, saying they are not my disciples, I will also say that they are not my disciples in the presence of God’s angels.

Translation notes:
8 “I assure you that those who declare publicly that they belong to me, [I,] the Son of Man will do the same for them before the angels of God. 9 But those who reject me publicly, [I,] the Son of Man will also reject them before the angels of God.
10 “Whoever says a word against [Me,] the Son of Man can be forgiven; but whoever says evil things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
28 It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? [How little you believe in God!//What little faith you have!]
29“So don't be all upset, always concerned about what you will eat and drink. 30(For the [ungodly peoples//pagans] of this world are always concerned about all these things.) Your Father knows that you need these things.
[Nowadays, there are people who call themselves ‘pagans’, and the term is a name for a religion (and one of the very worst kind). The Greek here means ‘ethnic groups’. It is often translated as ‘nations’, but has nothing to do with governments, and is a derogatory term. At one time the word ‘pagan’ was such a derogatory word.]
40 And you, too, must be ready, because [I,] the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting [me//him].”


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The DDD reading plan was designed for 365 days. So this year, if you started on January 1 and stayed totally on schedule, the plan will end on December the 30th— instead of the 31st.

In the last weeks, a good bit of my time was spent writing an article that I felt the Lord wanted me to write. It is written to my colleagues in Bible translation missions. The major point of the paper is that we in the Bible translation community have been slow to realize the implications of greater and greater multilingualism in the world— especially in Indonesia. This means that we have not been accurate in our plans and in our communication with people who pray for and support our work in that country. I started writing my article on my last trip to Indonesia, and it all began as my attempt to understand how to plan for our organization there (which has the short name of Albata ( I am giving the links in the episode notes for this podcast to both my 16 page article and the 2 ½ page executive summary. As I say, this article was not written for general audiences, but if you pray for Bibleless tribes you might be interested in the stories I share in the longer article.

At the end of March, our whole family will again be in the States. Rachel is coming for a brief rest from East Africa, and Hannah and family have been here a while. She will give birth to a son at the end of March. So I have set the dates for my next trip to Indonesia to start on the 19th of April, through all of May, and the first week of June.

I plan to visit my friends on Bangka island, where Agus and Kristiana and members of their church will be making recordings of the whole Plain Indonesian New Testament. We want to make these recordings available for sharing with people who cannot read. Here is a short example of Kristiana’s excellent recording of Hebrews 1.

My challenges and prayer requests are about how to lead our non-profit organization in Indonesia. Our mission is to increase the understanding of God’s Word in Indonesia, so that readers and listeners may be transformed by it. Please pray that the Lord will help us

  • expand our Old Testament translation team;
  • involve interested ‘friends’ to help us in the Old Testament translation, checking and giving suggestions to our drafts;
  • to find partners who want to increase the understanding of God’s Word in over 300 ethnic groups. We want to provide our Plain Indonesian New Testament at very low prices to people who will take them into the rural groups where these are most needed.

I also am planning to spend one 5 days among the Orya people. I am hoping that this will be a relaxed time with them. We will be checking our Plain Indonesian translation of Genesis, but that will give us time to talk and disciple the people who help us do that check, and others who will just want to hang out with me and talk about spiritual things. I plan on staying with a couple of my spiritual children, Ayub and Dina.

Around the year 2000, we were conducting spiritual retreats among the Orya people and one of those events took place in the village of Taja. There were three shaman there, and in the course of time, all three came to Lord. It was kind of odd the way this happened for Ananias. About a year after he supposedly repented, I was back in Taja and his neighbors told me that cars still came from other places to call Ananias to help them as a shaman to heal sick people. He was still earning money by being what you might call a witch doctor. So I went to speak with him about this. He said, “Oh, there’s no problem. Instead blowing on sick people using the names of demons as I did before, now I blow on them using the name of Jesus.”

I explained a number of things to him, and these included that ministering using Jesus’ name was not just a matter of substituting Jesus’ name for the names of demons. Spiritual gifts of healing are given in the context of local bodies of believers, and I knew that Ananias never darkened the door of the church right across the road from his house. And one who is ministering by Christ’s authority needs to understand God’s Word, and sadly, Ananias did not know how to read. I urged him to find someone who would read God’s Word to him, and to listen to those who taught in the church.

Well, now think of villages all over Indonesia, especially in the 300 most unreached groups. Each of those villages has shamans still performing rituals in the names of demons. Those groups are the out-of-the-way places where people will have trouble in understanding Indonesia’s formal Bible, but who could understand our Plain Indonesian New Testament. Please pray that we could find and partner with the people who are seeking to bring the Gospel into such groups.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

DBRP_060 LEV.15 LEV.16 PSA.18 LUK.12.1-32

Let’s open to LEVITICUS 15-16.

Yesterday we heard about sacrifices following the healing of skin diseases and after getting rid of house mildew. Chapter 15 is about defiling bodily discharges. Chapter 16 is about the Day of Atonement, and the chapter contains a translation problem in the word or name ‘azazel’. If you are interested in this problem, see the Translate notes in today’s episode notes.

Translation notes:
15:5 Anyone who touches his bed 6 or sits on anything the man has sat on must wash his clothes and take a bath, and [that person//he] remains unclean until evening.
15:7 Anyone who touches the man with the discharge must wash his clothes and take a bath, and [that person//he] remains unclean until evening. [Similarly in v8, 10]
16:8 There he shall draw lots, using two stones, one marked “for the Lord” and the other [to be driven away out into the desert and abandoned to its fate.//“for Azazel.”]
10 The goat chosen for Azazel shall be presented alive to the Lord and sent off into the desert to Azazel, in order to take away the sins of the people.  
17 From the time Aaron enters the Most Holy Place to perform the ritual of purification until he comes out, there must be no one [else] in the Tent. When he has performed the ritual for himself, his family, and the whole community,
20 When Aaron has finished performing the ritual to purify the Most Holy Place, the rest of the Tent of the Lord's presence, and the altar, he shall present to the Lord the live goat chosen for Azazel.  
26 The man who drove the goat [bearing sins] into the desert [to be abandoned to its fate//to Azazel] must wash his clothes and take a bath before he comes back into camp.
[For those of you interested in this translation problem, see the footnote in the NET at this place. The truth is that we don’t know what ‘azazel’ means. We don’t even know if it was a name. Linguistic clues cannot give certainty. In a case like this, I think it is better to render the term in a generic way, rather than being too specific.]

Turning to PSALM 18:

This poem reveals David’s intimacy with God. Even though he frequently refers to himself, we see that God— and not himself, is the center of his spiritual life.

Translation notes:
41 They cry for help, but no one saves them;
they call to [You//the] Lord, but [You don’t//he does not] answer.
46 [You, my Lord, live!//The Lord lives!] [I praise//Praise] my defender!
[I] Proclaim the greatness of the God who saves me.
47 [You give//He gives] me victory over my enemies;
[You subdue//he subdues] the nations under me
48 and saves me from my foes.

We turn for the first time to LUKE 12.

Jesus definitely gained enemies by his teaching at the end of chapter 11, which was against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and religious experts.

Translation notes:
8 “I assure you that those who declare publicly that they belong to me, [I,] the Son of Man will do the same for them before the angels of God. 9 But those who reject me publicly, [I,] the Son of Man will also reject them before the angels of God.
10 “Whoever says a word against [Me,] the Son of Man can be forgiven; but whoever says evil things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
28 It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won't he be all the more sure to clothe you? [How little you believe in God!//What little faith you have!]
29“So don't be all upset, always concerned about what you will eat and drink. 30(For the [ungodly peoples//pagans] of this world are always concerned about all these things.) Your Father knows that you need these things.
[Nowadays, there are people who call themselves ‘pagans’, and the term is a name for a religion (and one of the very worst kind). The Greek here means ‘ethnic groups’. It is often translated as ‘nations’, but has nothing to do with governments, and is a derogatory term. At one time the word ‘pagan’ was such a derogatory word.]


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Saturday, February 27, 2016

DBRP_059 LEV.14 PSA.17 LUK.11.29-54

Let’s prepare to read LEVITICUS 14.

After hearing about the serious skin diseases yesterday, today we hear of the regulations if someone is healed from one. Note that these regulations were probably almost never done— until perhaps when Jesus caused a wave of men who had been healed to come with offerings.

Note that our modern translations use either ‘serious skin disease’ or ‘contagious skin disease’ instead of calling these ‘leprosy’ as in older translations. Leprosy— also called Hanson’s Disease, is a very different disease from the ones described in Scripture.

We turn to PSALM 17.

This is one of David’s poems. Olsen quotes Spurgeon commenting on this psalm: “David would never have been [called] a man after God's own heart if he had not been a man of prayer. He was a master in the sacred art of supplication.”

Opening for the second time to LUKE 11:

Yesterday in the first half of Luke 11, Jesus taught about prayer, and persistence in prayer, and taught refuting those who slandered him saying that he worked by the power of Satan. Jesus also taught that demons can leave on their own, but spiritual vacuum will result in more demons than before.

Translation note:
30 In the same way that the prophet Jonah was a sign for the people of Nineveh, so [I,] the Son of Man[,] will be a sign for the people of this day.
38 The Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus had not washed [according to their customs] before eating.
“How terrible for you Pharisees! You give to God one tenth of the seasoning herbs, such as mint and rue and all the other herbs, but you neglect justice and love for God. These you should practice, without neglecting the [other virtues//others].


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Friday, February 26, 2016

DBRP_058 LEV.13 PSA.16 LUK.11.1-28

Let’s open to LEVITICUS 13.

Yesterday in Lev. 11-12, we learned the animals considered clean and edible, and those that were considered unclean and detestable. Then we heard about the sacrifices for purification after a woman gives birth.

We turn to PSALM 16.

E.C. Olsen says that the Old Testament is like a sundial. “It is not difficult to read the hour marks on a sundial. Anybody can read them and at any time, but one can only tell time when the sun shines upon the sundial. Thus, while the Bible is the Word of God and can be read by all at any time, only the man who has received the Lord Jesus Christ is able to tell divine time by the Bible. It is only as the “Son” shines upon the pages of Scripture, particularly the Old Testament, that we are able to understand, to see and to appreciate that Christ is to be found on every page of Scripture.” With the Son shining on it, we see that this is a Messianic psalm.

Translation note:
7 I praise [You//the] Lord, because [You guide//he guides] me, and in the night my conscience warns me.  
8 I am always aware of [your presence, Lord//the Lord's presence]; [You are//he is] near, and nothing can shake me.

We turn for the first time to LUKE 11.

Yesterday in 10b, Jesus agreed with a law expert in the most important commandments, but taught the man the meaning of who is one's neighbor. And Jesus visited Martha and Mary.

Translation note:
2 Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say this: ‘Father: May your holy name be honored;
may [You come here to earth to reign as king.//your Kingdom come.]

21-22 “Satan can be illustrated as a strong home owner who— fully armed, always guards his house. He trusts in his weapons to keep all his possessions safe, and to defeat the One who opposes him— which is Me. But I'm stronger than he is! When I attack him, I will certainly defeat him, take all of his weapons, carry away his possessions and distribute them according to My will.  (PET)

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

DBRP_057 LEV.11 LEV.12 PSA.15 LUK.10.23-42

Let’s turn to LEVITICUS 11-12.

Yesterday in Leviticus, Aaron and his sons started their work, and the glory of the Lord was revealed. But right after that Nadab and Abihu died because they offered an unauthorized kind of fire to the Lord.

Translation Notes:
NLT 21 [However, there are some exceptions that you may eat. These include insects that jump with their hind legs://except those that hop.] [So ]
23 But all other small [creatures//things] that have wings and also crawl must be considered unclean.

We turn to PSALM 15.

This is a psalm showing the kind of people who will be welcomed into God's presence.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 10.

Yesterday in the first half of the chapter, Jesus sent the 72 disciples out ahead of Him with interesting instructions. A worker will be given his pay as he trusts in the Lord to provide it. And there were strong words for the villages which received most of Jesus' miracles.

Translation note:
35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper[ with these words,//.] ‘Take care of him,’ [0//he told the innkeeper,] ‘and when I come back this way, I will pay you whatever else you spend on him.’”


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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

DBRP_056 LEV.9 LEV.10 PSA.14 LUK.10.1-24

Let’s open to LEVITICUS 9-10.

Yesterday in Leviticus, we heard more regulations for the priests (mainly), and then heard the story of the ordination ceremony that Moses performed for Aaron and his sons.

Translation notes:
4 and a bull and a ram for a fellowship offering. They are to sacrifice them to [Me— the Lord,//the Lord] with the grain offering mixed with oil. They must do this because [I//the Lord] will appear to them today.”
11 But he [had one of the men burn//burned] the meat and the skin outside the camp.

Turning to PSALM 14:

Psalm 14 can be classed as a messianic psalm because of v7. (However that is made clearer in other translations.) David shows us what God sees when He looks at this world. And that is why Paul quoted from this psalm in Romans 3.

Translation notes:
3 But [we//they] have all gone wrong; [we//they] are all equally bad. Not one of [us//them] does what is right, not a single one.

Let’s open to LUKE 10.

In the second half of Luke 9, Jesus came down from the mountain to find a crowd, and he healed a demon possessed boy. Jesus predicted his death, and talked about the cost of being his disciples.

Translation notes:
4 Don't take a [wallet//purse] or a beggar's bag or shoes; don't stop to greet anyone on the road.
22 [And Jesus said to his disciples,] “My Father has given me all things. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

DBRP_055 LEV.7 LEV.8 PSA.13 LUK.9.28-62

Let’s open to LEVITICUS 7.

Yesterday we heard about sin and guilt offerings and about the ordination offering for priests. In today’s reading, it sounds to me that for repayment offerings (repayment being a sin which would usually be intentional), the person offering the sacrifice would not be entitled to receive any of the meat.

Translation note:
17 He took the rest of the bull, including its skin, flesh, and intestines, and [had it burned//burned it] outside the camp, just as the Lord had commanded.
[There are many times in Scripture where it says that one leader or another performed some large work, but it is clear that they ordered that the work to be done. (example: King x built the city of x.) It takes a long time to burn up the things mentioned, and Moses could not have done this by himself.]

Turning now to PSALM 13:

David starts by crying out “How long?” and ends with a note of praise. We can be thankful for his difficult experiences which give us these Psalms.

Translation note:
3 [Turn and] Look at me, O Lord my God, and answer me.
Restore my strength; don't let me die.
6 I will sing to you, O Lord,
because you have been [so] good to me.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 9.

Yesterday we heard of Jesus sending out his disciples, and afterward the feeding of the 5,000. Peter rightly declared what position Jesus was filling. Jesus predicted his death. He said that some standing there would not die before seeing the Kingdom of God, and perhaps he meant his three disciples who saw the transfiguration, because His kingship was clearly foreshadowed there.

Translation notes:
44 “Don't forget what I am about to tell you! [I, the Son of Man am//The Son of Man is] going to be handed over to the power of human beings.”
51 As the time drew near when Jesus would be taken up to heaven, he [firmly] made up his mind and set out on his way to Jerusalem.
58 Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but [I,] the Son of Man[, have// has] no place to lie down and rest.”


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Monday, February 22, 2016

DBRP_054 LEV.5 LEV.6 PSA.12 LUK.9.1-36

Let’s turn to LEVITICUS 5-6.

Yesterday we read about sacrifices given for unintentional sins and

for peace offerings. And I said that we would hear about offerings for intentional sins today.

Opening to PSALM 12:

In Psalm 12, we hear of trusting in God's promises even in the midst of hard times.

Translation note:
6 The [words//promises] of the Lord can be trusted;
they are as genuine as silver
refined seven times in the furnace.
[The Hebrew word here is not specific to just promises. But on the other hand, in this context, this verse is responding to the Lord’s promise in verse 5. So GNT’s translation is fine. However one can see the influence of the GNT on other translations by looking at this verse.]

We turn for the first time to LUKE 9.

Yesterday to the woman healed of bleeding, Jesus said, “It is because you believe in me that you are healed.” And to Jairus, He said, “ Don’t be afraid. Just keep on believing in Me.”

Translation notes:
8 Others were saying that [the prophet] Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life.
18 One day when Jesus was praying alone, the disciples came to him. “[What role do the crowds say that I am fulfilling?//Who do the crowds say I am?]” he asked them.
19 “Some say that you are [taking the role of] John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say that you are [taking the role of the prophet] Elijah, while others say that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”
20 “What about you?” he asked them. “[What do you say about me?//Who do you say I am?]”
Peter answered, “You are God's Messiah.”
22 He also told them, “[I, the//The Son] of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. [I//He] will be put to death, but three days later [I//he] will be raised to life.”
26 If you are ashamed of me[, the Son of Man,] and of my teaching, then [I//the Son of Man] will be ashamed of you when [I come in my//he comes in his] glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.


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Sunday, February 21, 2016

DBRP_053 LEV.3 LEV.4 PSA.11 LUK.8.22-56

Preparing to read LEVITICUS 3-4:

Yesterday we heard about burnt offerings and grain offerings.

Andrew Bonar states about Leviticus:
“There is no book in the whole compass of that inspired Volume which the Holy Spirit has given us, that contains more of the very words of God than Leviticus. It is God that is the direct speaker in almost every page; His gracious words are recorded in the form wherein they were uttered.”

Note this in our reading in Leviticus today: By and large, the sacrificial system was set up to forgive unintentional sins. (Some small exceptions will be noted in tomorrow’s reading in Leviticus.) It is good to draw a distinction— as the book of Hebrews does, between unintentional and intentional sins. Each of us should feel uncomfortable, because each of us can look back and remember sins we committed intentionally. Let us make the firm commitment to never trample upon our Savior’s kindness by sinning intentionally. But we can praise the Lord for this verse spoken by Paul in Acts 13:38-39: “Therefore let it be known to you, brothers [and sisters//0], that through this one forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by this one everyone who believes is justified from everything from which the law of Moses could not justify you.” (NET)

Translation note:
31 Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat is removed from the animals killed for the fellowship offerings, and he shall burn it on the altar as an odor pleasing to the Lord. In this way the priest shall offer the sacrifice for the [person’s//man's] sin, and he [(generic sense)] will be forgiven.
[We started the paragraph at v27 with “If any of you _people_ sin,” (Hebrew: common people) so here we find a place where the editors missed making this gender neutral in v31. The Hebrew says ‘him’, of course, but this may be taken generically— as English used to be taken generically in such places. However, in actual practice, I bet it was very, very rare in Moses’ day that such a ceremony of forgiveness would have been done for a woman. Sorry ladies. However, bear in mind the wonderful equality that has now been given in Jesus. Gal. 3:28]

We turn to PSALM 11.

This is a song of trust in the Lord.

Translation note:
3 There is nothing a good person [(like you)] can do
when everything falls apart.”
[The addition helps the listener know that this verse is still part of the quote.]

We turn for the second time to LUKE 8.

Yesterday we read the parable of the sower, or different kinds of soil. Jesus taught about the importance of hearing and doing what is in God's Word, and that was echoed again when his mother and brothers came to see him.

Translation notes:
25 Then he said to the disciples, “[What happened to the idea of your believing in me?//Where is your faith?]”
But they were amazed and afraid, and said to one another, “Who is this man? He gives orders to the winds and waves, and they obey him!”
29 He said this because Jesus had ordered the evil spirit to go out of him. Many times it had seized him, and even though he was kept [bound//a prisoner], his hands and feet tied with chains, he would break the chains and be driven by the demon out into the desert.
30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is ‘Mob[./,]’” [He answered this way//he answered—] because many demons had gone into him.
48 Jesus said to her, “My [friend//daughter], [you have been healed because you believe in Me.//your faith has made you well.] Go in peace.”
49 While Jesus was saying this, a messenger came from [Jairus’//the official's] house. “Your daughter has died,” [0//he told Jairus;] “don't bother the Teacher any longer.”


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Saturday, February 20, 2016

DBRP_052 LEV.1 LEV.2 PSA.10 LUK.8.1-21

Today we begin our readings in LEVITICUS!

Yesterday at the end of Exodus, the worship in the completed and dedicated tabernacle was started.

Leviticus is a continuation of Exodus, in the same way that Exodus is a continuation of Genesis. Leviticus also starts with the word ‘And’.  The title once again comes from Latin Vulgate which was based on the name in the Septuagint. So the name does not come from the Hebrew. Because of the name, many think that this book is a handbook only for the priests. Not so. Wenham (from Constable) states:

“It would be wrong, however, to describe Leviticus simply as a manual for priests. It is equally, if not more, concerned with the part the laity should play in worship. Many of the regulations explain what the layman should sacrifice. They tell him when to go to the sanctuary, what to bring, and what he may expect the priest to do when he arrives. Most of the laws apply to all Israel: only a few sections specifically concern the priests alone, e.g., chs. 21—22. The lay orientation of the legislation is particularly noticeable in ch. 23, where the whole emphasis lies on the days that must be observed as days of sabbath rest.”

Many New Testament concepts are foreshadowed in this book, such as the seriousness of sin in God’s sight, the necessity of atonement of sin, the holiness of God, and the necessity of a mediator between God and Man. H.C. Mears says,

“In Genesis we see humanity ruined, in Exodus, humanity redeemed, and in Leviticus, humanity worshipping.”

One can’t read this book without being thankful to Christ Jesus for His sacrifice which fulfills the incredibly detailed laws about sacrifice for us.

We turn to PSALM 10.

E.C. Olsen says this Psalm has “a triple theme: the silence of God, the despair of the humble, and the pride of the wicked.” This Psalm doesn't give us all the answers, but we know God understands how we feel about these things.

Translation notes:
3 The wicked are proud of their evil desires;
[greedy people curse and reject You, Lord.//the greedy curse and reject the Lord.]
4 The wicked do not care about [You//the Lord];
in their pride they think that God doesn't matter.
5 The wicked succeed in everything.
They cannot understand [Your//God's] judgments;
they sneer at their enemies.
6 They say to themselves, “We will never fail;
we will never [get//be] in trouble.”
9 they wait in their hiding place like lions.
They lie in wait for the poor;
they catch them in their traps and drag them away. (People like me!)
16 [You, O Lord, are//The Lord is] king forever and ever.
Those who worship other gods
will vanish from [your//his] land.

We turn to LUKE 8.

At the end of Luke 7 we read about how Jesus was anointed by a sinful woman, and how Jesus answered the silent criticism of Simon, the pharisee.

Translation notes:
2 and so did some women who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases[://.] [Here are their names:] Mary [(the woman from the village of Magdala)//(who was called Magdalene)], from whom seven demons had been driven out;
8 And some seeds fell in good soil; the plants grew and bore grain, one hundred grains each [stalk].”


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Friday, February 19, 2016

DBRP_051 EXO.40 PSA.9 LUK.7.20-50

Let’s prepare to read EXODUS 40.

Yesterday we read about Bezalel making the outside articles for worship— like the altar for burnt offerings. There was a listing of materials used, and then we heard of the making of the priests' clothes— all according to how Moses was instructed by God. And Moses inspected everything and blessed the people. The stage is set for the start of worship according to God's instructions.

Turning to PSALM 9:

Psalm 9 is a song celebrating God sitting on his throne and judging justly.

Translation notes:
7 But [You, Lord, are//the Lord is] king forever;
[You have set up your//he has set up his] throne for judgment.
8 [You rule//He rules] the world with righteousness;
[You judge//he judges] the nations with justice.
9 [You are//The Lord is] a refuge for the oppressed,
a place of safety in times of trouble.
11 [Listen up, everyone!] Sing praise to the Lord, who rules in Zion!
Tell every nation what he has done!
12 God remembers those who suffer;
he does not forget their cry,
and he punishes those who wrong them.
16 [But You, Oh my Lord, have revealed yourself by your//The Lord has revealed himself by his] righteous judgments,
and the wicked are trapped by their own deeds.
19 Come, Lord! Do not let anyone defy you!
Bring the [heathen nations//wicked peoples//heathen] before you
and pronounce judgment on them.
(I see that I need to undertake more study in a psalm like this to see if there is a differentiation between ‘nations’ (which are wicked people groups) and just plain ‘the wicked’. I am not sure that the word ‘heathen’ communicates well in this 21st century.)

Let’s turn for the second time to LUKE 7.

Yesterday we read about Jesus healing a favorite slave of a Roman officer and the raising of a widow's son from death. We start today’s rereading where Jesus was speaking about John the Baptist.

Translation notes:
25 What did you go out to see? A man dressed up in fancy clothes? People who dress like that and live in luxury are found in palaces[— not deserts]!
29 [PET: Most of the crowd who heard those words— including the tax collectors, praised God by saying, “If that’s so, God truly sent John the Baptist, and what John taught was also true!” For they had obeyed God’s will when they were baptized by John.//GNT: All the people heard him; they and especially the tax collectors were the ones who had obeyed God's righteous demands and had been baptized by John.]
(The key part that is hard to translate is literally “the people … made God (out to be) right.”)

34 [I, the//The] Son of Man came, and [I eat and drink in a normal fashion//he ate and drank], and you said, ‘Look at this man! He is a glutton and wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts!’
45 You did not welcome me with a kiss [of friendship], but she has not stopped kissing my feet since I came.
46 You provided no [customary] olive oil for my head, but she has covered my feet with perfume.

50 But Jesus said to the woman, “[PET: “It is because you believe in Me that you’ve been saved. Go with the feeling of calm under God’s protection.”//Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”]
(Note that in Indonesian, ‘peace’ is one of the words that we needed to translate with a phrase in order to get the concept of spiritual peace, as opposed to peace from war, etc.
I have written about how ‘faith’ has become very fuzzy in meaning in the Western world today, and people could twist v.50 to mean almost anything. Jesus did NOT use ‘faith’ to mean such things as inner fortitude, vague hope, blind trust, denominational faith, or many other meanings. In Greek, ‘faith’ is simply the noun form of ‘believe’.
I was interested that no less a famous guy as Greg Koukl (Christian apologist, who spoke at our church last weekend [January2016]) gave strong evidence for this. He even said to stop using that term! His favorite translation for Greek ‘pistis’ is ‘trust’.)


Check out this episode!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

DBRP_050 EXO.38 EXO.39 PSA.8 LUK.7.1-30

Let’s open to EXODUS 38-39.

Yesterday we heard of the building of the tabernacle, the Covenant Box, and the other furniture of the Holy Place and Most Holy Place. Everything was done precisely as God had described before. The actor ‘he’ as we start this chapter is again Bezalel.

Translation note:
26 This amount equaled the total paid by all [the men//persons] enrolled in the census, each one paying the required amount, weighed according to the official standard. There were 603,550 men twenty years old or older enrolled in the census.

We turn to PSALM 8.

This psalm is quoted in Hebrews 1 and is frequently misunderstood. “Son of man” does not refer to Jesus in this Psalm or in Hebrews 1, and the NLT is correct in not using that term here. This is a psalm of praise for the awesomeness of God, expressing amazement at the place of _mankind_ in God's creation.

Translation notes:
1 O LORD , our Lord, [how your {greatness//majestic glory} is visible everywhere on earth!//O LORD, our Lord, your majestic _name_ fills the earth. (NLT)]

This is a metonymy on the name of the Lord. (Meaning that this is a figure of speech where ‘name’ stands for the whole person of God, like ‘white house’ can stand for the current USA government administration.) Most of the time such metonymy simply refers to the whole person of the Lord— not just his name. In some places the same metonymy can refer to the Lord’s reputation— as NET translates here. The ‘Lord’s name’ metonymy is everywhere in Scripture. Although English clearly uses metonymy, we don't so often use it for ‘name’. Now that I think of it, a good way to translate this line using a common English metonymy would be, “O Lord, our Lord, your glorious handwriting is visible everywhere on earth!” (Or ‘fingerprints’ would work nicely too.)

4 what are *human beings*, that you think [so much about us//of them];
mere mortals, that you care for [us//them]?
5 Yet you made [us//them] inferior only to yourself;
you crowned [us//them] with glory and honor.
6 You appointed [us as//them] rulers over everything you made;
you placed [us//them] over all creation:

We turn to LUKE 7.

In chapter 6 we read the Beatitudes, and Jesus taught about loving others and not judging them. Jesus taught using the figures of trees and their fruit, and building houses upon a rock foundation.

One of the most frequently misquoted verses in Scripture was included in yesterday’s portion of Luke 6, “Do not judge others and you will not be judged.” But if we take that to the extreme, we would not be able to recognize good and bad people, as Jesus talks about in verse 45. And there are many other places where Christians are called upon to make judgments— especially those of us in leadership. But the key would be not bringing judgment against others if we might be found to be guilty of the same sin.

Translation notes:
9 Jesus was surprised when he heard this; he turned around and said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, I have never found [a man who believes so fully as this//faith like this], not even in Israel!”
10 The messengers went back to the officer's house and found his servant [had been healed//well].
29 [PET: Most of the crowd who heard those words of Jesus— including the tax collectors, praised God by saying, “If that’s so, God truly sent John the Baptist, and what John taught was also true!” For they had obeyed God’s will when they were baptized by John.//GNT: All the people heard him; they and especially the tax collectors were the ones who had obeyed God's righteous demands and had been baptized by John.]

The key part that is hard to translate is literally “the people … made God (out to be) right.”

Check out this episode!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

DBRP_049 EXO.36 EXO.37 PSA.7 LUK.6.24-49

Preparing to read EXODUS 36-37:

Yesterday we read about how Moses returned to the top of the mountain, taking two stone tablets which he had made, and God repeated many of the terms of the covenant. Chapter 34:28 says that Moses— not God, engraved the 10 commandments over again on the second set of stone tablets. Then after Moses came back down the mountain, the people responded to God by willingly bringing all that was required to make the Tabernacle.

Translation notes:
1 “Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the other workers to whom [I, the Lord, have//the Lord has] given skill and understanding, who know how to make everything needed to build the sacred Tent, are to make everything just as [I have//the Lord has] commanded.”

Let’s turn to PSALM 7.

Psalm 7 is the song of the slandered saint.

Translation notes:
Note that I sometimes add the word ‘please’ in order to make sure that the Psalm writer’s words are understood as a plea, and not as a demand.

Most languages don’t allow someone to speak of himself in the third person as Hebrew does for God in Exodus 36:1 (noted above). And also it is odd for most of the world’s language to pray to the Lord while speaking of him in the third person. So a translator can change those things to fit in the receptor language grammar. (And we footnote such things, as I do here.)

10 [You, O God, are//God is] my protector;
[You save those who obey you.//he saves those who obey him.]
11 [You are//God is] a righteous judge
and always [condemn//condemns] the wicked.
12 If they do not change their ways,
[You//God] will sharpen [your//his] sword.
[You bend your bow and make//He bends his bow and makes] it ready;
13 [You take up your//he takes up his] deadly weapons
and [aim you//aims his] burning arrows.
14 See how [those] wicked people think up evil;
they plan trouble and practice deception.
17 I thank [you, Lord, for your//the Lord for his] justice;
I sing praises to [You, O Lord,//the Lord,] the Most High.]

We turn for the second time to LUKE 6.

Yesterday we saw the beginning of opposition to Jesus based on the way He kept the Sabbath law. He kept the Law, but did not follow added traditions. He chose his 12 disciples, and called them apostles (representatives). Then he gave the Beatitudes, which in Luke include both the Blessings and corresponding Woes.

Translation notes:
32 “If you love only the people who love you, why should you receive a blessing [from God]? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you receive a blessing [from God]? Even sinners do that! 34 And if you lend only to those from whom you hope to get it back, why should you receive a blessing [from God]? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount!
35No! Love your enemies and do good to them; lend and expect nothing back. You will then have a great reward [from God], and you will be [considered] children of the Most High God. For he is good to the ungrateful and the wicked.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

DBRP_048 EXO.34 EXO.35 PSA.6 LUK.6.1-31

Let’s open to EXODUS 34-35.

Yesterday, we read about how God's meeting with Moses was interrupted because of the people making the golden calf. (Don’t ya’ hate interruptions!) Aaron caved in to the people's desires. Moses interceded for the people, and God agreed not to destroy them. God eventually agreed to go with the people to the promised land. As we closed chapter 33, Moses had asked to actually see God. God will hide Moses in a cleft in a rock, and allow Moses to see his back.

We turn to PSALM 6.

This Psalm is a prayer of an wronged and oppressed man crying out to God for help and rescue. God has revealed more to us than was revealed to David. We now know that people can praise God after death.

We turn to LUKE 6.

Yesterday in chapter 5, Jesus called several of his disciples after the miracle of the large catch of fish, healed two men, and answered a question about fasting.

Translation note:
15 Matthew and Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, and [another] Simon (who was called the Patriot), 16 [also] Judas son of James, and Judas [the man from the village of Carioth//Iscariot], who became the traitor.
17 When Jesus had come down from the hill with the apostles, he stood on a level place with a large number of his disciples. A large crowd of people was there from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from the coast[al] cities of Tyre and Sidon;
20 Jesus looked at his disciples and said,
“Happy are you [who are] poor;
the Kingdom of God is yours!
22  “Happy are you when people hate you, reject you, insult you, and say that you are evil, all because of [Me,] the Son of Man!


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Monday, February 15, 2016

DBRP_047 EXO.32 EXO.33 PSA.5 LUK.5

Preparing to read EXODUS 32-33:

Yesterday we read about the plans for the incense altar, and about the making of incense and anointing oil. We heard also of God's choosing and giving ability to Bezalel and Oholiab for making everything required in the worship of God. And God emphasized the importance of keeping the Sabbath as a covenant responsibility.

Let’s turn to PSALM 5.

Psalm 5 is a song for early morning (when arising from a night of sleep). Erling Olsen comments that this Psalm says that God hates or detests evil doers. He says that this stands in stark contrast to pictures of God that make him only capable of the sentiment of love. We as God's created beings, have no right to criticize Him or remake him in an image we find more comfortable. God who created us has all emotions, and is just— possessing the right to judge his created beings.

We turn to LUKE 5.

Yesterday we read of Jesus being rejected in his home town, of healings, and casting out demons. He refused to have his identity proclaimed by demons, and silenced them. And He refused to stay in one town, but went around preaching in the whole area.

Translation notes:
8 When Simon [— whose other name was] Peter[,] saw what had happened, he fell on his knees before Jesus and said, “Go away from me, Lord! I am a sinful man!”
20 When Jesus saw how much [they believed in Him//faith they had], he said to the man, “[My friend, your sins are forgiven.//Your sins are forgiven, my friend.]”

Luke 5:22 was a very difficult verse for us to translate in both languages I have translated for. For one thing, it is not physically ‘difficult’ to pronounce either statement. As to the answer to Jesus’ rhetorical question, I do NOT buy the interpretation found in some translations that it was easier for Jesus to forgive the man’s sins because it was something that could not be physically seen. It was hard for Jesus to say both statements— hard in the sense that both statements require the power of God. Remember, Jesus knows that He will go to the cross in order to purchase forgiveness for this man— and for us. Jesus chose the order of his statements— not based on apparent difficulty, but to prove an important point to everyone, and especially his critics.


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Sunday, February 14, 2016

DBRP_046 EXO.30 EXO.31 PSA.4 LUK.4.22-44

Let’s prepare to read EXODUS 30-31.

Yesterday we heard the instructions for consecrating the priests for their special work.

We turn to PSALM 4.

This is an evening hymn expressing our trust in God.

Translation note:
7 But the joy that you have given me [, O Lord,]
is more than they will ever have
with all their grain and wine.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 4.

Yesterday we read of Jesus being tested by the devil, and we reread the story of how Jesus was rejected in his home town. When Jesus had finished reading from that special place in Isaiah 61, he sat down. In our culture we are likely to assume that sitting down was without the expectation of teaching. But in Jewish practice of this time, teachers sat down to teach. Frequently in the Gospels we find Jesus taking a sitting position when teaching.

Translation note:
23 He said to them, “I am sure that you will quote this proverb to me, ‘Doctor, heal yourself.’ You will [then] also tell me to do here in my hometown the same things you heard were done in Capernaum.


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Saturday, February 13, 2016

DBRP_045 EXO.29 PSA.3 LUK.4.1-30

Let’s open to EXODUS 29.

Yesterday we read about the design of the altar for burnt offerings and the plans for the courtyard. The dimensions we heard the day before were for the sacred tent that was enclosed by the courtyard that we heard about yesterday. And we read about the fabulous garments for the priests, Aaron and his sons.

We turn to PSALM 3.

As the title says, this is “A psalm of David, regarding the time David fled from his son Absalom.”

Found at various strategic points in the Psalms is the word ‘Selah’. This has been variously translated. The truth is, we don’t know what it means! But people conjecture that it is a musical term, and it likely could have signalled an interlude. I suspect it could also be a repetition mark. Whatever it is, it likely would have had the effect of allowing the listener to pause and reflect on what was just performed or communicated.

Translation note:
7 Come, Lord! [Please save me//Save me], my God!
You punish all my enemies
and leave them powerless to harm me.

We turn to Luke 4.

Yesterday we heard of John the Baptist's ministry and imprisonment, and the genealogy of Jesus.

Translation note:
23 He said to them, “I am sure that you will quote this proverb to me, ‘Doctor, heal yourself.’ You will [then] also tell me to do here in my hometown the same things you heard were done in Capernaum.


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Friday, February 12, 2016

DBRP_044 EXO.27 EXO.28 PSA.2 LUK.3

Preparing to read EXODUS 27-28:

Yesterday in Exodus, we heard the beginning plans given by God for the Tabernacle (or sacred tent) and the Arc of the Covenant that were to become the focal point for worship of God under the Covenant. The whole Tabernacle— and particularly the atonement cover on top of the Arc of the Covenant (called the Mercy Seat), symbolized that God was living among them. (Ex. 25:8) The whole Tabernacle was to be made exquisitely as appropriate for God's own dwelling.

Translation note:
2 Make projections at the top of the four corners. They are to form one piece with the altar, and the whole [altar] is to be covered with bronze.
[‘Whole’ sounds like ‘hole’!]

Turning to PSALM 2:

In Psalm 1, the author (probably David) mentioned obeying and studying ‘the Law’. In much of the Old Testament and even in the New, the word ‘Law’ came to mean more than the Mosaic Law or just the first 5 books of the Old Testament. We are within bounds to say that the author intended meditation and study of all of God’s Word.

Today we have our first prophetic Psalm.

Let’s open to LUKE 3.

Yesterday we heard of Jesus' childhood, and now we hear of John the Baptist's ministry.

Translation note:
16 So John said to all of them, “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is much greater than I am. I am not good enough [to be his slave, the one who unties//even to untie] his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Check out this episode!


For this edition of JoySightings, I am returning to the parables of Safed the Sage:

The Curves and the Tangents
The Woodpecker

William Eleazar Barton (1861-1930) created the character Safed the Sage and the first published book of his parables dates from 1915.  He was a prominent Congregational pastor, and I believe his parables were first published in the denominational Sunday School newsletter that he edited. These short vignettes soon became a popular and widely-distributed regular feature of a number of periodicals, eventually reaching an audience of over three million readers.

He graduated from Berea College in 1885, received his MA from Oberlin Graduate School of Theology in 1890 and was ordained in 1885. He married Esther Treat Bushnell of Johnsonville, Ohio in 1885 and they had 5 children. Esther is given the name Keturah in Safed’s parables. They had four sons, and the frequently mentioned ‘daughter of the daughter of Keturah’ was named Helen.

Barton was also a noted scholar on Abraham Lincoln. His published writings are very extensive, as you can see online. I found it fascinating that the Congregational Library and Archives in Boston, MA, has 5 linear feet of materials from Barton, including sermons, letters, and photographic materials, including “lantern slides”. I think it would be fascinating to see these things.

In order to see a listing of podcasts in the JoySightings series, go to and let your mouse hover over the New Episodes menu entry. The link to the Joy Sightings Table of Contents will appear below that. To listen to more episodes— whether from the web site or from your DBRP listening app for your smart device, search for underscore and a three digit number. The other episodes with parables of Safed the Sage go from edition _001, _002, and so on to _011. Searching for _002 brings up four results, and the JoySightings one is among them.


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

DBRP_043 EXO.25 EXO.26 PSA.1 LUK.2.25-52

We turn to EXODUS 25-26.

Yesterday we read the commands for the Israelites to be good neighbors and to practice justice. And we heard the requirement for all Israelites to celebrate three festivals, and God gave promises of how He would bring them into the land. Then we read the story of how Moses led the people in accepting the covenant. Note how important the sacrificial blood was in this ceremony. The Israelites promised to obey the covenant. Moses told them to wait for him, then followed God's call to go up to the summit of the mountain, where he stayed for 40 days and nights.

Let’s start the book of PSALMS today!

Job— as I said before, is perhaps the earliest book of the Old Testament, but we didn't find a primitive book, did we?! We found a book of sophisticated poetry, one that uses literary devices and makes reference to a well-developed mythology. And we find a book that defies simple analysis. At the conclusion of Job, some of you may be feeling that some basic questions were not really answered. Some of you may be saying, “But I have suffered injustice, and God has not responded to me the way he responded to Job at the end of the book.” To those of you, I say that we can learn several things from Job, and one would be that there are many things God takes into account that we do not know about. And secondly, we can be sure that God is just and fair, and in the final analysis— when we reach heaven, all issues of justice will be resolved. And I also say this: I hope you continue to read the Bible with us this year, because we will find more answers about God’s sovereignty and justice as we go on.

The book of Psalms was the nation of Israel's hymnbook. The poems were compiled over time, with most of the first half by King David. The Psalms fall into these categories:

Instruction, Praise, Thanksgiving,
Penitence, Trust, Distress,
Aspiration, History, and Prophecy.

Under the prophecy category, the Psalms talk of Jesus' prophetic office, his priestly office, his kingly office, his sufferings, and his resurrection. (For details, see HC Mears.)

Let’s turn for the second time to LUKE 2.

Yesterday we read of Jesus' birth, of the angels announcement to the shepherds, and of Jesus being presented in the temple— which is where we pick up the story today.

Translation note:

34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, [the child’s//his] mother, “This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against 35 and so reveal their secret thoughts. And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.”


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

DBRP_042 EXO.23 EXO.24 JOB.42 LUK.2.1-35

Let’s turn to EXODUS 23-24.

Yesterday we heard laws regarding treatment of slaves, cases of personal injury, protection of private property, and social responsibility.

We turn to the last chapter of Job, chapter 42.

After three chapters of God confronting Job, now Job responds.

Turning to Luke 2:

Yesterday in Luke, Mary visited Elizabeth, and we read Mary's song of praise, and later John's father Zechariah prayed his prophetic prayer.

Translation note:
15 When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us [about].”
33 The child's father and mother were amazed at the things Simeon [had] said about him.
34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, [the child’s//his] mother, “This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against 35 and so reveal their secret thoughts. And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.”

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

DBRP_041 EXO.21 EXO.22 JOB.41 LUK.1.39-80

Preparing to read EXODUS 21-22:

Yesterday we read about the awesome and fearful way the Lord revealed himself at Mount Sinai to the Israelites. (Remember that for when we come to Hebrews 13.) And God gave the 10 Commandments.

Translation notes:
18 “Now suppose two men quarrel, and one hits the other with a stone or fist, and the injured [man/person] does not die but is confined to bed. (NLT)

I can’t stand it when, in the name of gender sensitivity, ‘man’ gets changed to ‘person’. In this case, it is already clear that it is ‘two men’!

We turn to JOB 41.

God continues to confront and challenge Job, asking questions revealing God's power compared to human weakness.

A note about Leviathan in this chapter. Leviathan can be compared to a sea crocodile. The identification of Leviathan is disputed, ranging from an earthly creature to a mythical sea monster in ancient literature.

We turn for the second time to LUKE 1.

Yesterday, in a very formal prologue, Luke stated his purpose. Then we read of Zechariah's unbelief, and how Mary accepted the role God had given to her. She said:
38 “ I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

 I thank Rebekah Pickens for reading the part of Mary in today’s podcast. Rebekah is a dental hygienist and a member of our church.


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Monday, February 8, 2016



Welcome to all you who have started to listen to the DBRP!

New listeners: No matter how you found the DBRP, I recommend that you spend a little time at the web site. Consider visiting our site if the listening app you are using doesn’t let you see the episode notes. Our apps for Android and Apple products will let you see them. You can always find the notes at

Most people find the DBRP through, or their Bible reading apps. If you happened to find the DBRP on iTunes or some other place, I hope that you realize that our podcasts are in sync with the Digging Deeper reading plan found at those sites or apps. Again, visit for information.

In the first two years of making the DBRP (2014-15) it was kind of lonely work for me. I learned to not expect much response from podcast listeners! It’s very different for me this year because of DBRPdiggingdeeper Facebook group. Now I get to see little glimpses of the way God is working through His Word in you great people who are members there. So thanks to each member of that group. If you would like to join, a link to the group can be found at, and in the episode notes for this podcast.

About Bible translations: I want to give you the inside scoop on Bible translations— coming from a Bible translator. There are two main types, and then there are combinations of the two. Today I will just talk about the two main types. There are literal translations and meaning based translations. The literal translations give you a word for word picture of the original text, and the popular ESV is one of the literal translations. The literal method often works fine for the verses where English words and ways of expressing things closely match the meaning of the words and communicative strategy of the source language. But so often, this doesn’t work well when translating from ancient Greek and Hebrew. So, remember this: Literal translations give you the form of the text, but cannot always accurately convey the meaning to you.  On the other hand, meaning based translations don’t make it a priority to follow the form, but the translator’s priority is to convey the meaning in a way that is as natural as possible in English. The Good News Translation we are using this year in the podcasts is one of the best meaning based translations. But translating for meaning often means expressing things in ways that do not have the same word-for-word form as the original. So remember: A meaning based translation gives you the meaning, but often does not mirror the form of the original text.

To see how this works, I suggest you compare Romans 1:16-17 in the ESV and the GNT.

I hope this will give you insight about the way translations work: For instance, you will find that the ESV translates a verse one way, and the GNT translates it in another. Someone will ask, “Which one is right?” BOTH are right! The ESV is giving you the form. The GNT is giving you the meaning. Now, what if you compare two excellent meaning based translations?— the NLT and the GNT. If you find a difference in wording, again you may ask, “Which one is right?” The answer is almost always again that both are right. In other words, the original readers of the source language text could have understood what the text says in both ways. Those two translations, in almost every case, will both accurately render the meaning in a way that can be defended by someone who knows the Biblical languages.

So when someone says, “The XYZ translation is best.” Then you must ask them, “Best for what?” Does the person mean best for detailed study, such as comparing how Paul uses a particular term in his letters? Or does the person mean best for quickly understanding the meaning in the morning before you rush off to work? It is BEST if every believer has at least one of the two main translation types, and learns how to use both types. If you are reading the Bible in the morning before work and you have a limited amount of time, then I recommend that you stick with a meaning based translation. When you have the opportunity for digging deeper, I suggest that you check out the online Bible research tools listed on the Shovels page at

The DBRP is really a hobby to me, and not my job. I don’t receive income from this. I simply want to promote the understanding and enjoyment of God’s Word. So, if you identify with me in wanting those same things, this is the idea I want to leave with you. If there is a day when you are listening to one of the podcasts, and the Holy Spirit speaks to you powerfully through God’s Word, hit the share button and share it with your friends.


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DBRP_040 EXO.19 EXO.20 JOB.40 LUK.1.1-45

Preparing to read EXODUS 19-20:

Yesterday we heard of God satisfying the thirst of the Israelites by commanding Moses to hit a rock. Israel defeated the Amalekites. And Jethro brought Moses’ wife and sons to him and gave him good advice.

Note that in Hebrew, God often talks of _Himself_ in what we might term the royal fashion— as ‘The Lord’, and as ‘He’ or ‘His’ (instead of ‘Me’ and ‘My’). Many translations into other languages must use ‘I, the Lord’ and ‘Me/My’, as to speak of oneself in the third person is ungrammatical. To speak that way is highly unusual in English. An example of this happens in today’s reading in Exodus 20:7, the law about not taking the Lord’s name in vain.)

JOB 40:

Yesterday God continued to challenge Job with questions too hard for humans to answer. In today’s chapter, starting at verse 15, we read about the Behemoth. The GNT footnote tells that some identify this as a hippopotamus. But the description of Behemoth's tail in verse 17 doesn't fit with a hippopotamus. Maybe a sea crocodile would be a better choice? But they don’t eat grass. It is perhaps better to simply say that the Behemoth and Leviathan are legendary or mythical sea creatures.

Today we begin the Gospel of LUKE!

Yesterday we finished 2nd Peter with his advising us to get ready for the Lord's return.

Luke— as we will find out in other NT books, was the physician who was a traveling companion of Paul. His goal was to write a well-researched and ordered account of Jesus' life— as he says in his formal prologue.  

Robert Maddox states:
“[Luke] writes to reassure the Christians of his day that their faith in Jesus is no aberration, but the authentic goal towards which God’s ancient dealings with Israel were driving.” More Muslims have become followers of Christ through reading Luke’s Gospel than from reading other three, because of its emphases.

Luke is the longest book of the NT, and if we put Luke’s two books together, they form 27% of the NT.

Luke wrote to Theophilus, who may have been a Roman dignitary, but since the name means “Lover of God” Luke may have intended his book for all of us who love God. Luke's explanations show that he was writing to the Greeks, and so he appropriately brings out that Christ came for all mankind— Jews and Gentiles. Luke also highlights the roles played by women. A major example is the material from his interviews with Mary, the mother of Jesus. Luke includes more poetry than the other Gospels, tells more about Jesus praying, and chronicles Jesus' parables and teaching.

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

DBRP_039 EXO.17 EXO.18 JOB.39 2PE.3

Let’s turn to EXODUS 17-18:

Yesterday we heard the wonderful victory song of Moses. Then we heard how the people of Israel grumbled against Moses, Aaron, and most importantly, the Lord. Even about something as simple as gathering manna, the people of Israel disobey repeatedly. They are not called stubborn for nothing.

We turn to JOB 39.

God continues for a second chapter in challenging Job.

We turn to 2PETER 3.

Yesterday it struck me that even in Peter's day, there were greedy false teachers. Peter's descriptions of the false teachers are some of the most colorful in the Bible.

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

DBRP_038 EXO.15 EXO.16 JOB.38 2PE.2

Let’s open to EXODUS 15-16.

Yesterday we heard that because of the Passover plague which killed Egypt's firstborn, God claims the firstborn of Israel for all time to come. Then we heard of Pharaoh's final hardening of his heart, and the parting of the red sea.

We turn to JOB 38.

In the 6 chapters before this, Elihu has said that God uses multiple means of communication with humans. He maintained that God is just, and said that Job— in his despair, had gone too far in saying it doesn't make any difference if one tries to serve God. He said that God is amazing in His power, and God does notice and punish the wicked. Then it so happened that as Elihu was speaking, a storm was blowing up that showed God's awesome majesty. Then— in today’s chapter, the Lord answers Job, not the last speaker, Elihu.

Translation note:
18 Have you any idea how big the world is?
Answer me if you know [so much].

Turning to 2PETER 2:

Yesterday we heard that we can employ God's promises to supply power for godly living. This power can even enable us to share in God's own nature, thereby escaping the world's corruption. Let’s review what we read yesterday starting at 1:19, as Peter's mention of the prophets are a stark contrast with the false teachers Peter will describe in chapter 2.

1:19 NLT Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

Translation note:
13 and they will be paid with suffering for the suffering they have caused. Pleasure for them is to do anything in broad daylight that will satisfy their bodily appetites; they are a shame and a disgrace as they join you in your [fellowship] meals, all the while enjoying their deceitful ways!

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