Weekly Bible Readings – Feb 18 thru Feb 25

Week 7. Thank you Beth Costine for your insightful comments.

Category 1 – NT – Gospels

  • Day 1 – Matthew 15:1-20
  • Day 2 – Matthew 15:21-39
  • Day 3 – Matthew 16:1-12
  • Day 4 – Matthew 16:13-28
  • Day 5 – Matthew 17:1-13
  • Day 6 – Matthew 17:14-27

For category 1 readers , your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Matthew 16:13-20 contains Peter’s confession about who Christ is, and Jesus’ response to this confession. The words of Jesus to Peter in verses 17-19 are some of the most difficult to understand. How do you understand them and why?

Category 2 – NT History & Epistles

  • Day 1 – Acts 21:1-26
  • Day 2 – Acts 21:27-40
  • Day 3 – Acts 22
  • Day 4 – Acts 23:1-11
  • Day 5 – Acts 23:12-35
  • Day 6 – Acts 24

For category 2 readers , your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Why do you suppose Paul was still worshipping in the Jewish temple in chapter 21? Was this right or wrong (or neither)? Why do you draw that conclusion?

Category 3 – OT Poetry & Wisdom

  • Day 1 – Psalm 35
  • Day 2 – Psalm 36
  • Day 3 – Psalm 37:1-22
  • Day 4 – Psalm 37:23-40
  • Day 5 – Psalm 38
  • Day 6 – Psalm 39

For category 3 readers, your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: Try to identify with the lament of the psalmist in chapter 37. How does he percieve his own life and future, and the life and future of the wicked? How does this give hope to us today?

Category 4 – OT Historical & Prophetic

  • Day 1 – Exodus 32-33
  • Day 2 – Exodus 34
  • Day 3 – Exodus 35-37
  • Day 4 – Exodus 38-40
  • Day 5 – Leviticus 1-4
  • Day 6 – Leviticus 5-7

For category 4 readers, your question for possible reflection, application and comment on the blog is this: God gives Moses and the people a LOT of detail about the construction of the Tabernacle. Why do you think this is the case? What was the significance of the Tabernacle to God’s people, and how can that encourage us today?


  1. BethC on February 21, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Oh no! I’m named! I think this forum is a great idea. If I just read on my own I tend to skip over stuff I don’t understand. The questions are very helpful.

    Matthew- “you are Peter (petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church” can be apparently be interpreted a few ways:

    1.The rock is Peter: Completely out of context with the rest of the gospels where Christ repeatedly says that He builds the Church. From this passage Catholics believe that the church is built on a person, a pope, beginning with Peter and that when the pope speaks ex cathedra, he is speaking with equal authority with God. Of course this is not consistent with any other passage of Christ being the cornerstone, and Christ building His own church. Christ is still the one today building the church. Jesus could have removed ambiguity by saying I building my rock on you, but instead of using the pronoun “this”.

    2.Peter is the lead disciple and is used here as a representation of the rest of the disciples. In this case, Petros refers to Peter, and petra refers to him as a representative of the rest of the group (view supported by MacArthur, in his 1988 Matthew commentary). In the rest of Matthew, it is clear that Jesus is not concerned with the rank of the disciples- Matt 19:27-30, Matt 20:1-28. Petra can be used to describe mountains so Christ is comparing Peter as a little rock on a mountain. In this sense, I Peter 2:5 says all who believe Christ are living stones building up the church. Some would discount this idea Jesus was speaking Aramaic and distinction is not there as it is in the Greek; however, there isn’t enough known about Aramaic to support this idea.

    3.The rock is Christ- again the problem is using the third person pronoun “this”. (It wouldn’t surprise me if Jesus referred to Himself in the third person- is that done elsewhere?)

    4.The rock is the truth of Peter’s confession (view supported by S.D. Toussaint in “Behold the king”). This category would include Christ being the cornerstone, and makes sense with the pronoun “this”, and using the word petra- meaning large mountain or stone ledge. This would be consistent with Rom 9:33, Ephesians 2:20, I Peter 2:5-8

    I’m not entirely sure that # 2 and # 4 are two different views as I have described them, but # 4 makes sense if you read the passage before. Jesus asks the disciples who they think He is, and Peter, as enabled by God, confesses that Jesus is the Son of God. The next passage Jesus says he will build his church on this rock. “This” could easily be referring to the truth that He is the Son of God as Peter just confessed. I would have to disagree with MacArthur on this. I don’t see how the disciples in general are relevant here.

    The point of the passage is introducing the “church”. This is one of only two occurrences in the Bible. Jesus in not referring to Israel because “not all of Israel is Israel”- but all of the church is His church. The gates of Hades- sheol is the OT term for death- not referring to afterlife, but just death. Gates are not weapons- just the entry point. Jesus is saying the death of the saints will not stop His church. As we see in history, martyrdom and persecution usually result in the church being built up, not torn down. The keys of the kingdom of heaven are given to the church- what is bound on earth is bound in heaven, what is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven. This is talking about church authority and church discipline- both to Peter and the rest of the church. On the basis of God’s word the church can declare what is right and what is wrong and to declare a person unrepentant.

  2. BethC on February 25, 2008 at 6:18 am

    Chapter 21- Paul was trying to bring unity between the Gentile Christians and the Jewish christians. The guidleines that were set at the Jerusalem council were to help prevent the Gentiles Christians from offending the Jewish Christians. Paul worshipped at the synagogue and made an offering to reach the Jewish Christians. Jesus came to fufill the law so they were no longer under obligation to follow it, but I think it was Ok for them to still do some of it- they were weak in the faith. Romans 14 applies here. This special time where the apostles were prophesying and there were no written NT scriptures so I’m sure there was a lot of misunderstanding and confusion on both sides.

    Does this apply today? Probably to some degree. I had a catholic friend who became a Christian. Other’s guided me to not tell her she needed to change churches, but that she would switch on her own when she realized she wasn’t hearing the word there- and she did. When someone is newly saved we can encourage them in the faith, but make room for the Holy Spirit to work. If God let us see all our sin at once it would be overwhelming, but His work on us is a process.

    However, I do not think this applies to people who want to go back and start living under the OT law. Pulpit blog has recently been doing a series on that. The New Covenant is a better covenant than the old, and there is danger of trying to earn righteousness. When someone starts trying to add to their faith extra rules, and then thinks others should do the same it’s legalism.

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