Archives for posts with tag: theology


Considering the nature of this topic, it seemed best to post the statement of faith and doctrine before this post, for a frame of reference. As an introduction to the teachings of The Job Project website blog, it may seem strange to start with a quote from the following verse.

1 Kings 20:23 And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods [are] gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.

Really, this verse could be a very good starting point for a thesis on systematic theology. This article is no such thesis. The reason the verse is a good starting point is because it is wrong. Yes, it is historically accurate, since this report of the Syrians giving this advice is true. It is wrong in a different way. Here it is saying, in the Holy Scriptures, that the God of Israel can only help armies when they are in the hills. I know it does not bother you to be reminded of this flawed reasoning in the Bible, since the context makes it clear that it is wrong — quite clear.

1 Kings 20:28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD [is] God of the hills, but he [is] not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD.

This clarity makes it a good example of a principle of Bible interpretation. You might have noticed that different people come up with different interpretations of what the Bible means. This is to be expected, since there is no limit to the possible errors we can make, causing misunderstanding and faulty interpretation.

It is outside the scope of The Job Project to teach all of the principles of Bible interpretation, but one that applies to the book of Job is that we need to interpret Bible verses in context. In the last portion of the book of Job, God is talking. God condemns some of sections of the book of Job as “folly” and some other parts as “words without knowledge.” Of course, God wants us to base our doctrine, and our lives, on trustworthy knowledge, rather than folly. So, we can completely expect to be able to discern between them, from the context. After all, the Bible cannot be fully authoritative, unless God has given us some reliable way to tell which parts of the record are sound, and which parts God has deemed as folly.

The next blog post will begin to elaborate on this distinction, through an audio drama.

If I say, “I am wearing yellow,” does that mean every thread of my clothing is coloured yellow? On the other extreme, does it mean that some insignificant, hidden thread, holding the toe of my left sock sewed shut, is the only yellow in my apparel? What if I tell you this over the phone, as I am describing my appearance, so you can recognise me, because we are about to meet at the airport? Picture that. Did you imagine someone wearing a shirt or jacket that is mostly yellow? Even with something as simple as the colour of clothing, context makes a difference.

A word can have a very different meaning when used in one context compared to another context. Even a phrase or a sentence can have a different meaning in much the same way.

There are various forms of context that we find in the Bible. The immediate context includes those words that are used together, and the sentence structure, which will help us understand the meaning. So, this is like grammar and syntax, as well as the surrounding passages leading up to and following the text, which can give insights into the intent. There is also the audience. When the words are directed to one group of people, the meaning can be somewhat different than if the audience is another group. Topical context is another very important component in our Bible studies since we can gain a better, more complete, picture of the teaching when we take into account all of the passages in the Bible that inform the subject. In addition, it is good to consider the source. So this is another context based on who is speaking and what effect that has on the meaning of what is being said.

The content of the Bible is not changing, so we can construct a full picture of a teaching by studying all of these contextual views throughout all of Scripture. The biblical phrase for this is: Rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

For example, in Judges 6:23, Gideon is told, “thou shalt not die.” Devoid of the context of the events surrounding this statement, there are several meanings that this short phrase could have. We could have quickly set aside the possibility that the pronouncement is a lie, since the context is that God is telling this directly to Gideon. But, what if Gideon is mistaken, and just thinks God is telling him this? What if he is just imagining that it is God telling him, or he is being misled to think so? Without context, we do not know. Maybe Gideon is being told that he would be like Enoch, who did not die because God caught him up to Heaven instead. Maybe this is just a spiritual death that Gideon will not experience. If it really is referring to physical death, then maybe Gideon is being told that he would live on Earth forever. Maybe he is still alive today! Maybe the world could end before his death! It is likely there are other possibilities that are not listed here. When we look at the context, it is easy to understand “thou shalt not die” means his death is not imminent, and that this conversation with God would not be the reason for his death.

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Statement of Faith:

1 Peter 1:3-5
3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Hebrews 11:1-3,6
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him:] for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Revelation 2:10 Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Statement of Doctrine: A summary of some things which are most surely believed among us. Many of us Christians are united in our stance that the Holy Bible is the authority, yet we disagree regarding some points of meaning. Here lists our view on topics of common interest.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life and no one can come to the Father but by Him. Jesus is God in the flesh, born of the virgin Mary with no human father, fully human and fully divine.

The Holy Godhead is eternally existent and triune; one God, three Persons: Yahweh, God the Holy Father; Jesus Christ, God the Holy Son; and the Comforter, God the Holy Ghost, who indwells all New Testament believers.

Our Lord Jesus Christ: died on the cross and suffered, taking the punishment for the sin of all humanity; was buried; rose bodily from the dead, conquering death for us; was seen resurrected by many infallible proofs and witnesses; ascended to Heaven; is currently seated at the right hand of God the Father; and shall return, in manifest glory, to this Earth as Judge of the living and the dead.

The 66 books of the Holy Bible are inerrant. God has preserved His Word without error as proclaimed by the Holy Spirit through the prophets by inspiration. The miracles recorded in the Scriptures are real, historical, super-natural events, rather than fiction or myth.

About 4,000 years before Christ was born, God created the world, from nothing, in six days that were consecutive, regular, 24-hour days, rested the seventh day, and has been working ever since.

Eden of primal Earth was paradise, without sin, suffering, or thorns, where no one would have died. By God’s standard, the world was very good. Adam’s rebellion against the throne of God brought a curse on the creation and that paradise was lost. Each man and woman has also gone astray, rebelling against the law of God, proving that we too are sinners, like Adam. God has also made a new paradise, where sin and suffering do not exist, and you can go there. This life is your place to choose.

Hell is a literal place of eternal judgement and torment created by God for the devil and his angels. All men and women, who die rejecting God’s mercy, will be condemned to hell without hope of deliverance. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. This life is your place to choose.

Human life is sacred from conception to eternity. Human beings are created in the image of God and are to be honoured, regardless of one’s perceived value, or quality, of that life. God and His Word have exclusive authority regarding when it is just for mankind to take a human life.

Marriage is an institution of God. He designed marriage for one man and one woman to become one flesh from the wedding until death parts them.

Government is an institution of God. “The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” Daniel 4:17

The Church is an institution of God. As high priest, Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ, and every believer is a member.

The global flood, of Noah’s day, destroyed the Earth. All land creatures on Earth died, in whose nostrils was the breath of life, except those saved on the ark.

Baptism is of believers; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; as a testimony of faith; by immersion in water; following the example and instruction of Our Lord.

The Bible doesn’t say precisely when Job’s trial of faith happened, or even how old he was at the time. There are some hints that might help us narrow down the time frame. Within the Biblical possibilities, we have then chosen dates that make for a good story.

There are several factors that undoubtedly place the events after the flood. To narrow it down further, we can look at clues about Job’s age, plus some tribal and geographic references. Considering that Job had ten children, and all seven of his sons had homes of their own, it seems that he must have been at least 60 at the time of his trial of faith.

“After this Job lived 140 years …” The way this phrase is used in other parts of the Bible, it always means that these were additional years after the event, so it was not his total life span. Also, Job was doubly blessed in several other ways after his trial, so maybe he had lived 70 years, before the time of the trial, then lived twice as many years after, to a total of 210.

Those living before the flood generally lived over 800 years, after the flood over 400 years, after the dispersion from Babel over 200 years, then life spans tapered down from there to the time when Moses said men generally lived about 70 or 80 years. The Bible seems to give the impression that grandchildren were only a part of Job’s family after the trial. So, it doesn’t really fit if Job was among those who lived over 400, since you would think he would have had grandchildren long before the final 140 years of his life. So, “being old and full of days” at 210 would put Job in the post dispersion generation.

Also, he was the “greatest of the men of the East” and he lived in “the land of Uz,” plus he was attacked by the Sabeans and the Chaldeans. These regional and tribal references all assume geographically dispersed and tribally segregated groups of people. This also places the events after the dispersion. But, the time frame is not likely many centuries after the dispersion, since “the East” would have been much farther, as significant civilizations developed in Asia. The land of Uz has its western border at the Jordan River. Also, God mentions the Jordan River when He is speaking of behemoth. So, it doesn’t seem possible that enough time had passed, so that “the East” would refer to, say, India.

For the story, it seems fitting that God might single out Job as having no equal in the Earth, as a servant of God, shortly after the death of Noah.

ChronologyOfTheOldTestamentWhile on the topic of Bible chronology, I must mention “The Chronology of the Old Testament” by Floyd Nolen Jones, published by Master Books. This book receives my highest commendation.

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