Brady Stephenson

Brady Stephenson

09 April 2011

Digging With Darren

Every once in a while I stumble across a rare gem in the online Messianic world. This time it happened twice!

A while back I had found the site of a Messianic brother named Darren who has a passion for Biblical archaeology. The name of his site is Digging with Darren.

I don't recall the first time I found his site but I was blessed to find it again and wanted to make sure I shared it.  I pray you will enjoy it, too!


Over the past two millenia various groups of believers have taken a verse here and a verse there out of context and developed an entire branch of theology from it. Methodists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Messianics... we are all guilty of this to one degree or another. It is often times the consequence of our finite understanding, a short-sighted focus, or the limited amount of time we have to study the whole counsel of Scripture.

Some of these teachings are born from a need to correct a specific error or heresy being taught. For example, there are some doctrines from the first and second centuries that were born out of the need to correct certain Gnostic heresies. These doctrines resulted in a narrow focus on the humanity of Messiah almost to the exclusion of acknowledging His deity.

In other circumstances teachings are born out of good intentions but, ignoring the broader messages of Scripture and focusing on minute details, they ultimately end up in error. Sacred Name theology is one extreme example of this.

Just before the height of last year's "Climategate" scandal, the British newspaper The Telegraph ran an article entitled "Climategate reveals 'the most influential tree in the world'".  Writer Christopher Booker made good points but got the wrong tree.

Booker wrote:

Coming to light in recent days has been one of the most extraordinary scientific detective stories of our time, bizarrely centred on a single tree in Siberia dubbed "the most influential tree in the world". On this astonishing tale, it is no exaggeration to say, could hang in considerable part the future shape of our civilisation. Right at the heart of the sound and fury of "Climategate" – the emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in East Anglia – is one story of scientific chicanery, overlooked by the media, whose implications dwarf all the rest.

05 March 2011

Jesus H Christ

Some of you may have heard the exclamation "Jesus H. Christ!" at some point in your lives.  A few more frequently than others, perhaps.  I heard this recently and (curious guy that I am) I asked the question: "Where did the 'H' come from and what does it stand for?"

We have previously noted that Jesus is not the name of the Messiah and that the verbal sound "Jesus" was not used as a label for Him until some thousand years after His death, burial, and resurrection.  His name was [and is!] Yeshua and that name has migrated (in one form or fashion) into various languages in different ways.

We have also previously mentioned that "Christ" is not the last name of the Messiah.  When Messiah and his disciples would visit a restaurant (kosher, of course!) they would not wait for the hostess to call for "Christ, party of thirteen".  The English word "Christ" comes from the Greek word Kristos which means "anointed one" or messiah.  It is a title rather than a name: Jesus the Christ/Messiah/Anointed One.

So where did the "H" come from?

05 March 2011

WFT- laodicean

The Merriam Webster Word of the Day for September 21, 2009 was laodicean.

For those of you who are acquainted with Scripture this may sound familiar.  This word comes from the name Laodicea which is one of the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation.  The Laodicean believers were known for their lukewarm behavior.  In fact, that is the modern meaning of this word:

lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics

In fact, M-W refers to Scripture in their etymology of the word:

14 February 2011

Purim Katan

I was looking at my calendar this morning and noticed that Friday, February 18th was "Purim Katan".

"Purim Katan?", I thought.  "Little Purim?"

Yes, indeed, it is a little Purim.

The book of Esther tells us:

Now in the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar), on the thirteenth day when the king's command and edict were about to be executed, on the day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, it was turned to the contrary so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them. (Esther 9:1)

For grins, I went to Webster's 1828 dictionary to look up the words liberalism and conservatism after writing recent Word For Thought articles about them.  His 1828 dictionary is much more reflective of Webster's Christian character than modern dictionaries that carry his name.  I found these insights (the emphasis is mine):

Liberal (Liberalism was not present)

05 February 2011

WFT- conservatism

Previously in the Words For Thought series we examined the word "liberalism".  Now let's take a look at conservatism.  Here is what Merriam-Webster has to say about it:


1 capitalized a : the principles and policies of a Conservative party    b : the Conservative party 2 a : disposition in politics to preserve what is established    b : a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically : such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage) 3 : the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change

04 February 2011

WFT- liberalism

Anyone who frequents this blog knows about the "Words For Thought" series where I examine words, their meanings, and their use in a Scriptural context.

Two of the words that I found to be rather interesting lately are liberalism and conservativism. They don't always mean what we think they mean.  This article (and the next few that follow it) will examine these words.  Let's start with...


1 : the quality or state of being liberal 2 aoften capitalized : a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity    b : a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard    c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)    d capitalized : the principles and policies of a Liberal party

29 January 2011

WFT- pink

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day for September 16th, 2009 was pink.

First: I know... I know.  I'm WAYYY behind if I am pulling up a WotD from 2009. :)

Second: no... this word does not refer to the color.  It's a verb:

1 a : to perforate in an ornamental pattern b : to cut a saw-toothed edge on 2 a : pierce, stab b : to wound by irony, criticism, or ridicule

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