Tag Archives: Babylon

Psalms 137: An Exegetical Approach


Psalms 137 has long been one of my favourite biblical passages and not simply because of the shock value held by the final verses. Surely “a blessing on him who repays you in kind” and “a blessing on him who seizes your babies and dashes them against the rocks!” are the rarest of occurrences in any sermon (137:8—9)! This type of retaliatory language only piqued my interest in Psalm 137 and to avoid running the risk of a shallow understanding and interpretation I was forced to study the passages in detail. Apart from the obvious questions one could ask, such as “what on earth is something like this doing in the bible?” and “is this really condoning the dashing of babies as a form of retribution?”—certain theological questions arise for the Christian disciple reading such a passage. Namely what does this suggest about God, if anything, and the issues of faith the author was faced with during the time period this passage was constructed? Moreover, what does Psalm 137 suggest about the society it was written in? Continue reading

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The Old Testament As History Or Story: A Reflective Approach

Entry 2

English: Manasseh's Sin and Repentance; as in ...

Manasseh’s Sin and Repentance; as in 2 Chronicles 33:1-13

Often the poetry found in the Hebrew bible in books other than Psalms, The Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Job and Proverbs; are only obviously poetry once pointed out. Biblical scholar Christine Hayes explains, in her work on “Form Tradition and Archaeological Correlations with History“, many of these Hebrew bible books were sung aloud and so it was easier to sing poetry.[1] Continue reading

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Filed under The Old Testament As History Or Story

Revelation and the Mark of the Beast: 666 or 616?

Briefly to summarize the last two posts on The Revelation to John; John writing to the

Fragment from Papyrus 115 with number 616

Fragment from Papyrus 115 with number 616

churches in Asia Minor explains in code, utilizing large amounts of Hebrew bible imagery to great effect, on how God will bring down Rome and Nero (after his return), an oppressive ruler of Judeo-Christians. Babylon is code for Rome and the mark of the beast, 666, is code for Caesar Nero—or is it? Continue reading

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The Revelation to John: Αποκαλυψις, an unveiling!

English: Bust of Nero at the Capitoline Museum...

Bust of Nero at the Capitoline Museum, Rome 

Interpreted in its historical context we can gain some useful insights about what message John is trying to get across to his audience. So what on earth does context even mean in the case of ancient human artifacts? Understanding of the historical context of any bible text means understanding the social, economic, political; and often with apocalyptic literature, the oppressive circumstances it is being written under. This oppressive arrangement cannot be stressed enough here. Continue reading

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