2/18/14

From Steve Singleton... What is your evaluation of the Documentary Hypothesis?

What is your evaluation of the Documentary Hypothesis?

The Documentary Hypothesis is a theory about the hypothetical documents that served as the literary sources for the first five books of the Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, also known as the Books of Moses or the Pentateuch). This theory originated with 19th-Century German source critics Graf and Wellhausen and is often called the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis. Many scholars since their time up to the present have assumed that their hypothesis is valid and approach the Pentateuch not as a unity, but as an edited compilation of prior documents. They have extended this cutting up of the text beyond the Pentateuch to include other book of the Old Testament. The Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis is also called the J-E-D-P theory because the four supposed sources are designated by these initials:
  • J: The Jahwist (or Yahwist) and Elohist documents Scholars noticed that in some sections of Genesis, the Hebrew word for God is “Yahweh,” while in other sections it is Elohim, translated “LORD” and “God,” respectively. For example, in Genesis 1:1 through 2:4 the word used repeatedly and exclusively is Elohim (“God”). In the rest of chapter 2, however, He is called “LORD God” (Yahweh Elohim) over and over, and never just God. This led these scholars to divide Genesis into “J” sections and “E” sections, attributing the “J” sections to the “Yahwist” source and the “E” sections to the “Elohist” source. Once Genesis was cut up into these sections, the source critics started looking at the distinguishing characteristics of the respective parts. They then applied these characteristics to identify J and E sections of the other books of the Pentateuch and elsewhere in the Old Testament, based on which characteristics each section had.
  • D: The Deuteronomic document“ The book of Deuteronomy did not seem to fit either category, so the source critics theorized that it was based on a document they called, for lack of a better term, “Deuteronomist.” Source critics say Deuteronomist characteristics in other Old Testament books as indications that these were written or edited by either the Deuteronomist himself or by members of a Deuteronomist school of editors.
  • P: The Priestly document In a similar way, the book of Leviticus, with its unique emphasis on the priesthood and priestly duties was dubbed the “Priestly” document. Source critics then looked at other sections with a similar emphasis as derived from priestly sources.
The process of fragmenting the text into more and more sources continued for decades throughout the 20th century. More recently, however, some biblical scholars are questioning the validity or at least the relevance of source criticism, especially since the source critics themselves cannot reach a consensus regarding which passages should be attributed to which sources. Recent study of the Pentateuch has focused, not on the sources, but on the unity and artistry of the books as they now stand. The same variety in the use of the divine names, for example, is often now explained in terms of either the literary style of the author (or the final editor) or his theological emphases, or both.

In other words, some scholars have begun to appreciate the sophistication of the biblical authors as writers and their profundity as theologians. This is a much better explanation and yields more understanding of the text than the J-E-D-P theory ever offered.

If you run across a commentary on the Old Testament that discusses the text in terms of Yahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomic, and Priestly sections, I would recommend that you set such a commentary aside and search for one that focuses on God, righteousness, atonement, covenant, law, sin, and holiness rather than unfounded speculations.

Want to go deeper?

The following are recommended to help you look deeper into whether the documentary hypothesis is valid.

Recommended for purchase:

T. Desmond Alexander & David W. Baker, eds. Dictionary of the Old Testament – Pentateuch: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship (2002) “ provides short summary of each named person in the Old and New Testaments.

Duane Garrett. Rethinking Genesis: The Sources and Authorship of the First Book of the Pentateuch (2000)


Online resources:

James P. Holding. “Debunking the Documentary Hypothesis”

Curt Sewell. “The Tablet Theory of Genesis Authorship.”

Many thanks to brother Steve Singleton, for allowing me to post from his website, deeper study.com.

From Ben Fronczek... Identity Crisis – A Devil’s Tool (past 4)







Identity Crisis – A Devil’s Tool (past 4)

By Ben Fronczek


Last July CNN ran this storyWhen police found the unconscious man in a Southern California Motel 6, the IDs on him said he was Michael Thomas Boatwright from Florida. But when the man awoke at Desert Regional Medical Center a few days later, he said he’d never heard of Boatwright. He didn’t recall being born in Florida.
When doctors told him he had five tennis rackets in his hotel room, he couldn’t say why. When they showed him photos of himself with others, he didn’t recognize them, or himself.  And he didn’t speak a word of English.   The man said his name was Johan Ek.  And he said it in Swedish. That was last February. Today, the 61-year-old man says he has come to terms with the name “Michael Boatwright,” but only because doctors told him he should.  He still feels like Johan Ek from Sweden. And he can’t explain why.

Phenomena like these stories of people who have lost their memories, and have forgetting their true identity intrigue many of us. Hit movies have been produces with a similar theme. Movies like TOTAL RECALL, where Arnold Schwarzenegger, who in the future plays a construction worker who learns that he was some kind of secret agent with secret information about Mars. And then BOURNE IDENTITY trilogy, where Matt Damon, who play Jason Bourne is pulled from the ocean with no memory of who was is or how he got there, but then slowly finds out that he has special abilities and slowly learns who he really is.

One of the most intriguing and sad stories I ever heard regarding lost identity was one that I heard year ago. Some may have heard it before but I would like to share it with you.

A man found an eagle’s egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them.
All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.
Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.
The old eagle looked up in awe. “Who’s that?” he asked.  The other prairie chickens said,   “That’s the eagle, the king of the birds,” said his neighbor.  
“He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth– we’re just plain ol’ barnyard chickens.”    So the eagle lived and died just a barnyard chicken, because that is all he thought he he was.  

How sad because he was robbed of his true identity.

In our present series of lesson I have been talking about how our adversary, the devil, is out to rob us. He wants to rob us of a good relationship we should have with our Father God, and with one another, and he wants to rob us of the confidence and peace of mind that we should all enjoy as a Christian.

Another dastardly tool the devil uses against us to rob us of these things is by robbing us of the reality of who we really are, our true identity. 

And oh he has done such a good job at this!

Too many people live and base their whole life simply on what they can see with their own eyes and what they’ve heard with their own ears. We believe and accept most of what we have been taught by society, and what has been spoken to us by our family, friends, and other people in general, not realizing that the devil can use these people like a pawns in his service to cripple us.

I don’t believe most people realize who and what we really are
  Like that eagle, we have forgotten or even lost our true identity. What may seem like reality to so many is really a farce, a deception on the devil’s part.

I am here today to tell you that you are so much more than you have been led to believe about yourself. I do not say these things to give you a big head or puff you up,  but rather you need to see the truth because anything less is a lie which the devil wants you to believe. He wants to rob you of your true identity, hoping that in doing so you will never become what you were meant to be.

If you remember from our last lesson, I mentioned the fact that the devil can use us, and others to do his bidding. If we are not careful we can find ourselves serving the enemy by how we act, what we do, and what we say. And others can do his work on us.  For example:

Because of what people have said over the years or because what our society dictates, many see themselves as, unimportant, insignificant, not anything special.  From youth some have been led to believe they are inferior, a failure as compared to others, not very attractive, not smart enough, not educated enough, not ambitious enough.

Even worst yet because of what some have been told or how they have been treated by others, some feel dumb, ugly, untalented, uncultured,  stupid, worthless, and that they will never amount to anything, or that they are some kind of freak, a misfit, or just a waste of space.
And so what happens to such a person.  

Proverbs 23:7 basically says that  

as a man thinks of himself in his heart, so he is.

So what has happened to us? Too many today have a low opinion of themselves; that they are not good enough, smart enough, or always feel guilty about something.

To overcome these feelings, some work themselves to death attempting to attain success, wealth and power to prove to themselves and show the world that they are not a failure. Others become mean, bitter, confused or envious, of others. And still others simply live a life of mediocrity, simply living and going to work just to pay the bills, living week to week, month to month, year to year just doing their best just to survive, without out any real goals for the future.  They ask, “Is this all there is?”  That kind of life is a defeated life, the kind of life the devil wants you to live.

Whereas the devil wants to disable and cripple you Jesus came that you may learn the truth, that you may learn your true identity which the devil is trying to hide from you.  And why is he trying to hide it from you? So that you will not become what you are meant be, so that you will do his bidding and cause others to blinded as to who they really are. And ultimately I believe he wants to do his best to hurt Father God by blinding us to His love for us.

One of the reason Jesus came into the world was to unravel this kind of thinking and show us who we really are and how special we are and how important each of us are in the grand scheme of things and to God Himself.

Curtis and Eldredge writes something interesting in their book, Sacred Romance;

“The scriptures employ a wide scale of metaphors to capture the many facets of our relationship with God. If you consider them in sort of ascending orders, there is a noticeable  and breathtaking progression.  
Down near the bottom of the totem pole we are the clay  and He the Potter. Moving up a notch, we are the sheep, and He is the Shepherd, which is a little better position on the food chain but hardly flattering; sheep don’t have a reputation as the most graceful and intelligent creatures in the world.
Moving upward, we are the servants of the Master, which at least leads us into the house, even if we have to wipe our feet, watch our manners, and not talk too much. Most Christians never get past this point, but the ladder of metaphors is about to make a swift ascent.
God also calls us His children and Himself our Heavenly Father, which brings us into the possibility of real intimacy. Love is not one of the things a vase or pot and its craftsman share together, nor does a sheep truly know the heart of the shepherd, though it may enjoy the fruits of his kindness.
Still there is something missing even in the best parent-child relationship. Friendship levels the playing field in a way family never can, at least not until the kids have grown. Friendship opens a level of communion that a five year old doesn’t know with his mother and father. And “friends” are what He calls us.
     But there is still a higher and deeper level of intimacy and partnership awaiting us at the top of the metaphorical ascent. We are lovers. The courtship that began with a honeymoon in the Garden culminates in the wedding feast of the lamb.  “I will take delight in you.” He says to us, “as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so I will rejoice over you, ” so that we might say in return, ”I am my beloved’s and His desire is for me.” (Sacred Romance, page 96)

You may ask, “who am I, how can God love me.” You are not loved by God because of what you’ve done, but rather because of who you are. We are His!

Let me share with you some interesting verses:
-  Genesis 1:26-27  Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Psalm 8:4-6  “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?  5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet”

Jeremiah 1:5 (God told Jeremiah) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,”
Romans 8:29    “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

Ephesians 1:4-5  For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and”

1 Corinthians 15:49  And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.”

John 1:12  says that we are children of God                                                 

Rom 8:17 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ”

I Corinthians 6:19 says that my body is a temple of His Holy Spirit who now dwells in me.

Philippians 3:20 says that I am a citizen of heaven.

Are you beginning to get the message of who you really are? These are important truths that the devil tries with all his power to make us forget. He wants you to feel insignificant.

And I am telling you today that we must hold on to these truths as if our very life depended upon it. In fact, it can be more important than life itself. Other people’s eternal destinies could depend upon whether we grasp these truths and live in them. The Lord wants to make you a powerful force in His kingdom but will not have much success if you see yourself as a useless, weak, failure.

It’s frightening to consider how much this world misses out when Christians think they are not special to God. There’s no Christian who cannot be used of God to win thousands of souls, should the Lord so chose. There’s no Christian who can’t be used to change the course of human history. But while we hold on to those lies of inferior thinking, we are crippled and won’t hardly do anything spectacular. This is serious – more serious than any of us can imagine.

I wonder how different this world would be today if all mankind could really see who and what they really are, if we could see everyone with the eyes of God and the angels.

We are a magnificent eternal, spirit beings, temporally clothed in this body. God, the owner, creator, and ruler of all the universe is FATHER to us all.  As Christians, we will soon enjoy that supernatural, glorious body in spectacular surroundings with angels and our Lord in a heavenly existence.

Some of us have to wake up as to who and what we really are. Do you want to know how important you are to God? You are so important to God almighty, and He love you so very much that He allowed His Son to suffer and die for you, and then He sent you His own Spirit, to dwells inside you, wherever you go, 24 hours a day to help you. If that isn’t loving us and putting value on us I don’t know what is.

Negative thoughts will come but I tell you, once you recognize them, you need repel them with the same disgust you would a blood-sucking leech. These filthy invaders from the sewers of hell are not part of you. They are deceptions from the devil. The best way to push out those negative thoughts is to grasp the opposite thought, ideally, a statement you know to be true because it’s in the Word of God. Cling to them like life preserver.   Resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). He’ll try to sneak back later, but as you daily look to the Lord you will live in victory.

For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... A PRAYER FOR GOD'S COMING


A PRAYER FOR GOD'S COMING

O Lord, it seems that we have always been looking for you. Prophets told of your coming and psalmists sang of your future arrival. The whole creation groans and wonders when you wilt show yourself and right all wrongs and delive it from the bondage to which it has been subjected not of its own will but in hope. A hope for which it longs.

Your church herself wonders why you are taking so long to arrive. Sometimes we think that even the evil doers of the world have moments when they wish you would come and stop them in their evil tracks so that they will not plunge deeper into the moral mire they presently wallow in.
Millions toil only to have the wages of their honest labor cruelly snatched from them and they weep bitter tears as they continue impossible tasks. Millions sell themselves and their body parts and even their children to stay alive and women are forced into shame so families can eat a handful of rice. People ask for bread and are given a stone while tyrants live in luxury and governments reward violence.

It’s been so long and still we haven’t seen you exalt the humble and bring down the proud and arrogant. We have heard such stories of you in olden days and we believe them but we wonder why there are none to tell today. We hear of them happening here and there and once in a while and we wonder why they don't happen everywhere and all the time.

Forgive our impatience but do please remember that it stems in part from your own established righteousness and reputation which is proclaimed in the hymns and songs of your People and in light of the promises you have made. Still, forgive us and help us to continue to believe that in Jesus Christ you have vindicated yourself and will gloriously fulfill all your promises, and that we will all see and know that you are a God worthy of praise and that your faithful love endures forever.
With sadness and some fear we recognize that you might have come to us and gone away again—might have come to us in disguise, perhaps as a child wanting to be loved, a woman looking for justice or a man wearily and in some irritation looking for his soul. Perhaps we were too busy praying for your coming that we had no time for you when you came. We implore you not to leave us this way but to return to us. And when you do finally come to us without disguise may you find us busy responding compassionately to you in your many disguises. O come to our aid, we pray, though we are a wicked and wayward human family for there is so much pain and suffering and loss and there is no one to help us but you. No one but you! 

From Mark Copeland... Graces Of The Heirs Of Grace (Titus 3:1-2)

                         "THE EPISTLE TO TITUS"

                  Graces Of The Heirs Of Grace (3:1-2)

INTRODUCTION

1. In his epistle to Titus, Paul commanded him to do two things...
   a. Set in order the things that are lacking - Tit 1:5
   b. Speak the things proper for sound doctrine - Tit 2:1

2. The first had to do with the appointment of elders...
   a. Whose qualifications were listed by Paul - Tit 1:5-9
   b. Whose task included dealing with insubordinate talkers and
      deceivers - Tit 1:10-16

3. The second had to do with conduct becoming members of the church...
   a. As men and women, young and old, slave or free - Tit 2:1-10
   b. As recipients of the wonderful grace of God - Tit 2:11-14

[In Tit 3:1-2, Paul continues to instruct Titus on what to remind the
brethren.  We find him describing "Graces Of The Heirs Of Grace", i.e.,
how recipients of God's grace should act toward others...]

I. TOWARD THOSE IN AUTHORITY

   A. BE SUBJECT AND OBEY...
      1. A charge given by Paul elsewhere - Ro 13:1-7; 1Ti 2:1-2
      2. A charge reinforced by Peter as well - 1Pe 2:13-17
      3. Both of which reflect the words of Jesus - cf. Mt 22:17-21
      -- Our duty to government can be summarized by these words:  obey,
         pay, and pray

   B. BE READY FOR EVERY GOOD WORK...
      1. As citizens, we should be prepared to serve our country and
         fellow man in ways consistent with the teaching of Christ;
         i.e., with good works - Mt 5:16; cf. Php 2:14-16
      2. A recurring theme stressed throughout this epistle to Titus
         - Tit 2:14; 3:8,14
      -- Such gracious conduct is proper for the heirs of grace

[As seen in Tit 2:11-12, God's grace does not mean license to do whatever
we want.  It teaches us to respect and obey those in authority.  As we
continue, it also teaches us how to live graciously...]

II. TOWARD ALL MEN

   A. SPEAK EVIL OF NO ONE...
      1. Speak evil (blasphemeo) - To blaspheme, revile. To hurt the
         reputation or smite with reports or words, speak evil of,
         slander, rail - TCWD
      2. As translated in other versions
         a. "to malign no one" (NASB)
         b. "to slander no one" (NIV)
      3. Applied here to all men, elsewhere toward brethren - Ep 4:
         31-32; Jm 4:11-12
      4. Note the caution of Michael the archangel in reproaching even
         the devil! - cf. Jude 1:9
      -- We must speak out against error, but gracious in how we speak
         of those in error

   B. BE PEACEABLE...
      1. Peaceable (amachos) - not disposed to fight, not contentious or
         quarrelsome - TCWD
      2. The quality displayed by Paul toward his brethren - 1Th 2:7
      3. A virtue to be displayed even toward those in error - 2Ti 2:
         24-25
      4. A grace indicative of heavenly wisdom - Jm 3:17
      -- We can contend without being contentious, disagree without
         being disagreeable

   C. BE GENTLE...
      1. Gentle (epieikes) - equitable, fair, mild, gentle - Thayer
      2. Towards those who attack us. Yielding, considerate, not urging
         one's rights to the uttermost, but forbearing and kindly - JFB
      3. A grace to be extended toward all men - cf. Php 4:5
      -- A willingness to turn the other cheek, not just literally but
         also figuratively

   D. SHOWING ALL HUMILITY...
      1. Humility (praotes) - gentleness, mildness, meekness - Thayer
      2. As translated in other versions:
         a. "to show perfect courtesy" (ESV)
         b. "showing all meekness" (KJV)
         c. "showing every consideration" (NASB)
         d. "to show true humility" (NIV)
         e. "to show every courtesy" (NRSV)
      3. A quality present in the fruit of the Spirit - cf. Ga 5:22-23
      -- An example of gracious conduct by an heir of grace!

CONCLUSION

1. The reason for such conduct is given as Paul continues in his
   epistle...
   a. Though we were once foolish, disobedient, etc. - Tit 3:3
   b. We have been saved by the kindness, love, and mercy of God - Tit 3:
      4-6
   c. We have been justified by His grace, and thus "heirs of grace"
      - Tit 3:7

2. Are we willing to conduct ourselves in ways appropriate for "heirs of
   grace"...?
   a. Toward those in authority, even when as wicked and evil as was the
      emperor Nero?
   b. Toward all men, not just brethren, but even those who may oppose
      and oppress us?

That is our calling.  May we grow in grace to become the kind of people
for which Jesus died...

   "who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every
   lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people,
   zealous for good works." - Tit 2:14

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011


From Gary... Bible Reading February 18






Bible Reading  

February 18

The World English Bible



Feb. 18
Genesis 49

Gen 49:1 Jacob called to his sons, and said: "Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which will happen to you in the days to come.
Gen 49:2 Assemble yourselves, and hear, you sons of Jacob. Listen to Israel, your father.
Gen 49:3 "Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength; excelling in dignity, and excelling in power.
Gen 49:4 Boiling over as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed, then defiled it. He went up to my couch.
Gen 49:5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers. Their swords are weapons of violence.
Gen 49:6 My soul, don't come into their council. My glory, don't be united to their assembly; for in their anger they killed men. In their self-will they hamstrung cattle.
Gen 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Gen 49:8 "Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies. Your father's sons will bow down before you.
Gen 49:9 Judah is a lion's cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he crouched as a lion, as a lioness. Who will rouse him up?
Gen 49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs. To him will the obedience of the peoples be.
Gen 49:11 Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey's colt to the choice vine; he has washed his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.
Gen 49:12 His eyes will be red with wine, his teeth white with milk.
Gen 49:13 "Zebulun will dwell at the haven of the sea. He will be for a haven of ships. His border will be on Sidon.
Gen 49:14 "Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the saddlebags.
Gen 49:15 He saw a resting place, that it was good, the land, that it was pleasant. He bows his shoulder to the burden, and becomes a servant doing forced labor.
Gen 49:16 "Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
Gen 49:17 Dan will be a serpent in the way, an adder in the path, That bites the horse's heels, so that his rider falls backward.
Gen 49:18 I have waited for your salvation, Yahweh.
Gen 49:19 "A troop will press on Gad, but he will press on their heel.
Gen 49:20 "Asher's food will be rich. He will yield royal dainties.
Gen 49:21 "Naphtali is a doe set free, who bears beautiful fawns.
Gen 49:22 "Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a spring. His branches run over the wall.
Gen 49:23 The archers have sorely grieved him, shot at him, and persecute him:
Gen 49:24 But his bow remained strong. The arms of his hands were made strong, by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, (from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel),
Gen 49:25 even by the God of your father, who will help you; by the Almighty, who will bless you, with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.
Gen 49:26 The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of your ancestors, above the boundaries of the ancient hills. They will be on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the head of him who is separated from his brothers.
Gen 49:27 "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf. In the morning he will devour the prey. At evening he will divide the spoil."
Gen 49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them. He blessed everyone according to his blessing.
Gen 49:29 He instructed them, and said to them, "I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
Gen 49:30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place.
Gen 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his wife, and there I buried Leah:
Gen 49:32 the field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth."
Gen 49:33 When Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the spirit, and was gathered to his people.
 
Feb. 18, 19
Matthew 25

Mat 25:1 "Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
Mat 25:3 Those who were foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them,
Mat 25:4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 Now while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 But at midnight there was a cry, 'Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!'
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, 'What if there isn't enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'
Mat 25:10 While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us.'
Mat 25:12 But he answered, 'Most certainly I tell you, I don't know you.'
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Mat 25:14 "For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them.
Mat 25:15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey.
Mat 25:16 Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
Mat 25:17 In like manner he also who got the two gained another two.
Mat 25:18 But he who received the one went away and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
Mat 25:19 "Now after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reconciled accounts with them.
Mat 25:20 He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.'
Mat 25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
Mat 25:22 "He also who got the two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two talents besides them.'
Mat 25:23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
Mat 25:24 "He also who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter.
Mat 25:25 I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.'
Mat 25:26 "But his lord answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn't sow, and gather where I didn't scatter.
Mat 25:27 You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest.
Mat 25:28 Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away.
Mat 25:30 Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Mat 25:31 "But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
Mat 25:32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
Mat 25:33 He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then the King will tell those on his right hand, 'Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
Mat 25:35 for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in.
Mat 25:36 I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.'
Mat 25:37 "Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink?
Mat 25:38 When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you?
Mat 25:39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?'
Mat 25:40 "The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
Mat 25:41 Then he will say also to those on the left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels;
Mat 25:42 for I was hungry, and you didn't give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink;
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and you didn't take me in; naked, and you didn't clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'
Mat 25:44 "Then they will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn't help you?'
Mat 25:45 "Then he will answer them, saying, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn't do it to one of the least of these, you didn't do it to me.'
Mat 25:46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."





From Gary... A boy and his dog




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIXoYHYEnkg

Just a picture of a Boy and his Dog; but one with a story to tell. Now, I am not going to retell the story because the picture and the VIDEO tell that better than I ever could, but aside from the mere facts of this relationship, there is a lesson for us all here.  And it begins with a passage from Matthew's Gospel account...


Matthew, Chapter 15
  21  Jesus went out from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely possessed by a demon!” 

  23  But he answered her not a word. 
His disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away; for she cries after us.” 

  24  But he answered, “I wasn’t sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 

  25  But she came and worshiped him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 

  26  But he answered, “It is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 

  27  But she said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 
  28  Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

Jesus was on a mission to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and was approached by a Canaanite woman seeking mercy for here daughter. Seeing her faith, he granted her request and a healing was performed.  Why? Her faith and the value of even the"less valuable" among us.  Not everyone in this world can be smart or successful or even able to cope with life successfully. But, God loves them too!!!  This boy is handicapped (crippled, if you will) but can love- so can his dog.  Neither may be "normal", but both are special in the eyes of God.  When you finish reading this, get up, go to a mirror and look, God died for you- and that makes you very special, whether or not you even have a dog!!!