From Steve Singleton... What is the Law of Moses, and what are its commands?

What is the Law of Moses, and what are its commands?


At the outset of our consideration of the Law of Moses, we have to define three terms: Law of Moses, the Law, and Torah.
  • “Law of Moses”: This phrase in Scripture refers to two things: the stipulations of the Mosaic Covenant and the entire Pentateuch (the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). Of course, the Mosaic covenant is contained within the Pentateuch, specifically, from Exodus 20 through Deuteronomy 33.
  • “The Law”: This phrase has the same flexibility of the “Law of Moses”: sometimes it refers to the Mosaic Covenant, and sometimes to the entire Pentateuch. In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “law” (nomos) can also mean principle, as in “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ,” or “the perfect law of liberty” (Romans 8:2 and James 1:25), or simply “law” (Romans 7:21). You have to determine from the context which meaning “law” has.
  • “Torah”: This is the Hebrew word translated “law,” but is actually means “instruction.” Its meaning varies according to the context.

Points of controversy: When we discuss the Mosaic Covenant, disagreement immediately arises concerning the origin of the Pentateuch, the written record of the Law. Some hold to what we could call a naive viewpoint, that we should take the books of the Pentateuch at face value as having been produced by Moses during the period of the wilderness wanderings after the Exodus from Egypt. Others believe that these books were not composed until hundreds of years later, as late as the Persian period (536 to 333 BCE). A more likely view is one that lies between these two alternatives: the five Books of Moses do go back to the prophet whose name they bear, though they have undergone minor editing in later generations. This, I believe, is the most likely explanation, addressing both the objections to the naive view and the observations regarding stylistic differences within the documents. This view also takes seriously the weighty evidence of the validation of the Books of Moses by both Jesus and Paul.

Characteristics of the Law of Moses:
  1. The stipulations of the Law are bound up in the narrative of the Exodus from Egypt.“ Beginning with the Ten Commandments themselves (see Exodus 20), the laws and ordinances of Torah are interspersed with the historical narrative of the events of the Israelites’ departure from Egypt and their wanderings in the desert of Sinai before entering Canaan to conquer and take possession of it. This means that the laws are not recorded in any kind of systematic order though sometimes similar laws appear together.
  2. The Decalogue (Ten Commandments) is foundational to the rest of the Law.“ The Ten Commandments cover in a general way the relationship the people of the covenant have with their God, with other members of their own families, and with the other members of the covenant community and the world at large. God gave these Ten Commandments to Israel near the beginning of the 40 years of wandering. Also at its end, Moses reminded the people of these same Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5). They were written on tablets of stone and placed within the ark of the covenant as a reminder of the covenant the people had with their God (Deuteronomy 31:26).
  3. Many of the ordinances are casuistic.“ That is, they seem to be the results of judgments involving particular cases. For example, immediately after God struck dead Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s two sons, for disobeying His commands regarding the kind of fire proper for sacrifices (Numbers 10:1-7), God delivers a command prohibiting on-duty priests from getting drunk (Numbers 10:8-11). A lengthy cluster of such laws occurs at Exodus 21:18 through 22:17, each paragraph having the form of “If x happens, then do y.”
  4. It is difficult if not impossible to separate the ethical portion from the ritual parts of the Law.“ The Bible in neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament makes a distinction between the ethical or moral parts of the Law (e.g., Don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t give false testimony, etc.) and the ritual parts of the Law (e.g., the priest should wear this garment, manufacture incense with this formula, offer this kind of sacrifice for that kind of offence, etc.). To make such a distinction is not only arbitrary and unjustified, but subjective.
  5. The essence of the Law of Moses is described by Jesus“ According to Jesus, the entire Law of Moses can be summed up in two of the commands, Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18, which he calls the greatest and second greatest commands, to love God with everything you are and to love others as you love yourself (Mark 12:28-34 and parallels). Another key verse is Leviticus 19:2: in which God says, “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” In other words, God told his people that in order for them to have a relationship with Him, they had to have a lifestyle in keeping with His character. The sacrificial system helped them to maintain the holiness so important to the human-divine relationship. Under the New Covenant, God arranged for the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus’ willing death of the cross, the take away sins once and for all (Hebrews 10:1-10).
Topics in the Law of Moses
Here is a quick topical summary. For all of the details, including book, chapter, and verse for each, see my Multi-Index to the Law of Moses.
  1. Preamble: The Ten Commands
  2. Laws of worship
    1. Idolatry & paganism
      1. No idols
      2. No sacrificing to other gods
      3. No consorting with other peoples
      4. No sorcery or augury
      5. No human sacrifices
      6. No pagan superstitions
      7. No cult prostitution
    2. Sacrifices, offerings, tithes, and vows
      1. Sacrifices
      2. Burnt offerings
      3. Grain offerings
      4. Fellowship offerings
      5. Sin offerings
      6. Guilt offerings
      7. Acceptable & unacceptable offerings
      8. Giving of produce
      9. Giving of firstborn
      10. Tithes
      11. Vows
      12. Nazirite vow
    3. Priestly duties & privileges
      1. Consecration of priesthood
      2. Purity of priesthood
      3. Priest’s duties in sacrificing
      4. Rules for killing sacrifices
      5. The eating of holy things by priests
      6. Duties of Levites
      7. Levitical cities
    4. Special religious occasions
      1. Jubilee year
      2. Sabbath year
      3. Feast days
      4. Day of Atonement
      5. Sabbath day
    5. Special, religious articles
      1. Tabernacle and furnishings
      2. Revering the sanctuary
      3. Place for the altar
      4. Kind of altar
      5. Altar on Mt. Ebal
      6. Tassels of remembrance
    6. Other religious duties
      1. Consecration of the people
      2. Loving God and teaching Him to children
      3. True and false prophets
      4. Putting God to the test
      5. Reviling God
      6. Punishment for blasphemy
      7. No mixing of breeds, grain, cloth
      8. Those excluded from the LORD’s assembly
      9. Acceptance of Egyptians and Edomites
      10. Confirm the Law by doing it
      11. Blessings of obedience
      12. Curses of disobedience
      13. Keeping the covenant
      14. Promise of restoration
      15. Choice: life or death
  3. Laws of physical purity
    1. Foods
      1. Clean and unclean animals
      2. No eating of blood
      3. Eating sacrifices on the same day
      4. No eating of meat torn by beasts
    2. Diseases
      1. Leprosy
      2. Isolation of unclean
      3. Camp sanitation
    3. Normal human processes
      1. Secretions of man
      2. Secretions of woman
      3. No sexual relations during menstrual period
      4. Purification of woman after childbirth
  4. Laws concerning buisness dealings & politics
    1. Land ownership
      1. Division of the land
      2. No removing of landmarks
      3. Safety requirement for buildings
      4. Inheritance rights
      5. Levirate marriage
      6. Redemption of property
    2. Slaves & hired servants
      1. Concerning slaves
      2. Redemption of slaves
      3. Oppressing a hired servant
    3. Ecology
      1. Preserving the fruit trees
      2. Preserving the wildlife
      3. Preserving the domesticated animals
    4. Lending laws
      1. Things taken in pledge
      2. No charging of interest
    5. Business practices
      1. Using just weights & measures
      2. Restitution
    6. Civil justice
      1. No perverting of justice
      2. Oppressing the widow, orphan, or poor
      3. Oppressing the stranger
      4. Oppressing one’s neighbor
      5. Oppressing the physically disabled
      6. Judicial system
    7. Laws protecting the poor
      1. Oppressing the widow, orphan, or poor
      2. Gleanings for the poor
      3. Rights to eat of anyone’s crops
    8. Cruelty
    9. Military laws
      1. Choosing a king
      2. Military service
      3. Besieging hostile cities
      4. Command to exterminate Amalek
    10. Liability for accidents
  5. Laws of morality
    1. Sex crimes
      1. Incest
      2. Adultery
      3. Homosexual practice
      4. Cross-dressing
      5. Fornication with a slave
      6. Bestiality
      7. Seduction of a virgin
      8. Rape laws
      9. Making one’s daughter into a prostitute
      10. Seizing a man’s sex organs to prevent a beating
    2. Marriage, divorce, & remarriage
      1. Marriage of free to slave
      2. Marriage of free to captive
      3. No remarrying of original spouse after intervening marriage
      4. Trial of the suspected adulteress
      5. Trial of the bride suspected of pre-marital promiscuity
    3. Violent crimes & their punishments
      1. Murder & other violent acts
      2. Atoning for the unknown murderer’s guilt
      3. Cities of refuge
      4. Kidnapping a man to enslave him
      5. Punishment of forty stripes
      6. Burial of an executed criminal
      7. No hatred for one’s brother
      8. No personal vengeance
    4. Other offences
      1. Testimony in trials
      2. Reviling a ruler
      3. Stoning of a rebellious son
      4. Treatment of enemies
    5. Crimes that carried the death penalty
      1. Striking or reviling a parent
      2. Blasphemy
      3. Sabbath breaking
      4. Witchcraft
      5. Adultery
      6. Rape
      7. Incestuous & homosexual relations
      8. Kidnapping
      9. Idolatry
      10. Touching Mount Sinai
      11. Murder

Want to go deeper? 

The following are useful resources for pursuing your study of the Law of Moses. Including these resources in my list does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of everything they teach. Do your own thinking and evaluate whether a teaching is in harmony with the revealed Word of God or not!

Recommended for purchase:

Steve Singleton. Multi-Index to the Law of Moses (2007).

William Barclay. The Ten Commandments (This edition, 1999). Contains a wealth of
background material – Jewish, Greek, & Roman – for the commandments that constitute the basis for ethics in the Western world.

Stanley N. Gundry, ed. Five Views on Law and Gospel (1996). Appoaches the relationship between Law and Gospel as a colloquium: each scholar presents his view, to which the other scholars response, then adds a rejoinder. This is an excellent way to study any controversial biblical subject.

Online resources:

The 613 Commandments of the Torah, with book, chapter, verse, and quotation of each.

List of essays on Law & Gospel (Reformed viewpoint)

Law & Gospel (Lutheran viewpoint)

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

From Jim McGuiggan... 1 Peter 3.21 once more

1 Peter 3.21 once more

A couple of readers complained that my remarks on 1 Peter 3:21 shed more shadow than light. Could I summarise? I’m good at making simple things complex so the complaint is legitimate no doubt.

Peter obviously believes that baptism is part of the saving process in which God brings people to himself in Jesus Christ. Because that’s true, he says "baptism saves you."

Peter says that baptism saves people "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." Saving power and virtue lie only in the once dead and now living and glorified Jesus Christ. It’s him and that power that baptism links believers to.

Peter says baptism saves (there’s no denying that) but it doesn’t save in the way some might think. It doesn’t save by taking away "the filth of the flesh." What did he mean by that? That’s where my smoke was especially dense, apparently.

The physical descendants of Abraham through Jacob were the elect of God.

They were Abraham’s heirs "after the flesh" (see 1 Corinthians 10:18, KJV and other versions, Romans 9:1-5 and elsewhere).

They consistently polluted themselves and violated the covenant.

God brought that covenant to an end and re-defined "the elect," bringing judgement and an end to a fleshly standing before God.

John came baptizing, aiming to bring Israel after the flesh back to God on terms of the existing Mosaic covenant. (See Malachi chapter 4.)

That’s not how baptism in the name of Jesus Christ functions in faith. Those who were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ were baptized into someone who was the end of "the flesh" (see Romans 6 and early 7). NT baptism didn’t cleanse "the flesh" and make it acceptable as flesh. It proclaimed the end of it because Christ was put to death in the flesh and resurrected in Spirit. So NT baptism was nothing like John’s baptism (hence Paul re-baptized Ephesians in Acts 19).

"The flesh" and "the Spirit" are two ways of relating to God. Israel’s profound need wasn’t met by cleansing the flesh in some baptism that kept the Old Covenant structure alive. As in the "baptism" of Noah, God ended "all flesh" so in NT baptism, which proclaims God’s work in Jesus Christ, God brought an end to "the flesh".

Peter is writing to Jews and reminding them that their life with God didn’t rest in their being born after the flesh. They were not baptized to purge them as a fleshly nation of their apostasies. They were born again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).
That’s the best I can do. It might be no improvement.

From Mark Copeland... Profitable And Unprofitable (Titus 3:8-11)

                         "THE EPISTLE TO TITUS"

                  Profitable And Unprofitable (3:8-11)


1. Toward the end of his epistle to Titus, Paul gives him several
   a. Things for Titus to affirm - Tit 3:8
   b. Things for Titus to avoid - Tit 3:9-11

2. In doing so, Paul describes things that are...
   a. Profitable and good - cf. Tit 3:8
   b. Unprofitable and useless - cf. Tit 3:9

[In this lesson, we shall examine what Paul describes as profitable and
unprofitable, beginning with...]


      1. Something Paul wanted Titus to affirm constantly - Tit 3:8
      2. Something which Paul himself did, while writing Titus - Ti 2:7,14; 3:1,14
      -- Are we careful to maintain good works?

      1. We should not misunderstand the purpose of good works
         a. They are not done to buy or earn our way into heaven
         b. God saves us by His grace, not by our works - Ep 2:8-9; Ti 3:4-7
         c. Yet we have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works!
            - Ep 2:10; Tit 2:14
      2. Why then are we to do good works?
         a. They bring glory to God! - Mt 5:16; 1Pe 2:11-12
         b. They can prepare unbelievers to be more receptive to the
            gospel - 1Pe 2:12; 3:1-2
         c. They demonstrate the living nature of our faith - Jm 2:14-17
         d. They are necessary if we are to be like Jesus - cf. Lk 6:46
            with Ac 10:38
         e. They are good and profitable to men - Tit 3:8
      -- Do we understand the role of good works in our lives?

      1. Good works that are spiritual in nature
         a. Telling others of God's grace - 1Pe 2:9-10
         b. Encouraging other Christians - He 3:12-13
         c. Restoring weak brethren - Ga 6:1-2; Jm 5:19-20
      2. Good works that are physical in nature
         a. Jesus did not limit His good works to things spiritual - Lk 7:22
         b. Nor did He expect His disciples to so limit their good works
            - cf. Mt 10:7-8; 25:34-40
         c. Just as some may be gifted in talent and opportunities to
            teach, so others are gifted to in areas of physical service
            - cf. Ro 12:3-8
         d. Women can be especially fruitful in this area - e.g., Ac 9:
      -- What kind of good works are we doing?

[Good works are certainly profitable, and should be a major focus in our
service to God as disciples of Christ.  On the other hand, there are
things we should diligently avoid.  So let us now consider...]


      1. Involving genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law
         - Tit 3:9a
      2. Such are described as unprofitable and useless - Tit 3:9b
      -- Could we be guilty of engaging in such foolish disputes?

      1. They leads to divisiveness, and those who refuse to repent of
         such are to be rejected after the first and second admonition
         - Tit 3:10
      2. For such become warped, sinful, and self-condemned - Tit 3:11
      3. Paul warned Timothy repeatedly against such "word battles"
         a. They cause disputes rather than godly edification - 1Ti 1:
         b. They create envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions - 1 Ti 6:3-5
         c. They have caused some to stray from the faith - 1Ti 6:20-21
         d. They lead to the ruin of the hearers - 2Ti 2:14
         e. They increase to more ungodliness - 2Ti 2:16
         f. Their effect spreads like cancer, and overthrow the faith of
            some - 2Ti 2:17-18
         g. They generate strife - 2Ti 2:23
      -- Can we not see the grave danger of foolish disputes?

      1. Godly edification that produces love from a pure heart, a good
         conscience, and a sincere faith - cf. 1Ti 1:4-6
      2. Wholesome words, such as the words of our Lord, and doctrine
         which accords to godliness - cf. 1Ti 6:3
      3. Correcting those in opposition with gentleness, patience, and
         humility - cf. 2Ti 2:24-26
         a. Disagreeing without being disagreeable
         b. Contending for the faith without being contentious
      -- Will we engage in godly edification with godly character
         instead of foolish disputes?


1. Paul's words in our text relate especially to Titus' role as an
   a. Charged with setting in order the things that are lacking - Tit 1:5
   b. Charged with speaking things that are proper for sound doctrine
      - Tit 2:1
   -- Preachers do well to take Paul's words to heart as they carry out
      their ministry

2. But Paul's words should not be heeded only by evangelists...
   a. All Christians should see the value of good works, and be diligent
      in them
   b. All Christians should see the harm of foolish disputes, and seek
      to avoid them
   -- Every disciple of Christ does well to take Paul's words to heart
      as they follow Jesus

May we all be careful to maintain good works, and to avoid foolish

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading February 20

Bible Reading  

February 20

The World English Bible

Feb. 20
Exodus 1

Exo 1:1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt (every man and his household came with Jacob):
Exo 1:2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah,
Exo 1:3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
Exo 1:4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher.
Exo 1:5 All the souls who came out of Jacob's body were seventy souls, and Joseph was in Egypt already.
Exo 1:6 Joseph died, as did all his brothers, and all that generation.
Exo 1:7 The children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Exo 1:8 Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who didn't know Joseph.
Exo 1:9 He said to his people, "Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we.
Exo 1:10 Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it happen that when any war breaks out, they also join themselves to our enemies, and fight against us, and escape out of the land."
Exo 1:11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built storage cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses.
Exo 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out. They were grieved because of the children of Israel.
Exo 1:13 The Egyptians ruthlessly made the children of Israel serve,
Exo 1:14 and they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, all their service, in which they ruthlessly made them serve.
Exo 1:15 The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah,
Exo 1:16 and he said, "When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool; if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live."
Exo 1:17 But the midwives feared God, and didn't do what the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the baby boys alive.
Exo 1:18 The king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and have saved the boys alive?"
Exo 1:19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women aren't like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and give birth before the midwife comes to them."
Exo 1:20 God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied, and grew very mighty.
Exo 1:21 It happened, because the midwives feared God, that he gave them families.
Exo 1:22 Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, "You shall cast every son who is born into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive."

Feb. 20, 21
Matthew 26

Mat 26:1 It happened, when Jesus had finished all these words, that he said to his disciples,
Mat 26:2 "You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified."
Mat 26:3 Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas.
Mat 26:4 They took counsel together that they might take Jesus by deceit, and kill him.
Mat 26:5 But they said, "Not during the feast, lest a riot occur among the people."
Mat 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
Mat 26:7 a woman came to him having an alabaster jar of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table.
Mat 26:8 But when his disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste?
Mat 26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor."
Mat 26:10 However, knowing this, Jesus said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? Because she has done a good work for me.
Mat 26:11 For you always have the poor with you; but you don't always have me.
Mat 26:12 For in pouring this ointment on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.
Mat 26:13 Most certainly I tell you, wherever this Good News is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of as a memorial of her."
Mat 26:14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests,
Mat 26:15 and said, "What are you willing to give me, that I should deliver him to you?" They weighed out for him thirty pieces of silver.
Mat 26:16 From that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
Mat 26:17 Now on the first day of unleavened bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying to him, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
Mat 26:18 He said, "Go into the city to a certain person, and tell him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples." ' "
Mat 26:19 The disciples did as Jesus commanded them, and they prepared the Passover.
Mat 26:20 Now when evening had come, he was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.
Mat 26:21 As they were eating, he said, "Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me."
Mat 26:22 They were exceedingly sorrowful, and each began to ask him, "It isn't me, is it, Lord?"
Mat 26:23 He answered, "He who dipped his hand with me in the dish, the same will betray me.
Mat 26:24 The Son of Man goes, even as it is written of him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born."
Mat 26:25 Judas, who betrayed him, answered, "It isn't me, is it, Rabbi?" He said to him, "You said it."
Mat 26:26 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks for it, and broke it. He gave to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."
Mat 26:27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, "All of you drink it,
Mat 26:28 for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.
Mat 26:29 But I tell you that I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's Kingdom."
Mat 26:30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mat 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of me tonight, for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
Mat 26:32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee."
Mat 26:33 But Peter answered him, "Even if all will be made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble."
Mat 26:34 Jesus said to him, "Most certainly I tell you that tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times."
Mat 26:35 Peter said to him, "Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you." All of the disciples also said likewise.
Mat 26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go there and pray."
Mat 26:37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled.
Mat 26:38 Then he said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me."
Mat 26:39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire."
Mat 26:40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What, couldn't you watch with me for one hour?
Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that you don't enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Mat 26:42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cup can't pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done."
Mat 26:43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.
Mat 26:44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words.
Mat 26:45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
Mat 26:46 Arise, let's be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand."
Mat 26:47 While he was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, from the chief priest and elders of the people.
Mat 26:48 Now he who betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, "Whoever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him."
Mat 26:49 Immediately he came to Jesus, and said, "Hail, Rabbi!" and kissed him.
Mat 26:50 Jesus said to him, "Friend, why are you here?" Then they came and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
Mat 26:51 Behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.
Mat 26:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.
Mat 26:53 Or do you think that I couldn't ask my Father, and he would even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?
Mat 26:54 How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that it must be so?"
Mat 26:55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me.
Mat 26:56 But all this has happened, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples left him, and fled.
Mat 26:57 Those who had taken Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.
Mat 26:58 But Peter followed him from a distance, to the court of the high priest, and entered in and sat with the officers, to see the end.
Mat 26:59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and the whole council sought false testimony against Jesus, that they might put him to death;
Mat 26:60 and they found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward,
Mat 26:61 and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.' "
Mat 26:62 The high priest stood up, and said to him, "Have you no answer? What is this that these testify against you?"
Mat 26:63 But Jesus held his peace. The high priest answered him, "I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God."
Mat 26:64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell you, after this you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky."
Mat 26:65 Then the high priest tore his clothing, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy.
Mat 26:66 What do you think?" They answered, "He is worthy of death!"
Mat 26:67 Then they spit in his face and beat him with their fists, and some slapped him,
Mat 26:68 saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who hit you?"
Mat 26:69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a maid came to him, saying, "You were also with Jesus, the Galilean!"
Mat 26:70 But he denied it before them all, saying, "I don't know what you are talking about."
Mat 26:71 When he had gone out onto the porch, someone else saw him, and said to those who were there, "This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth."
Mat 26:72 Again he denied it with an oath, "I don't know the man."
Mat 26:73 After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, "Surely you are also one of them, for your speech makes you known."
Mat 26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear, "I don't know the man!" Immediately the rooster crowed.
Mat 26:75 Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." He went out and wept bitterly.

From Gary... When I see a chipmunk...

Some time ago, my friend of several decades, Walter Vogt, sent me this picture. To him it was probably just a picture of a chipmunk in a tree, but to me, it is far more than that!!!   Whenever I see a chipmunk, I think of my wife Linda, because that was my pet name for her in high school.  But, nicknames can be both a description of a person as well as a term of endearment. Read on to see where I am going with this...

Mark, Chapter 3
 13  He went up into the mountain, and called to himself those whom he wanted, and they went to him.  14 He appointed twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them out to preach,  15 and to have authority to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:  16 Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter;  17 James the son of Zebedee; John, the brother of James, and he called them Boanerges, which means, Sons of Thunder; 18 Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot;  19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Matthew, Chapter 16
 13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 

  14  They said, “Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 

  15  He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 

  16  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 
  17  Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.   18  I also tell you that you are Peter,  and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

Simon Peter, now there is one impetuous man!!!  But, perhaps that quality about him was just a habit of sizing things up and making a quick decision- the mark of a true leader.  Peter (whose name means rock, as like a pebble) was chosen by Jesus and when the twelve were asked who the Son of Man was, responded with the famous statement of verse 16.  Jesus' reply has been misinterpreted by many to give Peter more power than he really had.  For, the "rock" Jesus talks about is Peter's confession of Jesus as the Christ (verse 16), not Peter himself.  How do it know this? Well, common sense, because there can be only one head of the Church and Jesus alone holds this position. Also, Peter is a masculine word and the "rock" is a feminine one, so the two cannot be tied together. In reality, he is ONE of the apostles, not THE HEAD APOSTLE. Peter's alternative name means a lot, but the real designation that is important is that he was a follower of Jesus, a CHRISTIAN!!!  Now, if you could choose one nickname for yourself- I wonder what you would pick??? For me, most nicknames I have had over the years aren't very flattering, so I have liked very few of them. I guess I like disciple Rose the best, because here I am retired and still learning (and of course, the word disciple means a learner).  The only other nickname that I ever enjoyed was given to me in 1973 by a Methodist minister named Jim Lundin- He used to call me "Moses BEN Rose".  Cute, but somehow it doesn't seem to fit anymore. What is really important in all this is WHO DO YOU SAY JESUS IS!!!!  Only you can answer that...