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Jewish Religious Festivals (Feasts)

Unknown Author

The main passages describing the Jewish festivals are: Ex 34:21-24, Lev 23 and Num 28-29. The annual festivals are listed on the Jewish Calendar page.

The Sabbath

The Sabbath or rest is first mentioned in creation, when God rested on the seventh day (Gen 2:2-3). When God gave instructions on collecting the manna, he commanded that the seventh day should be a solemn rest (Ex 16:23,29). On the sixth day twice as much manna was provided, and none on the Sabbath. The Sabbath became part of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:8-11). The penalty for breaking this holy command was death (Ex 31:12-17). It is significant that the Lord should speak about the Sabbath right after the instructions for the tabernacle. Doing the Lord's work and building His dwelling place was not an excuse to break the rest day. The day also had a practical reason, so all could rest, including, “your son, daughter, manservant, maidservant, cattle, sojourner”, and is connected to creation (Deut 5:12-15).

The Sabbath had various meanings and symbols for the people. It was a sign to the people that God had sanctified them, setting them apart as his people. This would have been one of the things that separated them from the people around them (Ex 31:12, 20:12). It also showed them that in six days God made the heavens and earth, and He rested on the seventh (Ex 31:17). It was also a sign to them that they were at one time slaves, and that the Lord had delivered them. God's concern was that the whole household might rest (Deut 5:12-15). It was also a sign that God was the God of Israel (Ex 20:20).

It was a day of complete rest, with no work whatsoever. A man gathering sticks was stoned (Num 15:32). The Rabbis decided from the size of a town’s pasture land (Num 35:5) that you could not walk more than 2000 cubits (approx 2/3 mile or 1 km). It was Sabbath's day journey from Jerusalem to Mt. of Olives (Acts 1:12).

The work of the priests was slightly increased. The burnt offering was two male lambs a year old without blemish, 2/10 ephah of fine flour as a cereal offering (eight pints or 4.5 litres dry measure) mixed with oil, and a drink offering of wine (four pints, approx 2 litres). This was in addition to the normal two lambs, one in the evening and one in the morning that were offered each day (Num 28:1-8). On the Sabbath the bread of the presence was renewed in the holy place (Lev 24:5-9).

Jesus explains God's intention for the Sabbath, that "the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath" (Mk 2:27). It was a gift from God to his people for them to rest. The word Sabbath does not appear before Moses and is used only a few times after the Gospels. In Acts it is used mainly to name the day on which an activity happened, like Paul preaching in the synagogue. The last reference is in Colossians where Paul says, this Law, along with all others, were nailed to the cross of Jesus (Col 2:14, Gal 4:10). The author of Hebrews declares that entering into God’s rest, which is the fulfilment of the Sabbath, is by trusting the finished work of Christ and ceasing from our own labour (Heb 4).

New Moon (Num 10:10, 28:11)

Not much detail is given about this feast. It was commanded that at the beginning of each month the trumpets should be sounded over the sacrifices (Num 10:10). The sacrifices required were two bulls, one ram and seven male lambs as burnt offerings, together with a cereal offering and a wine offering (Num 28:11). A male goat as a sin offering was also required. All this was in addition to the regular morning and evening sacrifices.

The purpose of the blowing of the trumpets was to remind God of the people (Num 10:10). Some think that this ceremony was a means of consecrating the month to the Lord. The first of anything was seen to picture the whole, including the firstfruits and firstborn. It is also a time of worship and praise (Ps 81:3). David arranged for praise to be offered on a new moon (1 Chr 23:30-32). Isaiah parallels the new moon with the Sabbath as a time of worship (Is 66:22-23).

There were various difficulties in using a lunar calendar. The Jews overcame this by adding an extra or leap month, called Ve-Adar, normally every third year.

There was also a problem with cloudy weather. It needed the authorities to make an official declaration of the start of a new month. To help decide this, officials in later OT times would sit in the Hall of Polished Stones to await for witnesses to come forward and confirm that the new moon had been seen. When this was done, a fire would be lit on the Mount of Olives that would be seen as a beacon. This set off a chain of beacons, even beyond the river. After a while they stopped lighting fires, but sent messengers. This was only seven times a year, in time for the various feasts. Paul clearly shows that new moons are not to be observed by NT believers (Col 2:16).

Passover (Ex 12)

The original Passover was during the last of the plagues of Egypt (Ex 12). God directed that the Passover month shall be the first of the months, hence the difference between the start of the religious and civil years. On the tenth day, the people had to select a lamb, one lamb for a household (or more if households were small). On the 14th day, the lamb was killed and blood put on the two door posts and lintel. They then had a meal of roast lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The lamb was not to be boiled, but completely roasted. Any left-overs were to be burned. They had to eat in readiness to move out on the journey. That night the angel of death passed over and smote the firstborn of all who did not have the blood on the door posts.

Instructions were given to make this a yearly feast (Ex 12:14). It was to be kept as a memorial day, which was to be followed by seven days when only unleavened bread was eaten (v15). All leaven had to be removed from the house, and if anyone ate anything leavened, they were executed. The first and last of these seven days were Sabbaths when the people gathered together for a holy assembly.

No foreigner was permitted to eat the Passover, but a slave or stranger may, if they are circumcised (Ex 12:43-49). The flesh not eaten shall be burned outside the house and no bones shall be broken.

The instructions were repeated commanding that the people observe the Passover in the promised land (Ex 13:3-10). The Passover was to be a sign for them to remind them that the Lord had delivered them from Egypt (v9-10), also a means of teaching the children (v8). These instructions were repeated in the Book of Leviticus (Lev 23:4-8). The people first kept the memorial feast in the first month of the second year of their freedom from Egypt (Num 9:1-14). At this time some men were unable to partake due to ceremonial uncleanness as they had touched a dead man. The Lord's instruction was that if anyone is unable to keep Passover, he should do so the following month (v11). If the person then fails to keep the Passover and has no excuse for not doing so he should be executed (v13).

In the Book of Numbers, the extra burnt offerings for the days of unleavened bread are listed (Num 28:16):
two bulls, 6/10 ephah of fine flour, plus a wine offering
one ram, 2/10 ephah of fine flour, plus a wine offering
seven lambs, 7/10 ephah of fine flour, plus a wine offering,
plus a sin offering of one goat

This was in addition to the regular burnt offering offered each morning and evening. This should be done for each of the seven days. In Deuteronomy, God gave the people instructions as to how to celebrate the feast in the promised land (Deut 16:2). The difference is that the feast should be “in the place which the Lord shall choose, to make his name dwell there”.

The feast of Passover (on the 14th day) and the feast of unleavened (15th-21st) come together. The whole period was called the ‘feast for eight days’ (Josephus Ant 2, 15, 1).

The celebration came around the time of the barley harvest. God's instructions was that on the day after the Sabbath, the 16th, a sheaf should be brought into the temple and waved before the Lord accompanied by one male lamb with its cereal and drink offering (Lev 23:9). It was not until this was done that the new crop could be eaten (Lev 23:14). The first fruits should be brought into the house of the Lord (Ex 23:19).

The programme for the Passover festival went something like this:
14th - Passover, killing of lamb and supper
15th - First Sabbath (whether on the seventh day or not)
16th - Offering of the first fruits of the barley harvest
17th-20th - These days were minor festivals. Work could be done that was not starting anything new. For example, you could repair a broken irrigation system but not make a new one.
21st - Second Sabbath

Unleavened bread was eaten on all of these days.

In the NT, Jesus is seen as the Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7). He was crucified on the day of preparation when the lambs were to be slaughtered (Jn 19:14), and rose on the day of the offering of the first fruit of the harvest.

The Passover was kept by Joshua (5:10), Hezekiah (2 Chr 30:1), Josiah (2 Kings 23:21-23) and Ezra (6:19). Other passovers had been held (at least Hezekiah's) but not with the splendour and enthusiasm to be expected (2 Chr 35:18). Solomon also kept the various feasts (2 Chr 8:13).

Feast of Pentecost

The Feast of Pentecost had various names:
a. Feast of weeks (Ex 34:22, Deut 16:16)
b. Feast of Harvest (Ex 23:16)
c. Feast of First Fruits (Num 28:26)

It was also considered by the Jews to be the anniversary of the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai. It was a one day festival on the sixth of the month of Sivan. Fifty days were counted from the offering of the first fruits of the barley harvest. "You shall count until the day after the seventh sabbath, fifty days ..." (Lev 23:15).

2/10 of an ephah of fine flour should be baked with leaven as first fruits (v16). The bread would have weighed about 5 1/2 lb (2.5 kg) per loaf. This was offered to the Lord with seven lambs, one bull, two lambs, comprising the burnt offerings, plus cereal and drink offerings, one goat as a sin offering, and two lambs as a peace offering. The bread and peace offering were waved before the Lord. This was the only time leaven was allowed in the temple, and a rare time when peace offerings were commanded. The day was a sabbath day, no work was to be done. This was the time of the wheat harvest, no newly harvested wheat would be used until after this day (Ex 34:22).

The instruction for the feast where changed for when they entered the promised land (Deut 16:9-12). It was to be seven weeks from putting in the sickle to standing grain-barley harvest. They were to bring a free will offering and rejoice in the place that the Lord shall choose, blessing those who had less, including the fatherless and widows. It was to be a day of rejoicing. In Numbers the extra burnt offering are listed: two bulls, one ram, two lambs plus cereal and drink offerings (Num 28:26).

In the New Testament, the Day of Pentecost was the firstfruits of the church when 3000 were saved. Likewise it contrasted the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai with the giving of the Holy Spirit, the Law Giver who came and filled His people.

Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:23-24)

On this day was a festive blowing of trumpets all day long. This day was a day of rest, a sabbath. It marked the first day of the civil year. Offerings should be made, as follows: one bull, one ram and seven male lambs as burnt offerings, plus cereal and drink offerings, one male goat as a sin offering, plus the normal new moon offerings (Num 29:1-6).

Because of the uncertainty of the timing of the appearance of the new moon, the feast was celebrated on two days. The mouthpieces of the horns used on the new year's day were of gold, when normally they were of silver.

The day came to mark the start of a time of repentance leading up to the tenth day, the day of Atonement. Ezra read the law on this day (Neh 7:73b - 8:12). Ezra's instructions were that the people should not be grieved, but rejoice (v11-12).

The Day of Atonement (Ex 30:10, Lev 23:26-32, 25:9, Num 29:7-11)

The Day of Atonement was to be an everlasting statute, which was to take place annually on the tenth day of the seventh month (Lev 16:34), which would be Sept - Oct in the western calendar. The Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Tabernacles were also in the seventh month. The Day of Atonement was the one day of the year that the people had to fast (Lev 16:29-30). Although it was a feast, it was not a joyful time of celebration as the other feasts were. It was to be a Sabbath and no work was to be done on this day, thus pointing to Christ's atonement which no man can earn.

The Day of Atonement was a time when the corporate sin of the people was dealt with and when atonement was made for the Holy Place, the sanctuary, the tent of meeting, the incense altar, the priest and the priest's family, as well as the people or assembly (Lev 16:17,20,30). Atonement was made because of the uncleanness of the people and because of all their transgressions and all their sins (Lev 16:16). The High Priest was to confess over the live goat (the scapegoat) all the iniquities of the people, and all their transgressions and sins (Lev 16:21,34).

The Day of Atonement was the only day of the year in which the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies. The Day of Atonement was to make provision for the people's sins so that a Holy God could continue to dwell in the midst of the people. It was a time of annual renewal and cleansing for the priests, tabernacle and people

The day of Atonement was instituted by God. No one can make Atonement for himself. A life must be exchanged for another, for the wages of sin is death. Thus an animal was slain signifying that death is the just penalty for sin. The sacrifices bear witness that there is a break in fellowship due to man's sin. The sacrifices acknowledge the divine judgment on man as a sinner yet the sacrifices also acknowledge the God appointed means and provision for forgiveness and reconciliation.

The whole concept of atonement originated with God and it is brought to its perfection and completeness in Christ. Atonement takes place at the Mercy Seat and Jesus went into the true tent and made atonement before the throne of God.

The Day of Atonement points to the day when Christ died and the veil was torn and continual access to God was made available. As long as the tabernacle was standing only the Priest could go into the Holy of Holies. As long as the tabernacle and temple were standing it was a constant reminder to the people that they did not have free unlimited access to God.

The use of the word “Atonement” (Kippur).

The word Kippur means to accomplish reconciliation between God the offended party and man the offender. It has two aspects. The first is propitiation, which is the action directed toward God, the offended one. The just wrath of God is satisfied or the wrath is taken away. It is also an expiation, which is the action directed toward the one who has caused the breakdown in the relationship. It is the nullifying of the offensive act (sin) in that sin and guilt are taken away. Atonement is both. Sin that would require God's wrath is expiated (taken away) at God's will. Thus the Day of Atonement shows the wrath of God being satisfied in the sin offering (the goat for the Lord) and guilt and sin being taken out of the way in the goat sent into the wilderness (the scapegoat).

How is the Day of Atonement fulfilled in Christ?

Jesus secured for us both expiation and propitiation. Like the goat on the Day of Atonement, his sacrifice brought permanent reconciliation (Rom 5:10-11), when Jesus endured the wrath for us (Rom 3:25, 5:9). Like the goat sent into the wilderness on the Day of Atonement, Jesus took away our sin (1 John 2:2, John 1:29, Heb 9:26-28).

The Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:39)

This feast was the last feast instructed by Moses. It marked the end of the agricultural year, all the various harvests were in and it was a time of great rejoicing (Ex 23:16).

It had various names:
Feast of Tabernacles
Feast of Booths
Feast of Ingathering (Ex 23:16, Ex 34:22)

It was on the 15th day of the seventh month lasting for seven days. The first and the eighth day were to be Sabbaths, days of rest (Lev 23:35-36). During the feast, sacrifices were to be offered to the Lord. Palm branches, leafy tree branches, and willow branches should be taken to make booths (v40). The people had to dwell in these booths (tents) for the seven days as a reminder of the journey through the wilderness.

The Book of Numbers gives a detailed list of offerings: Each day two rams were offered and 14 male lambs. On the first day, there were 13 bulls, 12 on the second day, 11 on the third day, reducing each day until the seventh day when seven bulls were offered. Each animal had its appropriate cereal and drink offering. These were the burnt offerings. Each day there was a sin offering of a male goat (Num 29:12-40).

On the eighth day, the Sabbath, there was an extra burnt offering of one bull, one ram, seven lambs, plus the appropriate cereal offering, and a sin offering of a goat. The people during the feast were expected to bring peace offerings and burnt offerings of their own (Num 29:39).

This feast was instructed to be a part of the life of Israel in the promised land, at a place God will choose (Deut 16:13). It was a time of feasting and rejoicing, the people were to be generous to others (v14), and to rejoice in the in-gathering (v13).

During this feast, every seven years, the Law was read to the people (Deut 31:10-18). Ezra and the returned exiles held this feast (Neh 8:13-18). Josephus calls this feast "a most holy and most eminent feast" (Ant. 8,4,1).

By NT times, various rituals and processions had been added to the festival. One group of priests went down to the pool of Siloam to draw water, with music and much joy. At the same time, a group went to the Kidron Valley to collect branches. These they struck on either side of the altar as the priests blew the trumpets. As the water was brought in, the sacrifices commenced. Then there was the singing of the Hallel (Ps 113-118).

Each day of the feast the priests made a procession and walked around the altar. On the seventh day, the great day of the feast, they went around seven times, to remember the priests marching around the walls of Jericho. At the close of the first day the Court of Women was lit by golden candelabras. Old breeches and girdles of the priests were soaked in oil and used as wicks. There were times of singing, praising, dancing and music. The Songs of Degrees were sung as they went up the steps of the Court of Women.

One theme of John's Gospel is Jesus attending these festivals and acting as their fulfilment.

It is thought that the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles was a picture of the great final harvest when there shall be people from every nation, tribe and people before the throne of God (Rev 7:9-10).

The three main feasts:

These were
Passover - First fruits of barley harvest
Pentecost - First fruits of wheat harvest
Tabernacles - Celebration when all harvest was in

At each of these all males were required to go to the place the Lord would choose and celebrate (Deut 16:16). The people had to appear with offerings. There was no excuse of this being too expensive as the people were to use their tithes to finance this (Deut 14:22-27). This tithe was different from the normal tithe (Num 18:21-28) that was given to the Levites, and the third tithe that was given once every three years (Deut 14:28-29). There are more details about tithing in the OT on the tithing page.

Two extra feasts:

These were added later, not having been instituted by God in the Old Testament.

Festival of Light (Hanukkah)

This festival was celebrated on the 25th day of Kislev, lasting eight days. It was to remember the cleansing and rededication of the temple after the Abomination of Desolation had been cleaned out that was set up by Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc 1:54). Judas Maccabees and his family had great victories against the Greeks. This festival was instituted around 164 BC, and is described in the Book of Maccabees, which also explains why the feast was called the feast of lights (1 Macc 4:36-61). It was also known as the Festival of the Dedication (Jn 10:22)

Feast of Purim

This feast remembered the deliverance wrought by Esther when the tables were turned on Haman and the Jews were able to destroy their enemies. It was celebrated in the villages on the 14th, and on the 15th by those in the towns (fortified cities) (Esther 9:17-19). The institution of this feast is described in the Book of Esther.

The Bible

Pages which look at issues relevant to the whole Bible, such as the Canon of Scripture, as well as doctrinal and theological issues. There are also pages about the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and 'lost books' of the Old Testament.

Also included are lists of the quotations of the OT in the NT, and passages of the OT quoted in the NT.

Why These 66 Books?
Books in the Hebrew Scriptures
Quotations in NT From OT
OT Passages Quoted in NT
History of the English Bible
Twelve Books of the Apocrypha
The Pseudepigrapha - False Writings
Lost Books Referenced in OT

Old Testament Overview

This is a series of six pages which give a historical overview through the Old Testament and the inter-testamental period, showing where each OT book fits into the history of Israel.

OT 1: Creation and Patriarchs
OT 2: Exodus and Wilderness
OT 3: Conquest and Monarchy
OT 4: Divided kingdom and Exile
OT 5: Return from Exile
OT 6: 400 Silent Years

New Testament Overview

This is a series of five pages which give a historical overview through the New Testament, focusing on the Ministry of Jesus, Paul's missionary journeys, and the later first century. Again, it shows where each book of the NT fits into the history of the first century.

NT 1: Life and Ministry of Jesus
NT 2: Birth of the Church
NT 3: Paul's Missionary Journeys
NT 4: Paul's Imprisonment
NT 5: John and Later NT

Introductions to Old Testament Books

This is an almost complete collection of introductions to each of the books in the Old Testament. Each contains information about the authorship, date, historical setting and main themes of the book.

Genesis Exodus Leviticus
Numbers Deuteronomy

Joshua Judges Ruth
1 & 2 Samuel 1 & 2 Kings Chronicles
Ezra & Nehemiah Esther

Job Psalms Proverbs

Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations
Ezekiel Daniel

Hosea Joel Amos
Obadiah Jonah Micah
Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah
Haggai Zechariah Malachi

Introductions to New Testament Books

This is a collection of introductions to each of the 27 books in the New Testament. Each contains information about the authorship, date, historical setting and main themes of the book.

Matthew's Gospel Mark's Gospel Luke's Gospel
John's Gospel

Book of Acts

Romans 1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians
Galatians Ephesians Philippians
Colossians 1 & 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy
2 Timothy Titus Philemon

Hebrews James 1 Peter
2 Peter 1 John 2 & 3 John
Jude

Revelation

Old Testament History

Information about the different nations surrounding Israel, and other articles concerning Old Testament history and the inter-testamental period.

Canaanite Religion
Israel's Enemies During the Conquest
Syria / Aram
The Assyrian Empire
Babylon and its History
The Persian Empire
The Greek Empire
The 400 Silent Years
The Ptolemies and Seleucids
Antiochus IV - Epiphanes

Old Testament Studies

A series of articles covering more general topics for OT studies. These include a list of the people named in the OT and confirmed by archaeology. There are also pages to convert the different units of measure in the OT, such as the talent, cubit and ephah into modern units.

More theological topics include warfare in the ancient world, the Holy Spirit in the OT, and types of Jesus in the OT.

OT People Confirmed by Archaeology
The Jewish Calendar
The Importance of Paradox
Talent Converter (weights)
Cubit Converter (lengths)
OT People Search
Ephah Converter (volumes)
Holy War in the Ancient World
The Holy Spirit in the OT
Types of Jesus in the OT

Studies in the Pentateuch (Gen - Deut)

A series of articles covering studies in the five books of Moses. Studies in the Book of Genesis look at the historical nature of the early chapters of Genesis, the Tower of Babel and the Table of the Nations.

There are also pages about covenants, the sacrifices and offerings, the Jewish festivals and the tabernacle, as well as the issue of tithing.

Are chapters 1-11 of Genesis historical?
Chronology of the Flood
Genealogies of the Patriarchs
Table of the Nations (Gen 10)
Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9)

Authorship of the Pentateuch
Chronology of the Wilderness Years
Names of God in the OT
Covenants in the OT
The Ten Commandments
The Tabernacle and its Theology
Sacrifices and Offerings
The Jewish Festivals
Balaam and Balak
Tithing
Highlights from Deuteronomy
Overview of Deuteronomy

Studies in the Old Testament History Books (Josh - Esther)

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the history books. These include a list of the dates of the kings of Israel and Judah, a summary of the kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and studies of Solomon, Jeroboam and Josiah.

There are also pages describing some of the historical events of the period, including the Syro-Ephraimite War, and the Assyrian invasion of Judah in 701 BC.

Dates of the Kings of Judah and Israel
King Solomon
The Kings of Israel
King Jeroboam I of Israel
The Syro-Ephraimite War (735 BC)
Sennacherib's Invasion of Judah (701 BC)
King Josiah of Judah
Differences Between Kings and Chronicles
Chronology of the post-exilic period

Studies in the Old Testament Prophets (Is - Mal)

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the OT prophets. These include a page looking at the way the prophets look ahead into their future, a page looking at the question of whether Satan is a fallen angel, and a page studying the seventy weeks of Daniel.

There are also a series of pages giving a commentary through the text of two of the books:
Isaiah (13 pages) and Daniel (10 pages).

Prophets and the Future
The Call of Jeremiah (Jer 1)
The Fall of Satan? (Is 14, Ezek 28)
Daniel Commentary (10 pages)
Isaiah Commentary (13 pages)
Formation of the Book of Jeremiah


Daniel's Seventy Weeks (Dan 9:24-27)

New Testament Studies

A series of articles covering more general topics for NT studies. These include a list of the people in the NT confirmed by archaeology.

More theological topics include the Kingdom of God and the Coming of Christ.

NT People Confirmed by Archaeology
The Kingdom of God / Heaven
Parousia (Coming of Christ)
The Importance of Paradox

Studies in the Four Gospels (Matt - John)

A series of articles covering various studies in the four gospels. These include a list of the unique passages in each of the Synoptic Gospels and helpful information about the parables and how to interpret them.

Some articles look at the life and ministry of Jesus, including his genealogy, birth narratives, transfiguration, the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and the seating arrangements at the Last Supper.

More theological topics include the teaching about the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete and whether John the Baptist fulfilled the predictions of the coming of Elijah.

Unique Passages in the Synoptic Gospels
The SynopticProblem
Genealogy of Jesus (Matt 1)
Birth Narratives of Jesus
Understanding the Parables
Peter's Confession and the Transfiguration
Was John the Baptist Elijah?
The Triumphal Entry
The Olivet Discourse (Mark 13)
Important themes in John's Gospel
John's Gospel Prologue (John 1)
Jesus Fulfilling Jewish Festivals
Reclining at Table at the Last Supper
The Holy Spirit as the Paraclete

Studies in the Book of Acts and the New Testament Letters

A series of articles covering various studies in the Book of Acts and the Letters, including Paul's letters. These include a page studying the messages given by the apostles in the Book of Acts, and the information about the financial collection that Paul made during his third missionary journey. More theological topics include Paul's teaching on Jesus as the last Adam, and descriptions of the church such as the body of Christ and the temple, as well as a look at redemption and the issue of fallen angels.

There are a series of pages giving a commentary through the text of five of the books:
Romans (7 pages), 1 Corinthians (7 pages), Galatians (3 pages), Philemon (1 page) and Hebrews (7 pages)

Apostolic Messages in the Book of Acts
Paul and His Apostleship
Collection for the Saints
The Church Described as a Temple
Church as the Body of Christ
Jesus as the Last Adam
Food Offered to Idols
Paul's Teaching on Headcoverings
Who are the Fallen Angels
The Meaning of Redemption
What is the Church?

Romans Commentary (7 pages)

1 Corinthians Commentary (7 pages)

Galatians Commentary (3 pages)

Philemon Commentary (1 page)

Hebrews Commentary (7 pages)

Studies in the Book of Revelation

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the study of the Book of Revelation and topics concerning Eschatology (the study of end-times).

These include a description of the structure of the book, a comparison and contrast between the good and evil characters in the book and a list of the many allusions to the OT. For the seven churches, there is a page which gives links to their location on Google maps.

There is a page studying the important theme of Jesus as the Lamb, which forms the central theological truth of the book. There are pages looking at the major views of the Millennium, as well as the rapture and tribulation, as well as a list of dates of the second coming that have been mistakenly predicted through history.

There is also a series of ten pages giving a detailed commentry through the text of the Book of Revelation.

Introduction to the Book of Revelation
Characters Introduced in the Book
Structure of Revelation
List of Allusions to OT
The Description of Jesus as the Lamb
Virtual Seven Churches of Revelation
The Nero Redivius Myth
The Millennium (1000 years)
The Rapture and the Tribulation
Different Approaches to Revelation
Predicted Dates of the Second Coming

Revelation Commentary (10 pages)

How to do Inductive Bible Study

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study the Bible inductively, by asking a series of simple questions. There are lists of observation and interpretation questions, as well as information about the structure and historical background of biblical books, as well as a list of the different types of figures of speech used in the Bible. There is also a page giving helpful tips on how to apply the Scriptures personally.

How to Study the Bible Inductively
I. The Inductive Study Method
II. Observation Questions
III. Interpretation Questions
IV. Structure of Books
V. Determining the Historical background
VI. Identifying Figures of Speech
VII. Personal Application
VIII. Text Layout

Types of Literature in the Bible

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study each of the different types of book in the Bible by appreciating the type of literature being used. These include historical narrative, law, wisdom, prophets, Gospels, Acts, letters and Revelation.

It is most important that when reading the Bible we are taking note of the type of literature we are reading. Each type needs to be considered and interpreted differently as they have different purposes.

How to Understand OT Narratives
How to Understand OT Law
Hebrew Poetry
OT Wisdom Literature
Understanding the OT Prophets
The Four Gospels
The Parables of Jesus
The Book of Acts
How to Understand the NT Letters
Studying End Times (Eschatology)
The Book of Revelation

Geography and Archaeology

These are a series of pages giving geographical and archaeological information relevant to the study of the Bible. There is a page where you can search for a particular geographical location and locate it on Google maps, as well as viewing photographs on other sites.

There are also pages with photographs from Ephesus and Corinth.

Search for Geographical Locations
Major Archaeological Sites in Israel
Archaeological Sites in Assyria, Babylon and Persia
Virtual Paul's Missionary Journeys
Virtual Seven Churches of Revelation
Photos of the City of Corinth
Photos of the City of Ephesus

Biblical Archaeology in Museums around the world

A page with a facility to search for artifacts held in museums around the world which have a connection with the Bible. These give information about each artifact, as well as links to the museum's collection website where available showing high resolution photographs of the artifact.

There is also page of photographs from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem of important artifacts.

Search Museums for Biblical Archaeology
Israel Museum Photos

Difficult Theological and Ethical Questions

These are a series of pages looking at some of the more difficult questions of Christian theology, including war, suffering, disappointment and what happens to those who have never heard the Gospel.

Christian Ethics
Never Heard the Gospel
Is there Ever a Just War?
Why Does God Allow Suffering
Handling Disappointment

How to Preach

These are a series of pages giving a practical step-by-step explanation of the process of preparing a message for preaching, and how to lead a small group Bible study.

What is Preaching?
I. Two Approaches to Preaching
II. Study a Passage for Preaching
III. Creating a Message Outline
IV. Making Preaching Relevant
V. Presentation and Public Speaking
VI. Preaching Feedback and Critique
Leading a Small Group Bible Study

Information for SBS staff members

Two pages particularly relevant for people serving as staff on the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) in YWAM. One gives helpful instruction about how to prepare to teach on a book in the SBS. The other gives a list of recommended topics which can be taught about for each book of the Bible.

Teaching on SBS Book Topics for SBS