logo
 
Register | Sign in

Join Us!

Register your email
Register an account and receive the latest articles in your email inbox as they are published.  Registration is free!

Click here to register.

You may also receive regular updates via Facebook or Twitter.

Top 10 Old Testament Stories


Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #5 Moses and the Crossing of the Red Sea
TIMING: While there aren’t definitive sources that corroborate the traditional timing of the life of Moses (1400-1201 B.C.), for the sake of the chronology the crossing of the Red Sea is about four hundred years after Joseph dies. This gives time for the pharaoh that loved Joseph to die, and for a new king to come to power and treat the Israelites harshly (Exodus 1: 8-22).  REASON TO READ: There are several levels on which one could read the story of Exodus: Historically as a story of the Israelites, As a metaphor of our struggle against sin, To study Moses as a model of leadership, To study the character of God in how He deals with his difficult people, and many more perspectives that we could not cover in a single article. We will explore each of these reasons when we discuss how this story fits in the top ten, below. BRIEF SUMMARY: This is one of ...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #4 Joseph and Pharaoh’s Dream
TIMING: The historical timing is controversial with multiple accounts: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/02/18/Joseph-in-Egypt-Part-I.aspx http://www.freemaninstitute.com/Gallery/joseph.htm http://creation.com/egyptian-history-and-the-biblical-record-a-perfect-match The take home message is that Joseph went to Egypt around 1600 B.C. give or take a few hundred years. REASON TO READ: The story of Joseph in Egypt marks a milestone in the story of the Hebrews in that it is the means by which Israel and his sons to go to Egypt, which is the prequel to their descendants’ Exodus with Moses. BRIEF SUMMARY: Just as with Abraham, Joseph has many spiritually beneficial stories, starting from his birth Genesis 30 until the end of the book in Chapter 50. For our purposes here, we will focus on his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream in Chapter 41. Joseph had been put in ...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #3 Abraham and the Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19)
TIMING: Traditionally, Abraham was thought to live 2000 years before Christ, but this has been questioned recently by such books as Abraham in History and Tradition by biblical scholar John Van Seters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_in_History_and_Tradition). REASON TO READ: Prior to Abraham, God had individual relationships with people. He was close with Adam and Noah. There are other people we know of and potentially (likely) other people we do not know of that God approached on an individual basis. The unique thing about Abraham, is that God promised, not only to be close with him, but to all of his descendants also, which is a significant milestone in God beginning to form for Himself a "holy nation, His own special people, that ... who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy" (1 Peter 2:9-10). BRIEF SUMMARY...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #2 Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6-9)
TIMING: Potentially corroborated by geological data of flooding related to melting ice caps around 5600 B.C. (http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/010599sci-black-sea-flood.html). REASON TO READ: This epic story has the sort of excitement that movies are made of. My personal favorite is Evan Almighty which does not try to be historically accurate but rather captures the spirit of how crazy Noah must have felt to build his ark. BRIEF SUMMARY: The world had become so evil that God wanted to purge the world of its evil and start over. He tells Noah about His plan and tells him to build an ark so that he can survive the impending flood. Noah listens to God and builds an ark on land despite the ridicule from the people around him for the decades it took him to build it. He brings his wife, three sons, their wives, seven of every clean animal, two of every unclean animal, and sev...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #1 Adam and Eve (Genesis 1-3)
TIMING: No historical chronological corroboration available. REASON TO READ: This is the beginning of God’s relationship with man. If we understand how God “meant it to be” in its simplest form, then we can begin to see how He can steer our lives to resemble the paradise that God created for Adam and Eve to enjoy. BRIEF SUMMARY: God creates the world and puts Adam in the garden of Eden with Eve as his helpmate. They are allowed to eat of any tree in the garden except one, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve is deceived by the serpent and convinced to eat of the tree. She convinces Adam to do the same, and they become aware of their nakedness. They cover themselves in fig leaves, but God performs the first sacrifice and covers them with animal skins. They are kicked out of Eden and two cherubim with flaming swords are put at the gate to prevent them from ...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Introduction to the Top Ten Old Testament Stories
Question 1:  Why have a top ten? I'm guessing that a majority of us do not sit down and read the Old Testament in a structured fashion.  Why is that?  One of the reasons may be that we find it unmanageable:  "it's too long", "there's too many funny names", "it has too many irrelevant rules", "it's just too much" ... or is it?  I think the Old Testament is in many ways much simpler and much more straightforward than the New Testament.  "Yes, but what about all the Levitical laws and the lists of names and ..." - I say that studying them has its spiritual benefit, but you can skip some things for now and focus on the more accessible parts.  You can't swallow the ocean in our gulp, so you have to take it one sip at a time.  "But how do I know where to start?"  Excellent question, now we're getting somewhere! Answer:  To give you a goo...

[Read the rest of this article...]


Popular Articles


Noah's Ark Covered with Pitch
In Genesis we read "Make yourself an ark of gopherwood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.  And this is how you shall make it..." (Genesis 6:14-15) The ark is a symbol of the Church.  Everyone outside the ark perished, whereas everyone inside the ark was saved.  Similarly the Orthodox Church teaches us that the Church is essential for our salvation, through which we receive the Mysteries which God gave us.  Many church buildings are designed to be shaped like Noah's ark for this reason. God instructed Noah to cover the ark with pitch from the inside and the outside.  The pitch here is used to protect the ark from the water so that it wouldn't leak through inside the ark.  Notice here that the pitch is to be on the inside and the outside, not just the outside.  Similarly the Church should be protected from attacks on the...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Noah - An Example of Righteousness
 "... Noah was a righteous man, who was perfect in his generation and well-pleasing to God." (Genesis 6:9) Continuing on with the Story of Noah, this verse raised many questions.  In a previous article we talked about The Righteousness of Noah.  In describing his righteousness, the above verse adds "in his generation".  Why did the bible need to say "perfect in his generation"?  Does this mean that perfection is relative?  Is perfection in Noah's generation different than todays? Certainly not!  Perfection is from God, and perfection is God.  Our Lord Jesus Christ in His sermon on the Mount teaches us saying "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48).  Also, from St. Paul we know that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8).  If God is Perfect, an...

[Read the rest of this article...]



What's in a Name?
There's a special connection between a person and his name.  It's a connection that is very personal.  Not only does it identify a person, but it also carries a part of the person's personality.  In any training for a customer service type jobs, they advice the employees to use the customer's name often just for that very reason.  Also, how many times have you been embarrassed by not remembering your friend's name on the spot?  It's ok for not remembering their age, their profession, etc... but there's something special about a person's name. When someone works hard they say that they're trying to make a name for themselves.  When another person departs leaving nothing behind it is said that their name is wiped out from the earth.  When someone loves another person dearly, they call them with a special name, a term of endearment, or a nickname that nob...

[Read the rest of this article...]

Posted in: Old Testament


The Ark Took How Long to Build?
In Genesis chapter 6 we read about Noah building the ark according to God's commandment.  We can estimate the length of time it took Noah to build the ark from a few verses.  Genesis 5:32 and Genesis 6:10 mention that Noah was 500 years old.  Genesis 7:6 reads "Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters were on the earth."  This tell us that the ark took about 100 years to build. A question that comes to mind is why did it take that long?  Obviously it's a very large vessel built by a 500 year old man, but why did God allow this to take 100 years to build?  Remember at that time the earth was filled with corruption and unrighteousness but God didn't destroy it yet.  The Bible reads "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corr...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Did Mary the Mother of Jesus Christ Have Other Children?
I recently received the following question in email:  Did Mary the mother of Jesus Christ have other children?  Since the answer to this question might be useful to others, I decided to post it on the website. To answer the question:  Of course St. Mary had other children.  She's the mother of all saints, and the mother of us all.  She will also become the mother of many other children. But of course the question is asking if she physically gave birth to other children than the Word of God.  The short answer is no.  We believe in her perpetual virginity.  She was a virgin before giving birth to God and she remained a virgin after the fact. The long answer is through prophecies, her life, tradition and through logic as well.  Let me explain… Old Testament Prophecies There are many prophecies in the Old Testament about the Theotokos ...

[Read the rest of this article...]


Recently Added


Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #5 Moses and the Crossing of the Red Sea
TIMING: While there aren’t definitive sources that corroborate the traditional timing of the life of Moses (1400-1201 B.C.), for the sake of the chronology the crossing of the Red Sea is about four hundred years after Joseph dies. This gives time for the pharaoh that loved Joseph to die, and for a new king to come to power and treat the Israelites harshly (Exodus 1: 8-22).  REASON TO READ: There are several levels on which one could read the story of Exodus: Historically as a story of the Israelites, As a metaphor of our struggle against sin, To study Moses as a model of leadership, To study the character of God in how He deals with his difficult people, and many more perspectives that we could not cover in a single article. We will explore each of these reasons when we discuss how this story fits in the top ten, below. BRIEF SUMMARY: This is one of ...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #4 Joseph and Pharaoh’s Dream
TIMING: The historical timing is controversial with multiple accounts: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/02/18/Joseph-in-Egypt-Part-I.aspx http://www.freemaninstitute.com/Gallery/joseph.htm http://creation.com/egyptian-history-and-the-biblical-record-a-perfect-match The take home message is that Joseph went to Egypt around 1600 B.C. give or take a few hundred years. REASON TO READ: The story of Joseph in Egypt marks a milestone in the story of the Hebrews in that it is the means by which Israel and his sons to go to Egypt, which is the prequel to their descendants’ Exodus with Moses. BRIEF SUMMARY: Just as with Abraham, Joseph has many spiritually beneficial stories, starting from his birth Genesis 30 until the end of the book in Chapter 50. For our purposes here, we will focus on his interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream in Chapter 41. Joseph had been put in ...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #3 Abraham and the Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19)
TIMING: Traditionally, Abraham was thought to live 2000 years before Christ, but this has been questioned recently by such books as Abraham in History and Tradition by biblical scholar John Van Seters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_in_History_and_Tradition). REASON TO READ: Prior to Abraham, God had individual relationships with people. He was close with Adam and Noah. There are other people we know of and potentially (likely) other people we do not know of that God approached on an individual basis. The unique thing about Abraham, is that God promised, not only to be close with him, but to all of his descendants also, which is a significant milestone in God beginning to form for Himself a "holy nation, His own special people, that ... who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy" (1 Peter 2:9-10). BRIEF SUMMARY...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Why does God Allow Evil?
If God is all powerful, all knowing, just and loving, and if He's all goodness and graciousness then why is there such evil in the world?!  Where is God's love then?  Where is His justice?  If He's all powerful, why can't He stop the injustice?  If He's all loving, then why does He not protect His children from evil?  Why do we always hear about these terrorists and their heinous acts of evil?  Why does God allow such evil?   This is a question that comes to everyone's mind at some point in their lives and the answer to it might surprise you...  It is because of God's love, mercy and justice that He allows evil in the world!  Perhaps this might sound very strange at first, but allow me to explain and I hope that by the end of this article you might thank God for allowing evil for so long!   There's Evil in the World Because God is Mercifu...

[Read the rest of this article...]



Top Ten Old Testament Stories: #2 Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6-9)
TIMING: Potentially corroborated by geological data of flooding related to melting ice caps around 5600 B.C. (http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/010599sci-black-sea-flood.html). REASON TO READ: This epic story has the sort of excitement that movies are made of. My personal favorite is Evan Almighty which does not try to be historically accurate but rather captures the spirit of how crazy Noah must have felt to build his ark. BRIEF SUMMARY: The world had become so evil that God wanted to purge the world of its evil and start over. He tells Noah about His plan and tells him to build an ark so that he can survive the impending flood. Noah listens to God and builds an ark on land despite the ridicule from the people around him for the decades it took him to build it. He brings his wife, three sons, their wives, seven of every clean animal, two of every unclean animal, and sev...

[Read the rest of this article...]


Home  |  Articles  |  About  |  Contact Us
Copyright 2014 by OrthodoxBibleStudy.com