Dr. Osvaldo Vena

Why circumcision?

As a visible sign of a covenant with God, men were circumcised - Gen 17:11-14. Why wasn't there a more obvious sign of 'membership'? For example, why not have ears clipped? How often does a man show his penis to others? Wouldn't it be more visible if something else was marked?

The Bible and Incest

During Bible study we read through the Scripture passages about family members having children from family members - one in particular I noticed is Genesis 19:36: "Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father."

The question raised from our Bible study member was this: At what time period, historically, did people realize/consider the health concerns of this and when did it shift to not allowing children with people of one's family? As well as the focus of monogamy vs. polygamy?

Is Pentecost the birthday of the Church?

I heard a Christian podcast arguing the Pentecost is not the birthday of the Church. I couldn't follow the argument and have always been used to hearing that Pentecost IS the birthday of the Church. Can anyone explain? 

Is Pentecost the birthday of the Church?

What is the culturally sensitive way to refer to the Old Testament?

I am aware of the need to refer to the 'old testament' as the Hebrew Bible.  Is it appropriate in writing to refer to the Hebrew Bible as the Hebrew Testament?  I see no references written in that manner but my pastor wants me to use Hebrew Testament in my writing.  thanks.

Dates for Hebrew Scriptures

I am looking for a reliable source to show approximate times for the books of the Hebrew Testament and New Testament to have been written or recorded ... and to compare those dates to historical events ... thanks

Meanings of Romans 12:19-20

Whilst I have read various interpretations of Romans 12 v19-20 I'm not really convinced by any of them. Is the phrase 'heap burning coals on his head' idiomatic and if so what does it mean? 

Syriac as common language in Jesus' time

I am reading an ebook titled:  A translation, in English daily used, of the Peshito-Syriac text, and of the received Greek text, of Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John:  With an introduction on the Peshito-Syriac text, and the revised Greek text of 1881.

2 Questions from Exodus

1. How did or which way did Moses flee from Egypt to Midian for the 1st time when he was accused of killing an Egyptian?

2. Why didn't Moses used the same route to reach Mt. Sinai along with his people as he did earlier?

Life in Community

Prof. Matt Skinner, in a podcast for the lectionary for Feb. 16 on Working Preacher.com,  talked about considering the larger good of the people around you when responding to the Sermon on the Mount, especially "be reconciled to your brother or sister."  (Matt.

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