A Blog on Scripture, etc.

The Plan of Salvation

In the last few years, I have preached an intermittent series of lessons on what we in the churches of Christ have often called “the plan of salvation” or “the fives steps to salvation.” Yes, I understand that especially the second description can be taken in a very negative way, and I address that negativeContinue reading “The Plan of Salvation”

Reformation Day

Today is Reformation Day, a day that can evoke a great deal of reflection again, precisely in our time. One wonders why consequences had to arise from Luther’s action that were exactly the opposite of those he intended and that overshadowed his own last years of life and at times even made him question hisContinue reading “Reformation Day”

Paradise Lost, Book 12

649 lines. Most of the book continues Michael’s conversation with Adam, revealing the future, including the exodus, and the giving of the Torah, and the exile, and the coming of the Messiah, and even a bit of the period after the Messiah’s ascension. The book ends with Adam and Eve leaving Paradise. Michael resumes tellingContinue reading “Paradise Lost, Book 12”

Paradise Lost, Book 11

901 lines. God sends Michael to drive the couple out of Eden, but before he does, he shows Adam what the future holds. This revelation of the future will continue into book 12; here Michael takes Adam up to the flood and its immediate aftermath (i.e., the rainbow). The prayers of Adam and Eve goContinue reading “Paradise Lost, Book 11”

Paradise Lost, Book 10

1104 lines. This book shows the immediate aftereffects of the first sin. The punishment is brought to the couple, Satan returns to hell to announce his victory, and Sin and Death make their way to earth. The act became quickly known in heaven, by God immediately since he was watching the whole thing happen, byContinue reading “Paradise Lost, Book 10”

Paradise Lost, Book 9

1189 lines, the longest book, presenting the main event, the Fall, the eating of the forbidden fruit. In Milton’s prologue to this book (lines 1–47), he warns us that he is going to leave the pleasant subjects of previous books and get to the temptation. He again invokes his Muse’s aid. Satan returns to theContinue reading “Paradise Lost, Book 9”

Paradise Lost, Book 8

653 lines. Here Adam tells his experience of his life thus far. Adam speaks (lines 5–38), asking about the heavenly bodies, the sun and stars and planets, about their motions. Eve gets up to tend the garden, planning to ask Adam about the conversation later (lines 39–65). Raphael replies (lines 66–178), describing possible motions ofContinue reading “Paradise Lost, Book 8”


Sheol (שְׁאוֹל) is the term in the Hebrew Bible for the place of the dead. It appears 65 times. The chart below gives you the reference to every appearance of the term in the Hebrew Bible, along with its translation in the Septuagint (LXX), the King James version, and the New Revised Standard Version. AsContinue reading “Sheol”

Paradise Lost, Book 7

640 lines. Raphael tells the story of Creation, mostly drawing on Genesis 1 but also bringing in some elements of Genesis 2 with regard to the creation of humans. Milton invokes a Muse again, this time Urania (lines 1–39). Adam and Eve listened to Raphael’s account of war in heaven, and now Adam wants toContinue reading “Paradise Lost, Book 7”

Paradise Lost, Book 6

912 lines. Raphael continues his narrative about the battle in heaven that resulted in the overthrow of Satan. The entire book is in the voice of Raphael. Abdiel made his way to heaven at dawn, and found that thew news he brought of the angelic rebellion was already known (lines 1–28). The Father speaks (linesContinue reading “Paradise Lost, Book 6”


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