I’m using multiple sources throughout this process: the NRSV study bible, the CEB study bible, and Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com). This allows me to read more while at work or elsewhere. As a member I can also read all of the study guides they have. This includes How to Read the Bible Book by Book by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart as well as the NIV Study Bible Notes. I want to share something interesting I read in the Fee and Stuart book below.
Deuteronomy 28: chapter addresses blessings if you follow God’s covenant and curses if you don’t. Here’s an interesting tidbit from the NRSV notes:
“The covenant specifies a series of blessings and curses that follow upon national obedience or disobedience to the law. These are modeled a er ancient Near Eastern state treaties, in which the consequences of breach of the treaty are spelled out at its conclusion; this chapter has several close parallels to the Vassal Treaty of Esarhaddon (VTE), a Neo-Assyrian treaty dating to 672 bce” (p. 294).
Pretty much if you obey God, you are set. If you disobey God, look out. The blessings are spelled out in verses 1-14. The curses are spelled out in verses 15-68. Not going to spell it out, but pretty much everything is addressed. Yikes!
Deuteronomy 29: The people are again told of the importance of abiding by God’s laws.
Deuteronomy 30: The people are told that if they turn away from God and then repent, he will welcome them back and restore what was lost. And yet again another reminder of the choice that needs to be made: follow God’s commands and do well or don’t follow them and fail.
1 Thessalonians 2: This is pretty much a continuation of what was shared in the first chapter. According to the Fee and Stuart book (see above), “every charge Paul defends himself against in 2.1-6 can be found in pagan philosophical writings-charges leveled against religious and philosophical charlatans.” As a way to relate to the people Paul compares their suffering at the hands of other Gentiles to what the Jews did to Jesus and the apostles. He also expressed his desire to visit them again but that he was stopped by Satan.