9/18 Reading (Joshua 1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4)

It’s interesting how closely the stories in Joshua mirror the actions of Moses. The spies and crossing the Jordan river in these three chapters.

Introduction to Joshua: I don’t have a lot to say, but I do want to include a pretty interesting quote from the intro to historical books section of NRSV study bible:

“…more sites have been excavated, there is a growing consensus that the main story of Joshua, that of a speedy and complete conquest (e.g., Josh 11.23: “So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses”), cannot be upheld by the archaeological record, though there are indications of some destruction and conquest at the appropriate time. Various events and traditions have been reworked very substantially over time and ultimately included in the Bible in order to convey a particular picture of God” (p. 317).

The thought is that this book was written in late 7th century BCE.

Joshua 1: Chapter is setting the tone for what’s to come throughout the entire book of Joshua. God it simply telling Joshua to be brave and do what Moses instructed. He also talked about the instruction scroll again. This is what Moses introduced at the end of Deuteronomy.

Joshua 2: Joshua sends two spies to Jericho. The spies are discovered, but they are saved by a prostitute. In return she asks for their protection when the Israelites attack. They tell her how to let the Israelites know which is her house and they flee to safety.

Joshua 3: Joshua gives instructions for how to cross the river Jordan. The chest containing the Covenant is used as a beacon to let the people know when it is safe to leave camp and begin crossing the river.

1 Thessalonians 4: More discussion of sex in this chapter. I think the note from the Fee and Stuart book is really interesting: “the Greeks and Romans never considered immoral the kind of sexual behavior outside of marriage that both Jews and Christians saw as breaking the seventh commandment; what we would call sexual promiscuity—of all kinds—was simply an accepted way of life.”

Also from the Fee and Stuart book when it comes to 4.13-5.11: “there is plenty of archaeological evidence indicating that the pagan Thessalonians were intensely interested in matters of life after death.” Ok, that’s fascinating. I would love to know more.

It’s kinda refreshing to read what Paul tells the people about life after death. He pretty much reassures them that death is not the end.

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