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Home > What the Bible says about...

What the Bible says about...


Matt. 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 
Matt. 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
 10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Matt. 9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
 21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
 22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.



The fall refers to the sin of Adam and Eve who disobeyed the divine edict by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, whereupon they were expelled from the Garden of Eden (Gen chaps. 2-3). The concept of the fall was developed by post-biblical Christian theologians who held that this original sin involved mankind in an inherent sinfulness from which it can only be saved by a special act of divine grace. This doctrine is based on Pauline passages such as Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:3. The concept of the fall is attractive because it proposes a view of a perfect primeval time when life was not marred by imperfection or sickness. In this idyllic state, when mankind enjoyed unblemished relations with the deity, with other humans and with nature, there was no evil and God’s intention for humans was perfectly met. However, the option of disobedience existed, and when the opportunity was grasped, the couple “fell”: from grace, from the favor of God or from perfect communion with him. Where once the human couple felt at ease with each other, they now shied away from their creator and covered their nakedness. This myth captured the imagination principally by explaining the origin of evil, illness and toil.




In the Bible, almost any situation that aroused deep emotion could provide an occasion for fasting. These include grief in bereavement, distress in the face of impending danger and urgent supplication in distress for divine aid and compassion. The ritual of mourning normally included fasting. The men of Jabesh Gilead fasted for seven days after burying the remains of Saul and his sons (I Sam31:13); David fasted on hearing the news of the death of Saul and Jonathan (II Sam 1:12) and on receiving word that Abner had been slain (II Sam 3:35).


However, fasting by individuals is frequently referred to in Psalms. These fasts were voluntarily observed in response to occasions of personal distress or danger (Ps 35:13; 69:10; 109:24).


The prophets’ attitude towards fasting is highly informed by the demand for sincerity, true repentance, and a reversal towards ethical conduct, cf Joel’s saying (2:12-13) “…turn to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping; and rend your heart and not your garments.” Isaiah declared that compassionate moral conduct is more acceptable to God than fasting attended by strife and contention (Is 58:4-7).


Jesus himself fasted at times of spiritual crisis. When he was led into the desert and tempted by Satin, “He fasted forty days and forty nights” (Matt 4:1-2; cf Mark 1:12-13). The Anatolic writings mention fasting on rare occasions: in conjunction with a prayer for divine help (Acts 13:2ff)




The term “firstborn” of an animal always refers to that of the mother. For human beings the term can refer either to that of the mother or of the father, or even as a metaphor (e.g. Ex 4:22). The designation “the first issue of the womb”, naturally refers exclusively to the firstborn of the mother. The firstborn of the mother occurs in three limited instances: (a) to stress the child’s sanctity (Ex 34:19); (b) to emphasize that he is not his father’s firstborn (I Chr 2:50); and (c) to underscore the mother’s status at the time of his birth (Deut 25:6; Luke 2:7). In all other instances, the firstborn is of the father. The genealogical lists point up the importance of the firstborn male. He is first in the list, even if the genealogical line is given for all the sons (I Chr 6:16-30). The family line is continued through the firstborn, even if other sons are named (I Chr 7:1-4); at times, the firstborn is the only one named (Gen 11:12-13). Daughters, even the firstborn, are listed at the end (I Sam 14:49).


In the NT the term firstborn is chiefly applied to Jesus, who is called the firstborn of Mary (Matt 1:25; Luke 2:7). When the term is applied to Jesus in broader senses, it implies a certain exalted status and divine sonship, as in Hebrews 1:6. It can also refer to Jesus’ preexistence, as in Colossians 1:15 “firstborn over all creation”. John uses instead the term “only begotten Son”, (e.g., John 1:18; 3:16, 18).

Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
Exodus 19:17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.
18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain[a] quaked greatly
Hebrews 12: 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may[a] serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Psalms 86:4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
 5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. 
Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Matt. 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Matt. 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

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