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Bible

More Thoughts on Balaam

In reading the story of Balaam, it is difficult to see what he may have done wrong.  Indeed, based on this record alone, he seems like an upstanding guy.  Therefore, we can only speculate as to what his error might have been. However, there are several other references to Balaam in the Bible.  These all […]

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Bible

The Error of Balaam

We’ve covered Cain’s path and Korah’s rebellion; now it is time to address Balaam’s error. Frankly, I am perplexed to as to what Balaam’s error actually was.  In reading his saga, I see a man who affirmed God as “my God,” heard God’s voice, and fully obeyed God’s instructions.  Indeed Balaam had a better track […]

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Bible

Cain, Balaam, and Korah

In Jude’s brief exposition of ungodly people in the church, he evokes three Old Testament characters: Cain, Balaam, and Korah.  Cain, we know to be a murderer; Balaam, greedy; and Korah, rebellious.  However, it is simplistic to see them merely as evil men, for they also had an air of godliness to them, seeking God […]

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Bible

Ungodly Men in the Church

The book of Jude — which I’ve blogged about quite a bit — addresses ungodly men in the church, not those outside the church. Jude’s key passage is verse 11, where he compares ungodly men in the church to Cain, Balaam, and Korah. It’s noteworthy that each of these men has an overlooked connection with […]

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Bible

The Fallacy of Syncretism

Although many of the mentions in the Bible of Balaam are negative, in the primary account of him, he seems to basically be a good, God-fearing guy. Balaam’s issue wasn’t his connection with God, but instead his attempt to meld the God of the Bible with other, contrary beliefs, in this case sorcery and divination. […]

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Bible

The Third Time’s a Charm

In Jude’s short letter, he often writes in triads, listing three items or offering three examples.  He does this with such regularity that when he deviates from this in verse 12, I thought I had misread the text.  Consider the following triplets: three actions of God: called, loved, and kept (and if you implicitly see […]

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Bible

Biblical References in Jude

As covered a few weeks ago, the book of Jude contains three cryptic references to ancient non-biblical texts.  In addition, Jude also includes references to biblical accounts. The first is in verse 6, where Jude mentions angels who abandoned their role and their home.  This is likely a nod to Genesis 6:1-4, which talks about […]