Author Archives: theoutwardquest

About theoutwardquest

I have many interests, but will blog mostly about what I read in the fields of Bible and religion.

Leuchter-a new take on the Merneptah stele

Finally, I have been able to begin to read Mark Leuchter’s The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity. My readers may have noticed that I have had a focus on the Israelite priesthood in my reading and posting for … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Where they made mummies

Just this week news broke of the discovery of an Egyptian mummification chamber with artifacts, including a very rare silver death mask. Fascinatingly, Genesis portrays the patriarch, Jacob, as having undergone Egyptian mummification (Genesis 50:1-3). Many news outlets have reported this … Continue reading

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Jacob’s dream at Bethel

Here is the situation I am in right now. A couple weeks ago I filled in for a pastor who was ill. In the meantime that pastor has very unexpectedly died. So now I am asked to preach again and … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Israel, Bible, Church | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Firstborn and the Levites

There is a requirement in both Exodus 22:29-30 and Exodus 34:19-20 that people give their first-born sons to God. In both cases the offering of human sons is parallel to the offering of livestock in blood sacrifice. In the Exodus … Continue reading

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The oldest worship service?

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 gives us a piece of very ancient Israelite worship language. It calls for a simple ceremony. An Israelite farmer must take some of the first fruits of the crop, put them in a basket, carry them to the … Continue reading

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Trying to understand a vile practice

Most people today would consider human sacrifice a kind of ritual murder. We see it as morally ugly. There is quite a bit of evidence that it was, shockingly, practiced by a wide range of ancient cultures. Modern scholars tend … Continue reading

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The Lord’s Prayer-issues and beauty

I am preaching this week. Occasionally congregations ask retired preachers to do this. In my case, I don’t encourage it. It still happens. I don’t mind doing it as long as it doesn’t become a long-term commitment. My text will … Continue reading

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