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Bible Study: Proper 7 (B) – 2012

June 24, 2012

1 Samuel 17:57-18:5

What could it mean that “the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David”? Note that the Hebrew word used for “soul” here is transliterated as nephesh. While nephesh is translated in this passage as “soul,” it can also refer to other aspects of life, and people and animals are considered to have a nephesh. David and Jonathan enter into a covenant together. Given the role of covenants in the Old Testament, what could this mean? Compare and contrast this covenant with others.

  • What is the significance of Jonathan stripping himself of his armor and giving it to David?
  • Consider the importance of role in Jewish society.

Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32

This is a psalm of thanksgiving, to the Lord, whose goodness never fails. The psalm begins with a gathering: a proclamation that the Lord has gathered God’s people from the east, west, north, and south.

What implications does this “gathering” have on how Second Temple Jews understood their identity? What could this “gathering” have meant to them? Verses 23-32 are reminiscent of Mark 4:35-41.

  • What does this tell you about the nature of God?
  • What does this tell you about the relationship between the psalms and the gospels?

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

In this pericope from 2 Corinthians, Paul offers his defense, and thus urges readers to recognize a world that is a new creation, because of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Paul catalogues the hardships of the time, and offers the virtues that make such hardships dissolve in the light of the cross. Paul places his own pain in the light of the cross, to bring about the day of salvation, and a world newly created and ordered toward God. Paul pleads that readers may recognize that he and his fellow servants of Christ come only to offer compassion and new life, which they have been offered through a life dedicated to worshipping Christ.

Mark 4:35-41

In this gospel reading, Jesus shows the disciples his human and earthly power. Jesus has built relationships with the disciples, such that they accept his invitation to go to the other side. The disciples even took him “just as he was.” Though Jesus literally takes them to the other side of the waters, it would seem that he spiritually takes them into the deep waters of understanding his own identity. They took him just as he was, but only after this experience, do they know the blessings and risks of who he is. The disciples knew Jesus to be a teacher and to be a friend, but in this crossing they know that Jesus can bring order out of chaos, and that he is truly divine.

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Christopher Sikkema


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