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Bible is a Modern Culinary Manual, God is “First Foodie”: An Interview with Margaret Feinberg

Margaret FeinbergTaste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. — Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

Why did God create food lush in flavor and rich in nutrients? How is food infused with sacred meaning? In our age of fast food and fads, what does it mean to experience foods of the Bible?

Bible Gateway interviewed Margaret Feinberg (@mafeinberg) about her book, Taste and See: Discovering God Among Butchers, Bakers, and Fresh Food Makers (Zondervan, 2019).

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[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, A Fresh Foodie Bible Study Adventure: An Interview with Margaret Feinberg]

What did you intend when you wrote Taste and See?

Margaret Feinberg: I wanted to create a spiritual travel and food guide that ensured you never read the Bible the same way again—or eat bread or olives the same way, for that matter. I descended 410 feet down a salt mine, fished on the Galilee, spent time with a famous fig farmer, brought in an olive harvest in Croatia, and even graduated with a Steakology 101 certificate after studying under a Texas butcher.

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Persecution of Christians is Increasing Worldwide

Open Doors 2019 World Watch Map

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Christians remain one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world, experiencing imprisonment, loss of home and assets, rape, torture, beheadings, and other forms of murder because of their identification with Jesus Christ. Across the 50 countries on the 2019 Open Doors World Watch List (@OpenDoors) (#2019WWL), more than 245 million Christians now experience high, very high, or extreme persecution; an increase from 215 million in 2018.

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Bible Verses for the International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church]

In its 27th year, the list—which is the world’s definitive assessment of religious persecution based upon in-depth, rigorous analysis of on-the-ground, first-person research—remains a global indicator of where human and religious rights are being violated, and those countries most vulnerable to societal unrest and destabilization.

[Read the Bible in multiple languages on Bible Gateway]

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How to Live the Bible — Sweeter Than Honey


This is the forty-seventh lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.

Life and Light Books

One of the differences between an empty life and a full life is whether we’ve taken the opportunity to receive the truth of God in the deep places of our minds and hearts. This truth is not merely “truths” or information like the facts you comb the newspaper for. This truth is a harvest in the heart. It is the life-changing comprehension of the reality of supernatural love. It is true knowledge of ourselves, true knowledge of God, and true knowledge of the world in which we live.

God longs for us to receive his word as contained in the Scriptures. To demonstrate this God had a prophet eat a scroll that turned to sweet honey in his mouth (Ezekiel 3:3).

Psalm 119:113 says: “how sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

Bible Reading as Sweet as Honey illustration

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A Game Changer for the Selfishness Problem

Dave & Ann WilsonBy Dave & Ann Wilson

One Saturday several years ago, we flew to Illinois to watch one of our sons play in a college football game. As I (Dave) drove our rental car from the Chicago airport to the stadium, I glanced over at Ann, who was napping. I thought to myself, I am so lucky to be married to this woman. I took note of the cute little lines on her beautiful face and reminisced about all the memories we had shared over the years. In that moment, I was filled with love for her all over again.

And so it only makes sense that after this moving moment of reflection and gratitude I would demonstrate these feelings to her. So how did I behave for the rest of the day with my beloved wife, the love of my life?

Well, in a few words, I was a jerk.

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Why the Jewish Roots of Christianity are Important: An Interview with Curt Landry

Curt LandryThe church was created by Jesus, who was born Jewish. His early followers were both Jewish and Gentile, and the church’s early culture was rooted in Judaism and a Jewish understanding of God’s relationship to his people. Over time, Christianity became increasingly more Roman than Jewish. How did this transformation affect the church’s identity?

Bible Gateway interviewed Rabbi Curt Landry (@curtlandrymin) about his book, Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage: How Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity Can Transform Your Faith (Thomas Nelson, 2018).

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Explain how Christianity has Jewish roots.

Curt Landry: The church was birthed through Jesus who was born Jewish and yet primarily rejected by his family and his people. He was adopted by both Jewish and Gentile followers whose early culture was rooted in Judaism. Therefore, the early church was simply considered a “Jewish sect,” but by AD 365 Constantine and the various councils removed the majority of the Jewish culture from “Christianity” and gave it a more Roman expression. In doing so the church lost its identity and its purpose was distorted.

[Read the Bible Gateway Blog, Did You Know That the Founder of Christianity Was Jewish?]

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Infographic: The Many Names of Jesus in the Bible

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Luke 1:30-31

While the angel Gabriel told Mary the specific name she was to call her newborn child, and he explained to Joseph the divine reason the baby was to be named Jesus, the Bible also refers in many other ways to the Son of God. Jesus is the Greek form of Yeshua (Joshua), which means the LORD saves.

From Smith’s Bible Names Dictionary on Bible Gateway:
The name Jesus signifies savior. The name Christ signifies anointed. Jesus was both priest and king. Among the Jews priests were anointed, as their inauguration to their office (1 Chronicles 16:22). In the New Testament the name Christ is used as equivalent to the Hebrew Messiah (anointed) (John 1:41), the name given to the long-promised Prophet and King whom the Jews had been taught by their prophets to expect (Matthew 11:3; Acts 19:4). The use of this name, as applied to the Lord, has always been a reference to the promises of the prophets. The name of Jesus is the proper name of our Lord, and that of Christ is added to identify him with the promised Messiah. Other names are sometimes added to the names Jesus Christ, thus, “Lord,” “a king,” “King of Israel,” “Emmanuel,” “Son of David,” “chosen of God.”

[Also see Bible Gateway’s Infographic, 25 Extremes in the Bible]Get Bible Gateway's 25 Extremes in the Bible Infographic

You’ll want to get Bible Gateway’s free Infographic that highlights 25 names of Jesus. Here are the first four:

Great Shepherd

Hebrews 13:20-21 (NIV) – Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Ephesians 2:19-22 (RSV) – You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Door of the Sheepfold

John 10:7 (BRG) – Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

Lion of the Tribe of Judah:

Revelation 5:5 (GW) – Then one of the leaders said to me, “Stop crying! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has won the victory. He can open the scroll and the seven seals on it.”

From the Encyclopedia of the Bible on Bible Gateway:
John uses the expression “believe on his name” five times (John 1:12; 2:23; 3:18; 1 John 3:23; 5:13). In two of the cases, it is used in close parallelism with believing in the son of God, Jesus (John 3:16 with v. 18; 1 John 5:10 with v. 13). The name here is his person and the belief in that name is not magical, but it is an acceptance or “receiving” of his messianic person and mission and thereby acquiring the right to enter into a new relationship with the heavenly Father (John 1:12).

Sign up now to receive Bible Gateway’s free exclusive 25 Jesus Names in the Bible Infographic (some content taken from Meredith’s Complete Book of Bible Lists: A One-of-a-Kind Collection of Bible Facts (Baker Books, 2008).

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Bible News Roundup – Week of January 13, 2019

Read this week’s Bible Gateway Weekly Brief newsletter
Bible Gateway Weekly Brief
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‘This is Not Mythology’: Archaeologists Dig Up the Bible at Ancient City of Shiloh
CBN News
Read the Bible Gateway Blog post, Latest Biblical Archaeology Research

New ‘Visual Commentary on Scripture’ Website Offers New Way to Study the Bible
The Christian Post
The Visual Commentary on Scripture

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Actor Chris Pratt to Follow Bible-Based 21-Day Diet of Prayer and Fasting

Chris Pratt“Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.” That’s what Old Testament prophet Daniel said to his Babylonian prison guard in the 7th century BC and now American actor Chris Pratt is modeling that diet thousands of years later.

In his recent Instagram story, the Jurassic World star, who is vocal about his Christian faith, said, “Hi, Chris Pratt here. Day three of the Daniel Fast, check it out. It’s 21 days of prayer and fasting.” A website for the Daniel Fast adds that it’s “based on the fasting experiences of the Old Testament prophet and typical Jewish fasting principles.”

Sign up to receive the once-a-week free email devotional newsletter, The Daniel Plan. Each week you’ll read brief inspirational insights drawn from the bestselling book, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life (Zondervan, 2013), which teach simple ways to incorporate healthy choices into your current lifestyle and help you to understand the kind of foods God created to keep you fit and strong.

Here’s an example insight from the newsletter:

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

“Your heart is a muscle, so when you challenge it, it will adapt and become stronger. Strengthen your heart as well as become young at heart by making active games and aerobic activities a part of your weekly routine.” — Exercise Physiologist Sean Foy

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How to Live the Bible — Growing in the Word


This is the forty-sixth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.

Life and Light Books

(Now that our Christmas series is done, we come back to weekly lessons on “How to Live the Bible.” Today we review some of the main points we’ve covered in the last year.)

To “live the Bible” means continual life transformation through the work of the Holy Spirit using the implanted word of God. In this series we are probing how we can develop a biblical mindset, worldview, attitude, and instincts that lead us to right living and effective witness. Our major themes include law, love, ethics, theological structure, biblical mindset, sins and vices, righteousness and virtues, and more.

Bible Reading on Park Bench illustration

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How Esther Shows God Has a Purpose for Your Life: An Interview with Dr. Tony Evans

Tony EvansDo you believe God has a purpose for your life, and every action or event that occurs within it has been used to make that purpose a reality? Do you read the story of Esther as a series of coincidences strung together to deliver the Jews from certain death? Or as God having a particular purpose at a particular time?

In this Bible Gateway Q&A, Dr. Tony Evans (@drtonyevans) talks about his book, Pathways: From Providence to Purpose (B&H Books, 2019).

What prompted you to write Pathways?

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Dr. Tony Evans: Well, I’ve been talking a lot about destiny, and a lot of people are confused about how God goes about showing them and showing us where he wants us to go because he zigzags. And so the book was written to show that the pathway to where God is taking you is not a straight line. It goes up and down, in and out. Sometimes backwards, then forwards. So they can better make sense of the process and better accept, particularly things that they do not prefer or do not understand taking place in their lives, which is all part of God’s plan to develop us and take us from where we are to where he wants us to be.

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