St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

Deuteronomy foretells of a prophet and mediator between God and the Jewish people.  This is seen as foretelling the ministry of Jesus Christ, through whom God reveals His love of mankind. Some guidance is given for how to distinguish real prophets from false ones. Rules carefully delineating manslaughter and murder are laid out. Despite the fact that we do not live in a theocracy, we should have a mind to purge evil from our midst.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture21.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

When there are accusations of idolatry, it must be ascertained through credible evidence.  The punishment is designed to be decisive and JUST. The witnesses are involved in the execution in order to discourage false accusations.  A judicial system is carefully created to ensure due process, allowing Levitical priests and higher courts to take care of matters too difficult for local courts. Some cases are taken to the tabernacle, before the Lord, if they are judged too difficult for mortal understanding. Some regulations regarding kings are outlined.  Importantly, kings are to be chosen by God and they are not to be above the Law.  Priests are ordered not to engage in human sacrifice and divination.

Direct download: DeuteronomyLecture20.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Wise, experienced judges are to be appointed by the people, in every town, and are expected to be righteous.  The justice they seek is the justice required by God.  The Israelites are forbidden from setting up pillars and other graven images, because God HATES them. God also detests blemished and imperfect offerings (e.g. sick oxen).  He requires a perfect sacrifice as Jesus was the perfect sacrifice.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode19.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Traditional Jewish feasts are outlined, and their new significance to Christians are discussed. Some guidance on how to read the book of Deuteronomy is provided.  It must be read carefully and its precepts dutifully followed. We are encouraged to catechise and be catechised in order to effectively serve the Lord. Just as the Hebrews lived separately from pagan idolatry, so too are we also called to live separately from the evils of the world by following the Law revealed by the Lord.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode18.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Hebrews were called to grieve differently and eat differently as a reminder that they were a people set apart for the Lord.  Bacon is not inherently sinful to eat, but it was set aside as something the Lord expected His people not to eat.  Christ did not abolish the ritual kosher laws for the Jews, but clarified that they did not apply to Christians.  However, the moral laws set down in the Old Testament still very much apply to Christians today.  God expects a tithe:  He expects His people to return a gift of a portion of everything that the He has given them. The Lord specifies laws meant to care for the poor.  Parts of the Lord's tithes were to be shared with widows, and lending laws were such that the poor could not be kept as permanent slaves to debt.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode17.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 10:45am EDT

The eating of innocent blood is forbidden.  These temple practices are emphasized for correct worship of God but also a guidance even in our lives to recognize the sacredness of life designed by God.  The Israelites (and we) are warned against apostates who try to lead us away from the Lord and from the Torah, even if they are close family and friends. Hebrew law lays out dire consequences for such people, but only in the context of rigorous judicial review.  In our case we do not have a theocratic system, but are still exhorted to reject such temptation.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode16.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Israelites are told to destroy the places of worship of rival religions.  This is because their existence is a temptation to idolatry, one to which many Hebrews would eventually give in.  There is one God, separate from all other religious influences.  Worship of the Lord is done in one central location set aside by Him: a special, sacred place. All sacrifice and offering to the Lord will not be done at local shrines, but at His chosen location. This will help prevent His worship from being diluted by local practices.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode15.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Canaanites will be defeated due to their wickedness.  Israel's righteousness or strength will have nothing to do with it, however, as Israel has frequently disobeyed the Lord through their stubbornness. But God is merciful and gracious. This is just as true in the church today as in ancient Israel.  If we repent and be receptive to the love of the Lord, He will redeem us with His infinite love and mercy.

In addition I (the editor of these podcasts) greatly apologize for the unannounced hiatus.  I will endeavor to make sure there is a smoother release schedule in the coming months.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode14.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 9:39pm EDT

The Canaanites would be destroyed gradually, as a test of sustained faith.  They were not to take the gold and treasure of the Canaanites because it was full of temptations to idolatry.  The meaning of the word "abomination" is briefly discussed.  The repetition of Moses' exhortations throughout this text are defended--Moses seeks in this final speech to solidify the importance of the lessons of God's care for His people and of His commandments.  The Israelites are on the eve of entering a rich and abundant land, from decades of time in the desert.  They are warned to remember that it was not their strength, but God's that brought them to this land.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode13.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

The Hebrews are called to completely destroy their rivals in Canaan--man, woman, child, and artifacts of worship.  This is a difficult passage to accept.  However, God explicitly wants to protect His people from the temptation of idolatry that would be constant if the Hebrews lived among Canaanite religion (The Hebrews would later fall prey to this very temptation).  Despite this seemingly harsh judgement, God offers hope to the innocent and righteous.  Furthermore, if Israel keeps God's commandments, he will lavish great reward.

Direct download: DeuteronomyEpisode12.mp3
Category:Biblical Study -- posted at: 6:00am EDT