400 Questions & Answers about the New Testament by Susan Easton Black – Book Notes

DISCLAIMER: These are my notes & commentary and do not represent a balanced summary of the author’s work. I’ve selected portions of the text which were relevant to me and placed them here in my own words, in an abbreviated fashion, with added commentary. Though this article introduces some main ideas from the text, it is bias toward what I felt were ideas of particular importance. This should not be considered a scholarly work, but rather an informal sharing & discussion of ideas as permitted by Fair Use law. I alone am responsible for the contents of this article.

topics include marriage, vocation, parenting, Sabbath etc.

-6 days have their pair. 2 and 2 and 2. But the Sabbath is the 7th day; it is purposefully left alone, to be paired with the bridegroom Jesus Christ.  This is the understanding of it by the ancients.
-Jesus taught that a good man doesn’t give people who ask bread a stone or who ask fish a serpent. This actually occurred in those days, the giving of these bad gifts.
-To be a craftsman was commended by the Jews since their government was so corrupt. It was a sign of independence and manliness.
-Neglecting to teach your son was said to be to make him a robber.
-Marriage was said to be, or at least symbolic of, receiving a forgiveness of sins. It was considered a time of newness for the lives of the individuals involved.
-It was common for men to work aside their fathers.
-12 year old males were to be taught at the temple.
-The returning prodigal son would be laughed at and scorned at by his household, mocking him for having left and for returning in a lowly state. But in Jesus’ parable which relates the father to being God (*The Father or The Son), the father upon seeing the man returning home, runs out to meet him. To be seen running publicly was to make oneself a laughing stock. Hence we see that father spared his son mockery by running out to him, and instead took the mockery upon himself.
-The woman washing the feet of Jesus with her hair in the house of Simon was not a traditional act. Usually, the only person a woman would wash feet with hair was that of her husband. Jesus rebuked Simon for Simon’s ill thoughts, he being able to discern them. He told Simon that she was doing a good thing to him. (*In essence Jesus was telling Simon that Simon needed to let go of some of the strictness of Simon’s ways that were not required, and to begin having more care for others, especially Christ the Master. Simon didn’t do any of the common courtesy things that are commonly done for guests in the home, but behold what the woman does. (Elder McConkie in “The Mortal Messiah” explains that this was a once sinner but now repented and baptized person, who was grateful for what her Messiah had done for her.)

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