Why Coffee Beans?

Hebrew verb pronounced "bean"
which can mean to understand, see, pay attention to, consider, discern, take care of, explain, teach, or behave intelligently.

Two things in life require skill and a fair amount of research: 1) roasting the perfect coffee bean, and 2) translating and interpreting the Bible. Far too many sermons are under roasted. Others are ash burnt. But there is a narrow sweet spot in between full of passionate aroma and deep flavor.

The revelation of God is a tree that has taken on the properties of the soil in which it has grown, full of Semitic thought and symbol. As such it is imperative to know what other plants were growing around it at the same time it was becoming ripe. These surrounding plants impart distinctive characteristics to our blend which cause some markers to stand out prominently and others to be diminished. Comparing them side be side is truly enlightening.

In order to appreciate the full range and complexity of this brew it is also necessary to appeal to the original languages of the Bible, that is Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. These form a chemical code, a sort of DNA substructure which defines and affects everything we experience in each and every sniff and sip. We don’t always have to resort to this level to recognize what our tongues and nose are telling us, but it does help confirm and clarify those hints which we sense but can’t quite name. Other times, knowing what really is in the text can completely altar what we perceive to be there.

Drawing these rich flavors out of the Bible has become quite the science, and yet is far from exact. Here I take my seminary education in biblical languages to task in an attempt to highlight the things most miss, make the complicated simple, show how the ancients subtly and cleverly communicated their intent, and prove that that they were far less bizarre and backward than labeled.

At the end of the day, I want to sit back and enjoy the cup that I drink, the book that I read. My studies are for my own nourishment and are in themselves a form of worship. But if the techniques I’ve learned help others to appreciate the beauty of my God and the riches of his understanding, then it is my hope that you will know the unsurpassable joy in comprehending his message to us long ago, savoring it slowly, partaking of it frequently, and implementing it whole heartedly.