Tremper Longman, III on Studying Genesis

ZA Blog on 3 days ago. Tagged under ,,.

tremper-longman-iii (2)

We recently sat down with Tremper Longman to discuss some of the challenges in studying the book of Genesis. Take a look at what he had to say:

Genesis, like the rest of the Old Testament is a difficult book for us as twenty-first Christians to understand. After all, we’re distant from this book in many ways.

For one thing, it’s an ancient book. This is a book that was written three thousand five hundred years ago and has many strange and ancient customs.

The book of

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What Is Christianity? Different than What Most People Think

Jeremy Bouma on 5 days ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310525042It’s a basic question, and also a vital one. Not only for our own spiritual journey, but also for the journeys of people we know and meet.

And it’s a question Gregory Koukl engages in his new book The Story of Reality. The reason why is because of the misguided approach to religion people often take:

people are often tempted to think of religion as a kind of spiritual fantasy club…the one that meets your personal needs, that gives you rules to live by that are respectable but not too demanding, that warms your heart with feelings of spirituality…[They say] do not, however, confuse religious stories with reality. They don’t give you the kind of information about the world that, say,…

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An Exegetical Reading of the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) – An Excerpt from John

ZA Blog on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

Today’s excerpt is from the Gospel of John, the newest installment in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

Written by Edward W. Klink III, the excerpt below from John 2:1-11 is an example of how each passage is interpreted in the light of its biblical setting, with a view to grammatical detail, literary context, flow of biblical argument, and historical setting.

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johnzecntJohn 2:1 – 11

Literary Context

The careful and lengthy introduction to Jesus by means of a prologue (1:1 – 18) and a two-pericope introduction to the narrative proper (1:19 – 51), along with the careful articulation of the completion of the first “week”…

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[Common Places] The Five Solas: Christ Alone

Stephen Wellum on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,,.

This year we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation, looking back to Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and the theological debates kick-started by their posting. The Reformation continues to be lauded, cajoled, and debated in circles of all sorts today. At Common Places we will begin the year by focusing on some of the central principles and most relevant texts that shaped early Reformation theology and that have continued that conversation in the centuries that followed. Each month we will begin with a post related to an ongoing book project from Zondervan Academic that addresses the five solas of Reformation theology. We will then conclude each month with an annotated reading guide on classic and contemporary works that address that particular principle.

 Matthias Grunewald-947266Read more

Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields – Hebrew Poetry and Isaiah

ZA Blog on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,,.

isaiahAccording to Duvall and Hayes in Grasping God’s Word , more than one-third of the Old Testament is written in the form of poetry. (373) Modern English versions usually mark off poetry by punctuation, namely, by arranging into poetic lines rather than a continuous running text. This helps us identify poetic sections, but there is still more to understanding Hebrew poetry.

Hebrew and English poetry often use the same devises, e.g., rhyming, figures of speech, forms of parallelism, rare words or forms. But the may use them to different degrees or ways. Of course, it is oftentimes impossible to translate poetic features. Knowing some Hebrew can help us appreciate what authors…

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Three Steps Toward Rightly Knowing the Doctrine of the Trinity

Jeremy Bouma on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310491491_imageFred Sanders has an ambitious goal with his new book The Triune God: securing our knowledge of the triune God by rightly ordering the theological language with which we praise him.

To get us on toward rightly knowing the doctrine of the Trinity, Sanders outlines three crucial steps, which we’ve engaged below:

to grasp the entire two-Testament canon, to trace its unbroken narrative arc, and to recognize that arc as a self-communicative action with God as its source. (98)

Step 1: Construe Scripture as a Whole

Although space doesn’t permit a complete defense of canonical unity, Sanders spends enough time to show why construing Scripture as a whole is a necessary first step toward rightly knowing the doctrine of the Trinity:

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When is Greek Grammar Bad English Grammar? (1 Cor 9:6) – Mondays with Mounce 270

Bill Mounce on 1 week ago. Tagged under ,,,.

This blog can be placed in the category of the inconsistencies of formal equivalent translations, which try to keep Greek word order if possible. But what if the word order isn’t really incorrect grammar, but poor style?

Paul writes, “Or is it only I and Barnabas (ἐγὼ καὶ Βαρναβᾶς) who have no right to refrain from working?” Do you see the problem? Paul writes, “I and Barnabas,” but English style requires “Barnabas and I.”

What is interesting is that almost all the translations I check reverse the order to match English style (ESV, NASB, HCSB, Read more

10 Principles You Need to Know about Trinitarian Dogmatics

Jeremy Bouma on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310491491_imageWhile celebrating Christ’s incarnation is fresh on our breath, it’s apt we contemplate the Trinity. After all, the God-with-us event is inherently Trinitarian: the Father gave the world his only-begotten Son, by the Holy Spirit.

Here to help is Fred Sanders with his new book The Triune God. In it he contends:

the manner of the Trinity’s revelation dictates the shape of the doctrine; it draws its dogmatic conclusions about how the doctrine should be handled on the basis of the way the Trinity was revealed. (19)

He offers an extensive set of dogmatics principles for Trinitarian exegesis to shepherd Trinitarian contemplation. They offer “systematic help for reconstructing the plausibility structures of biblical Trinitarianism” (19).

We’ve briefly shared those principles below to deepen your understanding of the triune God.

1) A Doxological Movement

When…

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Explore God’s Two Books: God’s Word and God’s Works – Reflecting on “Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes!”

Jeremy Bouma on 3 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

25% and 23%

9780310526445These two numbers represent the reason why Denis Lamoureux wrote his new book Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes!

The first is the percentage of young adults who perceive Christianity as anti-science. The second is the percentage of those who have been turned off by debates surrounding evolution and creationism. Lamoureux finds both numbers shocking; he thinks you should, too.

To help mitigate the fallout of these two numbers, Lamoureux has offered readers a framework for understanding the two “Books” of God. He hopes this framework hopes will help Christian students navigate the tension of modern science and the Bible. What are these two books, you ask?

The Book of God’s Words is the Bible. Scripture reveals spiritual truths concerning…

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The Many Faces of γάρ (1 Cor 14:23) – Mondays with Mounce 269

Bill Mounce on 3 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,.

We all know that a word has a range of meanings. In fact, I am not sure there is a word that only means one precise thing. And while a word may have a dominant meaning, that doesn’t preclude it having secondary meanings that are sometimes used. After all, what’s the point of a secondary meaning that is never used?

We also know that Greek wants to start sentences with a conjunction that indicates the relationship of the second sentence to the first.

For example, δέ can mean “and” or “but.” It can also be translated by a period. After all, with the way English works, if you have two sentences in the same paragraph, we naturally read the second sentence as being in relationship to the first.

Take γάρ. Its dominant meaning is “therefore.” BDAG gives this as its…

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[Common Places]: Pro-Nicene Theology: Theology and Economy in Scripture

Fred Sanders on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,,.

Our current series, Pro-Nicene Theology, offers doctrinal and exegetical entries to the key tenets of basic Trinitarian orthodoxy as developed in the early centuries of the church. For introduction to the series, see this first post.

Tree of Life by Pacino di Bonaguida detail.jpg

Image: detail from the Tree of Life by Pacino di Bonaguida (Florence, ca. 1305). Salvation history spread out in great detail, but centered on the cross.

In Lewis Ayres’s latest post in this series, he showed the use that Greek patristic theologians made of the terms theologia and oikonomia. The fathers reached for this pair of terms to make the crucial distinction between God’s own eternal nature, on the one hand, and…

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Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

why-are-jesus-genealogies-in-matthew-and-luke-different

This post is adapted from Four Portraits, One Jesus: Jesus’ Birth, Childhood, and Early Ministry, an online course taught by Dr. Mark Strauss. Sign up for free while the course is still available.

The birth narratives in both Matthew and Luke help answer the question, “Who is Jesus and where did he come from?” One of the ways each book does this is by recounting Jesus’ genealogy.

The problem is: the genealogies are different.

The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would come from the line of David. Both Matthew and Luke provide genealogies of Jesus that…

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