Is Paul’s apostolic call for God’s sake? (Rom 1:5) – Mondays with Mounce 283

Bill Mounce on 6 hours ago. Tagged under ,,,.

One of the difficult tasks in translation is how to order phrases. In English, we use proximity to connect ideas. Consider the NIV on Rom 1:5.

“Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.”

In English, “for his name’s sake” must modify “the obedience that comes from faith.” But in Greek, this is probably not the case. As you know, Greek’s phrases do not have to be next to the word they are modifying. Sometimes there are grammatical “hooks” such as a relative pronoun agreeing with its antecedent in gender and number. But other times the hooks are more subtle.

In his commentary, Doug Moo makes a good case for seeing χάριν καὶ ἀποστολήν…

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eBook Sale – I “Heart” Theology

ZA Blog on 6 hours ago. Tagged under ,,,,,,,,.

Top Three Things Purchased For


Well known research shows that theology books top most wish-lists on Valentine’s Day. In an effort to make Valentine’s Day shopping both successful and economical for you, we have gathered the finest of theological thinkers into an eBook sale.

I “Heart” Theology eBook Sale

Save up to 74% on over a dozen titles including:

A Theology of Mark’s Gospel (NEW!) | David E. Garland | Sale: $7.99 9780310270881

This landmark textbook, written by leading New Testament scholar David E. Garland, thoroughly explores the theology of Mark’s Gospel. It both covers major Markan themes and also sets forth the distinctive contribution of Mark to…

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Live The Story – An Excerpt From Romans (The Story of God Bible Commentary Series)

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

Continuing after last week’s excerpt from the Genesis commentary, this week we will read an excerpt from the Romans commentary on Romans 12:1-2. The Story of God Bible Commentary aims to set each passage within the context of Scripture as a whole. As it wrestles with the passage, the author leads the reader to (1) “Listen to the Story,” (2) “Interpret the Story,” and (3) “Live the Story.”

Enjoy this week’s reading from the Story of God Commentary on Romans, as Michael F. Bird encourages us to “live God’s Story” by sacrificially living to serve others.


sgbc-romans-150In its barest elements Romans…

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[Common Places] James K. A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom and Imagining the Kingdom: A Gospels Perspective

Jonathan Pennington on 4 days ago. Tagged under ,,,,.


Michael Allen introduced this series of Common Places on J. K. A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies project by noting that at its heart, Smith’s project is to show us that it is indeed the heart, not the head that lies at the root of why we do what we do. We are lovers before we are knowers (both chronologically and logically). Our loves are developed in profound ways by our habits, more than just by our thinking. Thus, as Christian educators and leaders we should be cognizant of the liturgies we partake in and that we produce for others, as these are what lie at the heart of people’s way of being in the world.

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The Companion to Accordance, BibleWorks, & Logos You’ve Been Missing

Jeremy Bouma on 6 days ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310521303Cutting-edge Bible software has opened up Scripture like never before. Yet academic institutions have responded in one of two ways: either relying on traditional language learning strategies or equating learning Bible software with learning the languages.

Michael Williams hopes his new book Biblical Hebrew Companion for Bible Software Users will serve as a middle ground between the two extremes.

This resource enables anyone using biblical Hebrew language software to delve more deeply into the riches of the biblical text. (8)

While not a grammar book, this invaluable resource explains and demonstrates major terms. For each grammatical term popular Bible study programs present, this book provides three critical pieces of information: how the grammatical feature looks, what the grammatical feature does, and an exegetical example of the grammatical feature.

This is…

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Common Sense to the Rescue (James 3:7) – Mondays with Mounce 282

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

I came across an interesting Greek conundrum in small group tonight. James is talking about the tongue and its power to destroy.

He writes, “For every kind (πᾶσα φύσις) of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed (δαμάζεται) and has been tamed (δεδάμασται) by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue” (3:7-8a, ESV).

Part of the issue is that there is no Greek word or grammatical construction meaning “can” (contrary to the ESV, NRSV).

The NLT simply skips the entire construction; “People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue.” In my…

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Live the Story – An Excerpt From Genesis (The Story of God Bible Commentary Series)

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

The Story of God Bible Commentary explains and illuminates each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. The first commentary series to do so, SGBC offers a clear and compelling exposition of biblical texts, guiding readers in how to creatively and faithfully live out the Bible in their own contexts. Its story-centric approach is idea for pastors, students, Sunday school teachers, and all who want to understand the Bible in today’s world.

SGBC is organized into three easy-to-use sections, designed to help readers live out God’s story:

Listen to the Story (Read the scripture passage) Explain the Story (Exposit each passage in light of the Bible’s grand story) Live the Story (Probe how this text might be lived out today in the life of the church)

In his upcoming release on Genesis, Tremper Longman III examines each…

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Is Mark’s Gospel ‘Theological’? These 7 Themes Affirm It Is!

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

9780310270881Some have dismissed Mark’s gospel as nothing more than the work of an unsophisticated storyteller, lacking in theological profundity. In fact, Augustine discounted the gospel as nothing more than “an abridgment of Matthew.”

But are they right?

In his new book A Theology of Mark’s Gospel, David Garland argues Mark is a theological work, yet it unfolds in a distinctive way.

“The gospel was not intended by its author to be a vessel of theological truths waiting to be quarried but a story in which Jesus is the central figure. Mark’s theology is unfurled through narrative development.” (42)

Garland’s work is the fourth volume in the celebrated…

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eBook SALE: Bethlehem Conference for Pastors & Church Leaders

ZA Blog on 2 weeks ago.

Celebrating the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors and Church Leaders this week, we have collected 18 pastoral resources for an ebook sale!

eBook SALE: Bethlehem Conference for Pastors & Church Leaders

Act now, sale prices with disappear January 27th.

Below is a sampling of titles on sale ($3.99 each!) that will encourage you in your journey as a pastor or church leader:

Worship By The BookWorship by the Book | D. A. Carson

“This is not a comprehensive theology of worship,” writes Carson. “Still less is it a sociological analysis of current trends or a minister’s manual chockfull of ‘how to’ instructions.” Rather, this book offers pastors, other congregational leaders, and seminary students a thought-provoking biblical theology of worship, followed by a look…

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When is an Adjective not an Adjective? – Mondays with Mounce 281

Bill Mounce on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,,,,,.

Wouldn’t it be nice if grammar rules were absolute? What if nouns were always nouns, adjectives were always adjectives and nothing else, and adverbs were adverbs and not particles? But that’s not the way it is with grammar in general. As I like to say, grammar is analog, not digital. There is rarely, if ever, a hard and fast rule that is always followed as if there were a digital on and off. Language is analog; it exists on a continuum.

A good example of this is the well-known admonition from Jesus to his disciples, “Freely you have received; freely give (δωρεὰν ἐλάβετε, δωρεὰν δότε.)” (Matt 10:8). δωρεάν is technically the accusative singular of the noun δωρεά meaning “that which is given or transferred freely by one pers. to another,…

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A Theological Reformer for the Universal Church – An Excerpt from Luis de Molina

ZA Blog on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,.


Luis de Molina is a name familiar to some, alien to others. Yet, little is commonly known about his life. Luis de Molina by Kirk R. MacGregor is the first full-length work written on the “Life and Theology” of the religious philosopher. Enjoy this excerpt from the beginning of the book that highlights Luis de Molina’s doctrine of “middle knowledge”.


Luis de MolinaLuis de Molina (1535 – 1600) has become well-known in evangelical circles and among philosophers of religion for his doctrine of middle knowledge (Lat., scientia media). Middle knowledge is God’s knowledge of all things that would happen in every possible set of circumstances, both things that are determined to occur by those circumstances and things that are not determined to occur…

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[Common Places] Reading Notes: Heavenly-Mindedness

Michael Allen on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,,.

One feature that will appear regularly this year will be a monthly series entitled Reading Notes. In these posts, editors and contributors will lead readers to significant literature related thematically to our other ongoing series. This month Michael Allen introduces classical and contemporary literature related to heavenly-mindedness and formation as a fitting complement to our ongoing engagement of James K. A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies project (see here).

Admittedly heaven isn’t a particularly big place in contemporary culture. But heaven features widely in the Scriptures of Israel and the early church, and heavenly-mindedness has marked Christian theology through the centuries. Theologians ranging from the patristic to the Puritan eras have sought to reflect on Christian discipleship and formation, on ethics and morality, and on the metaphysics of created reality mindful of the centrality of our heavenward calling. In this…

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