Is the ESV Literal and the NIV Gender Neutral? – Mondays with Mounce 286
Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews?
Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
What Language Did Jesus Speak?
What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments? 4 Things You Need to Know to Read the New Testament Well
Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?
5 Steps to Understanding Any Biblical Text: The Interpretive Journey from “Grasping God’s Word”
Exegesis and Hermeneutics: The Bible Interpreter’s Two Most Important Tasks
The Perfect Illustration for God’s Outrageous Grace — An Excerpt from “PROOF”
[Common Places] Sanctification: “This Is to Preach Christ”
Christian Behavior in a Hostile Environment – An Excerpt from 1 Peter (SGBC)
In today’s excerpt from 1 Peter, the newest installment of the Story of God Bible Commentary series, Dennis Edwards teaches us about behaviors that foster Christian unity, and how we are expected to behave in a hostile environment.
First: LISTEN TO THE STORY
The sideways glances, insults, and dismissive attitudes that Christians sometimes face in our North American context are far from what might be called persecution, but they can still hurt. The way that we respond to those who demean us says much about the nature of our faith. When we respond well, we display the character of our Lord Jesus himself. Responding well means taking a “high road” when bullied and not retaliating in kind. Peter echoes the…
Five Intriguing Insights About Grace and the Old Testament
The language of grace so permeates the Bible and all traditions of Christian theology that to claim that salvation is by grace alone is, in itself, to claim very little at all (17).
So begins Grace Alone, Carl Trueman’s tour de force examining the doctrine of salvation as a gift of God.
He examines the development of this theme in the early church, through the Reformation, to the Protestant confessions that still shape the church in the present day. Trueman also explores the biblical means of receiving God’s grace—with a highly informative engagement of grace in the Old Testament.
Below we’ve highlighted some of his material to help you better understand what the Old Testament says about this…
5 Reasons Why “Christ Alone” Is at the Center of the Five Solas
These so-called solas were the rallying cry of the Reformers nearly 500 years ago. And binding them together was a fifth: Christ alone.
That’s the thesis of Stephen Wellum’s new book by the same name on the uniqueness of Jesus as Savior.
Solus Christus stands at the center of the other four solas, connecting them into a coherent theological system by which the Reformers declared the glory of God. (19)
Wellum offers five reasons why Christ alone came to form the center of gravitational force of the Reformation—and why it’s also the heart of Christian theology.
It’s the Lynchpin of Reformation Theology
First, Christ alone is essential for coherent Reformation doctrine. Wellum summarizes how Christ is at…
Aktionsart and Ask, Seek, Knock (Matt 7:7-8) – Mondays with Mounce 283
In first year Greek, we teachers need to make a bigger deal of Aktionsart. Meaning isn’t conveyed just by the meaning of the word, or its tense, or its aspect. Language gives us many tools to nuance what we want to say, and our students need to know that meaning can also help convey aspect.
For example, Matthew 5:2. “And he opened his mouth and taught (ἐδίδασκεν) them” (ESV, also NRSV). ἐδίδασκεν is imperfective, but the ESV thinks that the meaning of “to teach” is sufficiently continuous that the verb doesn’t need to be expressly continuous. Most translations treat it as an inceptive imperfect: “he began to teach” (
[Common Places] Reading Notes: Soli Deo Gloria
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.
Centuries after the Reformation, reformation theology distilled itself, as it were, to five principal…
How to Apply the Bible to Your Life in Four Steps
One hallmark of biblical interpretation is the meant-means distinction: we need to determine what the Bible meant (to the original author and audience, in their context and culture) before understanding what it means (to us in our context and culture).
Authors William Klein, Craig Blomberg, and Robert Hubbard echo this hermeneutical rule in Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, Third Edition, a fully updated resource to help students unravel the mysteries of interpreting Scripture.
One of those mysteries is the means side of the equation: how to apply the Bible. The authors explain that “all applications must be consistent with the meaning of passages arrived at by means of…sound hermeneutical principles” (609). But how can one make the connection between what a passage meant, as determined…
When Not to Say “Hello” (2 John 10) – Mondays with Mounce 282
How do you treat people who disagree with you theologically?
There has been a lot of dissension in the church over this question. My computer’s dictionary describes “dissension” as a “disagreement that leads to discord,” and this may be part of the key. There is a type of disagreement that does not produce discord, disagreement over which friends can agree to disagree. That’s just healthy discussion.
Then of course there are those who think that any minor disagreement is worthy of a church battle, church discipline, and a church split. The words of Paul to Titus apply to them. “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them” (3:10 NIV).
But what about those in the middle? “If anyone comes…
How the Spirit Gives – An Excerpt from Rediscovering the Holy Spirit
In today’s excerpt from Rediscovering the Holy Spirit, author, pastor, and theologian Michael Horton reveals that the work of God’s Spirit is far more ordinary and common than we realize. Horton argues that we need to take a step back every now and again to focus on the Spirit himself—his person and work—so that we can gain a fresh dependence on the Holy Spirit in every area of our lives.
Along with exploring the distinctness of the Spirit’s person and operations in the external works of the Trinity, my goal in this study has been to highlight the ways in which the Holy Spirit is identified in Scripture with not…
4 Major Themes in First Peter and the Story of God
Martin Luther called the letter “one of the grandest of the New Testament.” Early church fathers Clement of Rome and Polycarp of Smyrna were inspired by the letter’s consoling, hopeful words. More recently, Karen Jobes said the five-chapter General Epistle is “significant for the church,” especially the Majority World church.
I’m referring to the first letter of Peter, which has a new guide today to help its readers navigate its major themes: Dennis Edwards’ 1 Peter (The Story of God Bible Commentary series). Of this letter Edwards writes:
First Peter will assist us by affirming our Christian identity, guiding us in our relationships within and without the Christian…
Software Sale: Word Biblical Commentary Set — Save at Least $800 on WBC
Right now, the Word Biblical Commentary set is on sale at Logos, Accordance, Olive Tree, and WORDsearch software retailers.
If you act now, you will save at least $800. This is a very steep discount—you pay an average of just $6.56 per volume!
Don’t wait, because this sale ends May 22, 2017! Here are the deals:
Browse at Logos – 66% Off
Browse at Olive Tree – 67% Off
Browse at Accordance – 73% Off
Browse at WORDsearch – 67% Off
How will the Word Biblical Commentary help you?
The WBC series will help you build deeper theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship. Gain a thorough understanding of the Bible through historical, textual, linguistic, structural, and theological discoveries collected within the series—equipping you with balanced insight into the meaning of the biblical text.
What Is a “Just” Man? (Matt 1:19) – Mondays with Mounce 281
I came across another example of how word-for-word translations aren’t always translations, assuming that a translation is meant to convey meaning.
Joseph was a δίκαιος man, and as such wanted to divorce Mary quietly. But think about it; depending on your understanding of “just,” this may not make any sense. Would a person characterized as “just” ignore what appeared to be the fact that Mary had been sexually active during their engagement? (Again, we know she wasn’t, but for all appearances, she was.) A man of “grace” might not want to shame her, but a “just” man? Wouldn’t a “just” man have her stoned, which is the penalty under Jewish law?
The ESV writes, “and her husband Joseph, being a just man…
What Is the Purpose of Bioethics? – An Excerpt from the Dictionary of Christianity and Science
Our new resource engaging the intersection between science and faith, The Dictionary of Christianity of Science, gives you access to key terms, theories, individuals, debates, and much more to help you engage in these important discussions. In today’s excerpt, we give you a sampling of an article about bioethics by the moral philosopher Francis J. Beckwith.
BIOETHICS. Bioethics is an interdisciplinary endeavor primarily involving the study of moral issues in health care and the life sciences for the purpose of providing ethical guidance for practitioners in clinical and research settings.
Work in bioethics can be found in a variety of academic and…