Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
Angels in the Bible: What Do We Actually Know About Them?
Who Wrote Ecclesiastes and What Does It Mean?
Who Killed Jesus? The Historical Context of Jesus’ Crucifixion
The Seven Churches of Revelation: Why They Matter and What We Can Learn
Do You Know These 7 Differences Between the Bible and Quran?
Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews?
What Is the Mark of the Beast?
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
Speaking in Tongues: What Is Its Proper Role in Worship? (1 Corinthians 14 Commentary)
Some would say tongues deserve no role in worship. Some would say the gift of tongues deserves a prominent role. But what does the Bible say?
The nature of tongues and their role in worship were among the issues affecting the church in Corinth, as we see in the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. In Paul Gardner’s exegetical commentary on 1 Corinthians, Gardner brings deep insight to the issue in his interpretation of 1 Corinthians 14:1–19. Gardner explains that passage’s main idea in this way:
Church members should pursue love, and this means desiring those grace-gifts that build up the church. This will lead to a prioritizing…
Lots of Little Things (John 21:1-14) – Mondays with Mounce 325
There are lots of little things in this section that make translating fun. If you are in class, make an experiment. Have everyone do their own translation on this section and compare notes.
21:5. Jesus calls out to them, παιδία, a word describing “a child, normally below the age of puberty.” It can also be used to describe someone “who is treasured in the way a parent treasures a child” (BDAG). Translations try words like “friends,” “children,” and “fellows,” none of which work in this historical situation. I wonder how a bunch of grown fishermen first responded when a stranger yelled out over the water, “Hey you prepubescent kids.” Sounds almost like The Goonies.
21:6. Jesus then tells them to throw their…
Why Do We Not Follow the Bible Sometimes? Some Examples – An Excerpt from The Blue Parakeet, 2nd Edition by Scot McKnight
Our all-too-glib and frequently heard Christian claim to practice whatever the Bible says annoys me. You might be annoyed that I just said this, but I’d like a fair hearing. I ask you to consider the following clear teachings of the Bible that few, if any, Christians practice. Perhaps you can ask yourself this question as you read through these passages: Why do I not do what this passage in the Bible teaches?
In today’s excerpt from the second edition of The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, Scot McKnight continues to challenge us to look beyond a black and white reading of Scripture, and to discern from it ways we as church communities can be fruitfully approaching the gray and fuzzy issues facing us today.
The 2017-2018 Zondervan Biblical Greek Award Winners
Each year we partner with participating universities and seminaries to honor students who have excelled in the study of biblical Greek.
Join us by congratulating the winners of the 2017-2018 Zondervan Biblical Greek Award!
James Madsen – Nazarene Theological Seminary Zach Hafner – Calvary Chapel Bible College Kathryn Broadwell – Lee University Elijah Eck – Oklahoma Christian University Leonard Lamina – LeTourneau University Sierra Modica – New Hope Christian College Jonah Steele – Lincoln Christian University Garrett Struwe – Simpson University Hunter Costello – North Central University Jordan Troeger – Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Tanner Heath – Carson-Newman University Andrew Franzen – Moody Bible Institute Zebediah Rose – LeTourneau University Jonathan Guy – Milligan College Hugo Pena – Southwestern Assemblies of God University Spencer French – Bethel College Stephen Lambert – Heritage Seminary Matthew Nisly – Sterling College Benjamin Basham – Montreat College Noah Batts…
When You Read the Greek, Are You Reading the Original? – Mondays with Mounce 324
This question can be answered several ways, but this morning I am not interested in the issue of the faithfulness of the manuscript tradition to the original autographs. I am interested in the faithfulness of our modern Greek texts to the ancient Greek manuscripts we have.
I was proofreading a statement I made in my textbook, Basics of Biblical Greek. In 8.13 I say, “The ν in the third singular ἐστίν is a movable nu, but ἐστί occurs only once in the New Testament (Acts 18:10).”
This statement is true for NA27 (the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland text) and UBS4, but in NA28/UBS5 it isn’t true because the modern editors have standardized spellings. There are other examples of this, but ἐστί illustrates my point.
Why do this? Have the…
What the Bible says about the current immigration crisis
How does the Bible speak to the current immigration crisis? Earlier this week we sat down with Scott Rae, Professor of Ethics at Talbot School of Theology, to discuss how the Bible might shape our discussion of immigration, along with some practical things Christians can do in response.
In this video, Scott discusses:
What Romans 13 says—and doesn’t say—about the current immigration debate How to respond when immigration law calls for forcible separation of children from their parents The difference between immigrants and refugees Israel’s identity as a nation of people on the move Why it’s difficult to use the Bible as a foundation for shaping immigration policy How the modern concept of national and ethnic identity conflicts with the Bible The meaning of the Hebrew words translated into English as “immigrant” Does supporting the left’s policy on immigration also…
How Are We to Live Out the Bible Today? An Excerpt from The Blue Parakeet, 2nd edition by Scot McKnight
Throughout this process of conversion and reading the Bible, I made discoveries that created a question that disturbed me and still does. Many of my fine Christian friends, pastors, and teachers routinely made the claim that they were Bible-believing Christians, and they were committed to the whole Bible and that — and this was one of the favorite lines — “God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me!” They were saying two things and I add my response (which expresses my disturbance):
One: We believe everything the Bible says, therefore . . . Two: We practice whatever the Bible says. Three: Hogwash!
In today’s excerpt from the second edition of The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, Scot McKnight tells the story of how as a student he began to see that Christians read…
What Makes a Translation Accurate? (Phil 2:13) – Mondays with Mounce 234
I saw a chart the other day that mapped out how “accurate” different translations are. Unfortunately, based on the translations that were deemed “accurate,” you could see that the author had a defective view of what “accurate” means.
The old adage is that you measure what you value. If you value the replication of words, then the most formal equivalent translations will win.
I am only somewhat amused at the marketing of the Bible that champions what they call “optimal equivalence,” and surprise, surprise, they are the most optimally equivalent translation. The problem with their marketing is that I know the programmer who did the math, and his work is based on a reverse interlinear approach that sees the purpose of…
Does John 3:16 Say “Whoever”? – Mondays with Mounce 323
I have received several questions about the use of “whoever” in the translation of John 3:16, so I thought it would be good to clarify at least one thing.
Correct, the indefinite relative pronoun ὅστις does not occur in John 3:16, but language is not so monolithic that there is only one way to say something. In fact, whenever a commentary argues that if the author had meant to say one thing, he would have said it “this way,” you should be suspicious. That’s a naïve approach to language.
However, we do have an indefinite construction in John 3:16 with the use of πᾶς and an articular imperfective participle (πᾶς ἡ πιστευών) used to indicate a generic, “general utterance” (see Wallace, 615f.). Just do a search for that construction and you…
Aorists and Imperfects (John 3:22) – Mondays with Mounce 322
Greek scholarship is doing a better job these days at reading larger units of text and looking for more macro patterns rather than just looking at individual words or phrases.
One of the patterns that has emerged in reading historical narrative material is that the aorist is the default tense, used to begin the narrative. Then, the imperfect is inserted in appropriate places to move the story along. This means that there is something explicitly significant about the tense change, and that emphasis should (I think) be explicit in translations.
“After this, Jesus and his disciples went (ἦλθεν) to the Judean countryside, where he spent (διέτριβεν) time with them and baptized (ἐβάπτιζεν)” (CSB, see also NIV). The narrative begins with an aorist and is followed by two…
The Curse of Paragraphs (John 1:7) – Mondays with Mounce 321
One of the functions of the article ὁ is anaphoric. It points back to a previous reference. A simple but clear example is in John 1:7.
John introduces the topic of Jesus being light in v 4. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (NIV). It occurs again in vv 5 and 7–9. The problem is that most translations start a new paragraph at v 6 when John is introduced. Thankfully, there generally is not a heading here, just a new paragraph.
Here is the problem. In this…
What Is Systematic Theology?
As Dr. Wayne Grudem explains it, “systematic theology is any study that answers the question, ‘What does the whole Bible teach us today?’ about any given topic.”
This highly organized, topical approach to exploring Scripture is so important that most seminaries require at least one systematic theology course in their degree programs (sometimes called “doctrines” courses). Many of these courses utilize Grudem’s work.
We’ve adapted this post from Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology online course to help answer the question “what is systematic theology, and why should I care?”
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