Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews?
What Language Did Jesus Speak?
Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
[Common Places]: 9.5 Theses Concerning Our End
Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?
What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments? 4 Things You Need to Know to Read the New Testament Well
Exegesis and Hermeneutics: The Bible Interpreter’s Two Most Important Tasks
5 Steps to Understanding Any Biblical Text: The Interpretive Journey from “Grasping God’s Word”
The Perfect Illustration for God’s Outrageous Grace — An Excerpt from “PROOF”
Top Recommendations for Primary Textbooks: NT and OT Surveys, Theology, and Hermeneutics
[Common Places]: 9.5 Theses Concerning Our End
Common Places has been a regular column on the Zondervan Academic blog with a focus on systematic theology. The loci communes or “common places” of Christian theology, drawn out of the Scriptures and organized in a manner suitable to their exposition in the church and the academy, have functioned historically as common points of reference for theological discussion and debate. This column has focused upon the classical loci of systematic theology, not as occasions for revision, but as opportunities for entering into the ongoing conversation that is Christian systematic theology. After a three-year run, this final post concludes Common Places. Thank you for joining the dialog.
1. We live in a day and age marked by the active life. In theological terms, this tendency manifests itself in a proclivity to focus upon conversational theology wherein theological concerns are put to…
How You Can Translate Mark 1–4 On Your Own
A few weeks ago we introduced you to an approach to reading biblical Greek that Mark Strauss calls “interesting and innovative.”
Reading Biblical Greek, conceived of and designed by Richard J. Gibson and Constantine R. Campbell, introduces first-year Greek students to the essential information needed to optimize their grasp of the fundamentals of the Greek language.
The goal of their approach is “to equip students to read the text of Mark’s Gospel as soon as practicable.” (vii) They succeed in part because their grammar is paired with an equally innovative companion workbook.
This supplemental workbook is designed to help students navigate their way through translating Mark 1–4, all on their own, by breaking up the Greek text into manageable portions and providing the…
eBook Sale: July Kindle Deals Featuring McKnight, Scazzero and More
Right now a handful of eBooks are on sale for Amazon Kindle. Save up to 80% on the titles below, but don’t wait: The deals end July 31, 2017.
Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Sale: $3.99. Original: $12.99
Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible Book by Book. Sale: $3.99. Original: $11.99
Wesley Hill, Washed and Waiting. Sale: $2.99. Original: $9.99
Carolyn Custis James, Lost Women of the Bible. Sale: $1.99. Original: $6.99
Russell Jeung, At Home in Exile. Sale: $1.99. Original: $9.99
Doesn’t ἀντί Always Mean “Instead of”? (Heb 12:2) – Mondays with Mounce 289
I came across a really strange use of ἀντί the other day. It serves as a good example of semantic range.
Speaking of Jesus, Heb 12:2 says, “For (ἀντί) the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The most common meaning of ἀντί, by far, is the idea of replacement. BDAG’s first two definitions are: (1) “indicating that one person or thing is, or is to be, replaced by another, instead of, in place of”; (2) “indicating that one thing is equiv. to another, for, as, in place of.”
This would give a strange interpretation of verse 2.…
Was Katie Luther Spiritual? The Piety of the Reformation’s First Lady
In Katie Luther, Ruth Tucker introduces us to Katharina von Bora, wife of Martin Luther and First Lady of the Reformation.
This is not the sweet and submissive, subdued and godly woman many assume the great Reformer married. Instead, we discover a strong, independent woman whose voice echoes among modern women, wives and mothers who have carved out a career of their own.
Last week we learned five notable things about Katie—including that she was a nun who escaped her convent and a businesswoman who ran a brewery and inn. But what about her faith? When we consider her husband Martin’s profound spiritual nature imbued by a deep love for theology and the Bible, does Katie’s piety come up short?
As one person put it, “Her piety is more…
Ambiguous and Meaningless (John 3:21) – Mondays with Mounce 288
Sometimes Greek can really be frustrating, especially when it is succinct. Here is a good example: John 3:21 reads, “But the one who does the truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be clearly seen (φανερωθῇ αὐτοῦ τὰ ἔργα), that (ὅτι) they have been done (ἐστιν εἰργασμένα) in God (ἐν θεῷ).”
Most of the translation is pretty straight forward except for the final phrase. If ἐν is given its normal meaning of sphere, it doesn’t make any sense. If ἐν is instrumental, then you have the awkward idea that the person does the truth, but actually they were done by God.
As always, it is fun to check out the translations.
“what they have done has been done in the sight of God” (NIV) “that his works have…
A Woman for All Seasons – An Excerpt from Katie Luther, First Lady of the Reformation
“How do we make a five-hundred-year-old Katharina relevant to North American culture? Is there anything she has to say to Western women and men today? Why should we take the time to make her acquaintance?” (9)
In today’s excerpt from Kathie Luther, First Lady of the Reformation, Ruth Tucker invites readers to discover this no-nonsense, confident and determined woman, and to consider why her life is relevant for men and women today.
In many ways, Katharina’s voice echoes among modern women, wives, and mothers who have carved out careers of their own. And unlike so many of the Reformation women we read about, her primary vocation was not related to ministry. She was a farmer and a brewer with a boarding house the size of a Holiday…
How to study the book of Romans
Romans is one of the most well-known books of the Bible.
You’ve probably heard a hundred sermons from the book of Romans. You might list Romans 8 as one of your favorite passages. You might be aware that Romans contains some of the key passages on predestination, the doctrine of justification, the doctrine of sanctification, and other core doctrines of the church. And you probably know the role a verse from Romans played in Martin Luther’s articulation of the 95 theses that launched the Reformation.
Romans has had a life-changing impact on the lives of millions of people. It’s not hard to argue that this short letter written to a group of Christians two thousand years ago has changed world history.
So whether you know it or not, you have probably been influenced by the book of Romans.
Something to Brag About: Jeremiah 9:22-23 (Part 2: Adjectives, Gender, and Number) – Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields
This month’s post continues from last month. Please see the June 2017 post for an explanation of versification. As mentioned there, this post will follow Hebrew numbering with Hebrew texts and English numbering with English texts.
The Hebrew of 22b–d contains three adjectives, “wise … strong … rich” and three corresponding nouns, “wisdom … strength … riches.” The adjectives are functioning as nouns and refer to people identified by each quality. The nouns are impersonal and are things possessed by the people.
The careful reader of English versions notices some differences between the NIV and NASB in v. 23b–d: the NIV has “the wise … the strong … the rich” while the NASB reads “a wise man … the mighty man … a rich man.” The reader who is…
What the Bible says about predestination
In any conversation about predestination, election, and God’s will in the act of salvation, two verses from Romans 8 are usually cited:
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29–30)
These two verses are some of the most scrutinized in the Bible, so let’s take a moment to unpack them in more detail to see what they tell us about predestination.
See what Douglas Moo says about Paul’s understanding of predestination:
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[Common Places] Sanctification: Interview
Our current series, Sanctification, looks at elements of the forthcoming volume by Michael Allen in the New Studies in Dogmatics series.
Your treatment of sanctification is itself a whole dogmatics in miniature. What led you to take this approach?
Two things have been formative here.
First, I’ve been increasingly alert to the way in which Christian moral teaching falls on deaf ears, it seems, not only in our wider culture but even within churches. It seems to me that we not only struggle with what we might call biblical and theological illiteracy, that is, unfamiliarity with the material, but perhaps more subtly with a complete misperception of its meaning. Words like “holy” are assumed to carry mainstream social meaning and, perhaps, Christ is taken to be…
An Interesting, Innovative Approach to Reading Biblical Greek
The English idiom “It’s all Greek to me” isn’t merely an expression that something isn’t understandable. It also embodies the frustrations all first-year Greek students have when they encounter the foreign language of the New Testament, yet want to understand it in order to read it for themselves.
A new innovative approach to Greek grammar aims to ameliorate such frustrations.
Reading Biblical Greek, ideated and designed by Richard J. Gibson and Constantine R. Campbell, introduces first-year Greek students to the essential information needed to optimize their grasp of the fundamentals of the Greek language—no more and no less—enabling them to read and translate New Testament Greek as soon as possible.
[This book’s] distinctive approach has been shaped by lessons learned over decades from students struggling with the inherent challenge of language…