Angels in the Bible: What Do We Actually Know About Them?
The Seven Churches of Revelation: Why They Matter and What We Can Learn
Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
Do You Know These 7 Differences Between the Bible and Quran?
Porneia: Sex Gone Bad — An Excerpt from “Faithful: A Theology of Sex”
Who Wrote Ecclesiastes and What Does It Mean?
Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?
What Is the Soul? Is It Different from the Spirit?
7 Places We Find Jesus in the Old Testament
Who are the Nephilim in Genesis 6?
Modified Presuppositional Apologetics: A Proven Apologetic Method for Evangelizing in a Skeptical World
In Evangelism in a Skeptical World, Sam Chan combines the theological and biblical insights of classic evangelistic training with the latest insights from missiology, illustrating his insights with real-world examples drawn from over fifteen years of evangelistic ministry.
Recently, Christianity Today awarded it a 2019 Book Award for apologetics/evangelism. Winfried Corduan, professor emeritus of philosophy and religion at Taylor University, said this of Chan’s new manual for evangelism:
For every generation, or maybe even every decade, a book comes out that will become a standard reference for evangelism and apologetics. This book has the potential to become the leading manual for Christians engaged in outreach for many years to come. Chan discusses a wide set of issues ranging from the theology of evangelism to how to give evangelistic talks to the place of apologetics…
When Did the Angels Come? (Mark 1:13) — Mondays with Mounce 339
Language is imprecise. It would be great if all of us said exactly what we meant, and meant exactly what we said, but that is neither human nature or the nature of language.
That’s why context is king. That’s why a “verse of the day” is the worst exegetical tool there is (sorry). In every class on Bible study methods (“hermeneutics”) that is taught, the central emphasis is context, reading verses in context. I heard a sermon the other day that illustrates the need for this emphasis, using the imperfect tense.
After Jesus’ baptism, in Mark, we read, “At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted (πειραζόμενος) by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended (διηκόνουν) him” (1:12–13, NIV).
The only normal way to read…
Women in the Bible: What We Learn from the Book of Luke
Opponents of Christianity will often suggest that the Bible has a low view of women. It’s a patriarchal book with a patriarchal worldview. In many cases though, Scripture reveals that while that may have been true of ancient Judaism (like many other ancient cultures), God–and Jesus–honored women in profound and meaningful ways.
In his online course, A Theology of Luke and Acts, Darrell L. Bock examines the numerous passages portraying women in the Gospel of Luke. The following post is based on his course.
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Are All Translations Wrong? (The “Net” in Mark 1:16) — Mondays with Mounce 338
Rarely do I find a translation that makes no sense to me, and since this particular one is replicated in all the translations, I am assuming I am missing something, but I have no idea what it could be. Can you help?
Jesus has just announced his public ministry, and in Mark 1:16 Mark writes, “As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net (ἀμφιβάλλοντας) into the lake, for they were fishermen (ἁλιεῖς)” (NIV).
ἀμφιβάλλω means “cast, a t.t. for the throwing out of the circular casting-net (δίκτυον)” (BDAG). A ἀμφίβληστρον is “a circular casting-net used in fishing, casting-net“ (BDAG). The fact that ἀμφιβάλλω is not followed by ἀμφίβληστρον suggests that ἀμφίβληστρον is implied and therefore unnecessary to state explicitly, and the word play is picked up in the next verse…
9 Things You Should Know about Postconservative Theology
If you have ever longed to become acquainted with the major thinkers and schools of thought in Christian theology from the nineteenth century to the present, there is now a resource that is both accessible and comprehensive to aid in your understanding of the last two centuries of modern theology.
Contemporary Theology provides an intriguing chronological survey of the major thinkers and schools of modern theological thought. Unique among introductions to contemporary theology, professor Kirk MacGregor includes:
Evangelical perspectives alongside mainline and liberal developments The influence of philosophy and the recent Christian philosophical renaissance on theology Global contributions Recent developments in exegetical theology The implications of theological shifts on ethics and church life
One of the especially relevant chapters is an…
Because Christ Was Born, We Can “Put on Christ” and Become “Firstborn Sons”
’Tis the season to reflect upon the majesty and mystery of the incarnation of Christ. But why not also reflect upon another aspect of his person and work: the imputation of his righteousness to sinners?
Although the Lenten season is still a few months away, Christmas still affords us the opportunity to consider his gift of righteousness through his death on the cross—given that Christ’s birth is an obvious prelude to his vicarious substitution, which paved the way for our justification and the “great exchange.”
Michael Horton opens his new two-volume theological project, Justification (Volume 1 and Volume 2) with this motif from the ancient church—a work in which he helps readers encounter the remarkable biblical texts on justification and places them in conversation with provocative proposals…
For to Us a Child Is Born: The Meaning of Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah 9:6 is a prophecy about a future child who would bear the government on his shoulders and be called by titles that could only rightfully be attributed to God:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
This is one of the most well-known Old Testament prophecies about Jesus. But what does it mean?
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Christmas Shows How Preachers from Augustine to Bonhoeffer Contributed to Preaching
They embody the rich legacy of preaching through the ages. Now that legacy is collected into two new volumes that are perfect for students, preachers, and interested Christians alike who want to learn from and carry forward that legacy.
A Legacy of Preaching (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) explores the history and development of preaching from the apostles to the revivalists and the Enlightenment to the present day. Each contributor in this series tells the story of a particular preacher in history, allowing the preachers from the past to come alive and instruct us in the present through their lives, theologies, and…
What Benefit Do You Receive from Your Giving? (Philippians 4:17) — Mondays with Mounce 337
(You can watch this blog post on YouTube.) One of the fundamental lessons everyone who does word studies needs to understand is that words have a range of meaning. When students memorize Greek vocabulary, we have to give them the basic meaning (or meanings) of the word, but it is a mistake to think that the most common use of a word is somehow its “literal” meaning.
σάρχ does not mean “flesh”; it means many things. One of its “glosses” may be “flesh,” but the word means so much more than just “flesh.”
So whether you are in a church learning Greek for your Bible study, or a first year Greek student, at some point you will need to make the transition from glosses to a full definition of a word and understand how to use context to…
What Does Justification Mean? 7 Things You Need to Know
When we reflect on the meaning of salvation—and on our piety, mission, and life together—our thought necessarily engages the doctrine of justification. But what does justification mean? In many ways, this question has always sat at the heart of the Christian faith. However, at various junctures in the church’s history the question has taken on greater urgency—and debate. We live in such a time.
Michael Horton explores the meaning of justification in a key chapter of his new book Justification, Volume 2, one half of the new two-volume theological project on justification (also including Volume 1).
This post overviews seven of the many insights Horton unearths about the meaning of justification in chapter seven of Justification, Volume 2, where Horton outlines the historical, lexical, exegetical, and theological contours…
Who Was Isaiah?
Isaiah was a Jewish prophet who lived during the eighth century BC. The Book of Isaiah claims to be written by him, and scholars believe he at least wrote part of it.
The first verse of Isaiah gives us a little more context about him.
“The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”…
Greek Students Should Do Two Translations (Matthew 13:11) — Mondays with Mounce 336
(Note: you can watch this blog post on YouTube.) In first year Greek we historically do just one wooden, word for word translation. This way the teacher knows that the student knows the tense of the verb or case of the noun. The problem is that the students leave first year class thinking that word for word is acceptable English and is the most accurate translation method, neither of which is accurate.
Take Matthew 13:11 for example. “And (δὲ) answering he said to them (ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν), ‘because (ὅτι) to you it has been given (δέδοται) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven (οὐρανῶν), but to them it has not been given (δέδοται).’”
But translating δέ in this context is redundant. In v 10 the disciples asked a question, and v 11 is his answer. No connective…