What Is Hypostatic Union?

ZA Blog on 6 days ago. Tagged under .

Apostles Creed

Hypostatic union is how Christians explain the relationship between Jesus’ divine nature, his human nature, and his being. It means that Jesus is both fully God and fully man. Jesus has all of the characteristics that are true of a person, and all of the characteristics that are true of a divine being. Both natures fully exist in one person.

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For centuries, the church struggled to define the relationship between Jesus’ divine nature and his…

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What is Docetism?

ZA Blog on 2 weeks ago. Tagged under ,.

Apostles Creed

Docetism is an ancient heresy that says Jesus was not fully human. According to Docetism, he seemed to be human, but because Jesus was fully divine, he had no physical body. The form people saw was essentially a ghost.

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The word “docetism” comes from the Greek word, dokeĩn, which means “to seem.” The earliest evidence of this heresy actually comes from 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John, where the Apostle John writes…

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What happened at the Council of Chalcedon?

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

Apostles Creed

The Council of Chalcedon was the fourth ecumenical council. In 451 AD, leaders from all of Christendom gathered to define the incarnation of Christ once and for all.

Within the lifetime of the apostles, some Christians were already having a hard time reconciling Jesus’ divinity with his humanity (2 John 1:7). Was he only partially divine, or only partially human? Was Jesus even human at all?

The implications of these questions were huge: the answers could affect whether Jesus had the power to forgive sins and offer eternal life. Without a real human body, could he really die? If he didn’t die, the wages of sin remained unpaid (Romans 6:23) and their faith was in vain (1 Corinthians 15:17).

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John Calvin: The Accidental Reformer

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John Calvin

John Calvin was a sixteenth century French theologian, best known for his prominent role in the Reformation and his influential theology. More than four and a half centuries after his death, Calvin’s teachings continue to shape Christian beliefs, particularly regarding predestination and God’s absolute sovereignty.

In his lifetime, Calvin became a well-known (and controversial) Christian leader and a major fixture of the Reformation—but that almost didn’t happen. If it hadn’t been for a fateful encounter in Geneva, Switzerland, Calvin may have never stepped into the limelight.

In their online course, Church History 2: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day, scholars Frank A. James III and John Woodbridge discuss John Calvin’s life and influence, and expose the moment when his life dramatically changed course in…

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5 Tips for Reading Apocalyptic Literature in the Bible

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,.

The mark of the beast

Apocalyptic literature is a challenging genre. In the Bible, we find this genre in the Book of Revelation and in the second half of Daniel.

There’s also a lot of apocalyptic literature outside the Bible. It was a very popular genre during the Second Temple period (from 530 BC to 70 AD), and so we have a lot of examples of the purpose, form, and style of apocalyptic literature to inform our understanding of how it functions in Scripture.

Since it’s such a different style of writing than the gospels, epistles, or historical and theological writings we find elsewhere in the Bible, it’s important that we approach apocalyptic literature with a different perspective.

Here are 5 tips for reading apocalyptic books like Daniel and Revelation.

1. Pay attention to the symbolism

One thing to remember about…

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Who Was Nebuchadnezzar?

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king of Babylon who reigned from about 605 BC until around 562 BC.

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Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom stretched across the ancient Near East. It was during his reign that the Babylonians sacked the city of Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. Because of Nebuchadnezzar, the Israelites lost their land, and ended up in exile.

This marked the beginning of what is called the diaspora (dispersion), when the…

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When Is Then, Then? (Matthew 27:38) – Mondays with Mounce 330

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

The longer I work in Greek, the more curious I am about conjunctions, and the more I am concerned about how we teach glosses.

Take τότε for example. BDAG give two meanings using the gloss “then.” It can mean “at that time,” which conveys no idea of sequence. It can also mean “then” in the sense of “that which follows in time.” The problem of course is that if you translate with the simple gloss “then,” we hear it as sequential.

Coupled with this is how English hears a series of events. Even without conjunctions, we default to hearing them as sequential. This happened, then that happened.

The sequencing of events around Jesus’ trial illustrates the issue. There is a series of events introduced with τότε, with καί, and with aorist and present participles. I can’t do it here, but…

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What Does “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin” Mean?

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin

Mene, mene, tekel, parsin, is an Aramaic phrase found in chapter five of the Book of Daniel, the story of Belshazzar and the handwriting on the wall. (This is where we get the colloquial phrase “writing on the wall”.)

By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any questions, please review our Privacy Policy or email us at yourprivacy@harpercollins.com. Daniel 5: The writing on the wall

Here’s the passage where we encounter this peculiar phrase:

This is the inscription that was written:

mene, mene, tekel, parsin

“Here is what these words mean:

Mene:…

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Genesis 1: In the Beginning

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

genesis

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

The Bible begins with these famous words in Genesis 1, laying the foundation for the rest of the Bible. Genesis 1:1–2:4a is the first of two creation accounts in Genesis, and it focuses on God’s creation of the cosmos.

The Bible’s creation account is the source of a lot of debate. Some modern readers strip away the cultural and theological significance of Genesis, and instead mine it for scientific details about how God created the heavens and the earth. Others suggest it is simply one of many ancient accounts of creation—a myth.

To help us understand this ancient Scripture, we’re drawing from the expertise of Tremper Longman III, a renowned Old Testament scholar. In his online course on the book of Genesis, Longman reveals the cultural and theological implications…

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What Is the Apostles’ Creed?

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

Apostles Creed

The Apostles’ creed is the oldest statement of faith in the Christian church, written sometime in the second century AD. The creed defines core Christian beliefs about God, Jesus, the church, salvation, and other theological topics.

By the fourth century, it was widely believed that each of the twelve apostles contributed one article to the creed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church still traditionally attributes each article of the creed to a specific apostle.

In this video, Michael Bird, instructor of the online course on the Apostles Creed from Zondervan, explains:

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Zondervan and Seedbed Sign New Publishing Partnership Agreement

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

seedbed-zondervan-Combo-LogoGRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Sept. 20, 2018 — Zondervan is pleased to announce a new publishing partnership with Seedbed, a twenty-first century movement and media platform whose mission is to gather, connect, and resource the people of God to sow for a great awakening. Seedbed’s growing reputation within the Wesleyan tradition, paired with the publishing reach and experience of Zondervan, will produce a co-publishing program poised to bring Wesleyan authors and content to the broader market.

Located in Franklin, Tennessee, Seedbed was established by Asbury Theological Seminary in 2012. Seedbed publishes an array of resources, including curriculum, Bible study resources, youth and college ministry resources, devotionals, video resources, books on Wesleyan theology, and more. Its primary authors are rooted in the…

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Sodom and Gomorrah: A Story about Sin and Judgment

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

genesis

Sodom and Gomorrah are two of the Old Testament’s most infamously sinful cities. Genesis 19 tells the story of how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness, but spared Lot and his family (mostly).

The New Testament uses these cities as examples of behavior that God’s people need to avoid. But what exactly was the nature of Sodom’s sin? Why did God single them out? And why was Lot spared?

In his online course on the book of Genesis, Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III answers these questions and more, starting where the story actually begins in Genesis 18, when Abraham finds himself hosting three unknown visitors.

The following post is based on his online course.

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