What Is the Apostles’ Creed?

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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

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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

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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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Cain and Abel: A Story of Rebellion, Judgment, and Grace

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genesis

The story of Cain and Abel is one of sibling rivalry and murder. It’s shocking to realize that there is only one generation between the Bible’s story of creation and the first homicide. Mankind’s descent into sinfulness was fast and severe.

Cain and Abel each bring God a sacrifice. When God shows disappointment in Cain’s sacrifice and pleasure in Abel’s, Cain kills Abel with a stone.

God confronts Cain about murdering his brother. Cain lies about it. And God exiles him to the land of Nod, east of Eden.

This brief account in the Bible is just 16 verses long, but it paints a powerful picture of sin, judgment, and surprisingly, grace. Renowned Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III explores this famous passage in his online course on Genesis.

The following post is adapted from…

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Abraham and Isaac: A Test of Faith

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genesis

In Genesis 22, God tests Abraham’s obedience by asking him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son.

To modern readers, this passage and this test feels like a nightmare. Why would God ask Abraham to do that? And why would Abraham be willing to go through with it?

Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III explores this challenging passage in his online course on the book of Genesis. The following analysis is adapted from his course.

But first, let’s look at the passage itself.

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Who Wrote the Book of Genesis?

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genesis

Moses is traditionally considered the author of Genesis. But for over two centuries, one of the most contested questions in biblical scholarship has been “Who wrote the Book of Genesis—and when?”

Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and one of the five books of the Pentateuch. Several other books of the Pentateuch include passages that mention Moses recording events and writing down what God says. The authors of the New Testament—and even Jesus himself—appear to credit Moses as the author of Genesis.

So why don’t scholars agree?

There are passages in Genesis that Moses could not have written, because they describe events that happened after his death, known as postmosaica passages. And there are others that would simply be awkward for Moses to write, which are referred to as amosaica (such as Numbers 12:4).…

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Why Do We Need to Read the Gospel of Mark in Context?

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One reason?

Scripture is not a 21st century text.

9780310534457The recently released Reading Mark in Context: Jesus and Second Temple Judaism helps the reader see the contour and texture of Jesus’ engagement with his Jewish environment. It brings together a series of accessible essays that compare and contrast viewpoints, theologies, and hermeneutical practices of Mark and his various Jewish contemporaries.

This week we asked the editors, Ben C. Blackwell, John K. Goodrich, and Jason Maston, to weigh in on why they thought it’s important to read the Gospel of Mark in context. Read further to hear what they had to say.

Ben Blackwell:

Just the other day a new student asked me about studying the New Testament and early Christianity. They were wondering how you study…

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What Is Sola Scriptura?

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Sola Scriptura

Sola Scriptura is a Latin phrase that means “only Scripture” or “Scripture alone.” It was one of the rallying cries of the Reformation.

But what is the significance of this phrase?

Sola Scriptura declares that only Scripture is our inerrant, sufficient, and final authority for the church, because it is God breathed and divinely inspired (2 Timothy 3:16). In the sixteenth century, this directly contradicted the teachings of the Catholic Church, which elevated tradition and the Pope and magisterium’s authority to the level of Scripture itself.

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10 Ways the Bible Uses Apologetics

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Apologetics

Apologetics is how we logically and philosophically justify our beliefs in the Bible and Jesus. These arguments draw from a wide range of fields and use a variety of persuasive techniques.

Does the Bible itself provide a universal, context-free, step-by-step apologetic system we can apply to any and every apologetic situation? No. But it does offer tools and principles we can apply to our current cultural location, enabling us to think biblically about apologetics.

In their online course, Apologetics at the Cross, Joshua D. Chatraw and Mark D. Allen explore how the Bible creates persuasive arguments, showcasing methods, strategies, and principles that can shape our own arguments and reasoning today.

The following post is adapted from their course.

1. The cross is the best argument for Christianity

If ever there has been a proof-text against apologetics, it…

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What Is Presuppositional Apologetics?

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Apologetics

Presuppositional apologetics is one of the four main approaches to apologetics, along with classical, evidential, and experiential or narratival apologetics. Each of these approaches places a different emphasis on the roles of reason and special revelation (such as Scripture or miracles) in apologetics.

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Presuppositionalists are not very optimistic, if not altogether negative, about what reason apart from special revelation can achieve. Presuppositionalism asserts that reasoning does not take place in a vacuum; rather,…

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Why Do We Not Follow the Bible Sometimes? Some Examples – An Excerpt from The Blue Parakeet, 2nd Edition by Scot McKnight

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

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.

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The 2017-2018 Zondervan Biblical Greek Award Winners

ZA Blog on 3 months ago.

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…

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