Cain and Abel: A Story of Rebellion, Judgment, and Grace
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…
Abraham and Isaac: A Test of Faith
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?
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).…
Why Do We Need to Read the Gospel of Mark in Context?
Scripture is not a 21st century text.
The 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.
Just the other day a new student asked me about studying the New Testament and early Christianity. They were wondering how you study…
What Is 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
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…
What Is Presuppositional 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.
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,…
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…
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 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?”
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…