What does it mean that the Word became flesh?

ZA Blog on 4 weeks ago.

Who wrote the Gospel of John?

John 1:14 is one of the most important verses in the Bible. It reads: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Word did not just appear to be human; the Word became flesh.

This assertion stunned the Greek mind for whom the separation of the divine spirit and the mundane world (flesh, sarx) was an axiom of belief.

But the second phrase is equally stunning for the Jew. This Word dwelt (skenoo) among us and revealed his glory (doxa). This verb for dwelling is employed in the Greek Old Testament for the tabernacle of God.

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Who wrote the Gospel of John?

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,.

Who wrote the Gospel of John?

The Gospel of John provides no explicit internal evidence concerning its author. John, the disciple, is nowhere identified by name.

But the Fourth Gospel might provide us with clues concealed in the enigmatic figure of the “Beloved Disciple.”

This title occurs in five passages:

John 13:23: “One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.” John 19:26: “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son.’” John 20:2: “So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’” John 21:7: “Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’” John 20:20: “Peter turned…

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What Is Evangelism?

Jeremy Bouma on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310534679Most Christians know that they should be engaging in the work of evangelism, but few know what evangelism is.

For example, is the stay-at-home mom who helps run the play group at her church doing evangelism if she incorporates Bible stories into the craft activities? Can a play group become an evangelistic play group?

Or does evangelism only occur in more “conventional” tactics: witnessing on the street, leading large crusades? Are those the only ways the gospel of Jesus Christ can be communicated, the only way people can evangelize?

In other words: What counts as evangelism? What is evangelism?

This word evangelism carries a lot of baggage, tradition, and emotion. Furthermore, most people have been poorly equipped with evangelism methods that are no…

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Who was John the Baptist?

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

John the Baptist

The New Testament places a very high estimate on John the Baptist and his ministry.

John was the greatest figure yet produced under the old covenant, according to Matthew 11:11.

Jesus said of him in Luke 7:28, “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John.”

And Hebrews 11:39 tells us he epitomized all the Old Testament saints who stood at the threshold of the new order without entering in.

His great importance lies in the fact that he bridged the old era and the new and was the link between the two.

Let’s take a closer look at his life, as well as his relationship to Jesus.

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Do We Rejoice in the Midst of Pain, or Run from It? (Phil 2:18) – Mondays with Mounce 314

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,.

Having established that God is at work in his children, giving them godly desires and the ability to accomplish those desires (Philippians 2:12–13), Paul then draws out one way those desires manifest themselves. “Do all things without grumbling or arguing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in the universe.” (2:14–15)

As an aside, wouldn’t it be wonderful if this actually characterized the church? No negative words. No senseless debate. We would actually shine into the darkness of this world. And isn’t it interesting that if we could stop grumbling and arguing, then we will be “ blameless and innocent”? (And please…

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Craig Keener on reading, writing, and biblical scholarship

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

craig-keener

Craig S. Keener is the F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Miracles and Spirit Hermeneutics. His commentaries include the 4-volume Acts: An Exegetical Commentary, published by Baker Academic, and Revelation in the NIV Application Commentary, among others. He is also co-editor, along with John Walton, of the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible.

We recently collaborated with Dr. Keener to produce an online course on the book of Revelation. We were able to sit down with Dr. Keener for an extended interview about how he writes and conducts research, what it means for him to be a scholar at this moment in history, his advice to younger scholars, and much more.

Take a look:

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The Truth About God’s Love

Jeremy Bouma on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,,.

Even in Our DarknessTelling the truth is the essence of memoir. Jack Deere tells the truth about his own life in order to share with us the truth about life in his new book Even in Our Darkness.

In it, he offers an unvarnished look at the Christian life—with all of its disappointments and disasters, addiction and sin—to tell us something essential about the greatest truth: God’s love.

Below are some vignettes of his life showcasing the truth about God’s love, beginning with his early understanding of God’s posture toward humanity and ending with the ultimate truth about this love.

***

Jack’s dad was the first person to tell him about God, which left a lasting impression:

Dad told me we were born with immortal souls. After we died,…

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What Is a “Divided Tongue” (Acts 2:3) – Mondays with Mounce 313

Bill Mounce on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,.

If you were raised in the church with a biblical pastor, you might have some idea what a “divided tongue” is, but possibly not. My guess is that the most natural understanding is that you have multiple tongues (of fire), and each one is split into different parts (i.e., “cloven”), but one tongue. But then you get to the second half of the verse and you realize that this fire is going over each person present, possibly 120 people (Acts 2:3).

As you compare the translations, it can get even more confusing. The NRSV says, “Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” As I said, I am not sure how people would understand…

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The Contest of Good and Evil Within Us: An Excerpt from Jack Deere’s Memoir

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

Jack Deere

Even in Our DarknessIn East of Eden, John Steinbeck wrote that we all have one story, and it is the same story: the contest of good and evil within us. Any honest person knows that they are losing this contest.

As a child, I could lie to others, but hadn’t yet developed the sophistication to lie to myself. I knew my bad deeds would always push down the scale. So I chose to enjoy my darkness rather than feel guilty about it.

Then I discovered that Christ had already borne the weight of my sin, and that once I accepted his gift, he would never leave. Yet Saint Peter’s scales lingered. In church I was told that as a Christian, my good deeds eventually would outweigh the bad. Then I preached versions…

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The Nicene Creed: Where it came from and why it still matters

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

Know the Creeds and Councils

The Nicene Creed is one of the most famous and influential creeds in the history of the church, because it settled the question of how Christians can worship one God and also claim that this God is three persons.

It was also the first creed to obtain universal authority in the church, and it improved the language of the Apostles’ Creed by including more specific statements about the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

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SIL International and Zondervan Academic Working Together to Aid Global Bible Translation Efforts

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,.

Zondervan Academic providing dozens of academic resources, including online courses, to support efficient and accurate Bible translation work around the world.

Grand Rapids, Mich., March 8, 2018 — Zondervan Academic is pleased to announce their support of SIL International®, a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to serving language communities worldwide. Zondervan Academic is providing to SIL some of the world’s top biblical resources to support efficient and accurate Bible translation work around the world.

SIL has developed Translator’s Workplace, a product built on the Logos Bible Software platform, so that those in a Bible translation role who are part of a private, managed group can access resources to aid their translation efforts. Translator’s Workplace acts like a library with unlimited loaning and loan periods. Zondervan Academic, which already distributes many of its titles digitally through Logos, has granted permission to Logos…

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The Truth About Shame and Grace

Jeremy Bouma on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310538141Memoir is truth-telling. About one’s own life, yes, but also life. As Elie Wiesel said, “with memoir you must be honest, you must be truthful.”

In Even in Our Darkness, Jack Deere has written a moving memoir that tells the truth. Through his unvarnished story of the Christian life, Jack guides readers in overcoming life’s disappointments and learning to hear God speak in unimaginable ways.

One pathway Jack offers guidance is through the shoals of shame, and the importance of grace in finding victory. Through unvarnished honesty, he explores how each of us have a role to play in other’s experience of both shame and grace.

In one childhood anecdote, Jack recalls cussing out his mother. The next day, his dad told him to go to the dreaded “Back Bedroom” for…

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