Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
Who Killed Jesus? The Historical Context of Jesus’ Crucifixion
What Do We Gain From a Raised Christ? 6 Big, Clear Benefits Say Dodson and Watson
Angels in the Bible: What Do We Actually Know About Them?
7 Places We Find Jesus in the Old Testament
Do You Know These 7 Differences Between the Bible and Quran?
The Seven Churches of Revelation: Why They Matter and What We Can Learn
Who Wrote the Gospels, and How Do We Know for Sure?
What Is the Soul? Is It Different from the Spirit?
What Language Did Jesus Speak?
Who Wrote the Book of Acts?
The following post is adapted from Robert H. Gundry’s online course, New Testament Survey.
According to church tradition, Luke wrote the book of Acts. If he did, the book is a sequel to the Gospel of Luke. Evidence within Acts supports authorship by Luke:
Just as his Gospel opens with a dedication to Theophilus, so also does Acts. Vocabulary and style are very similar in the two books. Though it does not prove that he wrote Luke-Acts, frequent use of medical terms agrees with Luke’s being a physician. By his use of “we” in narrating parts of Paul’s journeys, the author of Acts implies that he was a traveling companion of Paul.
Other traveling companions do not fit the data of the text. For example, Timothy and several lesser-known ones are mentioned apart from the “we”…
Why Did the Philippians Send Paul a Gift?
One of the reasons why Paul wrote Philippians was to thank them for supporting his ministry—not just in prayer, but with a financial gift. He specifically mentions their gift towards the end of his letter, in Philippians 4:15–18:
“Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are…
Who Wrote Philippians?
The very first verse in Philippians attributes the letter to the Apostle Paul. Right from the beginning, it says who it’s from and who it’s to:
“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons . . .” —Philippians 1:1
The early church accepted that Paul wrote Philippians, and modern Bible scholars have found little if any reason to disagree. Some of the letters traditionally attributed to Paul are questionable, but Philippians is generally believed to be genuine. “Internal evidence” such as the letter’s style, content, and remarks about the author’s circumstances appear to be consistent with what we know about the Apostle Paul.
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What Does the Bible Say about Abortion?
Abortion is a controversial topic. While it’s been settled in the Supreme Court for decades, it remains an actively debated moral issue, packed with difficult questions.
Does a woman have full autonomy over her body, even if another human is dependent on her body?
Is a fetus a person, and therefore entitled to basic human rights?
On either side of the debate, you’ll find people passionately defend the morality of their position. When it comes to determining right from wrong, Christians generally take their cues from the Bible. But what about when the Bible doesn’t specifically address an issue? There’s no “abortion verse” or “fetus verse.” So does the Bible have anything at all to add to the discussion?
In his online course, Moral Choices, Scott Rae lays out his argument that the Bible takes…
The Meaning of Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs”
Like Philippians 4:13, Philippians 4:19 is a popular verse that’s often misused. After thanking the Philippians for generously supporting him, the Apostle Paul writes, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Some have used this passage to suggest that God wants us to be healthy and wealthy, or even more extreme, that he will make us healthy and wealthy if we give our money to a particular cause or person. This is known as the “Prosperity Gospel,” and it’s one of the most dangerous heresies today.
Paul is absolutely not promising that God makes us wealthy or healthy—not in the way that we typically understand those terms. Faithfully giving to the church will not make us financially wealthy or physically healthy.
By submitting your…
My Father Died Last Week
I am going to interrupt my normal Greek blogs to share some thoughts about my dad, funerals, and death.
Dad passed away due to complications from two surgeries, broken hip, shoulder, and elbow, all from falling. He was 97. His obituary is on his blog site, Shout4Joy.net.
It is expected to be reflective in the face of death, and I am no exception.
1. Death is final
No dah, but it is. I am now the oldest Mounce in my family, the patriarch. No one to call for senior advice. No one to remind you of the details of your life. No one to help put history in perspective.
I wasn’t going to look at my father’s body in the casket, but when they opened it my wife thought I should. I would never have recognized him,…
The meaning of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through him who gives me strength”
Philippians 4:13 is one of the most well-known New Testament verses, but it’s also notoriously misused. After telling his audience that he’s experienced both poverty and affluence, the Apostle Paul writes these well-known words: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Many of us have seen some variation of these words in encouraging notes and cards, in art, on t-shirts, tattooed on people’s bodies, and even scrawled on the shoes of famous athletes or printed on their eye black.
The verse is often shortened to, “I can do all things . . .”
But is that what Paul is really saying here? Is he telling us to believe in ourselves? Or to believe that Christ empowers us to do whatever we set our minds to?
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Why Paul Wrote the Letter to the Philippians
Philippians is a letter about joy. Writing from prison, Paul describes the joys of following Christ and persevering for the gospel, and the secret to being content in any situation. We know from the letter that the Philippians were facing a lot of hardship (and Paul wasn’t exactly living the high life himself).
So why did Paul write this letter? And why did he write it to the Philippians?
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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)…
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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