Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
Who Killed Jesus? The Historical Context of Jesus’ Crucifixion
What Is a “Divided Tongue” (Acts 2:3) – Mondays with Mounce 313
The Nicene Creed: Where it came from and why it still matters
Do You Know These 7 Differences Between the Bible and Quran?
Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews?
Who Wrote Ecclesiastes and What Does It Mean?
What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments? 4 Things You Need to Know to Read the New Testament Well
What Language Did Jesus Speak?
Craig Keener on reading, writing, and biblical scholarship
Why science hasn’t disproved Christianity
We used to live in the Dark Ages, where we believed in unicorns, fairy godmothers, and goblins. But then science came along and it rescued us from superstition and our age of darkness.
…Or that’s how the story is often told.
If we want to believe in a God, aren’t we going back to the Dark Ages, where we also believe in unicorns and leprechauns and fairy godmothers? Hasn’t science disproved Christianity?
The benefits of science
Before we talk about what science can’t do, we need to recognize what it can do.
Science has given us so many good things, from microwave ovens to mobile phones.
We can’t have it both ways: upholding Christianity doesn’t mean we need to disparage the benefits of science. If you want to enjoy the microwave oven, you can also believe in God at the…
How we know Jesus rose from the dead
How do we really know that Jesus rose from the dead?
I could give you a traditional answer. It would be something like:
“Well the Bible says he rose from the dead, and the Bible contains many contemporary eyewitness accounts which are corroborated by non-Christian, non-Biblical evidence, and it’s been transmitted to us accurately through multiple sources.”
This is how many Christians would respond, and they would be right.
Or, I could say:
“You know what? We live as if Jesus rose from the dead, because we live as if there is such a thing as unconditional love, because somehow we feel that we should love everyone no matter what—especially the marginalized, the poor, and the outcast.”
By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville,…
How Much Exegetical Material Should You Share in Your Sermon?
But how much of that “science” and exegetical material should you share in your sermon in order to preach God’s Word effectively?
In other words: how much of the “then” should you share to help them get the “now” meaning and see the connection?
In their second edition of Preaching God’s Word, Terry G. Carter, J. Scott Duvall, J. Daniel Hays offer this insight:
If your audience does not make the connection between the exegetical meaning in the text and the applicational meaning you are proclaiming to them, your message loses its tie to biblical authority.
How Can You “Answer” When There is No Question? (Matt 14:28) – Mondays with Mounce 308
(Note: you can also watch this blog post on my YouTube channel. )
Translation is a trade-off. Often you will find different key policies in conflict with one another.
One policy may be that you keep concordance, so you try to translate a Greek word with the same English word. Another policy may be that the translation actually makes sense and does not confuse the reader.
Those two policies come into conflict in Matt 14:28. The gloss for ἀποκρίνομαι is “I answer,” and so the more formal equivalent translations try to use that translation whenever possible. But in English, “to answer” means that someone actually asked a question. Right?
In this story, Jesus is walking on the water toward the disciples. When they see him, they are fearful and Jesus responds, “Take courage, it is I! Do not…
Why your belief in absolutes doesn’t make you judgmental
Today’s post comes from Sam Chan, a public evangelist with City Bible Forum in Sydney, Australia, where he regularly shares the gospel with high school students, city workers, doctors, and lawyers.
Why are Christians so unloving?
You can give me so many examples of unloving Christians, and I can give you more examples of unloving Christians.
Here’s one way of thinking about it: in the end, it’s not about being good, it’s not about being religious, it’s not even about being right.
How Does Archaeology Contribute to Biblical Studies?
Whether for personal or professional study, inevitably you will come across something in the Bible that relates to its ancient persons, places, or events. How can you better understand this past context in order to understand the message in its historical context and apply it in our own time?
The historical and archaeological record, that’s how. And the new Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology is your guide to that record.
Written by archaeologist Randal Price with historian H. Wayne House, this handbook provides a window into the biblical past through the information available from the field of archaeology to aid your study of the Bible.
Consider these four specific ways that archaeology contributes to biblical studies—and your own study of God’s…
Can We Still Believe in Miracles Today? Should We?
This post is adapted from K. Scott Oliphant’s new online course, Know Why You Believe.
How could you believe that an ax head could ever float on water?
How about a person? Could a person walk on water?
Can someone really rise from the dead?
Questions like these often come to Christians. Embedded in our belief in Christianity is a belief in the reality of miracles.
But why would we believe that miracles could happen?
What is Christological Anthropology?
Although Christians have answered that “Jesus reveals what it means to be human,” this orthodox truism isn’t all that helpful. That’s what theologian Marc Cortez concluded when he started reading in theological anthropology:
I was struck by how often I would encounter [this claim] with little or no explanation of what such a statement means or how it should inform our understanding of specific issues in anthropology. (18)
His new book ReSourcing Theological Anthropology addresses that lack by offering an account of why theological anthropology must begin with Christology, centered around three key questions:
Why should we think that Christology is fundamental for understanding anthropology? What are the theological issues involved in making that claim?…
When Was Acts Written?
This post is adapted from Darrell Bock’s Theology of Luke and Acts online course.
To determine when Acts was written, we need to evaluate the evidence from both Luke and Acts, because the two books were written together, with Luke appearing slightly before Acts.
At first glance, it seems that the book of Acts was written around the same time of the last events it describes. The story ends; Luke writes the book. That’s the date.
For this reason, many people place Acts in the early 60s, because this coincides with the date of Paul’s imprisonment in Rome.
But why couldn’t Luke have written the book later?
It is possible Luke’s story isn’t really about Paul. Instead, it’s about the gospel arriving at Rome. In this view, it’s not important what Paul does after the gospel makes it to…
How to Identify and Excavate an Archaeological Site – An Excerpt from the Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology
The Zondervan Handbook of Biblical Archaeology is a reference resource for anyone interested in archaeology and its relevance to biblical, theological, and apologetic studies. Illustrated with full-color photos, charts, and maps, this handbook provides readers with a wealth of information that complements and supplements the historical context of the Bible.
In today’s excerpt, author Randall Price explains how archaeological digs are found and excavated.
Identifying an Archaeological Site
The remains of an ancient site are called a tel, “mound” (Hebrew tel, Arabic tell or tall), because it resembles a small hill as a result of successive habitation layers deposited through destruction. This is related to an older Arabic term khirbet (“ruin”). These archaeological mounds were formed through time as cities became ruins due to natural…
The Seven Churches of Revelation: Why They Matter and What We Can Learn
The book of Revelation opens with seven letters to seven churches. Each of the seven letters is a prophetic word from Jesus, through the Spirit, who is inspiring John to write.
Who were the recipients of these letters? How were they read and understood in the first century? And what are we to make of them today?
Where were the seven churches located?
Before we look at these letters as a whole, let’s briefly look at the seven cities where the recipients lived.
1. Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)
A messenger coming from Patmos—where John wrote—would reach Ephesus first, so Ephesus makes sense as the first letter. Ephesus was also a prominent city in the province: more powerful than Pergamum politically, and more favored than Smyrna for the imperial cult.
The letter to Ephesus warns against false teachers and evil in the…
15 Things You Need to Know About the Eternal Generation of the Son
Retrieving Eternal Generation addresses the hermeneutical logic and biblical bases of the doctrine of eternal generation, key historical figures and moments in the development of the doctrine of eternal generation, and the broad dogmatic significance of the doctrine of eternal generation for theology.
Corresponding with its fifteen chapters, below are fifteen things you need to know about eternal generation—and why it is vital to reclaim this biblical, historical relation of the Son to the Father.
1) Integral to Knowing God’s Identity
Scott Swain “correlates two different ways Scripture names God: as the one…