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…
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…
What Is the Mark of the Beast?
This post is adapted from material found in Craig Keener’s Revelation online course.
The book of Revelation speaks of several beasts. Perhaps the most famous is the beast found in Revelation 13:11–18. And this beast comes with a mark—the number 666.
What, or who, is this beast? What does this mark mean? And in light of the wildly different interpretations of this passage—both in our own time, and throughout the church’s history—how should we think about the mark of the beast today?
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 questions, please review our Privacy…
6 Surprising Things You Need to Know about Matthew’s Christmas Story
There are two versions of the Christmas story: the one reflected in Christmas carols and pageants; the other version most forget—Matthew’s Christmas story.
“Matthew’s version of our favorite holiday,” Rodney Reeves explains in his new Matthew commentary (SGBC series), “is hardly recognizable except for the star and the three wise men. Joseph nearly divorcing Mary, Herod’s diabolical ploy, the slaughter of the innocents, the flight to Egypt, waiting for a wicked king to die—none of these things make the cover of Christmas cards” (61).
Yet we need this story for the things Matthew wants to tell us about Immanuel’s story.
In his commentary on Matthew 1:18–2:23, Reeves outlines several important insights into the passage. Below we’ve given you six surprising things you need to know about Matthew’s Christmas story this…
Practical Inspiration from New Testament Greek for 2018
New Testament Greek.
Not the Greek scriptures, per se, but the Greek language. A brilliant new devotional book offers inspiration for practical living using insights from biblical Greek. It’s called Devotions on the Greek New Testament, the second such volume edited by Paul Jackson as a follow-up to the first.
The main point of each of the 52 devotions comes from a careful reading of the passage in the Greek New Testament, not from an English translation, using a variety of exegetical approaches, including: grammatical, lexical, rhetorical, sociohistorical, and linguistic. Each devotion closes with a practical application or spiritual…
Statement from Zondervan Academic on Dr. Andreas Köstenberger’s John Commentary
December 4, 2017
In October 2017 Dr. Andreas Köstenberger informed Zondervan Academic that his commentary on the Gospel of John in volume 2 of the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Commentary: New Testament (ZIBBC: NT) contained “a series of inadvertently unattributed references” to D. A. Carson’s The Gospel according to John in The Pillar New Testament Commentary published by Wm. B. Eerdmans. After careful consideration of the evidence, we concluded that the problem was so extensive that there was no acceptable way to fix the problem. Since the commentary on John in volume 2 of ZIBBC: NT does not consistently follow commonly accepted standards for the use and documentation of secondary resources, our commitment to high publishing standards leaves us no choice but to put volume 2 of the ZIBBC: NT out of print in its print form and to destroy the…
Why Did Matthew Write His Gospel? Here Are 4 Possible Reasons
Rodney Reeves thinks asking questions of the Bible is important and relevant to preaching and teaching. So he introduces his new Matthew commentary (SGBC series) by asking a number of them them—including “Why?”
Why did Matthew write his gospel, and in the way he wrote it? Consider the material the Evangelist added to his narrative:
He began with an extensive genealogy He grouped together Jesus’s teachings into a sermon He has Jesus sending the disciples first to the Jews He made a big deal about Peter’s confession He added several parables after the Olivet Discourse
Why did Matthew include all of this extra, particular material?
Scholars think it may have something to do with Matthew’s purpose.…The trick is finding a literary or theological thread that holds the fabric of Matthew together—not…
NIV Application Commentary Sale: $4.99 eBooks for a Short Time
Save up to 83% on NIV Application Commentary eBooks right now: See the deals.
About NIV Application commentaries
NIV Application Commentaries are different because they help you complete the interpretive task. You will understand the Bible’s ancient message, but you will also see how that message speaks with authority and power, today, in your own context.
You’ll grow in your teaching, preaching, study, and personal Bible reading—because the NIV Application Commentaries help you get the full job done.
Biblical Grounds for the Catholic Doctrine of Merit?
Next week Protestants will celebrate the quincentennial anniversary of the Reformation and the rallying cry that emerged from it: Justification by grace through faith alone.
Yet, is there room for merit in God’s economy of salvation? Luther said “No way!” Levering says, “Not so fast!”
In his new book Was the Reformation a Mistake? Catholic theologian Matthew Levering offers some biblical grounds for the Catholic doctrine of merit as it relates to justification. He also clarifies what Catholic doctrine actually teaches:
The Catholic Church recognizes that no one can ever merit the utterly free gift of justification, and the Catholic Church also affirms that believers’ final perseverance unto eternal life is God’s free gift, to which the appropriate response will be gratitude to God…
Transubstantiation, Consubstantiation, or Something Else? Roman Catholic vs. Protestant Views of the Lord’s Supper
What is the nature of the Lord’s Supper? How should it be celebrated?
Let’s take a look at the Roman Catholic view of transubstantiation. Then, let’s look at three ways Protestants have understood the Lord’s Supper.
The Roman Catholic view is called transubstantiation.
That is when the priest elevates first the wafer and then the chalice of wine mixed with water and rehearses the institutional narrative, the story of the…
How to study the books of James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude
You probably already know that the books of James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude are some of the most read—and mis-read—books of the New Testament. They include passages on dealing with temptation, the holiness of God, and the famous doxology at the end of Jude.
But they also include passages on slaves and masters, wives and husbands, and faith and works—passages that don’t line up with many modern norms, or even other parts of the canon.
What can we learn from these books?
A great deal, it turns out.
The challenge, however, is knowing where to start—or even…
7 Tips for Understanding Revelation
The Book of Revelation is notoriously difficult to understand. Over the centuries, the church has presented countless interpretations and theories about the meaning and significance of this enigmatic work.
Even modern scholars approach Revelation in several different ways.
Whether you find that intimidating or enticing, we need some guardrails to keep us from getting lost in Revelation’s prophecies, metaphors, and apocalyptic imagery. Here are some tips for studying Revelation from Scott Duvall, who, along with J. Daniel Hays, teaches the Biblical Interpretation online course.
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 questions, please review our