Craig Keener on reading, writing, and biblical scholarship

ZA Blog on 2 days ago. Tagged under ,,,.


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:

By submitting your email address, you understand…

Read more

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

ZA Blog on 1 week 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…

Read more

How Jesus Subverts the Kingdoms of this World

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

9780310328612He was born in the Roman Empire over two thousand years ago, growing up to command the loyalty of thousands. During his thirties he was seen as the fulfillment of national hopes and founder of an endless kingdom.

His achievements were considered signs of divine authority. Official proclamations of these acts, known as “gospels,” were published in his honor. In fact, an inscription on a stone was uncovered in southwest Turkey describing him in this way:

God sent him as a savior for us to make war to cease, to create peaceful order everywhere. And the birthday of this “god” was the beginning for the world of gospels that have come to men through him.

Who was this “god”? If you said Jesus, you’d be wrong. The “savior” described is Gaius Octavius, otherwise known as…

Read more

What History Tells Us About Jesus

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

9780310328612Christianity is unique among the world religions because it claims to be historical. It revolves around a series of events that are believed to have occurred in modern Israel between 5 BC and AD 30.

Which makes it open to historical scrutiny.

As John Dickson explains in his new book A Doubter’s Guide to Jesus: “If you claim that something spectacular took place in history, intelligent people are going to ask you historical questions.”

How has it fared in the face of such critical observation? Surprisingly well! Particularly because Jesus is mentioned several times outside of the New Testament.

One lucky outcome of this flurry of ancient literary output [about the Roman Empire] is that a small-town Jewish teacher, named Yeshua ben Yosef, or Jesus son of Joseph, happened to…

Read more

How we know Jesus rose from the dead

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,.

Evangelism in a Skeptical World

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,…

Read more

How Does Archaeology Contribute to Biblical Studies?

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

9780310286912_482_600_90Whether 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…

Read more

When Was Acts Written?

ZA Blog on 2 months ago. Tagged under ,.

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…

Read more

The Seven Churches of Revelation: Why They Matter and What We Can Learn

ZA Blog on 2 months ago. Tagged under ,.

Seven churches of revelation

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…

Read more

What Is the Mark of the Beast?

ZA Blog on 2 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

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…

Read more

6 Surprising Things You Need to Know about Matthew’s Christmas Story

Jeremy Bouma on 2 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

9780310327141There 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…

Read more

Practical Inspiration from New Testament Greek for 2018

Jeremy Bouma on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

9780310529354There is no shortage of inspiration for making 2018 your best year yet. May I suggest another, if not unusual source for inspiration?

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…

Read more

Statement from Zondervan Academic on Dr. Andreas Köstenberger’s John Commentary

ZA Blog on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,.

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…

Read more