Who Wrote the Book of Acts?

ZA Blog on 3 weeks ago. Tagged under ,.

When was Acts written

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”…

Read more

Why Did the Philippians Send Paul a Gift?

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

Philippians

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…

Read more

Who Wrote Philippians?

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

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.

By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing…

Read more

The Meaning of Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs”

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,.

Philippians

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…

Read more

The meaning of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through him who gives me strength”

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

Philippians

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?

No.

By submitting your email address, you understand that…

Read more

Why Paul Wrote the Letter to the Philippians

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under .

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?

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 Policy or email us at yourprivacy@harpercollins.com. Paul wanted to thank the Philippians…

Read more

Sale: Word Biblical Commentary eBooks

ZA Blog on 1 month ago. Tagged under ,.

WBC

Right now, save up to 77% on Word Biblical Commentary (WBC) eBooks that deliver biblical scholarship at its best. Get the deals today because sale prices end soon (January 27, 2019).

Word Biblical CommentaryThe commentaries on sale will help you gain balanced and canny insight into the meanings of the biblical text—by equipping you with a thorough understanding of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The scholarship comes from leading biblical scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation.

These widely-acclaimed commentaries (20 WBC volumes rank in the Top 2 Commentaries list at BestCommentaries.com) serve as exceptional tools for theologians and instructors, seminary and university students, working ministers, and everyone who wants to build theological understanding from the best of biblical scholarship.

Get the…

Read more

Women in the Bible: What We Learn from the Book of Luke

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

Healing of a bleeding woman

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.

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…

Read more

What Benefit Do You Receive from Your Giving? (Philippians 4:17) — Mondays with Mounce 337

ZA Blog on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

Bible

(You can watch this blog post on YouTube.) One of the fundamental lessons everyone who does word studies needs to understand is that words have a range of meaning. When students memorize Greek vocabulary, we have to give them the basic meaning (or meanings) of the word, but it is a mistake to think that the most common use of a word is somehow its “literal” meaning.

σάρχ does not mean “flesh”; it means many things. One of its “glosses” may be “flesh,” but the word means so much more than just “flesh.”

So whether you are in a church learning Greek for your Bible study, or a first year Greek student, at some point you will need to make the transition from glosses to a full definition of a word and understand how to use context to…

Read more

What Does Justification Mean? 7 Things You Need to Know

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

Justification

When we reflect on the meaning of salvation—and on our piety, mission, and life together—our thought necessarily engages the doctrine of justification. But what does justification mean? In many ways, this question has always sat at the heart of the Christian faith. However, at various junctures in the church’s history the question has taken on greater urgency—and debate. We live in such a time. 

9780310578383Michael Horton explores the meaning of justification in a key chapter of his new book Justification, Volume 2, one half of the new two-volume theological project on justification (also including Volume 1).

This post overviews seven of the many insights Horton unearths about the meaning of justification in chapter seven of Justification, Volume 2, where Horton outlines the historical, lexical, exegetical, and theological contours…

Read more

Greek Students Should Do Two Translations (Matthew 13:11) — Mondays with Mounce 336

Bill Mounce on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

Bible

(Note: you can watch this blog post on YouTube.) In first year Greek we historically do just one wooden, word-for-word translation. This way the teacher knows that the student knows the tense of the verb or case of the noun. The problem is that the students leave first year class thinking that word-for-word is acceptable English and is the most accurate translation method, neither of which is accurate.

Take Matthew 13:11 for example. “And (δὲ) answering he said to them (ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν), ‘because (ὅτι) to you it has been given (δέδοται) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven (οὐρανῶν), but to them it has not been given (δέδοται).’”

But translating δέ in this context is redundant. In v…

Read more

How Much Should We Ask of Our Students? (Mark 12:28) — Mondays with Mounce 332

Bill Mounce on 3 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

Bible

I am thinking quite a bit these days about sequencing, and how different biblical Greek is from English, which then raises interesting problems for the translator. I am also wondering more about how students should be translating in their first year of Greek.

Look at the series of participles in the Greatest Command (Mark 12:28).

προσελθὼν εἷς τῶν γραμματέων ἀκούσας αὐτῶν συζητούντων, ἰδὼν ὅτι καλῶς ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτόν· ποία ἐστὶν ἐντολὴ πρώτη πάντων;

The basic sentence structure is εἷς ἐπηρώτησεν αὐτόν. “One (of the scribes) asked him.” As a side note, my friend Dan Wallace told me that he prefers his students to find the verb–subject–direct object, especially in a complicated sentence, and then see where the rest of the words fit in relation to that structure. This is instead of just going word for word. A good idea.

Read more