What You Might Not Know about Paul’s Letters

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,.

Paul's Letters

Almost anyone who has read the Bible has read the Apostle Paul. Here are four things you might not know about Paul’s letters:

1. Paul’s letters were long.

The average private letter in the Greco-Roman world was 90 words long, and the average literary letter was 200 words long. Typically, a letter would fit on one papyrus sheet—or roughly the size of a piece of paper in a modern notebook. By comparison, Paul’s letters average around 1,300 words. Paul’s shortest letter (to Philemon) is 335 words long, and his longest letter (to the Romans)…

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What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments? 4 Things You Need to Know to Read the New Testament Well

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Have you ever wondered what happened between the Old and New Testaments?

If you’ve ever flipped from the last page of the Old Testament to the first page of the new—you’ve just skipped over 400 years of history with that single page turn.

What exactly happened during these 400 years? Who was in control? What people groups shaped the experience of the earliest Christians?

In those four hundred years, the Pharisees and Sadducees, synagogues, Roman governors, and the family of Herod emerged onto the scene. None were present in the Old Testament. Where did they come from?

And countless events not mentioned in the New Testament had a profound impact on the world of Jesus, such as the Maccabean revolt, the rise of the Essenes, the dominance of the Greek…

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Why Did Paul Write Romans? Michael Bird Offers 5 Possible Reasons

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

9780310327189Like many practitioners, my shelves groan under the weight of a cohort of Romans commentators, including: Cranfield, Dunn, Fitzmyer, Jewett, Moo, Nanos, Schreiner, and, of course, Luther, Calvin, and Barth.

It’s time to add another: Bird.

Michael Bird’s new Romans commentary is a worthy addition to our shelves. Not only because he exploits Romans’s narrative world and situates the letter within the broader biblical story. But because of how he views Romans, which informs his commentary:

Romans is a word of exhortation, a masterpiece of missional theology, culturally savvy apologetics, christological exegesis, pastoral care, theological exposition, and artful rhetoric… (11)

His Romans-In-Brief helps answer our question. So does the history of interpretation…

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Is Mark’s Gospel ‘Theological’? These 7 Themes Affirm It Is!

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

9780310270881Some have dismissed Mark’s gospel as nothing more than the work of an unsophisticated storyteller, lacking in theological profundity. In fact, Augustine discounted the gospel as nothing more than “an abridgment of Matthew.”

But are they right?

In his new book A Theology of Mark’s Gospel, David Garland argues Mark is a theological work, yet it unfolds in a distinctive way.

“The gospel was not intended by its author to be a vessel of theological truths waiting to be quarried but a story in which Jesus is the central figure. Mark’s theology is unfurled through narrative development.” (42)

Garland’s work is the fourth volume in the celebrated BTNT series. This landmark resource covers major Markan…

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Free Course from Zondervan: How to Choose a Bible Translation

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Free Course from Zondervan

When there are hundreds of Bible translations to choose from, how do you know you’re using the right one?

In the How to Choose a Bible Translation course, you will learn:

How we got our English Bible What the major translations are Two different approaches to Bible translation Why literal translations aren’t always more accurate How we can be certain that the Bible we possess is really God’s Word Four guidelines for choosing Bible translation

When you enroll, you will get:

High-quality video lectures from J. Scott Duvall Reading materials adapted from the Grasping God’s Word textbook Review sessions using personalized adaptive learning technology Assessment tools

This course is a $20 value, but right now…

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What Can South Asia Teach the West About the Holy Spirit?

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

South Asia Bible CommentaryThere has been a fascinating movement afoot within the Church since at least a decade ago: brothers and sisters in Christ from Africa, South America, and Asia have been teaching us Westerners a thing or two about Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy.

A prime example is the new South Asia Bible Commentary, a resource by South Asian scholars for South Asian readers.

Originally the brainchild of fourteen Langham scholars from India and Christopher Wright, SABC is focused on “building a bridge between biblical teaching and life in modern South Asia.”

I submit it’s also a resource for us Westerners, as it provides a non-Western lens through which to view the Bible and Christian theology. Given increasing global (particularly Eastern) influences in the West and the global nature of the Church…

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Have We Misunderstood Romans 1:26–27? 6 Interpretations Say ‘Yes’

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

People to Be LovedPreston Sprinkle believes we need a new discussion around the most potent topic in the church these days: same-sex relations and marriage.

Eschewing recycled responses and easy answers, his new book People to Be Loved freshly engages the passages and people behind the issue in a way that respects both, while challenging Christians across the spectrum.

“Are we sure we’ve understood what the Bible really says about same-sex relations?” (15) Sprinkle asks. Especially the crucial Romans 1 passage? Have we misunderstood it?

Six views say, ‘Yes’!

We’ve briefly outlined and engaged them below to bring clarity and offer a way forward.

1) Heterosexuals Having Homosexual Sex

Though largely abandoned, some interpret Read more

3 New Videos: Advances in the Study of Greek with Constantine Campbell

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What’s new and exciting in the study of biblical Greek? Find out in these new videos featuring Constantine Campbell. To learn more, pick up a copy of Campbell’s recent book Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament.

A Short History of Greek Studies (Chapter 1)

Deponency and the Middle Voice (Chapter 4)

Discourse Analysis I and II (Chapters 7 & 8)

9780310515951Advances in the Study of Greek offers an introduction to issues of interest in the current world of Greek scholarship. Those within Greek scholarship will welcome this book as a tool that puts students, pastors, professors, and commentators firmly in touch with what is going on in Greek studies today. Those outside Greek scholarship will warmly receive Advances…

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NIV Application Commentary Software Is Just $7.99 For a Short Time

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NIVAC Commentaries on Sale

Good news! Each NIV Application Commentary software edition is just $7.99 for a short time!

NIVACs are indispensable tools for understanding and teaching God’s Word.

And for a brief time all 42 NIVAC software editions are just 8 dollars apiece at the online stores of Logos, Accordance, WORDsearch, and Olive Tree. That means you save an average of 65% off the original price!

Act fast, this sale ends January 14!

(Note: If you buy from Logos, use code NIVAC16 to get the deal.)

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Learn from word-class scholars with NIVAC commentaries:

John H. Walton on Genesis and Job Scot McKnight on Galatians and 1 Peter Tremper Longman III on…

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Top 12 Biblical-Theological Posts in 2015

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

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The end of the year provides us two opportunities: to remember the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to reflect upon what we’ve learned this year.

Here are 12 of this blog’s most read and talked-about posts from 2015.

These posts represent a cross-section of cutting-edge research and deep reflection on the Person and theology of the Christian faith. They also showcase a number of existing and emerging voices breathing new life into biblical and theological studies. We trust this review of the top biblical-theological articles in 2015 will inform, encourage, and enliven your faith and studies in the coming year.

#1) Did Jesus Lie? (John 7:8) – Mondays with Mounce 275

Jesus told his brothers he wasn’t going to Jerusalem for the festival…then he…

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Now Available: Zondervan Academic Online Courses

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In the past, going to school usually required a major life change—quitting your job, moving across the country, uprooting your family, and sometimes even significant financial difficulty.

The decision to undertake theological and biblical education at a college or seminary is an important calling. Many are still called to make it.

But the reality is, for many, the difficulty of going back to school has put quality theological education out of reach.

Technology is helping to change that by making quality education more accessible and more affordable than ever before.

As schools have moved some courses online, they have urged us to provide quality resources for them. Out of these conversations, we have begun to develop online courses.

But the courses we are developing are not just for schools. They are for everyone.

With the launch of Zondervan Academic…

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2 Reasons Why We Need a New Conversation About Homosexuality

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

9780310519652Has Christ’s Church handled the question of homosexuality with Christlike love? Are we sure we’ve understood what Scripture really says about same-sex relations?

Preston Sprinkle weaves together these two questions in a new book, appropriately titled People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue. With rhetorical deftness, pastoral sensitivity, and theological depth, he offers Christians from across the spectrum an honest, engaging, surprising look at the Zeitgeist’s most important existential topic.

“Studying the issue of homosexuality is not enough,” writes Sprinkle. “We need to listen to gay and lesbian people…Homosexuality is about people. At the same time I want to be ruthlessly biblical about how we formulate our thoughts about homosexuality.” (19, 21)

Defying simple, thin answers to complex, thick questions,…

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