Who Were the Galatians?

Thomas Schreiner on 1 year ago. Tagged under .

Who were the Galatians?

If someone was to ask you who Paul wrote his epistle to the Galatians to, how would you respond? If you’re like most people, you’d probably answer that it was written to the church at Galatia, and—technically—you’d be right.

But did you know that there’s actually quite a bit of discussion around whether Paul’s letter was written to those in northern or southern Galatia? Does knowing who Paul was writing to affect how we read it? Not necessarily, but it does change the way we look at the book of Galatians in regards to Acts.

In his online course on Galatians, Thomas R. Schreiner helps us understand a little better about who Paul…

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The Role of the Old Testament Law in Galatians

Thomas Schreiner on 1 year ago. Tagged under .

Old Testament law in Galatians

Communicating the role that the law played in God’s overall plan of salvation was one of the New Testament church’s biggest challenges. As Jews accepted that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, they struggled to understand how to bring their Jewish roots into this new reality.

The Christian who had come out of Judaism had to reconcile their understanding of what the law actually accomplished and how it worked. In their understanding, the law purified them and made them righteous. Was that true? If not, why were they given the law?

In his online course on Galatians, Thomas R. Schreiner explains Paul’s take on the law from Galatians 3:19–20. The following post is taken from…

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How to study the book of Romans

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,.

Romans is one of the most well-known books of the Bible.

You’ve probably heard a hundred sermons from the book of Romans. You might list Romans 8 as one of your favorite passages. You might be aware that Romans contains some of the key passages on predestination, the doctrine of justification, the doctrine of sanctification, and other core doctrines of the church. And you probably know the role a verse from Romans played in Martin Luther’s articulation of the 95 theses that launched the Reformation.

Romans has had a life-changing impact on the lives of millions of people. It’s not hard to argue that this short letter written to a group of Christians two thousand years ago has changed world history.

So whether you know it or not, you have probably been influenced by the book of Romans.

It’s difficult…

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What the Bible says about predestination

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

In any conversation about predestination, election, and God’s will in the act of salvation, two verses from Romans 8 are usually cited:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29–30)

These two verses are some of the most scrutinized in the Bible, so let’s take a moment to unpack them in more detail to see what they tell us about predestination.

See what Douglas Moo says about Paul’s understanding of predestination:

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Advice on studying Romans from Douglas Moo

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,.

We recently sat down with Douglas Moo to talk about some challenges students face when studying Romans. Take a look at what he says.

And be sure to check out his new online course, The Book of Romans: History, Meaning, and Application.

I’ve talked to Christians over the years who say, “Oh, I’m not ready to study Romans yet, that’s too heavy for me.”

You’ve probably heard it taught maybe from the pulpit, maybe you’ve taken a Sunday school class on it. You’ve read it. You’ve studied it perhaps even in Bible study.

Romans is a book that addresses many of those fundamental worldview issues. What does it mean to be a Christian? What is the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How is it relevant to me and to my church?

I think some of the reasons we therefore…

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What is justification?

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

In Romans 1:17, Paul writes: “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’”

This does not refer, in so many words, to “justification by faith.” However, the idea is clearly expressed: God’s righteousness is “by faith from first to last.” It is the one who is “righteous by faith” who will gain spiritual life.

What does this mean? Douglas Moo explains:

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Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews?

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,,.

When you consider the wide agreement among biblical scholars about who wrote every other book of the New Testament, it’s a little mysterious that we don’t know who wrote Hebrews.

There are a handful of contenders. Let’s take a look at the reasons each of them might be the author.

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Did Paul write Hebrews?

It is possible Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. There are a couple reasons why this might be the case.

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Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

did-jesus-really-descend-into-hell

It is sometimes argued that Christ descended into hell after he died.

The widely used Apostles’ Creed reads, “was crucified, dead, and buried, he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead.”

But the phrase “he descended into hell” does not occur in the Bible.

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Where did the phrase come from?

A murky background lies behind much of the history of the…

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Did Jesus Know When He Was Going to Die?

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

peters-confessionDid Jesus expect to die? Did he intend to? If so, how did he view his death?

According to the Synoptic Gospels, from Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi onward, Jesus warned his disciples of his impending fate.

Three times he predicts that the Son of Man will suffer and die and then rise again (Mark 8:31–32, par.; 9:31, par.; 10:33, par.).

Historical evidence for the passion predictions

Some have argued that these passion predictions are prophecies created after the fact by the church, since Jesus could not have predicted his own death. Yet there is good evidence for their historicity:

Jesus uses the title Son of Man, which is characteristic of the historical Jesus rather than the later church; there is no reference to the cross in these sayings; and there is…

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Who Killed Jesus? The Historical Context of Jesus’ Crucifixion

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,.

who-killed-jesus-the-historical-context-of-jesus-crucifixion

Much of the scholarly discussion about the circumstances of Jesus’ death relates to the question of who was responsible for his arrest and crucifixion.

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Who was responsible? The Jews or the Romans?

Historically, the primary responsibility has been placed on the Jewish leadership and the Jews in Jerusalem. Throughout the centuries, this has sometimes had tragic consequences, resulting in anti-Semitism and violence against Jews.

More recent…

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Why People are Reluctant to Talk about Their Christian Convictions

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

We recently sat down with Greg Koukl to talk about what prevents people from articulating their faith to non-believers. Take a look at what he said:

The best way to start

In the Tactics online course, Gregory Koukl offers practical strategies to help you stay in the driver’s seat as you maneuver comfortably and graciously in any conversation about your Christian convictions.

In fact, we think this is so important that we’re giving away free access to the first lesson.

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Tremper Longman III Reflects on the Challenges of Studying Genesis

ZA Blog on 1 year ago. Tagged under ,,.

We recently sat down with Tremper Longman III to discuss why the book of Genesis is so challenging to read and understand. His new Genesis online course is now available.

Genesis, like the rest of the Old Testament is a difficult book for us as twenty-first Christians to understand.

After all, we’re distant from this book in many ways. For one thing, it’s an ancient book. This is a book that was written three thousand five hundred years ago and has many strange and ancient customs.

The book of Genesis is also distant from us in terms of culture. It was written in an Ancient Near Eastern culture,…

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