Bible Interpretation: 4 Challenges and How to Overcome Them
You probably already know that the Bible was originally written to someone else who:
lived a long time ago, in another part of the world, where they spoke a different language, and had different cultural values.
A word that captures one of the greatest challenges and frustrations in Bible interpretation is distance. There are four aspects to this distance: time, geography, language, and cultural values. Being aware of these is a critical step toward interpreting the Bible correctly.
In this post, adapted from William Klein, Craig Blomberg, and Robert Hubbard’s Introduction to Biblical Interpretation online course, we’ll take a look at each of these.
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9 Tips for Learning Biblical Greek from Bill Mounce
William D. Mounce loathes the popular cliché “It’s all Greek to me.” As the author of the bestselling Greek textbook, Basics of Biblical Greek, and a former director of the Greek program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, he’s heard it said by too many overwhelmed first year language students.
According to Dr. Mounce learning Greek is simply a matter of putting in the time and plodding through the basic steps. After years of teaching the language, Bill claims that if you truly want to learn Greek, and you’re willing to put in the time, you will learn it.
In his online biblical Greek course, Bill Mounce shares some of his best tips for new Greek students who actually want to learn the language.
9 tips for learning biblical Greek from Bill Mounce
If you really want to learn Greek,…
How the Protestant Reformation Started
You probably know at least one thing about Martin Luther: that he nailed the 95 theses to a church door and defied the Roman Catholic Church.
This was Luther’s declaration of independence from Rome.
The truth is, this is historically inaccurate.
Yes, October 31, 1517, would turn out to be the first hint that the Western world was about to be turned upside down. But Luther’s act on October 31, 1517 was not an act of rebellion.
It was, in fact, just the opposite. It was the act of a dutiful son of mother church.
Someone—no one knows who—took the Latin text of Luther’s 95 Theses, translated them into German, and sent them all over Germany. When the German people realized that Luther was standing up against abuses in the church, he became a hero throughout Germany.
The Reformation began.…
Zondervan Academic Titles Now Available for Libraries through EBSCO
Grand Rapids, Mich., July 27, 2017 — Zondervan Academic is pleased to announce that many of its titles are now available for libraries through EBSCO’s GOBI® Library Solutions and EBSCOhost Collection Manager.
“For many years, academic librarians have requested the availability of Zondervan Academic titles from EBSCO,” says Jesse Hillman, Vice President of Marketing, Zondervan Academic. “We are thrilled that our titles will now equip students, librarians, and other users in their research.”
EBSCO is the leading provider of research databases, e-journals, magazine subscriptions, ebooks and discovery service to libraries of all kinds. For over 70 years they have partnered with libraries to improve research with quality content and technology. EBSCO offers more than a million titles from leading publishers, ensuring that valuable, trusted content can…
eBook Sale: Gregory Koukl’s New Apologetics Release, “The Story of Reality”
“It’s my favorite thing I’ve written yet,” says Greg Koukl, President of Stand to Reason, about his new apologetics book The Story of Reality: How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between.
You may recognize Koukl as the author of the classic apologetics work Tactics: A Game Plan for Sharing Your Faith. Koukl’s latest work, The Story of Reality released earlier this year, and right now the eBook edition is 60% off.
What people are saying
“Koukl has masterfully captured the heart of the Christian story in a way that is clarifying and insightful for…
How to Keep Receiving Your Newsletters from Zondervan Academic (Subscriber, Please Read)
APRIL 7, 2017: If you subscribe to one of Zondervan Academic’s email newsletters, you may receive an unusual email from us soon. It requests that you click a link within your email “to keep receiving” your newsletter.
This is a legitimate email from Zondervan Academic. Clicking the email link (or more simply, re-subscribing to the Academc Update now) are the only ways to ensure you will continue to receive email updates from us.
What will happen if you click on the email link? Two things:
You will get access to something free. (A free PDF download or online course, depending on which newsletter you’re receiving.) You will continue to receive email newsletters from us for as long as you wish. You can still unsubscribe at any time.
Why is Zondervan Academic asking you to click a…
Three Zondervan Titles Chosen as Outreach’s Resources of the Year
Grand Rapids, Mich., Mar. 2, 2017 — Today Zondervan announced it represented a total of three titles that were chosen as top resources of the year by Outreach magazine.
Almost 200 total submissions were divided into twelve categories, with expert panelists for each category. Each panelist chose one resource of the year, with some providing “also recommended” selections. Out of the “also recommended” titles, Zondervan had two.
The three Zondervan titles chosen for Resources of the Year are:
• No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi – Apologetics • People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue by Preston Sprinkle – Culture • Conversion & Discipleship: You Can’t Have One Without the Other by Bill Hull – Discipleship
How to Read the Old Testament Prophets
J. Daniel Hays recently sat down with us to talk about why the prophets are difficult to interpret, about Jesus’ use of the prophets, and about the prophets’ importance for understanding the whole Bible. His Message of the Prophets online course is now available for everyone. Learn more >
When people first read them, they think, wow, I just don’t have any idea what exactly what these guys are talking about.
The prophets are using poetry and figures of speech. They have this scathing critique and criticism against the kings and the people of their day.
The other critical thing about the prophets that makes them difficult is they are very much embedded in a specific historical timeframe, and the geo-political events around them are influencing what they’re saying and what’s taking place. It’s important to place…
Tremper Longman, III on Studying Genesis
We recently sat down with Tremper Longman to discuss some of the challenges in studying the book of Genesis. Take a look at what he had to say:
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…