When Bibles Do, and Don’t, Follow the Greek. A Couple Examples. – Mondays with Mounce 320
Paul tells the Colossians church, “My goal is that their hearts may be encouraged (ἵνα παρακληθῶσιν αἱ καρδίαι αὐτῶν) and knit together in love (συμβιβασθέντες ἐν ἀγάπῃ), so that (καὶ εἰς) they may have all the wealth of full assurance of understanding, for knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ (εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ θεοῦ, Χριστοῦ)” (2:2).
There are a couple things worth noting. The first is the value of keeping dependent clauses dependent. The text doesn’t say “encouraged and knit together.” παρακληθῶσιν is the main verb in the purpose clause, and συμβιβασθέντες is a dependent construction (adverbial participle) telling us something about how they are encouraged. Paul is not saying that he wants the Colossians to be encouraged and to be knit together. He is saying he wants them…
What does it mean that the Word became flesh?
John 1:14 is one of the most important verses in the Bible. It reads: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Word did not just appear to be human; the Word became flesh.
This assertion stunned the Greek mind for whom the separation of the divine spirit and the mundane world (flesh, sarx) was an axiom of belief.
But the second phrase is equally stunning for the Jew. This Word dwelt (skenoo) among us and revealed his glory (doxa). This verb for dwelling is employed in the Greek Old Testament for the tabernacle of God.
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The Stigma of Mental Illness in the Church – An Excerpt from Mental Health and the Church
The church across North America does a weak job of welcoming and including families of children, teens, and adults with common mental health conditions or trauma. One obstacle is the absence of a widely accepted model for mental health inclusion ministries for kids, teens, adults, and their families.
In Mental Health and the Church, Dr. Stephen Grcevich seeks to put forth a model for a mental health/trauma inclusion ministry of sufficient flexibility to be implemented by churches of all sizes, denominations, and organizational styles. In today’s excerpt, he reveals how the stigma of mental illness impacts families relationship to the church.
I believe most pastors and church leaders are unaware of the extent to which the experience of a mental health disorder—“serious” mental health conditions such…
Your Sermon, Your Body Language – An Excerpt from Preaching God’s Word, Second Edition
You have a great sermon prepared, and the hard part is done. It would be great if all you had to do was to stand up and speak the words for maximum effectiveness. But it takes more than just words to deliver the message.
In today’s excerpt taken from Preaching God’s Word, Second Edition, authors Terry Carter, J. Scott Duvall, and J. Daniel Hays remind us that spoken language is only a fraction of the way you effectively communicate your sermon.
Experts tell us that a major part of sermon delivery is body language. Roy DeBrand suggests that the “visual in preaching is vitally important to communication.” By visual, DeBrand means things related to your body, such as clothing, posture, gestures, facial expressions, and…
2017 Year in Review: The Most Popular Online Courses
Zondervan Academic Online Courses has become one of the best ways to learn about the Bible online. As we’re reviewing and reflecting on our most popular courses from 2017 and looking ahead to 2018, we thought we’d share some of what we’re learning about what you’re learning.
Here are some of our observations:
1. There is strong interest in the biblical languages.
In this year’s list, languages dominate.
Both Basics of Biblical Greek and Basics of Biblical Hebrew made the top ten list. The 11th most popular course—which didn’t quite make the list—is Dan Wallace’s Greek syntax course. People are not only taking Greek…
What Is the Tabernacle?
During the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the desert under Moses’ leadership, God was with them. God gave clear instructions to the Israelites for a sanctuary where his spirit could dwell and where people could gather for worship and to offer sacrifices. This sanctuary is called the tabernacle.
Every element in the tabernacle was significant. Even the way that the Exodus narrative embeds the story of Israel’s betrayal of God within the tabernacle narrative is remarkably important to God’s story.
Dr. Gary E. Schnittjer, professor of the Old Testament at Cairn University, discusses the important elements of the tabernacle:
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What Role Does the Holy Spirit Play in Bible Study?
As the supernatural source of Scripture’s inspiration, it would seem that the Holy Spirit would play an important role in how we read and interpret God’s Word.
But how? Can we understand the Bible apart from the Spirit’s influence?
To understand how the Spirit operates when we read and study the Bible, we need to understand the Spirit’s role in its origins.
When we recognize the Spirit’s role in Scripture’s creation, we can begin to see how the Spirit helps us understand and internalize the Word.
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Is the “Trinity” in the Bible?
In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence of arguments against Christian theology using the doctrine of the Trinity as a proof.
Critics argue that since the Trinity isn’t overtly mentioned in the Bible, it’s not real.
The greater implication is that Christian theology can’t be trusted if orthodoxy rests on doctrines that aren’t even found in Scripture.
It is always tempting to dispatch the question of whether…
What Does the Old Testament Say about the Trinity?
In the New Testament, Christians are given a new lens through which they see God. He is still the one true God we discover in the Jewish Shema prayer:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”—Deuteronomy 6:4–5 (emphasis added)
But we discover Jesus and the Holy Spirit as distinct persons who are also God. Because of this New Testament revelation, Christian orthodoxy relies on an understanding of God as a Trinity—one living and true God who exists eternally as three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In light of this revelation, can we expect to see traces of the Trinity revealed in the Old Testament as well? Dr. Fred Sanders, Associate Professor of Theology…
Angels in the Bible: What Do We Actually Know About Them?
For centuries, artists have portrayed angels as beautiful humans with wings and glowing light, complete with halos, harps, and flowing white gowns (or perfectly sculpted bodies). But is that really what angels look like? Angels have inspired all sorts of imaginative stories and depictions, but what’s left when we separate fact from fiction? In order to know the truth, we have to ask, what does the Bible say about angels?
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,…