Sodom and Gomorrah: A Story about Sin and Judgment
Sodom and Gomorrah are two of the Old Testament’s most infamously sinful cities. Genesis 19 tells the story of how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness, but spared Lot and his family (mostly).
The New Testament uses these cities as examples of behavior that God’s people need to avoid. But what exactly was the nature of Sodom’s sin? Why did God single them out? And why was Lot spared?
In his online course on the book of Genesis, Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III answers these questions and more, starting where the story actually begins in Genesis 18, when Abraham finds himself hosting three unknown visitors.
The following post is based on his online course.
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Abraham and Isaac: A Test of Faith
In Genesis 22, God tests Abraham’s obedience by asking him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son.
To modern readers, this passage and this test feels like a nightmare. Why would God ask Abraham to do that? And why would Abraham be willing to go through with it?
Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III explores this challenging passage in his online course on the book of Genesis. The following analysis is adapted from his course.
But first, let’s look at the passage itself.
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The Faith of Abraham – An Excerpt From Genesis (The Story of God Bible Commentary Series)
The Story of God Bible Commentary explains and illuminates each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. It aims to set each passage within the context of Scripture and leads the reader to (1) “Listen to the Story,” (2) “Interpret the Story,” and (3) “Live the Story.”
In his commentary on Genesis, Tremper Longman III examines each portion of scripture through this three-step process. This week’s excerpt is taken from the “Live the Story” section of Genesis 11:27-12:9, and encourages us to reflect on Abraham’s faith journey, as well as our own.
THE JOURNEY OF FAITH
What Does Genesis 12:1–3 Mean, Why Does It Matter?
Earlier this year, we released another volume in the landmark The Story of God Bible Commentary series, written by none other than venerable Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III.
In Genesis, Longman helps pastors and teachers help those they shepherd live and apply the Story to real life. It also offers them a sturdy resource for hearing the voice of God in the text and finding an accessible explanation of its passages.
Let’s look at how Longman explains and applies Genesis 12:1–3—an important set of verses to be sure!
“One cannot overestimate the importance of these three verses not only for the Abraham story and the Pentateuch but for the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments.” (159)
So what does Read more
Tremper Longman on Genesis’ Theological Message and the Story of God
In his new Genesis commentary in the ground-breaking Story of God Bible Commentary series Longman argues, “it provides a foundation for the knowledge of God and his human creatures’ relationship with him.” (13)
He goes on to reveal how “varied and profound” its theological teachings are. Each part contains a “unique focus” and makes an “important theological contribution.” Which is why we’ve provided commentary from Longman on Genesis’ theological message and its relationship to the Story of God.
It will help you grasp the significance of reading Genesis in its Old Testament context, from…
The Message of Circumcision: From Patriarchy to New Man — An Excerpt from “Malestrom”
In her new book Malestrom, Carolyn Custis James’s contends the principal expression of the problem of manhood is historic patriarchy. Though it’s the cultural background of much of the Bible, “God reveals the newness of his kingdom breaking through as he over turns cultural norms that issues from the fall of Adam and Eve.” (69)
One way he overturned this norm was through the practice of circumcision. And yet James asks an important question:
Why would God choose this explicitly male rite to remind his sons of his covenant with them?
Though it seems to smack of patriarchy, it does the opposite: “Circumcision strips the malestrom and human culture of its power to define a man’s identity and purpose.” (71)