When Did the Angels Come? (Mark 1:13) — Mondays with Mounce 339
Language is imprecise. It would be great if all of us said exactly what we meant, and meant exactly what we said, but that is neither human nature or the nature of language.
That’s why context is king. That’s why a “verse of the day” is the worst exegetical tool there is (sorry). In every class on Bible study methods (“hermeneutics”) that is taught, the central emphasis is context, reading verses in context. I heard a sermon the other day that illustrates the need for this emphasis, using the imperfect tense.
After Jesus’ baptism, in Mark, we read, “At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted (πειραζόμενος) by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended (διηκόνουν)…
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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Lots of Noise in Heaven (δεῖ; Luke 15:32) – Mondays with Mounce 287
I was reading Luke 15 this morning and concluded that heaven is a “happening place.” Celebration. Shouting. Rejoicing.
Luke 15 is the primary biblical passage for the joy God feels when someone repents. But not only God but also the angels. This is the happy side of the spiritual realities in which we live. True, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:12). But there is more than struggle in the spiritual realm. There is joy.
Just like the joy of finding a…
Extracurricular Activities 3.21.15 — Angels and Atonement, Romans 1, and Primary Sources
One of the more controversial aspects of the Gospels is the two genealogies we have for Jesus, one in Mt. 1.1-17 the other in Lk. 3.23-38. While there are a few similarities between the two (e.g. they both mention that Jesus is the ‘so-called’ son of Joseph), they are mostly different, and they serve very different purposes. Some Bible students along the way have tried to suggest that we have Mary’s genealogy in Luke, and Joseph’s in Matthew, but this solution simply doesn’t work, since Joseph and his ancestry is referred to in both cases. Matthew clearly says that Jacob begat Joseph, but Luke has the more elliptical phrase ‘Joseph of Heli’, which could possibly mean ‘son of’ or ‘grandson of’ but it depends on what…