My Life and Educational Experiences for Bible Study

My Life and Educational Experiences for Bible Study

When I am introduced to speak or teach, mention will doubtless be made of my MA in Religion, concentrating in Biblical and Cognate Languages, though the correct degree name will be shortened, and the language skill usually exaggerated. In my mind, however, there are many things that have contributed to my study of the Bible. I’ve never encountered a biblical scholar who found this surprising, but sometimes non-academics are surprised. I thought I’d list some of the key experiences, many…

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Perspectives on Paul: Introducing Salvation

Perspectives on Paul: Introducing Salvation

We’re going to start our look at Paul’s soteriology by reading Galatians 2:15-3:18 and looking at Bruce Epperly’s fourth lesson in Galatians: A Participatory Study Guide, “The Dynamics of Grace.” Here’s a quote: Three key words are present in Galatians – grace, justification, and faith. Put simply, grace is God’s love embodied in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The cross of Christ is victorious over sin and liberates us to live freely through God’s Spirit. Grace can’t…

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In Memory of John Sailhamer

In Memory of John Sailhamer

I never met Dr. John Sailhamer, but I appreciate scholars who propose and support theories that are substantially out of the ordinary. I don’t mean crazy, just creative and risky. I found out recently that he has passed away. In celebration of his life I’d like to link to my review of his book, Genesis Unbound. At the time I reviewed it, it was unfortunately out of print and I’m glad to see that a new edition was published in 2011….

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Book Notes – Hebrews: A Commentary (NTL)

Book Notes – Hebrews: A Commentary (NTL)

I recently worked my way through Luke Timothy Johnson’s Hebrews: A Commentary (New Testament Library) along  with the Greek text, and I’m going to write a few notes on the book, which may, or may not, constitute a real review. Time will tell! The problem with many blogger book reviews is that they often amount to no more than various length notifications as to whether the author liked the book or not. There are some really wonderful exceptions to this,…

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Is It Greek Pedagogy, Learning Skills, or Something Else

Is It Greek Pedagogy, Learning Skills, or Something Else

These discussions seem to come up all the time about learning Greek, but the discussion also applies to Hebrew. How one can imagine it’s critically important to learn Greek if one is to preach or teach, but not so much to learn Hebrew, I don’t know. But the degree requirements of various colleges and seminaries reflect just such an attitude. That said, I want to make some comments about learning and teaching, but more importantly about goals. Thomas Hudgins has…

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Thankful for the Gift of Suffering for Jesus?

Thankful for the Gift of Suffering for Jesus?

Because you have been graciously given this on behalf of Christ: not only in Him to believe, but also for Him to suffer. (Philippians 1:29, excessively literally) I’ve been meditating on two texts as the new year begins, Philippians 1:27-30, and Ephesians 5:1-2. I’ve been kind of ignoring this suffering thing so far. But last night listening to music in worship at Freedom Church Pensacola, it suddenly struck me to think: Do we have any songs in which we actually…

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Study Your Bible in English

Study Your Bible in English

That is, study it in English if English is your native language, and when your knowledge of biblical languages isn’t up to the task. Face it. For most people, even those who have some study of biblical languages. Different levels of study of the languages provide different levels of benefits. But for most people, the best idea is to study the Bible more carefully and thoroughly in the language they actually know. There’s a sense among people in the pews…

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Discerning Fake News

Discerning Fake News

Brooke Borel of FiveThirtyEight.com published an article recently titled Fact-Checking Won’t Save Us from Fake News. Headline readers will not be led too far astray by that headline, though they will miss some interesting reasoning on the topic. I agree with Borel that fact-checking won’t save us. It’s useful, but it’s just one element. A common reason to reject fact checkers is that we don’t agree with them or find inaccurate data in them. In other words, if we can’t…

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Experience, Authority, and Paul (Galatians 1:1-2:14)

Experience, Authority, and Paul (Galatians 1:1-2:14)

Last night for my perspectives on Paul series I reviewed what we’ve discussed so far and wrapped up my discussion of Paul’s claim to authority as an apostle. I can summarize this as follows: The Bible records religious experience, i.e., people’s experience of God in one way or another. (Even revelation, such as a vision, is an experience of the divine.) In order to understand, or even better, connect with the same narrative, one needs experience. Beyond the summary, let…

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