The Limitations of Word Studies
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The Limitations of Word Studies

It’s a common question, but it’s one I don’t like: What does that Greek word really mean? (You can substitute Hebrew or Aramaic for Greek.) The basic problem is the assumption that a word “really” means anything specific. Underlying this is a tendency to think that one discovers the meaning of a communication by mentally…

How to Read Hebrews 4
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How to Read Hebrews 4

… or any scripture, for that matter. In graduate school I became progressively less interested in listening to sermons or in reading devotional items. While I was very interested in reading poetry, fiction and other non-technical materials, I applied a largely technical approach to scripture and theology. I say this to make clear that I…

Theology and Exhortation in Hebrews
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Theology and Exhortation in Hebrews

I’m continuing to read Guthrie’s commentary on Hebrews (George H. Guthrie, Hebrews, The NIV Application Commentary, Kindle edition) and I am enjoying his approach. That doesn’t mean agreeing with everything, but I find that his approach is likely to be particularly helpful to preachers and teachers as he attempts to bridge the cultural differences. In the…

Above and Below: Thoughts on Exodus 32
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Above and Below: Thoughts on Exodus 32

Yesterday I taught the Sunday School lesson for my class. The primary scripture was Exodus 32, the story of the golden calf. Our Adult Bible Studies title for the lesson was “The Permission Trap” and the goal was “To recognize the consequences of giving ourselves permission to do that which we know to be wrong.” In…

Hebrews 11:1-3 – Daily Bible Study Text
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Hebrews 11:1-3 – Daily Bible Study Text

Hebrews 11:1-3 begins thus: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (KJV). Most of the words here are at least a bit controversial. It may be easier to understand the passage if we accept that the writer is not trying to define “faith” or the Greek word “pistis,” but…

Proverbs 3:13-20 from the Daily Bible Study
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Proverbs 3:13-20 from the Daily Bible Study

Continuing my notes on the daily passages from this week’s lesson, I’m looking at Proverbs 3:13-20. I assume it’s clear to all that the subject is creation. We again find ourselves looking at God’s revelation through God’s work. I like to emphasize the importance of not just reading words from the Word of God, as we…