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Biblical Exposition Articles

  • Matthew Williams — 

    ... Understanding the Jewish background of the first century helps us to understand the biblical story with a greater depth and appreciation. For example, most modern Christians mistakenly assume that the early followers of Jesus expected Jesus to resurrect from the dead. But that is far from the truth ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Los cristianos son seguidores de Jesucristo. La palabra que se usaba en los tiempos de Jesús para designar a sus seguidores es discípulos. Por lo tanto, ser un cristiano es ser un discípulo de Cristo (Hechos 11:26). En Lucas 14:25-35, y en otros pasajes más, Jesús establece los requisitos para los que quieran ser sus discípulos. Grandes multitudes le seguían asombradas de su mensaje y autoridad. Sin embargo, Jesús no estaba complacido solamente con que mucha gente le siguiera sino que él deseaba que aquellos que tomaran la decisión de hacerlo, lo hicieran de acuerdo a unas normas específicas. Así que, Jesús se detuvo y delineó en esta ocasión cuatro características indispensables para sus seguidores. Para ser un buen cristiano o discípulo de Cristo es necesario cumplir con las condiciones que Jesucristo indica.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    In recent years, I have been helped in my study of the Bible by employing an informal distinction between “biblical necessities” and “theological explanations.” Of all the classes I teach at Talbot/Biola, this distinction has been most helpful to students taking a class I teach called Pauline Theology: Romans. Since some of my students have benefitted from this distinction, I thought you might appreciate reading about it today. A biblical necessity is a truth that you find yourself compelled to affirm after a careful reading of Scripture that pays attention to the appropriate literary, historical, and canonical contexts. You may not know how to explain all the what-abouts of the subject, but you cannot get around the fact that this particular teaching seems clearly supported by Scripture. The thing that you must affirm after a careful and contextual reading of Scripture is a biblical necessity ...

  • Matthew Williams — 

    Up until about ten or fifteen years ago, Bible scholars mostly wrote for other Bible scholars, rather than for the church. In creating these Bible studies, I wanted to take the knowledge that we Bible scholars know and deliver it directly to the church in a creative and understandable way ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I started the New Year by worshiping, fellowshipping, and preaching at Taft Avenue Community Church in Orange, California. At one point in the service, Pastor Bob Burris read aloud a short explanation of why Christians sing during times of worship. I appreciated what he read and want to share it with you today. The reading was adapted from a blog post by Kevin DeYoung, cut down to a length that could be used in a worship service. Why do we sing when we worship together?

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El evangelio según San Juan empieza con una declaración asombrosa que describe el origen del universo y nos da una descripción de Jesucristo: “En el principio era el Verbo, y el Verbo era con Dios, y el Verbo era Dios. Este era en el principio con Dios. Todas las cosas por él fueron hechas, y sin él nada de lo que ha sido hecho, fue hecho” (Juan 1:1-3) ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    The title of this post is the exact title of a new little book written by Andrew David Naselli & J. D. Crowley and published by Crossway. This new book is intended for a general Christian (non-academic) audience, addressing an oft-neglected subject: the conscience. Discussions of this topic have been few in recent years, despite the fact that the Greek word for “conscience” (συνείδησις) appears 30 times in the New Testament (20 times in the writings of Paul). The book is short (142 pages without the appendices and indices). Thankfully, it is also clearly written. One can easily imagine a book dealing with the so-called grey areas being less-than-clear. The authors have done a fine job in making a complicated subject easy-to-understand.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    The book of Ruth presents the inspiring journey of God’s people from tragedy to triumph. The story is a mirror opposite of Israel’s depressing journey from triumph to tragedy that is presented in the book of Judges.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    As you daily walk in the Holy Spirit, God will fill you with his Spirit in such a way that your desires to sin lessen. Galatians 5:16—set in a chapter that parallels Romans 8 in many ways—says it so well: “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” The one who walks in the Spirit will not give in to the desires of the flesh. Walking in the Spirit and carrying out the desires of the flesh are mutually exclusive ideas; you cannot do one at the same time as you engage in the other.

  • Tom Finley — 

    At a recent luncheon, the Talbot faculty were reminded about the culture of academia, a culture that permeates Christian universities as well. The typical academic conducts research by herself or himself alone. Any paper or book that results may be reviewed by colleagues, but still the research is the product of one mind alone. Sometimes there are books that contain contributions by various researchers, but each article typically has also a single author. There are exceptions to the rule—books or articles that are co-authored. They are still exceptions, though, and not the rule ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Paul’s discussion of the Old Testament law in Romans and Galatians connects well with a practical life concern: How do we effectively parent our children? In particular, one question parents regularly face has to do with what part rules play in raising children. Since Paul actually uses the raising of children as an analogy to explain the role of the law (Galatians 3:24-26; 4:1-7; Romans 8:14-17), perhaps we should turn the analogy on its head and ask if there is anything we can learn about raising children from Paul’s teaching about the law ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    What images do the word “work” bring to mind? If students and others I’ve had the chance to ask are any measure, the first thoughts aren’t all that positive. For myself I can recall flip comments I have made (half-) jokingly about hating when my work gets in the way of my hobby (cycling, mountain biking—the sport of kings!). From what I get from others, I’m fairly typical ...

  • Walt Russell — 

    When was the last time you heard the Bible taught and it penetrated to the core of your being? What about having this experience after thinking, “I could care less about this topic!”? Then, much to your surprise, the Spirit used the Bible rightly-interpreted and rightly-applied to cut through your lack of interest and the absence of a felt need. You stumbled out of the room enthralled with the God who speaks so clearly and powerfully through His Word. You left passionately asking the Lord of the Bible how you could align your life with this amazing truth that you cared nothing about the hour before ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    ... When I was younger, I would try to get rid of doubts by closing my eyes (really really tightly) and concentrate (really really hard) on pushing out the doubtful thoughts. And when I (inevitably) started thinking about my doubts again, I’d simply try again (really try this time!) to expel those doubts. But you can’t push doubts out of your mind any easier than you can push other thoughts out of your mind by valiantly trying ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    A spiritually-minded friend of my wife and me recently made this comment: “I struggle with the idea of praying according to the will of God. Since I know that some things are clearly according to God’s will, why can’t I just pray directly about those things and know for certain that they’re going to happen? But that’s not the way it works with my prayers. For example, I know that God doesn’t want Christians to get divorced. But I’ve sometimes prayed that God would preserve a struggling marriage that still ended up in divorce ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    This week’s conference, “Israel and the Church: A Troubled Past and Glorious Future,” hosted by Biola and Chosen People Ministries, provided yet another opportunity for me to think “big picture.” As most of us, I suppose, the cares of daily tasks—emails, news cycles, family, work-ministry, church-ministry—I can get so buried in the daily that I lose the plan! By plan I mean the narrative that God has written for the world. A narrative that first rescues a fallen creation and then restores it to the flourishing fullness God made it for ...

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    This year we are studying 1 Corinthians at Oceanside Christian Fellowship. I preached the message on 6:12-20, with the above title. I began by explaining Paul’s foundational principles in verse 12: (1) not all things are helpful, and (2) I will not be dominated by anything. The rest of the sermon outlined the “Five Good Reasons” (subtitle, above) as follows ...

  • David Talley — 

    ... Grace is a concept that we have fully received, but one that we will never fully comprehend. Throughout all of eternity we will be “grow(ing) in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Our worship and praise of the One who has bestowed grace on us will only increase, ever and always … there will be no end of our awe ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    This morning I was reading in Hosea 9:7-15 during my Bible reading time and was reminded once again why it is so important to be reading and learning the Bible. In those nine short verses are five allusions to places/events/things that someone who reads the Bible a lot should be able to recognize. Test your Bible knowledge and see if you know what Hosea is alluding to in each of these five cases ...

  • Daniel Kim — 

    ... The well-known words suitable helper in Gen. 2:18 are so engrained in our English speaking culture that it’s difficult to think of Gen. 2:18 in any other terms, even though many translations have tried to adopt better wording to fit the original Hebrew (c.f., ESV, NLT, or the footnote in the NASB). These words come in the midst of the sentence, “I will make him a helper suitable for him” (NASB). Suitable helper might have been a suitable translation 50 years ago, but I suggest that the phrase suitable helper has become outdated and is now misleading in its translation ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    What Did the New Testament Authors Really Care About? The easiest way we know to answer that question is to pick up Matt Williams’s and Ken Berding’s (editors) book: What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their Writings. The second edition has just been released by Kregel in an attractive full-color format with some added materials ...

  • Kenneth Way — 

    One of the ways to interpret the idyllic story of Ruth is to read it as a wisdom text—an illustration of God’s order in the lives of his faithful people. There are a number of good reasons to read Ruth in this way ...

  • John McKinley — 

    Theologians have often observed the paucity of details about the Holy Spirit in the Bible, as compared to revelation of the Father and the Son. This holding back by the Spirit who inspired Scripture seems typical of his humility, and the trait of divine love “that does not seek its own.” Sets of details that we can add to the several statements about the Spirit are connected with eight metaphors used throughout the Bible. Several of these metaphors pull together and give concrete expression to the declarative statements of pneumatology, such as “the Spirit sanctifies, indwells, teaches, assures, and convicts people" ...

  • Gary Manning Jr — 

    It is commonly claimed that when Jesus used the phrase “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι, ego eimi), he was making a direct reference to the name of God in the Old Testament, YHWH. There is some truth to this, but I want to suggest three important caveats to this claim: “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι), by itself, is not a code for the name of God; “I am” is only intended to refer to deity in some of Jesus’ sayings; Paying too much attention to the “I am” part of the sentence distracts readers from paying attention to the rest of the sentence.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    One of the keys to understanding the New Testament (NT) use of the Old Testament (OT) may be the recognition that when a NT author draws upon an idea found in a particular OT passage, it does not have to be the main idea of that passage to be usable. The contemporary assumption (often not articulated) that it has to be the main idea of an OT text to be legitimate seems to be a key stumbling block for people studying the NT use of the OT. The tendency for people to focus only on the main idea of a text (rather than also upon sub-themes) may also explain my present discomfort with the sense / referent distinction made by various authors.[1] The sense / referent distinction seems to assume a single sense for a verse that is akin to an exegetical idea of that verse.