Skip to main content

Category: Biblical Exposition

  • Mitch Glaser — 

    Perhaps the real question our friends are asking is this: “What impact does our faith as Messianic Jews have on our support of Israel?” This is a fair question, and it is a reasonable assumption that most Jews who believe in Jesus support the Jewish state.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    One of the qualifications for an overseer/elder/pastor (all the same office in the Bible) is that he be “free from the love of money” (1 Tim. 3:3). Now suppose that you are on an elder board and seeking to know whether a new candidate for the office is in fact free from the love of money, how can you figure it out? Here are five useful diagnostic questions.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    After six months of on-and-off reading, I have just completed N.T. Wright’s book, Paul and the Faithfulness of God. The book is 1660 pages long if you include the bibliography and indices. (If you don’t it’s only 50 pages long…just kidding.) Here are three things I liked about this two-volume book, and two things that I struggled with.

  • Aaron Devine — 

    A question that naturally surfaces in [the reading of Luke 18:18-27] is whether Jesus considers wealth to be compatible with a life of faithful discipleship. Some interpret this story to say that material things and following Jesus do not mix well. This interpretation is sometimes based on a plain reading of passages like this, but it can also be motivated by material excesses in Christianity that make us uncomfortable. Too much focus on material blessing as a necessary indicator of God’s approval can stifle efforts at legitimate Christian disciplines such as frugality, generosity, and financial sacrifice. As such, divesting material wealth is sometimes seen as a corrective to bad prosperity theology ...

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I want to recommend a recent book that brings honor to one of my teachers, Rabbi and Professor Samuel Greengus from Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion. It is called Windows to the Ancient World of the Hebrew Bible: Essays in Honor of Samuel Greengus (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2014), and it is edited by Bill Arnold, Nancy Erickson and John Walton.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    ... Among the unique aspects of early Christianity, when compared to other religious options in the ancient world, are the relationships the early Christians shared across geographical boundaries. The church was a family—not only locally but also from town to town ...

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Last Saturday evening, my wife and I had a delightful dinner out with two of our very best friends, John and Leah Hutchison. Before we left the house, I had about fifteen minutes to kill while Joann was still getting ready. The nerd in me has something laying right on my nightstand for just such occasions: a volume of Josephus’ Antiquities. I picked it up, intending to read a little Greek, and stumbled across a story that had escaped my memory but is worth revisiting ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “¿Cómo estás?” Un amigo mío respondía en tono de broma a esta común pregunta con las palabras “bien, pero ni modo” o “bien, pero ya se me va a pasar”. Aunque su respuesta era graciosa en el fondo describía una tendencia común de nuestras percepciones y sentimientos. Por alguna razón es más fácil enfocarnos en lo negativo y olvidarnos de todo lo positivo que tenemos y recibimos. A pesar de estar llenos de bendiciones, con frecuencia pensamos que siempre nos falta algo y que nunca tenemos lo suficiente o alcanzamos la plenitud de la vida.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    A creative series of workbooks for classrooms and churches has recently been released. Following is an interview with the series editor and author of the first workbook, Kenneth Berding. "This series of workbooks is a new and creative way of drawing out the back story that lies behind the writings of the Bible ... These workbooks provide an entryway that will allow you to start uncovering this story for yourself."

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    Don’t you love it when you have good news to tell? “He loves me,” “I got the promotion,” “a baby is coming,” “my grades are better”—news we want to tell someone. Someone who will be glad for us. Someone who will recognize the importance of what we are telling them. When two angels announced the good news of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, they gave that good news to women. Women—who were considered to be unreliable messengers and couldn’t even testify in court—women were given the honor of passing on the best news ever transmitted—Jesus is alive!

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Have you ever noticed how often we rank skills over character? You’re seeking to hire someone for a job. Which is more important? Skills for the job, or the character of the one seeking the job? In almost every hiring situation, skills are the focus (though I have heard that Human Resources folks are increasingly Facebook and Instagram-stalking potential employees in an attempt to ascertain whatever they can about applicants’ private lives.) I would like to suggest that in Christian ministry, character should be weighted over skills.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    Recent news reports[1] are claiming that the references to camels in the patriarchal narratives (Gen 12:16; etc.) of Genesis are “anachronistic,” or historically out of place, because there is allegedly no evidence for camel domestication before the tenth century BC. This claim is actually not new, since it was made by W. F. Albright over seventy years ago, but is it true?

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    The Fox is Herod Antipas. Jesus says so. If you don’t believe me, look at Luke 13:32. But what does this arrogant, sensual, and power-hungry tyrant say?

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Los propósitos de año nuevo son parte de la costumbre anual de muchos de nosotros. La llegada del nuevo año nos da la oportunidad para detenernos por un momento y planificar un futuro mejor. Por ejemplo, los gimnasios aumentan sus membrecías considerablemente en enero con personas que desean bajar de peso o mejorar su condición física. También escuché que el índice de divorcios crece considerablemente las primeras semanas del año. Independientemente de la sabiduría de los propósitos, todos los deseos persiguen un mejor destino.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El nacimiento de Jesús cambió al mundo. La navidad es, sin duda alguna, el acontecimiento más importante en la historia de la humanidad y, por lo tanto, la mayor celebración de cada año. El Dios creador del universo se hizo hombre y habitó entre nosotros. Dios no está lejos ni es distante sino que a través de Jesús su presencia es real y personal. De hecho, el milagro de la navidad se resume con la palabra “Emanuel” que significa apropiadamente “Dios con nosotros.”

  • John McKinley — 

    In Part One, I introduced the implausible situation that Jesus lived from His infancy with full divine awareness. I presented one argument that the New Testament presents Jesus as functioning with a human mind. This claim has been affirmed by the Council of Chalcedon (451) in opposition to some teachers such as Apollinaris, who denied that Jesus possessed a human mind and will. An incarnation involving two minds is complicated, but such is the historic teaching of the church.

  • John McKinley — 

    One professor in this school playfully describes the birth of Jesus this way. There is Jesus, lying in the manger and looking out through the doorway of the stable at the stars in the night sky. I made all those stars. The baby then has another sensation alongside this new experience of seeing His creation through eyeballs, and it’s uncomfortable. I’m suddenly wet all through my diaper, and it’s getting cold! A normal infant would scream at this point until mom showed up. But not Jesus. He looks over at His teen-aged mom and thinks, I’d like to have this wet diaper changed, but Mary’s had such a hard night after so long of a trip. I’ll wait a few hours until she’s had some more rest. And so, baby Jesus, the pint-sized God-man waits until His mom has gotten the rest she needs. Probably not. It strains at plausibility to think that Jesus lived with His full divine consciousness from the beginning of His human life. We can be sure that Jesus knew His unique identity and relationship to God as His Father when He was twelve, having declared as much to Joseph and Mary in Jerusalem (Luke 2:49). Luke adds, “Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (v. 52, NASB). Jesus certainly knows who He is when He begins teaching, but beyond these details we don’t have revelation how much He knew before age twelve, or when.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    A couple days ago I was reading Ephesians 1 in Greek during my morning Bible-reading time. As I read, I was drawn to two phrases that are clearly present in Greek but are often eliminated in English. The two expressions that get removed are “into him” (εἰς αὐτόν) in the middle of verse 5 and (“in him”) (ἐν αὐτῷ) at the end of verse 10. Presumably these expressions get cut because they are deemed unnecessarily repetitive.

  • Mick Boersma — 

    A couple years back my wife Rolane and I visited ten of our wonderful Midwest Talbot alumni. What a joy to see them all thriving, finding God faithful, and knowing days of effective and challenging ministry. While we were in the area, we took the opportunity to visit my hometown of Hospers, Iowa and spent a little time with my cousins living there. Some of them I hadn’t been with in over 30 years - so long that we all wore nametags to keep from getting confused! While I only spent the first seventeen years of my life on the farm, it played a significant role in who I am today. In going back home, certain impressions left their mark on my mind and heart. Let me elaborate ...

  • Dave Keehn — 

    There is nothing like changes in one’s travel plan to reveal how we truly handle change. For myself, traveling with my family is a sacred obsession. I plan months ahead to get the best flights and reserve the “perfect” hotel to accommodate our sightseeing interests. As a family, we read travel books and blogs to find the out-of-the-way restaurants. With an itinerary in hand, we embark on our journey, only to be met with forced changes that were unforeseen. To say the least, I don’t deal with a “change in plans” well, especially when I am on vacation. Changes for me equal stress, hassles, and more work.

  • Joy Mosbarger — 

    For the past several years I have had an autoimmune disease called ITP (Immune Thrombocytopenia) in which the immune system targets the platelets resulting in a low blood platelet count, which can cause spontaneous bruising or bleeding. Earlier this year, my platelet count took a significant jump. Though not in the normal range, it was higher than it had been in over five years. I was very excited and immensely grateful to the Lord and to those who had been praying faithfully for me and my platelets for years. Somehow, verbally expressing my gratitude seemed inadequate and insufficient. What, I wondered, would be an appropriate response? This question prompted me to look at the sacrifice of thanksgiving as outlined in the Old Testament.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    Genealogies rarely contain interesting tidbits about our ancestors, especially the more unacceptable ones. But Jesus’ genealogy does. In fact, it even seems to highlight several rather shady characters. And they are women.

  • David Horner — 

    My family’s business, in the modest Colorado town where I grew up, was a foundry. For the uninitiated, a foundry is like a steel mill. Its basic operation is to melt ore (in our case, iron, brass, and aluminum) in a furnace, pour it into molds, and thereby produce metal castings. Our family joke was that my parents were “in the iron and steel business” – my mom would iron while my dad would steal. (I’ll spare you the rest of the foundry jokes.) Foundry work is hard, hot, dirty, and notoriously dangerous. Our furnace room temperature was 140 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    God’s role as a divine warrior is most likely one of his more neglected characteristics. Some today have gone so far as to reject any talk today about God being a divine warrior, viewing it as tired metaphor that should be retired. But most Christians have simply stopped thinking of God as one who fights. Not only does it not seem to mesh well with the picture of the peaceful Jesus but it is also out of step with most of contemporary culture. In spite of these concerns, looking at the martial actions of YHWH in the Old Testament (YHWH is a transliteration of God’s name in Hebrew) can help us understand better the God that we serve.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I recently completed a manuscript on the book of Judges for Baker’s Teach the Text Commentary Series. It took me about three and a half years to write the short text, and I want to share just a few highlights from what I learned during my study.