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New Testament Articles

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    What gifts does God give us in the person and work of Christ? How can we unwrap and enjoy them every day with the wide-eyed wonder of a kid on Christmas morning? Dr. Williams offers some Christmas reflections.

  • David Talley — 

    Voice of the Martyrs has offered an excellent idea for those who may be travelling during this Thanksgiving season or who might be looking for some special activities to do while gathered with families and friends.

  • John McKinley — 

    In part 2 of this blog series, I present the second biblical metaphor revealing the Holy Spirit: the wind. We need to discern what the metaphor is, and what its meanings are within the biblical and ANE framework. I will be drawing some details from the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. My goal is to recognize patterns of meaning that may be intended to expand our understanding of the Holy Spirit’s presence and action in subtle ways hinted at through metaphors ...

  • Joy Mosbarger — 

    There are times for all of us when we feel bruised and battered by the relentlessness of life. We long for respite, a chance to catch our breath before the next project or crisis consumes us. But often, life’s challenges are unremitting. They just keep on coming! ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Classical Christian education programs are on the rise. I am heartened that so many parents want their children to get a strong education that draws upon all that is wonderful, winsome, and wise from the past. But Latin instead of Greek? Are you serious? Come on, teachers and parents. Feel free to add Latin later if you’re so inclined, but really you should start with Greek. Here are eight (well … sort-of eight) reasons why Greek ought to be the core language you teach in your Classical Christian education program instead of Latin ...

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    I came to Christ as a last resort after a year-long quest to find God back in 1975. With two thriving evangelical churches just a few blocks from my doorstep, why did I explore the Christian faith last instead of first? The cool factor, of course! I was a long-haired, pot-smoking keyboard player in a rock band. Eastern and New Age religion were “spiritual” and cool — Christianity definitely was not ...

  • 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 ...

  • Gary Manning Jr — 

    In Philippians 3:8, the apostle Paul compares his religious credentials to knowing Jesus. The difference could hardly be more emphatic: “knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” is of “surpassing value,” but Paul’s past success is like σκύβαλα (skubala). σκύβαλα is commonly translated as rubbish, refuse, or garbage, but sometimes more strongly as dung, in both ancient and modern translations (Vulgate, Tyndale, KJV, NET). Some have suggested another four-letter translation, stronger than dung. While teaching Greek, I used to say that σκύβαλα is the closest thing to a swear word you can find in the New Testament - and I was repeating something that I had heard or read quite a few times. C. Spicq's Greek lexicon even suggests that σκύβαλα should be rendered crap. But is it true? Is σκύβαλα a swear word, or maybe a rude word? Or is it unobjectionable?

  • 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" ...

  • R. Douglas Geivett — 

    “Prince of peace” is biblical language. In other words, it derives from its use in the Bible as a descriptive title with a very specific context. The title “Prince of Peace” is used of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6. It is, therefore—according to Christian orthodoxy—a reference to Jesus Christ. This is an extraordinarily honorific title. It denotes the full realization of messianic hope. In the Christian Scriptures it alludes to human reconciliation with God, and only by extension to the realization of peace within the human community. The agent, of course, is the Prince of Peace ...

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Dr. Joseph Hellerman, Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, talks about his volume on Philippians in the Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament series ...

  • 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.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    As a parent, my favorite word to say is “yes.” Saying this word puts me in a favorable position with my children. The look of joy on their faces when I say “yes” compels me to say it more and more. I even struggle saying “yes” when I know it would be wiser to say “no” due to budget restraints (“yes, take my last $20”), or health concerns (“yes, eat the whole gallon of ice cream”), or just common sense (“yes, you can play in the street”). My children expect a “yes” when they ask because I love saying “yes” so often. So when I say “no” they are surprised by my objections to their request. However, my disapproving “no” is just as loving as my “yes,” and many times it is a much more compassionate response ...

  • Gary L. McIntosh — 

    One might think that church leaders would naturally agree on the priority of mission. However, this is not the case. Debate continues today between those who say the priority of mission is to do well in whatever form it takes, while others contend that our priority is to preach the gospel of salvation. Building on the salvation motif found in the Gospel of Luke, this article suggests that the priority of the church is to preach the gospel of salvation.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    This weekend I had the privilege of reading Constantine Campbell’s brand new book, Advances in the Study of Greek: New Insights for Reading the New Testament. I had fun reading this book. It’s possible that this says more about me than it does about the book(!), but I must honestly acknowledge that for me it was a truly enjoyable experience to read this new volume. Advances in the Study of Greek is a good way for people who already have some training in Greek to get up-to-speed on inside discussions happening between Greek Geeks…that is, umm, Greek linguists and grammarians. Here is a short run-down on its contents ...

  • Klaus Issler — 

    One early evening at six, my wife Beth’s brief comment—"Remember, I'll be needing the car at seven tonight"—suddenly stirred up my inner parts and brought about an energized outburst. I yelled, "You didn't bring this up when we were coordinating our schedules last Saturday!" Where is all that unexpected display of energy and irritation coming from? Why would I react so strongly to that comment? Various factors contributed to this surprising flare-up. I would have to rearrange my schedule and thus not make progress on an important project I was working on. Coupled with a few other similar setbacks earlier in the week unrelated to Beth's involvement, this schedule change had finally set me off ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Recent English Bible translators have increasingly opted to translate the Greek word peripateo, whenever it is used metaphorically to describe one’s way of life, with the English word “live.” The other option at translators’ disposal is to retain the metaphor and translate it into English as “walk.” The motivation for the decision to translate with the word “live” instead of “walk,” apparently, is the fear that readers might not grasp the metaphor, and thus might either interpret verses that employ the metaphor literalistically (describing the manner in which you put one foot in front of the other), or, more likely, that readers might simply find themselves confused by the metaphor. Let me show you some verses from Ephesians 4-5 where this matters, comparing the English Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible, both of which tend to use “walk” in such contexts with the New International Version and New Living Translation, both of which tend to use “live” (or something similar). Then let me offer a critique.

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Adam Johnson (assistant professor at Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute (’01, M.A. ’07)) recently released Atonement: A Guide for the Perplexed. To learn more about this book, we asked Adam a few questions ...

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    This series began by noting how we live in the Age of Feeling and Authenticity. We have come to see how Jesus can save us from it, how he can restore just sentiments like outrage, compassion, and joy. This leaves us with two hanging questions: First, how do we actually come to feel just sentiments the way Jesus did? Second, why Jesus’ feelings? Can’t we learn just sentiments from the emotional lives of Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Rosa Parks? Or from that friendly janitor, that magnanimous co-worker, or that self-giving mother? Or perhaps even from Homer’s Ulysses, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Aragorn, or J.K. Rowling’s Harry? Aren’t there a billion admirable feelers, real and fictional, who show us what life can look like beyond the confines of the modern fact box and the postmodern feeling box?

  • William Craig — 

    I have spent the last eight years attending a oneness church, however, after listening to your defenders class, as well as Dr. David Pawson's teachings on the trinity, I have been convinced that oneness theology is heresy. Most of my questions regarding Trinitarians have been answered and the theology is beginning to make a lot of sense as I listen to yours and Pawson's teachings. The one issue I have a hard time understanding is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being co-equal as you teach in your defenders class. If that is that case, what do Trinitarians do with 1 Corinthians 15:20-28? Is Jesus subordinate to the Father or co-equal? ...

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    As we learn emotions from Jesus, not only does our blood start to boil (see Part 2) and our stomachs turn (see Part 3), he also shows our hearts how to beat with real joy. There is a stereotype floating around which says that Jesus and the faith he represents are about cold-hearted duty, doing the right thing at the expense of our happiness. There are enough grim-faced moralistic systems out that brandish the name of “Christianity” to keep the stereotype alive. But they have more in common with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant than with the kingdom of Jesus. The day after he stormed the Temple, Jesus returns to the same Temple courts to announce that his kingdom is like a big party, and everyone is invited; not a boarding school, not a boot camp, not a prison chain gang, but a party.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    If we peer underneath Jesus’ table-flipping rage at the Temple (explored in Part 2), we find a still deeper emotion to reflect. Matthew’s account tells us that immediately after protesting the poor-oppressing, God-mocking Temple system, “the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them" (Matthew 21:14). What a beautiful moment. In it we see that Jesus was outraged not in spite of His care for people but precisely because of it. The very people marginalized and trampled under the religious power structure are brought into the spotlight and elevated by Jesus. (He has a way of doing that.) He didn’t take anything from them or treat them like chumps in a captive market. He gave them vision and sound bodies. He treated them like the intrinsically valuable human beings they each were—and all for free.

  • David Talley — 

    In Mark 9:1-13 we read about an unparalleled event in the Bible. It is absolutely amazing to let our imaginations wander to consider what the disciples actually witnessed. What a moment it must have been. But what does it actually mean to us? What can we learn from this event?

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    To see and experience something of Jesus’ emotions, let us join eighty to a hundred thousand religious pilgrims on their trek to the sacred city to worship at the Jewish Temple. It is Passover week. In order to participate in the traditional Temple offerings, people need doves or pigeons. Since worshippers need these birds, they were sold at the Temple at a premium price. You could get a more economical bird outside the Temple courts or lug one from home through the hot desert. However, every bird used in Temple rituals had to pass the rigid purity standards of the Temple’s in-house animal inspectors. Only inflated Temple-sold birds had the guaranteed certification of the scrupulous inspectors. In this way, the house of prayer had become a classic case of what economists call a “captive market.