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Old Testament Articles

  • Mark Saucy — 

    Reading the other day in Luke’s Gospel I ran across some arresting words aimed indirectly at John the Baptist. In Luke 7:23, right after the account of John sending a delegation of disciples to inquire whether Jesus is the “Expected One,” Jesus cites his deeds and words to say in effect, “yes, indeed I am.” But then Jesus closes the episode with another “beatitude” seemingly made in John’s direction: “Blessed is the one who takes no offense at me" ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Why does the Bible use so many metaphors and analogies to describe the Spirit’s activities and our relationship to those activities? Why not employ concrete language to teach us what we need to know about the Holy Spirit and our relationship to him? ...

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    I have recently finished the manuscript of a book tentatively entitled Fighting for God and King: A Topical Survey of Warfare in the Ancient Near East, which will be published by SBL Press at some point in the future. The book is designed to be a sourcebook on all topics related to warfare in the ancient Near East to enable those studying Scripture to know more of the cultural background of the Old Testament. Over the next few months as the book goes through copy editing and page proofs, I am planning on highlighting a few texts and pictures from the book to illustrate some aspects of Old Testament texts (this post will have one text and one picture along with an overview of the book). I hope you enjoy the journey! ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Have you ever experienced pain from someone you deeply love? I have. Few things in life are harder. The hurt penetrates even deeper when the person who has spurned you also turns his back on the Lord. Following is a list I drew up in my journal some time ago during a period when I was facing rejection from someone I deeply loved. This list helped me remember that there are examples in the Bible of others before me who experienced relational pain from close family members, friends, or mentees, but who continued to look to the Lord in the midst of their sorrow ...

  • Karin Stetina — 

    What is the purpose of life? How does work fit into the purpose? As a college student I spent many hours contemplating these important questions and many others, such as: Do we have free will or are we predestined? What is the best form of worship- hymns or praise songs? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Maybe you have asked some of these same burning questions? ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    ... The topic is work. Something important for all of us, and it’s one that has interested me in particular teaching already five years now a theology of work course for Biola’s Crowell School of Business MBA program. Work is also a topic that naturally engages the desire for kingdom impact in the culture, because, as Karl Barth says, “human culture is produced in work. So the Faith and Work movement is right on target for engaging a ready audience in a worthy endeavor. This of course isn’t the only good of theology of work ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Digital courses taught by a growing number of Biola’s professors are now available through Logos Mobile Education ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    It’s time we stopped reading, buying, and recommending The Message. We who hold to a high view of Scripture—that the Bible is the very word of God, inspired by God, inerrant in all it affirms—need to carefully reconsider our use of The Message. There actually wouldn’t be a problem at all if The Message were sold and treated as an interpretation of the Bible, or an expansive reading of the Bible. But as long as The Message continues to be marketed and used by preachers and teachers as a Bible translation, it is imperative that we ask the question of whether it is an accurate translation or not. I believe that the answer to this question is: The Message is not an accurate translation of what the original authors wrote.

  • 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 — 

    I remember sitting in my office with a student who was thinking about moving out of evangelical Protestantism and into a different church tradition. He began thinking this way after he had started reading widely in the writings of Christian authors from earlier eras. After being exposed to various authors who sometimes expressed divergent viewpoints from his own, he became increasingly unsure about whether the Bible on its own was clear in what it taught. He was considering changing to a church tradition that could interpret the Bible for him. Since, in his thinking, we can’t be certain what the Bible actually means when we read it, we need an authoritative guide. Let me assure you, there are people out there who will gladly tell you what the Bible means if that’s what you want! Another conversation with a different student also comes to mind. She wasn’t sure whether she could really give herself to Christ in faith because she didn’t know if the message of the gospel was actually true. But the more we talked together, the more I realized that she wasn’t struggling with which truth claims were correct and which were false; she was struggling with whether anyone could know something was true at all. So whenever I appealed to the Bible I didn’t get any traction in our discussion because she didn’t think we could actually come to know truth through a written text. Both of these students were struggling with whether the Bible was clear.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I have just finished reading through (most of) the new 1,200+ page book, The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures, edited by D.A. Carson. This book is a splendid example of deep thinking about important subjects presented in a format readable not just for advanced students and scholars, but also for other deep-thinking Christians. I am not saying that the topics are simple. Quite to the contrary, this book tackles some of the most difficult questions surrounding the authority of Scripture. The doctrine of inerrancy in particular is underscored throughout the book ...

  • 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 ...

  • Clint Arnold — 

    A few years ago, the National Geographic Society announced the discovery of a lost gospel called the Gospel of Judas. Every major news outlet covered this event, with some hailing it as the discovery of the century. The Society then aired a television special on the Friday before Easter telling the story of this great find and discussing its significance. This discovery raised many questions for people, but especially two of a critical nature for the Christian faith: (1) why were some books left out of the Bible (like the Gospel of Judas), and (2) should we consider including other books in the Bible? ...

  • Karin Stetina — 

    This past fall a friend shared an article from the New York Times entitled The Microcomplaint: Nothing Too Small to Complain About. It was amusing to read about all the silly complaints that celebrities tweeted to the world. Everything from the misery of only decaf coffee being available to what the writer deemed a “complaintbrag” of not being able to buy a Persian rug with cherub imagery. This habit, however, does not appear to be limited to celebrities. Cruise ship directors have received equally amusing complaints. For example, one passenger reported that the sea was “too loud” while another passenger grumbled about there being no celebrities on the Celebrity Cruise ship. In the past complaining was something often reserved for private ears. Today, however, it is not only acceptable to publically complain about the littlest inconvenience, it is often encouraged. It has even been identified as a communication style, particularly of Americans, who frequently see themselves as victims. Are Christians exempt from “microcomplaining” or are we part of the “culture of complaint”? What does Scripture have to say about complaining? ...

  • Charlie Trimm — 

    Most agree that knowledge about the Bible in the United States is very low today (our own Ken Berding’s helpful Bible Fluency Program seeks to rectify this). What little Bible knowledge is present usually is focused on the New Testament, leaving the Old Testament as a scary foreign land that few visit. However, this was not always the case. A recent book by Eran Shalev, American Zion: The Old Testament as a Political Text from the Revolution to the Civil War, gives us a glimpse of a somewhat different world as he shows how important the Old Testament was in political discussions in the United States before the Civil War ...

  • 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 ...

  • David Talley — 

    When was the last time you considered the mentally ill or, even much less, ministry to the mentally ill? I have been remembering a good friend. He was my best friend during my freshman year in college. Our rooms were in the same suite in our dorm. We shared a bathroom. We took the same classes. We sat next to one another in chapel because my last name followed his alphabetically. We were on the basketball team. As point guard, I fed him the ball, and, as shooting guard, he made the shot. What a team we were! He introduced me to my wife. We double-dated numerous times. He was the best man in my wedding. We vacationed together as families through the years. We saw one another on at least a yearly basis, our friendship always picking up like we had just seen one another the week before. We shared something special ...

  • 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 ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    While I’m not usually too much into “merchandising in the Temple,” I must here. That’s because the book at issue in this modest review is a grabber. Not only does it concern a topic most pressing in our ever secularizing world—and therefore one Evangelicals must get good at talking about—it’s a topic that touches every one of us in everything we do ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • Daniel Kim — 

    When speaking to seminary graduates from all across the U.S., I’ve been noticing an increasing discomfort in students regarding their ability to preach and teach effectively from the Old Testament. Part of this is because the Old Testament comprises so much of the Bible, and there just isn’t enough space in a degree program to adequately cover all of the Old Testament (especially a degree that doesn’t concentrate solely on the Old Testament). The Old Testament is packed with a wide variety of genres and covers such an expansive amount of history ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    You know that part of your Bible where the gold leaf on the pages still looks pretty fresh? Some of the pages might still even be stuck together. Or, more au courant, the portion you rarely scroll to on your phone or iPad … That’s right, for most of us it’s that part of the Bible starting right after Psalms and going all the way to Matthew. A lot of prophets big and little, and a good bit of Israel’s Wisdom tradition—but it just doesn’t get a lot of air-time in most evangelical churches or personal Bible-reading. Now, I’m the first to admit that last claim stems from my own highly subjective internal polling data, and I’m glad to be proven wrong; but I don’t think I am, because I know a good bit of it’s true in my own life ...