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Old Testament Articles

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    How did this world we live in get to be such a crazy place? And will 2013 be as crazy as 2012? Will it be filled with fiscal cliffs, slaughter of innocents, and nations bombing other nations? It started in the Garden of Eden when the serpent tempted Eve and Adam and they yielded.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    One of the top pop songs of 2012 was Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Its catchy tune worked its way into millions of ears and stayed there; it was a classic “ear worm.” Even those of us who don’t listen to pop music were vexed by how difficult it was to get this song out of our thoughts.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I recently discovered something about Nehemiah that I had never noticed before. There are lots of hints in the biblical book that bears his name that Nehemiah was a person who lived with an ongoing awareness of the presence of the Lord, and who highly valued the importance of communion with God.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    What was the sin of Nadab and Abihu? The text of Leviticus 10:1-7 is ultimately unclear about this. One Pentateuch scholar aptly calls this an instance of “intentional ambiguity” on the part of the storyteller/author (see Schnittjer, 99, 324, 413-414). So perhaps we will never know the answer for sure. Nevertheless, many people have contemplated this question, and there are many suggestions out there. How do we evaluate the relative merits of these suggestions? Is there a way to distinguish the plausible theories from the implausible ones? I think so.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I just returned from the Evangelical Theological Society annual meetings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I picked up a copy of D. A. Carson’s new little book, Jesus the Son of God: A Christological Title Often Overlooked, Sometimes Misunderstood, and Currently Disputed (Crossway). On the taxi ride from the airport to the conference, I briefly tried to share the Lord with a taxi driver named Hassan. We were about a minute into the conversation when Hassan commented rather ardently, “We Muslims believe that Jesus is a prophet, and not the son of God.” I explained to him that Christians don’t believe that God had physical relations with Mary that led to her pregnancy, as many Muslims assume and consider blasphemous. The problem for dialogue with Muslims like Hassan is that many Muslims think that is precisely what we Christians mean when we use the expression “Son of God” in reference to Jesus—which, of course, we don’t. So what if you were a Bible translator in a Muslim country and knew that many of your readers would make the same assumption that Hassan did about the expression “Son of God”? Perhaps you should change the words “Son of God” to something else that is proximate in meaning but less offensive. Or maybe you shouldn’t…

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    The colors and smells of fall have arrived, even here in southern California. Red, yellow, gold and peach-colored roses, fresh from my garden, are tucked into a round pumpkin. Homemade pumpkin bread, smelling of cinnamon and ginger is fresh from the oven and ready to be tucked into our mouths. Thanksgiving is almost here.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    How would you like to be going into exile? Leaving all you have known—your home, your beautiful yard and fields, your places of repose and safety, your income earning ability? Two of my friends are going into exile this fall. One, the pastor of a church, is being exiled by leaders who had a different ‘vision’ for the church than he had. Never mind that he had served there faithfully for over a dozen years—yes, he had preached the Word, and yes, he had visited the sick—but, well, it wasn’t enough. He is facing the exile of not having a job, not knowing the future and not being able to see what God has ahead for him.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    Where is one place that you can go in Jerusalem to see possible remains of King David’s palace, Nehemiah’s wall, Hezekiah’s tunnel, the Pool of Siloam and royal tombs? That would be the City of David, which is the name given to the small spur of land that extends southward from the Temple Mount. I want to share with you five highlights from this small area.

  • David Talley — 

    Sin is a reality with which we all must live. No one can escape the struggles we have with rebelling against God’s call on our lives (cf. Romans 3:10, 23). However, it is possible to choose whether one will vigorously fight the battle that wages against the flesh or not. The battle can be overwhelming, but it does not have to result in demoralizing defeat.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I want to announce a new resource, as well as make a shameless plug, for small group Bible studies and Sunday School classes. It’s a DVD providing four 15-minute sessions about the book of Psalms. It is part of the new Deepening Life Together video series published by Baker Books, LifeTogether and Lamplighter Media.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    Reading the Bible. It sounds so simple. Just read the Bible every day, or at least read it regularly for nourishment and insight and communication with God. But how do we do it? In a time when the lack of Biblical knowledge extends from the average churchgoer to students entering Biola University, reading the Bible is more necessary than ever. But it’s harder than we thought.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I recently returned from an excavation at Tel Dan in Israel. The season was for four weeks (June 25-July 20, 2012), but I only stayed for the first two. I was accompanied by Ivan Haq, an MA-OT student at Talbot/Biola. Neither of us is a professional “field” archaeologist, but we paid for our room & board and flights and we offered our labor as volunteers.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    A frequently asked question from my graduate advisees is this: How do you keep up with the latest scholarship in your discipline? Or, how do you stay on the “cutting edge” in your academic field? There are at least five maintenance disciplines that come immediately to my mind.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I was recently reflecting on my doctoral training and I realized that I learned a few things (ten, to be precise) beyond the actual subject matter of my discipline. For starters, I learned that footnotes can be overdone.

  • Mickey Klink III — 

    In an earlier post I mentioned a book on biblical theology that my colleague and I had nearly finished writing. The book is finally finished, and is entitled: Understanding BIblical Theology: A Comparison of Theory and Practice (Zondervan).

  • Kenneth Way — 

    The Museum of Biblical and Sacred Writings joins the Biola community and invites you to view a new exhibit.

  • Tom Finley — 

    These observations are made independently of any current events taking place in the Middle East. They are offered to clarify from the Hebrew and certain ancient sources some of the issues that modern interpreters are raising from their understanding of Ezekiel 38.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    Human sacrifice is at once a most disturbing and inspiring theme of the Scriptures. It can demonstrate both what is wrong with the world and what is right. Let me explain.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    As part of a 16-week overview of the Story of Scripture, I am preaching on the Ten Commandments this Sunday at church. The Second Commandment, in particular, has generated a variety of explanations: “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (Exodus 20:4). Why no images? Explanations vary, and they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Here are just a few:

  • Ben Shin — 

    The different tasks of leadership pose many challenges for a leader. It requires that the leader have a good sense of knowing the people well enough to relate to them but also for him to have a good sense of direction in terms of where he wants to lead them. Fundamentally, however, one of the most neglected aspects of leadership entails knowing exactly where the leader is in terms of self-awareness. In other words, the leader must have a good read on his own strengths and weaknesses in order to know how to best lead the people he shepherds over. This requires a strong sense of self-awareness of the leader in his giftedness, his personality, and his leadership style. This entry will examine the biblical encouragements for self-awareness and the hindrances that prevent his success in leadership.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    The model established by God through God’s people to instill God’s Truth within the Next Generation can be describe as such: begin religious instruction in the family home as spiritual practices, add knowledge through the larger community of faith, and provide mentoring from key spiritual leaders for specific practices and duties. This model was utilized throughout the Old Testament era due to some foundational concepts about young people, a developmental stage that was not fully identified at that time outside of Scripture. However, God has specific principles to follow in ministering to this pre-adult age group.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    I preached on the Joseph story and came across something that should be a great encouragement to Christians facing difficult circumstances.

  • Kenneth Way — 

    Early last year I did a blog post by this same title, and I want to revisit the subject again. Around this time every year the excitement begins to build for archaeologists and for those who are interested in archaeology. The reason for elation is that summer plans for excavation in Israel are announced every January. This summer, there are around twenty excavations in Israel that are open for volunteer participation. Yes, that means YOU can be a part of unearthing the next great discovery in Israel!

  • Kenneth Way — 

    One of the best books I have read in the last couple of years is Thinking in Circles (Yale, 2007) by Mary Douglas. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in hermeneutics, literary approaches to the Bible, or the cultural background of the Bible. It is a non-technical read that is filled with fresh and provocative insights, and since it is only about 150 pages, one could read it in just one or two sittings.

  • Jeffrey Volkmer — 

    The recently convened Searching for Sanctuary Film Festival at Biola University presented significant independent films that explored the meaning of, and human longing for, sanctuary. The films screened were illustrative of the deep yearning all humans have for true sanctuary and the repercussions of its absence, ultimately pointing to the archetype of sanctuary for the Christian, Jesus Christ. One of the films screened was directed by Orlando van Einsiedel entitled, Skateistan: To Live and Skate in Kabul. It provided a beautifully shot and deeply poignant portrayal of the importance of sanctuary in the lives of the children of Kabul, Afghanistan, whose lives are tremendously impacted not only by the notable absence of sanctuary, but also how they were able to find it upon a skateboard. Here is not only an opportunity to view this wonderful film, but a theological reflection of its significance.