Skip to main content

About the Blog

The Good Book Blog, a resource from the faculty of Talbot School of Theology, features articles that explore contemporary ideas from the perspective of the Bible — the “Good Book” — including topics such as apologetics, biblical studies, theology, philosophy, spiritual formation, ministry and leadership. Find out more about what sets Talbot apart and how it prepares Christian leaders through its degree programs.
 

  • Gary Manning Jr — 

    This morning, I began teaching Greek sentence diagramming to my students in Introduction to Exegesis. Some students love diagramming, but probably more dread it, at least at first. I picked some sentences to diagram from John 1, mainly because the students had just translated this passage a few weeks ago. One sentence in particular, John 1:12-13, reveals that nerdy analytical approaches such as Greek diagramming can help understand passages of Scripture better. Here’s the diagram (with a translation below for non-Greek readers) ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    He tenido el privilegio de ser profesor por más de veinte años. A los diecinueve años empecé a enseñar español y otras materias en una secundaria publica en Guadalajara, México. Esta aventura que empezó como un simple trabajo se ha convertido en mi vocación y he tenido la oportunidad de enseñar en varios países, instituciones y niveles académicos que van de la secundaria hasta el doctorado. La tarea de un profesor es ardua y siempre hay muchas cosas que aprender. De hecho, actualmente enseño en un programa doctoral que se enfoca principalmente en la tarea educativa y en los procesos de enseñanza-aprendizaje en diferentes contextos cristianos.

  • Gary Manning Jr — 

    Last week, I posted my initial take on the so-called "Gospel of Jesus' Wife." My first point was that it was "too early to tell" whether the manuscript was genuine. In the last twenty years, forgers have produced some amazingly convincing forgeries, so scholars have become cautious about all archeological finds.

  • Gary Manning Jr — 

    According to an article in the Washington Post, an ancient manuscript claiming that Jesus had a wife has just been discovered. I’ll tackle this new discovery with some Q&A. What is this new find? Karen King, the Gnostic scholar who published the manuscript, has titled it the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife (see the scholarly article here). It is a very small fragment, only 12 partial lines, of an ancient Gnostic book. The fragment, written in Coptic, dates from the fourth century, but it is a copy of an older book, perhaps written in the late second century. According to the fragment, Jesus refers to “my wife.”

  • 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.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “El que espera, desespera” dice un refrán popular. Esperar algo no es satisfactorio para nadie y en ocasiones las salas de espera en oficinas y consultorios se convierten en salas de tortura para muchos que, como yo, son impacientes y perciben el tiempo de espera como un tiempo perdido. Esta creencia común puede percibir a la esperanza como algo negativo y algo no muy deseado.

  • David Talley — 

    Many people are aware of the 10/40 window, but have you heard about the missional emphasis on the 4/14 window? Luis Bush and others are stirring the church to consider a stronger focus on this "window" in the days ahead.

  • Ashish Naidu — 

    I am delighted to announce the recent publication of my monograph titled, Transformed in Christ: Christology and the Christian Life in John Chrysostom, in the Princeton Theological Monograph Series, by Pickwick Publications (Imprint of Wipf and Stock).

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Here’s something that many people I talk to about Paul’s Letter to the Romans don’t seem yet to have grasped. The earliest house churches in Rome would have been primarily Jewish and would have culturally felt Jewish, but in A.D. 49 the Roman Emperor Claudius kicked the Jews out of Rome. Jewish Christians, of course, would have been expelled along with the rest of the Jews. During the five years between Claudius’s edict (A.D. 49) and his death (A.D. 54) when the edict lapsed and Jews started to return, the composition and self-understanding of the house churches in Rome would have shifted considerably. Paul’s letter to the Romans would have arrived in Rome somewhere around A.D. 57, during the period when Jews were still trickling back into Rome. If you can fix in your mind that the expulsion of Jews from Rome had a tremendous impact on the churches in that city, you will understand the message of Romans oh-so-much better!

  • 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.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    My article, "Building a Better Small Group," was just posted by The Gospel Coalition.

  • 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 Berding — 

    A lot of critical-leaning biblical scholars dispute Paul’s authorship of the Pastoral Letters: 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. Recently there has been a bit of movement toward greater acceptance of the possibility of Paul’s authorship among those more critically inclined, though there is still a long way to go. One argument supporting the Pauline authorship of these letters is a discovery I made a number of years ago while studying Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians. Polycarp inadvertently tells us in his little letter that he believes that the Apostle Paul is the author of 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy (and if that is true, probably also of Titus). Why does this matter? Because Polycarp wrote around A.D. 120 (some recent scholars say around 110), and was in a position to know a lot about the apostolic age that we don’t know. Up until this discovery, the earliest known author to both quote from the Pastoral Letters and to connect them to Paul as author was Irenaeus writing around A.D. 180. This discovery moves down the external attestation for the Pauline authorship of the Pastoral Letters by 60 years.

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    I am receiving an increasing number of e-mails from persons in my church championing this or that conservative political cause. I recently responded in some detail to a dear brother who sent me a note encouraging his church leaders to become aware of a particular political agenda.

  • Gary McIntosh — 

    Churches tend to approach culture from one of three perspectives: Isolation, Domination, or Incarnation. Isolation takes place when a church is so far removed from culture that it can no longer communicate the Good News in effective ways. If isolation takes place in a complete way, it usually leads to a church that totally dies out. However, most cases of isolation simply result in a church that has limited impact on people and society.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    "Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a for, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me." Ever since I read Jim Elliot's journal as a young college student and discovered this quote...

  • 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.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Formal education at educational institutions has become in many ways the most popular understood form of education that in general we have the tendency to equate our ability to learn with our GPA or success at school. In this way, if adults earned good grades at educational institutions, it is assumed they “know” how to learn because they were good students. For this reason, this kind of people perceive favorably words like “Bible study” or “Sunday school” and usually they like to be involved in them.

  • John McKinley — 

    I heard recently that the Jewish and (East) Indian mentalities expect life to be full of difficulties and pain as a matter of course. The American mentality expects the opposite: a happy life overall, and usually an improvement over the previous generation. Americanism includes the idea that we may, through hard work, ingenuity, and divine blessing, avoid pain and lack that others suffer. Some American Christians have even preached that material prosperity in this life, including healing of all physical ills, is God’s will for His people. Reality, however, counts against the so-called prosperity gospel.

  • 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.

  • Gary Manning Jr — 

    Earlier this semester, my good friend Ken Berding and I were discussing the different views on Romans 7:14-25 and decided that we would each write a blog post summarizing our reasons for holding opposing views on the passage. Last week, Ken gave a great defense of the view that Romans 7:14-25 is autobiographical and is thus about the Christian struggle with sin. I found Ken’s reasons 3, 6 and 7 very strong (Ken also gave a fine experiential discussion of that struggle in an earlier post). As Ken pointed out, there are many smart people on both sides of this issue, so this is not a “slam-dunk” interpretational problem. Throughout Christian history, there have been several opinions about what Paul meant in this passage. The two main options are 1) Paul is referring to his own experience as a Christian, and therefore the general Christian experience; or 2) Paul is referring to the experience of a pre-Christian Jew trying to obey the Law.

  • 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).

  • Gary McIntosh — 

    What sounds like a simple task at first often turns out to be much more difficult in practice. Such is the situation when attempting to define a multiethnic church. For example, a brief survey of the current literature reveals four words that are commonly used to describe churches where the people come from diverse backgrounds: “multinational,” “multi-racial,” “multi-ethnic,” and “multicultural.”

  • Betsy Barber — 

    The life events that we celebrate with our students here at Talbot are usually joyful, life-filled milestones: engagements, marriages, babies, commissioning services, ordinations, new jobs, etc. Once in awhile, though, we journey unexpectedly with one of our dear students through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. This has been our experience these past 6 months as one of our ISF students has died from cancer.

  • Kenneth Way — 

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