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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.

 

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  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Which is the best Greek text to use when translating the New Testament? Some people argue for a “majority text” (a text like the one that lies behind the KVJ or the NKJV but none of the other major translations). What are the arguments that have been put forth in favor of the superiority of the Byzantine (majority) text of the Greek New Testament? How would you respond to someone who insisted that the majority text approach is correct?

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Recuerdo que el pastor de la iglesia donde crecí repetía constantemente esta frase “el amor es un producto de la voluntad”. Estas palabras se convirtieron en una expresión común en la iglesia y se mencionaban constantemente en diferentes contextos. Me parece que lo que el pastor quería comunicar era que la acción de amar está basada principalmente en una decisión y no solamente en emociones. Nuestras emociones cambian, pero cuando decidimos amar a Dios y a nuestro prójimo independientemente de nuestro estado de ánimo entonces estamos así cumpliendo la ley de Cristo. Estoy de acuerdo con la idea general, pero creo que el amor va mucho más allá de nuestra voluntad. El amor se centra en la persona de Dios y nosotros tenemos el gran privilegio de participar y demostrar el amor divino.

  • Thaddeus Williams — 

    Jesus prayed for His church to form a kind of angled mirror, bonded together with the kind of love that directs the world’s gaze upward to behold the Triune God of love (Jn. 17:11-24). Are we reflecting the Triune God clearly, or do our churches often form more of a cracked mirror, fragmented shards with animosities and apathies caked like mud, refracting little light from above? Dr. Williams explores one reason we may often fail to reflect the Trinity, namely, the lack of a robust doctrine of "the anti-Trinity."

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Talbot faculty members share some of their picks for the best books released in 2012. Read about their recommendedations here, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    What are spiritual gifts, really? Andrew Faris posted an interview with me on this question at the "Christians in Context" blog.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    Hell. I don't think about this subject often, so you can imagine my surprise when I found such moving thoughts on hell from an author I regard: John Bunyan.

  • Rob Lister — 

    As we near the outset of a new academic semester, I thought this comment from John Frame was a fitting word of encouragement for Talbot faculty and students alike concerning the nature of our engagement with God’s word.

  • Ben Shin — 

    I am very excited to announce that Talbot School of Theology will be launching a new Doctor of Ministry track in Asian-American Ministry in June of 2013. This is a 2-week residency that will run from June 3rd to the 14th, 2013. This track will be taught and guided by some of the most experienced leaders, instructors, and practitioners in Asian-American ministry. The track is geared towards anyone who pastors or leads Asian-Americans in a church or parachurch.

  • Jason McMartin — 

    Among the must-have toys of Christmas 1975 was the pet rock. Advertising executive Gary Dahl conceived the idea while listening to others complain about the hassles of animate pets, and then his marketing instincts kicked in. He gathered ordinary stones,

  • Barry Corey — 

    Oh! Little town of Newtown, how still and sad we see thee lie. Newtown. About 100 miles from the little town where I grew up. That Connecticut bedroom village where local industries long manufactured fire hoses and folding boxes. The town where the game Scrabble began. The bucolic community where pizza places are called Carminuccio’s and elementary schools are called Sandy Hook. The New England hamlet where names of streets describe its pastoral landscape, names like Head of Meadows, Boggs Hill and Deep Brook.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “Al mundo paz nació Jesús” es el inicio de un popular villancico navideño que resume magistralmente esta temporada de fiesta por la llegada del Hijo de Dios entre nosotros. La navidad celebra el cumplimiento de la promesa de la venida del Príncipe de paz (Is. 9:6). La segunda persona de la trinidad se hizo hombre y habitó entre nosotros para después darnos vida a través de su sacrificio expiatorio en la cruz. Por lo tanto, la navidad es un acontecimiento digno de celebrarse.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Here’s a great electronic resource that you can use to introduce people to Jesus during this Christmas season.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Con Campbell’s new book, Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012, 479 pages, $34.99 softcover) is one of the most important books I’ve read in a long time. I predict that scholars and serious students of the Bible will be referring to this book for years to come. The reason is simple: Campbell has meticulously and even-handedly taken one of the Apostle Paul’s central themes, union with Christ, and has painstakingly examined it both through an exegetical and a theological lens.

  • Rob Lister — 

    Crossway has just released a book I wrote on the doctrine of divine impassibility. The title is God is Impassible and Impassioned: Toward a Theology of Divine Emotion.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    “Bueno, pero Dios sigue estando en su trono” es una frase que he escuchado bastante veces en los últimos días. Los que la pronuncian generalmente lo hacen con un tono de resignación al ver que las cosas no se han dado como inicialmente esperaban. Me da la impresión que recuerdan que Dios está en control de las circunstancias solamente como un premio de consolación al ver que su candidato perdió las elecciones o enfrentan otras decepciones en la vida. Tristemente en estos casos, estas personas se olvidan que nuestro Dios siempre es victorioso, siempre está en control y que nada ni nadie obstruye su soberanía sobre todo. Dios no debería ser el premio de consolación de los perdedores sino el premio mayor de todos los días sin importar lo que esté sucediendo a nuestro alrededor.

  • Mickey Klink III — 

    Are you studying Greek and need to be reminded that it is worth all the work? Or have you spent the time learning the basics of the Greek language and want to being to learn how to apply it to Scripture? There is a new book that nicely combines the study of New Testament Greek and a devotional reading of the Bible.

  • Erik Thoennes — 

    The recent statistics released by The Pew Forum on Religious & Public Life showing a decline among Americans who consider themselves religious are sure to alarm many concerned about the spiritual state of the nation. For evangelicals, the most potentially jarring of these statistics shows that for the first time in its history the United States does not have a Protestant majority. The study found that about 20% of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, an increase from 15% in the last five years. The sobering reality in all this for evangelicals is that, although our churches continue to grow, our evangelistic effectiveness has significantly lagged behind the US population growth. This study is a clear challenge to evangelicals to live up to our name and proclaim the good news in a culture where we can no longer assume common theological foundations. Evangelical Christians have to learn to preach the gospel in a culture where we are no longer part of the Protestant majority. This is not necessarily a bad thing though. A few observations about the data shows that the picture is not as bleak as it may seem.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    El Espíritu Santo es esencial para la vida y enseñanza cristiana. De hecho, no creo exagerar al afirmar que sin la ayuda y poder del Espíritu Santo todos nuestros esfuerzos tanto para agradar a Dios como para enseñar a otros a hacerlo carecen de sentido y, por lo tanto, los resultados son insignificantes. Desgraciadamente, en muchas ocasiones el Espíritu Santo es olvidado, minimizado o incluso relevado a solamente una teoría teológica que creemos porque se encuentra en la Biblia, pero que no tiene ninguna relevancia en nuestra vida diaria. De hecho, llegué a escuchar a un profesor de un seminario afirmar que muchos cristianos de forma práctica creen que la santa trinidad está compuesta por el Padre, el Hijo y las Santas Escrituras. De esta manera, la presencia del Espíritu Santo es totalmente olvidada.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    Mentoring may be a “buzz-word” in the business world, but the practice of developing another person for specific purposes of skill or leadership development has been around since the beginning of civilization. It is evident throughout Scripture – especially in the ministries of Jesus and Paul. However, the integration of mentoring for ministry preparation within academic settings has built in problems. SO WHY BOTHER? For many reasons...

  • Gary Manning Jr — 

    The latest news on historical Jesus research can now be found in… Popular Mechanics? I’m used to perusing Popular Mechanics to see flying cars, homemade submarines, and ads for power tools. But Popular Mechanics published a reconstructed picture of Jesus (quite a while ago, but I just noticed it!). I’ll show you the picture and explain it in just a bit. But first, I want you to see some of my favorite portraits of Jesus. My students have become accustomed to seeing these non-traditional pictures of Jesus decorating my powerpoint lecture notes. This picture of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (from the Via Latina catacomb, ca. 340-350) was painted by a Roman, so Jesus and the woman both have Roman hairstyles and clothing. No beard on Jesus!

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    A few weeks ago I put up a post with the title: “Something About the Book of Romans that will Really Help You ‘Get’ It.” (Click HERE to read it.) I rounded out that article with a list of questions from Romans to help people see the importance of the ethnic issues going on in the background of the letter to the Romans. Some people expressed surprise that there were so many questions in the book of Romans—it’s not something that they had noticed before. Well, there are a whole lot more questions in Romans than the ones I listed. Questions are one of the ways Paul moves his argument forward. Do you want to see how many questions there are?

  • 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.”