Phenomenal Biblical Theology

When I talk about Biblical Theology I usually intend an approach to Scripture that envelopes many things. Like ordering a car and understanding that it will come with a lot of parts already put together… hopefully. Some of my friends prefer kits. Biblical Theology’s  subject is specific. It’s...
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Why the Word “God” Makes me Uncomfortable

One of the problems with being a biblical theologian is the discomfort I suffer whenever someone’s question crosses lines between biblical and “Christian” categories. We have our way of talking. Biblical authors had their ways of talking. A simple question like, “Were the Hebrew prophets monotheists or henotheists?”[1]...
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4 Things You May not Know about Holiness

Words for Holiness in Greek, Hebrew & Aramaic appear over 1000x in Scripture. Issues of holiness were important to those in the biblical era. Almost every aspect of life was impacted by shared and contended ideas of The Holy. Yet, nowhere in Scripture is holiness clearly explained; it...
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What I Mean by Biblical Theology

How hard could it possibly be to find agreement on the meaning of a phrase as simple as biblical theology? In truth… harder than I’d like. Biblical theology is not, after all, merely theological ideas that are “biblical,” and the history of the phrase biblical theology is, unfortunately,...
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Our Pagan Souls

Read my blog long enough and you will find that I frequently bring up the frustration I feel as a right brained individual being often under the biblical studies thumb of the left brained. I read brilliant analyses of biblical era language issues by people whose final categories...
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Tweaking Your Enemies Hebrew Style

In my previous blog, “What’s in a Name?” I started a discussion on the importance of paying attention to the meaning of names in the Bible. Sometimes what comes out of these names can be shocking. The truth is, people tend to take their own names pretty seriously,...
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A Tribute to the Musical Story Teller

One of the great things about learning Hebrew is the ability to share in the feel of the stories beyond raw content. Good writing uses language as more than just a mechanism for passing data; it communicates with a measure of art, and, at times, music, working rhyme,[1]...
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The Power of Women in the Ancient World

I am not insensible to the rage many women feel over the modern misconception that the plight of women in the world is almost solely the result of a grand conspiracy by men to hold women down. Abuse of power, wherever it is found, against whomever it is...
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What’s in a Name?

In our own western culture the connection between names and meaning is rather slight. I know this, in part, because I am one of those annoying, but well meaning, people who goes about attempting to engage others in witty conversation, only to discover 7 times out of 10...
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Hallelujah is a Sentence

At the risk of sounding like a petulant child… well, a petulant child that complains about the frequent misuse of ancient Hebrew in weekly church services…. Which now that I think about it isn’t really childish at all…. Okay, so… at the risk of sounding like a scholarly...
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The Engendering of Gender Generalities

Doing biblical theology requires one to lay aside even precious biases in order to hear the message of Scripture speaking from foreign lands in foreign tongues out of foreign cultures. The Phenomenological method, so vital to biblical theology, demands that we listen to each text as believers wholly...
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The International Root Beer Incident

If you are ever bored, call any missionary friend who is able to take your call and ask them to tell you some stories about cross-cultural confusion. This, of course, assumes that all your techno-gadgets have fallen prey to something catastrophic and that only those dependable underground cables...
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The Limits of Biblical Theology

One of the advantages, or disadvantages as the case may be, of being a biblical theologian, in which my phenomenological (i.e. believer’s) approach to the text within a historical grammatical and literary context through inductive method holds sway, is that I am excused within my heart from having to...
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Concubine as Paradigm

In considering the meaning of a simple word like concubine one finds an excellent example of the challenges that face modern attempts to represent many biblical terms. Sometimes we not only lack the words to properly translate, but we also lack the mental categories to emotionally understand. Technical...
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Why Hassel with a Tassel?

The tassel attached to the Hebrew male’s outer garment is a wonderful example of artifact communication in the Bible. That is, the tassel is an item used in Israel to communicate a particular meaning within that culture… one which is foreign and, thus, unintelligible to most of the...
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How to Think Like a Biblical Theologian

To those who mainly regard the Bible as a source for answering their every question about God and the world, biblical theologians can be a real pill, and biblical theology can feel more than a little threatening… I get that. We are, however, worth getting to know. Thus,...
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Artifact Communication in the Bible

I’d like to draw your attention to artifact communication—the use of things to affect the understanding of another. Things have shared meaning within a community. Like a band of gold worn specifically on the “ring finger” of the left hand. Like a read dot in the middle of...
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