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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 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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Bible Reading is Cross-cultural Communication

Communication at its most basic is the use of symbols to affect the understanding of another. The symbols at a communicator’s disposal are both verbal and non-verbal. Verbal tools are spoken & heard symbols that represent ideas. Non-verbal tools are unspoken symbols that represent ideas. Phonology—uses words (individual...
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Left Brained Readings of Right Brained Scriptures

Well, now I’ve done it. I’ve brought up right brained and left brained in a public setting. I’m sure I’ll hear about it from critics. So, let me ward off some of the flack by confessing from the get-go: [Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, nor a...
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I Feel Baruch’s Pain

I have a vision for the rest of my life. You may not care for it, but it sure means a lot to me. I want a cabin in the woods, on a lake, miles from the nearest neighbor. I want an office looking out over the water...
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Passion and Awe in Psalm 8

When reading biblical poetry, one must learn to connect with the poem on more than one level. While it is important to carefully define the Hebrew words being employed in any passage, and to track a poem’s use of parallelism and word pairs, and to follow the overall...
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10 Things You Need to Know About Hebrew Poetry

Poetry, by definition, is usually regarded as distinct from another category of writing called Prose. To express it simply, Prose is normal writing. It reflects the speech patterns of typical daily conversation, even if a bit more planned and carefully refined. Poetry then is an alternate way of...
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3 Reasons Every Christian Leader Should Learn Biblical Languages

I realize that the second someone makes a statement like, “Every Christian leader should learn biblical languages,” feelings of condemnation erupt. “So, everything I’ve done for X  years was a misguided waste?” “So, I’m not good enough?” “So, I can’t properly interpret the Scriptures in English?” If I...
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