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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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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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What Does “Son of God” Really Mean in the Gospel of Mark

I am pleased to welcome Othello Mugugu back as a guest blogger today. He originally hails from Zimbabwe, has a Bachelors from Northpoint Bible College, Serves in the American Army, has completed his Masters in Religious Studies from Providence College in Providence Rhode Island. Today he has allowed me to...
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Getting Isaiah, Part 3: What the Figure is He Talking About?

Okay, so the Prophetic books in Scripture are both awesome and awfully difficult to understand. They have a pesky habit of preaching under divine inspiration about events that they never explain… they didn’t need to; their original audience already knew all about it. Another difficulty that plagues their...
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Getting Isaiah Part 1: The Problem with Getting Isaiah

Let’s be honest. Reading “The Prophets” is hard. Well, reading them isn’t hard, at least not in translation, but understanding them is. I’m talking about books like, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and The Book of the Twelve… what we like to call “the minor prophets.” These books are victims...
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Nazarenes, Rednecks, and Other Well-meaning Slurs

I love puzzles, always have. Growing up, I saw puzzles of all kinds as a natural exercise of my desire to be a detective someday, tracing out subtle clues to help me zero in on bad guys. Becoming a biblical scholar, then, has always seemed right on target...
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