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Jesus, The Prophet of Prophets

In our last two posts on the incident at Nain, we discussed the importance of geographical study as something deeper than map investigations, and the importance of typology for an author’s theological goals, bringing meaning to his subject by portraying it in the contours and colors of meaningful...
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A Prophet in Nain: Luke’s Portrait of Jesus in 7:11-16

In my previous post “The Inanity of Nain,” I introduced the importance of the physical association of Jesus’ raising of the widow’s son with Elisha’s wondrous raising of the Shunammite’s. (2 Kings 4:36-37)  Nain and Shunem, not two full miles apart, share the western edge of the hill...
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The Inanity of Nain

Geography is part of historical context. Yaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwnnnnnnn!!!!! No! Not just maps and boring stuff, but real places and the experience of living and moving and having one’s being there. Like the wise one said, “God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”~ Mark Twain… ooops wrong quote…...
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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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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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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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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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