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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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What Makes a Pagan Pagan?: The Word Faith Heresy

I am a patient scholar. I regard the entire process of biblical interpretation as a complex interdependence of people over millennia trying to plumb the depths of Scripture through an ongoing dialogue. Many souls bring things to the corporate table. Most Bible interpreters have done their best, even...
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Mark 7:19 and the Little Participle that Could

Recently, we’ve discussed the controversial aside which Mark seems to have added in Mark 7:19 to the effect that Jesus’ debate with the Pharisees over the “Traditions of the Elders” leads naturally to Jesus’ denouncement of Torah food laws[1]—A happy day for squirrel hunters and scallop eaters the...
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