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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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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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5 Ways to Avoid Miscommunication

Let’s be honest, when you understand what communication is at its roots, you’ll realize that you cannot avoid miscommunication… not altogether. It takes two to tango (That’s what my betters say, anyway… personally, I’m more of a Bugs Bunny Square Dance sort of fella’) and communication requires both...
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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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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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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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A Baptism in Confusion: 3 Baptisms in Mark 1:2-13

In our last episode, we introduced the bare bones essence of water baptism as an ancient covenant ratification act saturated with typical death imagery and corresponding OT interests in ordeal (the divinely ordained safe passage through the maws of death, representing divine election and/or divine decrees of innocence). ...
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A Baptism in Baptism

So you read the whole Old Testament. You read it several times. Having immersed yourself in the literature that your Bible, by its basic structure, seems to promise as the precursor to the rest, you finally turn to the New Testament. This is how it always goes isn’t...
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Historical History &the Little Scholar Who Could

One of the benefits of a being raised in a blue collar environment and receiving academic training is that I tend to experience the full force of learning. This means that no matter how much I succeeded in my education, writing and research, I labored hard for it…...
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Stumbling Stones Among Us

Some Scriptures cause me pain, especially when held in tension with others… seemingly conflicting ideas pulling at the soul, demanding wisdom… and let’s face it, wisdom can be exhausting. It’s so much easier to either throw caution to the wind or to develop a strict moral code in...
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