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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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The Three Amigos: Biblical, Systematic & Historical Theology

As a constant advocate for Biblical Theology, some imagine that I want Biblical Theology instead of Systematic Theology. I don’t. Systematic Theology does not hold as much interest for me as for others who are more naturally inclined to that type of theological conversation, but Systematic Theology is...
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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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A Biblical Theologian in a Systematic Theology World

When I passed inspection for receiving my ministerial license, the individual responsible for my review spread out, like a row of piano keys, the many pages of answers I gave to the theological questions I was asked to address in the process. He ummm-ed a bit, scratched his...
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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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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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The Unseemly Assumptions about Samson

Today we have a guest Blogger. John Donnelly, Biblical Literacy Ministries Educator, Church Planter, Part-year missionary to India. John has a Master’s in Old Testament Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Masters degree in New Testament studies from the same. So here he is on “The Unseemly Assumptions about...
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Did God Invent Covenant?

So you are reading a prophetic vision story in the Bible, perhaps say, 1 Kings 22:19ff, and God appears sitting on a heavenly throne. Have you ever asked yourself the question… “Who invented the throne… God or People?” For that matter, who invented the chair? Did God sit...
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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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Striving for the Impossible… and loving it

I love the word asymptotic. I’m not a mathematician. No offense intended to all you left brained calculus types, but I actually hate doing math.  It seems to me, however, that asymptotic defines my life’s work… and yours too if Christ-likeness, Biblical understanding, theology, and/or any other branch...
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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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