But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 1 Peter 3: 14-16
Fulfilling God’s promise
Sometimes in roundabout ways that I could not have imagined, God has brought my life around to fulfill a specific calling he gave me years ago. We know in part, but beyond our own ability to make anything happen, God often frames periods or events in our lives with a divine inclusio. Often when God is in the process
The beloved disciple and Peter both display their devotion to God with signs of athletic prowess. Youth often offers us special strength and this can be used for the Lord.
Authors: Craig Keener
God's call and our commitment do not exempt us from hardships
Having recently escaped Esau’s wrath after wrestling with the angel of the LORD, Jacob encounters afresh the God who met him at Bethel (“House of God”) when he first fled from Esau. God tells him to return to Bethel (Gen 35:1). In preparing to return to where he first
Was it right for Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi to massacre the Shechemites because the prince of Shechem had raped their sister? Or was their act of vengeance massive overkill? When, in my early days as a professor I taught both Old and New Testament, I asked my students what they thought. Their answers were divided, and for understandable
I edited the New Testament notes (and wrote most of the notes) and John Walton edited the Old Testament notes. Here is an interview with us just posted on Bible Gateway:
Authors: Craig Keener
Part 2: God’s protection
Jacob’s departure from (Gen 28:12) and return to (32:1) the promised land is framed by angelic revelations. The angelic camps (32:2) will prove particularly important because, having just escaped Laban, Jacob must now face Esau—who is coming with 400 men (32:7). Before Jacob can face Esau, he needs
Some churches don’t want some of the gifts–isn’t that like the body of Christ amputating some members? Some churches don’t want other gifts and just collect members amputated from other churches. Don’t we all need one another to be one body?
Authors: Craig Keener
Part 1: Strategizing
Rebekah had promised to call Jacob when his brother’s anger subsided (27:45), but he had never received such word from her. (Whether she has passed away in the meantime is not clear; some time after Jacob returns to the land, her nurse Deborah apparently is with Jacob’s family and passes away in 35:8.) Again,
Jacob takes his family and flees toward Canaan without informing his father-in-law. Why does Jacob leave Laban secretly? Although Laban claims that he would have sent Jacob away with a celebration (31:27), clearly Laban has not been willing to let Jacob go. Jacob expects that Laban would send him away empty (31:42) and even forcibly take back his
Of my interview on miracles so far, this one has probably been the most concise and coherent (I make more sense in evenings than mornings!), with a focus on ancient background, philosophy, and so forth (though fewer stories and with no power point).
It’s 35 minutes and 37 seconds:
Jacob and his father-in-law competed in a culture that valued cunning. While Laban seemed to get the better end of the deal at the beginning, Jacob came out far ahead in the end.
Jacob and his wives believe that God has given Laban’s flocks to them (Gen 31:9, 16); Laban, by contrast, protests that all Jacob’s wealth really is
1.06 minute video
Legalism is the misplaced attempt to earn salvation; but we can serve God instead out of passion, because (now that He has forgiven us in Christ) His heart fills our heart with desire for Him.
Authors: Craig Keener
Sometimes Paul gets a bad rap. The Slave Narratives are replete with sentiments from former slaves who loved Jesus but hated Paul, because slaveholders regularly quoted Ephesians 6:5: “Slaves, obey your masters.” What the slaveholders didn’t bother to quote was the context, which goes on to say, “masters, do the same things
Magic versus blessing
(Continuing the regular Tuesday Bible study series on Genesis … The home page sidebar allows you to explore any of the past studies on Genesis or other topics or biblical books.)
Jacob’s breeding techniques (30:38-42) seem strange to modern readers. Is it really true that if you mate animals in front of striped
By (and about) Craig Keener and Médine Moussounga Keener
Impossible Love (our newest book) is about God’s heart, but it’s also a true story of war, refugees, romance, adventure—and it’s the easiest of my books to read! Many who’ve read it have testified how deeply it’s touched them (e.g., J. P. Moreland,
Christians don’t have to strive for God’s presence any more than we have to strive to be God’s children or one another’s brothers or sisters. The Spirit already lives in us if we trust in Christ (e.g., John 14:23; Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6).
Yet some live their lives completely unconscious of God’s presence except as a
Living at peace with our neighbors
As a minority in a larger society, how should we as committed believers relate to those around us? Much of the Bible addresses such situations, whether the lives of the patriarchs, Israel in exile, or the New Testament. (The remnant of God-fearing believers in times that Israel as a whole was straying from God is
I know I am posting often and different subscribers will prefer different posts (some subscribe for the Bible studies, some for the Bible study videos, and some for the cartoons). This one concerns my wife Médine’s experience as a war refugee and just some on us as a family.
Thank you, Aaron, for
I used to relish reading Genesis 24 in my Hebrew devotions, because it encouraged my faith that as God provided the right wife for Isaac, God would also provide the right wife for me. How God brought my wife and me together makes for an interesting story itself (a subject of our book Impossible Love), and I do indeed believe that God cares about
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