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

Friday, 22 May 2020 23:04

The Gods of Psalm 82: Human or Divine?

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Psalm 82:1 states, “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment.” Later in Psalm 82:6-7 we read, “I said, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.'”...

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1 Samuel 8 is an interesting passage of Scripture because both Samuel and God seem displeased Israel asked for a king (1 Sam 8:6-9). The reason this is initially surprising is that God had promised Abraham that kings would come from him (Gen 17:6), and that same promise is repeated to Jacob (Gen...

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Friday, 15 May 2020 05:45

Elder, Bishop, or Pastor?

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How do you refer to church leaders? Do you use the term elder, bishop, or pastor? If you are confused by these different denominational terms you are not alone. A bishop is typically equated with Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches, although Anglican and a few Lutheran churches also use the term....

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I love teaching the biblical languages. It is extremely rewarding to help students learn Greek and Hebrew in order to better understand God’s revelation. However, one of the difficulties of being a language teacher is the inability of many students to think and speak grammatically about...

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Friday, 08 May 2020 23:00

Church Discipline: The Forgotten Pillar

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Little known to most people, the 1561 Belgic Confession gives three marks by which the true church is known: (1) preaching the pure gospel, (2) observing the sacraments (i.e., baptism and communion), and (3) practicing church discipline. Throughout church history, church discipline has been an...

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Thursday, 30 April 2020 21:00

Biblical Studies Carnival 170 (April 2020)

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Each month, Phil Long (from Reading Acts) organizes a host for the Biblical Studies Carnival. Basically, the goal is to showcase some of the blog posts of the month in the area of biblical studies. Last month (March) Brent Niedergall did a great job of hosting it, and this month (April) I have the...

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Thursday, 16 April 2020 23:36

Was Caleb the Son of Jephunnehan an Israelite?

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Caleb the son of Jephunneh is a very interesting character in Scripture. Caleb is most well known for being one of the 12 spies who explored the land of Canaan after the Exodus (Num 13:1-16). Out of the 12 spies who entered Canaan, only Caleb and Joshua trusted in God’s power to deliver the...

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Tuesday, 07 April 2020 23:31

The Illicit, Illegal Trial of Jesus

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One of the things that has always fascinated me is the rule of law and how trials operate to either convict or acquit the accused. Jewish law in particular had specific guidelines for how trials should be conducted. Violation of these guidelines was to be viewed as an illegal practice and a...

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Saturday, 04 April 2020 01:12

Did the Prophets Understand Their Prophecies?

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Sometimes it is claimed that prophets in the Old Testament did not fully understand their own prophecies. This is often an argument for sensus plenior, which is the idea of finding a “fuller meaning” behind the text—a meaning which the original author may not have known. One of...

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Wednesday, 01 April 2020 00:13

The Inferior Prophecy of the New Covenant

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If I said the prophecy of the New Covenant was inferior to the Old Covenant, what would you think? Most of the time we focus on the superiority of the New Covenant in relationship to the Old Covenant. And rightly so! The Old Covenant never had the provision to save anyone (Heb 10:4). The Old...

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Sometimes students of Scripture are surprised to find out that it was always God’s plan for Israel to have a king. God had promised Abraham that “kings shall come from you” (Gen 17:6). God gave a similar promise to Jacob (Gen 35:11). In fact, by the time the Pentateuch wraps up,...

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Thursday, 19 March 2020 23:38

Were OT Believers Indwelt by the Holy Spirit?

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As believers, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit within us (1 Cor 6:19). The Holy Spirit indwells us as part of the new covenant (2 Tim 1:14; cf. Ezek 36:26). But what about Old Testament believers? Were Old Testament saints indwelt by the Holy Spirit? Some of those who are influenced...

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Tuesday, 17 March 2020 02:23

Six Coronavirus Opportunities for the Christian

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had quite a global impact. Schools are closing, social distancing is encouraged, churches canceled, etc. There have been quite a few helpful blog posts on COVID-19 from a Christian perspective. For example Miguel Núñez posted an explanation of the...

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Preterism views the label “this generation” in Matthew 24:34 as one of the most important factors in determining one’s eschatological viewpoint. Does “this generation” refer to the disciples to whom Jesus is talking, or a future generation? Matthew 24:34 and the...

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If one were to turn back the clock 15 or 20 years, the words transgender or transgenderism would not have much (if any) meaning to most people. The push for the cultural acceptance of transgenderism is a relatively recent phenomenon. However, if we think through the secular worldview, which is...

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Friday, 14 February 2020 06:06

Full List of Resurrections in the Bible

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I have written in a previous post about how many future resurrections there are in the Bible, focusing specifically on the theology behind resurrection. However, I also thought it would be helpful to list all of the resurrections that are mentioned in Scripture for reference. Given the helpful...

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Thursday, 06 February 2020 20:00

Why the Levite Cut Up His Concubine in Judges 19

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Having recently taught Judges 19 (the story about the Levite and his concubine) to a group of women who were keen to study their Bibles, I was asked afterward why the Levite would cut up his concubine. Further, what was the reason the Levite sent the pieces of the concubine to the other tribes?...

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Every so often I try to write a brief book review on a book that interests me. Because I have written in some detail about the King James Version, I was sent Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the King James Bible, written by Mark Ward. Mark received his PhD in NT Interpretation at Bob...

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Friday, 24 January 2020 22:00

Where Does Conflict in Relationships Come From?

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Relationships always involve sinners. Since sinners sin, conflict is inevitable in all relationships and we need to deal with it. Because of the ubiquitous nature of conflict, we also need to understand it. One of the most pertinent passages to know with regard to conflict is James 4:1-3. James...

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Friday, 10 January 2020 22:22

Why Do Some People Believe in Hell?

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The NY Times recently ran an article entitled, “Why Do People Believe in Hell?” The opening line states, “The idea of eternal damnation is neither biblically, philosophically nor morally justified. But for many it retains a psychological allure.” In other words, there is no...

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Friday, 03 January 2020 23:00

Was Melchizedek Jesus or Someone Else?

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The king-priest Melchizedek is introduced in Genesis 14:17-20. He is a bit of a strange character who seems to appears out of nowhere, and then disappears. We do not hear about Melchizedek again for a thousand years, when he shows up in the writings of David (Psalm 110:4). Melchizedek later becomes...

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Music is such a big part of Christmas. There is always a little extra energy come Christmas time, due in part to the old Christmas songs that we sing. A classic example of those Christmas songs is Joy to the World. Joy to the World is one of Christianity’s most beloved Christmas songs. It...

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Saturday, 07 December 2019 00:00

The Bible and Guilt: Should you Feel Guilty?

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According to the Bible, guilt is objective. Just because you feel guilty does not mean you have actually experienced guilt. On the other hand, just because you don’t feel guilty does not mean you have no guilt! Guilt is not an emotion, it is an objective status. You have probably heard people...

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Wednesday, 27 November 2019 22:00

Thanksgiving: the Atheist’s Least Favorite Holiday

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The Thanksgiving season is one of my favorite times of the year. There is just something about the weather, the excitement, and the theology behind the holiday that attracts me. The whole idea behind Thanksgiving is intrinsically biblical. We are all used to Thanksgiving as the title for our...

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Friday, 15 November 2019 21:33

A Brief History of Prisons and Their Failure

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On a recent episode of The Briefing, Al Mohler discussed New York’s plan to spend $9 billion on building new prisons. Mohler included a brief discussion of the history of prisons which inspired me to do a little more research on the issue. Throughout most of human history, prisons were meant...

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