Tag Archives: Scripture
In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was gone…?
Lost in Translation So I was reading the New Testament in Tetum, the language of East Timor. I started to discover some interesting things that happen in translation. I thought I would blog about them, both to make notes, and to aid my fledgling comprehension of Tetum. The Tetum New Testament I am reading is […]
Become like a little child; Understand the Kingdom of Heaven
The Story of Cain and Abel This basic little story is not complex. It is structured like a children’s story. But for reasons I list below, theologians almost universally fail to understand it. It means what it says: “If you do well, will you not be accepted?” ()
Asking the right questions about what “Son of God” means
What does it mean when Jesus says he is “Son of God”? Jesus claimed to be God’s son. He claimed to be both equal and subservient to God. This mystifies theologians today, because they find it hard to reconcile these two things. It isn’t supposed to be that hard. Let us ask not how Jesus […]Read More
John 1:29 – What does “Lamb of God” actually mean?
What does it mean: “the Lamb of God”? Property#1 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND John (the Baptist), in the Gospel according to John (the Evangelist), uses the expression “the Lamb of God” to introduce Jesus (John 1:29). Scholars debate the origin and intended meaning of this phrase.Read More
1 Corinthians 11 – Why Head Coverings for Women? Does it apply today?
Who are these “angels”, and what do they want?
The heavenly host Who are all those angels, and what’s going on in the throne room of God? I wrote this as part of another article entitled, “The Angels at Christmas time: What’s with that?“. I pulled it out as a separate item in the interest of keeping all my posts a little shorter. This is […]Read More
How to pray, when life’s not ok
Praying the Laments The Lament Psalms are complaints, often bitter complaints, against God. I recently preached on Psalm 13 because I think we need to understand the power and the treasure of the Lament Psalms. This was a sermon but I have adapted it a little, into written form. This message is dedicated to the […]Read More
What’s Your Story?
God’s Story, and your place in it. The Universe is a Story. It is the Story of God, His Creation, and His plans for that Creation. Those plans include two parts, although these are two sides of the one “coin”: the redemption of all that is of God, and the destruction of everything else. You […]Read More
Sonny with a Chance
The Bible: A Book of Comfort My friend Sonny saw me in the Mall today and we had a bit of a chat. He said something very wise, which I pointed out was similar to something Jesus had said. At that point he produced a well worn, well loved Bible, and began reading it to me.
“We are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses” – Hebrews 12:1
Who are the Witnesses? Aren’t all those people dead? Hebrews 12:1 assures us (the faithful), that “we are surrounded by … a great cloud of witnesses”, referring to the saints whom the whole previous chapter had been listing. But they’re all dead. What’s with that?
Holiness: It’s not a process.
What is “holiness”? The term “holiness” conjures ideas of piety and moral uprightness. In fact, the word translated as “saint” from the New Testament is literally “holy person”. So we might well imagine very religious piety. Sanctification is a word based on the same Greek root word as “holy”. It means making something holy. Modern commentators will […]Read More
The Angels at Christmas time: What’s with that?
Why is there so much about angels in the Nativity narratives of the Bible? The Biblical account is a narrative. It is constructed in the form of a story. So if the whole story of God is being told through the history of God’s dealings with creation, who is the story for? Who is the […]Read More
Genesis 3: No Curse on Adam and Eve. “μη γενοιτο”!
Human kind was certainly not cursed by God at the Fall, nor would it be theologically possible It is said (widely, but for example at Bible.Org), that when Adam and Eve sinned, God cursed them. This is not true, and I plan to demonstrate not only the fact, but also the theological reason why, it […]
A magnifying glass on the Galileans, the Blood, the Tower of Siloam, and the Vineyard of Luke 13:1-9
Luke 13:19 – Pilate, Tower, Siloam, Galileans, Blood, Sarcifices, Sin, Calamity, Vinyard, and Jesus. I recently wrote this piece about Luke 13:1-9. My findings surprised me in one way: I had always thought this passage was about “sin and calamity”, and as it turns out, most Bible scholars think that too, to various extents. What I […]
The Book of Job: (not so?) Friendly Advice
What does the Book of Job say about counselling our friends? A key message of the Book of Job is that, when someone is suffering, there may be things going on that we are unaware of. Rather than badger the person to amend their behaviour, or drag them into a theological debate, we should comfort […]Read More
Romans 8:12-14 “Flesh and Spirit”. Do the translators understand?
Discerning the Worldview of the Translators…? The Bible talks about “the flesh” and “the spirit”. Various translations treat these concepts in subtly different ways, and in those differences there can be substantial theological impact. Irrespective of what we want it to say, it is important to comprehend what the original author meant by these terms, […]Read More
Genesis 2:2-3 – Why God rested
Why did God rest? We often ask our Biblical texts questions that they were not designed to answer. This can be ok sometimes, and it can yield information that is good and helpful. But at other times it can result in us reading the text in ways that were never intended, potentially obscuring or even […]
Luke 17:20-21 “Behold! The kingdom of God is in the midst of you”
What is the kingdom of God, and where is it? What does Luke 17:20-21 mean? Is it a spiritual message about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer? What does this ambiguous term mean, that “the kingdom of God is “ἐντὸς” (“within/inside” – Strongs Concordance)? This teaching is frequently pulled out of its […]Read More
The Psychological Gospel
Can the Gospel be described in Psychological terms? The Gospel is not a matter of psychology. It is a message about the Kingdom of God: “Jesus is Lord”. But the contemplation of this, and the comprehension of it, can have profound psychological effects on the person concerned. This is because it matters that Jesus is Lord. It […]
Christian Assurance, Apart From the Law: A Defence Against the Judaisers
Judaisers A ‘Judaiser’ is someone who insists that a believer in Christ must join the Covenant of Moses, which was ratified at Mt Sinai around 1300BC. The Apostle Paul was routinely persecuted by Judaisers, who were scandalised that Paul’s non-Jewish (“Gentile”) converts were not being circumcised. The Judaisers are back. There is a whole movement […]