Trust Your Translation

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One of the most common questions I get asked about any given passage of Scripture is “what does it really say in the Greek/Hebrew?” 99.995% of the time my answer is “just what it says in your translation.”  It is very, very, very, unlikely that your pastor will make a linguistic discovery in the text of the Bible that millennia of scholars, pastors and theologians have missed. And there is no dark conspiracy among translation committees (of major translations) to obscure the text of Scripture. The best advice I can give you is the advice always give those who ask me what the text really says.Continue reading

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Be a Berean

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“Be a Berean.” This command references the Bereans response to the Gospel message they heard when Paul and Silas preached to them in the synagogue of the Jews. The Jews in the synagogue heard the message and responded by going away and studying Scripture. “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). When we issue this command to people, we are asking them to be discerning about what they hear and make sure the teaching is inline with Scripture.… Continue reading

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Practical Pauline Missions: Athens

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Brethren, we are not apostles, but their example instructs us. We cannot be exactly like the apostle Paul, but we can learn basic principles and practices from the biblical record of Paul’s missionary service. We can even develop a biblical evangelistic or missions methodology based upon Paul’s example. A careful study of Paul’s missionary efforts reveals that his methodology exhibits flexibility. Although he often begins with the synagogues (Acts 17:1–4, 10), he makes exceptions—as he does at Philippi, going to a group of women meeting for prayer outside the city (Acts 16:11–13). Each strategic church plant comes about through different means.… Continue reading

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The Not-Yet Transfigured Jesus

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Matthew 17 provides an interesting string of events in Jesus’s life on earth. The first event Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with Him and transfigures into His glorified state. Witnessing this was memorizing. Peter offers to commemorate this event with three shrines, one for Elijah, Moses, and Jesus. Afterwards, Jesus comes down from the mountain and encounters a man whose wants mercy and help for his demon possessed child. The stories should be familiar among all of us. But I fear, the message conveyed by this chapter often loses Matthew’s message. These events communicate an important truth. Keeping with Dr.… Continue reading

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Implications or Applications?: Preaching Biblical Narratives

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Some preachers produce abundant applications (or, implications?) for their congregations from biblical narratives, whether they are Old Testament historical narratives like Judges 4 or New Testament Gospel narratives like Mark 3. Other preachers insist they should offer only theological and practical implications. Still others refuse to recognize any implications or applications from Scripture narratives. They declare, “Biblical narrative is only descriptive, not prescriptive.” Which practice is best? Which practice is legitimate and in keeping with sound biblical interpretation?

New Testament Teaching

No matter what the topic, one should always begin with the Scriptures themselves. What does the Word of God teach?… Continue reading

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