What we learn from the Bible is that names often mean something, and often we are told the significance of names in the biblical stories. So, we are told that “Esau” was named because he was “red” and “hairy” (Genesis 25:25). His twin brother, “Jacob,” which means “supplanter” (Genesis 25:26), got his name because he … Continue reading What’s in a Name?
A tabula patronatus from Bocchorus (6 CE). Unfortunately, too often Christians think we have our own special, insider language, and we forget that the first century believers were simply using ordinary terms to describe their new faith. For example, the wider, cultural lens of patronage and honor offers an important insight into the key New Testament terms of “grace” … Continue reading Faith as a loyal response to God’s gift.
I’m not aware of any Christian who hasn’t been taught that Jesus summarized the whole law (the Hebrew Bible) with just two simple commands – Love God (Deut 6:5) and love your neighbor (Lev 19:18). And, this is a solid tradition found in Mark 12:28–34 and Matthew 22:34–40. However, not many people are aware that … Continue reading All We Need Is Love: A Jesus Remix
What do you think is the purpose of the law? The Pauline author of 1 Timothy writes: “But we know that the law is good, if someone uses it lawfully. Understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the righteous but for the lawless and disobedient” (1:8–9). Paul then goes on to give … Continue reading The Sins of Ignorance