Posts in Biblical Exposition

Is “Suitable Helper” a Suitable Translation?

By Daniel Kim Nov. 11, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Marriage and Family, Old Testament

... The well-known words suitable helper in Gen. 2:18 are so engrained in our English speaking culture that it’s difficult to think of Gen. 2:18 in any other terms, even though many translations have tried to adopt better wording to fit the original Hebrew (c.f., ESV, NLT, or the footnote in the NASB). These words come in the midst of the sentence, “I will make him a helper suitable for him” (NASB). Suitable helper might have been a suitable translation 50 years ago, but I suggest that the phrase suitable helper has become outdated and is now misleading in its translation ...

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What Did the New Testament Authors Really Care About?

Nov. 2, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Theology

What Did the New Testament Authors Really Care About? The easiest way we know to answer that question is to pick up Matt Williams’s and Ken Berding’s (editors) book:  What the New Testament Authors Really Cared About: A Survey of Their Writings.  The second edition has just been released by Kregel in an attractive full-color format with some added materials ...

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Ruth as a Wisdom Story

By Kenneth Way Oct. 5, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Old Testament

One of the ways to interpret the idyllic story of Ruth is to read it as a wisdom text—an illustration of God’s order in the lives of his faithful people. There are a number of good reasons to read Ruth in this way ...

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Metaphors Revealing the Holy Spirit, Part One: A Dove as a Metaphor of the Holy Spirit

By John McKinley Sep. 30, 2015 10:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament

Theologians have often observed the paucity of details about the Holy Spirit in the Bible, as compared to revelation of the Father and the Son. This holding back by the Spirit who inspired Scripture seems typical of his humility, and the trait of divine love “that does not seek its own.” Sets of details that we can add to the several statements about the Spirit are connected with eight metaphors used throughout the Bible. Several of these metaphors pull together and give concrete expression to the declarative statements of pneumatology, such as “the Spirit sanctifies, indwells, teaches, assures, and convicts people" ...

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Does "I Am" always refer to God in the Gospel of John?

By Gary Manning Jr Sep. 21, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, New Testament, Old Testament, Theology

It is commonly claimed that when Jesus used the phrase “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι, ego eimi), he was making a direct reference to the name of God in the Old Testament, YHWH. There is some truth to this, but I want to suggest three important caveats to this claim:

  1. “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι), by itself, is not a code for the name of God;
  2. “I am” is only intended to refer to deity in some of Jesus’ sayings;
  3. Paying too much attention to the “I am” part of the sentence distracts readers from paying attention to the rest of the sentence.

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Sub-Themes in the New Testament Authors' Use of the Old Testament

By Kenneth Berding Sep. 10, 2015 9:00 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Ministry and Leadership, New Testament, Old Testament, Theology

One of the keys to understanding the New Testament (NT) use of the Old Testament (OT) may be the recognition that when a NT author draws upon an idea found in a particular OT passage, it does not have to be the main idea of that passage to be usable. The contemporary assumption (often not articulated) that it has to be the main idea of an OT text to be legitimate seems to be a key stumbling block for people studying the NT use of the OT. The tendency for people to focus only on the main idea of a text (rather than also upon sub-themes) may also explain my present discomfort with the sense / referent distinction made by various authors.[1] The sense / referent distinction seems to assume a single sense for a verse that is akin to an exegetical idea of that verse.

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Responding to Objections with Truth and Love

By Dave Keehn Aug. 31, 2015 9:45 a.m. Biblical Exposition, Christian Education, New Testament, Theology

As a parent, my favorite word to say is “yes.” Saying this word puts me in a favorable position with my children. The look of joy on their faces when I say “yes” compels me to say it more and more. I even struggle saying “yes” when I know it would be wiser to say “no” due to budget restraints (“yes, take my last $20”), or health concerns (“yes, eat the whole gallon of ice cream”), or just common sense (“yes, you can play in the street”). My children expect a “yes” when they ask because I love saying “yes” so often. So when I say “no” they are surprised by my objections to their request. However, my disapproving “no” is just as loving as my “yes,” and many times it is a much more compassionate response ...

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