With this series of blog posts, I want to help you better understand the way in which the Bible was written so that you can get more out of your Bible reading. Specifically, I will be exploring the different literary genres in which the Bible was written. Perhaps that sounds...
As a Greek prof, I have fun “cold busting” my students reading contraband Bibles: namely, English translations. Some give me the old lame excuse: “But I was reading the Old Testament.” On cue, I launch into my lecture about how reading the Greek Old Testament is just as valuable...
Why are Protestants scared of the Apocrypha? I think it’s because we think that it’s Catholic, and since we’re Protestant, we don’t want to taint our theology with the dogma of Rome. But such fear is based on an inaccurate understanding of what these books are. The books of...
The passion for college football in Arkansas amazes me. What happened the previous Saturday on the field and what will happen the next one saturates life in between. It even seeps into my classes. For instance, my first year as a prof, the Razorbacks and their new coach were...
This week I've been preparing for a course on the book of Judges. This also happens to be the week that all of the controversy has ensued regarding the apprehension of unauthorized immigrants and the subsequent separation of families at the US/Mexico border. I have little desire and even less...
A stereotypical fairytale begins with the words, “Once upon a time.” When we hear these words, something triggers in our brains that tells us, “Oh, okay, so this never really happened.” But the phrase itself would indicate otherwise. Once upon a time actually suggests that this event took place...
The Old Testament Law can be a very difficult section of Scripture for modern readers. For one thing, it’s tedious (a less friendly word would be boring). Commands are often listed one after another for chapters at a time. And seriously, how long can you stay focused when reading...
“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16). “If we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:15). If you pray for something, you’ll get it. Isn’t...
One of the best pieces of intellectual advice I received (from a student, actually!) was that “we should seek to understand before we critique.” Another person, this time a colleague, used to say that “you need to get to a place where you are an inch away from believing...
Christians are called to be lights to the world around them. We hear that often enough in Christian circles, and rightly so. It’s a biblical concept. In this post, I want to explore one biblical admonition to shine as lights and what it actually means to do so—it might...
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