Some almost indispensable parts of the Moses-movie tradition are unlikely: for example, most Pharaohs had scores of children, so it’s highly unlikely that Moses and the next Pharaoh grew up together as close brothers or rivals. (Admittedly, a more accurate depiction on this point wouldn’t work as well for cinematic depiction.) Still, each Moses movie […]

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Jesus declares that one of several aspects of his mission is to preach good news to the poor. In so doing, he echoes Isaiah’s theme of good news about restoration and the deliverance of God’s people. On the day of Pentecost, Peter applies Joel’s prophecy to the church’s mission: God’s Spirit empowers us to speak […]

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The first-century historian Josephus reports that Jesus was a sage who performed wonders. This is a non-Christian source from Jesus’s era. This is treated briefly in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGxRQDXq-o0 Some internet detractors demand eyewitness reports from the first century before they will believe, but such a demand displays historiographic ignorance–by this standard we would […]

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This may sound like a harsh way to start an obituary, but: Craig Keener (d. 1975) was exceptionally greedy, selfish, arrogant, and lustful, not to mention blasphemous. There’s really very little that his critics could say about him today that could be worse than what he really was. For example, by age 9 he arrogantly […]

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Nathanael’s question about Nazareth performs a special function in its context in John’s Gospel. The reader of John’s prologue knows that Jesus is not primarily from Nazareth, but from God. This is something that Nathanael, however, is about to learn, and Jesus will explain it partly in terms of Jacob’s ladder, the connection between heaven […]

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When Jesus knows that his disciples understand enough, he asks them about his identity. The setting is significant: Caesarea Philippi (Matt 16:13; also Mark 8:27) was a predominantly Gentile city known for its worship of the pagan deity Pan. Jesus chooses a Gentile region for the first confession of his identity, prefiguring a mission that […]

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Mere religious tradition can blind us to what really matters to God. Those whose honor derives from their religious or social status can resent those who speak truth. But Jesus transcends all boundaries and reaches out to all people. He shows true power to transform that mere religious rituals cannot. Jerusalem was the dominant city […]

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Have you ever wondered if God could use someone like you? People in the Bible often wondered that also. One person who wondered that was Moses. He wondered on multiple occasions; here we focus on one such context in which Exodus recounts his wondering. Most preachers do not preach from genealogies; most individual genealogies were […]

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Paul closes his first letter to the Thessalonians with a series of exhortations. Paul no doubt designed these exhortations particularly for the believers in Thessalonica, but they relevant for us today also. (Ancient writers sometimes listed a series of exhortations; in this case, Paul is adding some concise advice after finishing the main part of […]

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Paul declares that we are the body of Christ with many members (Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:12, 20). He then elaborates on some of the varied gifts God has graciously given us to serve the rest of Christ’s body. Because Paul is simply offering samples, he provides several different lists that include a variety of […]

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