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Reading the Bible

Reading the Bible Theologically To read the Bible “theologically” means to read the Bible “with a focus on God”: his being, his character, his words and works, his purpose, presence, power, promises, and precepts. The Bible can be read from different standpoints and with different centers of interest, but this article seeks to explain how […]

Interpreting the Bible

Interpreting the Bible: An Introduction The Bible contains 66 books, written in three languages over 1,500 years by dozens of authors writing in numerous genres for diverse audiences. Scripture is clear enough that anyone can grasp the essentials of the faith. At the same time, extensive reading leads to riddles: Why does Moses apparently condone […]

Biblical Ethics: An Overview

Biblical Ethics: An Introduction From the beginning of the Bible to the end, God gives people specific instructions about how he wants them to conduct their lives. The study of these instructions and their wise application to life is known as the discipline of biblical ethics. These instructions from God about ethical living involve many […]

Biblical Doctrine: An Overview

True Theology: Knowing and Loving God The study of theology is considered by many to be dry, boring, irrelevant, and complicated. But for those who want to know God, the study of theology is indispensable. The word “theology” comes from two Greek words, theos (“God”) and logos (“word”). The study of theology is an effort to make definitive statements […]

God’s Plan of Salvation

A troubled jailer in the first century once asked two Christian leaders, “what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). This in fact is the most important question that anyone can ask. We are troubled not only by the evils of our world but also by our own faults. We often feel guilty for […]

Reading the Epistles

Introduction and Timeline Knowing how to read the Epistles is very important, since they make up 21 of the 27 books in the NT. Paul wrote 13 of them. Three were written by the apostle John, two by Peter, one each by James and Jude (the brothers of Jesus), and one by the unknown author […]

Reading the Gospels and Acts

The Gospels and Acts were designed to be read as full accounts, each in their own right, even as they seek to tell about Jesus and his followers. The main obstacle in the Gospels continues into Acts: many in Israel have rejected a message and promise originally intended for them. A key to understanding these […]

The Date of Jesus’ Crucifixion

Scholars continue to debate the year and date of Jesus’ crucifixion. Several pieces of evidence, both inside and outside the Bible, help historians to calculate and determine this date, and are described below. John the Baptist’s Ministry Begins: The 15th Year of Tiberius Caesar Luke ties the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry to “the […]

The Theology of the New Testament

New Testament theology as a discipline is a branch of what scholars call “biblical theology.” Systematic theology and biblical theology overlap considerably, since both explore the theology found in the Bible. Biblical theology, however, concentrates on the historical story line of the Bible and explains the various steps in the progressive outworking of God’s plan […]

Jewish Groups at the Time of the New Testament

When Jesus began to proclaim the gospel, the Sadducees, Essenes, and Pharisees were also laying claim to Israel’s heritage. Josephus (Jewish Antiquities 13.171) mentions the groups for the first time during the high priesthood of Jonathan (152–142 b.c.) after the demise of the Zadokite priesthood, which had dominated the religious life of Judea for centuries. The Essenes […]