The first-century Roman world of the NT lay culturally at the intersection of Hellenism (Greek language and culture) and Roman imperial rule. Hence, to understand this world, it is important first to explore the spread of Hellenism and the rise of Roman might. History Although the Greeks had settled and conducted commerce throughout the Mediterranean […]More
Obedience for any believer is not optional but obligatory, and should never be a burden, but always blessing.
Most of the writers of the NT grew up in the world of “Second Temple Judaism,” the time between the temple’s reconstruction (516 b.c.) and its final destruction (a.d. 70). This period introduced changes into the political structure, culture, and religion of the OT world. Sources of Information Among the many resources about Second Temple Judaism, the […]More
Introduction Mesopotamian texts indicate that long before Israel entered Canaan, other countries had prophets. These texts from Israel’s neighbors indicate that their prophets claimed to intercede for people to the gods, speak for the gods, criticize the people’s moral and ethical deficiencies on behalf of the gods, predict future events through special knowledge given by […]More
Poetry is pervasive in the Hebrew Bible—the only books in the OT without any poetry are Leviticus, Ruth, Esther, Haggai, and Malachi (although 1 Kings and Nehemiah could perhaps be added to this list). In order to be a competent reader of Scripture, one must have some understanding of the nature and conventions of OT […]More
The “Historical Books” of the OT, which come after the Pentateuch, tell the story of (1) Israel’s entry into the Promised Land of Canaan under Joshua; (2) Israel’s life in the land under the judges and the transition to kingship; (3) the division of the nation into two rival kingdoms (Israel and Judah) and life […]More
The Name of the Pentateuch The Pentateuch (Gk. “five-volumed”) consists of the first five books of the Bible, i.e., Genesis through Deuteronomy. The Hebrew term for it is torah (“law” or “instruction”), so this is how the NT refers to it (Gk. nomos, “law”). In the Hebrew Bible, the law is the first of the three major sections, […]More
The following material summarizes some of the arguments for an early date (1446 b.c.) and a later date (c. 1260) of the exodus. The archaeological claims of each side have all been challenged by the other side, but the details of such responses are not included here. Arguments for an Early Date of the Exodus These […]More