What is Non-Negotiable?

There is a well-known phrase that goes back to Saint Vincent of Lerins (died AD 445) that goes as follows: “In Essentials unity, in Non-Essentials liberty, and in all things Charity.” And, in principle, the idea is a good thing. Confessing Christians are commanded in scripture to treat one another with love — ἀγάπη (agape)… Read More

Clinging to the Word of Life

“clinging to the Word of Life, that I will be satisfied in the day of Christ that I did not run in vain nor did I labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:16) Much can be said from these words of Paul, but I want to focus first on the initial words which follow the statement in… Read More

Sanctify them in the Truth (John 17:17)

“Sanctify them in the Truth; Your Word is Truth.” (John 17:17) What a powerful statement!  Jesus lays out two great truths for us in this little statement…first, that it is by the means of the Truth that we should be sanctified and that the Word of God (Scripture) is Truth.  Yet, we need to lay… Read More

Is the Bible Inerrant?

One of the things we talk a lot about in church circles is the authority of scripture—that it is given by God and is designed to instruct us in every area of life.  One of the terms that we use when we speak of why the scriptures are authoritative is the term “inerrant.”  But I… Read More

Foundational Biblical Principles to Classroom Management

Some initial thoughts as to some Biblical principles that ought to shape the way Christian schools and Christian teachers order their classrooms.  These thoughts are not meant as exhaustive, but instead are meant to be a Biblical foundation upon which a philosophy of Christian education can be built. 1.  The interaction with students, from instruction… Read More

Family Tree of Modern English Bible Translations

Here is a visual history of English Bibles and their historical/philosophical family trees.  Note that these studies are works in progress as they were begun a number of years ago and as new translations of the Bible are always being developed. win   bible-versions

Outline of 1 Peter

  I.  Greeting (1:1-2)   II.  God in his Grace is raising you out of your sin to salvation (1:3-12)             1.  God has given us new birth to a greater inheritance (1:3-5)             2.  God will keep that inheritance while you are being sanctified through persecutions (1:6-7)             3.  The joy of that salvation… Read More

Outline of 2 Peter

I.  Greeting (1:1-2)   II.  God’s Call on the life of a Christian and the Christian’s response (1:3-11)             1.  God’s calling His people to glory (1:3-4)             2.  The Christian’s response to God’s call (1:5-11)                         a.  progression of faith to love (1:5-7)                         b.  work to grow in grace (1:8-11)  … Read More

Bible Translation Philosophies

            All translations are interpretations.  This is for two reasons.  First is that English grammar is different than Greek or Hebrew grammar.  A truly literal word for word translation would prove extraordinarily difficult to read.  Secondly, in Greek and Hebrew, as with English, words often carry a variety of meanings depending… Read More

Difficulties with Gender Neutral Translations

            This is a major hotbed of debate within evangelical circles, particularly since the new revision of the New International Version (NIV), Today’s New International Version (TNIV), has gone this route.  Most evangelicals consider this move to be a sell-out to the liberal feminist movement, but some hotly argue that it… Read More

Some Background to Modern English Bible Translations

            There are a plethora of different Bible translations available for the Christian to choose from.  Some are better and some are worse.  All come from a devout desire to make the written word of God accessible to people of all cultures, languages, and walks of life.  This is not meant… Read More

Biblical Perspicuity

What do we mean when we speak of the Perspicuity of Scripture?               While there are certainly many areas of scripture that are difficult to interpret and to understand, given that the Bible was given to all people throughout history, not to just a select few, and given that the Bible was given for… Read More

What then do we mean that the Bible is infallible and inerrant?

What do we mean when we state that the Bible is infallible as well as being inerrant?               As discussed above, the Bible is inerrant, or, in other words, without error.  The idea of infallibility takes the premise one step further.  When we say that the Bible is infallible, we say that the Bible… Read More

To what extent does inerrancy extend?

To what extent is the Bible inspired and thus inerrant?  Does the inspiration extend only to the ideas conveyed or to the very words of scripture?   A debate that has been taking place between the Orthodox branches in the church and what is normally called the Neo-Orthodox movement, is over the question of the… Read More

To what extent does Biblical infallibility extend?

If the Bible is incapable of error, to what extent does that infallibility extend, just to theological matters or to all maters to which it speaks?   We have already touched on this idea but it bears repeating.  Given that the Bible is written by God, it is impossible for the text to be in… Read More

What of people who would claim that there are errors in the Biblical text?

What of those who claim that the Bible contains errors and discrepancies either in its internal unity or in its scientific or historical claims?  Also, what of those who claim that the Biblical books were assembled, revised, and rewritten through the ages resulting in our modern Biblical text?               Largely, the claims that seek… Read More

How do we know that the 66 Books of the Bible are God’s complete revelation?

How do we know that the 39 books of the Old Testament that we have actually constitute the complete written revelation of God during that era?  How do we know that the 27 books of the New Testament complete that which was begun in the Old Testament?               First of all, the 39 books… Read More

How do we know that the Bible is complete and unified?

How do we know that the Bible is a unified and complete book in its presentation to us and that it alone contains the written revelation of God for his people?               While the Bible has many human authors through which the text was written, there is one divine author.  This is clear by… Read More

Liberation!: Isaiah 61:1f

“and to the ones imprisoned—liberation!” (Isaiah 61:1f)               This final clause in Isaiah 61:1 naturally follows the previous statement.  With the coming of the Messiah, the chains of bondage to sin are released, they are broken, and the prison cells of death have been opened wide.  Indeed, our Lord proclaimed just that message: “Truly,… Read More

Release to the Captives: Isaiah 61:1e

“To preach release to the captives…” Isaiah 61:1e               In the context of Isaiah’s ministry, this statement would have had a very specific promise, recognizing that at this point in history, the northern Kingdom of Israel has fallen and the people had been taken and scattered throughout the Assyrian Empire.  In addition, the southern… Read More

The Shattered Heart: Isaiah 61:1d

“He has sent me to bind the heart which has been shattered…” Isaiah 61:1d               When I read this part of the verse, my mind cannot help but to think back to the promise that was made by God earlier in Isaiah 35:4: “Say to those whose hearts are hasty; be strong and you… Read More

Good Tidings: Isaiah 61:1c

“to herald good tidings to the meek” Isaiah 61:1c               These words should immediately bring to mind the language of the angels in proclaiming the good news before the shepherds (Luke 2:10).  Indeed it was the role of the angels to proclaim the birth of the one who would bring such good news and… Read More

Because Yahweh has Anointed Me: Isaiah 61:1b

“Because Yahweh has anointed me…” Isaiah 61:1b   Oh, what an amazing statement this is in itself, that this Messiah is not one anointed by man, but by the covenantal God, Yahweh, himself!  How much more significant this becomes when you realize that this construction is only ever used three times in the Old Testament. … Read More

The Spirit of the Lord Most High: Isaiah 61:1a

This passage is one that is very familiar to us because of Jesus’ use of it during his first sermon back in his hometown of Nazareth.  Notice the unambiguous nature of this statement—“the Spirit of the Lord Most High, Yahweh, is upon me.   To begin with, when x;Wr (ruach), which can mean “spirit” or “wind”,… Read More