Who Were “the Sons of God” in Genesis 6?

Who were “the sons of God” in Gen 6.2 and v. 4? This expression occurs occasionally in the Bible, and it doesn’t always refer to the same type of beings. Sometimes, “the sons of God” refer to the mortal people of God (Mt 5.9; Rom 8.14; Gal 3.26). Twice, this expression refers to the future, resurrected, and thus immortal people of God (Lk 20.36; Rom 8.19). And “sons of God” can refer to angels (Job 1.6; 2.1; 38.7).There have been three primary interpretations of “the sons of God” in Gen 6.2 a … [Read more...]

Charlie Sifford and Billy Casper Have Passed Away

During this past week, two outstanding professional golfers with the PGA Tour died. Charlie Sifford died at 92 years of age, and Billy Casper died at 83. Sifford won only two regular PGA Tour tournaments; but he was outstanding in that, like Jackie Robinson in baseball, he broke the so-called "color barrier" in professional golf and thereby paved the way for African-American pro golfers such as Lee Elder, Calvin Peete, and Tiger Woods to compete on the PGA Tour. And Billy Casper was outstanding … [Read more...]

Paul Echoed Jesus on the Resurrection of the Saints

One of the best stories in the New Testament gospels is about Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead to mortal life again. Lazarus had two sister--Mary and Martha--and they all lived in Bethany, two miles from Jerusalem. They all must have been very close friends of Jesus because during Passion Week, Jesus stayed in Bethany and commuted back and forth between there and the temple in Jerusalem. Although we cannot know for sure, he may have slept each night at Lazarus' house.Jesus and … [Read more...]

Oral Tradition: How We Got the Synoptic Gospels

In the beginning of my Christian life, like most Christians I was taught that the Apostle Matthew (Levi) wrote the Gospel of Matthew, "John, who also was called Mark" (Acts 12.25), wrote the Gospel of Mark, Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke (Colossians 4.14; 2 Timothy 4.11), and the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John. Yet none of these four gospels reveal the name of their authors. Why? Perhaps it is because, in the case of the first three gospels at least, they were recording what was mostly … [Read more...]

Review of Bart Ehrman’s Book–How Jesus Became God–Part 1 of 3

Author: Bart D. Ehrman, professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of North Carolina, Chapel HillTitle: How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from GalileePublisher and Date: HarperOne, 2014. Page length: 404 pp.All Scripture references are from the NRSV unless otherwise noted. Part 1 Dr. Bart Ehrman is probably the most successful author of theological books in America. He has five New York Times bestsellers including this one, How Jesus … [Read more...]

The Pope Is Right about Freedom of Expression

Roman Catholic Pope Francis sounded off yesterday about the Charlie Hebdo incident--Muslim terrorists assasinating 17 people in France because this French magazine published a cartoon satizing the Prophet Muhammed, which is considered "blasphemy" to Muslims. The pope was flying in an airplane with journalists to the Manila, Philippines. He denounced those killings and said freedom of expression is "a fundamental human right." He added, "There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity ... In … [Read more...]

The Contrast Between Zechariah and Mary

Zechariah was a priest and the father of John the Baptist. The Bible says (NRSV), "Once when he was serving as priest before God" he entered the temple sanctuary at Jerusalem to burn incense as the people were outside praying (Luke 1.8, 10). The angel Gabriel then appeared to him, standing beside the altar, and Zechariah was terrified. Gabriel said, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John" (v. 13). Gabriel … [Read more...]

“I Am the Light of the World”—Jesus

When Jesus conducted his itinerary ministry and attended holy days at the temple in Jerusalem, crowds gathered to see and hear him. They especially wondered about his identity. This scenario--people asking about Jesus' identity--occurs repeatedly in the Gospel of John. Jews asked him, “Who are you?” And they later said to him, “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly” (John 8.25; 10.24 NRSV).The Gospel of John is unique in relating that sometimes Jesus replied to this questioning by uttering … [Read more...]