November 24, 2023

Biblical scripture does not tell us about the death of the Apostle Paul. How did he die? In 2 Timothy 4:6–8, Paul is said to have been in prison and claims to have finished his course, fighting the good fight of faith. The last we hear about him he is in prison in Rome in Acts 28 under some sort of house arrest. Acts leaves Paul’s final days in question. Certain scholars suggest the silence about his end is an... Read more

November 16, 2023

I would like to introduce my new book, Scripture, Texts, and Tracings in Galatians and 1 Thessalonians edited by A. Andrew Das and B. J. Oropeza (Fortress Academic, 2023).* This book marks volume four of the Scripture, Texts, and Tracings series from Fortress (Lexington Books). The series originated from a seminar at the annual Society of Biblical Literature conference called “Scripture and Paul.” It focuses on the Apostle Paul’s use of Old Testament (OT) Scripture, along with other ancient texts.... Read more

November 4, 2023

Does Jesus Christ speak about his Second Coming in Matthew 10:23? Here, when sending out his disciples to proclaim that the kingdom of God is near, he says, “But when they persecution you in this city, flee to the other. For truly I say to you, you will not finish the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.” This seems to suggest that the disciples will not even be able to preach to all the towns of Israel... Read more

October 24, 2023

Appropriate for horror film and Halloween enthusiasts alike are the monsters and scary people that we find in the Bible. Here are my top 12 picks: 12. The first zombie? In 2 Kings 13:20–21, the prophet Elisha died and was buried in a tomb. Some time later, when some men were burying another man, they saw a band of enemy Moabites coming. So they quickly threw the corpse into Elisha’s tomb, and when the corpse of the man touched the... Read more

October 21, 2023

In Acts 13:48, after Paul and Barnabas preach in Antioch Pisidia, the passage speaks of gentiles who “were appointed to eternal life believed.” In this verse the gentiles’ divine appointment precedes even their belief. In other words, they did not believe first and then they were appointed. Is this predestination? Several interpretations of 13:48 are possible: They Were Predisposed to Salvation Our first option interprets the appointment to eternal life as referring to gentiles who were already predisposed to salvation.... Read more

October 7, 2023

We continue our interview with Dr. Channing Crisler on his new book, An Intertextual Commentary on Romans, Vol. 3 (Romans 9:1–11:36). This segment focuses on Paul use of Scripture, particularly Deuteronomy, in Romans 10 (pt. 1 focused on Romans 9). After Paul states that Israel, trying to bring about its own righteousness, has not submitted to the righteousness of God, he writes: Rom 10: 4: For Christ is the climax (telos) of the law resulting in righteousness for everyone who... Read more

September 30, 2023

Professor Channing Crisler recently completed An Intertextual Commentary on Romans 9–11 (Eugene: Pickwick, 2022), the subject of this current column. I interviewed Dr. Crisler earlier on his two previous volumes: Romans 1–4 and Romans 5–8. This time we cover his third volume. By far Paul uses Jewish Scripture in Romans 9–11 more often than anywhere else in any of his letters. We find a total of at least 33 different quotes from the Old Testament in just these three chapters.... Read more

September 13, 2023

Scripture and ancient Jewish literature identify powerful angels as archangels (archangelos/ ἀρχάγγελος). Michael is called an archangel in Jude 9. He contends against Satan. In Revelation 12:7-9 John depicts Michael along with an army of angels fighting against Satan and his angels. In relation to the second coming of Jesus, Paul mentions an archangel’s voice but no name in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Daniel 12:1 calls Michael “the great angel” or “chief commander,” a type of guardian angel over Israel (Dan... Read more

August 28, 2023

What the church needs now is more holiness, not another license to sin in the name of love. It grieves my heart when I hear well-recognized ministers and televangelists speak about God’s love and grace while at the same time remaining silent about sin and the pursuit of holiness. The gospel should always have the inviting message, “come as you are,” but this does not mean that it should promote the message, “remain as you are”! I stand convicted by... Read more

August 14, 2023

In Romans 9–11 the Apostle Paul claims that many from Israel have become hard hearted, rejecting the gospel about their Messiah, Jesus. At the same time, many gentiles have believed this message. In Romans 11:25–26, however, we learn that Israel’s hardening is only temporary. Once the “fullness” of the gentiles comes in (i.e., they get saved), “all Israel” will be saved. Several interpretations of “all Israel” are possible, but a prominent position these days is to interpret “Israel” in Romans... Read more

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