August 23, 2020

In A Tale of Two Plagues, we covered two ancient plagues— the plague in Athens during the early Peloponnesian War as described by Thucydides, and the plague in Alexandria recorded by Eusebius. The second plague included Christians, whose behavior stood out among Alexandrians. We also discovered many parallels to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The pestilence described in Alexandria attacked many other regions of the Roman Empire. It is often called today the Cyprian Plague, named after the church father from… Read more

August 14, 2020

Where do we run to in times of trouble? Believers can find comfort in the timeless words of Scripture. What are the top 10 Bible passages that encourage us not to fear? Based on a recent poll my wife and I took (a democracy of two, but rigged by me!), here are our picks from the Old Testament. See if you agree: Number 10:  Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is… Read more

August 10, 2020

Our first interview  focused on Jesus, and in this second interview with fellow New Testament scholar, Craig S. Keener, we now focus on some teachings of the Apostle Paul through Craig’s recent book, Galatians: A Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2019). He actually has two commentaries on Galatians; the first one was published earlier in the New Cambridge Bible Commentary Series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). The commentary from Baker is the more thorough of the two. As a Pauline scholar… Read more

July 26, 2020

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing biblical scholar, Dr. Craig S. Keener, Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has authored many books, together which have sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. Recently, he has written an important book entitled, Christobiography: Memory, History, and the Reliability of the Gospels (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2019). Craig, whom I consider a fellow scholar and friend, has agreed to answer several questions about his recent book, Christobiography: B. J. Oropeza: You recently wrote… Read more

July 25, 2020

We who consider ourselves to be in Christ must recognize that the true enemy in this pandemic is not Donald Trump, the Democrats, our mayors and governors, the World Health Organization, or whoever else we might be elicited by news outlets to blame. The true enemy is COVID-19. We as the church should not mirror our society’s political divisions and deceptive ideologies. Our political leanings should not matter to one another; what should matter is that we uphold biblical values… Read more

July 15, 2020

As COVID-19 spikes again, and our country’s divisions deepen over what to do about the virus, a lesson from the annals of history teach us about early Christian and non-Christian reactions to plagues. The ancient Greek historian Thucydides writes a gripping description of a terrible plague that struck Athens and other city-states during the early stages of the Peloponnesian War (c. 430 BC). Eusebius of Caesarea then writes about believers and non-believers alike struck by a plague that ravaged Alexandria,… Read more

June 26, 2020

It comes with great sadness that biblical scholarship has lost a great man this week, my mentor, James D. G. Dunn. He leaves behind his wonderful wife, Meta, and his children, Catrina, David, and Fiona. An excerpt from his festschrift that I, along with C. K. Robertson and Doug Mohrmann, published says it well: “Future eras of biblical scholarship, when looking back at this time in history, will confirm what is already clearly evident – that James D. G. Dunn… Read more

May 31, 2020

As rioting, looting, burning, and mayhem are currently taking place in Minnesota and the streets of our other cities, I cannot help but point the finger back at ourselves for this mayhem. I’m ashamed to say that quite a number of churches have inadvertently contributed to the crisis. We failed and continue to fail an entire generation of young people, the same ones we see on our television screens and social media who are currently destroying buildings, stealing, and cheering… Read more

April 17, 2020

Was Satan Once a Beautiful Angel Named Lucifer? The most popular belief about Satan’s fall is based on the Bible in Isaiah 14:12 (KJV): “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer son of the morning!” The passage goes on to say that Lucifer tried to raise his throne above the stars and become like the Most High, but God cast him down to the depths of the pit (Is 14:13-15). This passage is often compared with Ezekiel 28:11-19, which… Read more

April 7, 2020

I never imagined writing about a theology on toilet paper, but then came COVID-19! The scarcity of this product in our stores is all too noticeable these days. How is it that the Coronavirus compels us to buy more toilet paper than we need, and what might the Bible say about this? 7 Reasons Why We Stock up on Toilet Paper There are at least seven reasons why we currently have trouble finding toilet paper and want to stock up… Read more

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