July 24, 2022

This is the third and final instalment of a trilogy on the book, Paul, Then and Now by Matthew Novenson (Eerdmans, 2022). Part 1 was a review of the book, part 2 started an interview with Dr. Novenson, and now in part 3 we conclude the interview. Second Part and Conclusion to the Interview: More Questions and Answers Oropeza: In relation to God and Christology in the book, you bring up a very interesting point that I am still wrestling... Read more

July 19, 2022

In this instalment, I begin my interview with Dr. Matthew Novenson. My previous post provides a review of Dr. Novenson’s new book Paul, Then and Now (Eerdmans, 2022; click here to see the review). Dr. Novenson is Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. In this instalment we will cover some questions from the earlier chapters of his book Paul, Then and Now. The Interview: Part I I had the honor of interviewing... Read more

July 17, 2022

I had to privilege of reviewing the new book by Matthew V. Novenson, entitled Paul, Then and Now (Eerdmans, 2022). Dr. Novenson is Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He has written a number of articles and books including the monograph, Christ among Messiahs: Christ Language in Paul and Messiah Language in Ancient Judaism (Oxford University Press) and co-edited the massive Oxford Handbook on Pauline Studies. On the book’s back cover, Prof.... Read more

July 6, 2022

I suppose I’m sort of an insider to questions on which Bible a person should use. That is because I had the privilege of working on Bible translations as diverse as the Common English Bible, the New Revised Standard Version (updated edition), and the Lexham English Septuagint. I also worked on the Wesley Study Bible and recently on the HarperCollins Study Bible (updated edition). And as Professor of Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University—a mostly Wesleyan institute that claims an... Read more

June 19, 2022

Jesus’s parable about the return of seven spirits is situated after Matthew’s version of blaspheming the Holy Spirit and similar judgment teachings (Matthew 12:43–45; and parallel in Luke 11:24–26). The term “unclean spirit” is a Jewish way of referring to demons. How is it that this demon who was cast out of a person can return with reinforcements to possess that person again making him seven times worse? Does this refer to vulnerabilities related to backslidden Christians? The Teaching In... Read more

May 30, 2022

One of the Apostle Paul’s repeated sayings is for believers to walk in the Spirit: Romans 6:4: “Consequently, we were buried with him through the baptism into his death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so also we might walk in a newness of life.” Romans 8:4, 14: “So that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, the ones who walk not in accordance with the... Read more

May 22, 2022

I was recently asked this question, which is apparently still a live one. There are Christians out there who believe that other Christians can be demon possessed or “demonized.” I must first begin with the humble admittance that I am no expert when it comes to personal experience with demon possessed people. I have never participated in a real exorcism that I am aware of. All I can say is based on what I know from Scripture. Two issues complicate... Read more

April 30, 2022

Nehemiah 8–9 gives us some good biblical principles to follow on the subject of spiritual renewal. After the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity (c. 6th century B.C.E) Nehemiah, the Persian King’s cup-bearer, felt burdened to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. After he completed rebuilding the walls, the Israelites held a celebration beginning the first day of the seventh month, during the Feasts of Trumpets and Feast of Tabernacles. Some of the characteristics of that worship-celebration provide us with potentially... Read more

April 14, 2022

Worship, renewal, and revivals are not without controversies. Ever since the Great Awakening, and likely way before then, people have reacted with strange behavior when experiencing the Spirit of God. I recall taking a course at Fuller Theological Seminary where my professor juxtaposed wars and revivals in American history. He pointed out a pattern that repeated itself—roughly every 20 years either war or revival breaks out in America. The last arguable “revival” or renewal we have seen in North America... Read more

April 3, 2022

The Apostle Paul’s letters contain a number of vice lists. These lists specify vices (sins) that tend to disrupt the Christ community and a person’s relationship with the Lord. Among the most common are vices related to factions, idolatry, sexual immorality, drunkenness, envy, and greed. In the undisputed letters of Paul the most conspicuous lists appear in Romans 1:29–31; 13:13; 1 Corinthians 5:9–11; 6:9–10; 10:5–10; 2 Corinthians 12:20–21; and Galatians 5:19–21. In the disputed letters we find such lists in... Read more

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