Biblical Documents

The closing chapters of the Old Testament are set against the looming ‘Dark Ages’ of Ancient Israel. God had spoken through his prophets and his people had persistently ignored his word and strayed from his ways – even after the exile. The final words of Malachi could not be more ominous. The Old...
One of the basic practices in the Christian life is prayer. It is a spiritual discipline that is instilled in us from our earliest days. It is uttered in private, in family devotions, and in various public settings for numerous occasions, both within the church and outside of it. Moreover, it is...
What does it mean to be a reader? What’s actually happening when someone reads a text? Ever since the rise of post-modernism these kinds of questions have been in vogue. And though many of the popular answers today are new, the questions themselves are not. In fact, he Bible itself as well as many...
One December, a week or two before Christmas, the worship leader announced the hymn "Joy to the World" and a woman nearby groaned, "Oh no, not 'Joy to the World' again." I understand her point; she wanted a new Christmas song, but still, how can we grow tired of joy to the world. Psalm 96 begins "...
Erdmann Neumeister (1671-1756) hated Pietism but his music was full of vigorous piety and lively devotion. The difference was in the premises. He (as Luther had done before him) sang about a triune God who works in history and draws us to him through the objective, external Word and sacraments...
For a decade the Westminster Assembly of divines (i.e., theologians) met at Westminster Abbey in London (1643-1653) to produce a Scriptural doctrinal standard and church government. During that time the well-known Confession of Faith was drawn up to explicate the system of doctrine drawn from the...
Panel discussions are great. I love the unscripted “off the cuff” format because it is in those moments that you often get the best help from a speaker. I remember listening to one such discussion and the speakers were asked what three or four books in addition to their Bible they would take to a...
The work of biblical interpretation must begin with a commitment to the humble yet courageous task of exegesis, matched with an equally daring rejection of eisegesis. In the former, we submit to both the Divine author and human authors of Scripture. In the latter, we ask Scripture to submit to us,...
“I thank God,” Cardinal Gasparo Contarini wrote as he prepared to travel to Germany, “… for the colloquium , and for the good beginning that has already been made, and I hope in God that irrelevant considerations will not intrude themselves, and that, as I have many times said to his Holiness,...
For Instruction, Doctrine, and Morals James and Jonathan have a few questions about biblical interpretation, and Keith Stanglin is the right man to answer them. He’s the associate professor of historical theology at Austin Graduate School of Theology, and has written The Letter and Spirit of...

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