A few words from the heart about Bible versions in English, mixed with lists, parables, and personal anecdotes! Offered as proof that we might want to CALL A MORATORIUM on new Bible translations in English. One, the Parable of the Banquet. You and your family gather for a huge feast, perhaps American Thanksgiving. They wheel... Continue Reading →
Has church become a “show”?
In another place I have written about two churches I have visited that gave a broad weekly invitation for all members to participate in leading worship. I have also written on the related theme of the Priesthood of all Believers. As we hear so often, “The church is not the building, but the congregation.” That... Continue Reading →
An Isolated Apostle – Can God still use him?
Someone in Costa Rica asked me to preach about “John in Patmos.” And I realized that, it’s an excellent subject for bored, shut-in, and isolated people during COVID! First, a little background. John wrote that he was on the island of Patmos “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 1:9b).... Continue Reading →
“WOULD I have done right?” No, the better question is: “WILL I do right?”
Scenario #1. At the Jersey shore in July, people ran in and saved a drowning man. They were at a beach wedding and saw the situation; they hauled him out and one man performed CPR and revived him. I saw it on the Philly news, and asked myself: Would I have taken that risk in... Continue Reading →
William Tyndale: My Hero!
I have a limited number of people whom I would call my heroes. In fact, one time in an interview I was asked to name a hero of mine: "Uh...Abraham Lincoln" was all I could come up with. In fact, it was President's Day, and the picture of Lincoln hanging on the wall of the... Continue Reading →
Why would Paul write about the Lord’s Supper?
When we celebrate Communion, we usually read from 1 Corinthians 11. That’s a right practice, but another layer of studying the Bible is to ask, Why did Paul bring this up, here, in this letter? It wasn’t to teach them the ritual, because they had been celebrating communion for years. So, why now? Paul tells... Continue Reading →
What if Jesus were in your small group Bible study?
When I was in Israel, we got on the bus and went west from Jerusalem, and in a short while the guide said, “By the way, there is the location of Emmaus.” Today it’s just a stop on the highway outside our bus window. In fact, one of my favorite Bible passages is from Luke... Continue Reading →
The New Testament doctrine of election
I was fresh out of university when the editors of the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary asked me to write the article on election. My starting point is exegesis of texts, not systematic theology. You can read the original article in volume 2:441–444; the following is slightly paraphrased. The nature of this article is a panoramic... Continue Reading →
Coronavirus! Do we offer the Lord’s Supper, even when 2 or 3 are NOT gathered? Oh, yes!
I will share my conclusion up front: of course we do! And if we are able to settle that, the main issue now becomes one of logistics, not of theology. First some background. Churches are offering online worship services: Bible studies; small groups. A Mennonite church in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is offering drive-through prayer: the... Continue Reading →
The Critical Text of the New Testament versus the Majority Text
I am committed to using the very best edition of the Greek New Testament. At this moment, I accept as best the Nestle-Aland 28th edition (NA-28; I do not say this to put down the SBL or the Tyndale House New Testaments, but that is an issue for another day). Thus I am dumbfounded by... Continue Reading →