- Isaiah for Everyone, by John Goldingay
- Awe, by Paul David Tripp
The Bible was written thousands of years ago. The languages it was written in bear little resemblance to English. The people who wrote it saw the world differently than we do. The culture the Bible emerged from was radically different than the cultural context we read it in today.
When it comes to reading the Bible, Dr. John Walton says, “The message transcends the culture, but the form is culture bound.”
Being separated by culture or language barriers doesn’t mean that the Bible has no meaning for us today. It means we need to read it through a different lens to grasp it’s meaning.
Walton says, “If we are going to get the full focus of God’s revelation to us and get the full force of its authority, we have to try to take our place in that audience, and try to hear as that audience would have heard it.”
The Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). We don’t study the Bible’s to dissect it like an entomologist examines a dead bug. We study the Bible to apply it to our lives—today. The more we know about what the Bible was saying to its original audience, the more clearly we can understand what it is saying to us.
Dr. Walton is a firm believer that our understanding of Near Eastern literature and cultural context can transform the way we understand and interpret the Bible—ultimately leaving us with a clearer picture of what God says today. That’s why he teaches a course on Old Testament genres—to provide a strong interpretive framework for his students to grapple with the Old Testament. To see how Scripture fits together, Dr. Walton encourages its readers to ask broader questions about the overall purpose of the Old Testament and God’s revelations through it.
Logos Mobile Ed has a YouTube channel dedicated to showcasing the powerful teachings of prominent Bible scholars like Dr. John Walton.
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Don’t forget to share this video with your church!
If you’ve downloaded your copy of the free Faithlife Study Bible, you already have a great start on deeper Bible study. But did you know the FSB connects directly to other Logos resources in your library, too? If you have another book that focuses on a particular passage, you can read the FSB notes right alongside it.
A great example is The Expanded Bible: New Testament—it’s the perfect supplement to your FSB. In each line, The Expanded Bible: New Testament incorporates the information you’d find in significant Bible reference works, so you can read the Bible and see alternate interpretations of words, phrases, or idioms right in the text.
John Ortberg says, “This project makes the best of biblical scholarship more available to any interested reader of the Bible.”
Christian Monthly Standard calls it “A very useful resource. The Expanded Bible gives its readers quick access to the nuances and deeper meanings in the Scriptures.”
You’ve probably heard about Logos, but if you’re the kind of person who prefers to test the water first, adding The Expanded Bible: New Testament to your Faithlife Study Bible is like dipping your toe in—it shows you how incredible the pool is. For just two more days, The Expanded Bible: New Testament can be yours for just $11.95.
The John MacArthur Study Library gets you 24 books, study Bibles, and Bible studies by one of America’s best-known pastors—for less than $2 per book. This library combines MacArthur’s bestselling Bible study books into one powerful collection.
For over 30 years, John MacArthur has studied the Bible for 30 hours or more per week. That’s over 46,000 hours of Bible study. Who better to study the Word with? For just two more days, you can get all 24 volumes for $34.95.
Of course, to get the most out of your Logos library, you’ll want a Logos base package. The latest edition—Logos 5—can perform hundreds of hours of Bible study in seconds, accessing hundreds (or even thousands) of resources at once to pull out all the information available on a topic or passage. There are even base packages designed to fit your theological background. Pick a base package today!
Take your biblical education to the next level with Back to School deals on Bible study tools. Sale ends Friday, September 12.
In the information age, education is always at our finger tips. When we don’t know something, we can find multiple answers in an instant. We live in a constant state of education—we’re always learning something.
The problem is, we have to choose where we get our answers. Anyone can put their thoughts on the internet, and sometimes it’s hard to determine whether or not a source can be trusted.
Not everyone can afford the time and money it takes to get a biblical education at seminary. But you can get the same textbooks Bible colleges use all over the world. Right now, many of these textbooks are on sale for up to 55% off. Whether you’re in school, or you just want to learn, now is the time to grab the world’s best Bible texts.
Maybe you’ve always wished you knew more about the Old Testament. You can get the Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms for over 25% off! Or, get the Handbook on the Old Testament Series for 20% off.
Reading your Bible is great, but context is key to understanding what the biblical writers really meant. Few authors have had as much influence on our understanding of the New Testament world as the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus. His works offer an unparalleled depiction of the historical context in which Jesus and the Apostles lived and died. During Logos’ Back to School sale, you can save $90 on one of the most referenced historical works in biblical studies. Get it now.
You can save 49% on the commentary set Walter Bureggemann calls “the benchmark and reference point for all future work.”
Or save 25% on the Zondervan Biblical Languages Collection and start studying Scripture in a whole new way.
If you’re a Bible scholar, this is a sale you can’t afford to miss. If you’re not a scholar, this is the perfect time to become a better student of the Word. This sale ends on Friday, September 12. Don’t miss out—get your books now!
ChristianDiscourse.com lets you share your ideas, devotionals, questions, and more to start conversations among fellow believers. Whether you’re looking for answers to a tough question, feedback on your latest idea, or you just want to share something that inspired you, Christian Discourse is your canvas for connecting with the Christian world.
Recently, Dr. Mike Heiser, a prominent Bible scholar at Logos Bible Software, shared his personal “Laws for Bible Study,” which he originally shared on his personal blog, The Naked Bible:
Bible reading is not Bible study. I have learned, kicking and screaming mind you, that this is where most people are at. Everyone can do serious Bible study and they should.
You should be observing the biblical text in the original languages. If you cannot, never trust one translation in a passage. Use several and then learn skills for understanding why they disagree. These skills would be things like learning grammatical terms and concepts, along with translation philosophy and the basics of textual criticism.
You need to learn to trace threads and ideas through the Bible and observe how the New Testament re-purposes and interprets the Old Testament. If you aren’t paying attention to these things, you’re missing more than you think you’re seeing.
The context of the Bible is the context that produced it—ancient Near East/Mediterranean.
In other words, if you’re letting your theological tradition filter the Bible to you, you aren’t doing Bible study or exegesis, and you aren’t interpreting the Bible in context.
Put another way, God chose people to write the biblical text, and people write using grammar, in styles understood by their peers, and with deliberate intent—and so the Bible did not just drop from heaven. Study it as though some person actually wrote it, not like it is the result of a paranormal event.
Put another way: Systematic theology isn’t helpful (and can be misleading) if its conclusions are not derived from exegesis of the original text. Biblical theology is done from the ground up, not the top down.
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Got ideas you want to share with other Christians? Check out Christian Discourse, and pick the category that fits your idea!
She slumped back into her chair and folded her arms. “I guess I’m just a New Testament girl,” she said, frustrated.
I didn’t have an answer, so I took a pull of my styrofoam-flavored coffee and avoided eye contact. We were on week two of an eight-week study through Genesis and Exodus. Some churches call it Sunday school; we called it adult education (because we’re hip like that). The New Testament girl and her husband were new additions to the class. They may have been new additions to the church and Christianity, for all I knew. We were in Genesis 16, and she was asking good questions, honest questions, insightful questions that made me somewhat ashamed I hadn’t asked myself.
How could God bless Abraham? Look at how sinful he is!
What did Ishmael ever do wrong? He’s cursed before was born! How is that fair?
Having grown up with an ambient knowledge of the New Testament God of love, I struggle with the some of the starker portraits of Yahweh painted across the Old Testament. Of course we know that Old Testament Yahweh and New Testament Jesus are one and the same in spirit, yet distinctly different persons. Jesus was present for all the the wanderings of Israel, and Yahweh is still very active throughout the ministry of Paul. God’s nature is unchanging. He did not get a personality transplant in the last chapter of Malachi, though sometimes it seems that way.
Reconciling the two sides of God is difficult work, made somewhat easier by Connect the Testaments, the daily devotional that we’ve built into the Faithlife app. Written by our own John Barry and Rebecca Kruyswijk, Connect the Testaments comments on a different passage of Scripture each day, alternating between the Old and New Testaments.
If you’ve grown up fearing the God of Abraham, this devotional can help you come to know his love.
If you have trouble making sense of the Old Testament narrative, this tool can help you see its harmony.
Had I known about Connect the Testaments that day in my adult-ed class, I would have shared with New Testament girl the passage from January 9.
When God’s promises are lavished on Abram in Genesis, we can’t help but feel a bit surprised. It seems undeserved . . . The greater context of the Genesis narrative shows that God’s blessing is certainly not just about Abram . . . He presents Abram with a promise and a gift—a plan of salvation for humanity. God re-establishes relationship on His terms.
On the home screen of your Faithlife Bible Study app, click the gray “plus” sign in the Daily Readings pane, and find it in the list of Daily Devotionals.
I think you’re going to love it.
Mary was a young, unmarried woman, and her plan from God was to birth our Savior, Jesus Christ. Afraid, scorned, and downright confused, Mary followed God’s will for her, trusting that his plan was better than she could ever imagine. Learn more about her life and faith this May with Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan, now available from Logos.com as a resource in your Faithlife Study Bible.
This eight-week study program covers topics like facing fear with faith, embracing the unexpected, and more—topics that, to this day, Christians struggle with. Each chapter is structured to maximize your study and time. You’ll learn about the cultural and historical events surrounding Mary and the theology behind her, and you’ll conclude each chapter with application questions to help you on your own faith journey.
Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan is 20% off for a limited time with coupon code FSBMARY. Start using your Faithlife Study Bible to get closer to God and his Word.
Get Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan for 20% off today with coupon code FSBMARY!
Want to use this in your church or small group? Click here to learn more.