- Isaiah for Everyone, by John Goldingay
- Awe, by Paul David Tripp
Goliath, the infamous giant and “champion of the Philistines,” first appears in the Bible in 1 Samuel 17:4—but he also shows up in other Old Testament books, and ancient Jewish writings not included in the Bible.
In this video, adapted from an article in the free Lexham Bible Dictionary, you’ll find everything you need to know about Goliath:
What if taking the Bible “literally” doesn’t mean what you think it means?
In The Lost World of Genesis One, Dr. John Walton of Wheaton college affirms that Genesis 1 is talking about a literal seven days of creation—but he also argues that “creation” might not mean what you think it means.
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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All through April, you can get Isaiah by Brevard Childs for free!
The book of Isaiah is central to understanding the Old Testament prophets and helps us appreciate other Major Prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. It informs our view of sin in the Old Testament, and plays a major role in the New Testament gospel message.
Now through the end of the month we’re giving away this great book. You can also add a commentary on Jeremiah for $0.99.
One important insight from Isaiah revolves around the meaning of sin. For example, we often hear that “sin” is merely “missing the mark.” Dr. Childs, however, argues that:
The term sin (ḥaṭṭā’āh) is not a deviation from some ideal norm, or simply missing the mark, as often suggested, but in the context is directly related to rebellion against God by Israel’s action.
This clearly fits within the context of Isaiah where the people have not only “missed the mark” but have completely turned their backs on YHWH. With this commentary, you can gain additional insights into the meaning in the original text.
Download Childs’ commentary on Isaiah for free!
The New Testament takes many of its messianic quotes from the book of Isaiah. A quick Passage Guide, run in Logos Bible Software, shows over 15 quotations from the book of Isaiah in the Gospel of Mark alone.
The Gospel writers had a deep understanding of the Prophet Isaiah. They themselves were living in the aftermath of Israel’s sin: an oppressive Roman regime.
Before reading these important quotations in a gospel context, it’s important to go back and understand them as they pertained to the original audience. This exciting literary commentary allows you to do just that.
Get Isaiah free today.
This seven-volume series of The Old Testament Library offers powerful commentary, exegesis, and literary insight into some of the most critical writings in the Old Testament. With over 3,000 pages of rich scholarship, The Old Testament Library Series (OTL) is worthy of a prominent place in your modern biblical library.
This collection is a $229.95 value—enter to win it below!
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!
Infographics are a tremendous resource for studying the Bible. They help us picture what we’re reading, and they visualize concepts that may be foreign to us, allowing for much greater understanding. And you’re in luck—the Faithlife Study Bible is full of biblical infographics!
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.
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Want to use this in your church or small group? Click here to learn more.