Why the ‘Date’ of Palm Sunday Is so Profound

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.

— Isaiah 46:10, NIV

The significance of Palm Sunday was lost on me as a child. I suspect it’s lost on most Christian adults, too. [Read more…]

3 Practical Reasons David Chose Jerusalem—and 1 That Trumps Them All

Thirty-three miles east of the Mediterranean Sea on a limestone plateau in the Judaean Hills rests one of the oldest cities in the world: Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is mentioned 660 times in the Old Testament and 141 in the New—more if you count all its synonyms like Zion, city of God, and Salem.1

No city has been written and sung about as much as Jerusalem.2

Or fought over. [Read more…]

Is the Jezreel Valley the Stage for the Final Battle?

It’s been called the “heart” of the promised land—a 141-square-mile triangle in the north-central area of Israel.

Today, the Jezreel Valley is Israel’s breadbasket. A beautiful plain of fertile fields and winding roads, it’s hemmed in by rolling mountains that offer stunning scenic views. [Read more…]

There’s Learning Hebrew, Then There’s Retaining It

Hebrew doesn’t come easy for most—it certainly didn’t for me. 

While in my Hebrew classes in seminary, I set aside one full day a week to study it, trying my best to memorize the piles of vocabulary words my professor assigned and learn all the rules. [Read more…]

Is the ‘Rock’ Peter, His Confession, or Neither?

But who do you say the Son of Man is? (Matthew 16:15)

Perhaps Jesus’ most famous, pointed question, this marks a turning point in the Gospel of Matthew and is mentioned in Mark and Luke, too.

After Simon Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16; cf Mark 8:29 and Luke 9:20), Jesus replies: [Read more…]

Did the Gospel Writers Make a Mistake?

Five gospels record the life of Jesus. Four you will find in books and one you will find in the land they call holy. Read the fifth gospel and the world of the four will open to you.

– Eusebius Jerome

Possibly the most beautiful, serene place in all of the Galilee is the Mount of Beatitudes (or Mount Eremos in Greek, meaning “solitary” or “uninhabited”). [Read more…]

The Significance of Tel Dan in the Genesis Narrative

The land God promised to Abraham and his descendants is a beautiful mosaic of rocky deserts, green valleys, rolling hills, and snow-capped mountains.

These locations are home to familiar and beloved biblical sites frequented by pilgrims touring Israel, like Capernaum, Mount Tabor, and Jerusalem. [Read more…]

Why Did Jesus Choose to Live in Capernaum?

Quiet Capernaum (Kfar Nahum or “Nathan’s village”) wraps around the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It’s surrounded by lush, rolling hills that invite easy living—likely the reason a large number of Jews migrated there from Jerusalem after returning from Babylon.

[Read more…]

3 Reasons to Study the Biblical Geography of Israel

Israel’s geography is more than side trivia for the events in the Bible—it’s the stage God chose to place the characters of his story.

The narrative unfolds across many different landscapes, from the Mediterranean coastal region to the lower Galilee to the southern desert and beyond. It’s an epic story of God’s kingdom expanding from a garden to the whole known world.

The Bible’s original audience would’ve known these places and regions and why they were important to the story. [Read more…]

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Do this all through the Master Journal Bundle 4.1 (2,260+ vols.), a massive collection of cutting-edge scholarship. [Read more…]