Idolatry in the Bible: Animals, Demons, and the Desert

Students of the cultural context of the Bible are familiar with the association between animals and idolatry.

The idolatrous worship of the golden calf (egel; Exod 32:1–24) makes the connection explicit. Even after the Israelites entered into a covenant relationship with Yahweh at Sinai, Moses and Aaron had to act to prevent the people from sacrificing to “goat demons” (se’irim) in the wilderness (Lev 17:7). Centuries later, the apostasy of King Jeroboam returned this idolatry to the northern kingdom of Israel (“He appointed his own priests for the high places and for the goat idols [se’irim] and for the calves [agalim] that he had made”; 1 Chr 11:15). [Read more…]

Douglas Moo: Should Christians Be Environmentalists?

For 40 years, Dr. Douglas Moo has been studying, teaching, and writing about Paul and Romans.

These words from theologian Johann Albrecht Bengel hang on his wall: “Apply yourself wholly to the text. Apply the text wholly to yourself.”

It’s with that spirit he studies and teaches New Testament at Wheaton College.  And that’s why we’re featuring him in this month’s author spotlight[Read more…]

What Luther’s Last Words Teach Us about Prayer

After the Reformer Martin Luther died, his friends who came to his room to remove his corpse found a note he had scrawled sometime in his final days: “We are beggars, that is true.” [Read more…]

Pastor, Thanks for All You Do

 

The work of preaching is the highest and greatest and most glorious calling to which anyone can ever be called. — Martyn Lloyd Jones

 

We can’t say thanks enough.

For this year’s pastor appreciation month, we’re sharing these free gifts to say thank you for serving the Church. [Read more…]

4 Pastors Who Led and Loved Their Churches Well

The Bible establishes specific qualifications for pastors (see 1 Pet 5:3, 1 Tim 3:2–7, Titus 1:8, Eph 6:4). But above all, they are to “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12)—a tall responsibility.

Today is Pastor Appreciation Day, and to honor the work pastors do for the sake of the gospel, we’re sharing about four pastors who lived out 1 Timothy 4:12 and loved God’s people well. [Read more…]

Did Yahweh Father Cain?

Cain Kills Abel by Paul Gustave Doré, Commons.wikimedia.org

Christians are often taught to interpret the Bible literally. I wrote about the problems that can come out of overemphasizing literal interpretation, but I should point out that most people who advocate literalism do so to prevent self-serving or idiosyncratic interpretations. If we interpret the text at face-value, so the idea goes, we’ll more often than not be interpreting Scripture correctly. This approach—though well-intentioned—isn’t always the best strategy, for several reasons. One is that the most straightforward reading can produce bizarre outcomes. [Read more…]

3 Free Logos Features That Make Seminary Easier

If you go to seminary, there are certain tasks you will be asked to do. I don’t have to know which school you’re going to or what classes you’re taking. You’ll be doing these things. Three of them. Promise.

I’ve used pretty much all the major tools out there to do them, and I’m going to show you the best ones—and how to get them for free.

You should also check out Logos’ back-to-school sale. You can get essential books for seminary up to 40% off.

[Read more…]

6 Facts You Might Not Know about Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

95 theses

An obscure monk hammers a list of grievances onto the doors of a church: what could be more revolutionary—or more symbolic of the Protestant Reformation—than that?

But when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenburg Church door on October 31, 1517, he wasn’t launching a fully formed movement in a single act; he was giving voice to ideas that had been brewing in Christendom for years. Though many Christians see that act as the launch of the Protestant Reformation, the truth is a little more complicated.

Here are six facts you probably didn’t know about Martin Luther and his 95 theses, all drawn from Dr. Jennifer McNutt’s Mobile Ed course Milestones of the Protestant Reformation. [Read more…]

5 Ways Right-Clicking Just Got Better—Logos 8.7 Update

Here’s what’s new to Logos 8 with the Logos 8.7 update release.

Right-clicking in your Bible is one of the fastest ways to leverage the powerful tools in Logos. In the latest version, we’ve made the Context menu—the one that pops up when you right-click—more compact and easier on the eyes.

But we haven’t just updated the look; we’ve made it simpler and more useful.

[Read more…]

How to (Mis)Interpret Prophecy

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem, David Roberts (1796–1864)

There’s no shortage of advice on how to interpret the Bible. One maxim that I’ve already mentioned advises, “When the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense.” I’ve heard it quoted when it comes to biblical prophecy—encouraging people to interpret literally, at face value. Although that sounds like good advice, some New Testament writers didn’t get the memo. [Read more…]