Does Jesus Contradict the Old Testament on Polygamy?

By David Instone-Brewer, adapted from the forthcoming Moral Questions of the Bible: Timeless Truth in a Changing World (Lexham Press, 2019).

Jesus used the same Old Testament text to teach monogamy as used by the Jews of the diaspora and at Qumran. Polygamy had been useful in times of war for childless widows, but now it was causing hardship. [Read more…]

5 Things We Wish We’d Done in Seminary

seminary

A couple years ago, we asked some of our team members who attended seminary to share some of their experiences—what is the one piece of advice each one would want to leave for current seminarians. I hope the reflections are helpful to you. Many of them mention our book on this topic, Surviving and Thriving in Seminary.  [Read more…]

The Formula for Success All Great Leaders Follow

We begin as servants and, if we are faithful, we become leaders. You find this pattern illustrated throughout Scripture. [Read more…]

Throw Yourself on the Written Word of God

By Walter C. Kaiser Jr., adapted from I Will Lift My Eyes Unto the Hills: Learning from the Great Prayers of the Old Testament

In Daniel 9:1–27, we are told that Daniel opened his windows toward Jerusalem three times daily in order to pray to God (Dan 6:10). And we have no reason to doubt that just as often he opened the Scriptures to know the will of God, for it was from his understanding of “the word of the Lord given [earlier] to Jeremiah the prophet” (Dan 9:2) that he knew how to pray. Daniel may have carried a scroll of the prophet Jeremiah with him from his homeland, or he used one that was in the possession of the exiles. This high regard for the Scriptures is likewise very evident when we hear Daniel praying, for he does so in a series of subtly woven quotations from what we today call the Old Testament. [Read more…]

God Is Wise, and His Wisdom Reveals That He Lives Well

There is no shortage of writings on the nature of human wisdom.1

But what of divine wisdom, the wisdom that is unique and specific to the triune life of God?  [Read more…]

Pastor, Your Empathy Is Not Enough (and That’s Good)

By Harold Senkbeil, adapted from The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart

Over the years I’ve developed, in good Lutheran fashion, ten theses on spiritual cure, the care of souls.  [Read more…]

Is the Author of Hebrews Anti-Old Testament?

Moses holding up his arms during the Battle of Rephidim
assisted by Hur (left) and Aaron by John Everett Millais’ (1871)

By Adrio König, adapted from Christ Above All: The Book of Hebrews 

The basic message of Hebrews is that Christ is incomparably greater than anyone and anything in the Old Testament and that the Jewish or gentile believers should not even think of returning to Old Testament religion. [Read more…]

‘Ruach’: The Breath That Moves through Everything

By Myk Habets, adapted from The Progressive Mystery

The Old Testament consistently teaches the distinct, creative agency of the Spirit of God over the cosmos and all that is in it, including humankind. Not only does the Spirit of God [ruach] create all things but he also sustains them (Gen 6:3). [Read more…]

Pastoral Ministry: Kill Your Academized Christianity

When students ask for recommended books on pastoral ministry before entering seminary, I usually have Paul Tripp’s Dangerous Calling at the top of my list. Tripp points out many of the common heart problems related to pastoral ministry. But this book isn’t just for students. I think every seminary professor should read it too. Tripp writes out of both professorial and pastoral experience.

Strive to be a professor who is concerned about heart application as much as theological information.

[Read more…]

Two Jeremiah Scrolls? The Perplexing History of Jeremiah’s Composition.

By Walter C. Kaiser Jr., with Tiberius Rata, on the issue of two Jeremiah scrolls, adapted from Walking the Ancient Paths: A Commentary on Jeremiah.

Editor’s note: the textual issues surrounding Jeremiah are among the most difficult in all the Hebrew Bible. For a deeper look at its background and composition, read this Lexham Bible Dictionary entry. [Read more…]