A few years ago, a good friend of mine spent months studying the way Jesus used the physical world around him to illuminate Scripture. Salt, light, roads, flowers, birds, and bread are all examples of concrete, vivid illustrations Jesus pulled from everyday life. He told stories with tax collectors, Samaritans, Roman centurions, and farmers because those were the people around him.
You’ve seen it plastered on tee shirts, coffee mugs, bookmarks and Bible covers; it’s cross-stitched on throw pillows and wall art. Its words have comforted thousands of Christians in their darkest moments.
But do you really understand the significance of Isaiah 40:31?
They who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles;
They shall run and not grow weary;
They shall walk and not faint.
Plenty of Christian merchandise is guilty of bad exegesis. It’s not that Isaiah 40:31, when taken out of context, is any more open to misinterpretation than other verses.
But with this verse, perhaps the stakes are higher. John 3:16, another beloved verse, manages to maintain its punch, even when read on its own. But when Isaiah 40:31 is taken out of context, it is robbed of of its true power.
I receive numerous questions about biblical cross-references such as this one:
Almost any Logos resource contains numerous cross-references on a given page. I know I can preview a verse by hovering on the blue hyperlink and I can take my Bible there by clicking it. I’m also aware of creating a Passage List of the references, but then I have to delete the file when I’m finished with it.
What I want is a temporary list of verses so I don’t have to delete a file or click a lot of hyperlinks. Is this possible?
Yes it is with a feature called Power Lookup! Here’s how to create the temporary list of verses the Logos user inquired about:
The work of God’s Kingdom is never easy. For many ministries, crisis and chaos may seem like faithful companions. Facing the tension of this work is always challenging and it can be difficult to recognize God’s presence when the going gets tough. Stories of perseverance in the face of great adversity pepper the Bible and show us that God is with us in our endeavors, every step of the way. The two newest books in the Transformative Word series show us how God guides his people through trials and persecution, delivering them—and us—from destruction.
This is a guest post by Peter Krol.
A reader of my blog recently emailed to say, “I was never intentionally taught how to lead a Bible study, and, when the time came for me to teach others how to do it, I had no idea even where to begin.” Do you know this guy? Does your church have such people, eager but directionless? They might never go to seminary, but I assure you they can become terrific Bible students and teachers.
I was absolutely shocked.
At the top of my NT Introduction paper on Jewish Institutions of New Testament Times was a “B+”—but that wasn’t the shocker. I was only just starting seminary, and I didn’t have the hang of things yet. What shocked me was that the B+ was scribbled out and a big red “F” was written next to it, along with a message: “Come see me.”
For several weeks I’ve been trying to End Bible Translation Tribalism. I’m urging Christians not to make our good Bible translations into rallying points or battle flags for internecine warfare. Instead, we members of Christ’s body should recognize our (good) Bible translations for what they are: useful and complementary tools for listening to Christ, our head.
In my town we had a radio station that called itself “the new 102.” The name was short. It rhymed. They added a catchy tune. Ten years later, they were still calling themselves “the new 102.”
The New Perspective on Paul is just a little like that. It started in the late 1970s and early 1980s, so it isn’t exactly “new.” On the other hand, contrasted against nearly 2,000 years of Christian interpretation, it’s just a babe.
Understanding the cultural context in which a biblical passage originally appeared is essential for correct interpretation. We must be careful not to interpret a passage through twenty-first century eyes. We, of course, apply the Bible to our modern setting, but we should also seek to discover what the original author and audience of a passage intended and understood the text to mean.
I enjoyed my Hebrew courses. I like languages. And one of the first big rewards of learning Hebrew is translating a small book like Jonah or Ruth. I say it’s a reward, because it is fun; you get a sense of satisfaction that you’ve actually learned something.