Ministry Resources

Dr. Craig Keener

Dr. Craig S. Keener (PhD, Duke University) is a professor of the New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is especially known for his work as a New Testament scholar on Bible background (commentaries on the New Testament in its early Jewish and Greco-Roman settings). His award-winning, popular-level IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (now in its second edition [2014], and available in a number of languages) has sold over half a million copies.

Articles by: Dr. Craig Keener

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Marital Conflict in the Bible

I don’t like arguments, and I especially do not like arguments with people close to me. (The less…

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Saving a Lot: Abram fights slave traders—Genesis 14

Christian theologians today debate whether God demands pacifism or allows just war. In the Old Testament we see…

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Christmas vs. The Emperor

In many circles, editorials and sermons on the true meaning of Christmas have become a routine, perhaps almost…

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A Tale of Two Kings

Part of our Christmas story is a tale of two kings: one powerful in the eyes of the…

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Mary Believed The Angel’s Word – Luke 1:38

“I’m here! The Lord’s servant! Let it happen for me just as you have said!” (Luke 1:38). That…

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God’s Forgiveness

Have you ever done something so bad that you wondered on what basis God could forgive you? Soon…

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Be Fruitful, Multiply-and Expect Opposition

Although being fruitful and multiplying is a good thing (Exodus 1:7), it can also provoke opposition from those…

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The Flesh in the Book of Romans

Neoplatonic and gnostic dualism absorbed by later Christianity denied that the body was good, and many scholars today,…

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Suffering and Exploitation in Revelation

Does Revelation have any relevance for today? Among the points where the book’s message might help people today…

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You Will Know Them by Their Fruit

The false prophets in Matthew 7:15 claim to have prophesied, exorcised and effected miracles by Jesus’ name. (Matthew…

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Joseph’s Further Exaltation

Now that Joseph’s family is reunited in Egypt, God blesses all of Joseph’s family through him. Pharaoh’s favor…

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Joseph Reveals Himself to His Brothers

Joseph had been “controlling” himself since Genesis 43:31, but he could not control himself any longer (Genesis 45:1).…

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The Test – Have Joseph’s Brothers Changed?

Joseph orders his household manager to return his brothers’ money in their sacks and also to place his…

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Joseph Receives the Double Portion

As noted earlier, Jacob gives Joseph the double portion allotted to the firstborn son. Because the double portion…

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Jacob’s Wives Agree with His Plan

In Jacob’s culture, husbands held the final say. Further, God has spoken, and since Jacob has heard him,…

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Jacob’s Faith for the Future

The Future Beyond Us Sometimes God’s promises are for the future, even beyond our own lifetimes. We can…

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Jacob’s Breeding Techniques

Magic Versus Blessing Jacob’s breeding techniques (Genesis 30:38-42) seem strange to modern readers. Is it really true that…

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Jacob Gets Esau’s Blessing

Rebekah had heard from God that the elder would serve the younger, and thus she urged her (slightly)…

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Jacob Blesses Joseph’s Sons

Jacob passes on a great legacy to Joseph’s sons. He blesses them not only with a physical inheritance,…

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God’s Promise to Abram

In Genesis 12:2-3, God offers Abram a twofold promise: a land and a seed. These motifs dominate much…

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God’s Favor Matters Most

Have you ever felt discriminated against for matters outside your control? As Jacob’s parents showed favoritism toward particular…

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God reaffirms his promise to Jacob

Fulfilling God’s promise Sometimes in roundabout ways that I could not have imagined, God has brought my life…

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God Uses Weak People

Have you ever wondered if God could use someone like you? People in the Bible often wondered that…

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The Call to Go in Faith

God calls Abram to leave behind everything familiar to him from his past and entrust his destiny to…

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The Accusation of Potiphar’s Wife

Years ago it looked as if my life and ministry were over on account of some matters over…

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Taking Responsibility

Joseph accuses his brothers of wrongdoing. Regarding his silver cup, the “you” in Genesis 44:15 is again plural.…

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Judah and Tamar

The shift in scene from Joseph to Judah and Tamar in Genesis 37:36—38:1 is interesting. The narrative leaving…

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Sexual Depravity and a Servant of God

One ancient purpose of this passage is to depict the terrible origins of Moabites and Ammonites. Since Ammonites…

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God Preserves His Promise

In obedience to God’s call, Abram journeyed to Canaan (Genesis 12:4). Genesis names some of the places where…

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Feasting in Joseph’s house

When they are taken to the vizier’s house, Joseph’s brothers expect to be enslaved (Genesis 43:18). Instead, shockingly,…

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Father of Nations and Kings

Sometimes people go around “confessing” things in “faith” that aren’t true, and such words have no effect. There…

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Facing the Past: Preparing for Esau’s Wrath

God’s Protection Rebekah had promised to call Jacob when his brother’s anger subsided (Genesis 27:45), but he had…

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Different Perspectives

What we see sometimes depends on the lens through which we view reality. What is right in our…

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Challenging sexual double standards: Judah vs. Joseph

Judah’s voluntary sexual misbehavior contrasts starkly with Joseph’s refusal to sin sexually even under duress. Judah found himself…

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Living out Our New Identity in Christ

When Christians do not live out the character of God’s Spirit living in them (cf. the “fruit of…

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Joseph’s Faith Beyond His Lifetime

The Book of Genesis concludes with expectation for the future; expectation is part of what faith is. Faith…

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In God’s Presence

Some of us feel that we have to earn our way into God’s presence when we pray—that somehow…

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Minding Christ’s Body

Paul summons believers to present themselves to God as a living, holy, and pleasing sacrifice to God (Romans…

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As the Father Sent Me, I Send You

What dynamic empowered the earliest church for mission? When Jesus came to his disciples after his resurrection, they…

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All These Things Will Be Added to You

What does Matthew 6:33 mean when it says, “all these things shall be added to you” (NASB) or…

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The Discouraged Prophet

Have you ever faced discouragement in doing God’s work? John the Baptist had reason to feel dejected (Matthew…

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The Spirit-Baptized Life

What does the Spirit-baptized life look like? Jesus is the model, and Mark presents him as such in…

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Selling Joseph into Slavery

Coming from a dysfunctional family does not mean that you will necessarily turn out badly. God used Joseph…

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Reconciliation

Joseph has finally revealed himself to his brothers (Genesis 45:1-4), because he has finally found them sufficiently trustworthy…

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Rachel’s Death in Childbirth

I always hated scripts where somebody gets killed off and the writer gives you a petty reason to…

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Joseph Thrown into The Pit

How much time did Joseph’s brothers have to plot to throw him into the pit once they realized…

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Buried in Faith

The story of Jacob’s burial, like the story of him blessing his sons regarding the future, is a…

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Blessing Pharaoh

Although we often retell the stories in Genesis, sometimes we neglect an important detail. When the aged shepherd…

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Be Careful Whom You Trust

The narrator of Genesis tells the story of Jacob and the Shechemites for two reasons. Partly to remind…

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Understanding The Context of Judah’s Punishment in Genesis 38

Understanding the context of Biblical passages is key to understanding Scripture. In his attacks on Christianity, South African…

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Joseph Meets His Brothers

God has turned the tables on Joseph’s brothers. Because they once harmed him to prevent the fulfillment of…

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Religion Is Not Enough

Matthew’s Gospel includes five discourse sections. The last of these (chaps. 23—25) begins with Jesus pronouncing judgment on…

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Women and Gentiles in Matthew’s Genealogy

Matthew highlights the diverse elements in Jesus’ background. Jesus identifies with Israel and comes as Israel’s king, but…

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In Down Payment

Did you know that we have already begun to taste the future world? We are visitors in this…

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Joseph Lavishly Welcomes His Family

Joseph realizes that his brothers are genuinely sorry for what they did to him, and he is now…

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Joseph Goes to Prison

Bad things happen to good people. Granted, Judah suffered shame for his sexual sin in Genesis 38:26. But…

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Jacob’s Faith Renewed

In the face of tragedy, we sometimes forget how much God is with us. Jacob didn’t believe that…

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Jacob Has to Let Benjamin Go

Jacob was unwilling to let his son Benjamin go in Genesis 42:36-38. Whether it was physically with his…

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Jacob Blesses His Sons: Some Observations – Genesis 49

Jacob has great faith and blesses his sons with confidence in the future that God has for them. Joseph’s…

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It Wasn’t Joseph’s Fault

Sometimes I hear preachers blame Joseph for his brothers’ enmity. As a father of teenagers, however (and a…

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Living at Peace with Our Neighbors

As a minority in a larger society, how should we as committed believers relate to those around us?…

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Interpreting Pharaoh’s Dreams

There were reasons why God had given Joseph practice in interpreting dreams. After some troubling dreams, Pharaoh sent…

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God’s Faith & Mercy

Genesis 18 offers many lessons. These include lessons about hospitality, about faith, about God’s patience, about God’s justice,…

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God’s Purposes, Our Grief – Genesis 35

God’s call and our commitment do not exempt us from hardships. Having recently escaped Esau’s wrath after wrestling…

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God’s Goodness Messed Up

Genesis lavishly depicts God’s goodness, but also warns of the consequences of choosing to reject that goodness. Genesis…

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Faith No Matter What The Cost – Genesis 22

Abraham offers a great model of faith. He followed God’s promise when he left behind his homeland (Genesis…

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Thoughts About The First Five Commandments – Exodus 20:1-12

The first few commandments of the Ten Commandments teach us a great deal about our relationship with God…

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The Unexpected Deliverer – Exodus 2

Often we wonder why God does not seem to be answering our prayers. But I learned an important…

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Contemporary Christian Worship? – Exodus 25

What matters about worship is whom it addresses: the true God. As far as music styles or other…

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The Christ of the Gospels Lives in Us

Paul wrote about Christ living and working in us as believers (e.g., Romans 8:9-10; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians…

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Why it is Important to Study the Bible in Context

Context is the way God gave us the Bible, one book at a time. The first readers of…

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Once-Saved, Always-Saved? Maybe Not

There are different definitions of once-saved-always-saved, and in this post I am challenging only one version. The point…

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How Can There Be Three Persons in One Trinity?

How can we speak of more than one “person” within the Trinity? And what implications does this idea…

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When Prophecies Don’t Happen

For various reasons, prophecies sometimes don’t happen. Sometimes (perhaps often, especially from untested prophets) they’re false, sometimes (perhaps…

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Jesus’s Mission

Jesus declares that one of several aspects of his mission is to preach good news to the poor.…

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Discrimination and Intolerance

When I first converted from atheism to Christianity, some people did not mind, but some others ridiculed my…

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A Common Objection to Studying in Context

I will deal here with one objection to studying the Bible in its context that arises in some…

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Understanting the Trinity

How can we speak of more than one “person” within the Trinity? And what implications does this idea…

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Abram’s Growing Faith

We rightly think of Abraham as our ancestor in faith, but his faith began small, just like all…

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Which Day Is the Sabbath?

Jesus says that the Sabbath was made for people’s benefit (Mark 2:27). Years ago an Adventist layman wrote…

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True Purification

Mere religious tradition can blind us to what really matters to God. Those whose honor derives from their…

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Enemy Soldiers Torture and Mock Jesus in Matthew 27:27-34

Over six hundred Roman soldiers were staying at the Fortress Antonia and at Pilate’s palace (which once belonged…

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Was it cruel for Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away?

In Genesis 21:14, Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away into the desert. Yet Abraham was not sending them…

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Getting too comfortable in Egypt?

Exodus opens where Genesis leaves off: Jacob and his family settled in Egypt (Exod 1:1-5), and Joseph and…

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Are Spiritual Gifts for Today?

Paul declares that we are the body of Christ with many members (Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:12, 20).…

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Beating a tyrant at his own game

The unscrupulous Pharaoh, determining to act shrewdly (NRSV, ESV) with God’s people, planned to kill their infants through…

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Moses as a third-culture kid

Did Moses know that he was a Hebrew? Contrary to some of the movies we see (including my…

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The Banquets of Two Kingdoms

Matthew’s narratives often concretely illustrate his teachings elsewhere. In Matthew 14:1-12, Herod Antipas executes John the Baptist. In…

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The Hebrews were sinners too

In Exod 2:11-12, Moses killed an Egyptian who was striking one of Moses’s own people. He meant to…

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Moses as a refugee

Moses may have thought that killing an Egyptian oppressor was an act of justice, but the Egyptian overlords…

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Settling in a new land

When I travel to speak in various parts of the world, my hosts show me great hospitality. I…

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Jesus, the Living Word

Modern writers have proposed many valuable aspects of background for the “Word,” but probably the most obvious is…

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God has not forgotten them

When our lives become more comfortable, it’s easy to forget the hardship faced by others, whether through persecution,…

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The Kingdom Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13

Many pagans added up as many names of their deities as possible, reminding the deities of all their…

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Overcoming Prejudice: The Roman Centurion

The Gentile mission was at most peripheral to Jesus’ earthly ministry: he did not actively seek out Gentiles…

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Meeting the holy God

God sometimes meets us in the ordinary events of our lives, but calls us into his extraordinary plan…

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Is God or an angel speaking from the burning bush?

The angel of the LORD appears to Jacob in a dream (Gen 31:11), calls to Abraham from heaven…

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How to Make Disciples According to Matthew 28:18-20

The immediate context of Matt 28:18-20 provides us examples for how to testify about Christ (Matt 28:1-10) and…

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The God who sees

In Genesis 16:13, Hagar called the Lord, “the God who sees.” The same God continued to see, watching…

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Faith and God’s calling

God’s promises are good, but sometimes these promises are difficult because they demand that we obey God in…

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Resisting God’s calling

When God calls Moses to confront Pharaoh, God not only promises to be with Moses; he also gives…

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God’s Scary Promises

The Lord was now “visiting” or paying attention to his people (3:16; 4:31), as Joseph had foreseen (13:19;…

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Striking the striker

God enacts justice, though mercifully tempered by his restraint. God had not punished the oppressors’ injustice immediately, but…

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God equips Moses with signs

God dismisses Moses’s concern about Moses’s own inadequacy; God himself is more than adequate (Exod 3:11-14). Moses now…

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You’ve got the wrong person, Lord

Moses thus raises another objection: even if signs would persuade the people through someone, Moses is not the…

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How Can We Hear the Holy Spirit Accurately?

The Holy Spirit passes on Jesus’ words as clearly as Jesus passed on the Father’s. We should be…

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A commission whether you like it or not

As long as Moses is raising logistical problems, God has solutions. But finally Moses is out of objections…

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The Spirit as a Divine Person

Christians honor God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet we may not always recognize the biblical foundations…

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The staff of Moses becomes the staff of God

If you’re like me, maybe you have thought, “God healed people in the Bible, but is there any…

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The Gospel and Modern Pluralism

In a broader sense, the principles of temptation to compromise here go beyond economic temptations, and many applications…

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Obedience even before much faith

God’s signs had put the fear of God in Moses, enough to make him obey. But Moses’s obedience…

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Saving a Lot: Abram Fights Slave Traders

While Christian theologians today debate whether God demands pacifism or allows just war, at least in the Old…

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Dreams and Destiny: the Lord is in control

In Genesis 37:9, Joseph dreamed that the sun, moon, and twelve stars bowed down to him. Joseph was…

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God’s son versus Pharaoh’s son

The Lord continues to reaffirm his commission to Moses to perform the wonders God had commanded, but also…

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God’s Covenant With Moses

In Exod 4:23, God warns that he will kill Pharaoh’s son because Pharaoh has refused to release God’s…

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The Bible Exposes Sexual Harassment

The media is currently awash with public exposures of sexual harassment, harassment that had been going on behind…

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Aaron’s obedience and God’s call

Quite in contrast to Moses’s reticence to return to Egypt, the narrative in 4:27 appears to assume (or…

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Excitement versus Tested Faith

Moses and Aaron gathered the elders of the people, who would have at least heard of Moses, the…

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Who Are Christ’s Ambassadors?

Who are Christ’s ambassadors in 2 Corinthians 5:20? When Paul says “we are ambassadors for Christ,” does he…

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When People Belittle God

Presumably presented by the elders as representatives of Israel or Israel’s God, Moses and Aaron obtain entrance before…

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Punished for Hope in God

Pharaoh insults God (Exod 5:2) and orders his slaves to just get back to work (5:4-5). He treats…

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When Most Prophets are Wrong

When God gives a promise, we are right to believe it with all our hearts. Some biblical promises,…

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Whom Will we Serve?

After Moses demands that Pharaoh release the Israelites from slavery, Pharaoh cracks down with even harsher servitude. Now…

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When Pharaoh Demands What is God’s

Pharaoh requires the slaves to meet their daily quota of brick-making although he is no longer supplying some…

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Crisis of Young Faith

Moses had anticipated that his people might not believe him (Exod 4:1), so God had provided signs so…

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Wake up, for the Day is near!

In some circles, we think of “revival” or “awakening” as happening only when people fall down weeping or…

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God Reaffirms His Promise

Moses complains that the Lord has not kept his promise (Exodus 5:22-23); the Lord responds that now Moses…

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Not Just What God Saved Us From

What usually gets our attention is that God delivers us out of trouble. But God has a bigger…

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The Reason for the Promised Land

Without the promised land, deliverance from slavery would have been incomplete. Former slaves could not maintain their freedom…

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Why Does God Take So Long?

In Exodus 6:6-8, God not only promised liberation from slavery, but also a land of their own in…

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The Point of Speaking in Tongues in Acts 2

Pentecost (Acts 2:1) was a significant festival in the Jewish calendar, offering the first fruits of grain to…

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Paul, Apostle of Christ—the Movie

Here are my first impressions of Paul: Apostle of Christ, which came to our area today. First of…

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Believe Whatever you Want, but—what if it’s Wrong?

I might sound like a grumpy sourpuss in this post, but please feel free to balance it with my…

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The Future is Now: Prophetic Empowerment in the Last Days

When God pours out the Spirit in Acts 2, hearers recognize some of the languages in which Jesus’s…

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God Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills

Some people insist that God can supply all our needs because, after all, He “owns the cattle on…

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Spiritual Hypochondriacs

I must confess that I have often been a hypochondriac. I always want to err on the side of…

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The Holy Spirit Reveals Jesus to Us

Jesus had been telling his disciples that the Spirit would further explain the teachings he had given them…

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The Fruit of the Spirit

At a time when many teachers and members of churches misunderstood grace, John Wesley rightly emphasized that salvation…

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Rivers of Living Water

Jesus’ promise of rivers of living water in John 7:37-38, referring to the coming of the Holy Spirit…

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Resisting the Devil

The Dead Sea Scrolls present every human action as caused by either the Spirit of Truth or the…

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The Zealot

The other day I was laughing while recounting to my wife about an incident that took place when…

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Did God Love the Egyptians?

Some almost indispensable parts of the Moses-movie tradition are unlikely: for example, most Pharaohs had scores of children,…

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Once Saved, Always Saved? Maybe Not

There are different definitions of once-saved-always-saved, and in this post I am challenging only one version. The point…

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Beholding His Glory

When John declares, “we beheld his glory” (John 1:14), he is making an eyewitness claim that is echoed…

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Building on the Rock

When Jesus knows that his disciples understand enough, he asks them about his identity. The setting is significant:…

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This Is My Body: The Lord’s Supper

Read Mark 14:22-26 Verse 22 The head of the household blessing bread and wine was standard for any…

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Knowing the Shepherd

Today as we seek to walk intimately with our Lord, we can remember an occasion in the Gospel…

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Is It All Right to Call God Allah?

Some people today debate whether it is all right for Christians to call God “Allah.” Those within cultures…

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A Mother’s Courage

Moses’s mother was courageous to hide him for three months (Exodus 2:2), but how long can one hide…

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Racial Reconciliation in Romans

Why did Paul have to spend so much time in Romans arguing from the Old Testament that salvation…

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Creation as God’s Lavish Love

In its ordered, schematic way, Genesis 1 sketches God’s power, his creativity, his brilliant design, and his loving…

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Gospel Truth

When I have shared the gospel with people, some of them have asked how we can really know…

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Hate the Sin but Love the Sinner

In Revelation chapter 2, positive models provided by the Ephesian church include testing of prophets. As relativism increases…

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Where Was God When Tragedy Happened?

Sometimes in the midst of history, injustice seems to prevail. In light of a longer view, and especially…

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As He Thinketh in His Heart, so Is He

People sometimes quote Proverbs 23:7 to say that the real person is the person inside, the way a…

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Faith, the Assurance of Things Hoped For

Hebrews 11:1 declares that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”…

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The Lord’s Army

The Bible often speaks of spiritual warfare, for example in Ephesians 6:10-20, where the armor includes righteousness, faith,…

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My Lord and My God!

The following Bible background is for John 20:19-28 Verse 19: Residences often had bolts and locks on outside…

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Explaining Dreams in Jail

During periods of suffering, some of us forget God’s calling or our earlier vision for setting matters right…

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Using Church Fathers to Interpret the Bible

Some writers have expressed the conviction that any legitimate interpretation of a passage should already appear in the…

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Abraham Obeys Sarah

Hagar knew that the God of Abraham and Sarah was a powerful God; she herself had met and…

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When Would Jesus Permit Divorce?

In the previous post, I emphasized Jesus’s teaching on preserving and, where possible, restoring marriage. Jesus used graphic…

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Why Did Jesus Warn About Divorce?

Jesus’s followers knew that he condemned divorce; his warning appears in Paul, in Mark, and in another form…

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Standing for Justice

Nobody’s perfect, but sometimes one side really is right and another is wrong. The civil rights reformers were…

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Does Ezekiel 28:12-14 Refer to the Devil?

Like Isaiah, Ezekiel also has oracles against the nations: Ammon (Ezekiel 25:1-7), Moab (Ezekiel 25:8-11), Edom (Ezekiel 25:12-14),…

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Time to Pass on His Legacy: Jacob Blesses Joseph’s Sons

Genesis 48:1-11 Having lived to see God’s extraordinary faithfulness in his own life, Jacob looks to the future…

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A Big Fish Story

It has been said that God is not responsible for billions of people not knowing about his wonderful…

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All Things for Good

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who…

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God Does Miracles Only When We Need Them

Matthew 14:13-21 The miracle of the “feeding of the five thousand” in Matthew 14:13-21 is greater than the…

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The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts

1 Corinthians 12-14 The Corinthian church was like much of the American church today: socially stratified, individualistic, and…

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Is Lying Ever Right?

Exodus 1:19-21 In the 2013 film, Return to the Hiding Place (https://www.christianbook.com/return-to-the-hiding-place/pd/241338?event=ESRCG), Eusi, a Jewish cantor staying with…

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Historical Evidence for the Existence of Jesus

Contrary to some circles on the Internet, very few scholars doubt that Jesus existed, preached and led a…

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No Way to Treat Guests

Genesis 19 Two angels came to Sodom to test its morality (Gen 18:20-22). They arrived in evening, when…

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Joseph Secures the People’s Land

Genesis 47:18-26 This passage tells us a lot about Joseph. Joseph worked on behalf of both Pharaoh, his…

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A Multicultural Multitude

While there is some debate about the identity of the 144,000 in 7:1-8, everyone agrees that the innumerable…

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Carrying on the promised line—Genesis 24

I used to relish reading Genesis 24 in my Hebrew devotions, because it encouraged my faith that as…

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Seek the common good

Sometimes religious people, like some other people, have wanted to be in charge of society. Of course, in…

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You Are A Minister

Ephesians 4:11-13 In Ephesians 4:11-13, the job of ministers of the Word is to equip the rest of…

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Slaves and Slaveholders – Ephesians 6:5-9

Early U.S. slaveholders did not want slaves to hear the gospel because they feared that the slaves would…

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Slavery in the Bible: Paul Writes to the Ephesians

Some people used Ephesians 6:5-9 alongside Greek, Roman, and Arab discussions of slavery to support the kind of…

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Mutual Submission

Sometimes Paul gets a bad rap. The Slave Narratives are replete with sentiments from former slaves who loved…

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How do we Imitate God

Ephesians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:1; and other passages What does Eph 5:1 mean when it exhorts us, “Follow…

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Do You Feel Alienated from Church?

Some people don’t attend church because they were hurt by the church. That’s understandable, especially if you had…

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The Ministry at Antioch

Acts 11:19-30 Verse 19 There were large Jewish communities in Phoenicia, Cyprus (cf. Acts 4:36), and Antioch. Antioch…

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Observing Special Days

Observing special days–Galatians 4:10 Happy New Year–may you have a great day! But some people feel that however…

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Philip Preaches to the Ethiopian Eunuch

Since Samaritans were considered half-breeds (8:4-25), this African court official is the first fully Gentile convert to Christianity…

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Paul, Silas, and the Jailer

Acts 16:23-35 23: Some jailers were public slaves. Prison directors (whether slave or free, as may be likelier…

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Finding Common Ground

Acts 17 Paul’s letters never compromise God’s message, but he uses the language of his culture to articulate…

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A Replacement for Judas

Acts 1:26 Some interpreters today suggest that the apostles made a mistake in casting lots for a twelfth…

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A Brief Description of the Early Church

Acts 2:41-47 Verse 41: Summary sections (such as 2:41-47 here) appear often in ancient literature. Luke’s estimate of…

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The Bible and Rape

Steve and Celestia Tracy travel from the U.S. each year to provide ministry to women in the Democratic…

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David’s Judgement

2 Samuel 12:11 David’s sin regarding Bathsheba and Uriah undermined the testimony of David’s past devotion to God.…

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Global Sharing

2 Corinthians 8—9 Any reader of the Gospels knows that Jesus taught radical sharing of our possessions with…

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Loyal To The Death

When Jesus commands us to love one another as he has loved us, why does he call this…

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Near the Broken, Far from the Proud

Often in history, revival flourishes among the lowly and the broken and spreads from there. Sometimes we get…

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Rewards and Grace Part II

The first installment of this blog post asked whether rewards are compatible with grace (an issue revisited at…

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Paul Explains the Resurrection to the Corinthians

These background notes are for 1 Corinthians 15: 1-19. Introduction to Paul’s argument: Resurrection by definition involved the…

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Introduction to Paul’s Argument: Resurrection by Definition Involved the Body

Many Judeans connected belief in an end-time resurrection (Daniel 12:2) and judgment with moral behavior (Pharisees sometimes attacked…

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Not Rightly Discerning the Body

When Jesus met with his disciples the night before his crucifixion, he ate a meal with them. In…

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Loveless Christians in 1 Corinthians 13

We often quote 1 Corinthians 13 as if it is an all-purpose description of love, for weddings, marriage…

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How can we be Save By Grace Yet Rewarded for Works?

How can we be saved by grace yet rewarded for works? Because this question invites a longer-than-usual answer,…

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The Bible and Exercise

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