Paul’s despair and consolation

“…we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself.”

Paul begins his second letter to the Corinthians by mentioning the trials he’d been suffering. He links a few ideas up by the repeated use of some keywords in 2 Cor 1:3-11:

  • Affliction
  • Suffering
  • Consolation

Paul wasn’t hiding the fact that he’d been suffering; instead he was using his experience to make a point  – God had consoled Paul in his suffering, and because of that Paul was now able to console others in the same position. Continue reading “Paul’s despair and consolation”

Jesus at the Feast of Dedication

Taking advantage of opportunities presented

In the Gospel of John we read the following:

Jn 10:22-23 At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon.1

Which of the Biblical Jewish festivals was the Feast of the Dedication? It turns out it wasn’t a Biblical feast. Continue reading “Jesus at the Feast of Dedication”

The Salt of the Earth

How Christ’s audience would have understood his teaching on the salt of the earth

Very early in the Sermon on the Mount, straight after the opening discourse on the blessings on mourners, peacemakers, and the merciful, Christ used two metaphors to describe what the disciples were to be: they were to be the salt of the earth, and the light of the world. We’re going to look at the first of these. Continue reading “The Salt of the Earth”

Evidence for a resurrection?

A summary of the rational, supporting evidence for the resurrection

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless” 1 Corinthians 15:17 NET The resurrection is the critical doctrine and historical basis of our faith. The case for the resurrection can draw on both biblical and external evidence. This article provides a brief summary of the evidence. Continue reading “Evidence for a resurrection?”

“They changed the Bible – RSV removes entire verses”

How Metzger’s “Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament” helps us identify insertions into the Biblical text

The shocking headline above recently featured on a meme alongside a list of verses that the RSV is said to have removed from the Bible. Other such memes exist for other translations like the NIV and with different lists, but the complaint is one that has abounded since well before the existence of the Internet. Continue reading ““They changed the Bible – RSV removes entire verses””

The Lamp of the Body

How Christ’s audience would have understood his teaching on the eye being the light of the body

Compared to the verses that surround it, Matthew 6:22-23 is hard to understand:

Mt 6:22–23 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”1

It is not immediately apparent how the eye is the body’s lamp, or in what sense the eye was said to be healthy/unhealthy, or how a healthy eye results in the body being full of light, or how a body can be full of light at all. Continue reading “The Lamp of the Body”