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Author: Mike

The Old Testament, the Ancient Near East, and Our Faith Today

What do I mean? What is the ancient Near East? Broadly and generally speaking, it was the area in ancient times that roughly corresponds to the modern Middle East. Israel was nestled in the land of Canaan between some of the major ancient Near Eastern empires (Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, etc.). The nation was often influenced by the political flow of ancient Near Eastern history. On example of the political turmoil experienced due to other nations is the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. When we look into the historical background of that event, we know that King Nebuchadnezzar II...

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The World Around the Old Testament

The World Around the Old Testament: The People and Places of the Ancient Near East Edited by Bill T. Arnold and Brent A. Strawn (Baker Academic, 2016) As a graduate student with a focus in Old Testament studies, especially with an interest in the ancient Near East, I was thrilled when I found out about The World Around the Old Testament: The People and Places of the Ancient Near East, a new volume from Baker Academic. Bill T. Arnold and Brent A. Strawn have edited an impressive volume that brings together top-quality scholarship and readability with contributors such as...

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Greek Grammar: Syntax for Students of the New Testament

Before getting into my post, let me point out that I am reviewing Intermediate Greek Grammar: Syntax for Students of the New Testament as someone who, having just completed my 3rd semester of (intermediate) Greek, read through Mathewson and Emig’s grammar in conjunction with my required intermediate readings for the course. So, my review and insights are from the perspective of an intermediate Greek student who was actually using the Intermediate Greek Grammar alongside my course! Intermediate Greek Grammar, A Review Mathewson and Emig do a superb job of laying out what their grammar is and is not in their...

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NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, a Review

When I first heard of the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, my first thought was, “I want to own that.” The cultural context of Scripture is one of my favorite things to study, and something that I have chosen to focus on during my education. One may ask, “Is this necessary? Really? Another study Bible?” Particularly, the NIV Archaeological Study Bible might come to mind. Long story short: Yes, I think a study Bible emphasizing cultural backgrounds is necessary. I also think Dr. John Walton (OT scholar) and Dr. Craig Keener (NT scholar) are two quality editors to get...

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How I Changed My Mind About Evolution

Evolution: A Reflection on Faith and Science Evolution. Many followers of Christ cringe at the sound of that word. Generally speaking within Evangelical circles, this word is shrouded with images of all things atheistic. According to Christians who accept the science of evolution (e.g., the contributors in this volume), this is most often accompanied by inaccurate understandings of evolutionary biology. In addition to that, there is a general fear among Evangelicals of venturing into tough questions that have the potential of causing us to rethink faith-related topics on a large scale. Nonetheless, there are many Christians who have far...

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