Archive for the ‘ExEx’ Category

Let us pray.

The Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9-13) is one of the best known portions of the Sermon on the Mount. Many of us first learned it at our mothers’ knees, and prayed it every evening before we went to sleep. The Didache, a guide to early church practice, instructs believers to pray it three times a day. Faithful Catholics repeat it many times a day as a component of the Rosary.

In light of this widespread personal use of the prayer, I was surprised, when studying the prayer in its context, to realize that our Lord intends it first of all, not for private devotion, but for believers gathered together in corporate prayer. This insight warns us against two unhealthy tendencies in modern evangelical circles. One is a neglect to use the prayer at all. The other is an increasing neglect of gathering for corporate prayer.
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Our Lord’s Epiphany in 2 Tim 1:9-10

I was meditating recently on this text:

2Ti 1:9 [God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

The word “appearing” is the Greek word “epiphany” ἐπιφανεια. It is the basis for the feast of Epiphany celebrated in January in liturgical churches to commemorate the appearance of God in our Lord’s incarnation. But is this really what epiphany means?

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Peter’s Planned Presentation

In a previous post, I suggested that Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:14-36 (along with many other biblical sermons) shows evidence of careful planning. A brother asked me to provide more explanation in the case of Peter’s presentation. The evidence lies in the very careful rhetorical structure of the presentation. Here are the details.

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God’s Persistent Anger

This week’s study introduces the series of four stanzas that outline God’s past and future judgment against the Northern Kingdom.

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How many names does the Child have?

Isa 9:5 (English translations v. 6) gives a series of names for the promised Child. Modern translations, motivated by the idea that the names are paired, group them into four, of which the first is “Wonderful Counselor” or (NIV) “Extraordinary Strategist.” Older versions such as the KJV and the ASV, set “Wonderful” apart as a name by itself. How many should we understand?

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Three Reasons for Joy

The study for Feb 15 expounds the three reasons that Isaiah gives for the joy described in 9:3. Each is introduced by the conjunction “for,” at the start of verses 4, 5, and 6. The repetition of logical connectives like this is a key indicator of how the author is developing his argument, and merits careful attention.

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Who is speaking in Isa 8:16-18?

These three verses suddenly switch from the third person of the context to the first person, and the commentaries are rife with proposals for who is speaking at this point. There is not even agreement that all of the “I”‘s are spoken by the same person. Some commentators hear two different voices here (Targum, Calvin, Alexander, Young), or even three (Gill, Motyer). Candidates for the speaker include the Lord, Isaiah, or the Messiah.
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King Ahaz and the Virgin

This week’s message explores the Immanuel prophecy. It argues that

  • the meaning “virgin” for עלמה is legitimate, and it is not true that  בתולה would be a more appropriate word to convey this sense;
  • the emphasis on the virgin birth of one who would be “God with us” would be profoundly meaningful to Ahaz in the context, and is probably intentional on the part of Isaiah;
  • thus Matthew’s quotation of Isa 7:14 is not a loose adaptation of a non-messianic prophecy, but entirely in keeping with how the verse functions in its context.

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Uncreation in Isa 6:12

Isaiah describes the coming judgment in Isa 6:12 with the words, “the Lord removes men far away.” “Men” is actually the definite singular construction האדם: “The Lord removes the man far away.” Careful exegesis will note this usage, and explore its meaning. Continue reading Uncreation in Isa 6:12…

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Did Christ atone for sin?

The words “atone” and “atonement” are common in the English OT, describing Israel’s animal sacrifices.This vocabulary has been carried over into Christian theology and hymns to describe the death of Christ as an “atonement” for sin, or “atoning” for sin. But it is extremely rare in English translations of the NT. Is it really appropriate to speak of our Lord as “atoning for sin”? Continue reading Did Christ atone for sin?…

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