Characters in the Bible (5): Isaac and Ishmael

Isaac was Abraham's promised son. The covenant God made with his father continued through him. The Bible gives relatively little information about Isaac. He is especially contrasted with his half-brother Ishmael. The promised "offspring" When the LORD promised Abraham to give him many descendants, there was an obvious problem: his wife Sarah was not able…

The Bible as the Word of God

Short lecture at Reformation Day Event, October 29, 2019, at Living Hope Free Reformed Church in Chatham, ON. One key issue in the Reformation was the place and importance of the Bible. The Reformers insisted that the Bible is the Word of God. Today, most Protestant and so-called “evangelical” churches follow in the footsteps of…

Characters in the Bible (3): Noah and sons

The Flood was a terrible judgment of God on the world. It showed how serious human sin is, but also put on display his profound grace when he kept Noah and his family alive. After the flood, we are not essentially better; but we live with God's assurance that he will not allow sin to spiral out of control again.

Characters in the Bible (2): Cain and Abel

The story of Cain and Abel is more than that of rival brothers. It marks the beginning of a deep rift or antithesis between two groups of people. In Genesis 4 and 5, this antithesis can be traced along family lines; today, it takes the shape of faith versus unbelief.

Bible Greek (3): The Article

The smallest words in a language often do some heavy lifting. This is certainly true for the Greek (definite) article, which corresponds to the English "the". The article takes many different forms, depending on the gender, number, and case of the noun phrase to which it belongs. Each of these forms starts in t- or…

Bible Greek (2): the Kingdom of God

βασιλεύς (basileus) = kingβασιλεία (basileia) = kingdom Basileus = King The Greek word βασιλεύς is found in English derivatives such as basil ("royal herb") and basilic ("royal building"). The feminine form, βασίλισσα (basilissa, "queen") occurs four times in the New Testament. In the Old Testament culture, it was almost a given that a city state…