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…

Bible Greek (1): Lord and God

The Greek New Testament uses the following words to describe God. θεός (theos) = Godκύριος (kyrios) = Lord THEOS - GOD The first of these words is the general word for a deity. In English, it is found back in technical terms such as theology and theistic. Based on the number of gods you worship,…

Church History 7B: Liberals and Evangelicals

Evangelicalism In the 1800s, there are a large number of Protestant denominations living alongside each other in relative peace. While they differ on important doctrinal matters, they develop in similar directions, and work together in various ways. One particular movement (esp. in England and North America) may be identified as evangelicalism. The word “evangelical” is…

Church History 7A: Rationalism and Revival

Rationalism The period between (roughly) 1700 and 1900 is known as the “Age of Reason” or “Enlightenment”. It was dominated by a philosophy that put high hopes in the human mind and accomplishments. This rationalist worldview shifted the focus from religious, doctrinal truth to more humanistic, secular principles. (Some of this development already started in…

Church History 6C: Developments in England

The Church of England becomes Protestant In 1534, King Henry VIII denounced the Pope, thereby separating the Church of England from the Catholic church. He did not have sympathy for the Protestant theology; he resented the Pope for not sanctioning the divorce from his wife. Henry’s successor, the “boy king” Edward VI, was sympathetic to…