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…

Church History 6B: Reformed Theology

Five “Solas” The theological focus of the Protestant Reformation is often summarized in five short Latin phrases. Sola Scriptura, “the Scripture alone”. Only the Bible is the ultimate authority and norm for the teaching of the church. The Reformers rejected the right of the Pope to make additional proclamations, or the claim of an “oral…

Church History 6A: The Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther The Protestant Reformation began with Martin Luther on October 31, 1517. He was a preacher and theology professor in Wittenberg, North Germany. Luther disagreed with the practice of selling indulgences, church-issued declarations of forgiveness of sins. To start a debate, he wrote 95 theses concerning this matter and published them on the door…

Church History 5B: The Medieval Church

Charlemagne After the Fall of Rome (476 AD) Western Europe was divided. This marks the beginning of the Middle Ages, which may be roughly dated from 500 to 1500 AD. An important factor during the Middle Ages is the rise of Islam (around 625 AD) and the following Muslim conquest. In the early 700s, Muslims…