• Old Testament

    Was Boaz the Son of Rahab?

    Almost every year when teaching through Old Testament survey class, I get asked whether Boaz was the son of Rahab. According to the genealogy of Matthew 1:5, Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab. So that seems to settle the issue then. Many people assume that Boaz was Rahab’s son, and perhaps Rahab herself would have told stories to Boaz about God’s gracious intervention in her life. Rahab being the mother of Boaz certainly preaches well! However, there are some complications. Boaz Probably Lived 200+ Years After Rahab We have a bit of a conundrum, because Ruth 4:21–22 gives us David’s likely relationship with Boaz. We can trace David’s genealogy as follows: Salmon fathered Boaz Boaz fathered Obed Obed fathered Jesse Jesse fathered David We know David becomes king over Judah around 1010 BC. So, if we trace the Ruth genealogy, we see that the story of Boaz probably…

  • Christian Living,  Culture

    3 Ways to be Thankful in a Thankless Culture

    One of the hallmarks of a degenerate society is the lack of thankfulness. This makes sense since giving thanks is an acknowledgment of God’s praiseworthiness and His goodness. Therefore, those who reject God are marked by a refusal to give thanks to God (cf. Rom 1:21). In contrast to thankless unbelievers, Christians are to be marked by constantly being thankful (Phil 4:6; 1 Tim 4:4). Thus, in honor of American Thanksgiving (sorry Canada), I want to give a few practical ways to promote a thankful heart during this season. Here are three practical ways you can stimulate thankfulness in your heart. Focus on what you deserve. This should be the ultimate prompt for Christians. As Christians, we are recipients of a thing called grace. We deserve hell and eternal damnation. We deserve nothing good, only judgment for rebelling against the Creator. Thus, how much do we have to be thankful…

  • Apologetics

    Two Simple Questions for the Atheist

    I’m not very good at witnessing to unbelieving atheists, but I try to do the best I can. I have studied different apologetic methods, and try to practice certain helpful things I pick up. The problem that I find in talking to an atheist is that they are usually not committed to a consistent worldview. They pick and choose what to believe, based not on a foundational conviction, but on popular opinion (never mind if their beliefs contradict). Although reasoning with nonbelievers can be difficult, here are two questions that I think can help demonstrate the inconsistency of an atheist’s worldview. What is the basis for logical thought or meaningful reasoning for the atheist? The premise behind this question is that true wisdom and rational capability is only found in the reality of God’s creation. Logic and reason are only possible because God has designed the world to operate in…

  • Old Testament

    Goliath was a Nephilim of the Anakim

    According to the book of 1 Samuel, Goliath was the most impressive warrior in the Philistine army. He was also a man of incredible height. He was, after all, a giant! However, questions about Goliath’s ancestry often come up. Was Goliath a native Philistine, an Egyptian, or perhaps something else? I would argue that although Goliath fought as a Philistine, the evidence suggests that he probably was of the Anakim, not a native Philistine. Tracing the Nephilim and Anakim from Judah to the Coastal Plains Before the wilderness wandering, Israel sent out spies to spy out the land of Canaan (Num 13). When the spies returned, all but Joshua and Caleb were shaking in their boots. The chief complaint was that the people “are of great height” and that the Nephilim (the sons of Anak) were there (Num 13:32-33). The phrase Nephilim is not used often, but in the context of…

  • Old Testament

    Perhaps Sin is Not Crouching at the Door (Genesis 4:7)

    Whenever one challenges a translation that most English translations use, it is natural to be skeptical. I know I was… at least initially. But, as I have chewed on the data and worked it over in my mind, I have become much more sympathetic to the idea that most English translations get Genesis 4:7 wrong. Genesis 4:7 is most commonly interpreted as sin personified as a wild animal crouching outside the door, ready to pounce! But, I would like to advocate for an alternative understanding. Perhaps Genesis 4:7 is not talking about sin crouching at the door but about God providing a sin offering for Cain as a means of reconciliation. English Translations and Genesis 4:7 I imagine that most readers did not even know there was a possible alternative rendering of Genesis 4:7. This is largely because of the near-unanimous translation of Genesis 4:7. Here is a list of…

  • Christian Living,  Law,  Old Testament

    The Heart of the Law is the Heart

    Christians often view biblical law negatively. It is often viewed as diametrically opposed to the freedom we have through grace. Many Christians think that the Old Testament was primarily concerned with external obedience, whereas the New Testament is concerned with matters of the heart. However, a careful examination of the tone of the Law indicates that it is not to be viewed as something incongruent with the character of the New Testament Christian. When reading the Law, one quickly sees that the Law emphasized the necessity of complete heartfelt obedience, not merely external obedience to a checklist. Consider Deuteronomy 10:12-13: Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?…

  • Law,  New Testament,  Old Testament

    Paul’s Use of Leviticus in 1 Corinthians

    Leviticus is notoriously the place where year-long Bible reading programs die. Many a well-intentioned Christian has struggled and ultimately failed to get through Leviticus. The laws in Leviticus just seem so strange to the modern reader! Laws about sacrifices, washings, menstruation, and leprosy. These are strange concepts for the Western reader to think about. Yet, we deprive ourselves of a valuable resource if we ignore Leviticus. Leviticus has always been viewed as a foundational book for the Jewish people, and it was used significantly by Jesus and the Apostles in giving instruction to the church. The Prevalence of Leviticus in the New Testament In support of the assertion that Jesus and the Apostles relied heavily on Leviticus it may interest the reader to know that, according to the Loci Citati Vel Allegati in the 28th edition of Nestle Aland’s Greek New Testament, there are at least ninety-four specific Leviticus passages…

  • Christian Living,  Law,  Old Testament

    Should Christians Keep the Sabbath?

    Historically, many Christians have assumed that it is a Christian obligation to keep the Sabbath. Both the Westminster Confession of Faith and the London Baptist Confession of Faith include language which obligates Christians to observe the Sabbath. Although both of these confessions move the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, they both are adamant that keeping the Sabbath is an obligation on all of humanity. But, is keeping the Sabbath for today? In order to answer that question, we need to discuss what the Sabbath was along with its purpose. What did the Sabbath look like? The Sabbath was observed each and every Saturday and was to be a day of rest for Israel. They were prohibited from doing extraneous work. A good summary of the prohibition is found in Deuteronomy 5:14: “You shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Ethics

    The Biblical Problems and Physical Dangers of Transgender Ideology

    It is a popular trend today to support the belief that anyone can choose any gender. Transgender ideology has become mainstream, and that mainstream culture promotes the idea that people should be able to identify gender by feeling and not by biological sex. This same culture also teaches that society needs to support those individuals who make the decision to switch genders. If you do not support gender transitions, you are viewed as a bigot and unloving. However, supporting transgender ideology has significant biblical problems as well as physical dangers. The Biblical Problems of Transgender Ideology Scripture is clear—God created mankind in the image of God as male and female (Gen 1:27). It is God who determined the sexes. Hence, God determines gender. Gender cannot be separated from one’s biological sex. Any attempt to do so is a modern rejection of God’s created order. From a Christian worldview, we know…

  • Hermeneutics,  New Testament,  Scripture

    Are the Red Letters Special in the Bible?

    When it comes to the red letters of the Bible, as Christians we often revere and cherish those portions of the text more highly than others. After all, the red letters are the words of Jesus! Why shouldn’t we value what Jesus says higher than other parts of the Bible? It is certainly popular to value what Jesus says over and above other parts of Scripture. In fact, there is a whole group called, Red Letter Christians, who exist “to take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount” (quote from their stated purpose). Perhaps you are not a card-carrying member of the Red Letter Christians. But, I imagine you gravitate to the person of Jesus. I bet that you value him above anyone else who is mentioned in the…