• New Testament,  Textual Criticism

    Why James Translates Jacob in the New Testament

    In James 1:1 we read, “James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.” James is the English word for Ἰάκωβος in the Greek. However, Ἰάκωβος is simply a Greek form for the name of Jacob in the OT (יַעֲקֹב). Why do we use the name James for the name Jacob in the New Testament? Why James Rather than Jacob? One theory is that during that translation of the King James Bible, the king forced the translators to substitute the king’s name for Jacob in the New Testament because he wanted his name in the Bible. This view is…

  • Hermeneutics,  Old Testament

    When We Wrestle with God for the Wrong Reasons

    I recently was pointed to an article by Desiring God which encourages the believer to wrestle with God like Jacob wrestled with God at Peniel/Mahanaim (Gen 32:1-32). The implication of the article is that Jacob’s wrestling match with God is a pattern for us to follow—we too ought to wrestle with God! I have written before about the bad habit of reading Bible stories inappropriately, but this is a good example of this bad practice. Like many well-intentioned Bible readers, the author assumes that the actions of the characters in the story are to be emulated and the events of the story should form our expectations of how God operates…