Through close readings of the texts themselves, examining the books in comparison with other Jewish apocalyptic literature and early Christian materials, and reading the texts in light of their social and historical settings, the fifteen papers collected herein significantly advance the current scholarly conversation on these defining Jewish apocalypses written at the end of the first century CE, and they shed light on the everlasting legacy of apocalyptic ideas in both Christianity and Judaism.
Theological Interpretation and Isaiah 53: A Critical Comparison of Bernhard Duhm, Brevard Childs, and Alec Motyer
Following a summary and critical engagement of each interpreter on his own terms, the study analyzes the use of rhetoric behind the respective readings of Isaiah 53, and proposes theological reading as a highly eclectic undertaking, distanced from the demarcations of ‘pre-critical’, ‘critical’, and ‘post-critical’.
This is primarily substantiated in the accounts of prescriptive disfigurements: namely circumcision and the piercing of a slave's ear, both of which were required only when a son, or slave, was acquired permanently. It is further argued that legal entitlement was relevant also to the punitive disfigurements recorded in Exodus 21:22-24, and Deuteronomy 25:11-12, where the physical violation of women was of concern solely as an infringement of male property rights.
This book posits four main critiques. First, the assumptions which underpin the text-focused process of identifying the Gospel's audience, whether deemed to be local, Jewish, or universal, lack clarity. Literary entities such as the implied reader, the intended reader, or the authorial audience, prove inadequate as a means of identifying the Gospel's audience. Second, local audience readings necessarily exclude plot-related developments and are both selective and restrictive in their treatment of characterisation. Much is lost or ignored, as a coherent and simplified audience context is derived from the complex narrative world of the Gospel. Third, this book argues that many in an audience of the Gospel would have incorporated their experience of hearing Matthew within pre-existing mental representations shaped by Mark or other early traditions. Thus, they would have understood the Gospel as relating to events and settings distinct from their own context, regardless of the degree to which they identified with characters or events in the Gospel. Fourth, this book argues that early Christian audiences were largely heterogeneous in terms of ethnicity, age, sex, wealth, familiarity with Christian traditions, and levels of commitment. As such, the aural reception of the Gospel would have resulted in a variety of impacts. A number of these critiques extend beyond the local audience option and for this reason this thesis does not posit a particular audience for the Gospel.
This book entails an exegetical analysis of, and according to, the final form of the text, with particular attention being given to the meaning and function of these verses in the Toledot structure. Kaminski argues against the commonly held view that Noah finds favour because he is righteous, and seeks to demonstrate that divine favour is unmerited in accordance with the theme of grace in the primaeval history and in Genesis as a whole. Thus what sets the flood story in motion is not Noah's righteousness, but the divine favour he finds.
Finally, Neufeld investigates the author of Mark's preoccupation with ‘secrecy', showing that the author of Mark's disposition to secrecy in his narrative heightened when the dangers of scorn and ridicule from crowds or persons became pressing concerns. In a fiercely competitive literary environment where mocking and being mocked were ever present dangers, Mark, in his pursuit of authority gains it by establishing a reputation of possessing authentic, secret knowledge. In short, the so-called secrecy motif is shown to be deployed for specific, strategic reasons that differ from those that have been traditionally advanced.
Most of these ancient writings functioned, to some degree, as sacred texts or scripture sacra scriptura in the communities in which they were produced and in others to which they circulated.This volume focuses on how some of these forgotten voices were heard within numerous early religious communities, helping to remove the distressing silence in many areas of the ancient world.
The Johannine writings have increasingly been seen as the product of a distinct Johannine Community, depicted by some scholars as a sectarian group, opposed both to wider Jewish society and to other Christian groups. This model has largely been constructed on historical-critical grounds, yet given our lack of reliable external information about the origin of the Johannine writings, a more fruitful approach may be to examine their lexico-grammatical and discourse features to determine what these imply about interpersonal relationships. This study compares selected 'narrative asides' from the Gospel of John with a passage section from 1 John and with the two shorter Johannine Epistles. It concludes that register analysis of these texts does not support the idea of a close-knit sectarian group.
Historical documents confirm that Jesus Christ toured Israel during the first century, healing, expelling demons, and raising the dead to life. His powerful teaching, His love, and His rising from the tomb helped identify Him as the Messiah sent to save mankind from sin and death. In Being There, we hear from special individuals chosen to be present when Jesus changed history forever. We hear powerful stories from the voices of the prophet Simeon, John the Baptist, the apostles Peter and James, His mother Mary and His father Joseph, and many others. These sensitive accounts given by eyewitnesses will awaken your imagination, bring history to life, and perhaps deepen your love for the Lord of life.
“The account of Dr. Chung and his family will inspire you to believe in second chances and miracles and the God who gives them both.”
-Max Lucado, New York Times best-selling author
My name is Vinh Chung.
This is a story that spans two continents, ten decades, and eleven thousand miles.
When I was three and a half years old, my family was forced to flee Vietnam in June 1979, a place we had never heard of somewhere in the heartland of America.
Several weeks later my family lay half-dead from dehydration in a derelict fishing boat jammed with ninety-three refugees lost in the middle of the South China Sea. We arrived in the United States with nothing but the clothes on our backs and unable to speak a single word of English.
Today my family holds twenty-one university degrees.
How we got from there to here is quite a story.
Where the Wind Leads is the remarkable account of Vinh Chung and his refugee family’s daring escape from communist oppression for the chance of a better life in America. It’s a story of personal sacrifice, redemption, endurance against almost insurmountable odds, and what it truly means to be American.
All author royalties from the sale of this book will go to benefit World Vision.
Vinh Chung was born in South Vietnam, just eight months after it fell to the communists in 1975. His family was wealthy, controlling a rice-milling empire worth millions; but within months of the communist takeover, the Chungs lost everything and were reduced to abject poverty.
Knowing that their children would have no future under the new government, the Chungs decided to flee the country. In 1979, they joined the legendary “boat people” and sailed into the South China Sea, despite knowing that an estimated two hundred thousand of their countrymen had already perished at the hands of brutal pirates and violent seas.
Where the Wind Leads follows Vinh Chung and his family on their desperate journey from pre-war Vietnam, through pirate attacks on a lawless sea, to a miraculous rescue and a new home in the unlikely town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. There Vinh struggled against poverty, discrimination, and a bewildering language barrier—yet still managed to graduate from Harvard Medical School.
Where the Wind Leads is Vinh’s tribute to the courage and sacrifice of his parents, a testimony to his family’s faith, and a reminder to people everywhere that the American dream, while still possible, carries with it a greater responsibility.
“God and the Gay Christian is a game changer. Winsome, accessible, and carefully researched, every page is brought to life by the author’s clear love for Scripture and deep, persistent faith. With this book, Matthew Vines emerges as one of my generation’s most important Christian leaders, not only on matters of sexuality but also on what it means to follow Jesus with wisdom, humility, and grace. Prepare to be challenged and enlightened, provoked and inspired. Read with an open heart and mind, and you are bound to be changed.”
— Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Faith Unraveled
As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships.
Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as:
• Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not?
• How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate?
• What does the story of Sodom and Gomorrah really say about human relationships?
• Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen?
• What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations?
Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian is likely to spark heated debate, sincere soul searching, even widespread cultural change. Not only is it a compelling interpretation of key biblical texts about same-sex relations, it is also the story of a young man navigating relationships with his family, his hometown church, and the Christian church at large as he expresses what it means to be a faithful gay Christian.
From the Hardcover edition.
Key to the story is the Pentecostal "indigenous principle," which encourages missionaries to train local leadership in hopes of creating an indigenous church rooted in the culture of the missionized. In Tarango's analysis, the indigenous principle itself was appropriated by the first generation of Native American Pentecostals, who transformed it to critique aspects of the missionary project and to argue for greater religious autonomy. More broadly, Tarango scrutinizes simplistic views of religious imperialism and demonstrates how religious forms and practices are often mutually influenced in the American experience.
In the year since he was elected, Pope Francis’s simple message of mercy, service, and renewal has spread to every corner of the world. Through his gentle demeanor, selfless actions, and welcoming call for service to others, Pope Francis has captured the attention of a world longing for an authentic message of hope—we want to hear what he has to say.
Collected from Pope Francis’s speeches, homilies, and papers presented during the first year of his papacy, The Church of Mercy is the first Vatican-authorized book detailing his vision for the Catholic Church. From how to be citizens of the world to answering God’s call for evangelization, Pope Francis's deep wisdom reminds us that the Church must move beyond its own walls and joyfully bring God's mercy wherever suffering, division, or injustice exists.
Named TIME Magazine’s 2013 “Person of the Year,” Pope Francis is helping the Church continue toward an authentic Christianity that is faithful to the Gospel and resonant with the world’s greatest needs. The Church of Mercy encourages each of us to ignite the flame within to help share the light of Christ and revitalize the Church.
Whether your daughter is still small or all grown up, she holds a special place in her dad’s heart forever. Today, celebrate the gifts and blessings of the unique relationship between dads and their girls with this inspirational book by family counselor and widely acclaimed parenting expert Dr. James Dobson.
Based on the New York Times bestseller Bringing Up Girls, Dads and Daughters is a beautiful tribute to a dad’s role in his daughter’s life. It’s an insightful collection of wisdom for dads on developing and preserving a truly exceptional connection with their daughters. And it’s a joyful celebration of the lifelong bond of love they share.
“A beautifully written glimpse into heaven that will encourage those who doubt and thrill those who believe.”
—Ron Hall, coauthor of Same Kind of Different as Me
“Do you remember the hospital, Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, mommy, I remember,” he said. “That’s where the angels sang to me.”
When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery–and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.
With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how “really, really big” God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven Is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.
--Randall Wallace, Director Heaven Is for Real, We Were Soldiers, and Secretariat
“Do you remember the hospital, Colton?” Sonja said.“Yes, mommy, I remember,” he said. “That’s where the angels sang to me.”
When four-year-old Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren't expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the following months—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.
This true story, retold by his father but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”
Heaven is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe like a child.
Bonus material in this special movie edition includes:
- Photos from the movie set
- Updates from father, Todd, and son, Colton, on recent events including the making-of-the-movie experience
- “From the Set” Q&A’s with the movie’s filmmakers and actors
The resurrection. As far as doctrines go, it's a game changer. Many accept the resurrection without giving it much thought. But isn't something so important worthy of our wrestling with it? What if we approached the issue of the resurrection in an unbiased manner and assessed it as a cold case detective would evaluate a crime scene? Author J. Warner Wallace is a cold-case detective. He also used to be an atheist. Follow along in this brief presentation of his approach in applying his detective's expertise to the accounts of the resurrection. Wallace believes the case is nothing but compelling: Jesus is alive!
On Sunday they jammed the streets celebrating his arrival. But on Friday they were screaming for his blood.
What prompted this stunning reversal? Why did this man’s followers and friends demand his death?
Crucify! reveals the motive behind the most heinous murder of all time. Timothy J. Stoner mines the Gospels to expose Jesus’s secret agenda and uncovers his dangerous and provocative mission. Is there something about this young Rabbi that we have failed to understand or appreciate?
Answering these questions raises another—one that is more troubling: If we’d been there, would we have joined with the scandalized crowd crying Crucify?
After many years of writing her own words in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior's voice and begin listening for what He was saying. So with pen in hand, she embarked on a journey that forever changed her—and many others around the world.
In these powerful pages are the words and Scriptures Jesus lovingly laid on her heart. Words of reassurance, comfort, and hope. Words that have made her increasingly aware of His presence and allowed her to enjoy His peace.
Jesus is calling out to you in the same way. Maybe you share the author’s need for a great sense of “God with you”. Or perhaps Jesus seems distant without you knowing why. Or maybe you have wandered farther from Him that you ever imagined you would. Here is a year’s worth of daily readings from Young’s journals to bring you closer to Christ and move your time with Him from monologue to a dialogue.
Each day is written as if Jesus Himself were speaking to you. Because He is. Do you hear Him calling?
- Why Jesus’ baptism is relevant for our salvation
- The similarities and differences between the temptation of the first Adam and the temptation of Jesus, the “second Adam"
- How God uses song to celebrate his redemptive acts
- Why the Last Supper marks the beginning of a greater exodus than that of the Old Testament
- How Jesus’ death and resurrection are grounded in the eternal covenant among the persons of the Trinity\
- Why Jesus’ ascension makes a difference in our lives today
- What we know and don’t know about Jesus’ return
• A Sermon for the Week of Prayer
• Portraits of Christ
• Words of Expostulation
• The Christ of Patmos
• The Earnest of Heaven
• The Tabernacle — Outside the Camp
• None But Jesus
• None But Jesus — Second Part
• The Glorious Right Hand of the Lord
• The Shulamite’s Choice Prayer
• The Silver Trumpet
• The Great Supreme
• The March!
• The First Sermon in the Tabernacle
• Evangelical Congratulations
• Opening Services
• Meeting of the Neighboring Churches
• Christ Set Forth As A Propitiation
• The Interest of Christ and His People in Each Other
• Temple Glories
• Public Meeting of Our London Baptist Brethren
• Public Meeting of the Various Denominations
• Christ’s Finished Work
• Perfect Cleansing
• Meeting of Our Own Church
• Christian Baptism
• The Last Census
• Exposition of the Doctrines of Grace
• The First Resurrection
• Trust in God — True Wisdom
• The Church — Conservative and Aggressive
• “Even So, Father!”
• Jehovah Tsidkenu: the Lord Our Righteousness
• Climbing the Mountain
• Fire! Fire! Fire!
• The New Nature
• A Peal of Bells
• Our Miseries, Messengers of Mercy
• Jacob’s Waking Exclamation
• The Joint Heirs and Their Divine Portion
• The Broken Column
• Intercessory Prayer
• The Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem
• The Infallibility of God’s Purpose
• Natural or Spiritual?
• Accidents, Not Punishments
• Fellowship with God
• Not Now, But Hereafter!
• Infant Salvation
• God’s First Words to the First Sinner
• To Die or Not to Die!
• The Fullness of Christ — Received!
• The Shield of Faith
• Scourge For Slumbering Souls
• Bread For the Hungry
• The Roaring Lion
• Abram and the Ravenous Birds
• “It is Finished!”
• The Peacemaker
Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger and feelings of condemnation: all these are attacks on the mind. If readers suffer from negative thoughts, they can take heart! Joyce Meyer has helped millions win these all-important battles. In her most popular bestseller ever, the beloved author and minister shows readers how to change their lives by changing their minds.
She teaches how to deal with thousands of thoughts that people think every day and how to focus the mind the way God thinks. And she shares the trials, tragedies, and ultimate victories from her own marriage, family, and ministry that led her to wondrous, life-transforming truth--and reveals her thoughts and feelings every step of the way.
This special updated edition includes an additional introduction and updated content throughout the book.
In YOU CAN BEGIN AGAIN, bestselling author Joyce Meyer explores the beauty and infinite supply of God's love and grace. Through inspiring stories, Scriptural principles, and her classic practical, life-application approach, Joyce powerfully demonstrates that God isn't done with you yet.
If you're stuck in a rut, disappointed by an outcome, hurting from a wound, failing in an endeavor, struggling in a relationship, or unsure about the future. . .don't give up. Don't give up on yourself, and don't give up on the God Who loves you and offers you a new beginning today.
Am I really saved? Am I going to heaven? How can I know for sure? Every believer has wrestled with these questions at some point in their journey. Saved Without a Doubt examines Scripture to uncover the truth of salvation, while addressing tough questions that can hinder our faith. Readers will develop a Bible-based theology of salvation and be encouraged to securely rest in their personal relationship with Christ.
Like every girl, Sarah Jakes dreamed of a life full of love, laughter, and happy endings. But her dreams changed dramatically when she became pregnant at age thirteen, a reality only compounded by the fact that her father, Bishop T.D. Jakes, was one of the most influential megachurch pastors in the nation. As a teen mom and a high-profile preacher's kid, her road was lonely. She was shunned at school, gossiped about at church. And a few years later, when a fairy-tale marriage ended in a spiral of hurt and rejection, she could have let her pain dictate her future.
Instead, she found herself surrounded by a God she'd given up on, crashing headlong with Him into a destiny she'd never dreamed of. Sarah's captivating story, unflinchingly honest and deeply vulnerable, is a vivid reminder that God can turn even the deepest pain into His perfection.
More than a memoir, Lost and Found offers hope and encouragement. Perhaps you, like Sarah, find yourself wandering the detours of life. Regardless of how lost you feel, you, too, can be found.
It's crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe—the Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor—loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you've verbalized it yet or not, we all know something's wrong.
Does something deep inside your heart long to break free from the status quo? Are you hungry for an authentic faith that addresses the problems of our world with tangible, even radical, solutions? God is calling you to a passionate love relationship with Himself. Because the answer to religious complacency isn't working harder at a list of do's and don'ts—it's falling in love with God. And once you encounter His love, as Francis describes it, you will never be the same. Because when you're wildly in love with someone, it changes everything.
Learn more about Crazy Love at www.crazylovebook.com.
Filled with adventure, suspense, drama, and mystery, the gospel story easily captures the attention of children. Even better, the gospel story gives life. We are saved and our children are saved as we review the story of the gospel. So why do so many well-intentioned parents give up on family devotions—deciding that reading the Bible as a family must only be for “super parents.” The truth is that there are no super parents. We all struggle, and we all need help to stay on course. Old Story New makes it easy for parents to stay on the life-giving course of sharing the gospel with their family.
The second volume in Marty Machowski’s family devotional series, Old Story New continues the gospel story that started in Long Story Short. Using the same effective ten-minute a day structure, it walks children through the great truths of the Christian faith in the New Testament. Through 78 New Testament stories, Old Story New does the hard work for parents and caregivers. Simple discussion questions (and answers!!) for each day’s devotion help children understand and remember Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and the birth of the Christian church. Old Story New is a family devotional program designed to explain God’s plan of salvation through the New Testament and is suitable for children from preschool through high school.
The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven: A Remarkable Account of Miracles, Angels, and Life beyond This World
Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.
Then, Dr. Alexander’s own brain was attacked by a rare illness. The part of the brain that controls thought and emotion—and in essence makes us human—shut down completely. For seven days he lay in a coma. Then, as his doctors considered stopping treatment, Alexander’s eyes popped open. He had come back.
Alexander’s recovery is a medical miracle. But the real miracle of his story lies elsewhere. While his body lay in coma, Alexander journeyed beyond this world and encountered an angelic being who guided him into the deepest realms of super-physical existence. There he met, and spoke with, the Divine source of the universe itself.
Alexander’s story is not a fantasy. Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul. Today Alexander is a doctor who believes that true health can be achieved only when we realize that God and the soul are real and that death is not the end of personal existence but only a transition.
This story would be remarkable no matter who it happened to. That it happened to Dr. Alexander makes it revolutionary. No scientist or person of faith will be able to ignore it. Reading it will change your life.