What Is In a Day? Genesis One

Brian Fulthorp:

Great post here by my friend Rick on the use of Day in Genesis 1 (a very controversial passage in the Bible, lol)

Originally posted on W.onderful W.orld of W.adholms:

clocksI just realized I have never posted anything (other than my thesis) dealing with the range of meaning for the Hebrew  יוֹם (yom) which is often translated as something like “day”. With all of the kerfuffles (that is a specific theological term ;-) ) over the word “day” in Genesis 1, I thought I’d do a brief post on my own work on this on what has been taught to my students (and will be tomorrow morning as well).

So here is the semantic range (the range of meanings based upon usage of the Hebrew term) as I have worked it out from my reading of the text of Genesis 1 (which is a distinct literary unit from verse 1 to either chapter 2, verse 3 or possibly verse 4):

  1. Period of light (v.5)
  2. Period of alternating darkness/light (vv.5, 8, 13)
  3. Cultic festivals (v.14)
  4. A twenty-four hour period (v.14…

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On the Growth of Pentecostalism

There has been some discussion on the net the last week or so on the growth of Pentecostalism in light of the fact that most of Christianity is on the decline in the US and elsewhere.

First came Missiologist Ed Stetzer who wrote for CT asking “Why do these Pentecostals keep growing?”  While he rightly identifies Pentecostalism’s message of Spirit Baptism as the thrust of the movement, his basic answer seems to be that although Pentecostals are strong believers in their belief in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of such being speaking in tongues (per Acts 2, etc) Pentecostalism seems to be providing a viable alternative to supposed “bland Evangelicalism.” Simply put, Pentecostals tend to be passionate about what they believe such that they share it with others and they work hard to plant churches.  Their passion is contagious!

Then a blog post by Sociologist Michael Wilkinson that he wrote a couple of years ago started showing up sort of in follow-up to what Stetzer wrote.   Wilkinson posted a response to the latest report on the status of Christianity in the world that was published in January 2013 in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (IBMR Vol. 37, No. 1: 32-33).   He discusses the interpretation of the recent findings.

Finally, Dale Coulter, a theologian and scholar in the Church of God Cleveland, TN, has responded (positively) to Stetzer and offers further reflections that I think are true and insightful.  Coulter titles his blog post “Pentecostalism and the Question of Culture.”  I think it really is true that various facets of Pentecostalism, all centered around its message of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit resonates with aspects of current popular culture, and I think in a good way, not a negative way. Pentecostalism is not acquiescing to the culture but rather in how it is and has been expressing its spirituality and beliefs, provides answers people are looking for in healthy ways that above all else, point to Christ!  People want more than to know God, they want to encounter him.  They want to experience God.  If people are coming to your church and they leave without having in some tangible way experienced God, they will probably end up going elsewhere in their search.  The simple fact of the matter is, people are looking for a spiritual encounter with God.  You know how many people say they are spiritual just not religious? That is reflective of their desire for a spiritual encounter, and as Coulter rightly states in his post “Pentecostalism offers a framework for just such an encounter.”

Read what he has to say.  Let me know what you think!

I also really appreciated Mark Stevens’ response as well.


Let Women Remain Silent (or Not)

Brian Fulthorp:

Sharing this good post on the issue of 1 Cor 14:33-35 with y’all. Feel free to let me know what you think!

Originally posted on W.onderful W.orld of W.adholms:

Women Should Remain Silent (?)Last week in class we discussed 1 Corinthians 14.33-35. Talk about a controversial text. How does one properly interpret such a passage?  I was asked by a number of friends if I might post my notes on this. Instead of posting notes, here are “points to ponder” in working toward a proper interpretation of this passage. Perhaps I should mention at the beginning that I did not bring up the typical explanation of this being a house church wherein the women and men sat in different areas (a much later practice nowhere testified to in the NT) and thus the women would be somehow disruptive by asking their husbands something from across the room. Such a maneuver requires a historical reconstruction of which (at best) is shaky. So I offer the following after the verses in question:

 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in…

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thoughts on Luke 12:35-48

The other day a friend was asking about understanding Luke 12:35-48.  I tried looking the parable up in Snodgrass’s book on parables, but perhaps its not a parable so that’s why I could not find it? lol  anyways, here is how I am understanding that passage at the moment:

personally I am thinking the parable is more about being diligent about our spiritual lives and maintaining our integrity in the face of things not always turning out as expected – such as the manager not returning on time. When there is delay in what we know God has told us he will do, are we able to be watchful and diligent to stay with him in the process or do we give up and move on to other things?

its when we lose our focus on his calling in our lives do we start taking it out on others and giving up on God or do we keep pressing in to him and being watchful?  BUT…. depending on your personal theology one can see that in negative terms “God’s gonna punish me if i mess up” or one can be accepting of God’s grace and realize he is for us and not against us….

How might you understand it?

Commentary Review: Allen Ross’s Psalms vol 2

Its with thanks to the kind folks at Kregel that I had the opportunity to be part of the blog review program and am able to offer a brief review of Allen P. Ross’ second volume in his work on the Psalms, A Commentary on the Psalms, Vol 2 (Kregel, 2013).  I think it came out late last year.  It is in the new Kregel Exegetical Commentary set, which is aimed a preachers and Bible teachers.  In Vol 1, Ross writes:

So I have written this commentary for pastors, teachers, and all serious students of the Bible who wish to develop their understanding of the Book of Psalms and to improve their ability to expound it with precision and depth (12).

This really is a all encompassing commentary that I think will bless not just pastors and teachers but also students and even scholars and theologians of various sorts as he really does cover all the bases – while thorough, it’s not exhaustive.  While technical, it’s readable and understandable.  It’s thoroughness and technical coverage are not hinderances but helps.  If one is not familiar with biblical Hebrew that is just fine because one can still glean a significant amount of help in working the Psalms.  If one does have even a rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew, that will be all the better – but really one cannot lose in utilizing Ross’ work on the Psalms.  While clearly in the evangelical camp, he is an astute biblical theologian and not afraid to point out how a Psalm might bridge into the New Testament or point to Christ.

So in review, what is the purpose of the commentary?  Ross writes:

For hundreds of years the Book of Psalms has been one of the richest resources for the expressions of worship and the development of the Spiritual life, and at the same time, one of the more complex and challenging sections of the Bible for expositors, to which the many commentaries attest…. My purpose in writing this commentary was to focus on the chief aim of exegesis, the exposition of the text…. by exegetical exposition I mean that the exposition should cover the entire psalm, and that it should not only explain the text verse-by-verse, but also show how the message of the Psalm unfolds section-by-section (11-12).

How can the commentary benefit you?  Well, its greatest strength, I think, lies in Ross being intentional in helping Pastors and Bible teachers work the text of a particular Psalm and then show how to go “from exegesis to exposition.”  In each Psalm, Ross helps the reader do basic word studies, grammatical and syntactical analysis, exegetical synthesis, exegetical outlines that become theological outlines that lead to homiletical outlines, and application.  It is a crash course on how to put together a expository sermon.  It’s really good stuff, in my opinion.

Here is a description of the commentary from the Kregel website:


The second installment of Dr. Allen Ross’s acclaimed three-volume commentary

For thousands of years, Psalms has been one of the richest resources for worship and development of the spiritual life. At the same time it is one of the more complex and challenging sections of the Bible for expositors and students. Pastors, teachers, and all serious students of the Bible will find this commentary invaluable for developing an understanding of Psalms and for improving the ability to expound it with precision and depth This is volume two of a three-volume commentary on Psalms.

For each psalm, Dr. Allen Ross provides a translation of the text and an overview of the context. He then guides the reader through a detailed exegetical outline and offers an expository idea for the message of the whole psalm.

The commentary includes discussion throughout of three primary challenges to understanding Psalms:

Textual issues: Every major textual difficulty is addressed in order to help the expositor understand the interpretive issues and make decisions when there are multiple available readings.

Poetic language: The psalms are full of poetic imagery, devices, and structures Ross discusses Hebrew poetry in its context with each psalm, specifying the precise devices being used and how they work in the psalm.

Hebrew grammar and syntax: The Hebrew of Psalms poses a challenge to many expositors. This commentary illuminates Hebrew constructions and word meanings in a way that is helpful both to readers who are comfortable with Hebrew and those who are not.

I highly recommend this work in conjunction with other works on the Psalms as a valuable resource for preaching and or teaching, even just doing personal in-depth study on the prayer book of the Bible – the Psalms!

Be Blessed!

Win a Free Copy of the New UBS5 Greek New Testament with Dictionary

Brian Fulthorp:

chance to win a UBS5 GNT with a Dictionary.

Originally posted on Words on the Word:


By now many of you Words on the Word readers will have heard that the UBS edition of the Greek New Testament has recently been published in its fifth revised edition, the UBS5. See here for more.

Check out this smart graphic from Hendrickson Publishers announcing the edition (academia needs more good infographics):

UBS5 Infographic

Just as I reviewed the amazing LXX-NA28 combo, I will soon be reviewing the UBS5 Greek New Testament.

While I work my way through it, with just about a minute of your time and a few clicks, you can enter to win your own copy of the UBS5, thanks to the great people at Hendrickson Publishers.

You Can Earn Up to 8 Entries: Here’s How

Simply comment on this blog post with a short sentence on what interests you in the Greek New Testament. That will give you one entry.

If you share on Facebook…

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on Paul’s letter to the Philippans

This is going to be an intentionally vague post but in the light of certain recent events both local and global within the church and from without – it would seem to me that the message of Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one in particular that needs to be preached in the church local and global.  The Philippian church was a suffering church – Philippi had been established as a town for the veterans of the Roman Army and had been named after King Philip (Alexander the Great’s father) – it received many privileges and especially when it paid tribute to the Caesars, especially as “kurios (Lord).”  For the Christians this was a problem.  A big problem.  They could not and would not call Caesar “kurios.”  That term they reserved for Jesus Christ alone.  They problem for the Christians living in Philippi then was that this brought on much persecution and suffering – be it loss of work or removal from the various guilds, higher taxes and so on.  Their refusal to call Caesar “Lord” jepordized the special status and standing of the city in the eyes of Rome.  The citizens of Philippi were not going to put up with that.  No way.  So this caused many problems for the Philippian church.  Strife arose among them.  Conflict, struggle, finger pointing, murmuring, grumbling, complaining which also probably led to minimized acceptance of and or fellowship with one another and the like.  and ’round and ’round the mulberry bush it went.  It was tearing the church apart.

Paul urged them not to give in to the stress and the pressure both from within and from without.  It would undermine two things: the unity of the church and progress of the gospel.

With regard to the unity of the church – I think its the true theme and purpose of the letter.  I know may think joy is the main theme, especially since the word joy or rejoice occurs frequently throughout the letter, but in my opinion, which has been heavily influenced by the work of Dave Black (his blog, some of his papers and his Linguistics book) and also from Gordon Fee’s commentary on the letter, is that unity is the major theme of the letter and that, for the sake of the gospel.

For Paul, I am not sure much else mattered.  If ever there was a truly gospel-centered person, it was the apostle Paul.  He live and died (literally) for the sake of the progress of the gospel (yeah, that’s probably too many uses of “of.”  lol).

I think we might see this most strongly in Philippians 1:27-28: 

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one FOR the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God (NIV). (capitalized “for” is mine) 

In his estimation, despite whatever happened, all that mattered in life was that the church maintained its unity and that the gospel went forth – and in someways I’ll aver that for Paul the two were in tandem with each other.  Anytime unity in the church was broken or under duress – it affected the progress of the gospel.   As proof, while he was in prison, in chains, others took advantage of the situation and went about promoting themselves and or criticizing Paul (1:15-18).  You would think, “goodness, he got thrown in jail, is chained to a wall, and others are out there mocking him and or promoting themselves, supposedly “preaching the gospel.” That’s gotta be rough.  So discouraging too.”  And yet, what brought Paul true joy?  Nothing other than the progress of the gospel.  It may not have been going forth in the best ways, but nevertheless, it was going forth.  

I share this because I know the church local and global is in the midst of conflict.  There is strife about certain preachers locally.  The church in the Middle East is being systematically murdered.  The church is facing new levels of conflict both from within and from without.  

I think Paul’s prophetic and pastoral word here is most pertinent for our times – I mean I could be over reaching but it seems to me that if ever there was a time the church needed to be “striving together as one FOR the faith of the gospel,” it is now.  I could be wrong but I see a lot of finger pointing going on (not that I haven’t been guiltless of this myself) and some complaining going on, a ton of “folding of the arms” so to speak (a resistant defensive posture), all kinds of line drawing in the sand and the like.  The church abroad is facing much suffering.  I am not on the ground over there but I know from personal experience that hardship can either build up or break down.  

In the midst of conflict in the world around us, its important that we “keep the main thing the main thing” – and for us as Christians, the main thing should be unity in the body for the sake of/progress of the gospel.  Any infighting, whinning, complaining and so on will only hinder the progress of the gospel, not help it (IMO).  Now, unity is not uniformity (as an example, the NFL is in unity about how to play football, though the various teams within wear different uniforms).  We, the church (that is, all Christians), can have differences about some things and that’s all part of being human – and still have the same end goal in mind – the progress of the gospel.  

I pray this message be the message to the modern church – that “he who has an ear will hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”