For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds

Cultural commentary Archives

Matthew 8:1-4; The Man with Leprosy (Cultural Commentary)

posted by Mike Nappa

The simple fact is that Jesus broke the law when he healed the man with leprosy identified in Matthew 8:2-4. Jewish law in the time of Jesus regarded leprosy as a grave offense. Upon diagnosis by the priest, the leper’s […]

Matthew 7:7-12; Ask, Seek, Knock (Cultural Commentary)

posted by Mike Nappa

Jesus frequently pointed to God’s place as our Father to emphasize the idea that God cares for us—but that imagery meant something different to his first-century hearers than it does to our so-called “progressive” 21st-century culture. In today’s American culture, […]

Matthew 6:25-34; Do Not Worry (Cultural Commentary)

posted by Mike Nappa

A few random thoughts about Matthew 6:25-34… In Jesus’ time, poverty was the norm, not the exception. Add to that vagaries of crops and crime and war and more, and you can see why people would worry about what they […]

Matthew 6:16-18; Fasting (Cultural Commentary)

posted by Mike Nappa

Generally speaking, fasting was never intended to be used as a badge of honor or as a mark of super-spirituality. It is almost always associated with sorrow for sin and an expression of humility before God alone. In spite of […]

Previous Posts

Matthew 9:1-8; Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Cultural Commentary)
The mysterious relationship between sin and sickness is a question that’s brewed for hundreds of generations. Is a man sick because he sins, or is physical sickness independent of spiritual and moral cause? Ancient Judaic thought had settled on the assumption that every sickness was punishment

posted 12:00:50pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Cultural Commentary)
What was the deal with the drowning pigs? When Jesus healed two demon-possessed men in the region of the Gadarenes, the demons begged to be exorcised into a nearby herd of swine (Matthew 8:29-33). Jesus granted that request, so the demons inhabited those pigs. The whole herd subsequently stampede

posted 12:00:04pm Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Historical Background)
The first thing that Matthew tells about the two demoniacs in 8:28 is that they were “coming from the tombs.” Mark, in his similar account of the event, reveals that at least one of these men actually “lived in the tombs.” This is an important detail with both cultural and historical signifi

posted 12:00:03pm Jan. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Cross-Reference Comparisons)
The exorcism account that Matthew tells in 8:28-34 is generally believed to be the same event also documented in Luke 8:26-39 and Mark 5:1-20. Matthew and Luke abbreviate the details, and thus are sometimes assumed to have drawn from Mark as the source, though that assumption is primarily conjecture

posted 12:00:02pm Jan. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:23-27; Jesus Calms the Storm (Historical Backgrounds)
In the second century B.C. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a Syrian Greek tyrant, ruled over the Jewish nation with an iron fist, claiming god-like power over all of nature. In the end, though, he was stricken ill and weak, prompting this pitiful epitaph in 2 Macabees 9:8, “Thus he who had just been think

posted 12:00:00pm Jan. 16, 2015 | read full post »


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