For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds

Cultural commentary Archives

Matthew 5:38-42; An Eye for an Eye (Cultural Commentary)

posted by Mike Nappa

Why was Jesus so adamant about mentioning “the right cheek” when he gave his command for followers to “turn the other cheek”? The answer lies in the social norms of that time in ancient Israel. In Western society today, one […]

Matthew 5:33-37; Oaths (Cultural Commentary)

posted by Mike Nappa

In ancient Israel, an oath was both a ritual act and a binding promise. Oaths were invoked in court cases to (supposedly) ensure that witnesses would tell the truth. They were also given as proof of an unbreakable pledge of […]

Matthew 5:27-30; Adultery (Cultural Commentary)

posted by Mike Nappa

Jesus’ New Testament teachings on the topic of adultery could be considered by his hearers as rabbinical commentary on Old Testament law—specifically on the seventh commandment found in Exodus 20:14. As such, at this point in his Sermon on the […]

Matthew 5:17-20; The Fulfillment of the Law (Cultural Commentary)

posted by Mike Nappa

In the modern practice of the Christian faith, we often live as though the New Testament has abolished the Old Testament, and therefore the Old Testament can be ignored. That was not Jesus’ view. “Not the smallest letter, not the […]

Previous Posts

Matthew 7:13-14; The Narrow and Wide Gates (Geographical Backgrounds)
“Broad is the road that leads to destruction,” Jesus said near the end of his Sermon on the Mount. As with other references in this sermon, Jesus likely used a literal, visual cue as a symbolic example when he made this statement. In a general sense, most roads in ancient Palestine were commo

posted 12:00:38pm Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:13-14; The Narrow and Wide Gates (Word Study)
Here’s a quick overview of a few keywords from Matthew 7:-13-14, along with their brief meanings in the original Greek text: • Enter (eisérchomai): To go or come into. Also, to go about one’s daily life. • Narrow (stenós): This is a Greek term that means both “narrow” and “straight

posted 12:00:36pm Nov. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:7-12; Ask, Seek, Knock (Literary Influences)
Found where it in Matthew 7:12, the “Golden Rule” seems an awkward contextual placement. In modern Bibles, it’s lumped in with Matthew 7:7-11, appearing as the final sentence in this section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This is particularly perplexing because verse 12 in the NIV begins wit

posted 12:00:54pm Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:7-12; Ask, Seek, Knock (Cultural Commentary)
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, the father is importan

posted 12:00:53pm Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:7-12; Ask, Seek, Knock (Theological Commentary)
Jesus’ exhortation to “ask, seek, knock” in prayer seems a carte blanche promise that God will give anything you or I ask for in prayer. The normal Christian life, on the other hand, seems to discredit this promise on a daily basis. So what gives? Was Jesus lying, or mistaken, or exaggerati

posted 12:00:51pm Nov. 17, 2014 | read full post »


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