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Geographical backgrounds Archives

Matthew 8:23-27; Jesus Calms the Storm (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

The Sea of Galilee is an important location in the history of Jesus, particularly because it was there he once demonstrated divine mastery over creation by miraculously calming a deadly storm. (Matthew 8:23-27). Here’s what we know about that body […]

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Matthew 8:5-13; The Faith of the Centurion (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

Jesus was in Capernaum when the centurion approached to request a miracle for his ailing servant (Matthew 8:5-13). Here’s what we know about that ancient village: Capernaum was the primary headquarters for Jesus’ ministry in Israel. After his baptism, Jesus […]

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Matthew 7:24-29; The Wise and Foolish Builders (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

It’s natural to think that the “house built upon the rock” and the “house built upon the sand” in Jesus’ parable of Matthew 7: 24-27 refer to houses in different locations—but geography of ancient Palestine leads some Bible historians to […]

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Matthew 7:13-14; The Narrow and Wide Gates (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

“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 […]

Matthew 5:21-26; Murder (Geographical backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

With increasingly hyperbolic language, Jesus addressed the issue of unchecked anger and its potentially disastrous results as part of his Sermon on the Mount. He even went so far as to declare that angrily insulting another by calling that person […]

Matthew 5:13-16; Salt and Light (Geographical backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

Hidden within Jesus’ teaching on salt and light is this little statement, recorded in Matthew 5:14: “A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” In the literary and symbolic contexts, Christ is obviously emphasizing the idea of his people living […]

Matthew 4:23-25; Jesus Heals the Sick (Geographical Background)

posted by Mike Nappa

The Decapolis referenced in Matthew 4:25 was not a single city or country. Much as we collectively refer to the northeastern states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut as “New England,” people in Jesus’ day used […]

Matthew 3:13-17; The Baptism of Jesus (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

The Jordan River figures prominently in Biblical history, but the river itself isn’t as impressive as the events that surround it. Still, covering about 70 miles in length, it’s the biggest river in Israel and its waters feed a fertile […]

Matthew 2:19-23; The Return to Nazareth (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

During the time of Jesus’ childhood, Nazareth was a tiny, backwater village situated in foothill on the southern edge of what was known as “Lower Galilee.” It was dwarfed by larger towns nearby. With a population estimated by some to […]

Matthew 2:13-18; The Escape to Egypt (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

At the time when the angel instructed Joseph to flee King Herod, Egypt had become a kind of safe haven for Jews forced to leave their home country. Egypt (like Herod’s Judea) was under Roman control—but was outside of King […]

Previous Posts

Bible Resource Spotlight: The Illustrated Guide to Bible Customs and Curiosities
Reader Appeal: Pastors, Students, Nerds Genre: Bible Reference FBSN Rating: A   Don’t be deceived by the “pocket” size of George Knight’s book, The Illustrated Guide to Bible Customs and Curiosities. Sure, it looks small compared to the thick commentaries and weighty diction

posted 12:00:16pm Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Bible Resource Spotlight: Discovering Romans
Reader Appeal: Pastors, Small Group Leaders Genre: Bible Commentary / Sermons FBSN Rating: B+   When S. Lewis Johnson was a college man in the 1930s, he had little interest in God, let alone in preaching the Bible. All he cared about was golf. He competed in many amateur tournaments

posted 12:00:15pm Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Bible Resource Spotlight: 30 Events That Shaped the Church
Reader Appeal: Bible Students, Pastors, Pew-Sitters Genre: Christian History FBSN Rating: A   It’s rare to find a book that could appeal to both a Bible Study Nerd and the average pew-sitter, but Alton Gansky has made one anyway. 30 Events that Shaped the Church takes a unique

posted 12:00:14pm Mar. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:27-34; Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute (Cultural Commentary)
Who is the “prince of demons” referenced in Matthew 9:34? Jesus’ enemies were pretty familiar with that guy—so much so that they felt confident accusing Christ of being his evil pawn. So who were they talking about? The “prince of demons” was a title for a high-ranking, fallen angel d

posted 12:00:59pm Mar. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:27-34; Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute (Word Studies)
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Jesus is recorded asking two blind men in Matthew 9:27-30. When they responded, “Yes Lord,” he said, “According to your faith will it be done for you.” And their sight was instantly restored! That’s a lot riding on one little word, “Fait

posted 12:00:58pm Mar. 18, 2015 | read full post »

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