For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds

Geographical backgrounds Archives

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 […]

Previous Posts

Matthew 5:43-48; Love for Enemies (Cross-Reference Comparisons)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy…’” This quote from Matthew 5:43 reveals—again—how religious leaders in Jesus time had unwittingly distorted the Mosaic Law they claimed to hold supreme. The distortion was not intentional or arbitrary—scribe

posted 12:00:50pm Sep. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:38-42; An Eye for an Eye (Factual Info)
“If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic,” Jesus preached in his Sermon on the Mount, “let him have your cloak also.” With all this archaic talk of tunics and cloaks, it’s easy to overlook the devastatingly difficult demand of this little statement. Consider: • In Jesus

posted 12:00:31pm Sep. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:38-42; An Eye for an Eye (Cultural Commentary)
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 person spitting on another is a contemptuous, especially offensiv

posted 12:00:30pm Sep. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:38-42; An Eye for an Eye (Historical Backgrounds)
The legal for basis for lex talionis (“law of retaliation”) that Jesus referred to in Matthew 5:38 was well established in Jewish history and in the Law of Moses. The “eye for an eye” concept first appeared in Genesis 9:6, just after the Great Flood when God told Noah, “Whoever sheds hu

posted 12:00:29pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:33-37; Oaths (Symbolism)
Matthew 5:35 quotes Jesus as reaffirming the declaration of Isaiah 66:1, saying very plainly that the earth is God’s “footstool.” But what does that mean exactly? In Old Testament usage, the concept of “footstool” or “under the feet” carried a few important meanings. First was the a

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


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