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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: Reformation Commentary on Scripture, New Testament III: Luke
Reader Appeal: Pastors, Teachers, Seminary Students Genre: Commentary FBSN Rating: A   The risk with Christian history and theology is that voices from our shared past are often drowned out by the voices of today’s popular ...

posted 12:00:14pm Apr. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 11:1-19; Jesus and John the Baptist (Inductive Studies)
“Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” It’s interesting that John asked an academic question, recorded in Matthew 11:3, and Jesus responded with a legal answer (Matthew 11:4-6). John’s question really ...

posted 12:00:44pm Apr. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 11:1-19; Jesus and John the Baptist (Bible Difficulties)
When John the Baptist was in prison and heard that Jesus was nearby, he sent his disciples to ask of Christ himself: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3). Why did he ask this ...

posted 12:00:43pm Apr. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 11:1-19; Jesus and John the Baptist (Historical Backgrounds)
Matthew 11:2-3 reported that, while in prison, John the Baptist heard about what his Jesus was doing, and wanted to know more. What Matthew didn’t report was the conditions John endured in prison. Historians tell us that John the Baptist ...

posted 12:00:42pm Apr. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 10:1-42; Jesus Sends Out the Twelve (Bible Difficulties)
  Matthew 10:23 quotes Jesus as saying to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” This appears to be a reference to the second coming of Jesus—and ...

posted 12:00:07pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

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