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Rhetorical Influences Archives

It would’ve been hard to be a Pharisee sitting in the audience of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Again and again Christ seemed to deliberately antagonize any religious leaders listening to his teaching—singling them out, calling them unflattering names, and […]

How odd it seems that Jesus felt compelled to argue with first-century hearers about God’s faithfulness in caring for them. Yet there he is in Matthew 6:25-34, forcefully presenting debate-style arguments to support this seemingly-obvious message. First, when admonishing hearers […]

Matthew 6:9-13 is one of the most famous biblical texts of all time. Known as “The Lord’s Prayer,” it records Jesus’ specific instructions for how to pray. It’s important to notice that, immediately before giving this text, Christ warned his […]

Some Bible teachers try to mine deeply the idea that Christians are “salt and light.” For them, every little aspect bears a significant application: Salt preserves, so we should be “preservatives” in our society. Light shines, so we should testify […]

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