For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds

Rhetorical Influences Archives

Matthew 7:1-6; Judging Others (Rhetorical Influences)

posted by Mike Nappa

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 […]

Matthew 6:25-34; Do Not Worry (Rhetorical Influences)

posted by Mike Nappa

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 6:5-15; Prayer (Rhetorical Influences)

posted by Mike Nappa

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 […]

Matthew 5:13-16; Salt and Light (Rhetorical Influences)

posted by Mike Nappa

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 […]

Previous Posts

Matthew 9:18-26; A Dead Girl And A Sick Woman (Historical Backgrounds)
The story of the “Woman with an Issue of Blood” is told in three of the four gospel accounts: Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-24, and Luke 8:40-53. In addition to Matthew’s details, Luke informs us that “no one could heal her” (Luke 8:43) and Mark adds “she had suffered a great deal under the

posted 12:00:50pm Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:18-26; A Dead Girl And A Sick Woman (Factual Info)
The “Woman with an Issue of Blood” lived 12 years with a chronic uterine illness—but her physical suffering was not the worst part of her daily life. Here are the facts about what this woman most likely endured for more than a decade: She was probably in her mid to late twenties—a young

posted 12:00:49pm Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:18-26; A Dead Girl And A Sick Woman (Personality and Character Studies)
Matthew 9:18-26 reports how Jesus raised from death the daughter of a “ruler” in Israel. Matthew tells the story in passing, not even bothering to include the ruler’s name. From the corresponding reports in Mark 5:21-43 and Luke 8:40-56, though, we know the man’s name to be Jairus. Here

posted 12:00:48pm Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:14-17; Jesus Questioned About Fasting (Symbolism)
“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins…” (Matthew 9:17). When Jesus made this comparison statement, it was more than just an explanatory reference of common daily wisdom. In this little allegory, “new wine” represented Jesus himself, causing a conflation of Jewish history and

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

Matthew 9:14-17; Jesus Questioned About Fasting (Cultural Commentary)
Christ’s culturalized references (in Matthew 9:14-17) to a bridegroom, cloth, and new wine all held spiritual significance, but the understanding of those symbols was grounded in the practical, commonsense life of an ancient Israelite. Consider these everyday insights from Bible historian, Craig S

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


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