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 9:1-8; Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Word Study)
Jesus’ healing of the paralytic is a dazzling physical miracle, but even more a stunning revelation and commentary on the spiritual realm. “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven,” Christ said as his precursor to healing. Here’s a little deeper insight into what that simple sentence enta

posted 12:00:52pm Jan. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:1-8; Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Theological Commentary)
“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” You’d think that the crowd of people hearing Jesus speak those words to a paralyzed man would have rejoiced. In that society and time, illness such as paralysis was directly linked to specific sins committed by the afflicted person. Having his sin

posted 12:00:51pm Jan. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:1-8; Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Cultural Commentary)
The mysterious relationship between sin and sickness is a question that’s brewed for hundreds of generations. Is a man sick because he sins, or is physical sickness independent of spiritual and moral cause? Ancient Judaic thought had settled on the assumption that every sickness was punishment

posted 12:00:50pm Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Cultural Commentary)
What was the deal with the drowning pigs? When Jesus healed two demon-possessed men in the region of the Gadarenes, the demons begged to be exorcised into a nearby herd of swine (Matthew 8:29-33). Jesus granted that request, so the demons inhabited those pigs. The whole herd subsequently stampede

posted 12:00:04pm Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 8:28-34; The Healing of Two Demon-Possessed Men (Historical Background)
The first thing that Matthew tells about the two demoniacs in 8:28 is that they were “coming from the tombs.” Mark, in his similar account of the event, reveals that at least one of these men actually “lived in the tombs.” This is an important detail with both cultural and historical signifi

posted 12:00:03pm Jan. 21, 2015 | read full post »


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