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 7:13-14; The Narrow and Wide Gates (Geographical Backgrounds)
“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 this statement. In a general sense, most roads in ancient Palestine were commo

posted 12:00:38pm Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:13-14; The Narrow and Wide Gates (Word Study)
Here’s a quick overview of a few keywords from Matthew 7:-13-14, along with their brief meanings in the original Greek text: • Enter (eisérchomai): To go or come into. Also, to go about one’s daily life. • Narrow (stenós): This is a Greek term that means both “narrow” and “straight

posted 12:00:36pm Nov. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:7-12; Ask, Seek, Knock (Literary Influences)
Found where it in Matthew 7:12, the “Golden Rule” seems an awkward contextual placement. In modern Bibles, it’s lumped in with Matthew 7:7-11, appearing as the final sentence in this section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This is particularly perplexing because verse 12 in the NIV begins wit

posted 12:00:54pm Nov. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:7-12; Ask, Seek, Knock (Cultural Commentary)
Jesus frequently pointed to God’s place as our Father to emphasize the idea that God cares for us—but that imagery meant something different to his first-century hearers than it does to our so-called “progressive” 21st-century culture. In today’s American culture, the father is importan

posted 12:00:53pm Nov. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:7-12; Ask, Seek, Knock (Theological Commentary)
Jesus’ exhortation to “ask, seek, knock” in prayer seems a carte blanche promise that God will give anything you or I ask for in prayer. The normal Christian life, on the other hand, seems to discredit this promise on a daily basis. So what gives? Was Jesus lying, or mistaken, or exaggerati

posted 12:00:51pm Nov. 17, 2014 | read full post »


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