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 8:1-4; The Man with Leprosy (Cultural Commentary)
The simple fact is that Jesus broke the law when he healed the man with leprosy identified in Matthew 8:2-4. Jewish law in the time of Jesus regarded leprosy as a grave offense. Upon diagnosis by the priest, the leper’s clothes were burned. The leper’s home was razed. He or she was immediatel

posted 12:00:53pm Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 8:1-4; The Man with Leprosy (Factual Info)
A few awful facts about leprosy in New Testament times: The term used for leprosy in the New Testament was a general reference to seemingly-incurable skin infections. It could have included the formal affliction, which we now call Hansen’s Disease, or any other “acute skin disease characteri

posted 12:00:52pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:24-29; The Wise and Foolish Builders (Inductive Studies)
In exposition of Matthew 7:28-29, George Buttrick has commented, “People listened to Jesus, and then said: ‘That is what I have always known deep down, even though I have no words to say it.’” This, Buttrick explains, is something of what Matthew means when he says that Christ “taught as o

posted 12:00:39pm Dec. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:24-29; The Wise and Foolish Builders (Theological Commentary)
Ancient Judaic thought identifies three “departments of knowledge.” First is the Law, which “presents the commandments and claims of Jehovah to man.” Next is the Prophets, which “passes judgment on conduct in the light of God’s revealed will.” Third is Wisdom, and this is where Jesus c

posted 12:00:37pm Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 7:24-29; The Wise and Foolish Builders (Geographical Backgrounds)
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 think otherwise. In fact, Jesus was probably ref

posted 12:00:30pm Dec. 08, 2014 | read full post »


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