For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds

Symbolism Archives

Matthew 5:33-37; Oaths (Symbolism)

posted by Mike Nappa

Matthew 5:35 quotes Jesus as reaffirming the declaration of Isaiah 66:1, saying very plainly that the earth is God’s “footstool.” But what does that mean exactly? In Old Testament usage, the concept of “footstool” or “under the feet” carried a […]

Matthew 5:31-32; Divorce (Symbolism)

posted by Mike Nappa

Jesus’ literal intolerance for the practice of divorce, as displayed in his Sermon on the Mount, takes on new meaning when viewed through a symbolic lens. Consider: Throughout the New Testament, Christ is presented figuratively as a bridegroom, and all […]

Matthew 5:1-12; The Beatitudes (Symbolism)

posted by Mike Nappa

In Matthew 5:3-9, Jesus describes seven characteristics of people who are blessed. According to theologian, Herschel Hobbs, those descriptions symbolized “the nature of the kingdom citizen.” He interpreted them as follows: The Poor in Spirit. “Those who recognize that they […]

Matthew 3:13-17; The Baptism of Jesus (Symbolism)

posted by Mike Nappa

The baptism of Jesus was a revelatory moment in history, and is generally considered the moment that “marks both His inauguration as the servant Messiah and the dawning of a new age of the Spirit.” In that context, it’s significant […]

Previous Posts

Matthew 6:16-18; Fasting (Factual Info)
Jesus’ instruction about fasting assumes that it is a normal part of a life devoted to God…but why fast? Why did (and do) people go without food and/or water as a religious observance? Here are a few reasons from Scripture: • Once a year, as a commemorative action on the Day of Atonement

posted 12:00:58pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 6:5-15; Prayer (Word Study)
Forgiveness is a crucial element of The Lord’s Prayer, and it always carries both vertical and horizontal applications. “Forgive us our debts” Jesus said in Matthew 6:12—a vertical, us-to-God appeal. Then he said, “…As we have also forgiven our debtors”—a horizontal, us-to-others com

posted 12:00:57pm Oct. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 6:5-15; Prayer (Rhetorical Influences)
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 followers to avoid “babbling like pagans”

posted 12:00:56pm Oct. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 6:5-15; Prayer (Cultural Commentary)
If Jesus’ description of flamboyant, hypocritical praying sounds like grand theatre, that’s because it probably was. “And when you pray,” Jesus said in Matthew 6:5, “do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by m

posted 12:00:55pm Oct. 13, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 6:1-4; Giving to the Needy (Theological Commentary)
“Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Jesus’ comment, recorded in Matthew 6:4, is an affirmation of the related ideas that God is both everywhere and all-knowing. Theologians call these concepts “omnipresence” (or “immanence”) and “omniscience.” So wha

posted 12:00:54pm Oct. 10, 2014 | read full post »


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