For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds Archives

Matthew 2:19-23; The Return to Nazareth (Historical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

Matthew reports that Joseph was afraid to live in Judea under the rule of Herod’s son, Archelaus—and apparently with good reason. After Herod the Great died, there was a power struggle among his sons over who would inherent his kingdom. […]

Matthew 2:19-23; The Return to Nazareth (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

During the time of Jesus’ childhood, Nazareth was a tiny, backwater village situated in foothill on the southern edge of what was known as “Lower Galilee.” It was dwarfed by larger towns nearby. With a population estimated by some to […]

Matthew 2:13-18; The Escape to Egypt (Geographical Backgrounds)

posted by Mike Nappa

At the time when the angel instructed Joseph to flee King Herod, Egypt had become a kind of safe haven for Jews forced to leave their home country. Egypt (like Herod’s Judea) was under Roman control—but was outside of King […]

Matthew 1:18-24; The Birth of Jesus Christ (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

When Mary became pregnant with Jesus, she was “betrothed” to Joseph. Betrothal (in Hebrew, kiddushin) at that time was somewhat similar to our modern-day “engagement,” with a few significant exceptions. First, girls as young as twelve and boys as young […]

Previous Posts

Matthew 5:33-37; Oaths (Symbolism)
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 few important meanings. First was the a

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

Matthew 5:33-37; Oaths (Cultural Commentary)
In ancient Israel, an oath was both a ritual act and a binding promise. Oaths were invoked in court cases to (supposedly) ensure that witnesses would tell the truth. They were also given as proof of an unbreakable pledge of loyalty, or as a guarantee that a person would fulfill some obligation be

posted 12:00:11pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:33-37; Oaths (Bible Difficulties)
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made…’” In case you’re wondering, Jesus wasn't quoting the Old Testament when he said that. At least not exactly. Bible scholars think that this point in Chri

posted 12:00:59pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:31-32; Divorce (Symbolism)
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 his followers throughout the ages (the

posted 12:00:44pm Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:31-32; Divorce (Bible Difficulties)
It’s hard to overlook the uncomfortable truth that, according to Jesus, a divorced woman is considered an adulterer in God’s eyes—merely by the fact that her husband divorced her. “Whoever divorces his wife,” Christ said, “for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit

posted 4:41:43pm Sep. 10, 2014 | read full post »


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