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For Bible Study Nerds

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Word studies Archives

Matthew 9:35-38; The Workers Are Few (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

Matthew 9:36 reports this of Jesus, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them…” (italics mine). That two-word phrase the NIV translates as “had compassion” is actually just one word in the original Greek: splagchnízomai—and it means more […]

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Matthew 9:27-34; Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute (Word Studies)

posted by Mike Nappa

“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Jesus is recorded asking two blind men in Matthew 9:27-30. When they responded, “Yes Lord,” he said, “According to your faith will it be done for you.” And their sight […]

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Matthew 9:1-8; Jesus Heals a Paralytic (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

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 […]

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Matthew 8:23-27; Jesus Calms the Storm (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

It’s easy to read about a “furious storm” in Matthew 8:23 and cluck at the disciples’ lack of faith over a little rain. That’s because we often overlook the true danger depicted in those two words, “furious storm.” Our modern […]

Matthew 7:13-14; The Narrow and Wide Gates (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

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 […]

Matthew 7:1-6; Judging Others (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

“Do not judge…” These words of Jesus that open Matthew 7 have been a source of confusion—and antagonism—for centuries. The problem seems to be that many of us misunderstand the distinctions between similar Greek terms that mean different things. Anakrinō […]

Matthew 6:25-34; Do Not Worry (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” Jesus told his hearers on the mountainside (Matthew 6:33). This command was both a promise of freedom (from worry) and a promise of daily provision. So what does it mean to “seek” God’s […]

Matthew 6:19-24; Treasures in Heaven (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). This proverb from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is nice poetry and is often quoted as though everyone instantly understands it. But do we really get Christ’s meaning […]

Matthew 6:5-15; Prayer (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

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 […]

Matthew 5:43-48; Love for Enemies (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

“Be perfect,” Jesus said, “as your heavenly Father is perfect.” So what does that mean? In our 21st Century experience, we tend to define “perfect” as meaning “flawless,” or without any kind of shortcoming. “That diamond solitaire is perfect,” we […]

Matthew 5:27-30; Adultery (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

“Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery,” Christ said in his Sermon on the Mount. Some have interpreted this statement to mean that, outside of marriage, any acknowledgment of feminine beauty by a man is adultery— […]

Matthew 5:13-16; Salt and Light (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

It seems significant that, in Matthew 5:16, Jesus commanded his followers to “let your light shine before men.” Notice that Christ didn’t command people to “make your light shine before men,” or even to “ignite your light before men.” The […]

Matthew 5:1-12; The Beatitudes (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

The longest recorded sermon of Jesus begins with a repetitive theme word: “Blessed.” “Blessed are the poor in spirit…Blessed are they that mourn…Blessed are the meek…” Historically, that word was understood to mean “happy”—or in the literal Hebrew translation, “how […]

Matthew 4:12-17; Jesus Begins to Preach (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

“People living in darkness have seen a great light…” This prophecy from Isaiah 9:2, which Matthew quotes, is rife with meaning—probably more than we can actually comprehend. In the context of Matthew 4:16, “darkness” (skótos), was a fairly straightforward metaphor […]

Matthew 2:19-23; The Return to Nazareth (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

The Greek word for “Nazarene” is Nazōraios. Some theologians believe that word has its root in the Hebrew term, Nezer, which is used in the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 11:1 and is typically translated “branch” (as in a tree branch […]

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 10:1-42; Jesus Sends Out the Twelve (Bible Difficulties)
  Matthew 10:23 quotes Jesus as saying to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” This appears to be a reference to the second coming of Jesus—and ...

posted 12:00:07pm Apr. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 10:1-42; Jesus Sends Out the Twelve (Historical Backgrounds)
“They will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues…” Don’t gloss over Jesus’ promise of flogging that’s recorded in Matthew 10:17—you can be sure his disciples didn’t. Here’s what happened when ...

posted 12:00:06pm Apr. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 10:1-42; Jesus Sends Out the Twelve (Cross-Reference Comparisons)
So…were there really 13 apostles of Jesus? The New Testament gives four separate listings of Jesus’ inner-circle disciples, a group of men known as “the Twelve.” The list in Matthew 10:2-4 claims to be a complete summary of “the ...

posted 12:00:05pm Apr. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:35-38; The Workers Are Few (Word Study)
Matthew 9:36 reports this of Jesus, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them…” (italics mine). That two-word phrase the NIV translates as “had compassion” is actually just one word in the original Greek: splagchnízomai—and ...

posted 12:00:19pm Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:35-38; The Workers Are Few (Cross-Reference Comparisons)
Matthew 9:36 records that when Jesus went on a preaching tour through Galilee, he found the people he met to be “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Most commentators agree that Matthew’s phrasing, “like sheep ...

posted 12:00:18pm Apr. 08, 2015 | read full post »

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