Beliefnet
For Bible Study Nerds
June 2014 Archives

In relating the events of Jesus’ temptation, Matthew presents Satan (“the devil”) without any introduction or explanation except to say he is a “tempter.” The assumption appears to be that Matthew’s Jewish readers a) already knew who Satan was, and […]

According to Matthew, Satan offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world as his third and final temptation. Luke 4:5-12, however, appears to indicate that the kingdoms were Satan’s second temptation. Which author got it right? Well, most scholars answer that […]

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 […]

Jesus’ request to be baptized by John the Baptist caused unique problems, both for John and for Christians who came later. One Bible historian reports that “There is evidence that some early Christians found Jesus’ baptism somewhat embarrassing, either because […]

The Jordan River figures prominently in Biblical history, but the river itself isn’t as impressive as the events that surround it. Still, covering about 70 miles in length, it’s the biggest river in Israel and its waters feed a fertile […]

John the Baptist identified three types of baptisms: By water, by the Holy Spirit, and by fire. But what do those mean? In John’s use, water baptism was a symbol of repentance in the heart and mind of the person […]

John the Baptist was a notable figure who shows up in both Bible history and Roman historical records from the time of Jesus. Here’s what we know about him: His father Zechariah was a temple priest, and his mother Elizabeth […]

Reader Appeal: Students, Pastors, Youth Pastors Genre: Cultural / Historical Reference FBSN Rating: B   One big obstacle to understanding the Bible, especially for younger Christians, is the enormous cultural differences between our modern society and the lives of the […]

It is significant that John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees a “brood of vipers,” which basically meant he viewed them as poisonous children of snakes. In the ancient world this was an especially contemptuous insult because of a […]

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 […]