For Bible Study Nerds

No one knows for sure who the Magi were that brought gifts to the baby Jesus, or exactly what their country of origin was. Matthew simply says they came “from the east,” first going to Jerusalem and then on to Bethlehem. Still, scholars generally believe these “wise men” likely came from one of three places…

What was the “star in the east” that the Magi saw? Only God knows for sure, but that hasn’t stopped scholars and devotees from speculating. Here are two theories: It was an angel. Elsewhere in Scripture, angels are described as beings of light (Acts 12:7; 2 Corinthians 11:14). Thus some think the “star in the…

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 as thirteen were considered old enough for betrothal and marriage. More importantly, this kind of…

The Bible actually says very little about Jesus’ adoptive father, Joseph. Here’s what we know: Joseph was a carpenter by trade (Matthew 13:55), which meant “building and repairing in wood, stone, or metal.” He had a reputation as “a just man” (Matthew 1:19), likely referring to his devout, religious character. He was compassionate, as seen…

Matthew’s historical account emphasizes Jesus as Messiah and King for a primarily Jewish audience. As a result, one scholar notes, “The [Old Testament] casts a long shadow over Matthew’s gospel. No other evangelist or [New Testament] writer, including Paul or the author of Hebrews, drew upon the OT writings as Matthew did.” In fact, Matthew…

Read Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38 side by side and you’ll probably notice a problem: The two genealogies are not identical. Some have decided that this means the biblical accounts of Jesus are untrustworthy, but most Bible scholars find that to be a shortsighted view. They point to other possible explanations for this literary discrepancy.…

One unexpected aspect of Matthew’s genealogy is the deliberate identification of four women (in addition to Mary) in Jesus’ family tree. In the intensely patriarchal Jewish society of Jesus’ time, it was it unusual for any woman to be heralded in this way, let alone four of them. What’s more, the women Matthew chose all…

Why begin the story of Jesus with a tedious, and incomplete, recitation of family history? Well, Matthew seems to have had one purpose in mind: To show proof that Jesus, as the adopted son of Joseph, could legally be considered a descendant of King David. This was important in light of the messianic prophesy recorded…

 “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet…”—Matthew 1:22 The gospel of Matthew is an eyewitness account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, written by one of the 12 disciples in Christ’s inner circle. Matthew (also called Levi) was a despised tax collector and “sinner” before Jesus found him.…

Mike Nappa
about

Mike Nappa

Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at FamilyFans.com, a bestselling author—and a notorious Bible Study Nerd.

He's a former youth pastor who shepherded kids on staff at Chuck Swindoll's church in Southern California—and he's a bestselling and award-winning author with more than a million copies of his books sold worldwide. Plus, he holds a degree in Christian Education with an emphasis in Bible Theology. So, you know, he’s got that going for him.

Mike is also a pop culture dork who watches too much TV, reads too many comic books, utters too many bad words, laughs at all the wrong jokes, and often gets in trouble because he says whatever he happens to be thinking at the moment—like quoting an R-rated movie in the middle of a sermon. Yeah, he’s a mess (just like you!), but he kind of likes it that way.

Most of all, Mike Nappa loves Jesus, and he figures that covers over a multitude of sins.

Learn more at nappaland.com/mikenappa.

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