For Bible Study Nerds

“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” You’d think that the crowd of people hearing Jesus speak those words to a paralyzed man would have rejoiced. In that society and time, illness such as paralysis was directly linked to specific sins committed by the afflicted person. Having his sins forgiven, then, paved the way for…

The mysterious relationship between sin and sickness is a question that’s brewed for hundreds of generations. Is a man sick because he sins, or is physical sickness independent of spiritual and moral cause? Ancient Judaic thought had settled on the assumption that every sickness was punishment for some kind of sin, thus no healing could…

What was the deal with the drowning pigs? When Jesus healed two demon-possessed men in the region of the Gadarenes, the demons begged to be exorcised into a nearby herd of swine (Matthew 8:29-33). Jesus granted that request, so the demons inhabited those pigs. The whole herd subsequently stampeded into the Sea of Galilee and…

The first thing that Matthew tells about the two demoniacs in 8:28 is that they were “coming from the tombs.” Mark, in his similar account of the event, reveals that at least one of these men actually “lived in the tombs.” This is an important detail with both cultural and historical significance. First, from the…

The exorcism account that Matthew tells in 8:28-34 is generally believed to be the same event also documented in Luke 8:26-39 and Mark 5:1-20. Matthew and Luke abbreviate the details, and thus are sometimes assumed to have drawn from Mark as the source, though that assumption is primarily conjecture by scholars. The biggest difference between…

In the second century B.C. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, a Syrian Greek tyrant, ruled over the Jewish nation with an iron fist, claiming god-like power over all of nature. In the end, though, he was stricken ill and weak, prompting this pitiful epitaph in 2 Macabees 9:8, “Thus he who had just been thinking that he…

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 translations render Matthew’s description of this weather event as “furious storm,” but it turns out…

The Sea of Galilee is an important location in the history of Jesus, particularly because it was there he once demonstrated divine mastery over creation by miraculously calming a deadly storm. (Matthew 8:23-27). Here’s what we know about that body of water: Although it’s called the “Sea” of Galilee, it’s actually a large, freshwater lake.…

“Lord, first let me go bury my father,” a disciple said to Jesus, asking to defer his commitment as a follower of Christ. There were three historical circumstances that could have prompted that request: 1) The man’s father had just passed away, and so the disciple needed to take a short break to attend to…

In Jesus’ time, it was customary for a would-be disciple to pick the rabbi who would become his mentor/teacher. He would scout a “master” much the same way an aspiring student today picks a college, studying his options and picking the rabbi he felt would best equip him for future success. In this kind of…

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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