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The View from Capernaum

Certain things stick with you about your first visit to Israel.  For me, this view out across the Sea of Galilee from Capernaum is important.  I had just led a study on John 6, fittingly, and took a few moments to snap some pictures to remember.  This is the very beach, 2000 years removed, that the men would have pulled their boats up onto after they realized Jesus had left following the feeding of the 5000.  Zealous men, seeking Jesus—and they were about to be told in the synagogue, “You have seen Me, but you do not believe.”  Oh my, how different than the reaction we would have to their zeal today!

Late September, 2020, God willing and the Lord protecting, I will stand here again.  Lord willing my wife will be with me this time. As will Rich and his wife, and Jeff Durbin and his wife, and a whole bunch of other folks on the 2020 A&O/Apologia Cruise, which will include Rome, Ephesus, and Athens as well! It will be a trip of a life time, so consider joining us! Click here for details!

Debate Report from London, Open Phones, Twitter Questions

Gave a quick debate report from last nights encounter with Adnan Rashid in Selhurst, South London, and then started covering questions provided over Twitter and yes, open phones!  I was very pleased with how well the phones worked, in fact, so this means we will be able to focus more upon doing Dividing Lines even when I am traveling overseas (when my schedule allows for it).  Good questions on a wide variety of topics.  Enjoy!

Here is the YouTube link:
Live Video Stream
The Dividing Line is on YouTube video. Our YouTube channel also provides videos of most of the debates that Dr. White has done over the years. Take some time and browse it to see if there is something there of interest to you. If you are looking for the next upcoming show be sure to subscribe to the blog as we post show announcements the morning of the show.

The Gospels Reading Plan for 2019

It is about that time of the year when we are introduced to creative ways to read our Bible for the next calendar year. Did you do it this year?

This is my eleventh year encouraging others to take each day of the year to read and reflect on a single unit in the Gospels. Did you know there are about 365 units in the Gospels? In the past, I cited five good reasons to own a Gospel Synopsis. The fifth reason is:

“Read a synopsis in one year by reading one pericope [a gospel unit] every day. By coincidence, the synopsis contains 367 pericopes. That is, all four Gospels combined contain 367 units.

Get the following edition so you are ready to go: Synopsis of the Four Gospels

Michael Kruger on Whether It Is a Waste of Time to Learn Biblical Languages . . .

A few weeks ago, a new crop of seminary students began the grueling month-long experience of Summer Greek. And, like all seminary students before them, they will begin to ask the question of why studying these ancient languages even matters. After all, a few years after graduation all will be forgotten. In the midst of a busy pastoral life, who could possibly maintain proficiency in the languages? READ MORE...

I would like to add something to this topic. I am frequently asked which beginning Greek grammar should I begin with. I actually first recommend a primer on modern linguistics before they take biblical languages. Morphology and syntax are needed of course to learn Hebrew and Greek, but I would rather have a pastor or seminary student read this one book first before they study a written language such as Koine Greek:

God, Language, and Scripture: Reading the Bible in the Light of General Linguistics. by Moises Silva.

This book is an antidote for the most common interpretive biblical fallacy: maximalism. Silva’s book will reinforce that you should not interpret a morpheme, word, phrase, clause, sentence, or even a paragraph in isolation. Rather, one should interpret in light of a discourse. Most people know this, but most people do not do this. Fundamental modern linguistic principles is what every student and pastor needs to grasp in order to avoid omnipresent fallacies and thus capture God’s message in a deeper accurate way.

In a forthcoming volume, I contributed a chapter responding to the fallacy of linguistic maximalism entitled: “James Barr on the ‘Illegitimate Totality Transfer’ Word-Concept Fallacy.” I wrote:

Moisés Silva makes this point from his own experience:

“In my own preaching during the past twenty-five years, explicit references to Greek and Hebrew have become less and less frequent. But that hardly means I have paid less attention to the languages or that they have become less significant in my work of interpretation. Quite the contrary. It’s just that coming up with those rich ‘exegetical nuggets’ is not necessarily where the real, substantial payoff lies.”[1]

Here is a lesson for pastors, that seasoned language reflection is typically behind the scene in sermon prep, supporting the message. Scattered “golden nuggets” may preach well, but are not well preached.

[1] Silva, God, Language, and Scripture, 144.

The beginning Greek grammars I recommend are those that are not stuck in 19th century German philology (and they are still out there!); rather, I recommend those that have incorporated modern linguist theory into Koine Greek grammar.