•  — Edited

    I am delighted to be able to report that my commentary on Galatians in the NICNT has finally been published. Monday (9/18) is the official release date. I hope that Amazon and CBD will begin distributing the books then. I am grateful to Faithlife for jumping on the preparation of a digital edition of the same for use within the Logos ecosystem. A few sentences from the preface that give something of the theological flavor of the work: "I find in Paul’s response to the situation in Galatia the following theological convictions and interests: (1) Paul—like the rival teachers and like the Galatians themselves—is deeply interested in the God-given means to attaining righteousness, which all parties would agree to be prerequisite to acquittal on the last day. (2) Paul—unlike the rival teachers—lays great emphasis on the importance of the Holy Spirit (essentially the promised inheritance that Christ died to secure for Jew and gentile alike) as that means. (3) The 'faith' that Paul regards as the response to God that leads to acquittal is far more than a 'belief that.' It is a reliance upon Jesus and upon what Jesus has gained for his own at such great cost to himself, namely, the Holy Spirit; it is a single-hearted and consistent investment of oneself in the life that the Holy Spirit seeks to bring about within and among the believers, which is nothing less than Christ living in and through them. It is a faith that invests itself in loving action and that, consequently, leads to righteousness, all by the Spirit’s guiding and empowering intervention."
    Show more
  • I finished this book just about a week ago, and I have had some questions I wondered if you could answer. *Forgive the following "train of thought" questions* I have been wondering if you could clarify a little more about the distinction you see between "failures in the course of discipleship and failing to pursue transformation". You mention that there is a difference between falling into the sins mentioned in Gal. 5 and continuing in them as if they were routine, but how might you envision this distinction playing out in the daily life of the everyday Christ follower? Should they consider that when they sin (either against God, others, or themselves) as a "fall perchance" into these sins, or as intentional acts of rebellion to God's rule in their lives? Also, how should they distinguish between a failure in discipleship and a practice of sin (since, I am assuming, that nobody commits even unintentional sins only once as a Christ follower)? A related question I had while reading this section (The Necessity of Transformation) was how you understand the "guidance and empowerment" of the Spirit to work? How is that defined in a practical way?
    Show more
    1. Greetings, Corey, and thanks for your questions. I can't answer them with precision, which is the frustrating thing about being under grace rather than law. :) Let me simply speak from my own experience. I have a sense that my overall orientation remains directed toward God, toward desiring to put myself at the Spirit's disposal, toward allowing Christ to live more and more fully in and through me. Along the way, when I catch myself giving room for the flesh -- or when a brother or sister points out that there's a bit of the flesh gaining the upper hand -- I recognize that this is not in keeping with God's goals for me (goals that I have embraced). So I give the matter over to God and ask for the Spirit's help to die a bit more there to my own inclinations and get back on track with the overall trajectory. This happens with annoying frequency, but these are still intrusions of the flesh into a Christ-ward life. That life looks significantly difference for this overall trajectory than it would were I to embrace a different, flesh-driven TRAJECTORY rather than merely be pushed a bit off course here and there by the odd fleshly impulse. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant. I am very much aware that I am what I am because of the Spirit's gracious interventions and striving on my behalf.
      Show more
    2.  — Edited

      Thank you for even taking the time to respond, David. I would imagine that with the recent release of your Galatians commentary (which I have just begun perusing), combined with the obligations typically surrounding the holiday season, that you are most likely a very busy guy. Also, to reassure you, I didn't perceive your response as arrogant in any way. However, I do want to try and clarify your response so that I can make sure I am understanding it correctly. You are saying that… - since the Spirit has brought about within you a personal desire to love God with your whole person (overall sense, and a new trajectory?)... - the Spirit (with "annoying frequency" ;-) ) brings to your attention where you have acted out of the desires of your flesh in contrast to God’s desires for you (God's goals for you)... - and with that Spirit given knowledge of personal error, you then ask God (along with the Spirit) to assist you as you attempt to treat your fleshly inclinations as if they were dead (or, as if they have lost their control over you)... - All of this, so that you may continue living out your new, Christ-ward, life. Is that correct? I realize that it looks as if I am trying to make your answer a precise systematized formula (Granted. Using makeshift bullet points is admittedly bound to give that impression), however, since reading the book and reflecting on it more, it occurred to me that I honestly didn't remember reading much in the book on how the Christ follower is to process their own personal sin experienced as a daily reality (whether accidental or intentional). Not to say that nothing was said at all on personal sin (or how one is to understand overall experiences with sin as a Christ follower), but all I could remember reading from an individual’s perspective was what I quoted originally. Now, maybe there is simply nothing more that can be said on the issue, and my desire to seek more information on this within the pages of your book is simply a plea from my typically guilty conscience concerning my overly negative view of my own personal failures to conform to Christ, but after reading the book I kept thinking "Wow. Transformation is absolutely awesome, and crucial for our salvation (now, and eternally, lived out)! Wait. What am I supposed to think of the continual failures of myself and my brothers and sisters to follow Jesus as he desires us to? Is it even ok to consider ourselves Christ followers if we succumb to temptation and sin regularly, or worse, habitually? Wait. Does that mean we are not being transformed? WAIT! Does that mean I don’t have the Spirit?! WAIT!!! *insert all questions that typically flow from this train of thought ad nauseam*)” More to the point, should we, as Christ followers, consider the sins we commit as a type of "struggle" in which we are working to actively "put their flesh to death" but even in our failures, remain Christ followers? Or is it more serious than that? For example, is it more like how you mention Paul to understand the tension, "From Paul’s point of view, moreover, there are really only two directions for our investment of ourselves—feeding the agenda of the “flesh” and feeding the agenda of the “Spirit.” (pg.22) where it seems as though the eternal scales tip with each "investment" we make? Does any of what I said make sense? Haha!
      Show more
  • Hello David, First, let me tell you how much I have enjoyed several of your MobEd courses; you teach clearly so it is easy to understand the scriptures, bible history, and the points you make; it is clear that you love the LORD God with all your heart. His Blessings be on you. I have a question regarding the repeated phrase in Genesis 1 "There was evening, there was morning, the 'insert number' day." There are various ways to View interpretation of the word Day in Genesis as listed in the FSB: Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press. my Question: Would the Ancient Hebrews read the Words of Genesis chapter 1 and think in terms of a 24 hour day for each of the creation sequences? I am positive that Almighty YHWH indeed could create the universe in any number of hours, days, years, nanoseconds, etc. which He would choose. I always think of YHWH as being outside of time [therefore time means little to Him - I'm thinking He created time for the benefit of Humankind] The sun & moon, made to be for signs, seasons, days & years and to rule over the day & night, weren't created until Day 4. This makes me wonder if YHWH didn't use the "numbered Day" phrase for each creation sequence to provide ordering of creation information for the sake of humankind's understanding of His creation story. Am I off the beam, thinking that we shouldn't try to put YHWH in any particular "time" box of one kind or another in Genesis 1? I am very willing to accept the "whatever/how ever" that YHWH wills [and not know His exact answer to my feeble questions] even in the face of feeling pressured in my Bible study group to believe a certain way about the "day" language in Gen 1. Again, how would the ancient Hebrews read Genesis "day" language? Thanks, Edie
    Show more
    1. Greetings, Edith. Genesis 1 is an area of specialty for OTHER people, but I have tended to read it as a statement of God's orderly and rational process of creation that says most when it is heard in contrast to other ancient Near East creation stories (some of which speak of facets of creation coming about as a result of violence between warring deities -- like Marduk fashioning the ground and the firmament by beaten out the two pieces of Tiamat's corpse into nice thin membranes!). Genesis 1 says a lot about the genuine God and God's relationship to creation in such a cultural context. And, yes, the absence of sun (the primary cosmic ticker of the 24-hour block) in days 1-3 should say something about the figurative nature of the "days" in creation. That's all I've got.
      Show more
    2. Thank you so much for your answer. It helps me to relax regarding this topic (and others like it), giving others the space to make up their own minds about the topic, and focus on keeping the "main thing the main thing"... YHWH's reclamation plan for human beings and the rest of creation. I have studied Genesis with Dr. John Walton's MobEd & one of his books which has also helped. Learning about the culture of the ancients is important. The study has been very good for me in helping gain insights that I've not had before. YHWH is Great!
  • David, I am using your material on the Seven Cities of Revelation while teaching through Revelation. The timing of it being released was perfect, at least for my uses. It really helps to bring to life, for the folks attending, that these are real cities with real issues at the time. Thank you.
    1. Hello Dear, With Respect, Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I expect that this mail will not come to you as a surprise, since we have not yet known or written before. Upon the receipt of this mail kindly contact me on my private Email contact below: ( elyse.francky@yahoo.com ) I am Miss. Elyse Francky the Only Daughter of late Mr. Brown Francky. Before the death of my late father, He called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of $5.500,000.00 Million USD in a financial Bank here. Deposited in one of the prime bank here in Abidjan Ivory Coast that he used my name for the next of kin in depositing of the fund. I will need your assistance as follows: 1) To assist me in retriving this money from the bank. 2) To serve as the guardian of this fund. 3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your countryto further my education and to secure a residential permit in your country. Moreover, I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this fund to your nominated account overseas. For more details Reply to my private e-mail box below: ( elyse.francky@yahoo.com ) Awaiting your urgent reply. Regards, Miss. Elyse
      Show more
    2. The most sophisticated Bible software developer on the face of the planet and there's no way to filter out spam/phishing posts? LOL!
    3. I agree that is amazingly surprising. I contacted tech help several weeks ago about these posts and they said 2 Things: 1] they can't prevent people from signing up for an account and 2] that if we click on the the "more" button and select "flag as inappropriate" the tech folks would be alerted and would remove it. So, I'm going to do that after I post this. We'll see if it works. ;-)
  • You are such a HUGE blessing! Thank you, Jesus, for all you do to conquer the goliaths out there in many minds and heart through this beloved David of yours! Blessings!
    1. hi
  • A year ago I accused myself of being "the world's worst blogger, poster, and author group host." I return today to prove my earlier claim. :) It has been, however, a wonderfully productive year. I look forward to the second edition of my INTRODUCING THE APOCRYPHA: MESSAGE, CONTEXT, AND SIGNIFICANCE coming out with Baker Academic at the end of this month. I spent about three months revising the text, bringing it in line with my own thinking on various issues since 2002 and bringing it up to date with the face of "Apocrypha scholarship" through about 2016. I finally finished my manuscript -- and, at this point, all the editing and proofing -- for my contribution on THE LETTER TO THE GALATIANS for the NICNT series published by Eerdmans. I anticipate this to appear in late August. Finally, I took another three or four months to update my best-selling book (not that it's a "best seller" by any stretch, but among my books it sells best!), AN INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT: CONTEXTS, METHODS, & MINISTRY FORMATION. Along with a rather thorough revision of about half of the chapters (and light revision of the other half -- but I've admittedly not done a lot of thinking about John's Gospel, for example, since 2003!), it will also feature mostly new, and perhaps more judiciously selected, photographs from my own travels throughout the lands of the NT. I'm grateful to my partners at Baker, Eerdmans, and IVP for allowing me these great opportunities to contribute to people's thinking about what I consider to be some matters of the greatest importance. In early October, I was given a "field promotion" to interim pastor at the church I had been serving (and continue to serve) as director of music and organist. This, as the pastors among my readership well know, spells the end for writing for a while, save for a few shorter pieces that, being contributions to collaborative ventures, I can't fail to produce and, of course, a steady stream of sermons. If any of you are at all interested in what it looks like when this NT scholar tries to proclaim the word to a congregation, you are welcome to read the transcripts of any of my sermons on my blog: https://apocryphalwritings.wordpress.com/. I anticipate that this "gig" will continue through June. Thanks to all of you who have not left the group in disgust over my lack of posts! :)
    Show more
    1. These are two ways FL has given one a voice on what to pursue! I'd say if it garners much attention, the request would be honored!
    2. I have placed a number of resources here for one to vote on and comment support in hopes of seeing them published including several volumes by a wonderful scholar named David A. deSilva! Go check it out and add a few of your own!
  • Both Witherington (New Testament Guide to Rhetoric) and Lincoln (Hebrews) suggest that Hebrews 12:18-29 acts as the peroratio, rather than 13:17-25. I am curious why you haven't considered or discussed 12:18-29 as a peroratio.
    1. I think chiefly because I view 12:18-29 (and 13:1-16) as more than "wrap up," and I especially resist the analysis that makes of 13:1-21 little more than an appendix (what's left, after all, AFTER the peroratio?). Also, and more and more, I'm inclined less to try to stretch the NT text over the template of the four- or five-part oration and inclined more to use classical rhetorical theory as a tool for analyzing invention (and the function of whatever material is there) and style, and less arrangement. Sorry I'm checking in here so late!
    2. That's very interesting! Thank you. You're commentary is great by the way, really helpful both academically and in preaching. Thank you.
  • Is there a record (Biblical or extra-biblical) of Luke's response to the destruction of the temple? chapter 2, pg 71.
    1. Do humans have a special capacity designed to foster experiences of God? What role do specific bodily actions or emotions play in the cultivation of a divine experience? Prayer as Divine Experience in 4 Ezra and John’s Apocalypse: Emotion, Empathy, and Engagement with God explores these questions in a systematic study of the emotions in two apocalyptic texts. The book of 4 Ezra, an ancient Jewish apocalypse, and the book of Revelation, an ancient Christian Apocalypse written by John, are examined with a focus on the emotional language of the prayers and prayer preludes contained in this literature. Get the book at
      1. Hello Dear, With Respect, Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I expect that this mail will not come to you as a surprise, since we have not yet known or written before. Upon the receipt of this mail kindly contact me on my private Email contact below: ( elyse.francky@yahoo.com ) I am Miss. Elyse Francky the Only Daughter of late Mr. Brown Francky. Before the death of my late father, He called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of $5.500,000.00 Million USD in a financial Bank here. Deposited in one of the prime bank here in Abidjan Ivory Coast that he used my name for the next of kin in depositing of the fund. I will need your assistance as follows: 1) To assist me in retriving this money from the bank. 2) To serve as the guardian of this fund. 3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your countryto further my education and to secure a residential permit in your country. Moreover, I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful transfer of this fund to your nominated account overseas. For more details Reply to my private e-mail box below: ( elyse.francky@yahoo.com ) Awaiting your urgent reply. Regards, Miss. Elyse
        Show more