Category Archives: Bible Bites [Exegesis]

This category includes all posts that are primarily about exegesis (biblical interpretation), except for posts already included in the Church Chat category.

“When people add to the Word of God”

(Old Facebook Post)

Satan and His Kingdom: What the Bible Says and How It Matters to You Buy on Amazon Dennis McCallum on adding to God’s Word:

“How much should we make of Eve’s addition to God’s Word–that even touching the fruit would cause death? [See Genesis 3:2. God had only said, “If you eat it’s fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:17, italics added.] Some commentators think this is significant, and I tend to agree.

“Remember, Eve wasn’t around when God spoke his directive to Adam… Therefore, Adam probably had to convey what God had said. Perhaps he decided to play it safe and, just in case, add a restriction that God never mentioned. If so, his addition is similar to what believers have historically done with God’s Word. Instead of sticking with what God has said, we tend to add extra restrictions, as layers of protection or control…

“When people add to the Word of God, they tend to add more boundaries and guidelines than he gave in the original. Such additions can become openings for Satan because they represent God as being needlessly restrictive and portray the Christian life as stuffy and unlivable. Satan then uses this to call God’s character into question.”

Excerpts from Satan and His Kingdom: What the Bible Says and How It Matters to You (Bloomington, Minnesota: Bethany House, 2009), page 29. (The bracketed comment and the boldface were added by me.)

Save page

What do I love most?

(Old Facebook Post)

What I love most… trumps what I believe… and determines what I fear and what I confess publicly.

“Many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:42-43, ESV).

What do you love most?

Save page

Rapture? Or a new heaven and a new earth?

(Old Facebook Post)

Why do we let one passing reference to “the rapture” (mentioned only in 1 Thess. 4:17, in a manner open to alternate interpretations) determine our vision of where we will spend eternity, while we ignore at least four mentions of a “new earth” (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; and esp. 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1) and 1-1/2 whole chapters about a “new Jersualem” (Rev. 21-22a; see also Rev. 3:12; Galatians 4:26)?

My… concern… is that an emphasis on one uncertain interpretation of the idea of a rapture has eclipsed all that Jesus and Paul said about the resurrection–including the judgment of the saints but especially the redemption of our bodies and of all creation.

Follow-up for bonus points: Can anyone show me where the Bible says that when Christians die they go to spend eternity in heaven?

My big point is that the Bible doesn’t say “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when you die and go to heaven,” but “Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:13). I think the difference is very significant, and usually forgotten both in our evangelism language and our attempts to comfort believers. The NT writers had their eyes fixed on the final resurrection; do we?

Save page