In the New Testament, there are 21 letters written by early Christian leaders to communities of Jesus' followers in the ancient Roman world. A wise reading of these letters involves learning about their historical context. Who were the letters written to, where did the recipients live, and what prompted sending the letter? In this video we explore the different layers of historical context with these letters, so that we can better understand the wisdom they still have to offer.
In the opening pages of the Bible, God gives humanity a gift that they quickly forfeit—eternal life that comes by eating from the tree of life. In this video we explore the meaning of this powerful image and how sacred trees play a key role throughout the story of the Bible. It all leads up to Jesus himself, who died upon a tree so that he could become a new tree of life for all humanity.
Jesus of Nazareth was a master storyteller, and many of his most well-known teachings were told as parables. But these stories were designed to do much more than simply "teach." Jesus said the parables were designed to both reveal and conceal his message about the arrival of God's Kingdom. In this video, we explore the main themes in Jesus' parables and ask why he used them as the primary vehicle for his message.
On page one of the Bible, God orders a beautiful world out of chaotic darkness within a sequence of six days. And on the seventh day, God rests. This introduces the major biblical theme of patterns of seven that conclude with God and humans resting together as partners. In this video, we explore the theme of seventh day rest and the biblical concept of Sabbath. We also look at why Jesus adopted this idea as a major part of his own mission to bring God's Kingdom to earth.
In the Bible, the word “witness” is used to describe both a person and an action—someone who sees something and then talks about what they’ve seen. Similar to today, this word is used in both legal settings and to describe an experience with God. But what’s most interesting about the word witness is how it illuminates the story of Scripture, especially the role of the people of God. In this video, we explore how this word contributes to the overarching story of the Bible.
The New Testament contains four ancient biographies of Jesus of Nazareth, and altogether they are called “the Gospel.” Each one tells the story as an announcement of good news that the crucified and risen Jesus is the true ruler of the nations. In this video we explore why these accounts were written and how you can read them with greater insight.
In the story of the Bible, God is depicted as a generous host who provides for the needs of his guests. However, humans live from a mindset of scarcity and hoard God’s many gifts. In this video, we explore God’s plan for overcoming our selfishness by giving the ultimate gift of himself in the person of Jesus.
“Gospel” is one of the most common words in a Christian’s vocabulary. But what does it mean in the original languages of the Bible? In this video, we’ll discover that “gospel” is a royal announcement about Jesus, who is the crucified and risen King of the world who overcame death with his love.
In this video, we explore how Israel’s temple in the Bible is described as the place where God’s space and humanity’s space are one. In fact, the whole biblical drama can be told as a story about God’s temple. In the opening pages of Genesis, God creates a cosmic temple, and in the person of Jesus, God takes up personal residence in his temple-world. By the end of the biblical story, all of creation has become God’s sacred temple.
While we as Jesus followers might feel “closest” to the New Testament audiences, the original recipients of these letters or epistles and epistles are still far removed from us in time, place, and culture....
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