Friday, December 28, 2012


[Notes on Prophecy #1]


The earliest name for a prophet is a “seer” (1 Sam. 9:9). A prophet is a man or women to whom the will of God was revealed under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in order to communicate it to people.  

What did he see?

  1. The Word of God (Isa. 21:10).
Forth-telling means normally in form of warnings, rebukes, promises, and/or exhortations. They are the voice of God (“Thus saith the Lord”—Jer. 37:17). He speaks the Word of the Lord regardless of the audience (Ezk. 3:11).
  1. Events.
Foretelling is usually in the form of prognostications and predictions of coming events (Jer. 37:17). These may have near or far application, or both.

Prophecy is the oral or written message of the prophets.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review of Guide to NT Greek

Book Review

Douglas S. Huffman, THE HANDY GUIDE TO NEW TESTAMENT GREEK: GRAMMAR, SYNTAX, AND DIAGRAMMING, (Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI), 2012.

I must say I was surprised when I received this publication, as I was expecting a larger book. While the size of the publication is surprising, it is not small in content. Its size makes sense because it is a guidebook, able to be carried with a Greek New Testament.

I am delighted with this guide. I am not a Greek scholar, but I am a Bible student. While I have had Greek in college, like many Pastor I have not kept up with it beyond the occasional uses. I have worked with the language, which has entailed thick lexicons, grammars, and dictionaries to find meanings and syntax. This guide will help its users to save time. This guide does not relieve one from the necessity of having to use books for deep study. It is only a guide, but it does speed up the process. It will increase the students’ efficiency by a quick reference to find the needed basic information.

The guide is in three sections. Part 1 is Greek Grammar. Beginning with the Greek Alphabet carrying through the verbs, it gives a summation of Greek Grammar. Overall it gives good concise definitions of every part of grammar. It is reinforced by charts on almost every page.

Part 2 is Syntax Summaries. Syntax is where the language becomes real: it is the practical outworking or usage of the grammar. This will be the section that gets the most use by Bible students. This part gives us concise definitions and relationships reinforced by NT examples that are helpful. While not chart heavy like the grammar section, what charts are found are very helpful.

Part 3 is Phrase Diagramming. Diagramming the original text does two things: First, it aids in understanding the meaning of the text. Second, it gives one the flow of the argument of the author. It provides step by step instructions on different types of diagramming, plus how to deal with special issues and problems in diagramming.

This guide is a very good addition to any Pastor’s or Bible student’s library.  While it is intended for a second-year Greek student, those who even have a beginning knowledge of Greek could use it. It will set on my desk and be the first used to begin any word or Greek study. It is a handy addition.

Thanks to Kregel Publishing for supplying a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Luke 1:26-38

It was six months since his last assignment. Now Gabriel has a new assignment at Nazareth in Galilee. This is one of the last places on earth one would expect the mother of the Christ to come from. First, because the Galileans were looked down upon by those who lived in the big city: Jerusalem. Second, it was a place of a Roman Garrison and known as a place of vice. Nazarenes were despised by the rest of the population.

However, Gabriel was dispatched to a young girl living in this Nazareth by the name of Mary. We know two things about her: First, she was a virgin (1:27, 34). Dr. Luke emphasizes the purity of this girl. Second we know she was in the state of betrothal. Although this was much like an engagement, it was much more. It was a legal status that could only be dissolved by death or divorce.

There are three things Gabriel says about Mary (1:28-33).
  • She was favored by God (1:30). She was a special recipient of His Grace. She was not to fear.
  • The Lord was with her. She is not alone in her mission. God is there to empower and sustain her. 
  • She will have a Son. This speaks of Mary’s privilege, she will give birth to the Messiah: Jesus (1:31).

She was a woman of character. Her character is displayed by:
·         Thoughtfulness (1:29). Although perplexed, she considered the situation. Revelation and reason should go together. This led her to request (1:34) an answer (1:35).
·         Obedience (1:38). Mary response’s was that of submission to the Word of God.

God uses humble and obedient believers.


Luke opens his narrative with the announcements of the birth of John and Jesus. The announcements have much in common. The parallels are:

                  God’s initiative in action           1:11; 1:26
                  Instruction not to fear               1:13, 1:30
                  Revelation about the birth         1:16, 1:31
                  Task of the Child                      1:15, 1:31-32
                  Gabriel Message                      1:19, 1:66
Confirmation                            1:19, 1:35

     The announcements of the birth of John and Jesus speak of God’s renewed activity and fulfillment of His promise.