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Context is King

Dr. John Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School, and I recently had a chat on Exegetically Speaking. He lays out the importance of knowing the context of a passage to understand it.  After discussing four kinds of context for exegesis, he focuses on the historical context.  As a test case, he takes us to Daniel 7:1 to understand what is happening historically at the time of Daniel’s fantastic vision. 

To hear the 7 minute podcast, you can cut and paste the following URL to your browser:


or click here.

The Literary Style of Hosea

Recently I sat down with a friend, Danny Carroll, to discuss the ways in which Hosea attempted to persuade the people of Israel and Judah that they needed to change their ways. Here’s a more formal description:

Dr. Danny Carroll Rodas, Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy at Wheaton College, moves us beyond Hosea 1-3 to consider the various metaphors used by the prophet to communicate the nature of God and the serious afflictions of God’s people.

Dr. Danny Carroll

You can cut and paste this URL:


or click here.

Syntax, not sin tax

Dr. Jon Laansma, Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College, joins me on Exegetically Speaking to discuss what “syntax” is, why biblical scholars give it emphasis, some of the challenges to be faced in gaining mastery over this side of Greek grammar, and how to meet the challenges.

To listen to the episode cut and paste this URL into your web browser:


Or you can click here.

Jesus the Leper?

Was Jesus a leper? Well, in the Middle Ages you may have thought that he was because of the way Jerome translated Isa 53:4 in the Vulgate (the Latin translation of the Bible that became the main way that people encountered Scripture.

Dr. Andrew Abernethy, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Degree Coordinator for the Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis Program, joined me on Exegetically Speaking to show us how Isaiah 53:4 was interpreted and translated in the Latin Vulgate by Jerome.  He translated it that Jesus was “like a leper” stricken by God and rejected for the diseases he bore.  As a result artists and paintings from the Middle Ages depict Jesus on the cross as suffering the marks of leprosy.

Exegetically Speaking is a short podcast (about 7 minutes) of the faculty and friends of Wheaton College and the Lanier Theological Library, Houston, TX.

You can cut and paste the following URL to your browser:


or click here.

Reading Outside the Canon: Aesop’s Fables

Dr. Doug Penney, Associate Professor of Classical Languages, joins me on Exegetically Speaking to discuss how he encourages students to read outside the canon of Scripture in order to sharpen their translation skills. Often, when students read a New Testament book in Greek, they rely on their memory to produce a translation. Reading Aesop’s Fables takes them to a text they do not know. And it alerts them to cultural signals that they would have never known by just reading inside the canon.

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