Cover of: Searching the Scriptures by by David Ewert

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Last edited by Jon Isaak
November 25, 2016 | History
An edition of Searching the Scriptures (2001)

Searching the Scriptures

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This edition was published in by Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA.

Written in English

251 pages

This book is a collection of newspaper columns written between 1992 and 2000 by Professor David Ewert for the German-language publication, Die Mennonitische Rundschau, answering readers' questions on biblical interpretation. From these monthly columns, he selected 77 related to the New Testament for this publication and translated them into English. Ewert was a regular contributor to the newspaper until it was discontinued in January 2007.

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Cover of: Searching the Scriptures
Searching the Scriptures
2001, Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Winnipeg
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Searching the Scriptures

First published in 2001



Work Description

This book is a collection of newspaper columns written between 1992 and 2000 by Professor David Ewert for the German-language publication, Die Mennonitische Rundschau, answering readers' questions on biblical interpretation. From these monthly columns, he selected 77 related to the New Testament for this publication and translated them into English. Ewert was a regular contributor to the newspaper until it was discontinued in January 2007.

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Searching the Scriptures

This edition was published in by Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA.


Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
New Testament Texts Studied in this Volume xv
1. Why would a biblical writer begin his book with a lengthy genealogy, as we see this, for example, in Matthew 1:1-18? 1
2. Why does Matthew (2:6) quote Micah 5:2 in answer to the question where Messiah was to be born, different from what the prophet said? 4
3. How are we to understand the petition in the Lord's Prayer, "Lead us not into temptation"? Does God "tempt" people? (Matthew 6:13) 7
4. Why did Jesus send his disciples on a mission "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," and not to the Gentiles? (Matthew 11:12) 10
5. What did Jesus mean when he said, "from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence and the violent take it by force" (Matthew 11:12)? 13
6. How are we to understand the Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds in which it is stated, "Let both of them grow together" (Matthew 13:30)? 16
7. What did Jesus want to teach us with the Parable of the Treasure in the Field and that of the Precious Pearl? (Matthew 13:44-46) 19
8. What did Jesus mean when he told the Syro-Phoenician woman, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs" (Matthew 15:26; Mark 7:27)? 22
9. How are we to understand Jesus' prediction, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18)? 25
10. How are we to understand Jesus' words in Matthew 22:14, "For many are called but few are chosen"? 28
11. What kind of kingdom is Jesus speaking about in Matthew 25:31-46? Is it identical with the "kingdom of God"? Is it possible to enter the eternal kingdom on the basis of good deeds? 31
12. The place of Jesus' crucifixion is sometimes called "Calvary" and at other times "Golgatha" (Matthew 27:33). What is the difference between these two? 34
13. Why was Jesus baptized? (Mark 1:9-11) 37
14. Why did Jesus go into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil? (Mark 1:12-13) 40
15. A paralytic was brought before Jesus for physical healing. Jesus began by forgiving his sins. Is there a connection between healing and forgiveness? (Mark 2:1-12) 43
16. What did Jesus want to say with the new patch on an old garment and with the new wine in old wineskins? (Mark 2:21-22) 46
17. Why did Jesus choose twelve disciples whom he appointed as apostles? (Mark 3:13-19) 49
18. According to Mark 4:12 it almost seems as if Jesus spoke in parables to hide the truth from his hearers. But surely that cannot be so. Then how are we to understand this saying of our Lord? 52
19. If Jesus was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday morning, can we still say that he was in the grave for three days and three nights? 55
20. How are we to understand Jesus' saying in Mark 9:1, "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power?" 58
21. Why did Jesus curse the fig tree? (Mark 11:12-14) 61
22. How are we to understand Jesus' prediction of the "desolating sacrilege" (Mark 13:14), which is to be the occasion for the flight of Jesus' followers from Judea? 64
23. How are we to understand Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane: "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible: remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want" (Mark 14:36)? 67
24. What does the expression "Abba, Father" mean? Are we to address God in this way? (Mark 14:36) 70
25. Did God the Father actually forsake his Son when he died on the cross? (Mark 15:34) 73
26. According to Luke 1:34, Mary, the mother of Jesus was a virgin when she conceived our Lord. How significant is it to hold to the virgin birth of Christ? 76
27. Why is there such a discrepancy in the translation of Luke 2:14? 79
28. What did Jesus mean when he spoke of the greatness of John the Baptist and then added, "Yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he" (Luke 7:28)? 82
29. What is the meaning of Jesus' words concerning his "generation" in Luke 7:31-35? 85
30. Jesus cast out demons (Luke 11: 14-23). How should we view exorcism today? 88
31. What did Jesus mean when he spoke of a coming baptism that distressed him? ( Luke 12:50) 91
32. How are we to understand Jesus' demand that we are to "hate" our relatives and even our own life if we want to be his disciples? (Luke 14:26) 94
33. What did Jesus mean when he encouraged his followers to make friends with the mammon of unrighteousness? (Luke 16:9) 97
34. Why did the rich man, in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, go to hell? (Luke 16:19-31) 100
35. How are we to understand Jesus' saying about the two swords? Does it not contradict his teaching on non-resistance? (Luke 22:38) 103
36. How are we to understand Jesus' words to Nicodemus: "No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit" (John 3:5) 106
37. According to John 13:15 we are commanded by Jesus to practice feet washing. Can you explain why it is that we do not practice this rite which seems to be so clearly commanded? 109
38. Jesus speaks of his Father's house as having many rooms (John 14:2). How are we to visualize the future glory into which God's people will some day enter? 112
39. Was Jesus truly "the king of the Jews" (John 18:33)? 115
40. In Christian art one often sees the acronym INRI on the cross of Jesus. What does that mean? 118
41. Why is the ascension of Jesus, as recorded in Acts 1, of such significance for the Christian faith? 121
42. What did Jesus mean when he told his disciples that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days? (Acts 1:5). What do people today mean, when they claim to have been baptized with the Spirit? 124
43. How did the First Christian Pentecost as described in Acts 2, differ from the traditional Jewish Pentecost? 127
44. When the Samaritans (Acts 8) accepted the Gospel, they did not immediately receive the Holy Spirit, something that regularly occurred when people were converted to Christ. How do we explain this incongruity? 130
45. What did Paul mean when he told the Athenians, that God had overlooked the times of human ignorance? (Acts 17:30) 133
46. In his farewell address to the Ephesian elders, the apostle Paul quotes a saying of Jesus, "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). Where is that saying found in the Gospels? 136
47. How are we to understand Paul, when he says, "the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:27)? 139
48. What did Paul mean when he said that "all Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:26)? 142
49. What did Paul mean when he said that he had given the Corinthian who lived in incest over to Satan "for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 5:5)? 145
50. What should our attitude be to the practice of women covering their heads in church? (1 Corinthians 11:1-6) 148
51. Among the gifts of the Spirit, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12-14, is also the gift of prophecy. What is the nature of this gift? 151
52. We know that the risen Christ had a meeting with Peter after his resurrection, but who is meant when Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:7 speaks of Christ's meeting with James? 154
53. In the first letter to the Corinthians Paul makes very much of the resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15). Why is this event so central to the Christian faith? 157
54. How are we to understand Paul's reference in 1 Corinthians 15:29, to baptism on behalf of the dead? 160
55. What does the expression,"sealed with the Spirit," found several times in Paul's letters, mean? 163
56. Paul writes, "We have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not comes from us" (2 Corinthians 4:7). What does Paul mean with "clay jars"? 166
57. Paul teaches that we are saved by grace, not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9). In the final judgment, however, the divine Judge acknowledges the works people have done. Is there not a contradiction here? 169
58. According to Philippians1:21, believers go to be with Christ when they die. Where does the resurrection from the dead fit into this sequence of events in the afterlife? 172
60. Can we truthfully say, that it is God's will that all people should be saved? (1 Timothy 2:4) 178
61. According to the King James Version, 1 Timothy 3:16 reads, "God was manifest in the flesh." In the newer versions we now have, "He was revealed in flesh." Which of these two is the correct reading, and why this shift? Are translators today questioning the deity of Christ? 181
62. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. How then are we to understand the many Old Testament passages that can hardly be harmonized with Christian teaching? 184
63. According to 1 Peter 3:21, it seems as if we are saved through baptism? Or am I not reading this text correctly? 187
64. What does the apostle Peter mean, when he writes, that "since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin)" (1 Peter 4:1)? 190
65. The apostle Peter exhorts his readers not only to wait for the coming day of the Lord, but to "hasten it" (2 Peter 3:13). How can we hasten the day of God? 193
66. How are we to understand 1 John 2:20 and 27, where it is stated, that believers have the anointing and therefore know all things and don't need to be taught? 196
67. What did the apostle John mean when he said that Jesus came with "water and blood" (1 John 5:6)? 199
68. In the letter to Laodicea our Lord, speaking through his servant John, wishes that the church might be either hot or cold. How are we to interpret this desire? (Revelation 3:15) 202
69. Who are the apocalyptic horsemen mentioned in Revelation 6:1-8? 205
70. Who are the souls who the apostle John in a vision sees under the altar in heaven? (Revelation 6:9-11) 208
71. Who does the heavenly woman who gives birth to a messianic child represent? (Revelation 12) 211
72. What does the beast that the apostle John saw arising out of the sea symbolize? (Revelation 13) 214
73. Who are the 144,000 of whom the apostle John speaks in Revelation 7 and 14? 217
74. In Revelation 20:6, the apostle John speaks of a "first resurrection." Is there a second resurrection as well? 220
75. Who will be the residents of the New Jerusalem? (Revelation 21:3). Who are the nations who will walk in the light of the golden city? (21:24-26). And what did John mean when he spoke of the leaves of the tree of life that are for the healing of the nations? (22:2) 223
76. At the end of Revelation, the apostle warns his readers not to add or to subtract from the prophetic book (Revelation 22:18-19). How are we to understand this warning? 226
77. The apostles frequently speak of the imminent return of Christ. In the last chapter of Revelation (22:7, 20), the promise of Christ's imminent return is given twice. What do we say to such promises after almost 2,000 years of waiting? 229

Edition Notes

Copyright Date
2001

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL26202178M
Internet Archive
SearchingTheScripturesOCRopt
ISBN 10
1895432278

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November 25, 2016 Edited by Jon Isaak Edited without comment.
November 24, 2016 Edited by Jon Isaak Added new cover
November 24, 2016 Edited by Jon Isaak Edited without comment.
November 24, 2016 Created by Jon Isaak Added new book.