Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Biblical World reaches one million hits!

Today the Biblical World blog reached one million hits! I started the blog in July of 2010 and never thought I would see this many visitors.

 Of course not everyone who visits is looking for my blog, but I still consider it accomplishment. Over the last few years I have tried to ensure that people who visit the blog do so because they are interested in the content and not because I had a picture or title that was designed to hook-in visitors who are looking for something else. I am unsure to what degree I have been successful.

Many thanks to everyone who reads the blog. It's not as active as it once was, but I still try to use it for letting people know about important events and developments related to the Bible.  Perhaps we will hit two million even quicker?

Now if I just had a dollar for every person who visited . . .

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Afraid you'll be left behind? The Origins of the "Rapture."

The Nicholas Cage reboot of the Left Behind series is attempting to breath new life into a story that is fairly worn out.

Although I haven't seen the film, I know that its premise is based on the idea that God will secretly "snatch away" the Christians just before a period of intense suffering begins on the earth under the leadership of the Antichrist.

The belief in a pretribulation rapture is well known in North America. Even people who aren't believers are aware of it. This is probably due to the way it has been woven into various aspects of Protestantism throughout the 20th century.

The problem, however, is that belief in a pretribulation rapture is relatively new in Church history. It began with a prophecy at a prayer meeting in either Scotland or Ireland and moved to the USA with the teachings of J. Nelson Darby and was popularized through the preaching of D. L. Moody and the Scofield Bible. I have told this story to my students a number of times over the years.

Today, in response to the Nicholas Cage reboot, Ben Witherington has produced a short video explaining the (short) history of the pretributlation rapture. If you have never heard this before, I think you will find it quite interesting.

 Incidentally,Witherington places the prayer meeting in Glasgow, Scotland. I had once read it took place in Ireland at the home of Lady Powerscourt.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Online sample of my new commentary

Zondervan has uploaded a sample from my forthcoming commentary. 

You can read the introductory material and the exposition of 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 here

To learn more about the Story of God Series click here

A new commentary for today’s world, The Story of God Bible Commentary explains and illuminates each passage of Scripture in light of the Bible’s grand story. The first commentary series to do so, SGBC offers a clear and compelling exposition of biblical texts, guiding everyday readers in how to creatively and faithfully live out the Bible in their own contexts. Its story-centric approach is ideal for pastors, students, Sunday school teachers, and laypeople alike.

It's scheduled to be released on October 14th, but you can pre-order your hardcover or Ebook version today!