Rob Starner, Ph.D.
Do All Things Really Work Together for Good?
Published: July 26th, 2016
Murphy’s law says “If anything can go wrong, it will!” The Apostle Paul claims, “All things work together for good!” Whom should we trust?
The Sound of Silence: Mark’s Description of the Crucifixion
Published: July 5th, 2016
In “marked” contrast to the adopted practice of most modern historiographers who are fond of supplying graphic details of heinous events (compare, for example, Bill O’Reilly’s magnificent KILLING LINCOLN), Mark’s account of the crucifixion is striking in its silence regarding the physical torture of the cross.
Guilty, by Reason of Association
Published: April 21st, 2016
In rendering the Greek text of 1 Thessalonians 5:22 as “Abstain from all APPEARANCE of evil” translators of the KJV may have unwittingly promoted an unorthodox and unhealthy dynamic between Christians and “The World.”
7 Reasons to Study Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek
Published: September 24th, 2015
As a professor of Greek and New Testament at SAGU, I naturally champion the study of Biblical languages so here are 7 reasons why the original Biblical languages hold great promise for those who consecrate their time and effort to learn them.
The Danger of a Text without a Context
Published: July 21st, 2015
Chances are, every single one of us at one time or another has been the victim of mistaken motives, simply because someone took something we said “out of context.” The fact is that without a full understanding of its socio-cultural context, any speech or action or event is subject to gross misinterpretation. The theological history recounted in Genesis 29:21—30:24 is an obvious case in point.
Joseph's Suffering: A Model for Christian Life
Published: June 23rd, 2015
The behavioral aspect of “love-hate” relationships is undoubtedly in view in Genesis 37:3 where we read that “Israel (the converted Jacob) ‘loved’ Joseph more than all his sons.” This must not be taken to indicate Jacob’s emotional disconnection or disregard or, even worse, disdain for his “other” sons; the literary context and historical detail point clearly to the “preferential treatment” that Jacob rendered to Joseph.
Put Jesus Back on the Cross
Published: April 7th, 2015
Odds are you did not pass over that title in apathetic disregard. Let’s face it; the statement reeks of blasphemy. But before you accuse me of being a “hairy tick,” or haul me before a tribunal for doctrinal purity, give ear to the following story.
Is God Unfair in Working Good for Some and not for Others?
Published: March 19th, 2015
In Part 1 we argued that Paul’s use of an A—B—A’ literary structure to deliver the promise “All things work together for good” in Romans 8:28 serves two functions: first, it identifies God, not “chance” or “fate,” as the agent working together for good, and second, it restricts this promise to believers.
The Blonde Leading the Blind
Published: February 25th, 2015
Jesus’ imagery of a blind person leading a blind person (Matthew 15:14) is so familiar to most of us that it hardly elicits more than a quiet yawn. Altering the characters as in the above title just may create enough of a jolt to kick-start the engine of Jesus’ intention. Of course, it also risks offending all my fair-haired siblings in Christ, so for that I offer in advance my sincere apologies.