Gordon Franz

Messianic Passages

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The Luke Travel Narrative (Luke 9:51 to Luke 19:47)

Introduction Some critical scholars have suggested that the “Luke Travel Narrative” (Luke 9:51-19:47) are not historically and geographically correct. This paper will propose a chronological and historical reconstruction of the last six months of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ based on a harmonization of the “Luke Travel Narrative” and the Gospel of John. If this harmonization / chronology is accepted, the parables and discourses that the Lord Jesus gives during this last six m...

The Tyrian Shekel and the Temple of Jerusalem

Students of the Bible are aware of the connection between the Jerusalem Temple and the city of Tyre. Hiram, king of Tyre, sent cedars of Lebanon, cypress logs and artisans to Jerusalem to help King Solomon build the First Temple (I Kings 5; II Chron. 2). Most people may not be aware that there is a connection between the city of Tyre and the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the Tyrian shekel. Every year, a Jewish man, 20-years old and older, paid a voluntary half shekel Temple tax to the Jerusale...

Propaganda, Power, And Perversion Of Biblical Truths: Coins Illustrating The Book Of Revelation

Introduction Coins offer a “numismatic window” into the world of the New Testament (Oster 1982: 218). At the end of the First Century AD, the power-hungry Roman emperor minted coins as political propaganda in order to influence his culture. This article peers through that window and examines the imperial coins from the reign of Emperor Domitian. The article also examines how Domitian’s regime attacked some unchanging truths of the Word of God, how the Book of Revelation constructs a ...

The Mystery of Godliness Hymn

(I Tim. 3:14-16) Introduction At the beginning of the second century AD, during the reign of Emperor Trajan, Christians were being persecuted for their faith. Pliny the Younger, the imperial representative in Bithynia and Pontus (just below the Black Sea in northern Turkey) from AD 111-113, wrote a letter back to the emperor asking for advice on what to do about the number of Christians being executed for their faith. In one of the letters he wrote that the Christians met “regularl...

Let The Dead Bury Their Own Dead

There are two incidents recorded in the Gospels when a disciple requested a “leave of absence” in order to “bury” his father (Matt. 8:21-22; Luke 9:59-60). Although the requests appear reasonable, Jesus gave a seemingly harsh reply in each case: “Follow Me, let the dead bury their own dead.” This statement is often considered a “hard saying” of Jesus (Bruce 1983: 161-163). Some critical scholars suggest that Jesus was encouraging His disciples to break the fifth commandment (h...

The Demoniacs Of Gadara

The account in the Synoptic gospels of the demoniacs of Gadara is a pivotal event in the Galilean ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. This event is recorded in all three Synoptic gospels (Matt. 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39). This paper will examine several “problems” relating to this account and then an attempt will be made to place it in proper perspective in relation to the whole of the Lord Jesus’ ministry. The first issue to be examined is the textual problem of the passage. Do...

The Parable Of The Two Builders

When Jesus preached a sermon, told a parable, or gave a discourse, He always used object lessons that were familiar to His hearers in order to illustrate His point. The archaeology and geography of Bethsaida provides the background for two of His parables. These parables, referred to as the “parable of the two builders,” are recorded in Matthew 7:24-27 (Sermon on the Mount) and Luke 6:47-49 (Sermon on the Plain). The evidence suggests that these were two different sermons that were given a...

Ancient Harbors Of The Sea Of Galilee

Jesus spent much time on and around the Sea of Galilee with His fishermen-disciples. These disciples, who gave up all to follow Him (Luke 5:11), were good sailors. They knew the lake and its harbors well. The Gospels often refer to their maritime activities and the harbors they used. Now, for the first time in recent history, information on the harbors used by Jesus and His disciples is coming to light. Sixteen harbors and anchorages have been identified and surveyed by Mendel Nun, a fisherman...
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