Gordon Franz

“Lord, He Stinkest”: Jewish Burial Practices, Mourning Customs and Rabbinic Theology on John 11.

As the Easter season approaches, Christians contemplate the two greatest events in human history: the death of the Lord Jesus in order to pay for our sins, as well as His victorious resurrection from the grave. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus was a watershed event in the history of the world. It was proof of His deity (Acts 2:32, 36; Rom. 1:4). It was proof that the payment for sin was complete and accepted by God (Rom. 4:25; 10:9; John 11:25). Finally, it was proof that the Wo...

That The World May Believe

John 17:20, 21 In the High Priestly prayer recorded in John 17, the Lord Jesus prays, “I do not pray for these alone [the eleven disciples in the Upper Room with Him], but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (17:20, 21 NKJV, see also verses 22,23). Francis Schaeffer identified these verses as the “final apologetics

O Little Town of Bethlehem

During the Christmas season, we are inundated with images of Bethlehem from Christmas cards or Sunday School material that depicts somebody’s imagination of what Bethlehem looked like 2,000 years ago. Some Christmas cards depict Bethlehem as an oasis in the Sahara Desert with domed houses surrounded by palm trees. However, the First century BC/AD reality may be shockingly different from our traditional images of Bethlehem. In 1985, while working on the Lachish excavation in Israel, I to...

What Is Man?--Psalm 8

Introduction There are a few historical events that leave an indelible mark on the minds of people. All of us remember where we were and what we were doing on September 11, 2001 when we heard the horrifying news of the terrorist attacks on New York City. For those of us who are approaching, or are above the half century mark, we remember where we were and what we were doing on Sunday, July 20, 1969 when the lunar module “Eagle” landed on the moon. We recall astronaut Neil Armstrong’...

The Rediscovery of the So-Called Jesus Family Tomb in Jerusalem

On Monday morning, February 26, 2007, I heard the opening statement by Matt Lauer on the NBC Today’s Show. It was: “Is this the tomb of Jesus? A shocking new claim that an ancient burial place may have housed the bones of Christ and a son. This morning a Today exclusive that could rock Christianity to its core.” When I saw the interview with James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici I said to myself, “This isn’t new. It is a rehashing of the 1996 ‘Easter special’ by the BBC!” Th...

Jesus Celebrated Purim

Purim is one of the most festive and joyous holidays on the Jewish calendar. The book of Esther commands that it be celebrated on the 14th and 15th days of Adar and was to be a time of “feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:22). This holiday commemorates the victory of the Jewish people over their enemies that tried to slaughter them as a result of the decree by the Persian Prime Minister, Haman, in the book of Esther. Today the Jewish peop...

Psalm 42/43: “Captive For The Lord’s Sake”

Introduction Have you ever been deeply in love with someone when all of a sudden an external force shattered the relationship? Perhaps it was the death of the spouse or a divorce. Or perhaps your boyfriend or girlfriend unexpectedly and unceremoniously “dumped” you for someone else. Remember the pain you felt? The questions that went through your mind, “How did this happen? Lord why?” Do you remember the struggles that you had with your attitudes toward the Lord and other people? ...

Gods, Glory and the Gold of Philippi

The Apostle Paul’s visit to Macedonia marked the first time he set foot on European soil (Acts 16:11). However, this was not the first time the gospel was proclaimed in Europe (cf. Acts 2:10). In fact, the “Macedonian call” (Acts 16:9) seems to imply that there were already believers in Macedonia that needed help in evangelizing their province. One writer commented, “Out of Macedonia, Alexander the Great once went to conquer the Eastern world but later from Macedonia the power of ...

Barnabas: A Good Man

Introduction If I mentioned the name Barney, who would come to mind? If you belong to the Geritole crowd you would probably think of that goofy sheriff’s deputy from Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show (Don Knotts). For those with money as the love of their life, they would probably think of the investment firm, Smith-Barney. If you are a young person or parents of children you would probably think of that purple dinosaur that goes around singing, “I love you, you love me; we’re one ...

Apollos: Eloquent And Mighty In The Scriptures

Introduction Dr. Luke described the itinerant preacher, Apollos as an “eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24). It is a rare combination to find a preacher who is both eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures. Usually a preacher is one or the other, or neither! Several examples of ones who are both are Charles Spurgeon, Charles Stanley and Chuck Swindol. I guess if your name is Charlie you have a leg up on the competition! I would like to examine the life of a lesser-k...
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