About james malcolm

James Malcolm, Ph.D., is a "working class" academic. He has published a book: Women, Class, and Society in Early Christianity: Models from Luke-Acts (now out of print). He is a student of theology and commentator and translator of the New Testament (soon to be posted) and essayist and college teacher. Contact: jamesmalcolmrt@hotmail.com

Three Options for Interpreting Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21

Those three chapters, the Olivet Discourse, talk about the apocalyptic distant end times or the apocalyptic end of an era and the start of a new one. Things are not so clear-cut as I had thought they were. Please be sure to check out the photos of the Arch of Titus at the end.

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1. Hell and Punishment: Eternal, Conscious Torment

This theory is the standard one. However, one of the most stunning outcomes of my study of this theory is how little support it receives from Scripture, or the Scriptures can be interpreted differently than I first expected. Don’t believe it? Read every word of this post.

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2. Hell and Punishment: Terminal Punishment

What will happen to your kind and generous but unredeemed grandmother after she is judged? Will she burn in hell-fires in eternal torment? Terminalists or conditionalists or annihilationists (all three terms mean the same doctrine) say no. There is another and better Scriptural option.

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3. Hell and Punishment: Universalism

What will happen to your generous and gracious but unredeemed grandmother after judgment? Eternal, conscious punishment in the lake of fire next to Hitler, Stalin and Mao? Universalists say no. They claim to have a better and Scriptural option.

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What Do Words ‘Eternity,’ ‘Eternal’ Fully Mean in the Bible?

This is an old-fashioned look at a Hebrew lexicon and two Greek lexicons, but in an easy-to-read format for nontechnical readers of the Bible. The definitions are wide-ranging and unexpected.

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2. Gifts of the Spirit: Word of Knowledge

This manifestation of the Spirit can reveal who Christ is more fully and give you information that you could not have without the Spirit revealing it. It does not come by study and research. It is a gift of the Spirit, not of your own mental faculties.

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7. Gifts of the Spirit: Discernings of Spirits

It is a broad enough to help you distinguish between the false and the true, the Holy Spirit and evil spirits, deceived and true humans.

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9. Gifts of the Spirit: Interpretation of Spirit-Inspired Languages

This gift depends on Spirit-inspired languages (‘tongues’). Without them, interpretation would not be needed. This post gives a basic teaching of this gift.

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1 Introducing the Kingdom of God

So begins a ten-part series. Though difficult to believe at first, our truly understanding the kingdom of God can just about clarify all of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. So then, what is the kingdom? Can we define it biblically, or is the topic just too complicated? What does it mean for us today?

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2 Kingdom and Kingship in the Old Testament

The cultures surrounding Israel valued kings. Thus, monarchy worked its way into Israel’s government, but only with God’s permission. This post provides background material for the kingdom Jesus proclaimed.

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4 The Kingdom Is Right Now

Yes, the kingdom is partly manifested right now, but it is seen with the eyes of faith and in visible signs like salvation of souls and bodily healings and demon expulsions and harmony in the household–all done by the power of the Spirit.

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The Burnt Offering from a NT Perspective

So begins my nontechnical journey through Leviticus. I am learning a lot. The New Testament authors give us permission to use typology to fully explain the elements of the burnt sacrifice in the New Covenant believer’s life. (References: Lev. 1, 6:8-13, and Num 15:1-16)

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The Grain Offering from a NT Perspective

Let’s learn to love the life lessons in Leviticus by finding out what it is and how Jesus fulfills this food or grain or meal offering, which was motivated by gratitude for the Lord. (Reference: Lev. 2 and 6:14-23; Num. 15:1-16)

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The Fellowship Offering from a NT Perspective

It is also known as the peace offering and even the communion offering (n the sense of community). The wave offering is included here. Christ’s fulfillment of this offering has many parts, and they are all wonderful. (References: Lev. 3; 7:11-34)

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The Sin Offering from a NT Perspective

If we want to fully understand Jesus’s sacrifice, we have to look into Leviticus. The substitutionary theory of the atonement is particularly clear in this offering. The New Testament even teaches that Christ became our sin offering. (References: Leviticus 4:1-5:13 and 6:24-30 and Num. 15:1-16)

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The Guilt Offering from a NT Perspective

It is also called the Reparations offering or Trespass offering. Someone breaks the boundaries of the holy and becomes aware of it later, or he does some dishonest things; then the guilt offering is for him. Of course the New Testament (NT) streamlines and fulfills it in Christ (References: Leviticus 5:14-6:7; 7:1-7)

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First Worship and Inauguration of Tabernacle in Leviticus 9 from a NT Perspective

After Aaron and his sons were ordained (Lev. 8), they performed their first ritual for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. This is the inauguration of the new tabernacle. How does the New Covenant improve on these old rituals?

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Death of Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10 from a NT Perspective

Those were Aaron the high priest’s eldest sons, and they mixed strange fire against the law, and God judged them instantly. Why? Is God a petty tyrant? Most of this post is concerned with this issue, while the rest of Leviticus 10 gives further instructions for the priests generally.

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Childbirth, Bodily Discharges in Leviticus 12, 15 from a NT Perspective

These Levitical laws in those two chapters are about reproduction and childbirth, in other words, male and female body parts. The laws, seemingly primitive by our standards, reveal the heart of the God who looks out for his people by promoting cleanliness and health. What does the New Testament teach about ceremonial cleanness and uncleanness?

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Skin Disease, Mold in Leviticus 13, 14 from a NT Perspective

The laws in those two chapters about quarantine or isolation benefit humanity. They come from God’s heart of love for people. Yet, there is a ceremonial uncleanness that the New Testament rises above even for disease, but how?

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‘Life Is in the Blood’ in Leviticus 17 from a NT Perspective

Modern sophisticates dismiss the blood in the Old Testament as too primitive and unnecessary. But Jesus and his apostles applied the theology behind it to their days, so how could it be below our modern sensibilities and dignity, unless we are above them? (Reference: Lev. 17)

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Death Penalty in Leviticus 24 from a NT Perspective

Chapter 24 of Leviticus starts off with the command to supply olive oil for the lamp in the tabernacle and bread there. Then in the second half of the chapter a man was stoned to death for blasphemy. And other verses demand the death penalty for taking a life. What does the New Testament say about all of this?

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Vows and Redemption in Leviticus 27 from a NT Perspective

How could a devout Israelite express his commitment to the Lord? His gratitude? His promise to give to the Lord for a future blessing? By vowing to him, with some property and other possessions–some “skin” in the game. How does the New Testament transform and streamline these laws?

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Why the Blood of Jesus?

Postmodern man after the Enlightenment (1600-1800+) does not like the bloody part of Christianity. Of course this man is shortsighted. This post answers the question and lays out the efficacious benefits of the blood of Christ for our salvation. It also answers whether it is biblical to “plead the blood.”

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What Is Biblical Forgiveness?

If you have an overactive conscience, this post is for you. God hurls your sins into the sea and remembers them no more. An old fashioned word study and basic Bible study, with lots of biblical data put in an easy-to-read format.

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Remaining a Christian or Falling Away?

In the old days, this used to be called the “perseverance of the saints” (believers). All that means is the persistence of Christians to keep their relationship with the Lord. So the related question often comes up: Can a truly born-again believer walk away from this relationship?

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The Quaker Council of Philadelphia Proclaims James King

Dateline: 11 May 1685: Maybe the Quakers thought it prudent to honor the new king. But there was a problem–his religion. Both sides were part of European and American church history, in the colonial era. At his accession to the throne, he became James II.

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Philadelphia Council Proclaims William and Mary King and Queen

Dateline: Philadelphia, 1 Nov 1689: The Council debates how William and Mary became King and Queen. Let’s listen in on a near-verbatim transcription of their discussion on that day. They were part of church history, and so was the council of Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia Council Proclaims Anne Queen of England

Dateline: 5 July 1702, Philadelphia. People in the New World thought it best to proclaim her queen in order to provide for their own defence and form a militia against invasion and for legal reasons. Both sides of the Atlantic were part of church history.

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What Is Righteousness?

It seems confusion dominates discussions about the righteousness of God. Is it imputed? Imparted? When does it mean vindication? Justice? Holiness? Declared not guilty? Putting things right? All of the above? Find out what the Old Testament and New Testament say!

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The Fruit of Righteousness

Paul prays for the Philippians that they would be filled with the fruit of righteousness (Phil. 1:11). Therefore righteousness is a fruit, every bit as much as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are. What does this aspect of the term mean?

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What Is Penal Substitution?

This theory of the atonement or the significance of Christ’s death on the cross has come under attack of late. And maybe some sermons and illustrations of it have been out of line. But this theory of the atonement is still biblically valid. Here’s why.

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How to Rescue America with These Images

Lies and exaggerations and distortions flow through the web and media and harm our society. They must be countered. If not, America will decline–at first slowly, and now rapidly–by moral rot. I also offer some biblical truths. You may certainly copy the images and post them in social media.

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So What’s Wrong with Socialism, Anyway?

Have you ever heard a student or young adult ask it today?  It’s still going strong in Europe and numerous countries around the globe. What if Leftists were to rebrand their ideology and hide it under a current political party in American politics? Therefore, it’s important to take a closer look at it.

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Christ’s Death on Cross = Cosmic Child Abuse?

Critics say: “God sent his Son to the cross and poured his just wrath on him? Would any loving Father do that? It’s cosmic child abuse!”

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Is It Just to Deploy National Guard to Stop Mayhem?

That is, is it the morally right thing to do? That question goes beyond current events in America in 2020. What is the government allowed to do, if it intends to restore peace and order? What does the Bible say?

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Rapture = Second Coming and Happen at Same Time on Last Day

Have you been taught all your life that the rapture and Second Coming are distinct events, years apart? Is it difficult to change your cherished belief? The belief about the Second Coming in the earliest apostolic community was unified, without complications. Here’s the plentiful biblical and nonsymbolic and direct evidence.

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Should Christians Fight or Flee Persecution?

What if the Church is targeted for persecution by the government or by large groups of extremists, but the government does not come to the aid of Christians? For example, rioting Muslims in Nigeria or Sudan attack churches on a wide scale. Can Christians defend themselves, because the State does not come to their aid?

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Balanced Worship in the Psalms

Yes, the first-person pronoun “I” is in that old biblical songbook (Psalms), but so is “God” without “me.” Can’t we sing about both “me” and “God” in church? And when do we take “me” too far?

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What Does the New Covenant Retain from the Old?

How much continuity and discontinuity is there between the New Covenant and the Sinai Covenant? This article is designed to answer the confusion between hyper-grace on the one side and legalism on the other.

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Worship in the Old and New Testaments

How was it done? To what purpose? Worship leaders must be Bible based, or else their lyrics and mode of worship will become shallow and self-focused instead of God centered.

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Gifts of the Spirit in Romans 12:6-8

Renewalists (Pentecostals, Charismatics and Neo-Charismatics) believe that all the gifts of God mentioned in the New Testament are for today. They flow from God and are exercised through the Spirit and grace and a yielded, eager heart when the need arises. Let’s study the ones in Rom. 12:6-8.

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Gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 and 12:28

Renewalists (Pentecostals, Charismatics and New-Charismatics) believe these gifts are for today. This is an old-fashioned Bible study, word by word. line up line.

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3 Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

It is clear from the news headlines that we need peace in the world. But that can happen only when we have the peace that flows from the Spirit. Everyone on the planet needs to be born again, be filled with the Spirit, and let the peace flow outwardly.

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Bible Basics about Praise and Worship

This post is a basic Bible study of key words in the Old and New Testaments, all spelled out in English. Worship leaders need to have a biblical foundation. Practical application is offered below each term.

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