I’m Confident You Will Do More Than I Ask (Philemon 21-22)

November 2, 2017

Paul has set a high bar for Philemon. Given Philemon’s social world, Paul’s requests are astounding. As Philemon’s slave, Onesimus has neither social status nor civil rights. Onesimus cannot sit at the same table with his master. He cannot marry whom he chooses, and he has no real options other than what Philemon decides. As […]


On Reading Philemon

September 7, 2017

Philemon is a brief letter with only 335 words in the Greek text, and it appears in the New Testament without any specific context. Philemon and Onesimus, the main characters in the letter’s story, are unknown elsewhere in the New Testament. Many, if not most of the details, are lost to us as readers to […]


Did Jesus Preach the Gospel?

June 18, 2015

Yes and No.  Check it out at here.


Revelation 10: John’s Prophetic Call

August 16, 2013

After the fourth trumpet an eagle soared across the sky to announce the first of three woes (Revelation 8:13). The second woe followed the fifth trumpet (Revelation 9:12). As readers we expect to hear the third woe after the sixth trumpet in order to  transition to the seventh trumpet. Instead, the third woe does not […]


Holy Saturday….Lest We Forget

March 29, 2013

Good Friday and then Easter! But a day is missing in that story. To move from Friday to Sunday we must walk through Saturday. Saturday, however, is a lonely day. Death has won. Hope is lost. Jesus of Nazareth lies in a tomb. His disciples are afraid, hiding, and deeply depressed. Everything they had invested […]


The Politics of the “New Heavens, New Earth” (1913 Stone-Campbell Book)

March 22, 2013

Peter Jay Martin, following in the footsteps of his father Joseph Lemuel Martin, authored a book that surveyed Revelation. Published by the McQuiddy Company (the Gospel Advocate publisher) in 1913, it was entitled The Mystery Finished, or The New Heavens and the New Earth. Peter’s book is not as well known as his father’s (The Voice of […]


Mark 14:1-11 — Preparation for Passion

June 27, 2012

On Sunday, Jesus had entered Jerusalem triumphantly only to walk into the temple, see everything, and then go back to Bethany apparently frustrated. On Monday Jesus returned to the temple and  angrily cleansed it. On Tuesday, as Jesus taught in the temple courts, the authorities confronted him about his actions, his relation to Rome and […]


Lipscomb on the Poor III

April 18, 2012

The situation in the South through 1866 and for several years thereafter was critical. The hungry, naked and homeless were present in overwhelming numbers. The War had devastated the country. I think this is one reason we see a constant stream of small blurbs from Lipscomb in the 1866 Gospel Advocate on the poor and the […]


Mark 1:1 — The Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

August 16, 2011

The seemingly innocuous opening line of the Gospel of Mark is actually a broadside against the Roman Empire, or any empire. It is a loaded sentence. Many think that Mark’s Gospel was written in the context of the city of Rome, perhaps to Roman Christians. Whatever the case, it was certainly written within the context […]


Jesus of Nazareth: The Mission of God (SBD 10)

May 21, 2009

[Note: I am attempting to keep these SBD installments under 2000 words each, but that is–of course–quite inadequate for the topics covered. Consequently, these contributions are more programmatic than they are explanatory or defenses of the positions stated. You may access the whole series at my Serial page.] Jesus accomplishes the divine mission to make […]