The Nov/Dec issue of Bible Study Magazine is now available! Subscribe by Nov. 30 to get it. You won't regret it. I've received two issues so far, and I have to say it's the best new magazine I've seen in a long time. It's well designed, insightful about the Bible, and fun to read. And I'm not just saying that because I have articles published in the next 3 issues (starting with Nov/Dec). Here are two excerpts from my articles published in the current issue.
Hebrew Word Study
God is God, Right?
The names of God are a special case.
English translations represent God’s names in different ways—and they’re not always consistent. Sometimes the same English word is used for different Hebrew names. For example, “Lord God” can point to either Yahweh Elohim or Adonay Yahweh. Most English translations subtly represent the difference by putting the divine name Yahweh in small capitals—LORD God or Lord GOD. Using the reverse interlinear, we can find the underlying Hebrew and trace God’s name like any other.
When we do so in Genesis, we learn that God is known by His interactions with people—the God who sees (Gen 16:13), Yahweh who provides (Gen 22:14). God is often identified in Genesis by His association with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (e.g., Gen 24:12). With each generation, He renewed His covenant and identified Himself as the same God of Israel’s ancestors. This association is how the nation of Israel related to God.
The Story You’re about to Read is True:
Anyone who thinks reading the Bible is boring has never read the story of Joseph (Gen 37–50). Filled with action, suspense, irony and intrigue, this narrative is biblical storytelling at its best. Some would say that such literary artistry smacks of fiction.1 Others consider it fictional since there is no archaeological evidence that Joseph ever existed, let alone ruled Egypt at Pharaoh’s right hand. So how does ancient history and archaeology help us understand the story of Joseph? And does the evidence point to fiction or the basis of a true story?
Some like to use history and archaeology to prove or disprove the accuracy of the Bible. My studies in ancient history started out along those lines—seeking proof of the existence of Joseph to defend the accuracy of the Bible. Along the way, I learned that my quest for direct confirmation of the stories of Genesis was in vain, but history and archaeology consistently illuminated a plausible historical core at the center of the story. While we may never find “Joseph was here” scratched on the wall in an ancient Egyptian back alley, the Joseph story is packed with historical details that can be verified.