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The Christmas Story (Part 1) | Matthew 1:18-25 Bible Study

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Please view/download slides from a Bible study on Matthew 1:18-25, which describes the birth (more literally translated "the genesis") of Jesus the Messiah.

First shared on Wednesday December 12, 2018 by Danny Scotton Jr. at Alpha Baptist Church in Willingboro, NJ

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The Christmas Story (Part 1) | Matthew 1:18-25 Bible Study

  1. 1. THE CHRISTMAS STORY (PART I) MATTHEW 1:18-25 DANNY SCOTTON JR ALPHA BAPTIST CHURCH, WILLINGBORO, NJ 12.12.18 TO VIEW THESE SLIDES ONLINE, PLEASE VISIT HTTP://BIT.LY/C4C-XMAS-PT-1
  2. 2. THE GENESIS OF JESUS THE MESSIAH • This is the genealogy [Βίβλος γενέσεως | Biblos geneseos] of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: (Mt 1:1, NIV) • Genealogy (Βίβλος γενέσεως)  book of genesis (Blomberg) • Genesis: “source, origin, beginning; birth; descent; procreation;…” (EDNT). “coming into being at a specific moment” (BDAG) • In a way, this is a new Genesis (France, TNTC)
  3. 3. SEPTUAGINT (LXX) • In the 4th century B.C., virtually the entire known world was conquered by Alexander the Great • If you wanted to do business in Alexander’s empire, you had to speak the language of Alexander’s empire. That language was Greek – Koine (or common) Greek. • Septuagint (LXX) Greek translation of Hebrew Bible (translation started around 250 BC and was completed over 100 years later) (Bock, NT211) • In the New Testament, when Jesus and the apostles and the NT writers quote the OT, they are actually quoting the LXX roughly 80 percent of the time (Hesier, OT281) • The LXX was the Bible of the early church (Heiser, OT281)
  4. 4. THE BOOK OF GENESES (PLURAL) 1. Gen 2:4 (NIV): This is the account [genesis] of the heavens and the earth when they were created 2. Gen 5:1(NIV): This is the written account [genesis] of Adam’s family line 3. Gen 6:9 (NIV): This is the account [genesis] of Noah and his family 4. Gen 10:1a (NIV): This is the account [genesis] of Shem, Ham and Japheth, Noah’s sons… 5. Gen 11:10a (NIV): This is the account [genesis] of Shem’s family line 6. Gen 11:27 (NIV): This is the account [genesis] of Terah’s [father of Abraham] family line 7. Gen 25:12a (NIV): This is the account [genesis] of the family line of Abraham’s son Ishmael. 8. Gen 25:19 (NIV):This is the account [genesis] of the family line of Abraham’s son Isaac. 9. Gen 36:1 (NIV): This is the account [genesis] of the family line of Esau (that is, Edom) 10. Gen 36:9 (NIV): This is the account [genesis] of the family line of Esau the father of the Edomites 11. Gen 37:2 (NIV): This is the account [genesis] of Jacob’s family line First pointed out to me in a lecture by Dr. Stephen Kim in 2016 (cf. France, TNTC)
  5. 5. SON OF DAVID • “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteous Savior. (Jer 23:5-6 cf. Jer 33:15, NIV) (Keener, IVP) • [To David]“ ‘The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Sam 7:11b-13, NIV). • The Jews knew the Messiah was to be a descendant of David. In his genealogy, which skips generations (as was common practice) (Keener, IVP), Matthew emphasizes that Jesus is a son of David (cf. Mt 1:1)
  6. 6. SON OF ABRAHAM • Genealogies usually only included men (Keener, IVP) • There were other, more prominent women that could have been included (e.g., Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, etc.) (Keener, IVP) • Yet, Matthew (Mt 1:3,5-6) includes Tamar (from Canaan), Rahab (from Jericho), Ruth (from Moab), and Bathsheba (former wife of Uriah the Hittite)(Keener, IVP) • Matthew emphasizes Jesus’ mixed heritage; the blessings that were to come through this Son of Abraham would be for all nations (Keener, IVP) • Therefore go and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19a, NIV)
  7. 7. SON OF JOSEPH? • and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. (Mt 1:16, NIV) • How can Jesus be a son of David and a son of Abraham if he is not the son of Joseph? • The birth narrative addresses this issue (France, NICNT).
  8. 8. THE GENESIS OF THE MESSIAH • 18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. • 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” • 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). • 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
  9. 9. THE ANOINTED ONE • This is how the birth [genesis] of Jesus the Messiah came about: (Mt 1:18a, NIV) • Messiah = Χριστός (Christos), “the Anointed One” who would deliver Israel (BDAG) • “it refers to an act of consecration whereby an individual is set apart to serve God and anointed (smeared or perhaps sprinkled) with oil.”(Elwell); ‫ח‬ ַׁ‫ש‬ ָ‫מ‬ (māšaḥ)= “anoint” (TWOT) • It was prophesied that the Messiah’s kingdom would reign through David’s descendants forever (Elwell) • [To David] “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever” (2 Sam 7:16, NIV) • Many Jews at that time were focused on a political, earthly reign • Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Ac 1:6, NIV)
  10. 10. JEWISH ADULTHOOD • His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. (Mt 1:18b, NIV). • Men usually married around the age of 18-20; women usually married around the age of 12-14 when they reached puberty (Keener) • Jewish boys transitioned into men around 12-13 during a ceremony called a bar mitzvah (Heer). At this time, they took on adult responsibilities (Keener) • Joseph would have been working for 5-7 years, likely saving up money (Keener, Osborne) • In the 1st century Greco-Roman world, the life expectancy was about 25 years (Rapske cf. Cohick) • Usually when you got married, you started trying to have children immediately (Cohick); children were often economic assets
  11. 11. JEWISH BETROTHAL/MARRIAGE • “Marriage brought families together, cemented political alliances, advanced family honor and wealth…” (Cohick) Not necessarily about preference or “love.” • A couple would normally be betrothed for a year before they were married; godly men would not sleep with their fiancée’s before marriage (Keener) • “fathers were guardians of their daughters’ virginity, arranged their marriages, and “gave” them to their husbands” (Keener) • Betrothal was a binding economic contract (France, TNTC), which involved witnesses and a symbolic act. Betrothals were broken only by divorce or death (Keener) • Galilean betrothed couples were not allowed privacy until their wedding (Keener), where the wife would leave her father’s house to live with her husband (hence “came together” France, NICNT) • Wives often brought dowries (her economic assets inherited from her father) into the marriage and husbands often paid a bride price to the families of their respective wives (Keener, Manser)
  12. 12. PUT AWAY PRIVATELY • 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law [δίκαιος (dikaios) “upright, just, righteous” (NIDNTTE)], and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. (Mt 1:19. NIV) • Joseph may not have even known her. As far as he knows, Mary committed adultery (Keener, IVP) • According to both Jewish and Roman law, men were demanded to divorce adulterous wives (Keener, IVP) • Having consensual intercourse with someone else’s betrothed was a capital offense (Dt 22:21- 24) but the Jews could not enforce the death penalty during this time under Roman control (Keener, IVP) • Public divorce: potentially recoup bride price and keep her dowry (Keener, IVP) • Private divorce: no trial, no money, only written certificate and two witnesses (cf. Dt 24:1, France, TNTC) • If he married her, it would be assumed that he had premarital sex – which was shameful (Keener, IVP)
  13. 13. THE HOLY SPIRIT WOULD REST ON THE MESSIAH • A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse [father of David]; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD— (Isa 11:1-2, NIV) (France, TNTC) • “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations (Is 42:1, NIV) (France, TNTC) • The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor [i.e., humbled]… (Isa 61:1, NIV cf. Lk 4:18- 19 cf. Joel 2:28) (France, TNTC) • As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Mt 3:16-17, NIV) (France, NICNT)
  14. 14. THE SPIRIT HAS EXTRAORDINARY CREATIVE POWER • What is the greatest miracle in the Bible? • In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit [‫ַׁח‬‫ו‬‫ר‬ (rûaḥ)] of God was hovering over the waters (Gen 1:1-2, NIV cf. Eze 37) (France, TNTC) • By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath [‫ַׁח‬‫ו‬‫ר‬ (rûaḥ)] of his mouth (Ps 33:6, NIV) (France, NICNT) • “The Spirit can readily be understood here with reference to power from God producing the extraordinary” (Nolland)
  15. 15. WHAT A MIGHTY GOD WE SERVE • We serve a God who spoke the entire, finely-tuned universe into existence (cf. Rom 4:17) • Astrophysicist Hugh Ross has calculated the probability that all of these finely- tuned constants would occur in any life-permitting planet purely by chance. • If there are 1022 planets in the entire universe, the chances are a whopping 1 out of 10138 (138 zeros!) • If God can create this incredibly complex universe out of nothing, should a virgin conception be too hard for Him? • “Why should not the Spirit which brooded over creation not also brood creatively over the womb of Mary?” (Green) • We’re told that it happened not how it happened (Chamblin)
  16. 16. JOSEPH HAD A DREAM(S) • 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:20, NIV) • In Matthew, while dreaming, Joseph is instructed to leave Egypt (2:13), to return to Israel (2:19), and to withdraw to Nazareth in Galilee (2:22). • In the OT, Joseph (no connection) (France, NICNT) also had and interpreted dreams (Gen 37:5-7, Gen 40f.). Daniel also had and interpreted dreams (of Nebuchadnezzar) (Dan 2; 7). (Turner) • 28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29, NIV cf. Ac 2:17f.) (Turner)
  17. 17. DOES GOD STILL SPEAK TO PEOPLE IN DREAMS AND VISIONS? • Missionary Tom Doyle records the story of a man named Omar who was on his way to join the terrorist organization, Hamas, when a man in a white robe appeared to him and “‘Omar, this is not the life I have planned for you. You turn around. Go home. I have another plan for you.’” (Strobel) • “Later that same day, someone was moving into an apartment across the hall from him. He found out the new tenant was a Christian. Omar told him about the experience he had and said, ‘What does it mean?’ This Christian spent time with him, took him through the Scriptures, and led him to Jesus. Today, Omar is an underground church planter.” (Strobel) • Doyle reports that 1 out of every 3 Muslim-background believers (MBB) had a dream or vision. Mission Frontiers magazine reports 25 percent of MBB have (Qureshi). One missionary in Africa reports 42 percent (Qureshi)
  18. 18. JESUS WILL BRING SALVATION – FROM SIN • 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Mt 1:21. NIV) • Divinely revealed names often have great meaning (France, TNTC) • Israel: ‫ה‬ ָ‫ר‬ ָ‫ש‬ (śārâ) = “contend” (TWOT); el = God; ‫ל‬ ֶ‫א‬ ָ‫ר‬ ְׂ‫ִש‬‫י‬ (yiśrāʾel) means he who struggles with God • Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God [ ‫ה‬ ָ‫ר‬ ָ‫ש‬ (śārâ)]… (Gen 32:28a, NIV cf. NIV margin; Abraham likely means “father of many”) • Jesus (Ἰησοῦς) is the Greek form of Yeshua/Yehoshua/Joshua [ַַׁ‫ע‬ ֻׁ‫ְׂהֹוש‬‫י‬] which means “The LORD [YHWH] saves/ delivers” (cf. Num 13:16) (NIDOTTE) • The Messianic hope in the 1st century primarily focused on the political restoration of the kingdom of David (France, NICNT) – not salvation from sin (cf. (e.g. Isa. 53; Jer. 31:31–34; Ezek. 36:24–31)(France, TNTC) • Jesus’ mission echoes Psalm 130:7-8 (NIV): “Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. 8 He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.(Green, Blomberg, etc.)
  19. 19. YOU ARE THE FATHER • The angel tells Joseph to name Mary’s son Jesus (Mt 1:21, NIV) • Jewish babies were officially named on the eighth day after their birth – when they were circumcised (Osborne) • By naming Jesus, Joseph was essentially adopting Jesus as his legal son (e.g., Isa 43:1e, NIV: I have summoned you by name; you are mine) (Osborne, Morris, Nolland, etc.) • By doing so, Jesus would become a son of David –
  20. 20. THE VIRGIN CONCEPTION(?) • 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Mt 1:22-23, NIV) • 1st of several OT fulfillment-quotations cf. in 2:15, 17, 23; 4:14; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4; 26:56; 27:9 (Morris) • 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isa 7:14, NIV) • LXX Isaiah (almost identical) uses Greek word παρθένος (parthenos) which means “virgin” (Blomberg) • Hebrew Isaiah uses ‫ה‬ ָ‫מ‬ ְׂ‫ל‬ַׁ‫ע‬ (ʿalmâ) = “young woman” (TWOT) or “a girl who is able to be married” (HAL). In Scripture, ʿalma usually indicates virginity (except for maybe Prov 30:19, Turner) • The Hebrew word for “wife” is ‫ה‬ ָ‫ש‬ ִ‫א‬ (ʾiššâ); “virgin” is ‫ה‬ָ‫תול‬ ְׂ‫ב‬ (bĕtûlâ). If the child was born to a married woman, one would expect (ʾiššâ) (France, NICNT)
  21. 21. THE VIRGIN/YOUNG WOMAN CONCEPTION IN ISAIAH • In the context of Isaiah, the prophet tells King Ahaz (of Judah) that a young/marriageable woman (ʿalmâ) would have a child, and that before the child (Immanuel) reaches an age of maturity, the land of the two Assyrian kings he dreaded would be destroyed (Isa 7:14-17) (France, NICNT cf. Isa 8:4, 8 Blomberg) • Even still, the prophecy of the son who would be a “sign” (Isa 7:11,14) is not limited to just to that time around 735 B.C. (France, NICNT), for “signs” indicated something more remarkable (Blomberg) • 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (Is 9:6-7, NIV) • Seems best to see the prophecy to be partially fulfilled in Isaiah and more completely fulfilled in the NT (Blomberg, Osborne, etc.)
  22. 22. VIRGIN FOR HOW LONG? • 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. (Mt 1:24-25) • Mary remained a virgin until after she gave birth – even though they were probably living together and sleeping in the same bed (Keener, IVP) • Catholic doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary is based on an apocryphal book called Protevangelium of James (19:3, Blomberg). No biblical warrant (France, TNTC) • 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? … (Mt 13:55-56a, NIV) (France, NICNT cf. Mt 12:46; Mk 3:31–32; 6:3; Lk 8:19–20; Jn 2:12; 7:3, 5, 10; Ac 1:14 (Turner)) • Immaculate Conception: “The idea that the Virgin Mary did not have original sin at her conception nor did she acquire elements of original sin during her life, whereas all other humans have original sin from conception due to Adam’s fall” (German)
  23. 23. WAS JESUS CALLED IMMANUEL? • Jesus was and is Immanuel! It is more of a title signifying His mission (Turner) • Throughout Matthew, Jesus is with his disciples – even in the storm (8:23-27) (Turner) • Jesus’ presence is emphasized in the beginning, middle, and ending of Matthew (Osborne) • and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Mt 1:23b, NIV) • 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Mt 18:20) • And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt 28:20, NIV) (inclusio, Turner)
  24. 24. CONCLUSION • In spite of the difficult situation, Joseph trusted and obeyed God – risking his own reputation. God’s honor is more important than our own honor (Keener) • In spite of contemporary messianic expectations, Jesus (a son of David) did not come for political restoration (e.g., the throne of David), but to save his people from their sins (Mt 1:21) • As a “son of Abraham,” Jesus’ messianic mission of redemption is for all nations (Gen 12:2-3 cf. Mt :1,1, 28:19) • In the grand scheme of this magnificent universe, a virgin conception is small potatoes • Matthew describes the Genesis of Jesus, who is Immanuel, “God with us”
  25. 25. BIBLIOGRAPHY Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–. Blomberg, Craig. Matthew. Vol. 22. The New American Commentary. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992. Bock, Darrell L. NT211 Introducing the Gospels and Acts: Their Background, Nature, and Purpose. Logos Mobile Education. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014. Chamblin, J. Knox. “Matthew.” In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, 3:719–60. Baker Reference Library. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995. Cohick, Lynn H. Women in the World of the Earliest Christians: Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009. Doyle, Tom. DREAMS AND VISIONS , Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 2012. France, R. T. Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 1. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985. France, R. T. The Gospel of Matthew. The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007. German, Terence J. “Immaculate Conception.” Edited by Daniel J. Treier and Walter A. Elwell. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic: A Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2017. Green, Michael. The Message of Matthew: The Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible Speaks Today. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001. Harris, R. Laird, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, eds. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1999. Heer, Ken. Luke: A Commentary for Bible Students. Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007. Heiser, Michael S. OT281 How We Got the Old Testament. Logos Mobile Education. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014. Koehler, Ludwig, Walter Baumgartner, M. E. J. Richardson, and Johann Jakob Stamm. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994–2000. Keener, Craig S. Matthew. Vol. 1. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997. Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009. Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993. Manser, Martin H. Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser, 2009. McWhirter, Jocelyn. “Marriage.” Edited by John D. Barry, David Bomar, Derek R. Brown, Rachel Klippenstein, Douglas Mangum, Carrie Sinclair Wolcott, Lazarus Wentz, Elliot Ritzema, and Wendy Widder. The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016. Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to Matthew. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press, 1992. Nolland, John. The Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 2005. Osborne, Grant R. Matthew. Vol. 1. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010. Qureshi, Nabeel. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity. Zondervan. Kindle Edition. 2014. Rapske, Brian M. “Rome and Roman Christianity.” Edited by Ralph P. Martin and Peter H. Davids. Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997. Strobel, Lee. The Case for Miracles Zondervan. Kindle Edition. 2018. Turner, David L. Matthew. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008. VanGemeren, Willem, ed. New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997.

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