Author Archives for Cierra Klatt

Unpacking a Verse: Matthew 1:1

November 13, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

“The book of the story of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” — Matthew 1:1 Within the first verse of Matthew, there are 5 hints to Jesus being the Messiah. Leon Morris wrote the Pillar New Testament Commentary‘s Matthew Volume, and he did a great job unpacking this verse. Here’s what I discovered from his writing! 1. BOOK Some scholars have wondered if this word refers to the Gospel as a whole or simply to the nativity stories. In this case, Morris looks Walter Bauer’s, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature for clarification. It appears that in later writings, this word was especially used for a “sacred, venerable book.” Evidence leans toward the belief that this one-sentence header for the entire book of Matthew. 2. STORY The translation of Matthew 1:1 found above was written by Morris himself. Why did he use the word “story” when so many other translations use “history” or genealogy”? The original term is used of birth or origin or existence… but none of these concepts are easy to see in the passage. But, there’s evidence that the word was already used as the title of the... View Article


The Famous Preacher: H.A. Ironside

November 8, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

ABOUT H.A. IRONSIDE Henry Allen “Harry” Ironside was a Canadian-American Bible teacher, preacher, theologian, pastor, and author who pastored Moody Church in Chicago from 1929 to 1948. He also belong to the Plymouth Brethren, But Ironside didn’t wait until he was a pastor to preach. When he was 11 years old, he started his own Sunday school, averaging 60 listeners per week. Then, after finishing the eighth grade, Ironside began preaching with the Salvation Army. He went on to preach all over the world, sharing the gospel with more than 1.25 million people. Additionally, Ironside preached under Moody Bible Institute, was offered a position at Dallas Theological Seminary, and was awarded two honorary doctorates from Wheaton College and Bob Jones University. For only having completed the eighth grade, Ironside was an accomplished and well-respected man. Lastly, Ironside’s teaching left a long-lasting mark on evangelicalism. Along with others such as Cyrus Scofield, he was influential in popularizing dispensationalism among Protestants. HIS WRITINGS In his lifetime, Ironside wrote fifty-one expositions on books of the Bible. Here at Olive Tree, we offer a bundled set of Ironside’s commentaries, including 11 volumes. In his commentaries, Ironside provides some historical observations, giving commentary on the... View Article


Un-Earned Acceptance

November 7, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

This blog post is an excerpt of C.A. Coates Commentary and Articles. It is the privilege of every believer to be consciously in the favour of God–to be in the unclouded light and joy of Acceptance. But, alas! many who are truly converted are not in the enjoyment of this privilege. It may be helpful to consider briefly why not. HIDDEN SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS When I speak of self-righteousness in this connection I do not mean the proud self-righteousness of the unconverted man. I refer to the very different form of self-righteousness which leads many to doubt their acceptance with God because of the imperfections which they find in themselves. You may say, “But ought I not to have misgivings when I find my spirit and the state of my mind so contrary to that which befits a Christian? and when I am conscious of inconsistencies and backslidings?” That you ought to judge yourself, and be humbled before God about these things, is most true; but it is in no wise true that your righteousness and acceptance with God depend upon yourself, or are measured by your condition or conduct. To have such a thought in the mind is really to suppose... View Article


The First Martyr

November 6, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Jesus tells us that we will be hated as he was hated—but not all of us will actually experience severe persecution. Instead, many of us are blessed to worship God where, when, and how we want. The first Christians did not have this luxury, and they clung to Jesus’ promises as they stood up for the Gospel. In extreme moments, Christians even gave up their lives to promote the Gospel. You’ve probably heard about martyrs before, but let’s make sure we don’t become desensitized to these acts of self-sacrifice. Instead, let’s take some time to reflect on one of the first Christian martyrs recorded, Stephen from Acts 7. Below is an excerpt from Barnes’ New Testament Notes: WHY WAS STEPHEN BEING TRIED? This chapter contains the defense of Stephen before the sanhedrim, or great council of the Jews. There has been great diversity of opinion about the object which Stephen had in view in this defense, and about the reason why he introduced at such length the history of the Jewish people. But a few remarks may perhaps show his design, He was accused of blasphemy in speaking against the institutions of Moses and the temple, that is, against everything... View Article


8 Questions and Answers: Book of Revelation

November 4, 2017 7:00 am Published by 1 Comment

This article contains answers from Brian Simmons, lead Translator of The Passion Translation 1. Why so many differing viewpoints on the book of Revelation? Most people will be surprised to learn that there are numerous interpretations on the book of Revelation, but the book is known as apocalyptic literature, which lends itself to more than one interpretation. Throughout church history until today there is not one recognized interpretation of Revelation that is standard or accepted by all. Perhaps God wants us keep reading it and learning from it. 2. Are there some more common ways to interpret it that you can share with us? There are four common interpretive models by which one can understand or interpret the book. The four models are known as: 1) the futurist, 2) the historicist, 3) the preterist, and 4) the idealist. 3. Can you summarize them for us? The futurist model basically states that the majority of the book of Revelation will be fulfilled in the future, when the “Antichrist” arises with his false prophet and requires everyone to receive the mark of the beast. This makes Revelation a pre-viewing of what is to come. The futurist model believes in a “rapture” or snatching away of... View Article


Spurgeon Study Bible

November 3, 2017 7:00 am Published by 3 Comments

“Spurgeon had a phenomenal grasp of theology, and his reading had afforded him a breadth of insight matched by few, but when it came to opening up the Scriptures, he was a master of clarity and simplicity. He warned his students about going down among miners with technical theological terms and high-sounding phraseology. To do so, he said, was to act like an idiot.” – Alistair Begg SPURGEON’S STUDY BIBLE The day has finally come! The Spurgeon Study Bible is designed, formatted, and available for download. We’ve been waiting to tell you about it all month long. Why are we so excited about this study Bible? What makes it worth the read, different than the rest, and helpful in your study of God’s Word? Here’s three reasons. 1) IT’S SPURGEON If you don’t know much about Charles Spurgeon, you’re missing out. For nearly two centuries his nickname has been “The Prince of Preachers,” and for good reason. Spurgeon was born in Kelvedon, Essex, England in 1834. Growing up, he was influenced by both his father and grandfather who were nonconformist ministers. He loved to read Pilgrim’s Progress and learn about theology, although he never attended seminary. Spurgeon was one of a kind—insistent... View Article


ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible

November 1, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

This week is the week for new titles. Our second release of the week is the ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible! Some very well-seasoned. and well-respected, theologians put together this study Bible: J.I. Packer, Michael Horton, Kelly Kapic, Michael Reeves, David Wells, and more. We have the full list of contributors on our website. Since this is a brand-new release, we figured you might want to take a peek inside. In this blog you’ll learn about systematic theology, how this study Bible is put together, and how it works inside our app. WHAT IS SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY? Theology is the study of the nature of God and religious belief. There are two popular ways to study and write about theology, though: biblical and systematic. What’s the difference? Biblical Theology is a ground-level approach. Scholars who write biblical theologies go verse-by-verse looking for themes and characteristics. When these findings are documented, authors will spend a lot of time explaining a passage and then make theological statements. Systematic Theology is an eagle’s-eye approach. Imagine yourself up-high, looking across the whole landscape of the Bible, discovering theological connections across the entire book. When these findings are documented, authors write extensively about one theological tenet.... View Article


How the Protestant
Reformation Began

October 30, 2017 7:00 am Published by 9 Comments

Why This Post? Today is October 30—the day before the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Many Protestants are celebrating this day, all around the world! Although Olive Tree provides resources to a wide-variety of denominations, we thought this would be a great opportunity to talk a bit about history on our blog. Throughout the month, we shared posts about the reformers and the solas, free resources, and we even made a quiz! This post is rather long, but covers the history of how the Reformation began and why. If you’ve never learned about this part of Christian history, it’s definitely an important transition worth knowing about. This content is taken from a blog post by our friends at Zondervan! See the original post here. How the Protestant Reformation Began You probably know at least one thing about Martin Luther: that he nailed the 95 theses to a church door and defied the Roman Catholic Church. This was Luther’s declaration of independence from Rome. The truth is, this is historically inaccurate. Yes, October 31, 1517, would turn out to be the first hint that the Western world was about to be turned upside down. But Luther’s act on October 31,... View Article


A Reformed, Christ-Centered Commentary

October 27, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation next week, we’ve been looking for helpful resources for our Reformed folk—and we found one that we think some of you will enjoy greatly. The Reformed Expository Commentary Series is edited by Richard Phillips and and Phillip Ryken: two Reformed pastors dedicated to Christ-centered preaching paired with a vigorously Reformed doctrinal stance. A LITTLE BACKGROUND Phillips and Ryken were both proteges of James Montogomery Boice. Sound familiar? Not too long ago we had the Boice Expositional Commentary Series on sale. Boice’s commentary set contains 27 volumes—that man knew how to write! So, when Phillips and Ryken decided to produce their own commentary set, it was very important to them that they didn’t simply copy Boice. They wanted to make sure that their resource would be fulfilling a need. A COMMENTARY THAT ANSWERS A NEED (OR 3) Here are three needs that Phillips and Ryken want to fill: 1. There a few commentaries that extend from exegesis into exposition (answering technical questions while also applying the passage) But this commentary set proclaims, explains, and applies the whole text within each set—perfect for sermons and Bible lessons It also includes information on exegesis, text criticism, theology,... View Article


What’s a Topical Bible?

October 25, 2017 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When you don’t know a word, your first inclination is to find a dictionary definition of it. Although that information is helpful, you can learn so much more by hearing the word used in a sentence. When you experience the word being used, you learn how to use it for yourself. So, in this blog, I’ll tell you what a topical Bible is, but we won’t stop there. I’ll show you how to use one and how it can change the way you study the Bible. WHAT’S A TOPICAL BIBLE? Simply put, a topical Bible takes passages of Scripture and organizes them by topic. Our most recently acquired topical Bible looks like this in the app: You can search through the resource like a dictionary, finding important Biblical themes, people, and places. When you pull one up, you’ll see a long list Scripture references. These are all linked. Just tap on it to open a pop-up window showing you the verse in context. A TOPICAL BIBLE IN ACTION I was asking myself this question not too long ago. I knew what a topical Bible was, and how I might use it… but I wondered how the authors of this resource... View Article