The modern reader of the Bible—especially of the Old Testament—often finds its use of numbers strange. The ancient world did not use numbers for every aspect of life.
The infallibility and divine authority of the Scriptures are due to the fact that they are the word of God, and they are the word of God because the inspiration of the Holy Spirit gave them.
The city of Smyrna was located approximately thirty-five miles north of Ephesus. It was a prosperous city with a population of over one hundred thousand in John’s day (c. A.D. 95). That location had been inhabited for over three thousand years and no one knows for sure who founded Smyrna or exactly when it was established.
Ancient biographies often opened with the noble background of their subject, background that would shed light on the identity or character of the person about whom they wrote.
Have you ever been quoted out of context? Sometimes people quote something you said, but by ignoring the context of what you said they can claim that you said something different—sometimes exactly the opposite of what you actually meant! We often make this same mistake with the Bible.
In Josiah’s day, the book of the law was found in the temple, and Josiah’s humble response to its demands changed his generation. Jesus later confronted religious teachers of His day who, for all their attention to the law, had often buried it beneath their religious traditions.
We have grammatical-historical-interpretation and grammatical-critical-historical interpretation. The former preserved objectivity in interpretation, the latter subjectivity. The former preserved the integrity and trustworthiness of the Bible writers and the text; the latter made both the Bible writer and the text untrustworthy. In other words, New Hermeneutics, with its pseudo-scholarship has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God.
In discussions concerning interpretations of the Bible, we often hear the phrase, “you took that out of context.” In fact, we often hear that in discussions outside the Bible, as when the media quotes a politician and the politician feels he or she has been unfairly treated. In its popular usage, the phrase seems simply to mean, “You got that wrong.”
One of the major themes of Matthew is Jesus as the fulfillment of the Davidic/Messianic Kingship. We see this introduced in the first verse of the gospel, which functions as a summary for the introductory genealogy: The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.