Monthly Archives: January 2009

Blessings and Curses on Mounts Ebal and Gerizim

I was reading a very interesting account that was posted on in early December 2008, about a pair of natural amphitheatres on Mts. Ebal and Gerizim.Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, Moses gave instructions that the blessings and cursings of the covenant should be read aloud on Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal: Read more »

Logos Discount for KEDS’ Students

Previously, Logos software only provided us with short-term periods where students could purchase their software at a discount. Thanks to the efforts of Andy Cheung, KEDS’ students can now take advantage of the following:

– up to 40% discount on software packages.
– alumni can also receive a smaller discount
– the offer is available throughout 2009
– the link is

Dr. Stephen M. Vantassel is tutor at King’s Evangelical Divinity School

The Love of John 21 and the TNIV / NIV

A particularly long-standing belief among Christians is that John 21:15-17 provides an example of a difference between two Greek words for love: agapao and phileo. The former, it is claimed, represents godly, Christian love whereas the second is a lower, ordinary love. Therefore, when Jesus asks Peter three times whether he loves him, we are expected to infer an important distinction among the questions. Jesus asks Peter twice whether he loves (agapao) him but Peter’s reply uses phileo. All kinds of homiletical conclusions have been drawn from this difference: for example it is frequently said that this demonstrates Peter’s knowledge of his own frailty by affirming only a lower, phileo love for Jesus. Most Greek exegetes in fact consider such reasoning to be erroneous and it is interesting that the TNIV, a recent update to the NIV, has modified the latter’s rendering of these verses to reflect current scholarship. The belief that the two words have distinct meanings in this passage is a long cherished but unfortunate myth in Christian circles. Read more »

Christianity: a History

Last night (7pm, 11th Jan 2009), I sat down to watch TV and was surprised (not having looked at the programme guide) to find a new series just beginning entitled: Christianity: a History. The programme was presented by Howard Jacobson who is Jewish, and this first programme in the series was to be his take on the Christian faith. Read more »

There Probably Isn’t a God

I’ve been interested to see the unfolding story of the poster campaign which is currently being run on buses around the country. The poster reads: ‘There probably isn’t a God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life.’ I’ve just had a look at the website which is linked to this campaign; and have read a few of the supporters’ contributions. All the usual things are there, along with the old favourite – ‘how can otherwise intelligent people believe in God?’ – blah blah. I’m sure you too will have heard it all before. Read more »

Leaving a Church

Recently, I’ve become inadvertently involved in a discussion in what is (strictly speaking) a student area of our ecampus forum. I was scanning new messages one day and found myself intrigued by the heading ‘clerical collars’ in the student ‘cafe’. I just had to enter and have a look, and since that time (when I joined in the debate) the basic discussion as to whether ministers should identify themselves has developed into one on ‘liberal’ churches etc, and whether we (i.e., evangelicals) should remain in such churches. This morning, I wondered whether this might not be a good topic for wider discussion and so I make this post. Read more »