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Craig Smith – Shepherd Project Ministries

Providing quality Biblical resources for transformative Christian living

INTRODUCTION Matthew’s use of the Old Testament has provided rich fodder for scholarly discussion over the past centuries.  In recent years, this discussion has often focused on those passages of Matthew which identify events, deeds or words from the life of Jesus which are explicitly said to “fulfill” OT prophecies, but Matthew’s interest in the OT goes considerably deeper than this.  This same interest which is so readily discernable on a surface level in Matthew also operates at deeper structural and thematic levels.  In a variety of ways, Matthew appears to advance the view that Jesus ought to be understood [...]
Author: Mike
Posted: December 10, 2014, 12:15 pm
Thought our readers might find this interesting.  I don't have time to develop it fully at the moment, but the image below is a slide from my Gospels lectures in which I suggest a series of parallels between Matthew's birth narrative and his crucifixion/passion narrative.  Would love to hear your thoughts?  Are these parallels real or imagined on my part?
Author: Mike
Posted: December 10, 2014, 12:10 pm
Dr. Craig Smith teaches on Matthew 5:1-10 with a novel (but very biblical) take on the Beatitudes.
Author: Mike
Posted: October 5, 2014, 1:20 pm
Christian teacher, Dr. Craig Smith, unpacks Genesis 3, exploring the biblical teaching on what sin really did to our relationships with God and each other.
Author: Mike
Posted: September 19, 2014, 10:30 am
Christians and non-Christians alike are often surprised to discover that the Bible does not contain much information about Satan’s rebellion and expulsion from heaven.  Much of what the average Christian imagines about Satan’s fall actually comes from a strange mish-mash of the apocryphal book of Enoch and a smattering of relatively enigmatic biblical texts such as Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-18 and Revelation 12:9.  While I do think that these texts have some bearing on our understanding of Satan and his rebellion, none of them appear to be exclusively concerned with Satan’s original rebellion[1], and certainly none of them speak directly to the [...]
Author: Craig Smith
Posted: September 19, 2014, 9:00 am
One of the most common topics in faith/culture conversations these days is creation vs. evolution and, more particularly, the question of the age of the earth.  The recent debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye has once again heightened interest in this subject as evidenced by several requests to us here at Shepherd Project to speak to this issue.  So, here goes: First, let’s start by identifying the clear, non-debatable teachings of Genesis with regards to creation.  These are very important theological principles which often get overlooked in the midst of the creation/evolution debate: 1.  The universe was the result [...]
Author: admin
Posted: February 24, 2014, 11:07 pm
So, how do we know when to read the Bible literally vs. reading it figuratively?  Well, again, as we’re going to see over and over again:  we make that decision the same way that we do it in normal conversation.   And basically, the way we do it in normal human conversation is that we assume the language is literal until contextual evidence suggests otherwise. In other words, we normally start with the assumption that people are speaking literally.  We only start to look for more figurative meanings when there are good reasons to do so.  We do this, for instance, [...]
Author: Craig Smith
Posted: February 24, 2014, 10:00 am
In the last installment of Bible Basics, we made the point that a passage means only what its A(a)uthor[1] intended it to mean.  A right interpretation is one that matches up with what the A(a)uthor of the passage meant when H(h)e wrote it. However, while there is typically only one meaning of a biblical passage – the one intended by the A(a)uthor of that passage – that meaning may have different significance to different people. Here’s an example:  suppose I said “it’s starting to pour.”  I’m the author of that sentence, so I get to decide what it means and [...]
Author: Craig Smith
Posted: February 10, 2014, 10:00 am
The goal of biblical interpretation is simple:  to understand what God meant by each thing He said in the Bible. Here’s one of the most important things to keep in mind when interpreting the Bible:  God is the one who decides what a passage means.  He’s the ultimate author of the Bible, so God…and the men He inspired to write the different books in the Bible[1]…are the ones who decided what a passage means.  Responsible biblical interpretation seeks to understand what the author of a passage of Scripture intended to communicate.  When your interpretation of a passage matches up with [...]
Author: Craig Smith
Posted: February 3, 2014, 12:00 pm
This principle is so basic I’m almost embarrassed to include it in the list, but it’s definitely one of those truths that nearly everyone seems to forget. Listen, communication takes work.  This doesn’t apply only to communication between God and human beings…all communication takes work.  To really understand someone else, we have to listen well and pay attention to context.  We have to try to understand how they use particular words and realize that what they mean by a word might not be exactly what we mean by it.  We have to avoid jumping to conclusions and really try to hear what they’re [...]
Author: Craig Smith
Posted: January 27, 2014, 2:00 pm