Paul Is Hard To Understand

…our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. He speaks about these things in all his letters. There are some things hard to understand in them…  (2 Pet. 3:15–16 CSB17)

As we noted in the overview of 1 Timothy, we have to read between the lines when studying this letter. We are, after all, reading someone else’s mail. When we have access to only one side of a conversation, we have to attempt to fill in the gaps. 

Some of these gaps come in the form of following Paul’s flow of thought from one paragraph to the next. There are a couple of times in the first chapter of 1 Timothy where it appears that Paul abruptly changes subjects. At first glance, it is not always obvious how the paragraphs relate to each other. 

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Hermeneutics

Are We All Guilty Because Adam Sinned?

Guilty Because Adam Sinned

Both Jesus and Paul looked to the opening chapters of Genesis as the basis for some of their teachings (e.g. Mt 19:4-6, 1 Tim 2:11-14, etc.). In other words, their hermeneutic (method of interpretation) was based on life in the garden of Eden prior to Adam and Eve’s sin. The garden was God’s ideal place where He could live together with mankind. It’s also the ideal that God has been working ever since to one day restore. Therefore, anything we can glean about life in the garden should shape our theology. 

Did mankind inherit a sinful nature from Adam?

Common wisdom tells us that several things happened when Adam and Eve sinned. For example, one author says:

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Genesis, Hermeneutics, Original Sin

Why Was The Serpent In The Garden?


One of the most common questions we ask about the story of the garden of Eden is, “How did an evil being get into God’s perfect garden?” Why was there a snake in paradise? It’s a fair question, but one the Bible never answers.

In fact, the events of Genesis 3 leave us with a lot of unanswered questions. Who was the serpent? Was the serpent a real animal which was used by a spiritual being, or something else? Did Eve not think it odd that an animal could talk? What was the serpent’s motivation? Why did he trick Eve? What was in it for him? Why would the Bible leave us hanging like this without answers?

While these may be questions that seem important, God didn’t think it was important for us to have these answers. God wants to redirect our attention to what He did say. In other words, who the snake was isn’t important, what’s important is what he did. How an animal could speak wasn’t nearly as important as what the animal said, and so forth. These ambiguities should prompt us to recognize that the author wants to focus our attention elsewhere. Where is the author leading us?

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Genesis, Hermeneutics

Bible Enigmas

The Bible sometimes leaves us with as many questions as answers. Some passages make statements that are not clearly explained and arouses our curiosity. Let’s look at a couple of very well known stories in Genesis.

Talking snake

With little in the way introduction, a talking snake appears in Genesis 3 who successfully deceives Eve. We aren’t told how he got into the garden. There is no mention of how bizarre it is that a snake can speak. We aren’t explicitly told who the snake is. In fact, nowhere else in the entire Bible are we clearly told who the snake was. There are hints that it was Satan (there is little doubt it could have been anyone else), but nowhere is the snake’s identity spelled out for us. Why would the text leave us hanging like this?

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Hermeneutics