Figures of speech

Figures of speech are found in prose as well as poetry, but are generally more frequent and intense in Hebrew poetry. 1. Similes A simile is a direct comparison between two things. Example – Amos 5:24 Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream. 2. Metaphors A metaphor is a stronger comparison, using […]

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Hebrew Poetry

Some fundamental aspects of how Hebrew poetry works in the Old Testament

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Genres within the prophets

A ‘genre’ is a type or style of writing – a group of texts which share similar characteristics. Contemporary examples would include novels, scientific text books, fairy tales, insurance documents, poems, tweets, and so on. There are several main genres with the Bible, including historical narrative, poetry, letters, law/instruction, and prophecy. For helpful guidance on […]

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Six key questions about texts in the prophets

We need to ask a few key questions about every passage we come to in the prophetic books. What is the historical context? What is the biblical context? How is the prophet’s message presented? (see Genres within the Prophets, Hebrew Poetry and Figures of Speech) What main problems does the prophet diagnose? What are the remedies? What […]

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Despite present appearances, God is in control

I spent last week on the edge of Berlin teaching on the Bible and Culture course, as I’ve done for the last eight years. It’s a four-week programme for IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students) staff and graduates from Europe and Eurasia. This year, we had 35 participants from the UK across to Kazakhstan. I […]

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Seven stories we keep telling

Over the course of around twenty years of analysing films, books and other media, I have often been struck at the ways in which storytellers keep telling the same kinds of tales over and over again. That’s not to say that the narratives they construct are inevitably wearied or hackneyed; far from it. There is extraordinary diversity in the way that the themes have been explored. Yet, it remains the case that, under the surface, most if not all stories are versions of a limited number of key themes.

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Old Testament Timelines

My Old Testament timelines are now available in five languages on Slideshare. If you spot any errors, please let me know! The two different chronologies for the patriarchs are because there are two significantly different ways of dating the Exodus. You'll need to look at the evidence and draw your own conclusions! Note that these are […]

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Is God a moral monster?

The Old Testament raises some tricky questions of morality for people living in the contemporary world, at least in the west. The alleged 'genocide' of the Canaanites is one that I hear frequently. It isn't only people who are not Christians who have questions about it; Christians often feel embarrassed about these parts of the Old Testament. However, I am am convinced that there are some very good responses to these issues. I tried to outline a few responses in the first of a series of four sessions tackling difficult questions during Above Bar Church's Discipleship School in the autumn of 2014.

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A Fresh Start – Noah

Darren Aronofsky is a visionary and ambitious film-maker who constantly grapples with big themes in his work. Noah continues in this line as it explores significant – and very relevant – tensions within humanity: between benevolent care for the environment and greedy exploitation, between duty and self-interest, and of course, between good and evil. Aronofsky, along with co-writer Ari Handel, explores these issues and others in spectacular, epic style in the context of one of humanity’s oldest stories.
This post was first published in Film & Bible Blog. © Tony Watkins 2013.

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THE BIBLE series

After being a massive success on US television, THE BIBLE miniseries comes to the UK this week. Channel 5 is broadcasting the first episode at 9:00 pm on Saturday 30 November. About THE BIBLE series THE BIBLE is an epic 10-hour mini-series that brings to life the dramatic tales of faith and courage in the […]

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Comedian Lee Mack on the Bible

Jane caught the end of comedian Lee Mack being interviewed on Desert Island Discs on BBC Radio 4, yesterday morning. If you're not familiar with this long-running radio programme, a guest is interviewed about their life. They choose eight records which they would want to have with them on a desert island and, at the […]

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The Ishtar Gate

The Ishtar Gate from Babylon must be one of the most stunning archaeological exhibits in the world.

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The Great Altar from Pergamum

One of my favourite places in the world is the British Museum in London. As someone who is passionate about the Old Testament prophets, the Assyrian collection there has a particular magic for me. I'll post about it some other time, but since I'm in Berlin next week I will just post about that city's […]

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Introducing the Old Testament prophets

At Above Bar Church, Southampton, we've just started our five-week-long 2012 Bible School on Sunday evenings. I'm leading the track on the Old Testament prophets. In the first session, I introduced some important aspects of a framework for thinking about the prophetic literature, and we began to look at the first two chapters of Amos. Over […]

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The Day of Judgement (Malachi 1:1 – 4:6)

I first wrote this post for the E100 Bible Reading Challenge. It was first published on the E100 blog in 2011. ‘See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the LORD Almighty. - […]

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Daniel in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6:1 – 6:28)

I first wrote this post for the E100 Bible Reading Challenge. It was first published on the E100 blog in 2011. Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks […]

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The Story of Jonah (Jonah 1:1 – 4:11)

I first wrote this post for the E100 Bible Reading Challenge. It was first published on the E100 blog in 2011. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. - Jonah 2:8 God told Jonah to take a message far beyond the borders of Israel, to Nineveh, one of the greatest cities of […]

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Jeremiah’s Call and Message (Jeremiah 1:1 – 3:5)

I first wrote this post for the E100 Bible Reading Challenge. It was first published on the E100 blog in 2011. My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. - Jeremiah 2:13 God called Jeremiah to be […]

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The Suffering Servant (Isaiah 51:1 – 53:12)

I first wrote this post for the E100 Bible Reading Challenge. It was first published on the E100 blog in 2011. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. - Isaiah 53:6 By the eighth century BC, Judah […]

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Shaped by suffering - 1 Peter 4:1–11

My sermon at Above Bar Church, Southampton on the first half of 1 Peter 4, part of a series on 1 Peter. To listen to the rest of the series, go to the Above Bar Church site. Shaped by Suffering 1 Peter 4:1-11 View more presentations from Tony Watkins. These posts may be related: Daniel […]

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Ezekiel part 2

The final session of my course on the Old Testament prophets at Bible & Culture 2010. This is the second part of the material on Ezekiel and his promises of restoration. BC6. Ezekiel part 2 View more presentations from Tony Watkins. These posts may be related: Topics: Bible This is a brief list of some […]

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Ezekiel part 1

The fourth session of my course on the Old Testament prophets at Bible & Culture 2010. This is the first part of the material on Ezekiel and his promises of judgement. Bc5. ezekiel part 1 View more presentations from Tony Watkins. These posts may be related: Topics: Bible This is a brief list of some […]

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Biblical poetry

A summary of some of the key aspects of biblical poetry for my course on the Old Testament prophets at Bible & Culture 2010 Biblical poetry View more documents from Tony Watkins. These posts may be related: Six key questions about texts in the prophets We need to ask a few key questions about every passage […]

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Outline of Ezekiel

My outline of the structure of Ezekiel prepared for my course on the Old Testament prophets at Bible & Culture 2010. This is, of course, partly derived from other outlines in various commentaries. Outline of Ezekiel View more documents from Tony Watkins. These posts may be related: Topics: Bible This is a brief list of […]

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© Tony Watkins, 2020
The Tony and Jane Watkins Trust oversees and supports the ministries of Tony and Jane Watkins in Christian training, education, and communication. It is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 1062254.
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