“Exegetically Speaking” is a weekly podcast of the friends and faculty of Wheaton College, IL. Hosted by Dr. David Capes, Dean of Biblical & Theological Studies and Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, it features language experts who discuss the importance of learning the biblical languages—Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
Dr. John Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton Graduate School, author of many books and articles relating to the background, literature, and theology of the Old Testament, has contributed several episodes to this podcast. In this conversation with David Capes he discusses a passage widely thought to be about the fall of Satan. Where did that tradition originate, and what does the context of Isaiah 14 tell us about the intended referent of the taunt?
7 min 43 sec
Dr. Jon Laansma, the Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Wheaton College, co-authored with Randall Gauthier, The Handy Guide to Difficult and Irregular Greek Verbs. He discusses how this tool, combined with healthy doses of reading practice, helps students advance more quickly to “putting roots down” in the language of the Greek NT. Once over the hump of initial learning, daily reading is efficient and doable, from which point the student can expand beyond the NT and circle back to figure out why some verbs have the tense stems that they do.
10 min 13 sec
Dr. Scott Callaham is Lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament at Baptist Theological Seminary, Singapore. In this conversation with David Capes he introduces the podcast Daily Dose of Aramaic, which, along with his new book, Biblical Aramaic for Biblical Interpreters, helps users build knowledge of this third biblical language. They go on to look closely at the one Aramaic verse in the book of Jeremiah. Dr. Callaham demonstrates how knowledge of Aramaic grammar enables Bible readers to grasp the meaning of Jeremiah 10:11 more accurately than is possible through referring to English Bible translations alone.
10 min 18 sec
Jason Barney, the principal of Coram Deo Academy, is an alumnus of both Wheaton College’s Classical Languages major (’09) and its MA in Biblical Exegesis program (’14). He has published two books, A Classical Guide to Narration and The Joy of Learning, and blogs on ancient wisdom for the modern era at www.educationalrenaissance.com. He enjoyed learning Latin during high school and then Greek and Hebrew at Wheaton, and loves the opportunity to lead within the growing classical schools movement where students can receive a deep grounding in the classical languages and their literary heritage. He has been thinking about Aristotle’s intellectual virtues, especially intuition, and he discusses how this might help us understand Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 2 and elsewhere.
11 min 9 sec
Dr. Chris Fresch is Lecturer in Biblical Languages and Old Testament at Bible College SA in Adelaide, South Australia. He has authored A Book-by-Book Guide to New Testament Greek Vocabulary (Tyndale House, 2019) and co-edited with Steven Runge The Greek Verb Revisited: A Fresh Approach for Biblical Exegesis (Lexham, 2016). After recalling his early years learning the biblical languages, he explains how a Hebrew particle used in Genesis 1:31 and 6:12 functions to underline and bold two key pronouncements.
13 min 7 sec
Dr. George Kalantzis is Professor of Theology and Director of The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies at Wheaton College. Among his many publications are Theodore of Mopsuestia: Gospel of John (Australian Catholic University, 2004) and Caesar and the Lamb (Cascade, 2012). Having grown up in Greece, he recalls learning classical and Koiné Greek from within modern Greek, before going on to discuss the meaning and significance of the word the KJV translated as “only begotten.” Philology and theology vindicate the traditional translation.
16 min 47 sec
Dr. Amy Whisenand Krall is Assistant Professor and Assistant Program Director of Biblical & Theological Studies at Fresno Pacific University. Her doctoral research (Duke Divinity School) was in New Testament with an emphasis on theology and music. In this conversation with David Capes she recalls that as a middle-schooler she learned Greek from her father and enjoyed it so much she kept with it through high school, college, seminary, and doctoral studies, eventually branching out to other biblical and modern languages. She sheds some light on the Greek sentence structure of Col. 3:16 and the significance of these lines in the context of Paul’s letter to “God’s holy people in Colossae.”
9 min 35 sec
Matthew Norton is an alum of Wheaton College’s Classical Languages major and its MA in Biblical Exegesis. He is presently enrolled in the School of Medicine at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport. His journey with the classical languages took him from high school through college until he determined that he would serve through a career in medicine. He remains a student of the languages, and in this episode he unpacks a commonly cited line of Paul: I can do (endure) all things through Christ who strengthens me.
8 min 30 sec
Dr. Ray Van Neste is dean of the School of Theology & Missions and Professor of Biblical Studies at Union University. He has written Cohesion and Structure in the Pastoral Epistles (T&T Clark, 2005) along with many other essays and edited volumes. He recalls what first excited him about learning Greek and then reflects on what Paul’s language in 2 Tim. 1:6-7 indicates that he has in mind by the “gift of God” and the “spirit of cowardice” in this letter.
11 min 36 sec
Dr. Daniel J. Treier is the Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Theology at Wheaton Graduate School. He has authored numerous books and articles, including the award-winning Introducing Evangelical Theology. He has written a commentary on Proverbs & Ecclesiastes (Brazos, 2015), is starting another on Philippians, and is presently working on Lord Jesus Christ for Zondervan's New Studies in Dogmatics series. What does the language of Ephesians 1 entail about who Jesus Christ is for this Scripture, and who he is for us?
9 min 10 sec
Dr. Jeremiah Coogan is an alumnus of Wheaton College’s Classical Languages major. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame. His work there, soon to be published by Oxford University Press, focused on Eusebius of Caesarea’s fourth-century reconfiguration of the Gospels as a window into broader questions of technology and textuality in early Christianity and the late ancient Mediterranean. Presently, he is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford. He is also the 2021 Paul J. Achtemeier Award for New Testament Scholarship Recipient. In this episode, he talks about his beginnings in Greek and the beginning of Luke’s Gospel: What does Luke’s use of the word translated as “undertaken” signify about the background and purpose of his work?
9 min 12 sec
Dr. John Walton, Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton Graduate School, has contributed several episodes to this podcast. His publications include The IVP Bible Background Commentary (IVP Academic, 2000) and Old Testament Theology for Christians: From Ancient Context to Enduring Belief (IVP Academic, 2017). He is presently working on a commentary on Daniel. In this episode he reports fresh background that affords precise understandings of Daniel 5. The wall in that story was not as we thought, and the words were not as Belshazzar would have hoped.
13 min 58 sec
Dr. Jon Laansma, the Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis and chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Wheaton College, discusses with David Capes the new options (as of 2021-2022) for majoring in Classical Languages at Wheaton. These options fit the major for a wider range of contemporary students while preserving the in-depth work that some prefer. This includes a number of “integrated majors” that allow the student to work in both Hebrew, Greek, or Latin and Art, History, Bible, or other areas. Learn more at https://www.wheaton.edu/academics/programs/classical-languages---greek-latin-hebrew/.
7 min 29 sec
Dr. David Capes, formerly Dean of the School of Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College and presently Senior Research Fellow at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas, has authored about a dozen books and many articles, including Old Testament Yahweh Texts in Paul’s Christology (Baylor, 2017) and, with Rodney Reeves and Randy Richards, Rediscovering Paul: An Introduction to His World, Letters, and Theology (IVP Academic, 2017). He is the host of Exegetically Speaking, and in this episode, he reviews some of Season Two and looks ahead to what is in store for Season Three.
5 min 14 sec
Dr. Gene Green is Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School, and Dean of Trinity International University – Florida. Among his many and diverse publications are Vox Petri: A Theology of Peter (Cascade, 2019); The Scalpel and the Cross: A Theology of Surgery (Zondervan, 2015); Jude and 2 Peter (Baker, 2008); 1 and 2 Thessalonians (Eerdmans, 2002); the co-authored New Testament in Antiquity (Zondervan, 2020); and the co-edited Majority World Theology (IVP Academic, 2020). He shares the reasons he believes that it was Peter himself whom Jesus designated the “rock” on which his church would be built.
8 min 40 sec
Dr. Michael Graves is the Armerding Professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College. Among his publications are The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture: What the Early Church Can Teach Us (Eerdmans, 2014), and the forthcoming How Scripture Interprets Scripture: What Biblical Writers Can Teach us About Reading the Bible (Baker, 2021). In this episode he illustrates the fascinating range of nuances carried by Greek adverbial participles and the interpretive, sometimes debated choices that translators must make. Our translations are good, but knowledge of the Greek is best.
13 min 55 sec
Dr. Jordan Ryan, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, has published The Role of the Synagogue in the Aims of Jesus (Fortress, 2017), followed by, From the Passion to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre: Memories of Jesus in Place, Pilgrimage, and Early Holy Sites Over the First Three Centuries (T&T Clark, 2021). He talks with David Capes about his beginnings with Greek and its place in his work before reflecting on how we understand and translate the word συναγωγή (synagoge) in general and in James 2:2. For instance, is James addressing Christian members of a Jewish synagogue?
9 min 59 sec
Dr. D. Clint Burnett, Lecturer in New Testament at Johnson University, specializes in the study of the material culture of the classical world and how it aids interpretation of the New Testament. In that vein, he has authored Studying the New Testament through Inscriptions (Hendrickson, 2020). In this conversation with David Capes he recounts his earliest years with the Greek language and demonstrates how even a little knowledge of Greek can illuminate a letter like Philemon.
8 min 36 sec
Dr. Sandra Richter, formerly Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, is The Robert H. Gundry Chair of Biblical Studies at Westmont College. Among her many publications are The Deuteronomistic History and the Name Theology (BZAW 2002) and Stewards of Eden: What Scripture Says About the Environment and Why It Matters (IVP 2020). In this podcast, she discusses the importance of Hebrew language in her work, Deuteronomy as an ancient law code, and how parallel texts and a shift of verbs in Deut 22:23-29 illuminate the laws regarding seduction and “rape” in vv. 28-29.
16 min 39 sec
Rabbi Steven Bob, Rabbi Emeritus at Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard, Il, adjunct professor at Wheaton College, discusses God’s language of comfort in Isaiah 40, addressed to Israelites in exile. He emphasizes how the very sounds of the Hebrew words are comforting sounds, and relates this to the post-exilic leaders Ezra and Nehemiah, whose names mean help and comfort.
7 min 37 sec
Dr. Matthew Bates is Associate Professor of Theology at Quincy University. He recalls how, having majored in physics as an undergraduate, he learned beginning Greek independently before jumping into second-year Greek in seminary. Among his several publications are The Birth of the Trinity (Oxford, 2015) and Salvation by Allegiance Alone (Baker, 2017). In this episode he reveals how Paul’s choice of verbiage in an important summary of the gospel indicates his conceptions of Christ’s nature and history, especially both his divine pre-existence and his exaltation.
9 min 1 sec
Dr. Joshua Jipp is Associate Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Among his other publication are Saved by Faith and Hospitality (Eerdmans, 2017) and The Messianic Theology of the New Testament (Eerdmans, 2020). He argues that “Christ” is not only a name for Jesus when it is used in many NT passages, but a title: messiah, anointed one. He talks about the OT background and significance of this title when it is used by Paul in Ephesians and elsewhere.
9 min 4 sec
Carmen Imes (Ph.D., Wheaton College) is Associate Professor Old Testament at Prairie College (Canada). She has published several works and is working on a second book for InterVarsity Press entitled Being God's Image. She talks about her own history with the Hebrew language, and discusses the phrase in Ecclesiastes sometimes translated as “Meaningless!” Maybe “vapor” or “fleeting” would be a better rendering.
9 min 38 sec
Dr. Madison Pierce is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Among other things, she has co-edited Muted Voices of the New Testament (T&T Clark, 2017). In this episode she argues that it is the Holy Spirit himself that is being distributed in Heb. 2:4, rather than gifts of the Spirit, as in some translations.
7 min 29 sec
Dr. Scott Callaham is Lecturer of Hebrew and Old Testament at Baptist Theological Seminary, Singapore. Dr. Callaham has written extensively on Hebrew grammar and on broader issues of theology and ministry. In this episode, he discusses with Dr. Capes his mid-life calling to learn Chinese and then to teach through the medium of Chinese in Singapore. He shares special challenges he faces when explaining Hebrew grammatical concepts in Chinese. The Chinese language is quite different from that of English, and thinking critically about the language used for teaching can illuminate understanding of Hebrew grammar and pedagogy in fresh ways.
9 min 32 sec
Dr. Paul Anderson, Professor of Biblical and Quaker Studies at George Fox University, observes that while some scholars have not viewed John’s Gospel as a reliable source of historical information because of its theological Christ-hymn in John 1:1-18, its Greek vocabulary and form actually suggest it was added to the Gospel by John the Elder after the death of the Beloved Disciple – a confessional affirmation of John's grounded story of Jesus similar to 1 John 1:1-3.
11 min 31 sec
Andrew Burlingame, an alum of Wheaton’s Classical Languages program, is Assistant Professor of Hebrew at Wheaton College within the Department of Modern and Classical Languages. He was at the time of recording a Ph.D. candidate in Northwest Semitic Philology, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, but he has since graduated to Dr. Burlingame! In this conversation with David Capes, he highlights recent scholarship that has compared Ps. 2:5 with a Ugaritic legal text and suggested the possibility that the wording of Psalm 2 was drawn from technical legal language. Rather than “terrifying” the opposing rulers, God “disinherits” them.
7 min 55 sec
Dr. David Baer, an alum of Wheaton College, is Professor of Old Testament & Biblical Languages at Medellín’s Biblical Seminary of Colombia and directs United World Mission’s Theological Education Initiative. He talks about how ancient translators of the Hebrew resisted the language of Isa 57:15 so as to preserve a strong notion of God’s exalted status. In fact, this verse communicates the truth that the high and holy God actually dwells with the lowly.
9 min 16 sec
Dr. Richard Schultz, the Blanchard Professor of Old Testament in Wheaton College Graduate School, has co-authored with T. Norton Sterrett How to Understand the Bible, along with other books and articles. He talks about Genesis 12, 15, and 17 as the launch of salvation history, with particular reference to the words blessing, clan, and seed.
10 min 27 sec
Dr. Tim Brookins is Associate Professor of Classics and Biblical Languages at Houston Baptist University, and has co-authored with Bruce W. Longenecker, 1 Corinthians: A Handbook on the Greek Text, among other things. He illustrates the adage that a little learning of Greek, while good as a beginning, is a dangerous thing on its own. Does the grammar of Mark 1:8 tell us that John did not baptize “in” water?
7 min 5 sec
Carmen Imes (Ph.D., Wheaton College) is Associate Professor Old Testament at Prairie College (Canada). She has published several works including Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters (IVP, 2019). In this episode she discusses the command usually translated as “misusing” God’s name. It is about “bearing” God’s name so as to avoid misrepresenting who he is.
8 min 17 sec
Dr. Michael Graves, Armerding Professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College, thinks about how a variety of biblical texts help us understand what it means for God to punish the children of those who sin “to the third and fourth generations,” and to show love “to a thousand generations” of those who love him.
12 min 44 sec
Dr. Gene Green is Professor Emeritus of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School, and Dean of Trinity International University – Florida. In this episode, Dr. Green explains what “Relevance Theory” is, how he became interested in its contribution to biblical interpretation, and how it helps us “mind the gap” between “what is said and what is meant” – whether in our own everyday interactions, contemporary cross-cultural conversations, or our attempts to receive ancient texts with good understanding. For instance, what might Jesus mean by being a “friend” in John 15:15.
12 min 21 sec
Dr. Adam Miglio, Associate Professor of Archaeology at Wheaton College, investigates two of the metaphors for God in Psalm 23 to show how the meanings of metaphors can be lost if we are not careful. Through careful study they can be recovered, in part.
8 min 1 sec
Travis Wright, a PhD student from Cambridge University, shares his passion for reading Greek and Hebrew. He and another Cambridge colleague have started online classes in both languages at https://biblingo.org/live/. If your Greek and Hebrew are rusty and need a polish, then their classes, tutorials, and workshops may be just for you.
8 min 54 sec
Dr. Aubrey Buster, Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, explains a “denominative verb” of Exodus 34:29, which could be interpreted as either “rays of light” or “horns.” Translating it as “horns,” as did Jerome’s Vulgate, led to artistic portrayals of Moses with horns and fed into later anti-Semitic ideologies.
8 min 31 sec
Dr. Andrew Abernethy, Associate Professor of Old Testament and Degree Coordinator for the Master of Arts in Biblical Exegesis Program at Wheaton Graduate School, walks us through a passage from a not-so-minor prophet, Haggai 2:4, to investigate the meaning of that wonderful promise, “My Spirit stands among you.”
8 min 18 sec
Dr. Danny Carroll Rodas, Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy at Wheaton College, surveys some of the insights earned by taking several literary features of Amos seriously, particularly his lists of 5 and 7 items.
7 min 55 sec
Dr. Amy Peeler, Associate Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, directs our attention to Hebrew 12:23 to a phrase often misunderstood and mistranslated. The redeemed make up an assembly of people who have a standing and status of firstborn in the family with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereunto.
Dr. Phillip Marshall is Assistant Professor of Biblical Languages in the School of Christian Thought, Houston Baptist University. He completed his doctoral work in the ancient Greek versions of the Hebrew OT, that is, in Septuagint studies, which helped engender his love for both Greek and Hebrew. In this episode, he joins Dr. David Capes to explore how the knowledge of Hebrew adds texture and poignancy to the reading of Nathan’s words to David about his adultery with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah.
9 min 51 sec
Dr. Karen Jobes is Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis, Emerita, at Wheaton College. She has authored many books and articles, including Invitation to the Septuagint and commentaries on Esther, 1 Peter, and 1, 2, 3 John. She served for years on the Committee for Bible Translation (responsible for the NIV translation of the Bible). She talks about her own introduction to Greek and notes passages where our English translations raise ambiguities that are clarified by knowledge of the Greek.
10 min 15 sec
Dr. Madison Pierce is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has written Divine Discourse in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Cambridge University Press, 2020), among other works. She talks about her journey with the biblical languages, and then helps us appreciate the meaning and eloquence of Hebrews’ opening sentence. In particular, she emphasizes the aspect of continuity in God’s speech through the prophets and through the Son.
10 min 12 sec
Dr. Doug Penney, Associate Professor of Classical Languages at Wheaton College, discusses how he encourages students to read outside the canon of Scripture in order to sharpen their translation skills. Often, when students read a New Testament book in Greek, they rely on their memory to produce a translation. Reading Tobit, a book of the Apocrypha, takes them to a text they do not know.
9 min 1 sec
Dr. Bill Mounce is the the founder and President of BiblicalTraining.org, and the author of a major commentary on Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. In a separate podcast titled “BiblicalTraining.org” we heard more of his life and work. In this episode he joins Dr. Capes to talk about the interpretation, translation, implications, and preaching of Paul’s reference to the “naming of the Name of the Lord” in 2 Tim. 2:19.
9 min 58 sec
Dr. Michael Graves is the Armerding Professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College. He has produced several books and articles, including a modern translation of Jerome’s Commentary on Jeremiah (IVP Academic, 2012). He is currently working on his own commentary on the same prophet. In this episode, Dr. Graves discusses the “tin woodman theology” behind a text of Scripture that is on many refrigerators, and rightly so: Jeremiah 29:11.
10 min 18 sec
Dr. Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College and Professor of Theology, joins David Capes to discuss both the context and meaning of a popular verse these days, Jeremiah 29:7. What is the semantic range of the word often translated “welfare” or “peace”? How could that have meaning for people not living in exile? Or are we?
11 min 14 sec
Dr. Aubrey Buster, Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, contemplates how a translation of an ambiguous word can reflect and/or lead to serious errors of perception, including perceptions of race and social class. A common Hebrew conjunction used in Song of Songs 1:5 could be read as “black but beautiful” or “black and beautiful.” The latter, “and,” is more likely contextually, though it has long been translated as “but.”
8 min 5 sec
Dr. Julie Newberry, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, joins Dr. Capes to consider the ramifications of the kind of “dark joy” found among the Jerusalem leaders who conspired with Judas to betray Jesus (Luke 22:5). Sometimes, “joy” in Luke is morally ambivalent.
8 min 21 sec
Dr. Daniel J. Treier is the Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Theology at Wheaton Graduate School, and Ph.D. program director. He has authored numerous books and articles, including the award-winning Introducing Evangelical Theology. He has written a commentary on Proverbs & Ecclesiastes, and is starting another on Philippians. He reflects on the question: Why would a theologian who majors in Christian doctrine value knowledge of Greek? (Spoiler alert: He does very much value and promote this knowledge.)
9 min 40 sec
Dr. Scott Callaham is Lecturer of Hebrew and Old Testament at Baptist Theological Seminary, Singapore. He has authored and edited a number of books and articles and is currently completing a new teaching grammar of Biblical Aramaic. Dr. Callaham discusses the form, meaning, and theological significance of the Aramaic term Abba, which Jesus uses in his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and which also appears twice in Paul’s writings.
10 min 6 sec