A Blessing to Pass On
The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful library, both paper and electronic. He has also gifted me with the mind of an engineer and researcher. As such I seek to share this blessing with others when possible. Pastors and teachers are busy people and here’s a potential way I can use my library and gifting to be a blessing to you.
- Submit a small research question or inquiry for a sermon or teaching lesson you are preparing (give me at least 1 week of lead time before you need the information)
- I will research the question and summarize the material related to the topic complete with citations and bibliography and return it to you
- You may then use the material as you see fit in your sermon or teaching lesson and file it away for future reference (although I discourage appropriating my work or any citations word for word unless you attribute it to me or the author cited)
- Under certain conditions we could even have a follow-up conversation to clarify any questions you might have
What my Research Summary is Not
- It is not a full exegesis of a text that you will preach or teach, but an answer to a specific question related to a passage
- It is not me telling you what to think or how to interpret a passage although I might make some suggestions
- It is not “cheating” on sermon or lesson prep since most pastors and teachers consult commentaries to answer their questions (the value in what I’m offering is in saving you time from having to wade through commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other books to find an answer to your question since these resources are not directly written to answer the specific questions you may be raising)
- Suppose your text is Matthew 1:1-17 and you read the genealogy of Jesus. You wonder why Luke’s genealogy is different from Matthew’s, or why Matthew begins with a genealogy at all.
- Suppose you are going to teach or preach Acts 2:37-47 and you read that 3,000 people were baptized. You might wonder how reliable that number is, or where in Jerusalem 3,000 people could have been baptized, or perhaps you’ve heard that there wasn’t enough water in Jerusalem for such a thing to take place and are wondering if that assertion is true.
- Suppose the text is 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 and you read in v. 13: “Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple eat food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar receive a part of the offerings?” You are wondering whether Paul is referring to the Jerusalem temple or pagan temples, or you want to better understand the historical religious context behind this verse since it plays a key role in his argument.
- Suppose the text is 5:22-6:9 and you read about the instructions to wives, husbands, children and slaves. You wonder what the ancient family was like, or how slavery functioned in antiquity and why the author of Ephesians seems to advocate slavery.
My research summary would explain the problems and evidence relevant to answering your question(s).
While all the above examples are from the NT, my research help is intended to be for the whole Bible (OT and NT).
In addition to historical, cultural, or religious questions about the text, I am equally capabable of fielding language and grammar related questions related to Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.
Since I have limited time due to my doctoral studies:
- I will need at least a week’s time in advance to work on your question
- I may also need to reduce, change, or negotiate the specific research question
- If I already have a request I’m working on or if life “gets in the way” then I’ll obviously have to decline or delay
Perhaps you are concerned about what type of information you might receive from me… will it be “liberal” or “fundamental”? Please visit the FAQs for answers to such questions.
Feeding my Family
Like you, I need to feed my family. Since I’m a full-time doctoral student and my wife is a stay-at-home mom, we are depending on the Lord for our provisions. If you find my research summaries helpful and wish to donate, please do so via the PayPal button below or let me know if there is a different way you’d like to give. I cannot offer a tax-deductible receipt at this time.
If you have any questions about this ministry, please contact me at your convenience.
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