Ages Are Important for Timelines [or: How Old Was Terah When Abram Was Born?]

Constructing a chronology of biblical events is fairly simple—but not always easy. One of the most important aspects of developing a timeline is discovering the anchor dates, but this can be easily thwarted by failing to read the text carefully.

For example, most people assume (and teach) that Abram’s father, Terah, was 70 years old when he fathered Abram (based on a careless reading of Genesis 11:26). However, it’s best to understand Terah as at least 130 years old at the birth of Abram! That interpretation will offset all of the other dates, from the birth of Abram back to creation, by about 60 years.

We arrive at this conclusion for several reasons…

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1 John’s Purpose Statement [conclusion]

I’ve been arguing that the purpose of the book of 1 John is not to give tests by which believers may be assured of their genuine salvation, but rather that the readers may enjoy intimate fellowship with God just as John does (as well as the other apostles), thus completing the apostles’ joy in the fellowship they have with the readers in the common salvation they share (cf. 1 John 1:3)…

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Theological Implications of John’s Purpose Statement

It is important to note not only the theological grounds for the interpretation of First John 5:13 as John’s purpose statement, but also its implications. If John is giving tests by which one determines the presence of salvation, then faith alone in Christ alone is functionally not the only condition for salvation. In other words, faith must necessarily be accompanied by good works which serve to affirm and confirm that faith, or otherwise the faith was not saving…

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Theological Assumptions in 1 John

One’s interpretation of John’s aim in his first epistle has definite ramifications for one’s view of both the gospel and the possibility of assurance of one’s salvation. For many, also, viewing the book of 1 John as laying out tests by which to determine one’s salvation makes sense because of the theological position they already hold. However, one must always be careful to humbly and honestly approach the text, seeking to not read one’s theology into the text…

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1 John’s Purpose Statement

Many have assumed that the purpose statement of First John is to be found near the end of John’s epistle. The pertinent verse reads, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13, ESV). This is certainly a purpose statement, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is the purpose statement for the entire book. For a couple of reasons, I would argue this is not John’s overarching purpose statement.

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To Whom Was 1st John Written?

An important key to interpreting and understanding the book of First John is in establishing who the recipients of the epistle were. It is vital to understand that John is writing this epistle to believers who know they are believers, and whom John knows are believers…

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