Jeffrey Kranz: Slicing And Dicing Biblical Data

 Jeffrey Kranz

Looking for infographs, overviews and fun facts of the Bible?  Jeffrey Kranz offers some fantastic resources!

This is part of a series which I'm calling "Interesting Voices".  You can see the whole series here.  They run the spectrum from conservative to progressive, little known to well known.  They may or may not already be familiar with mirror-reading. I may or may not agree with them theologically, but regardless, I think they are interesting voices speaking to the Christian community today.  The purpose of the series is to both raise awareness of mirror-reading and to introduce you to these voices.

Jeffrey runs a website called The Overview Bible Project.  He and his wife, Laura, put together some pretty great stuff.  By his own admission, not much of it is new information, but he does a great job of taking information in the Bible and reorganizing it so that it's easier to understand or gives additional insight.  For someone who's favorite book of the Bible is Ecclesiastes, his website is fun, upbeat and educational.

Logos Bible Software

Jeffrey used to work at Logos Bible Software and still seems to have ties.  Here's an article on Logos 5 and how he uses it.  It's a bit dated now but still good.

He's also interviewed in the video below about James being the bossiest book in the Bible (Jeffrey, keep the beard, it works for you! Logos, that is some choppy video editing!)

Infographics

Jeffrey puts together some nice infographics.  Here's one on Romans:

You can view all of them here.  One suggestion for Jeffrey would be to have all of them listed on one page, so I don't have to keep hitting "Older Posts".

Content Genius

Jeffrey is also an online content genius and runs a website called Gradlime where you can learn all sorts of things about how to be successful on the internets.  I've enjoyed everything I've read on there so far, although, sometimes, he makes me feel like my website is never good enough...and that my posts aren't long enough.  Oh well, I'm getting better everyday!

Jeffrey Kranz And Mirror-Reading

The thing that really drew me to The Overview Bible Project was, well, the overviews of the books of the Bible.  Jeffrey goes through each book of the Bible and summarizes them in an easy to understand way. Be sure to check them out here.

1 Corinthians

Jeffrey does engage in mirror-reading (well, everybody does).  In his overview of 1 Corinthians, he does a pretty good job of setting up what the situation was in Corinth.  For example:

 The Corinthians were fighting each other, with one faction claiming Paul as their leader while others claimed the eloquent Apollos, the original apostle Peter (Cephas), or the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (1 Co 1:12). Paul reprimands them for their immaturity (1 Co 3:3), and points to God as the one who deserves glory, not His servants (1 Co 3:5–7).

Ephesians

However, in his overview of Ephesians, there isn't really much of a set up of the situation in Ephesus.  Instead, he uses theological categories to summarize the book:

  • Grace. We’re saved by God’s grace—His favor which we could not deserve (Eph 2:8–9). Paul encourages the church to deal graciously with one another in turn (Eph 4:25–32).
  • Peace. We naturally deserved God’s wrath (Eph 2:3), but He has adopted us through Jesus (Eph 1:5). Furthermore, he has united the Jews and non-Jews in His Son, establishing peace between all parties (Eph 2:14). Now, the church is to preserve peace and unity with one another (Eph 4:3).
  • Love. God showed His love through Jesus (Eph 2:4), and Paul commends the Ephesians for the way they love one another (Eph 1:15). He prays that they be rooted in love (Eph 3:17) and encourages them to continue walking in love (Eph 5:2).

This treats Paul's letter as a theology book instead of a letter that responded to a certain situation.  I'd rather see a list of false teachings that Paul was writing to correct.  Yes, theology can be derived from what Paul wrote, but I think we loose something if we don't understand the situation in Ephesus first.

Questions For Jeffrey Kranz

I’ve listed a couple of open questions to Jeffrey below. I welcome a response from Jeffrey, whether as a guest post, a response on his own blog or simply in the comments below.

1. What are your thoughts on mirror-reading?
2. Did you want to respond to anything that I've written above?

Questions For My Readers

What do you think of Jeffery? Do you find his overviews helpful? Who else do you think is an "interesting voice"?