Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type



Christian Studies

First Reader

Dr. Rob Hewell

Second Reader

Dr. Scott Duvall

Third Reader

Dr. Myra Houser


I recently went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay of the Hawaiian Island, Oahu. Coral reefs and big, brightly-colored fish fill the Bay. Without goggles, I could only float on top, unaware of the depth and beauty below. When I put them on, however, I could observe the life and beauty of the ecosystem for myself. I could dive under the surface and explore what I had not known was there. I could find firm places to plant my feet when I needed to stand. I have found studying Scripture to be a similar experience. Learning more about historical and particularly cultural contexts adds immense depth and understanding. I encourage you “put on your goggles” and come exploring.

I once did a Bible study on the Sermon on the Mount with a group of coworkers. Our leader and many of the girls seemed to have no idea what Jesus tries to communicate. I wanted to research history and culture and language and present the depth of Scripture and the exciting truths as well as convicting comments made by Jesus. Scholars have researched and evaluated the Sermon on the Mount in great depth. I wanted to put forth some of their knowledge in plain language so people like my Christian coworkers could read and understand more of what Jesus intended with His message.



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