Most Christians tend to take for granted that Jesus was born in Bethlehem but most New Testament scholars think the opposite, that it was an invention of Matthew and Luke to bolster Jesus’ prophetic credentials as the Messiah. New Testament scholar Jonathan Rowland in his paper On Chickens and Eggs: The Use of Old Testament Prophecy in the New Testament Birth Narratives of Jesus makes a scholarly case for why Jesus was born in Bethlehem and why it matters but not exactly for the same reasons as most Christians would suspect. Continue reading “The Case for Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem”
Earlier this year, I covered the brilliant work of Dr. Haley Goranson Jacob on the meaning of glory from her 2018 book Conformed to the Image of his Son: Reconsidering Paul’s Theology of Glory. On pages 225 to 226 she refers to some very insightful comments by Dr. Dane Ortlund on how we interpret what glory means in Romans 8:30.
When talking about being a citizen of heaven the go to passage is Philippians 3:20. It says literally says our “citizenship is from heaven.” Those who know a little bit more about the historical background of Philippians will know that Philippi was a Roman colony and will make the connection that the kind of citizenship Paul alludes to isn’t about going to heaven but rather representing heaven on earth. These are associations I have made myself in the past and recently however, things are not so simple. Continue reading “Philippian Citizenship?”
For more than a year, I have been carefully thinking about the meaning of the gospel and I thought I had come to a fundamentally secure understanding of what it was in the New Testament. I was getting ready to write an article about it when I came across an article that stopped me dead in my tracks.
To get to the NT we must go through the OT. This often means if we are to understand where we are in the NT, we have to retrace our steps from the Old to properly understand how we got to the New. The “progress” in progressive revelation actual matters so we cannot miss steps or take shortcuts on the journey to meaning since we are heading forwards in a very specific direction to a very specific destination. Continue reading “From the Old to the New and back”