Wright on Exile

In the video below, renowned New Testament scholar Tom Wright discusses the significance of the Jewish exile on New Testament thought and theology. Continue reading “Wright on Exile”

The Son of Man and the Temple

Leading New Testament scholar N.T. Wright discusses the significance of the Temple and and Daniel 7’s “Son of Man” to Jesus’ self-understanding and divine mission. Continue reading “The Son of Man and the Temple”

The Value of the Greek Old Testament

The Septuagint was the first translation made of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek. It was begun over two hundred years before the birth of Jesus. It was translated from a Hebrew Old Testament text-type that is older than the Masoretic text, from which most Old Testaments are translated today. This is sad, for the apostles had access to both the Septuagint and to the proto-Masoretic text that was in existence in their time. And they chose to quote from the Septuagint—not the proto-Masoretic text.

You have probably noticed that many of the Old Testament passages that are quoted in the New Testament don’t read the same in the New as they do in the Old. However, if you were using the Septuagint Old Testament, they would read the same.

Continue reading “The Value of the Greek Old Testament”

Son of David, Son of Abraham (Pt. II)

In the previous part I did not really address the Davidic covenant (2 Samuel 7) because I was trying to demonstrate the significance of the Abrahamic covenant in messianic discourse. I think the reason why most Jewish people after the exile became convinced that God would send a future Messiah was because of the Davidic covenant. Continue reading “Son of David, Son of Abraham (Pt. II)”

Son of David, Son of Abraham

While working on The Christ Story, I found I could not effectively tell the biblical story of how Jesus is the Messiah without talking about both David and Abraham. While David is a staple of messianic discourse, being the archetypal divinely anointed king, Abraham does not usually feature prominently, even though he is the father of Jewish people. So it was somewhat unexpected when I realised in my study that Abraham was crucial to the Bible’s messianic theology. I learned the reason why Abraham mattered so much was because of the reason why messianic expectations developed in the first place: exile. Continue reading “Son of David, Son of Abraham”

Answering Questions with Questions

The Jews of Jesus’ day were meticulous educators, as they have been throughout most of their history. A passage from the Mishnah demonstrates their active concern about what their students absorbed:

There are four types of people who sit in front of the sages: The sponge, the funnel, the strainer and the sifter. The sponge – it soaks up everything’ the funnel – it takes in at one end and lets out at the other; the strainer – it lets out the wine and retains the dregs; and the sifter – it lets out the bran dust and retains the fine flour. Continue reading “Answering Questions with Questions”

Psalm 72 – A Messianic Psalm?

Reading Acts

The header does not explicitly refer to a historic event in the life of David or Solomon, although it seems clear that the Psalm refers to the Davidic Covenant.  But the language of the Psalm is grand and universal – the King will rule the whole world and the prosperity of the King rivals the Garden of Eden.  Since the details go beyond Solomon (or any other king of Israel or Judah), it is assumed by many Jewish and Christian writers that this Psalm is Messianic, referring to a future restoration of Israel when the land will be expanded and peace and prosperity will finally come to Israel.

As one of the  ten “royal” psalms (2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 101, 110, 132, and 144:1-11), this psalm is usually interpreted as messianic.  It is not surprising to find that early Christians saw this psalm as referring to the coming…

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