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Hermeneutics

"After the Deportation"

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"After the Deportation"

I commonly say that that most exciting sentence in the history of human literature is Matthew 1:1. Some are surprised to hear this considering that Matt 1:1 is the beginning of a genealogy: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” How can a genealogy be “exciting?” Well, considering the kinds of biblical and cultural anticipation that surrounded the ideas of “David” and “Abraham” in the first century, this sentence amounts to a promise wherein Matthew says to readers “You have waited long enough; I will now tell you how our covenant God has brought to fruition the great hopes of our people through David and Abraham’s seed!”

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Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile

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Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile

Two years ago I published my doctoral dissertation with Brill in their Novum Testamentum Supplements series. It’s called Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile: A Socio-Rhetorical Study of Scriptural Quotations. I explore the ideological effects of the way Matthew uses the Old Testament in his first-century context. The primary focus is on the first seven OT quotations and the way they shape the interpretation of the rest of Matthew. As you can tell from the title, I find the focus of these OT quotes to revolve around David and the end of the exile in the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.

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Seed of the Serpent in 1 Samuel

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Seed of the Serpent in 1 Samuel

Last year at the Simeon Trust Workshop here in Indianapolis we studied 1 Samuel.  I was reminded of how much Genesis imagery is shot through the Saul and David narrative.  Particularly, Saul is increasingly cast as Genesis 3:15’s “Seed of the Serpent.”  Consider his demise in 31:8.  The Philistines strip off his armor and cut off his head!  Well, that’s just what David did to Goliath in 17:51, 54.  This seems like more than just revenge on the part of the Philistines for what David did to their great champion.  Rather, the author tells us this to paint both Goliath and Saul in the same colors! ...

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The Songs of the Messiah

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The Songs of the Messiah

Dr. Dieudonné Tamfu (Jubilee Community Church and Bethlehem College & Seminary), who recently dissertated on the book of Psalms, was in town to speak earlier this month on the Psalms!  His explanation of the movement through the Psalms opened my eyes to details I had been overlooking.  “Illuminating” and “extremely edifying” are the words that come to mind as I look back on those lectures.

I’m thrilled to post the lectures here for our September blog.  Listen and savor Jesus in the Psalms!

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What is the Joseph Story Really About?

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What is the Joseph Story Really About?

We're excited that Dr. Samuel Emadi will be teaching our Pre-Exilic Prophets course this fall.  He recently finished his dissertation, and wrote a summary of it for The Gospel Coalition earlier this month.  Here is a repost of that blog. 

Moses gives Joseph more time in Genesis than he does any other character—a striking fact given the significance of Genesis’s other main characters: Adam, Noah, and the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This prominence is even more striking considering the apparent insignificance of Joseph in the rest of Scripture. ...

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May His Tribe Increase: a Bealean Reading of the Softball-sized-Old-Testament-Nutshell

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May His Tribe Increase: a Bealean Reading of the Softball-sized-Old-Testament-Nutshell

Last month, a world-class biblical scholar came to the Hoosier capital. Dr. Greg Beale graced Indianapolis Theological Seminary with a weekend class on eschatology—that study of the last things as it relates to the individual and the universe. As the man with the highest rated commentary on the book of Revelation, Dr. Beale was eminently qualified to answer questions surrounding the end times, the last days, and the place of Israel.

If you were sitting in the classroom on day one, you would have heard Beale’s first shot: “One cannot understand any major New Testament doctrine without understanding its Old Testament background” (he phrased it, of course, in that more tentative academic way). “Can you think of even one doctrine where this is not the case?” The next nine hours of class, spread over two days, gave Dr. Beale ample opportunity to unpack that assertion by weaving the themes of tribulation, true Israel, return from exile, image of God (and so forth) to their fulfillment in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. ...

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Jesus Gets into the Boat!

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Jesus Gets into the Boat!

This semester ITS students are studying (among other things) the “Synoptic Gospels”—Matthew, Mark & Luke. It’s been great! We’ve spent a lot of time in Mark and have observed how the good news about Jesus is presented in a way that emphasizes two inseparable themes: Jesus’ power and Jesus’ suffering. Mark is teaching us how good it is to know that the one we follow has power—over illness, over demons, over nature, over persecutions, even over death. But Mark also sobers us to remember that this power is mingled with suffering. Jesus—the powerful one—suffers in this gospel. And this, ironically, encourages us: when we suffer we should not think something strange is happening or that we are outside of God’s will. For even Jesus suffers; and he is with us when we suffer. ...

 

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