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Kingdom of God in Mark's Gospel

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Kingdom of God in Mark's Gospel

I think the word “scholar” is commonly used to mean something like “erudite know-it-all.” And since they know it all, they teach others who are willing (or forced!) to listen. But in its most basic sense the word simply means someone with an aptitude to study. Therefore, a scholar is someone who learns first and foremost. Far from “knowing it all” true scholars are always seeking out what we do not know, and setting about the joyous task of discovery. And when they do, the rest of us are blessed by their hard work. Such is the case with Dr. Nicholas Perrin, who recently taught a course here at ITS, and on the first night gave a stimulating lecture on The Kingdom of God in Mark’s Gospel. I am thrilled to share that opening night’s lecture with you here.

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God's Story.  Our Story.

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God's Story. Our Story.

The Old Testament is new again!  The recent surge of interest in Biblical Theology is a true blessing as interpreters—and therefore pastors and their congregations—appreciate again the interconnectivity between the two testaments.  The result is a better understanding of how the Bible comprises one complete drama of God’s actions in history for the salvation of his people.

 

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The Kingdom of God

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The Kingdom of God

“Kingdom is one of those concepts everyone talks about but no one is quite sure what difference it really makes.” So says Nicholas Perrin, author of the new book The Kingdom of God: A Biblical Theology.  The arrival of the Kingdom of God is the primary organizing concept of all of Jesus’ teaching.  So what is it?  What are its characteristics?  Is it political?  Is it “spiritual?”  Are those even the right questions to ask?  In these two brief interviews Dr. Perrin addresses such issues, as well as other reasons he’s written this book.

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"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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Peace To End All Wars: What Christ’s Birth Has Done and Will Do

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Peace To End All Wars: What Christ’s Birth Has Done and Will Do

There is a story from WWI that reminds us that in the worst of times, there’s still hope. Nearing the end of December 1914, 5 months after WWI began, British soldiers heard their German foes singing Christmas Carols after a day of fighting.

In the dark, huddled in their cold trenches, the British soldiers wondered what to make of this. But soon, they joined in, singing well-known and well-loved Christmas carols. And so, through Christmas Eve, the two warring armies celebrated the birth of their Messiah. ...

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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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"You Can Make Me Clean"

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"You Can Make Me Clean"

Dr. Schrock and I recently co-published an article in the Criswell Theological Review.  We had presented the thesis at the 2015 annual ETS gathering.  It addresses the way Matthew portrays Jesus as a priest, an oft-overlooked characteristic of the pre-ascended Messiah.  You can read it here.  Hope you’re edified!  We’d love to know your thoughts on it.

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Christmas is about Resurrection

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Christmas is about Resurrection

Christmas is an easy holiday to hijack.  Just look around.  This time of year there is as much that has nothing to do with Jesus as there is that does.  But we keep our own heads with sayings like “Jesus is the reason for the season.”  We should never neglect to consider, however, what is the reason for Jesus. ...

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