In his chapter about Matthew’s use of the OT, Richard begins by making the valid point that Matthew shows far less reticence than Mark in making narrative claims about Jesus and linking them to specific OT texts, often citing those texts, and in the birth narrative especially using fulfillment formulae. He begins by noticing the ways in which Matthew 24 modifies Mk. 13, the apocalyptic discourse, for instance by specifying that the ‘abomination’ will take place in the Holy Place,… Read more

One of the interesting questions raised by Richard’s approach to the reading of the OT is whether or not it is reasonable to assume that the various Gospel audiences had the requisite ‘encyclopedia of reception’ that he assumes they do, in order to catch the allusions and echoes of OT Scripture in various of the Gospel narratives. This question is especially pressing with a Gospel like Mark’s which has few overt citations of the OT unlike Matthew and does not… Read more

You have to give him credit, Kevin Costner is good at sports movies (see e.g. Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, Tin Cup etc.). In terms of recreating on film a true and inspirational story, McFarland USA is his very best sports film. In this film Costner plays coach Jim White, who creates out of nothing a cross country team composed of seven young poor fieldworkers from McFarland Calif. a small mostly Hispanic town in the San Joaquin valley. They say… Read more

The first proper chapter of this little gem of a book is a lecture on the hermeneutics of figural interpretation, and we shall spend this post on that chapter. Drawing on the famous words of Martin Luther about how the OT is the swaddling clothes manger in which the Christ is lain. So Hays argues that Luther is reading the NT figurally in order to proclaim the legitimacy of a figural reading of the OT (p. 2). Hays then adds… Read more

I’ve been reading my friend Richard Hay’s NT offerings for close to 40 years now. I read his dissertation involving Galatians when he was still writing the chapters, and I would send him comments and suggestions. Following this review, which like the book will not be lengthy, but in several parts, you will get to read the dialogue or exchange we had about the book in future posts. Let’s start with the disclaimers. From the outset Hays stresses that he… Read more

(A shot of Mt. Ararat I took in 2011). Our fried Pete Williams, the warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge had this recent report on the finding of yet another flood account, this one perhaps from about 1700 B.C. or so. Here’s the report…. —— The animals went in two by two … There were many interesting discoveries relating to the Bible in 2014, but perhaps Irving Finkel of the British Museum may be congratulated for making one of the… Read more

This will be our last post on Scot McKnight’s fine book which came out last fall (Brazos Press). It has many merits, not least of which is it is very clearly written, gets right to the point, and has lots of memorable lines like “the Pharisees emphasized the love of Torah, contrasted with Jesus who emphasized the Torah of love”. In this post I want to sum up on a few points to makes clear where I think Scot and… Read more

BEN: I find p. 164 very confusing. You say “The fundamental mission of kingdom citizens is to glorify God by living the life of ‘good deeds’. God is most glorified when kingdom citizens live under King Jesus as a faithful community.” This would seem to making doing good deeds and kingdom mission one and the same thing especially in the context of the salt and light verses. No? SCOT: We glorify God by good deeds — that’s straight from Jesus…. Read more

BEN: I just finished Chapter 9, which I enjoyed and I think agreed with almost without exception. Obviously kingdom is about human redemption, and it has been that way since the time of Jesus. There is a necessary spiritual and social dimension to it. But of course during the ministry of Jesus, there was not yet a church, not yet a community of the gathered followers of Jesus, so back then healing, exorcism etc. did not happen in the locus… Read more

BEN:Scot I really loved this chapter, and wished it had been longer. I especially enjoyed the interaction with Barth, and the stories at the end about Ms. Powers and Carl Henry. Powerful stuff. And I think you’ve made a strong case that kingdom mission has to be Christological in its core and focus etc. Who am I to disagree with that? But I would say that just as there are many dimensions to the Christology of the NT and what… Read more

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