BEN: Chad in this chapter you talk about the ‘limited non-nationalistic understanding of election’ (p. 135) as permeating early Jewish literature. By this I take you to mean that Jews did view themselves as God’s chosen people, but while their ethnic identity was a primary marker of who was chosen, it was not a sufficient one or even always an exclusive one (i.e. even non-Jews, if they became Torah observant and got circumcised could be considered part of the chosen… Read more

Without a doubt, Lindsey Davis is one of the most skilled writers of fiction in recent memory. Her novels are characterized by wit, good historical research (she writes ancient Rome novels set mostly in the first century A.D.),quirky but likable protagonists, and killer plot twists. Mostly, it is her sense of whimsy and rhetorical banter that sets her novels apart from some of her competitors in the field of ancient Roman novels (cf. Saylor, McCullough, Harris). What I especially enjoy… Read more

It was 1977 and I was completing a rather celestial course of studies in theology, philosophy, philology, and other related subjects at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. My NY friend, and sometime roommate, Paul Terry and I decided to go see this new Syfy epic just released— it was called Star Wars. Now you have to understand that Paul was NY skeptical, I won’t say cynical,but nonetheless he was hard to impress. His first word when we left the Danvers Mass. Cinema was… Read more

BEN: One of the greatest difficulties to overcome in trying to get people to see the Bible with ancient rather than modern assumptions, is the problem of modern radical individualism warping the way we read the text. I remember the day I first realized that the you in Philippians was ‘ya’ll’ when Paul says ‘work out ya’lls salvation with fear and trembling for God is working in the midst of ya’ll to will and to do’. That totally changed the… Read more

BEN: One of the things that surprised me about your response about the covenants is that it does not reflect the work of various OT scholars, like Meredith Kline, who made quite clear how similar the OT covenants, in particular the Mosaic one, were like ANE king/subject or lord/vassal treaties. By this I mean, that when a covenant was broken, and especially when it was flagrantly broken, and repeatedly broken, then the lord, in this case Yahweh, simply enacts the… Read more

As most of you will know by now, Jordan Smith is from Harlan County Kentucky, and we are proud to claim him as one of our home boys. He attends Lee University a Church of God school in Tennessee, and sings in his church choir. He took a semester off to sing on the Voice—- and just won the competition, singing everything imaginable including ‘Great is thy Faithfulness’ and last evening ‘Mary Did you Know’, just in time for Christmas……. Read more

N.B. The city Caesarea Philippi, during Jesus’ day was indeed outside of Galilee and outside the territory of Herod Antipas. It was part of the tiny territory which was ruled by Herod Philip, hence the name Caesarea Philippi. It was not a part of what can be called the Holy Land during Jesus’ day. Rather it had been pagan territory for a long time, and in fact the previous name of the city was Banyas or Panyas, the city of… Read more

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One of the most important books I have read in a long time in regard to the theology of election in Paul’s letters is the recent book by Dr. Chad Thornhill of Liberty entitled The Chosen People. Election, Paul and Second Temple Judaism. In the next several posts we will be interacting with this fine book through a dialogue with the author. BW3 QUESTION 1: In a detailed study of salvation language in the OT, followed by salvation language in… Read more

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