August 28, 2003

In 1 Samuel 12, Samuel gives his farewell speech to the people. He claims that he has not abused his position in any way, and asks the people to confirm this, citing Yahweh and “His anointed” as witnesses in his defense. Who is the “anointed”? Clearly, it is someone distinct from Yahweh, for Samuel is calling on a “double witness” to support his claim. Possibly Saul the Lord’s anointed, since he is already king. But how could Saul confirm Samuel’s… Read more

August 28, 2003

In 1 Samuel 12, Samuel gives his farewell speech to the people. He claims that he has not abused his position in any way, and asks the people to confirm this, citing Yahweh and “His anointed” as witnesses in his defense. Who is the “anointed”? Clearly, it is someone distinct from Yahweh, for Samuel is calling on a “double witness” to support his claim. Possibly Saul the Lord’s anointed, since he is already king. But how could Saul confirm Samuel’s… Read more

August 27, 2003

Sermon Notes for August 31: Jubilee, Luke 4:1-44 INTRODUCTION At His baptism, Jesus is filled with the Spirit (Luke 3:21-22). As any Jew would know, the next thing that’s going to happen is a battle. Depend on it: When the Spirit comes, somebody’s gonna get hurt. Like Othniel (Judges 3:10), Gideon (Judges 6:34), Jephthah (Judges 11:29), Samson (Judges 13:25; 14:6; 15:14), and Saul (1 Samuel 11:6), Jesus receives the Spirit to prepare Him for war. Filled with the Spirit, Jesus… Read more

August 25, 2003

Robert C. Tannehill’s 2-volume work, The Narrative Unity of Luke-Acts , is full of sharp insights. At least that’s true of the bit I’ve read. He points out, for example, the basic structural device of using prophetic quotations and long speeches to introduce each of the major figures in his history: Luke 3: John the Baptist is introduced with a lengthy excerpt from his preaching and a quotation from Isaiah 40. Luke 4: Jesus is introduced with a sermon at… Read more

August 25, 2003

Like Matthew, Luke records Jesus’ quotation from Deuteronomy 8:3 in response to the devil’s temptation. But the quotations differ: Matthew 4:4: “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Luke 4:4: “Man shall not live on bread alone.” What’s happened to the rest of the quotation? Luke 4:22 supplies the answer. When Jesus speaks in the synagogue at Nazareth, everyone is initially astonished at “the gracious words that were… Read more

August 25, 2003

A couple of interesting numerical patterns in Luke: First, in Luke 18:31-34, Jesus predicts His coming suffering and death in this way: [The Son of Man] will be 1) delivered to the Gentiles 2) mocked 3) mistreated 4) spit upon 5) scourged 6) killed But when the Gentiles have done their worst, and fulfilled their sixfold attack on the Son (six being the number of man), a seventh follows: 7) and the third day He will rise again. The Son… Read more

August 24, 2003

Exhortation for August 24: Worship is God’s work on us. We assemble in the presence of the Triune God not only to offer our praise and worship to the Father in the Son by the Spirit. We also assemble in His presence so that the Spirit can work on us in the Son to make us presentable before the Father. In the New Covenant, the veil has been torn, and we can enter boldly into the sanctuary, the heavenly Most… Read more

August 23, 2003

There’s an important article on the abortion issue in the August 18/25 issue of The New Republic . Though written from a pro-choice perspective, it shows how advances in technology are likely to undermine Roe v. Wade. The main breakthrough has to do with the development of ectogenesis, an external womb or “process by which a fetus gestates in an environment external to the mother.” If researchers can successfully create this artificial womb environment, the issue of viability of the… Read more

August 22, 2003

Below are some notes on the structure of Romans. Thanks to my student, John Lewis, who has done some interesting structural work on Romans, and shared his overall outline of the book with me. These notes are all tentative. First, the general overview, and then some discussion of the linkages between the different sections: 1. Paul’s greeting to the Romans; summary of the gospel, 1:1-17 (obedience of faith) 2. Jew and Gentile under God’s judgment: Humanity under sin, 1:18-2:29 3…. Read more

August 22, 2003

Alabama’s struggle over the Ten Commandment monument is important and intriguing on a number of fronts. One fascinating aspect is the behavior of Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor. Pryor has been nominated for a federal judicial seat, and when he appeared in DC in June for hearings on the nomination he spent most of his time trying to assure everyone that he was not a right-wing nut. Now, he is among those standing in opposition to Justice Moore, who has… Read more

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