April 2, 2021

Q. One of the issues raised in your last exegetical chapter is the difference between someone being a substitute for another and someone being the representative of another. These ideas seem to be regularly fused or confused. Can you help the readers understand the importance of this distinction as it applies to the work of Christ? A. A substitute takes the place of another person but does not represent him, e.g., a pinch hitter in baseball. A representative acts on… Read more

April 2, 2021

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April 1, 2021

I’ve been a big fan of Benedict Cumberbatch for a long time, but honestly, this is hands down the best acting I’ve ever seen from him.  And he is not the only one who is superb in this film. So is Merab Nindze who plays Oleg Penkovsky as the Soviet trying to head off nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia.  Both men deserve to be nominated for a best actor Oscar for this performance.  Rachel Brosnahan and Jessie Buckley… Read more

April 1, 2021

Q. One place where we seem to diverge fairly significantly, if I am reading you correctly, is in regard to the imputation issue. Nothing is said in Romans about the imputation of Christ’s own righteousness (whether through his general obedience to God or more specifically his obedience by death of the cross) to the believer. The subject in Romans is the righteousness of God the Father, and this is simply not the same thing as Christ’s righteousness. God the Father… Read more

March 31, 2021

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March 31, 2021

Q. One thing that I think would further support your case in this lengthy chapter on Divine Justice is that Paul hardly ever talks about forgiveness. Yes, he quotes the Psalms in Rom. 4 but the language is very rare in the early Paulines, and only shows up once in Colossians and once in Ephesians in the later Paulines. In other words, this is not the main way Paul explains the beneficial effects of Christ’s atoning death. Expand a bit… Read more

March 30, 2021

Q. It is interesting how you take issue with the new Perspective on Paul in regard to the righteousness language, and I think you are largely right. The opposite of righteousness is unrighteousness, not unfaithfulness. And God’s righteousness leads to divine activity, but it is not that activity, it is property or character trait of a holy God. Help us unpack further how the righteousness of God relates to the saving activity, but also the judging activity of God. How… Read more

March 29, 2021

Q. As you say Paul’s use of dikaiosune and its cognates is various in his letters. Sometimes with the modifier ‘of God’ it refers to God’s character. Sometimes it refers to something God gives human beings. The point I would want to make here, is that God is not interested in just reckoning human beings as righteous, he’s interested in making them actually righteous in character, belief, and behavior. In other words, it’s a mistake to think that all Paul… Read more

March 28, 2021

Q. The second thing to note is probably the right translation of Rom. 3.21ff. is as follows: “But now, quite apart from the Mosaic Law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, and it is attested to by both the Law and the Prophets— the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ [there is no preposition ‘in’ here in the Greek] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and lack the glory… Read more

March 27, 2021

Q. Any thoughts about the Maccabean references to vicarious suffering by the Maccabean leaders as atoning? 4 Macc. 6.28-29, and 17.22? As you note Exod. 32 has Moses offering himself for the sins of the people, but the offer is rejected, so that’s only potential substitutionary sacrifice, whereas in 4 Macc. the connection is assumed to be actual. A. These passages are important principally for their use of the word hilasterion in the Hellenistic sense of a propitiatory offering, a… Read more




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