March 21, 2022

Themes and Transformations in Old Testament Prophecy by Samuel A. Meier My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a worthwhile read, overall, with some flaws and caveats. Meier presents some interesting observations in the development of prophetic word. Unfortunately he reads it as an evolution from a sort of open theism to a determinism in God’s plan. Chapter 4 is fascinating. Meier shows that the latter prophets demonstrate far less insight into what God was revealing to them than... Read more

December 14, 2021

Originally posted on my previous blog in December, 2009. We are into the third week of Advent, with Christmas less than a couple weeks off. So I wanted to take a brief look at the Gospel of Luke, and particularly at Luke’s theme of Jesus as the Bread of Life. Luke never actually calls Jesus “the bread of life”—that title comes from John’s Gospel. But the theme of Jesus and His relationship and identification with bread runs deep through Luke’s... Read more

June 16, 2021

The Imago Dei as Human Identity is the latest theological treatment for the critical doctrine of the image of God in man. For Ryan Peterson, the imago Dei is found not in any particular part or aspect of human nature, but is rather a description of humanity identity itself. This is exactly the book on this topic that I was hoping for. It is excellently argued. The structure of the book is a bit stiff, given that it is a... Read more

April 29, 2020

The title of this post is from a lecture series on the Book of Esther by James B. Jordan. Jordan finds in Esther, and especially in Mordecai, a representation of the Jewish nation’s lack of witness as priestly people before the Gentile nations (see also DeGraaf’s Promise and Deliverance v.2, p.440ff). Mordecai commands Esther to hide her identity as a Jew in order to increase her chances of being advanced to the position of queen to Ahasuerus, and Esther continues... Read more

March 20, 2020

Today New York is shutting down all non-essential businesses and meetings.  I imagine Illinois will not be too far behind.  Here are my thoughts.  No deep digging into biblical texts today; I am also avoiding political wrangling (whether accusation or defense).  In fact, these thoughts are not organized or edited for presentation in any particular way.  They are just things that come to mind as I consider what is happening in the world. Jesus is King of kings and viruses... Read more

February 20, 2020

Jesus’ Last Supper is the Passover. It is the institution of the Eucharistic feast. But like the feasts of Israel, it is not only Passover. Passover is the Old Covenant institution of the whole feast cycle of Israel, and the subsequent meals are memorial meals of the Passover of that year. That is why they are called “memorials.” They re-present to YHWH the one Passover offering of that year.  The meaning of all feasts in the Old Covenant are subsumed... Read more

January 12, 2019

I received John Currid’s Against the Gods as a Christmas gift and it was a quick one-day read. I found it to be a good primer on the history of how academia has treated the relationship between the Old Testament and ancient Near East literature, as well as the issues involved in the study. However, it does have some notable shortcomings.  Currid received his Ph.D in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology from the University of Chicago in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and... Read more

October 30, 2018

Adam Sells His Birthright In Genesis 1, God creates man to be a king. He is to have dominion over the fish of the sea (but not the sea monsters—yet!), and flying creatures of the heavens, and over the livestock and creeping things. The man is to fill the earth and subdue it. But before man can take that dominion, he is placed in the Garden of Eden “to guard and to serve it.” This is the duty of a... Read more

October 9, 2018

In The Art of Biblical History, V. Philips Long employs an extended example of the rise of Saul to the kingship of Israel in 1 Samuel 10-13 to illustrate various issues and challenges to reading the Bible historically. Challenges to the historical character of the narrative include the 3-part means of accession to the kingship, which some writers take as an internal inconsistency, and secondly the apparent displacement of the Gibeah/Gilgal episode. When Samuel first anoints Saul he gives him... Read more

September 18, 2018

“Oh, the book was better than the movie.” It’s a commonly heard phrase whenever a film adaptation of a book is released.  Scads of book fans flock to the theaters to see (and judge!) how the the director has envisioned the same material that they have already experienced.  Usually it’s objectively true that the book is far more complex thematically and philosophically than the film adaptation.  You can only cram so much into a 2-3 hour film, after all.  At... Read more

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