AD 70 and the Birth of the West

Augustine’s City of God created the Christian West because it enabled believers to think about a future of Christianity that did not depend on the persistence of Rome. Augustine relativized the story of Rome to the story of the City of God. How did he do that? Jesus taught him. Jesus taught . . . . Continue Reading »

Narrative structure of Matthew

In a 1997 article in NTS , Christopher Smith defends the five-discourse structure of Matthew against narrative critics who focus attention on the plot of Matthew. The problem with narrative approaches, Powell argues, is that as story Matthew doesn’t always work all that well: “it is a . . . . Continue Reading »


Oscar JF Seitz has an interesting article in a 1960 issue of JBL . He connects the stones in the Jordan in Josh 4 with the stones that Jacob erects in Gen 28, which form the “House of God” in contrast to the false house of Babel. Bringing this into the NT, he notes that John the Baptist . . . . Continue Reading »

Joshua Typology

George Wesley Buchanan notes that ancient Jewish writings pay comparatively attention to Joshua. But, “For the church fathers, Joshua was very important - much more important than Moses. It was Joshua who led the army while Moses stood on the mountain and held up his hands. Joshua succeeded . . . . Continue Reading »

Romans and AD 70

Paul’s discussion of the future of Israel assumes Jesus’ predictions about the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. This is what he’s talking about when he talks about “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” and when he quotes from Hosea and Isaiah in . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon outline

INTRODUCTION As a church, we believe that before the foundation of the world God ordained whatever happens in the world, down to the slightest detail. But this seems to be contrary to some explicit statements of Scripture, which talk about God changing His plans. And it seems to nullify the . . . . Continue Reading »

Peter and Jeremiah

In a 1975 article in JBL, one Bruce Dahlberg suggests that the background to Matthew 16:13-23 is less Isaiah 22 (the “key” of Eliakim’s shoulder) than Jeremiah 1, the call of the prophet. Some of his arguments rely on extrabiblical associations of keys with the temple (this has a . . . . Continue Reading »

Second Blessing

In his study of Matthew’s five-discourse structure, BW Bacon mentions commentators who connect the miracles of Matt 8-9 with the ancient idea that there were 10 plagues, 10 miracles by the sea, and 10 miracles in the sanctuary. His main reasin for disputing this interpretation is that the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Use of Patristic Exegesis

Dale Allison notes that Matthew “stipulates that it be interpreted in the context of other texts. This means that it is, in a fundamental sense, an incomplete utterance, a book full of holes. Readers must make present what is absent; they must become actively engaged and bring to the gospel . . . . Continue Reading »