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 »

Jesus and his enemies

The Jewish scholar GC Montefiore wrote: “What one would have wished to find in the life-story of Jesus would be one single incident in which Jesus actually performed a loving deed to one of his Rabbinic antagonists or enemies. That would have been worth all the injunctions of the Sermon on . . . . Continue Reading »

Nyssa on perfection

Gregory of Nyssa writes in his Life of Moses: “one limit of perfection is the fact that it has no limit . . . .Why? Because no good has any limit.” And in his treatise on perfection, he’s more expansive: “one ought not to be distressed when one considers this tendency . . . . Continue Reading »

Justification and the Gentiles

It’s not a new insight with me, but it came home with particular force recently: Paul says in Romans 3:28 that “we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of Torah.” To suppoose the point, he asks two rhetorical questions, the first expecting a negative and . . . . Continue Reading »