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Archive for the ‘Biblical Theology’ Category

Seventy

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Genesis 10, Everett Fox translation:

Now these are the begettings of the sons of Noah,
Shem, Ham, and Yefet.
Sons were born to them after the Deluge.
The Sons of Yefet are Gomer and Magog, Madai, Yavan and Tuval, Meshekh and Tiras.
The Sons of Gomer are Ashkenaz, Rifat, and Togarma.
The Sons of Yavan are Elisha and Tarshish, Cittites and Dodanites.
From these the seacoast nations were divided by their lands,
each one after its own tongue:
according to their clans, by their nations.
The Sons of Ham are Cush and Mitzrayim, Put and Canaan.
The Sons of Cush are Seva and Havila, Savta, Ra’ma, and Savtekha;
the Sons of Ra’ma—Sheva and Dedan.
Cush begot Nimrod; he was the first mighty man on earth.
He was a mighty hunter before YHWH,
therefore the saying is:
Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before YHWH.
His kingdom, at the beginning, was Bavel, and Erekh, Accad and Calne, in the land of Shinar;
from this land Ashur went forth and built Nineveh—along with the city squares and Calah,/ and Resen between Nineveh and Calah—that is the great city.
Mitzrayim begot the Ludites, the Anamites, the Lehavites, the Naftuhites,/ the Patrusites, and the Casluhites, from where the Philistines come, and the Caftorites.
Canaan begot Tzidon his firstborn and Het,/ along with the Yevusite, the Amorite and the Girgashite,/ the Hivvite, the Arkite and the Sinite,/ the Arvadite, the Tzemarite and the Hamatite.
Afterward the Canaanite clans were scattered abroad.
And the Canaanite territory went from Tzidon, then as you come toward Gerar, as far as Gaza, then as you come toward Sedom and Amora, Adma, and Tzevoyim, as far as Lasha.
These are the Sons of Ham after their clans, after their tongues, by their lands, by their nations.
(Children) were also born to Shem,
the father of all the Sons of Ever (and) Yefet’s older brother.
The Sons of Shem are Elam and Ashur, Arpakhshad, Lud, and Aram.
The Sons of Aram are Utz and Hul, Geter and Mash.
Arpakhshad begot Shelah, Shelah begot Ever.
Two sons were born to Ever:
the name of the first one was Peleg/Splitting, for in his days the earth–folk were split up,
and his brother’s name was Yoktan.
Yoktan begot Almodad and Shelef, Hatzarmavet and Yera,/ Hadoram, Uzal and Dikla,/ Oval, Avimael and Sheva,/ Ofir, Havila, and Yovav—all these are the Sons of Yoktan.
Now their settlements went from Mesha, then as you come toward Sefar, to the mountain–country of the east.
These are the Sons of Shem after their clans, after their tongues, by their lands, after their nations.
These are the clan–groupings of the Sons of Noah, after their begettings, by their nations.
From these the nations were divided on earth after the Deluge.

Written by Scott Moonen

October 16, 2020 at 9:47 am

Metábasis eis állo génos (15)

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We recently spent a week at the beach with our small group. It’s hard to pick a highlight. Good food, great fellowship. One thing I enjoyed was getting introduced to the game Dominion. Ironically, I had received this game as a gift last year but hadn’t yet had a chance to play it. It’s now a regular part of our rotation!

I reflected on voting this week. It occurs to me that another way to express the value of voting is to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I would certainly appreciate a great many of my neighbors voting a certain way; I ought to do the same for them.

Speaking of voting, my friend Brad pointed out that child sacrifice is unusual in having a judgment on its even being countenanced:

Now if the People of the Land should hide, yes, hide their eyes from that man
when he gives of his seed to the Molekh, by not putting him to death,
I myself will set my face against that man and against his clan,
and will cut off him and all who go whoring along with him, to whore after Molekh,
from amid their kinspeople. (Leviticus 20:4–5, Everett Fox)

Aaron Renn of The Masculinist newsletter has started a podcast. I appreciated his recent episode reflecting on dangers and temptations in how we attempt to reach the culture.

I’ve been freshly struck reading through Exodus and Leviticus at the importance of worshipping God according to his word.

Now Aharon’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, took each-man his pan,
and, placing fire in them, put smoking-incense on it,
and brought-near, before the presence of YHWH, outside fire,
such as he had not commanded them.
And fire went out from the presence of YHWH
and consumed them, so that they died, before the presence of YHWH.
Moshe said to Aharon:
It is what YHWH spoke (about), saying:
Through those permitted-near to me, I will be-proven-holy,
before all the people, I will be-accorded-honor!
Aharon was silent. (Leviticus 10:1-3, Everett Fox)

Moshe and Aharon were returned to Pharaoh,
and he said to them:
Go, serve YHWH your God!
—Who is it, who is it that would go?
Moshe said:
With our young ones, with our elders we will go,
with our sons and with our daughters,
with our sheep and with our oxen we will go—
for it is YHWH’s pilgrimage-festival for us.
He said to them:
May YHWH be thus with you, the same as I mean to send you free along with your little-ones!
You see—yes, your faces are set toward ill!
Not thus—go now, O males, and serve YHWH, for that is what you (really) seek!
And they were driven out from Pharaoh’s face.

YHWH said to Moshe:
Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locust-horde,
and it will ascend over the land of Egypt, consuming all the plants of the land, all that the hail allowed to remain. (Exodus 10:8-12, Everett Fox)

I mentioned Exodus 22:5 and willful spreading of fire among thorns (i.e., wicked men) recently. The spreading of fire is at the same time a judgment from God upon a land that cultivates wicked men.

For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:7-8 ESV)

I was also struck by the fact that Leviticus 19 links the fourth and fifth commandments:

Each-man—his mother and his father you are to hold-in-awe,
and my Sabbaths you are to keep:
I am YHWH your God! (Leviticus 19:3, Everett Fox)

and the third, eighth, and ninth commandments:

You are not to steal,
you are not to lie,
you are not to deal-falsely, each-man with his fellow!
You are not to swear by my name falsely,
thus profaning the name of your God—
I am YHWH! (Leviticus 19:11-12, Everett Fox)

This latter association matches Ephesians 4, where lying and stealing are linked with grieving the Spirit.

Yes. As a result of this, the practice of 1 Cor 11 commonly commits the sin rebuked right there in 1 Cor 11! It is precisely failing to discern the body to forbid part of the body access to the table. See also Pharaoh above.

Written by Scott Moonen

October 10, 2020 at 1:13 pm

Antignostic

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Duane Garner resumed preaching through Revelation. From this week (I elided some words for brevity, but without ellipses):

The Revelation of Jesus confirms to these churches and these Christians in this context that they are on the right side of history, that they are behind the true king of the cosmos. Jesus is king, and Caeser isn’t.

We are in a very similar context today. It’s not our worship of Jesus that brings us in conflict in the sphere of our dealings with other people in our society. Nobody cares about that, it’s not a big deal: it’s our refusal to worship the gods of this age. When you are persecuted for being a Christian, it’s not going to be because you worship Jesus: it’s because you are refusing to bow down to the gods of this age.

If you’re going to be persecuted as a Christian, they’re not going to charge you with being a Christian. They are going to charge you with being a bigot, and a homophobe, and a racist. And as they carry you off, the rest of the evangelical world is going to be cheering, because obviously you are a bigot and a racist and a homophobe.

It’s not about Jesus, it’s not about worship of Jesus: it’s about not worshiping the gods of the age. This book is communicated to people in that same context. John is communicating the centrality and the almighty power of Jesus over all things. Jesus is over all things and Caesar isn’t. The book of Revelation does not teach about a Jesus who is uninvolved in world affairs.

A quiet, passive, internal Christianity is exactly what the kingdoms of this world want. Totalitarian regimes are incredibly compatible with a heart religion. If you want a heart religion that never works itself out in any significant way, if you want me–and–Jesus Christianity: the nations of the world are fine with that. The kind of church that is compatible with the modern state is the kind of church that’s content with sitting at home today. They’re content watching the internet, and they’re content using the Ritz crackers and the Gatorade for communion.

When the church believes that Jesus is not only the future king but the reigning and present king over everything right now, that’s when we come into conflict with the powers of our age.

Jesus deserves our embodied presence, our embodied worship and obedience. That’s when things start to heat up. And this book backs these Christians with a Jesus who is mighty, and victorious, who is regal, who is a conqueror: not just the king of your head or your heart, but the king of everything.

Written by Scott Moonen

October 6, 2020 at 5:58 pm

Metábasis eis állo génos (11)

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Shall we call the rona the Y2k20 bug?

It’s not too late to join the To The Word reading plan. Psalm 119 is such a wonderful way to begin and end a reading plan! I’m taking this opportunity to read Everett Fox’s Schocken Bible wherever it satisfies the readings. No translation is perfect, but I love Fox’s translation philosophy. It’s the only translation I’ve found that handles Jephthah and his daughter properly; from Judges 11:

Now there came upon Yiftah the rushing-spirit of YHWH;
he crossed over to Gil’ad and Menashe,
and he crossed over to Mitzpe of Gil’ad, and from Mitzpe of Gil’ad
he crossed over to the Children of Ammon.
And Yiftah vowed a vow to YHWH and said:
If you will give, yes, give the Children of Ammon into my hand,
it will be: the one going out who goes out of the doors of my
    house to meet me, when I return in peace from the Children of Ammon
shall be YHWH’s
and shall be offered up by me as an offering-up!

Thus she went up to serve at the tabernacle, like the women of Exodus 38:8.

I was struck by the 46 years in John 2. No numerological significance jumps out at me, but the chronology is interesting. The current alternate chronology of 18 BC would put this event in AD 29. That fits with Kostenberger’s suggestion that Jesus began his ministry in AD 29 or 30. However, this is not able to account for Paul’s fourteen years (Galatians 2) which is usually linked to Acts 12:25 and therefore the death of Herod (Acts 12:23) in AD 44. That would put Paul’s conversion (and Jesus’s crucifixion) in AD 30. So, unless we introduce a large gap into Acts 12, it seems we are awaiting an alternate chronology either for the temple and Tiberius, or the death of Agrippa.

Speaking of the fourteen years, which included time in Arabia, it occurs to me that this is a kind of wilderness time for Paul. If 17 is an analog of 70— seven and ten remixed—then 14 is an analog of 40.

Did you know that the Fed now owns nearly a third of all US mortgages? Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. Also, it is definitely time to cancel your Netflix subscription.

Here’s an interesting scenario: what if you waited to ensure good census numbers for your state, then took various executive and economic steps to ensure that the opposing political party middle class fled your state? Why, you’d be sitting fat and happy for the next ten to twelve years, electorally speaking. Now repeat across several key states, and you just might be able to pawn off your financial problems on all of those suckers and losers to boot.

It might actually be a mercy from God if this happened; it could help to ensure that the coming dividing lines formed between states rather than neighbors.

Jamie Soles has a new album: Supplanter. It’s about a great man of faith, a perfect and complete man, who wrestles with man, with God, and with gnostic hermeneutics, and prevails. On this subject, see also Mark Horne and James Jordan.

Mark Horne also has a nice commentary on Mark’s gospel. My pastors are planning to work through Mark this winter and this is a good supplement. Also be sure to check out Mark’s latest book on Proverbs and wisdom.

I’ve been enjoying Peter Leithart’s recent Theopolitan Reading. It is outstanding, a kind of distilled appetizer for Jordan’s Through New Eyes. Some choice quotes:

Different species of animals represent different kinds of people. Kings are supposed to be lions, ferocious protectors of their pride and dangerous to their enemies (Gen 49:9; Rev 5:5). Samson and David demonstrate their prowess by killing lions (Judges 14:5–9; 1 Sam 17:34–37). If they can kill lions, they can successfully battle Philistines. As the lion king, David gathers leonine warriors who share his strength and skill in combat (1 Chr 12:8).

Other men are violent scavengers, jackals who prey on the weak or sneak into abandoned cities to pick through the garbage (Isa 13:22; 34:13). Imagery like this could well be literal. . . When human society breaks down, wild animals move in. But the imagery is also symbolic. When the king is not a lion, predatory men roam freely, preying on their defenseless sheep.

Other people are serpents, who kill with the poison under their tongue (Psa 58:4; 140:3). The righteous who trust in the Lord mimic the Seed of the woman and crush the heads of the serpentine wicked (Gen 3:15; Psa 91:13). Groups of animals represent groups of people, which is why Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David start as shepherds and herdsmen before leading the “flock of God” (cf. Ezek 34:15, 17; Zech 9:16; 1 Pet 5:2). Other groups are like packs of dogs, roaming the streets and baring their teeth against the righteous (Psa 22:16; 59:6, 14). (p. 42)

Many Bible teachers say the number 7 is the number of “fullness.” That may be true but doesn’t tell us much. And it’s the wrong way to read the poetry of Scripture. It’s a move from a concrete number (7) to an abstract quality (“fullness”).

Bible teachers make this move a lot. The desert represents “testing.” Lions represent “strength” or “destructive power.” White symbolizes “purity.” In each case, we move from something we can sense—a place we can survey, a color we can see, a number we can count, an animal that could rip us to shreds—to some quality that we can only think about.

The Bible doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t move from body to mind, or from matter to Spirit, or from concrete to abstract. Instead, the Bible connects one body with another—one thing, event, or person to another. We move from one concrete reality to another to another, seeing each in the light of the others. Scripture doesn’t move us away from our senses but trains them. (p. 45)

At his trial, Pilate presents Jesus to the mobs: “Behold the man” (John 19:5). Behold man. Behold Adam, cursed Adam, shamed Adam, soon-to-be-new Adam, risen in glory. (p. 52)

Written by Scott Moonen

September 11, 2020 at 7:10 pm

Witness

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If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (Deuteronomy 19:16–21 ESV)

And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. . . . Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” (Mark 14:53–58 ESV)

As James Jordan says, AD 70 was a public vindication of Jesus Christ.

Written by Scott Moonen

June 21, 2020 at 3:20 pm

A cruciform foundation

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I have been saving this video for a listen for so long that I can’t remember anymore who recommended it to me. Thank you, whoever you were. Please accept my recommendation:

Written by Scott Moonen

June 18, 2020 at 4:39 pm

Pentecost witness

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And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42–47)

Written by Scott Moonen

May 31, 2020 at 2:53 pm

Witness

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When Yahweh restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“Yahweh has done great things for them.”
Yahweh has done great things for us;
we are glad. (Psalm 126:1-3)

Written by Scott Moonen

May 29, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Biblical Theology

Christus regnat

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Happy whole burnt offering day, rather, ascension day!

Jesus now reigns where’er the sun does its successive journeys run.

(Although there is nothing outside his control, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him, but we see him crowned with glory and honor.—Heb. 2)

He now reigns in glory, crowned with grace and might. . . He now reigns forever with His chosen bride.

(We are seated with him in the heavenly places in Christ the head-and-body.—Eph. 2)

(Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.—1 Cor. 15)

Written by Scott Moonen

May 21, 2020 at 6:21 am

Keep my commandments

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God’s laws aren’t at war with each other. God never puts us in a position where we have to break a commandment to love our neighbor. The commandments of God define love for our neighbor. God’s commandments tell us what love looks like.

Duane Garner, If You Love Me

Written by Scott Moonen

May 19, 2020 at 1:25 pm