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(how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference)

The death of Jesus: not as difficult to understand as you might think

Peter Enns has written in his characteristically provocative style about two issues in the Bible that are really important but not at all clear.

The first has to do with Israelite origins. We can be reasonably confident about the broad outline of Israelite history back to the reign of David, but earlier than that things are decidedly murky. “Historically speaking,” Enns writes, “we really don’t know where the Israelites came from, and the exodus and conquest stories, which are so central to the biblical account, are particularly problematic.”

The second issue is of a very different type: “Why did Jesus die?”

13 Feb 2017

Here’s one way of framing my “thesis” at the hermeneutical level—that is, at the level of how we interpret the Bible and make use of it as church.

For various complex reasons the church is coming under pressure to switch from a theological way of thinking to what I think is most concisely and most...

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9 Feb 2017

It appears that a new Scrolls Cave has been discovered at Qumran—the first new cave in sixty years. All that was found in the cave, sadly, were the remains of six broken jars, some fragments of parchment and papyrus, and a piece of linen. Any scrolls that might have been preserved in the jars were looted in the mid...

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9 Feb 2017

I said I would look at the idea of calling on the name of the Lord Jesus in order to round off a little flurry of posts on the relation between Jesus and God in the context, particularly, of Luke’s narrative in Acts. The aim is neither to undermine nor defend Trinitarian orthodoxy. It is to try to imagine how the...

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6 Feb 2017

After the death of Judas the disciples decide that a replacement must be chosen to bear witness to Jesus’ resurrection. Two men are nominated, Barsabbas and Matthias. Luke then writes:

And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen (...

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2 Feb 2017

In Acts Luke tells a story about the mission of the early church first to Israel, then to the nations. The risen Lord Jesus features prominently in this story both as the content of the church’s preaching and as one who is dynamically involved in the direction and oversight of that mission.

Nothing suggests,...

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31 Jan 2017

Marc Taylor has taken issue with my argument that there is little scope for a “high christology” in Acts because the proclamation that Jesus is Lord is “accounted for almost entirely by reference to narratives found in the Psalms, in which Israel’s king is delivered by God and given authority to judge and rule over...

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25 Jan 2017

The question is put to me from time to time: How does the modern state of Israel fit into your narrative-historical schema? Does Israel still have a covenantal right to the land? It’s come up in passing, but I don’t think I’ve addressed the matter directly. Donald Trump’s apparent support for Israel and the...

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20 Jan 2017

There is a small number of texts in the New Testament that have been taken as evidence that in the earliest period Jesus was directly called “God”. John Tancock lists John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. I’ve discussed the two John passages and Romans 9:5 in other posts, though they go back a...

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