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

Digging for deeper meanings that don’t exist

Jerel Kratt has been making a vigorous case against my suggestion that Isaiah 60-66 describes an enhanced but essentially historical future for Israel that was not fulfilled, either in the decades after the return from exile or in the events narrated in the New Testament.

He thinks that Isaiah was not talking about a new Jerusalem on earth but a new Jerusalem in heaven. I don’t see anything in the text to support that contention.

17 Nov 2017

In “21 reasons why the coming of the kingdom of God was not the end of the world” I stated that “There is no new creation in the Old Testament…, only kingdom.” There are, however, two explicit references to new creation in the Old Testament, both in the third part of Isaiah: “For behold, I create new heavens and a...

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14 Nov 2017

I recently took part in a recorded conversation with Matt Hartke for Justin Brierley’s Unbelievable? programme on Premier Christian Radio. It will be broadcast and made available on podcast some time in the next few weeks, I believe.

Matt has been on a long journey of faith and theology. You can read his...

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7 Nov 2017

In Matthew and Mark Jesus speaks of events in the heavens prior to the revelation of the Son of Man: the darkening of sun and moon, the falling of the stars, the shaking of the powers of heaven (Matt. 24:29; Mk. 13:24-25). In response to Dale Allison’s argument that Jesus expected a literal remaking of the natural...

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2 Nov 2017

Shortly before his arrest in Jerusalem, as Mark tells the story, Jesus made a prediction: after a period of severe tribulation the sun and moon would be darkened, the stars would fall from heaven, the powers of heaven would be shaken, people would see “the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory”,...

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23 Oct 2017

I’m a little mystified by Larry Hurtado’s argument about “the son of man” as an “Obsolete Phantom”.

He is taking issue with the now rather dated view that when Jesus spoke of “the son of man”, he was referring to someone other than himself, namely a heavenly, eschatological redeemer figure bearing...

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17 Oct 2017

I argued last week that Jesus believed that his mission would lead not to a fundamentally new people of God, following the destruction of national Israel, but to the restoration and renewal of Israel, on the basis of repentance and Jesus’ atoning death, under a new covenant and a new régime.

But what about...

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12 Oct 2017

I saw a comment on a Reddit thread which said that this blog “takes a conservative unitarian view of things”, adding, “It’s very well-argued.” I also get accused of being a Preterist from time to time, though not so much recently. I understand how the misunderstandings arise, but I want to make it clear that, as...

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9 Oct 2017

My response to Peter Wilkinson’s attempt to show from Matthew’s Gospel that Jesus had no thought of reforming or restoring Israel as a nation has grown too long to post as a comment. My contention, more or less in agreement with Caird and Wright, is that the Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels announced a coming judgment...

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