(how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference)
18 Nov 2017

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...

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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 new earth”, and “as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me” (Is. 65:17; 66:22...

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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 story on his Fifth Act Theology blog. He set out from the...

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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 order to come at the climax of Israel’s history, I made the point that actually Jesus has nothing to say about events on...

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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”, and the Son of Man would send out his angels to “gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven” (Mk. 13:24-27).

The “tribulation” is a...

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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 the title “the Son of Man”, familiar to a sufficient number of apocalyptically minded...

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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 the Gentiles? Is there any indication in the Synoptic Gospels that Jesus...

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