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

Trinity Sunday from the perspective of John in the throne room of God

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Rev. 5:6)

Is this a good example of what might be described as latent or incipient Trinitarianism in the New Testament—a vivid heavenly tableau in which God the Father and the Son are worshipped in the presence of the Spirit which speaks to the churches? Trinity Sunday is coming up, and we would do well to think about such things. In a spirit of orthodox generosity I would say, “Yes, but….”

7 Jun 2019

It appears that Catholics in Italy, France and Spain are getting revised translations of the Lord’s Prayer. The problem is the line “Lead us not into temptation”. The Pope complained in 2017 that this is a bad translation, not on exegetical grounds but on theological grounds:

It is not a good...

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6 Jun 2019

This monograph addresses the question, “How does Revelation interact with the Roman Empire?” As the subtitle suggests, it contributes especially to empire studies, which have typically offered the response that Revelation is anti-Rome or anti-imperial. However, Shane J. Wood argues that, although...

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5 Jun 2019

This piece by Andrew Bunt on the Think Theology site caught my eye. He takes issue with the now rather commonplace view that the Bible is basically a story, running from creation to new creation, and asks whether perhaps “the Bible is better understood as poetry.” His brief analysis is based on a TheoEd talk by...

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30 May 2019

There is an argument that when the Synoptic Gospels speak of Jesus coming to Israel, we must imagine him making a journey from heaven to earth to fulfil God’s purposes.

The demons ask Jesus, “Have you come here to destroy us?” (Mk. 1:24 par. Lk. 4:34; Matt. 8:29). Jesus says that he has come...

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23 May 2019

The last post on (re-)defining the kingdom of God in nine words elicited a couple of fair and well articulated objections to the narrative-historical approach on Facebook. I was invited to respond. The basic complaint, I think, is that the method is reductionist, leaving the church with too little to work with...

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21 May 2019

I know this has been a recurring theme here, but a concise statement about the kingdom of God on the Gospel Coalition site gives me another opportunity to stress the importance of a fundamental biblical-theological distinction, one that I have been making here for the last ten years and more.

It’s like...

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15 May 2019

It is sometimes argued that when Jesus laments over Jerusalem, saying, “How often I wanted to gather your children…” (Matt. 23:37), we should understand this as an assertion of his involvement “in the entire duration of Israel’s history.”1 In Simon Gathercole’s words, Jesus is portrayed in Matthew’s Gospel “as a...

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8 May 2019

In the previous post I put forward my reasons for doubting Michael Bird’s claim, in his anti-adoptionist polemic Jesus the Eternal Son, that Mark identifies Jesus as the “Lord” whose way is prepared by John the Baptist. Bird offers a number of further arguments in his chapter on “The Gospel of Mark and the...

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