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

Recent comments

Evangelicals and the narrative-historical method: three questions

Miguel de Servet replied to Andrew Thank you for the correction on Romans 1-2 and 2 Thessalonians 2. You seem to be unintrested (or oblivious) about the historical-theological relevance of the survival of the Israelites for nearly 2000 years, without a national homeland. In your post Will all Israel be saved? Hurtado and Wright, you dismiss the historical-theological relevance of the present day State of Israel as an “American... (8 February, 2019 - 02:49)
Andrew replied to Miguel de Servet I see no relevance of Romans 1-2One of the things that Paul asserts in Romans 1-2 is that there will be wrath against the Jew first, then the Greek. Like the Paul of Acts 17:30-31, he believes that the God of Israel will sooner or later judge the idolatrous Greek(-Roman) world through a man whom he has appointed.2 Thessalonians 2 speaks not so much of judging or ruling, but of parousia.Seriously?... (7 February, 2019 - 23:18)
Miguel de Servet replied to Andrew … “raised to the right hand of God” was a reference both to the resurrection (“raised”) and the ascension (“to the right hand of God”). OK You don’t think Jeremiah would have felt vindicated by the Babylonian invasion, the destruction of the city, and the exile of the Jews? Or is Jeremiah also “embarrassingly anti-Semitic”? There is a difference. Jeremiah limits in time the rule of... (7 February, 2019 - 01:57)
Andrew replied to Miguel de Servet You omit even to mention the Resurrection, which, for the Apostles and then for Paul was the turning point.Well, yes, it’s all rather condensed, but “raised to the right hand of God” was a reference both to the resurrection (“raised”) and the ascension (“to the right hand of God”).As for the “vindication within a generation”, it is your peculiar (biased) reading and to construct the destruction... (6 February, 2019 - 23:51)
Miguel de Servet @ Andrew A quick reconstruction of the story A quick bulleted list of comments, in reply “Israel was in a state of moral and religious crisis, and, in the words of John the Baptist, the axe was already laid to the root of the trees” => OK “Jesus was the Son sent to the vineyard of Israel, at this critical historical moment, to proclaim the imminent intervention of God to judge and reform his... (6 February, 2019 - 21:35)

About whom does the prophet say this?

Randall McRoberts replied to Phil L. I agree. PSA is found nowhere in scripture.  (8 February, 2019 - 02:07)
Miguel de Servet replied to Andrew In fact, this is an excellent opportunity for you to enlighten us all, with a brief critical excursus, on what “has happened since Duhm” … (8 February, 2019 - 02:05)
Phil L. replied to Randall McRoberts Those are some very good photos, Randall.  I especially like the building ones, and “Crow” could almost be a book cover.  But I also have a soft spot for crows, so…. I understand why you said what you said, but I think PSA (as usually stated, anyway) isn’t to be found in the Old Testament, either. (8 February, 2019 - 01:34)
Andrew replied to Miguel de Servet Well, one could say that your research seems to be stuck in the past. A lot has happened since Duhm. (7 February, 2019 - 22:47)
Andrew replied to Randall McRoberts Nice photos, Randall!That’s a good observation. If there is any basis for a doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement, it has to be found within the story of Jesus’ anticipation of the wrath of God against his people. He quite literally suffered the punishment that would befall the Jews 40 years later. In the background is Isaiah 53, Danel 7-12, and the stories of the Maccabean martyrs.... (7 February, 2019 - 22:45)
Miguel de Servet No beating about the bush, let’s get to the crunch, shall we? The prophet Isaiah, in his s.c. “servant songs” (identified by the German scholar Bernhard Duhm in 1892 in his “The Book of Isaiah” [Das Buch Jesaja]) seems to speak of an individual (in fact this understanding is consistently supported by the NT - not “tradition”, BTW - which identifies this individual with Jesus). But, in... (7 February, 2019 - 22:10)
Randall McRoberts replied to Phil Ledgerwood It would only sound like Jesus if penal substitution were your thing. (7 February, 2019 - 22:09)
Phil Ledgerwood Good stuff, Andrew. In rethinking some of these things over the years, I think this adds a lot of explanatory power for how the OT is used in the NT and gives us clues of how we might do the same for our context. If we go through the whole “this is a prophecy of that” method of using the OT to talk about Jesus, about the only thing we can establish is that prophecy is pretty cool. “Look, here,... (7 February, 2019 - 16:31)

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

Miguel de Servet replied to Miguel de Servet P.S. Much preparatory work can be found here, but … be careful … (7 February, 2019 - 22:48)
Miguel de Servet replied to Phil Ledgerwood Why dont you show how succesfully you have been “influenced by Andrew Perriman’s thoughts” and provide a narrative-historical interpretation of Zechariah 9:9, that does away, once and for all, with the abusive use of this verse in Matthew (in particular the fake aetiological connection that this gospel pretends to establish at Matt 21:5)? (7 February, 2019 - 22:34)
Phil Ledgerwood replied to Miguel de Servet I am paying attention to what you say.  What you say is littered with barbs, accusations, and insults.  Those are not tones of voice I’m reading into your words; those are things you’re actually saying. And it does remind me a lot of the original Servetus who sent scores of unsolicited, sneering letters articulating his position.  I think he was treated unjustly, but he sure didn... (7 February, 2019 - 18:05)
Miguel de Servet replied to Phil Ledgerwood I don’t know if you’re trying your best to emulate the real Servetus (and that didn’t work out exceptionally well for him in terms of persuasive power), but it definitely does not lead me to believe you have correctly apprehended the Scriptures. Interesting comment about the “real Servetus”, his irksome interactions, his poor “persuasive power”. And his final demise burned at the stake, thanks... (7 February, 2019 - 17:23)
Phil Ledgerwood replied to Miguel de Servet “Sorry if you feel offended?” You know, you would probably have a lot more productive conversations with people if you dropped the sneering contempt.  I don’t know if you’re trying your best to emulate the real Servetus (and that didn’t work out exceptionally well for him in terms of persuasive power), but it definitely does not lead me to believe you have correctly apprehended... (7 February, 2019 - 15:41)
Miguel de Servet replied to Andrew … It’s certainly possible that Isaiah had in mind an individual, but in context I think that the collective interpretation makes better sense. That the Suffering Servant of Isaiah was always understood by Christianity as a prophecy pointing to Jesus is confirmed from the NT, Acts 8:26-40. Here is an extensive list of verses from Isaiah’s  “servant songs” and their => quotations or... (7 February, 2019 - 10:31)
Andrew replied to Miguel de Servet Fair enough. Here’s why I’m not convinced by your argument against the collective interpretation of the suffering servant passage. It’s certainly possible that Isaiah had in mind an individual, but in context I think that the collective interpretation makes better sense.1. I don’t think that the alternative to seeing the suffering servant as an individual is to see him as ‘a collective “messianic... (7 February, 2019 - 10:29)
Miguel de Servet replied to Phil L. Sorry if you feel offended, but there is no doubt that Philip referred Isa 53:7-8 to Jesus, NOT to Israel. And, as you can see, Andrew says, “Jesus was a suffering messiah”, NOT something like “Israel was symbolized as a suffering Servant of YHWH”. (7 February, 2019 - 02:17)
Phil L. replied to Miguel de Servet That was a very rude thing to say. (7 February, 2019 - 00:46)
Miguel de Servet replied to Phil Ledgerwood Your point is basically, “I can’t imagine this imagery that applies to a single person could apply to a corporate entity.” I wonder how you would have explained Isaiah 52:13-53:12 to the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40), if he had asked you, but I suspect that he wouldn’t have asked you to baptize him, at the end.   (6 February, 2019 - 23:51)
Miguel de Servet replied to Andrew If he’s interested, I addressed the question of the identity of the suffering servant in “Who was the suffering servant of Isaiah 52:13-53:12?” As you are obviously not interested in confronting my post, I will look at yours and comment on it. I am afraid this this will further add to your backlog. (6 February, 2019 - 21:49)
Andrew replied to Phil Ledgerwood Hi Phil. I’m not too bothered by the self-promotion, but the intensity and number of “Miguel’s” comments has surprised me, and I’m having trouble keeping up. I also checked out his piece on the suffering servant and was unconvinced by the argument. The whole point of a metaphor is that it is not literally like the object of comparison. If he’s interested, I addressed the... (6 February, 2019 - 21:42)
Phil Ledgerwood replied to Miguel de Servet As an observer, I don’t know that you’re invading the blog, but it does look somewhat like self-promotion.  A slew of contra-comments on a wide variety of posts in a short amount of time doesn’t look very much like an honest invitation to discussion. It worked, though, because I did hop over to your blog to read the article you mentioned and thought it was unimpressive.  Your... (6 February, 2019 - 18:04)

Who will recline at table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven?

peter wilkinson replied to Andrew But all we have is not simply the gospels, and the subsequent story as told in Acts and letters does show that Gentiles were included in the (new) covenant. It would be very odd to say that the Gentile ministry of Jesus had nothing to do with this; rather it encourages a very different view of the centurion story from your own,  the many coming to take their places at the feast with the... (7 February, 2019 - 17:56)
Miguel de Servet replied to peter wilkinson I believe the prophets were inspired, but not in a simply literal sense. [a] The narrative historical perspective doesn’t work, as the world could clearly see that Israel had been destroyed, certainly by 135 AD, and any kind of future based on her key symbols and boundary markers was finished. What the nations could see was the end of Israel’s hopes, not their fulfilment. [b] The NT provides no... (7 February, 2019 - 16:22)
peter wilkinson replied to Miguel de Servet The prophets (unwittingly) clothed their (universal) inspiration in national garb Your summary of alternatives is thoughtful. I believe the prophets were inspired, but not in a simply literal sense. The narrative historical perspective doesn’t work, as the world could clearly see that Israel had been destroyed, certainly by 135 AD, and any kind of future based on her key symbols and... (7 February, 2019 - 10:36)

Who was the suffering servant of Isaiah 52:13-53:12?

Miguel de Servet … it seems certain that he [the suffering servant] is understood to have received the punishment merited by the wider community. This, in my view, is the basis for the idea of penal substitutionary atonement, but specifically and necessarily as part of the Jewish narrative: Jesus’ unjust execution at the hands of the Romans anticipated the punishment that was to come justly upon rebellious... (7 February, 2019 - 12:27)