Articles

Individual versus Collective Retribution in the Chronicler’s Ideology of Exile by Gary Edward Schnittjer
Articles , Featured , Old Testament / July 12, 2019

Individual versus Collective Retribution in the Chronicler’s Ideology of Exile Gary Edward Schnittjer Gary Edward Schnittjer (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of Old Testament at Cairn University. He is author of The Torah Story (Zondervan). Abstract: It has long been argued that exilic and postexilic biblical writers shift from a model of collective accountability to that of individual accountability. The most notable example of this interpretation of Chronicles, exemplified by the Chronicler’s ideology of exile, comes from Sara Japhet’s work. Did the Chronicler “democratize” identity and responsibility to redefine the justice of God? Did the Chronicler follow some of the prophets before him, like Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and reframe retribution in terms of individual responsibility? Who is being punished in the Chronicler’s version of the exile? This study evaluates the most important evidence for retributive culpability in 2 Chronicles 36. The evidence does not support an individualistic model of retribution but a complex view featuring deferred judgment and cumulative culpability. Key Words: 2 Chronicles 36, Leviticus 26, Jeremiah’s seventy years, exile, retribution Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

The Future David of Psalm 101: Davidic Hope Sustained in Book IV of the Psalter by David ‘Gunner’ Gundersen
Articles , Featured , Old Testament / July 9, 2019

The Future David of Psalm 101: Davidic Hope Sustained in Book IV of the Psalter David ‘Gunner’ Gundersen David ‘Gunner’ Gundersen (PhD, Southern Seminary) is Lead Pastor at BridgePoint Bible Church in Houston, Texas. Abstract: Since Gerald Wilson published The Editing of the Hebrew Psalter, scholars have debated his proposal regarding the structure and message of the Psalter. Central to the debate is the role and status of the Davidic line in Books IV–V (Psalms 90–150). Many follow Wilson, arguing that the Davidic line and Davidic hope virtually disappear in these final two books. Others disagree, but they tend to emphasize royal and Davidic evidence within Book V. This paper explores the message and function of Psalm 101 within Book IV, arguing that its intra-book links, Davidic title, royal voice, lamenting tone, future orientation, inter-psalm allusions, and strategic placement make it a central psalm sustaining Davidic hope in Book IV. Therefore, the יהוה מלך psalms at the core of Book IV (93–100) do not elevate the reign of Yahweh only to castigate the line of David. The reign of Yahweh rather upholds the line of David, answering the suspicions of Psalm 89 where God was questioned because he had bound…

King Hezekiah in Isaiah by Paul R. Raabe
Articles , Featured , Old Testament / July 5, 2019

King Hezekiah in Isaiah Paul R. Raabe Paul R. Raabe is Professor of Biblical Studies at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. Abstract: The book of Isaiah presents three episodes that feature interactions between the God of Israel and King Hezekiah, Isaiah 36-37, 38, and 39. These three episodes give a complex portrait of this king of Judah. This essay explores the different sides to this complex portrait. Key Words: Hezekiah, Isaiah 36-39, trust, pride, contrast between kings Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Isaiah 7:12–16 — Cutting Down the Davidic Tree: Pivotal Point in the Israelite Monarchy by Peter J. Gentry
Articles , Featured , Old Testament / July 3, 2019

Isaiah 7:12–16 — Cutting Down the Davidic Tree: Pivotal Point in the Israelite Monarchy Peter J. Gentry Peter J. Gentry is Donald L. Williams Professor of Old Testament Interpretation The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Abstract: The focus of this brief study is the contribution and role played by Isaiah 7 within the plot structure of the Old Testament as a single, unified, literary work—as a whole. The main thesis is that the brief conversation recorded between Ahaz and Isaiah is a pivotal point in the narrative plot-structure of the Old Testament that causes the tree of the Davidic dynasty to be cut down. Key Words: almah, virgin, Immanuel, Davidic Covenant, Isaiah 7 Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

The Role of the Philistines in the Establishment of the Israelite Monarchy by Andrew E. Steinmann
Articles , Featured , Old Testament / June 27, 2019

The Role of the Philistines in the Establishment of the Israelite Monarchy Andrew E. Steinmann Andrew E. Steinmann is Distinguished Professor of Theology and Hebrew at Concordia University Chicago Abstract: This essay examines the portrayal of the Philistines in Judges and Samuel as vital to the establishment of a legitimate, divinely-authorized monarchy in ancient Israel. After an opening section that looks at the Philistines and their origins, the essay examines the Philistines as antagonists in the ongoing narrative concerning the establishment of a permanent Israelite royal dynasty as ultimately achieved under David. It is demonstrated that Saul failed in his responsibility to remove the Philistine threat from Israel, but David succeeded precisely matching Saul’s failures. After David’s reign the Philistines are largely absent from the narrative concerning the Israelite kingdoms—they have become simply one of the surrounding nations. Key Words: Israelite monarchy, kingship, Philistines, Caphtorite, Casluhite, Samson, Saul, David Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Monarchy in Judges: Positive or Negative? by Mary L. Conway
Articles , Featured , Old Testament / June 20, 2019

Monarchy in Judges: Positive or Negative? Mary L. Conway Mary L. Conway is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Abstract: There has been much discussion in the scholarly literature as to whether Judges is pro-monarchic or anti-monarchic. Gideon’s rejection of kingship and the disastrous rule of Abimelech have been used in evidence to assert that human kingship is not Yhwh’s preferred mode of governance. On the other hand, variations on the refrain “There was no king in Israel; each person did what was right in their own eyes” in the final chapters would appear to support the establishment of dynastic kingship. Reducing the issue of monarchy to an “either/or” situation, however, is to underestimate the message about kingship, and indeed leadership, that the book of Judges presents. Key Words: Judges, Monarchy, Kingship, Leadership, Anarchy. Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

A Biblical Theology of the Israelite Monarchy by Eugene Merrill

A Biblical Theology of the Israelite Monarchy Eugene H. Merrill Eugene H. Merrill is Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies (Emeritus) Dallas Theological Seminary Abstract: In undertaking a comprehensive Biblical theology, one must take account of each and every aspect of the biblical message and from the accumulated data distill its fundamental concepts and concerns, looking for a central theme if one exists. At the very opening of the sacred text and in the first recorded statement of God about mankind, he speaks of the purpose of his creation: “Be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion over all things” (Genesis 1:26-28). That mandate was never rescinded and the Israelite Monarchy was one of its most significant expressions. Key Words: Israel, Israelite Monarchy, Kingship, David Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Isaiah 53 in the Theology of the Book of Isaiah by Paul R. Raabe
Articles , Old Testament / September 17, 2018

Isaiah 53 in the Theology of the Book of Isaiah Paul R. Raabe Paul R. Raabe is Professor of Biblical Studies at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. He is the author of several works including the Obadiah commentary in the Anchor Bible series. He is currently working on a commentary on Isaiah in the Concordia Commentary series. Introduction: Critics attack the Christian faith in various ways, and their attacks gain a hearing. One such critic is Christopher Hitchens, a self designated “anti-theist.” He critiques Good Friday and vicarious redemption by asserting that accountability, responsibility, and guilt remain on the perpetrator and must always remain on the perpetrator. He claims it is non-transferable. In his view the notion of vicarious punishment leads the guilty to evade their own responsibility. With that critique in the background, I wish to explore the book of Isaiah, specifically Isaiah 53 within the theology of the book. To use the analogy of Irenaeus, all the pieces together form a beautiful mosaic of a majestic King. In the mosaic of Isaiah the central diamond is the Suffering Servant Song of Isaiah 53.3 In order to appreciate that central diamond we need to understand the overall design…

Unique Hermeneutical Issues in the Homiletical Treatment of Historical Texts: A Case Study on 1 Kings 21:1-29 by Brian Koning
Articles , Hermeneutics , Old Testament / September 13, 2018

Unique Hermeneutical Issues in the Homiletical Treatment of Historical Texts: A Case Study on 1 Kings 21:1-29 Brian Koning Brian M. Koning (PhD Student, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is an Adjunct Professor of Theology at Grand Canyon University Abstract: Any preaching of the Old Testament necessarily must face historical narrative passages. Properly handling these passages though presents certain unique difficulties, and often the texts are handled with substandard care. Traditional Aristotelian three-point sermons seem arbitrary or forced upon the text and do not capture the heart of the message. There is tension in handling historical narratives between moralizing the story to bring it from “then” to “now”, and treating it as a merely historical item of note. This article seeks to study the elements and methods of hermeneutics unique to historical texts with an eye towards proper preparation for homiletical use. What follows seeks to be a distillation of methodology on hermeneutics in general, towards a direct application to historical texts. It will be argued that to rightly handle the text, expositors must appreciate the text as both historical and redemptive in nature. Exegeting from that starting point will lead the expositor to work along the textual, epochal, and canonical…

Exegesis by Story: The Disciplined Imagination of the World of Scripture by Mike Baird
Articles , Hermeneutics / September 11, 2018

Exegesis by Story: The Disciplined Imagination of the World of Scripture Mike Baird Mike Baird is Professor Emeritus, College of Theology, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona. Abstract: This paper is about a method of exegesis, an exegetical procedure. It addresses the issue of reading the text in a way that respects and takes seriously all three traditional foci of interpretation, the author, the text, and the reader in one holistic approach to interpreting the text. Thus, the core issue is the focus of exegesis of the text (Is it the world of the reader or of the author?) and the locus of meaning (Is it in the text or in the mind of the reader?). Exegesis should focus on the lifestory of the text (or passage of Scripture) as the primary context. The life-story is the reconstructed story behind and revealed in the passage. The life-story provides the common ground for the author, text, and reader to interact in a holistic way in the work of the exegete. Underlying this method is the assumption that the passage represents and reveals the world of the ancient community of faith, which can be imaged in such a way that the modern reader…