The Beginning of Days: A Response to Jeremy Lyon’s “Genesis 1:1–3 and the Literary Boundary of Day One” by John B. Carpenter
Articles , Old Testament / December 28, 2021

The Beginning of Days: A Response to Jeremy Lyon’s “Genesis 1:1-3 and the Literary Boundary of Day One John B. Carpenter John B. Carpenter Carpenter (BA Samford University, MDiv Fuller Theological Seminary, ThM Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, PhD The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago) is the founding pastor of Covenant Reformed Baptist Church in Danville, Virginia Abstract: Jeremy D. Lyon, in his essay “Genesis 1:1–3 and the Literary Boundary of Day One,” claimed that Genesis 1:1-2 is meant to be read as part of day one and that this interpretation “reflects the grammar and syntax in the most straightforward manner” and is supported by “inner-textual commentary” (that is, other parts of the Bible). He helpfully focuses on the most crucial issue for young earth creationists: whether Genesis 1 allows for long periods of time between the creation ex nihilo (out of nothing), in Genesis 1:1, and the beginning of the days, in 1:3. Following the work of Weston Fields, Lyon offers a grammatically impressive defense of a crucial issue for defending Young Earth Creationism (YEC), that Genesis 1:1-2 is “circumstantial;” that is, that it describes the circumstances at the dawn of day one. However, his conclusion about the circumstantial…

Understanding and Applying Exodus 19:4-6: A Case Study in Exegesis and Theology by Jason S. DeRouchie

Understanding and Applying Exodus 19:4-6: A Case Study in Exegesis and Theology Jason S. DeRouchie Research Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary [email protected] / Perhaps more than any other single text, Exodus 19:4–6 provides the Bible’s clearest and simplest snapshot of God’s revealed purpose for the old covenant. This essay seeks to interpret this passage within its immediate and broader biblical context, understanding and applying it as the Christian Scripture God intended (Rom 15:4; 1 Cor 10:11; 2 Tim 3:16–17; 1 Pet 1:12). The study also supplies a case study in exegetical and theological inquiry following the twelve steps outlined in my book, How to Understand and Apply the Old Testament.[1] Recognizably, the nine steps of exegesis and three steps of theology are all interrelated, and distinguishing them is somewhat artificial to the process of interpreting the Bible. Nevertheless, using a single passage to walk through the twelve steps should help students understand better the various aspects of exegesis and theology that are necessary for rightly handling God’s word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). Read the full article: Understanding and Applying Exodus 19:4-6: A Case Study in Exegesis and Theology [1] Jason S. DeRouchie, How…

Idolatry: A Rhetorical-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy 4:15-16, 23 by Joshua K. Smith
Articles , Old Testament / November 22, 2019

Idolatry: A Rhetorical-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy 4:15–16, 23 Joshua K. Smith Joshua K. Smith is a Ph.D. student in theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary The biblical injunction against פסל (“graven images”) in the rhetoric of Deuteronomy 4 serves as a foundational text in framing the central idea of the second commandment for a further intertextual study of idolatry in the Scriptures. Exodus 20:4 provides a prohibition against idolatry; Deuteronomy 4 provides the theological rationale for such a prohibition. The formless image juxtaposed to the auditory revelation of the LORD at Horeb posits concern for fidelity to the covenant as Israel encounters Canaanite cultures whose static representations of deities were prevalent and authoritative. The polemics in the Bible against idolatry are rooted in two primary concerns: (1) fidelity to the covenant made at Horeb, and (2) the substitution and worship of creation instead of the Creator. In order to examine the nature and meaning of idolatry in Deuteronomy 4:15-16, 23, this study will employ a rhetorical-critical analysis of the specific framing structures, literary patterns, discourse, and logic in the text. Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Individual versus Collective Retribution in the Chronicler’s Ideology of Exile by Gary Edward Schnittjer
Articles , 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 , 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 , 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 , 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 , 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 , 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