Book Review of Anthony Thiselton’s “The Holy Spirit—In Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today.”

Expect another post in the “Where Heaven and Earth Meet” series soon. For now, I present the following book review:

Thiselton, Anthony. The Holy Spirit—In Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. 565 pages. 

thiselton

In The Holy Spirit—In Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today, Anthony Thiselton aims not only to produce a “thorough biblical and historical study of the Holy Spirit in systematic form,” but also to initiate and develop “a mutual dialogue with Pentecostals and those influenced by the Renewal Movement” (ix). Thiselton, for the most part, achieves these aims in a modest 565 pages (considering the magnitude of the topic).   Continue reading

How Temple Theology helps us Understand the Incarnation.

In study 2 we reviewed the theology of the temple in Jerusalem. In particular we templestudied how Solomon’s prayer at the temple dedication (1 Kings 8) demonstrates a belief that God’s true dwelling was in heaven, despite being able to manifest the Glory presence in the temple. A parallel account of the temple dedication in 1 Kings 8 can be found in 2 Chronicles 5-7.

Study Series Intro: Over the next several months I will be posting a series of group bible studies on the Bible’s sacred places. Each study focuses on what these sacred places reveal about the character of God and how these places point to God’s ultimate self revelation in Jesus Christ.

Let’s review the temple dedication and Solomon’s prayer by reading 2 Chronicles 5:5-6:3; 6:18-21.

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Study 2: From Drapes to Walls, the Moving Tabernacle Becomes a Fixed Temple.

Although the tabernacle served Israel well as they wandered the desert and begantemple to establish a nation in the Promised Land, the eventual establishment of a territorial kingdom called for a more fixed sacred place. King David sought to build such a temple in Jerusalem, but the task was completed by his son Solomon. Continue reading

Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Studies on the various “houses of God” described in the Christian Bible. Study 1.

Study Series Introtab modelOver the next several months I will be posting a series of group bible studies on the Bible’s sacred places. Each study focuses on what these sacred places reveal about the character of God and how these places point to God’s ultimate self revelation in Jesus Christ. Though supported with deep research, this work is written for the average adult and structured for use in a discussion group setting. Thought provoking material equally balances discussion questions to encourage readers to discover important theological concepts for themselves.

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Study 1. From Places to Place: God Draws near to His People.

 

Before diving into Hebrew ideas about sacred places, it is helpful to look at the ancient world in general. The ancient Near East was predominately polytheistic, and people generally considered sacred places as points of contact between heaven and earth, between a god and his/her earthly followers. Continue reading

Study Bible notes are helpful: A case study of the Wind-Spirit play-on-words in John 3:8

Study Bibles with reference notes have become very popular in the last few decades. While the common refrain of “my Bible says in the notes . . . ” has derailed many group discussions, Bible study notes do more good than harm. These notes often provide helpful cultural or linguistic information to help modern readers understand the author’s intended meaning. One example of this benefit is found in Jesus’ well-known interaction with Nicodemus in John 3.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 3:6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 3:7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’ 3:8 The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (NET Bible)wind wheat

Those who have not studied Greek usually do not realize that in
this passage the English word “spirit,” “Spirit,” and
“wind”are translations of one Greek word: pneuma.
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Sermon on John 20:31. (Проповедь: Ин. 20:31)

Below is a copy of one of the sermons I preached in Ukraine. This sermon is also available as a PDF on the page devoted to John’s Gospel. (Вы можете скачать эту проповедь в файл PDF на странице «ЕВАНГЕЛИЕ ОТ ИОАННА»)biblia

Сие же написано, дабы вы уверовали, что Иисус есть Христос, Сын Божий,  и, веруя, имели жизнь во имя Его.

Введение: я преподaвал курс по Евангелию от Иоанна в Запороской Семинарии. Мы обсуждали многие вопросы, связанные с Евангелием от Иоанна: автор, структура, цитаты из Ветхого Завета, и многие другие вопросы, которые теперь у нас нет времени обговоривать. Поэтому я хочу поделиться с вами только одиним вопросом, который мы обсуждали в курсе – цель написания Евангелия от Иоанна. В отличии от некоторых других библейских авторов, Иоанн ясно сказал почему он написал своё Евангелие. Нам важно понимать эту цель, потому что Иоанн не просто собрал кучу случайных историй и учений об Иисусе, у каждого из которых была своя собственная цель. Но Иоанн имел общую цель. Все написано чтобы способствовать этой цели. Нам важно и необходимо понимать не только значение каждого отдельного стиха, но и общее значение и цель книги, потому что они оба содержат истины, они оба вдохновленны Духом Святым. Continue reading

Structure of John’s Gospel (English version)

I posted an outline of the Gospel of John in Russian a few days ago. You can find the English version below and as a PDF on the page devoted to John’s Gospel.biblia

Gospel of John Outline

 

Prologue: 1: 1-18        The eternal Word enters the world.

 

Part 1: Testimony and Signs (1:19 – 12:50)

1:19-34: John testifies Jesus is the Son of God.

1:35-51: Jesus Gains Followers.

 

From Cana to Cana, signs 1-3. (2:1 – 4:54)

2:1-12: 1st sign, water into wine.

2:13-22: 2nd sign, Clearing & Establishing the Temple.

2:23-3:21: Nicodemus, re-birth to eternal life.

3:22-36: John’s last testimony.

4:1-26: Messiah offers living water to Samaria.

4:27-42: Samaritan Belief & Testimony.

4:43-54: 3rd sign, healing a Nobleman’s Son.

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СТРУКТУРА ЕВАНГЕЛИЯ ОТ ИОАННА

(Вы можете скачать эту информацию в файл PDF на нашей новой странице «ЕВАНГЕЛИЕ ОТ ИОАННА»)   biblia

СТРУКТУРА ЕВАНГЕЛИЯ ОТ ИОАННА

 

Пролог: 1:1-18           Вечное Слово вошло в мир.

 

Часть 1: Свидетельство и Чудеса (1:19 – 12:50)

1:19-34: Иоанн свидетельствует что Иисус есть Сын   Божий.

1:35-51: Иисус привлекает учеников.

 

Кана цикл, чудеса 1-3. (2:1 – 4:54)

2:1-12: первое чудо, вода в вино.

2:13-22: 2-е чудо, очищение и создание Храма

2:23-3:21:Никодим, перерождение в вечную жизнь.

3:22-36: последнее свидетельство Иоанна.

4:1-26: Мессия предлагает живую воду в Самарии.

4:27-42: Самарийская вера и свидетельство.

4:43-54: 3-е чудо, исцеление сына царедворца.

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The Fragmentary Dead Sea scrolls as Mad-libs

I recently rediscovered an amusing four-year-old blog post from my dissertation writing days. I was studying the Dead Sea scrolls, and apparently I was studying a bit too hard. In the pages of the ancient Dead Sea scrolls, I was thinking of Mad-libs.  Here is the post :

I am currently at page 1221 of Martinez and Tigchelaar’s The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (Martínez, Florentino García and Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar. The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition. 2 vols. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).  Although the study edition is organized well, with the Hebrew on the left page and English on the right, the nature of the scrolls can make the reading a bit tedious. Many of the scrolls are fragmentary and have lacunae. These gaps make it difficult to discern what the author was trying to say.  I find myself trying to “fill in the blanks” when words are missing. At first, these attempts to fill in the blanks were serious endeavors.  I soon realized that I really had no idea what belonged in those gaps. dssmadlib

Filling in the missing words reminded me of “Mad-libs”.  When I was a child, my brother and I often took Mad-libs on long trips to pass the time.  Mad-libs are little booklets that contain stories with missing words (examples at http://www.madlibs.com).   The fun happens when someone fills in the blank spaces with random words so that something zany and silly results.  Call it unscholarly, but some of the Dead Sea scrolls make great Mad-libs.  Try it out for yourself!

11Q18 (11QNew Jerusalem)

Fragment  7:  [____] on all the offspring of the children of [___] . [____] who shall eat [____} for them around [____]  hundred and fifty [____] on [____].

Fragment 11: [____] its four [____] were four cubits high [____]   [____] the … near the wall which surrounds [____] its width is two cubits and its height is two cubits [____]  and all is pure gold which [____] . [____]  of columns, turning from door to door [____] from door to door in the city-wall [____][____] with panels [____].

To browse through pictures of the Dead sea scrolls, visit: http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/.