Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Come, Let Us Reason Together

So for my personal Bible reading, I've chosen to go with year B, which has a general focus on Evaluation. This year has some big hitter books since it follows the major prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and has Job, along with Romans following. The main reason I'm doing year B now is because this upcoming year at the seminary I will be having classes on both Isaiah and Romans. So I'd like to know at least dominate the Hebrew and Greek by the time we read them in class.

I have to say, so far in reading Isaiah, it's starting to become my favorite book. It might just be my favorite by the end...In a general way Isaiah seems to crystallize very vividly themes that occur throughout the Bible (and imagery!), and give a complete picture of what the biblical texts are about from sin and rebuke, to grace and forgiveness, from judgement to mercy, kingdom and covenant, new heavens and new earth, it's all there. I almost feel that it gives you the grand overview picture of "Act 3 Israel" as I have it on my page

Any scholar or pastor would admit it's a daunting book, and I like that. It's the second most quoted in the New Testament and a favorite in Second Temple Jewish literature for a reason. It's vivid. It's beautiful. It's mysterious. It gets to the heart of the matter. Israel, specifically Judah in many parts, failed to be God's light for the world. They failed to keep his covenant. But forgiveness is promised for the remnant one day, along with national and cosmic judgement of sin and injustice. God IS going to fulfill his covenant to Abraham in some way (I leave this vague on purpose...).


  1. I was going to complain after this part:

    "Judah in many parts, failed to be God's light for the world. They failed to keep his covenant."

    Because I understood that to be part of the Abrahamic (unconditional / 1-sided) covenant. Then I read the rest, and now I have no idea what to think...

  2. Well, succinctly put, God made a one-sided unconditional covenant to Abraham in Genesis 12-15 to basically bless all the nations of the earth through his seed.

    After God redeemed his people from slavery in Egypt (which he promised to Abraham would happen!), he made a conditional two-sided covenant and gave the Torah (instruction), which served to fulfill, in God's own way, the ORIGINAL covenant made to Abraham. This is key to Paul's line of thought in his letter to the Galatians, which is why, among myriads of other things, it's important to keep this Torah-sense and Mosaic history in mind when reading the word "law" (Greek νόμος).

    Central to Paul's thought, as outlined roughly in Romans 5-8, is how Israel was able to fulfill the Torah, thereby completing the covenant to Abraham, through a representative Israel, the Messiah Jesus. This is why Jesus' life is so key (whereas some traditions have focused almost exclusively on his death, thereby leaving out of almost useless most of the Gospels!).

    A decent popular level book which goes into this two covenant issue is this: One God, Two Covenants by Northwestern Publishing House, which is affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).


Reformation True

Reformation True
Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura