Noteworthy Book – Hidden but now Revealed: A Biblical Theology of Mystery by G.K. Beale & Benjamin L. Gladd

The relationship between the Old and New Testaments is notoriously complex, and there are a variety of different ways of approaching the issue. I believe that one of the most fruitful is studying how the New Testament authors quote from, allude to, or echo Old Testament texts. Yet even when one does this, the way that NT authors interact with OT texts can often seem strange. At times they seem to assert that certain events fulfill what was promised in the OT, yet when one reads the OT text(s) in question it can sometimes be hard to see it.

Enter the new book by G.K. Beale and Benjamin L. Gladd: Hidden but now Revealed: A Biblical Theology of Mystery.

They use the concept of “mystery” as their entry point for exploring the relationship between the OT and NT. They define mystery as:

the revelation of God’s partially hidden wisdom, particularly as it concerns events occurring in the “latter days.”

Their starting point is how the term is used in Daniel, since that sets the foundation for how it is used in the NT. From there Beale and Gladd look at specific occurrences of the term mystery in Early Judaism, Matthew, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, and Revelation. They also include chapters on the concept of mystery in the NT where the specific word does not occur, as well as the difference between mystery within Christianity and the pagan mystery religions.

Also of note is an appendix by Beale entitled, “The Cognitive Peripheral Vision of Biblical Authors.” It tackles the thorny issue of cases where the NT authors appear to draw meaning from an OT text that goes beyond the conscious intention of the OT human author.

As a Ph.D student at Wheaton College, I had the privilege of learning from Dr. Beale, as well as become good friends with Ben (who was studying under Beale). I can think of no two men better qualified to trace the theme of mystery and tease out the implications for our understanding of the Old and New Testaments.

You can find an early review of the book here. It promises to be a significant contribution to our understanding of biblical theology and how the Old and New Testaments relate to each other.

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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains the value of the torment of the soul:

6305. The torment of the soul suffered by God-fearing Christians is highly useful and a good experience for flesh and blood. He who has never experienced it knows nothing. That is why all the Psalms in each and every verse use nothing but temptation, anguish, affliction, and a book full of the torment of the soul. The tormenters of the Holy Fathers (Patriarchs) arise out of the most basic admonishments in the first tablet of the Ten Commandments, such as Saint Hieronymous’ [Jerome] torments of the flesh (p. 447).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Week 12 – Conclusion and Review

Now that we have reached the end of our journey through Jeremiah, we spent our final class period reflecting on what we have learned about God, humanity, and redemption. It was a great discussion of what God was doing in people’s lives through the timeless message of Jeremiah.

On a personal note, I think the most significant insight I gained was seeing a glimpse of imputation in Jeremiah I had never noticed before. In Jer 23:5 YHWH promises to “raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shalll reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.”  He will be called “The LORD is our righteousness” (23:6).  Later in Jer 33:15 God reiterates this promise of a righteous Branch from the line of David. But in this passage it is Jerusalem that is given the name “The LORD is our righteousness” (33:16). The righteousness of the righteous Branch is given to the people whom he redeems. As such it aligns with what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Interested in hearing more? You can listen to the audio below and follow along with the handout:

Week 12 -Conclusion and Review (Handout)

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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains what the Law accomplishes:

1167. The Law [Ten Commandments] is no help in seeking redemption. When it is correctly understood, it brings about doubt, when it is not correctly understood, it produces heretics. When the Gospel is misunderstood, it brings about overly secure people, when correctly understood, pious people. The only purpose of the Law is to establish limits, to keep people upon Christ’s path. Externally, it has the same effect as any other political law (p. 323).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Week 11 – God Destroys Jerusalem (Jer 52:1-34)

As we come to the final chapter of Jeremiah, we find a simple (albeit extended) narrative description of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, as well as the exile of a remnant to Babylon. The chapter is nearly identical to sections of 2 Kings 24-25, and this material may have been added by Baruch to the end of the book as a way of confirming the truthfulness of Jeremiah’s prophetic words.

But the chapter ends with a note that Jehoiachin, the last Davidic king, was given a seat at the king’s table and a daily allowance. By ending the book this way, Jeremiah leaves us on a note of hope that the Davidic line remains alive; God’s promises will be fulfilled. We see this come to fruition in Jesus Christ, who according to Matthew 1:11 was a descendant of Jehoiachin (also known as Jechoniah).

Because I was in San Diego for the ETS conference this past week, I asked my former student and good friend John Sloat (you can follow him on Twitter @John_Sloat). So the voice you hear is his, but there is no handout. Enjoy!

 

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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains how the Holy Spirit makes believers brave:

6896. Just as the Holy Spirit is stout-hearted, and scorns death and all danger, so are true Christians, in whom the Holy Spirit resides, brave and resolute. For a Christian is defiant, and proclaims: “If God does not want me alive, then I will die; If he does not want me rich, then I will be poor.” But the Devil’s spirit deceives and makes one depressed. That is why God speaks defiantly to the snakes and Pharisees, the hypocrites, as he said in Deuteronomy 28:63: He will rise up and bring destruction. (p. 388).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Announcing: Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo

Last night at a dinner celebrating the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Committee on Bible Translation (responsible for the NIV Translation), I had the distinct privilege of presenting a Festschrift to my doctoral mentor and friend, Doug Moo. For those who don’t know what a Festschrift is, it is a volume written to honor a scholar who has made significant contributions to his/her field. So along with Jay E. Smith, I edited Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo , a volume of essays on various aspects of Pauline studies, published by Zondervan. We managed to assemble an outstanding team of former students, colleagues, and prominent Pauline scholars.

It is available for purchase here at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Diego. It should be available for purchase through the usual outlets within a matter of days. (When links become available I will post them on the blog).

Here is a look at the table of contents:

 

 

9780310494805 confidential confirst proof (w Carson 7-18-14) 5

 

9780310494805 confidential confirst proof (w Carson 7-18-14) 6

 

 

Here were my comments when presenting Doug with this volume:

God calls us to show honor to whom honor is due, and that is what Jay and I are here to do tonight for Doug Moo. Over the course of his academic career and ministry in the church, Doug Moo has proved himself to be a faithful servant of Christ and steward of God’s mysteries. During his years at Trinity and Wheaton Doug has prepared countless men and women for gospel ministry. Both of us had the privilege of doing our doctoral work under Doug’s supervision: Jay while at Trinity and me while at Wheaton. He proved to be a terrific mentor, blending high expectations and critical analysis with timely encouragement.

Doug is well-known for his numerous biblical commentaries that are models of careful exegesis, thoughtful theological analysis, and wise pastoral application. The clarity of his prose is matched by his commitment to represent the views of others in terms they themselves would recognize.

Doug’s most significant contributions as a scholar center on two primary areas: Pauline studies and Bible translation. He has actively engaged the complex issues surrounding the New Perspective on Paul, as well as the relationship between the Mosaic Law and the gospel. And of course we are here tonight because of Doug’s role as the chair of the Committee on Bible Translation. In this capacity he has overseen the production of the most recent revision of the New International Version released in 2011. In this role, Doug has proved an able advocate of the NIV, carefully explaining the rationale for various decisions of the CBT and graciously responding to critics.

So for the past four years, Doug, Jay and I have been secretly working behind your back to produce a Festschrift as a small token of our love and appreciation for you and your faithfulness as a servant of Christ and steward of God’s mysteries. We have assembled an outstanding team of former students, colleagues, and prominent Pauline scholars to write on various subjects focused on Pauline studies and translation issues. So it is our distinct honor to present this volume to you tonight.

 

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Week 10 – God’s Judgment on the Nations (46:1-51:64)

Whereas Jeremiah 34:1-45:5 focuses on God’s judgment on Judah, chapters 46-51 describe his condemnation of the nations. Among the nations that receive special attention are Egypt (ch. 46), Moab (ch. 48), and Babylon (chs. 50-51). Yet in the midst of these oracles of judgment there are glimpses of hope. YHWH will not bring Judah to a complete end (47:27-28) but rather restore them (50:4-10, 17-20), and his salvation will extend to the nations in the latter days (46:27; 48:47).

As believers we have been saved through judgment. By faith we have died with Christ, been buried with him, and raised with him to new life. In him we have experienced a mini-“day of YHWH” in which our sins have been judged and we have emerged vindicated with Jesus through his resurrection.

Want to hear more? You can listen below and follow along with the handout:

Week 10 -God’s Judgment on the Nations (Handout)

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Mondays with Marty

In this week’s installment from Off the Record with Martin Luther, Luther explains how Christ rewards his servants poorly in this life:

272. Christ is incomprehensible in this life, because He rewards his best and truest servants very badly, so that I am forced to say, “I really don’t know what I am doing, whether I am preaching the truth or not.” That is what tormented Paul and the martyrs as well, as he [Paul], in my opinion, did not have much to say about it, for who can imagine what it was like, where he says in 1 Corinthians 15:31: “I face death every day.” Christ also had His temptations.  (p. 396).

DISCLAIMER: The views reflected in this quote do not necessarily reflect those of the author of this blog. This quote is shared in the interest of edification, education, and/or humor.
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Week 9 – God Judges Judah Part 2 (Jer 40:1-45:5)

This week we worked through the the second part of a section (34:1-45:5) that details God’s judgment on Judah. Jeremiah 40 picks up the story in the days after Babylon destroyed Jerusalem. Although Jeremiah is given his freedom, he is quickly caught in the middle of the drama that unfolded. Gedaliah, the Judean governor appointed by the Babylonians, is murdered by Ishmael, a Judean rebel. Eventually Ishmael is forced to flee to Ammon, but the remaining Judeans fear retribution from Babylon for the death of Gedaliah. Despite YHWH’s warning through Jeremiah not to do so, the remnant heads for Egypt. Despite the judgment they survived in Judah, the people persist in their rebellion.

Along the way we see God’s remarkable promise to be with his people to save them (Jer 42:11), which anticipates God being with us in the person of Jesus to save us from our sins (cp. Matt 1:21-23). We also see that we must allow God’s Word to interpret our circumstances rather than allow our circumstances to trump God’s Word

Want to heear more? You can listen to the audio and follow along with the handout below:

Week 9 -God Judges Judah Part 2 (Handout)

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