What Do the Prophets Say about the End Times?

ZA Blog on 7 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

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This post is adapted from The Message of the Prophets, a new online course taught by J. Daniel Hays. For a limited-time, save $20 on your sign-up price. Learn more.

When most people think of prophets, they think about prediction of events that will happen in the future.

But did you know? Only a fraction of prophetic literature actually concerns the future—as little as 8 percent, according to Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart.

However, that small fraction of predictive prophecy presents us with some of the Bible’s greatest interpretive challenges.

The main interpretive challenges for us regarding the predictive aspects of the Old Testament prophets can be grouped around six central issues:

the land the near view/far view phenomenon conditional prophecy…

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Old Testament Prophecy is Not About the Future (Mostly)

ZA Blog on 7 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

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This post is adapted from The Message of the Prophets online course, taught by J. Daniel Hays.

When many people think about prophecy, they think about predictions about the future. For modern Christians, this usually means predictions about how the world will end.

But this wasn’t what the prophets in the Old Testament thought—or how they were heard.

Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart write:

“Less than 2 percent of Old Testament prophecy is messianic. Less than 5 percent specifically describes the new-covenant age. Less than 1 percent concerns events yet to come in our time.” 1

So if the prophets aren’t talking about the future, what are they talking about?

Most of the material in the prophetic books relates to the indictment of Israel and Judah for breaking the Mosaic…

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What Is the Grand Story All About? – An Excerpt from the Story of Reality

ZA Blog on 8 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

9780310525042“We are hungering for the thing we were made for. We are hungering for God’s Kingdom.”

In today’s excerpt from The Story of Reality, Greg Koukl explains that the main point of the story is God’s Kingdom. Read further to find out about our participation in it.

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Did you ever wonder how to sum up the main theme of the Bible accurately in a single, simple concept? It’s right there in the first line: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Put simply, the Story starts with a Sovereign who creates a domain he benevolently rules over…There is a kingdom.

This is what the Story is all about. The main theme…

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“When They Approach the Old Testament, They Think It’s Boring”

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We recently sat down with Gary Schnittjer to talk about why the Pentateuch is often read less frequently than other parts of the Bible, as well as some ways to encourage and deepen your study of the Pentateuch. Take a look:

One of the problems Christians have when they approach the Old Testament is they think it’s boring.

I think especially a book like Leviticus or Numbers or Deuteronomy—they’re not often read and studied carefully by Christians. They seem irrelevant and get sort of stirred up together. People say, “Well luckily Jesus…

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Tremper Longman, III on Studying Genesis

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We recently sat down with Tremper Longman to discuss some of the challenges in studying the book of Genesis. Take a look at what he had to say:

Genesis, like the rest of the Old Testament is a difficult book for us as twenty-first Christians to understand. After all, we’re distant from this book in many ways.

For one thing, it’s an ancient book. This is a book that was written three thousand five hundred years ago and has many strange and ancient customs.

The book of Genesis is also distant from us in terms of culture. It was…

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An Exegetical Reading of the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) – An Excerpt from John

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Today’s excerpt is from the Gospel of John, the newest installment in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

Written by Edward W. Klink III, the excerpt below from John 2:1-11 is an example of how each passage is interpreted in the light of its biblical setting, with a view to grammatical detail, literary context, flow of biblical argument, and historical setting.

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johnzecntJohn 2:1 – 11

Literary Context

The careful and lengthy introduction to Jesus by means of a prologue (1:1 – 18) and a two-pericope introduction to the narrative proper (1:19 – 51), along with the careful articulation of the completion of the first “week”…

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Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields – Hebrew Poetry and Isaiah

ZA Blog on 8 months ago. Tagged under ,,,.

isaiahAccording to Duvall and Hayes in Grasping God’s Word , more than one-third of the Old Testament is written in the form of poetry. (373) Modern English versions usually mark off poetry by punctuation, namely, by arranging into poetic lines rather than a continuous running text. This helps us identify poetic sections, but there is still more to understanding Hebrew poetry.

Hebrew and English poetry often use the same devises, e.g., rhyming, figures of speech, forms of parallelism, rare words or forms. But the may use them to different degrees or ways. Of course, it is oftentimes impossible to translate poetic features. Knowing some Hebrew can help us appreciate what authors are doing.

In this post, let’s look at two features, sounds and…

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Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?

ZA Blog on 9 months ago. Tagged under ,,,,.

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This post is adapted from the Four Portraits, One Jesus online course, taught by Dr. Mark Strauss.

The birth narratives in both Matthew and Luke help answer the question, “Who is Jesus and where did he come from?” One of the ways each book does this is by recounting Jesus’ genealogy.

The problem is: the genealogies are different.

The Old Testament predicted that the Messiah would come from the line of David. Both Matthew and Luke provide genealogies of Jesus that confirm he was a descendent of David—therefore, a legitimate Messiah. He was a legitimate claimant to the throne of Israel.

But they differ in an important way: Matthew follows…

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What is the Purpose of the Book of Daniel? An Excerpt from the Story of God Bible Commentary

ZA Blog on 9 months ago. Tagged under ,,.

“The book of Daniel is often read for its contribution to our understanding of end-times events, but sometimes Christians have been so obsessed with this that we have missed its main message…”

In today’s excerpt from the most recent edition in The Story of God Bible Commentary series, author Wendy L. Widder examines the real purpose and theology of the book of Daniel

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danielsgbcThe book of Daniel is often read for its contribution to our understanding of end-times events, but sometimes Christians have been so obsessed with this that we have missed its main message: God is in control, no matter how things look, and his kingdom will one day fill the earth. This message grows out of the…

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Turning the Mind to Doxology – An Excerpt from The Triune God by Fred Sanders

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Today’s excerpt is from The Triune God, the second volume in our New Studies in Dogmatics series. Within, Fred Sanders seeks to retrieve the riches of the classical doctrine of the Trinity for the sake of a contemporary evangelical audience.

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Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the9780310491491_image Holy Ghost! As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

The glory of God is from everlasting to everlasting, but while the praise of the Trinity will have no end, it had a beginning. There was never a time when God was not glorious as Father, as Son, and as Holy Spirit. But there was a time when that singular glory (singular because, to gloss the Athanasian Creed, there are…

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Setting the Stage for the Gospel of John – An Excerpt from the Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

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Today’s excerpt is from the gospel of John, the newest installment in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

Written by Edward W. Klink III, this volume treats the literary context and structure of the gospel in the original Greek, and provides an original translation based on the literary structure. 

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9780310243601_imageEXPLANATION OF THE TEXT

The prologue of John is the cornerstone for the entire Gospel, the lens through which the Gospel must be read. It is of great importance that the magnificent language and imagery of the prologue not detract the reader from grasping its functional significance for explaining and directing the rest of the Gospel.

IN DEPTH: The Prologue

Beginnings of ancient books were important. In recent years scholars have…

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