Old Testament Prophecy is Not About the Future (Mostly)
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…
What Is the Grand Story All About? – An Excerpt from the Story of Reality
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.
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…
“When They Approach the Old Testament, They Think It’s Boring”
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…
Tremper Longman, III on Studying Genesis
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…
An Exegetical Reading of the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11) – An Excerpt from John
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.
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”…
Hebrew and You with Lee M. Fields – Hebrew Poetry and Isaiah
According 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…
Why Are Jesus’ Genealogies in Matthew and Luke Different?
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 the line of David’s son Solomon, while Luke follows the line of Nathan, another Son of David. The end result is two distinct genealogies.
How do we account for this?
Some argue that either Matthew or Luke got it wrong. They created or borrowed a genealogy in…
What is the Purpose of the Book of Daniel? An Excerpt from the Story of God Bible Commentary
“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…”
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: God is in control, no matter how things look, and his kingdom will one day fill the earth. This message grows out of the…
Turning the Mind to Doxology – An Excerpt from The Triune God by Fred Sanders
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.
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…
Setting the Stage for the Gospel of John – An Excerpt from the Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
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.
EXPLANATION 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…