N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Part 8 (the Priesthood of Believers)

dayrevolutionbegan

N. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplishes our salvation.

We are all priests

It’s subtle — almost invisible in the English — but in Gen 1 and 2, God ordains Adam and Eve as priests in his cosmic temple.

(Gen. 2:15 ESV)  15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

The words translated “work” and “keep” are used in the Law of Moses to describe the work of the priests. Continue reading

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N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Part 7 (God’s Temple under the Covenants; the Intersection of Heaven and Earth)

dayrevolutionbegan

N. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplishes our salvation.

Covenant and Temple

Adam and Eve worshiped God in the temple of the Cosmos — Creation.

Abraham had no physical temple. He built altars as he felt the need to worship God.

Moses built the tabernacle as the place for God to be worshiped and for sacrifice to be made. After the tabernacle was built, we no longer read of sacrifices being made to God apart from the tabernacle or Temple. God insisted that he be worshiped in this one, special location. Continue reading

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N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Part 6 (the Image of God; Covenants)

dayrevolutionbegan

N. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplishes our salvation.

Image of God

A theme that appears several times in the NT is the idea that Jesus is the “image” of God the Father, and that Christians are being transformed by the Spirit into the “image” of Jesus.

(Rom. 8:29 ESV)  29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 

(2 Cor. 3:17-18 ESV)  17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

(Col. 1:15 ESV)  15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

In Gen 1:26-28, God declares that he’ll create man (male and female) in his own image and likeness, and he gives mankind dominion over the Creation. In an ANE temple, the god to worshipped is represented in the temple by a statue or “image” — which is installed as the next to last step. The final step is for the god to “rest” in the temple (Psa 132:8, 14). Continue reading

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Archaeology: Recent Discoveries Regarding the Hebrew Alphabet

ophel-inscriptionI’ve come across two fascinating articles regarding work done by Douglas Petrovich regarding the Hebrew alphabet.

From 2013: Oldest Hebrew writing in Jerusalem corroborates Hebrew history.

Wine jars found in the foundation of a building from around 1000 BC in Jerusalem (the biblical dating of David or Solomon) have an early form of Hebrew. Read the article for other implications.

showimageFrom 2016, Expert claims inscriptions from Egyptian exodus proves Hebrew is world’s oldest alphabet, from the Jerusalem News. Fox News has a similar, slightly longer report.

Egyptian Middle Kingdom inscriptions have been newly translated. If the translations stand up to scholarly scrutiny, the carvings make reference to Moses and other names found in the OT.

Petrovich said he subsequently translated 16 more Hebrew inscriptions from four other ancient slabs discovered in Egypt and Sinai, including one from 1446 BC, which describes Moses as a figure heralded by the ancient Jews shortly before he led the exodus from Egypt.

“I absolutely was surprised to find the Moses [reference], because he resided in Egypt for less than a year at the time of his provoking of astonishment there,” Petrovich told Foxnews.com.

After exhaustive research to determine if the combination of letters could have other meanings, the researcher said he eliminated all possible options.

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N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Part 5 (Inheriting the Earth; the New Heavens and New Earth)

dayrevolutionbegan

N. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplishes our salvation.

The land becomes the entire earth

Over time, the OT Prophets interpreted God’s promise to Abraham to bless the nations as expanding the inheritance to include the entire planet. After all, if all the nations would be blessed through Abraham, and if this inheritance included land, that inheritance would have to be the entire earth.

Thus, by the time of Jesus, Jesus could say, “The meek shall inherit the earth,” and be entirely consistent with the Second Temple understanding of Torah and inheritance. His audience knew exactly what he was talking about. Continue reading

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N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Part 4 (Inheritance; Jubilee)

dayrevolutionbeganN. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplishes our salvation.

Inheritance

The Torah often speaks of the “inheritance” that the Israelites would receive, being the Promised Land. In English, “inheritance” is what you inherit from someone who dies. In this case, “inheritance” refers to a gift from God to the Israelites. When the Promised Land was conquered, the land was divided among tribes, clans, and families, so that each family received its own plot of land to cultivate and become self-sufficient.

More especially, for a people who were once enslaved, they now would own a piece of real estate that their children could inherit. They could be self-sufficient financially and improve their holdings to benefit their children — at last!

The land/inheritance was so important that the Torah required land that was sold or foreclosed to be returned to the original family every 50th year (the Jubilee) — guaranteeing all Israelites an inheritance so long as they lived in the Promised Land. Continue reading

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N. T. Wright’s The Day the Revolution Began, Part 3 (Heaven)

dayrevolutionbeganN. T. “Tom” Wright has just released another paradigm-shifting book suggesting a new, more scriptural way of understanding the atonement, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. Wright delves deeply into how the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus accomplishes our salvation.

Heaven

The Bible uses “heaven” to refer to the sky as well as to where God lives — but these weren’t considered the same thing.

The point of the Temple—this is where I want to develop considerably further what was said in the earlier volumes—is that it was where heaven and earth met. It was the place where Israel’s God, YHWH, had long ago promised to put his name, to make his glory present. The Temple, and before it the wilderness tabernacle, were thus heirs, within the biblical narrative, to moments like Jacob’s vision, the discovery that a particular spot on earth could intersect with, and be the gateway into, heaven itself. In the later period, even synagogues could sometimes be thought of as meeting places between heaven and earth; how much more the actual Temple.

The Temple was not simply a convenient place to meet for worship. It was not even just the ‘single sanctuary’, the one and only place where sacrifice was to be offered in worship to the one God. It was the place above all where the twin halves of the good creation intersected. Continue reading

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