In this episode we discuss the important figure of Moses, who takes on a unique authority in Second Temple literature, extending the narrative found in the Tanakh. Because of his special relationship with God, he is given unique revelation of the end times and the coming Messiah. Moses is also viewed as something of a precursor to the Messiah, one who will build God’s house and restore the kingdom to Israel.
- Who is Moses? (2:06)
- How Moses shapes the hermeneutic of the Tanakh and Second Temple literature – Acts 15:21; Deuteronomy 4:30, 31:29; 4 Ezra 14:3-5 (3:52)
- Moses’ prophetic authority – 2 Baruch 59:4-8 (12:00)
- The “angelization” of Moses – 1 Enoch 89:35-36, 90:28-28; Hebrews 3; Testament of Moses 9:6-10:5 (14:47)
- Moses as a precursor to the Messiah – Hebrews 11:23-31; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:22, 7:37; Antiquities 20:97-99 (21:19)
In this episode we look at Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons and how Second Temple Jews read and interpreted them. Particularly, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs gives us insight into how Jews framed the election and future of Israel. Jews at the time were not myopic nationalists who were unconcerned and uninformed about the nations, but rather they extended the Tanakh’s framework of the redemption of the nations by means of the salvation of Israel.
- Placing the New Testament language in the conversation of the day – Matthias Henze (2:18)
- Apocalypticizing Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Esau – 4 Ezra 6:7-10 (4:17)
- Introduction to The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs – Genesis 49:1; Testament of Levi 1:1; Testament of Benjamin 10:2-9; Romans 2:9-10; 1 Corinthians 15:51; Matthew 19:28 (6:52)
- Israel’s election for the sake of the nations – Testament of Levi 14:4; 14:8 (16:19)
- Resurrection and judgment at the end of the age – Testament of Levi 18:4-6; 18:10-14; Matthew 8:11; Testament of Zebulun 10:1-2; Testament of Judah 24:1-6; 25:1-4 (25:27)
- The language and concepts of the New Testament are not new – Matthew 12:32 (32:31)
Resource: Mind the Gap by Matthias Henze: https://amzn.to/388tuZn
Bill, John, and Josh tackle your questions in this fifth Q&A episode. Topics include realized eschatology, dispensationalism, and supersessionism, the Transfiguration, and the New Covenant.
- Are we “under” the kingdom of God now? (2:43)
- What do you think about Paula Fredriksen’s understanding of Romans 1 and “the resurrection of the dead”? (12:44)
- Could you explain more about the “eschatology of the American Dream”? (19:05)
- Does the Transfiguration as seen in Matthew 16 mean that the kingdom is present in some way? (28:32)
- What is fundamentalism? Are you guys fundamentalists? (37:47)
- Do you think there is a degree to which at least some of the better promises of the New Covenant can be “realized” among believers today?
In this episode we discuss how Jews in the Second Temple period framed Abraham within the apocalyptic narrative of redemptive history. The covenant with and election of Abraham was commonly understood in light of the eschatological judgment and the resurrection of the dead. Additionally, Abraham’s faith was also celebrated by Jewish writers of the period, but always in context to Israel’s eschatological hope. This helps us better understand the passages in the New Testament about Abraham and faith.
- Abraham and eternal life in Second Temple Literature (3:12)
- How Abraham is typically understood in modern Christian tradition (4:48)
- How Abraham is interpreted in light of the larger apocalyptic narrative – 4 Ezra 3; Apoc.
In this episode we interview Rabbi Joshua Berman, professor of Tanakh at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Rabbi Berman discusses some of his work related to critical scholarship and the Torah as well as some of his thoughts about Jewish election, the covenant, and the purpose of the Tanakh. He explains how through the election of Abraham, God creates a national culture among his descendants to be walked out as a holy people amidst the other nations. As an orthodox Jew living in the land, Rabbi Berman also gives his thoughts about the world’s present perception of Israel and what the future might hold for them as a people.… Read more
In this episode we discuss the election of Abraham and its development in Second Temple Literature and the New Testament. God’s choice of Abraham after the Tower of Babel is understood as the antidote for the idolatry and rebellion that had come to define the rest of the world. Rather than modern concepts of election as developed in the Reformation, Second Temple Jews and the apostles of Jesus maintain the native context of God’s choice of Abraham’s descendants in the administration of redemptive history.
- The context of the election of Abraham: the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11; LIB 6:4-5) (4:50)
- The covenant with Abraham: Genesis 15 (Joshua 24:1-2; Apocalypse of Abraham 15) (10:10)
- Israel’s calling to be a light to the Gentiles (Acts 13) (13:30)
- Turning from idolatry (Acts 17) (16:01)
- The “un-election” of Abraham?
In this episode we discuss the rebellion narratives found in early Genesis. In Eden’s garden in Genesis 3, in the consensual marriage of the sons of God and the daughters of men in Genesis 6, and at Babel’s tower in Genesis 11 we see not only a paradigm for the redemptive narrative, but also of the great judgment on the Last Day. We develop the consistent pattern that binds the narratives and the role that they all play in presenting a paradigm for the eschatological redemption.
- Transgression, limitation, and promise in Genesis 3, 6, and 11 (2:53)
- Genesis 3: Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the curse – Genesis 3:4-6, 14-19; Life of Adam and Eve 49; Wisdom of Solomon 2:24; Jubilees 4:29-30; 4 Ezra 3:7-11 (3:40)
- Genesis 6: The Nephilim and the Flood – Genesis 4:19; Genesis 6:2; 1 Enoch 15-16; 1 Enoch 65 (20:01)
- Genesis 11: The Tower of Babel – Jubilees 10:21; Wisdom of Solomon 10:5 (33:11)
- The promises – Genesis 3:15; Genesis 9:9; Genesis 12:1-3 (44:41)
Studies in Torah class from our friends in The ARK Network: https://www.thearknetwork.org/studies-in-torah-class/
In this episode we discuss creation as a paradigm for redemption. We looked at Genesis and the creation narrative as the seedbed of eschatological expectation in Jewish tradition. The Tanakh, like the later second temple Jewish literature, sees eschatological hope for everlasting life in context to a new heavens and a new earth. By the time of the New Testament writers, conversations related to eschatology and eternal life were conceptually inseparable from a renewed creation.
- Understanding creation as a paradigm for redemption (2:27)
- Creation and redemption in the Tanakh – Gen. 5; Ps. 90; Targum Ps.
In this episode we begin our discussion on Genesis and the Torah, highlighting some of the primary themes in the creation narrative of Genesis. While often read differently in our modern context than it would have been in the Ancient Near East as well as in second temple Jewish texts, the creation of the heavens and the earth sets the framework for divine sovereignty and for the future expectation of redemption.
- Genesis 1:1 and a brief history of interpretation: Platonic dualism (6:41)
- Modern ideas: flat earth, old/young earth (8:18)
- How did the Jewish people understand the heavens and the earth?
In this episode, we interview Dr. Matthew Thiessen, associate professor Religious Studies at McMaster University. We discuss the anti-Jewish bias often brought to the scriptures by traditional Christian readings of the Tanakh, and how this bias radically affects our readings of Jesus and Paul.
- How Dr. Thiessen got into New Testament studies (4:00)
- How Dr. Thiessen’s work has been aimed at anti-Jewish bias in Christian readings of the New Testament (7:02)
- A quick survey of anti-Jewish theology (10:04)
- Anti-Jewish Christian theology from the Holocaust onward (15:30)
- Anti-Jewish bias and our reading of Jesus (26:16)
- Anti-Jewish bias and our reading of Paul (38:01)