In this episode we discuss the books of Joshua and Judges and how they are understood in second-temple apocalyptic literature. Though not often talked about, when they are referenced, they are assimilated into the later apocalyptic tradition. The lack of references is also discussed in light of apocalypticism downplaying synergism and human involvement in ultimate salvation. Similarly, the rise of the martyrdom tradition in second-temple Judaism coincides with the development of apocalyptic hopes.
- Why are Joshua and Judges placed with the prophets in the Hebrew Bible? (4:23)
- Joshua and Judges in Jewish apocalyptic literature: 2 Baruch 53-74; 59:1-2; 60:1-2; 1 Enoch 85-90; 89:39-42; Acts 7; 13 (7:03)
- The elephant in the room: divine sanctioning of warfare and the killing of God’s enemies (14:55)
- The apocalyptic tradition minimizes synergism and human partnership with God in bringing the redemption: Isaiah 63:1-6; Zechariah 14:2-3; Daniel 2:44-45; Deuteronomy 32:36; Daniel 12:7 (18:51)
- Martyrdom in the apocalyptic tradition: Daniel 7; 2 Maccabees 6-7 (32:27)
- Martyrdom, Jesus, and the apostles: Matthew 16; Luke 9; Revelation 7 (36:59)
In this episode we look more deeply at Deuteronomy and highlight how the Covenant and the Law are projected into the future both within the book of Deuteronomy as well as by later Jewish writers. Deuteronomy describes a cycle of covenant breaking, exile, repentance, and return that later becomes the foundation for Jewish eschatological conviction. This cycle thus becomes the engine of the apocalyptic hermeneutic in the second-temple period and in the New Testament.
- Projecting the covenant and the law into Israel’s future – Daniel 9:11-13; 2 Maccabees 6:12–16 (1:40)
- The “covenantal cycle” of transgression, exile, repentance, return – Jeremiah 1:1, 11-12; 2 Kings 22:8; Ezekiel 1:1-3 (12:44)
- The cycle will not go on forever – Deuteronomy 4:30-31, 30:1-6, 6:6, 10:16; Jubilees 1:21-22 (19:26)
- Apocalyptic eschatology is built on the assumption of God’s faithfulness to the covenant – 4 Ezra 5:23-29; 4 Ezra 6:18-20 (27:14)
- The New Testament and the covenantal projection – Romans 9-11; Romans 11:11-16; Deuteronomy 32:18–21 (37:00)
In this episode, we give a brief overview of the book of Deuteronomy. We discuss some of the major themes of covenant, law, and land as we survey the book chapter by chapter. The book of Deuteronomy is often neglected in Christian tradition, but it was foundational for the oracles of the prophets and later the teachings of Jesus and the apostles.
- Why an overview of Deuteronomy? (2:39)
- Deuteronomy 1-3: A review to reframe history toward a particular conclusion (4:36)
- Deuteronomy 4: Covenant, Law, and Land projected into the future (10:08)
- Deuteronomy 5: The Decalogue, Shabbat (17:00)
- Deuteronomy 6: The Shema (19:40)
- Deuteronomy 7: Israel’s election (22:46)
- Deuteronomy 8-11: Remembrance of God and his righteousness (24:44)
- Deuteronomy 12-26: Legal matters, kings and prophets, and how the Law is often misunderstood (33:02)
- Deuteronomy 27-28: Mount Ebal blessings and curses (45:39)
- Deuteronomy 29-30: Covenant renewal and future restoration (48:25)
- Deuteronomy 30: Joshua commissioned (51:10)
- Deuteronomy 31-34: Song of Moses, the final blessing, and Moses’ death (52:09)
In this episode we look at several themes in the book of Numbers that are pushed forward apocalyptically by second-temple literature and the New Testament. Many events in the Book of Numbers–for example, the manna, the snake on the pole, and the wanderings of Israel in the wilderness–are interpreted typologically within a Jewish apocalyptic framework. Though typology has been used throughout church history to change the Jewish hope, Jesus and the apostles simply assume an apocalyptic narrative when they speak of people and events from the Tanakh typologically.
- An overview of Numbers (1:58)
- Manna in Numbers 11: 2 Baruch 29:5-30:2; Matthew 6; Psalm 78:25-28; 2 Corinthians 5:1-2; Midrash Rabbah on Eccl.
In this episode we look at how Second Temple Jews, Jesus, and the apostles understand and project forward the major themes of Leviticus. Similar to how other themes in the Tanakh are “apocalypticized,” offering and sacrifice, the priesthood, and the calendar of feasts and holidays are understood in light of apocalyptic eschatology. For Jesus and the apostles, the major themes in Leviticus reinforce their native worldview and apocalyptic expectations rather than redefine them.
- EP Sanders: Jews had multiple interests (7:33)
- Leviticus: offerings and sacrifices – Leviticus 5:17-18; 1 Enoch 19:1; Isaiah 1:11; Malachi 1:10; Jeremiah 6:20; 2 Enoch 45:3-46:2; Psalm 51; Hebrews 9:26-28 (9:25)
- Leviticus: the priesthood – Leviticus 8-10; Leviticus 10:10-11; Exodus 19; Ezekiel 44:23; 11QMelch; 2 Enoch 71-72; Psalm 110; 1 Peter 2:5-12; Acts 3; Acts 21; Acts 23 (21:02)
- Leviticus: the calendar – Leviticus 23-25; Exodus 23; 1 Enoch 72-82; Jubilees.
In this episode we discuss how Second Temple Jews understood Moses and Mount Sinai. The giving of the Torah accompanied by angels, the revelation of the age to come, and the projection of Sinai eschatologically are all presumed by Jews at the time. These ideas, for example, are reflected in the account of the Mount of Transfiguration and in encounters with angels throughout the New Testament.
- Moses and Mount Sinai: The involvement of angels – Jubilees 2:1; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2; Acts 7:53; Deuteronomy 33:2; 4Q377.2.11 (1:20)
- Angels revealing the New Jerusalem and Israel’s eschatological future – 2 Baruch 4:4-6 cf.
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.