Recent Posts

  • E19: The Kingdom of God: A Brief Look at the Problem Passages


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    In this episode we work through some of the main passages in the Gospels referencing the kingdom of God that are commonly used to support realized eschatology.  Passages that describe the kingdom being “at hand”, the kingdom “coming upon you”, or the kingdom being “within you” are most easily understood within a Jewish apocalyptic framework.  Rather than Jesus and John the Baptist redefining or reimagining the common expectation of Jews in the first century, they simply affirm the words of the prophets about a future eschatological day of judgment and messianic kingdom.

  • E18: The Kingdom of God in Theological History


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    In this episode we briefly survey the history of interpretation concerning “the kingdom of God” in the New Testament. In particular, the last century has seen a surge of studies grappling with the first-century context of this controversial phrase. Various theological camps wrestle with the idea of the kingdom in different and often conflicting ways. In the end, Jewish apocalypticism makes the most sense of the vast majority of its occurrences in the New Testament.

  • E17: Introduction to the Jewish Apocalyptic Kingdom of God


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    In this episode we present an introduction to the “kingdom of God” as understood by a first-century Jew: the Davidic, messianic kingdom as presented by common Jewish expectation at the time.  Beginning with 2 Samuel 7 and the prophets then moving through the Targums and other Second Temple literature, we present a brief survey of the kingdom of God and the Jewish apocalyptic themes that accompanied the expectation of that kingdom. 

  • Why such an apocalyptic gospel?


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    This episode is a teaching that Bill Scofield gave in a small group setting. Beginning with an overview of how Jews came to think about eschatology in the first century, Bill goes on to develop John chapter 3 where he illustrates that Jews, including Jesus and his followers, maintained an apocalyptic eschatological framework. We hope it is an encouragement to you.

  • E16: Acts 15: The Jerusalem Council, part 3


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    In this episode we develop the quote of Amos 9:11-12 in Acts 15.  Rather than a redefinition of the prophets’ words about the Gentiles flowing to Jerusalem to worship the God of Israel, James quotes Amos 9 to affirm that the Gentiles turning to God in his time accords with the vision of the “eschatological pilgrimage” of the nations to Zion in the age to come. Like the cross and the Spirit, the novelty of God’s mercy being extended to the Gentiles is actually an affirmation of the apostles’ Jewish apocalyptic hopes.

  • E15: Acts 15: The Jerusalem Council, part 2


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    In this episode, we take a deeper dive into Acts 15 to understand the primary question that is being asked and the answer that is being offered.  We analyze three particular points in the passage that often create confusion: circumcision (v. 1, 5), “conversion” (v. 3), and the “yoke” (v. 10).  Rather than being an anti-Judaism or anti-Torah council, the apostles answer the question of what to do with the Gentiles who are turning to the God of Israel. 

  • E14: Acts 15: The Jerusalem Council, part 1


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    In this episode we give an overview of Acts 15 and the Jerusalem Council where the apostles gather to discuss the issues brought up recently by many Gentiles turning to the God of Israel. Rather than redefining the hope of Israel, the apostles conclude that the Gentiles can be saved from the wrath to come and inherit eternal life without becoming Jews. We work through an overview of the major themes surrounding the discussion in the passage.

  • E13: Acts 10: The Discipleship of the Gentiles


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    In this episode we explore Peter’s vision of the “great sheet” filled with unclean animals and the events which followed. Peter’s interpretation of the vision and the first sermon towards a Gentile audience are often interpreted within a redefined narrative of redemptive history which sees God establishing a ‘new people’. We revisit the events and the how they are described in Acts 10-11 to show that they are actually intended to reinforce the Jewish apocalyptic framework and the Gentiles’ place within that hope.

  • Q&A #2 with Bill, John, and Josh


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    Bill, John, and Josh tackle your questions in this second Q&A episode.  Topics include cross-cultural discipleship, why some solid Old Testament scholars reject first century Jewish eschatology, and how Jews perceived the destruction of the temple in light of Jesus’ words.  Don’t miss the “rapid fire” round at the end!

  • E12: The Death of Jesus Within Apocalyptic Thought, part 2


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    In this week’s episode we discuss the language that the apostles used to describe the effects of the crucifixion of the Messiah. Terms like justification, redemption, propitiation, and reconciliation were understood within the context of first-century Jewish apocalyptic thought, rather than in contrast to it or disconnected from it. Passages like 2 Cor. 5 and Romans 5 illustrate clearly that Paul had the day of judgment and the resurrection of the dead in mind when he was theologizing about the cross.