I am not the first one to use the analogy of a puzzle in regards to Old Testament prophecy. Interpreters have remarked on how it is like a puzzle with missing pieces (due to the progress of revelation) or how one is putting the pieces together without the benefit of a picture on the box. But I was recently struck by how a puzzle might help to illustrate Zechariah 9. Consider the picture below picturing the first three Star Wars movies. Various scenes from all three movies are arranged into one picture. Just by looking at the picture, one would be hard pressed to know that significant time had passed between the various scenes or their exact order unless one were already familiar with the Star Wars' trilogy. In a similar way, it seems to me that Zechariah 9–14 presents an eschatological picture of Israel's redemption and restoration through the juxtaposition of various events related to the overall picture. Seen this way, one can understand how vignettes of Alexander's conquests, the Maccabean Revolt, and the First and Second Advents, etc. can form a collage of Zechariah's overall eschatological picture.
Mar 12, 2021
Old Testament Prophecy as a Puzzle
Mar 11, 2021
Psalm 41 Links
I have been working on a commentary on the Psalms. I have decided to compile some helpful links that I discovered during my research. It includes a mix of exegetical and sermonic links. Here is what I have for Psalm 41 (in no particular order). Feel free to mention any that you find helpful in the comments section.
Literary analysis of Psalm 41: http://psalmsstudy.com/psalms-literary-analysis-by-chapter/literary-analysis-psalm-41-blessed-adonai-god-israel-times-times-amen-amen
Analysis by C. J. Labuschagne: https://www.labuschagne.nl/ps041.pdf
William Barrick’s notes: https://drbarrick.org/files/studynotes/Psalms/Ps_041.pdf
David Guzik’s notes, “Psalm 41 – Prayer for Help in Sickness and Against Whispering Traitors”: https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/psalm-41
Mar 10, 2021
The Shapira Scroll
The New York Times have published an interesting article on the so-called Shapira Scroll. The article highlights the recent work of Idan Dershowitz, a scholar at the University
of Potsdam who argues (along with others) that the manuscript might have been ancient and authentic. I am a bit skeptical, but this is not my area of expertise. It will be interesting to see how the debate plays out. In any case, you can read the article for yourself here.
Mar 9, 2021
A "Biblical Fertility Amulet" Found in the Negev
This story is reports on a "biblical fertility amulet" found recently by an 11-year-old in the Negev. Here is a photo from the story. This is an interesting find but so much is unknown that caution needs to be exercised about calling it "biblical" and a "fertility amulet."
Mar 8, 2021
The Latest Issue of the Review of Biblical Literature
The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below but unfortunately you must be a SBL member to read them.
David Allen and Steve Smith, eds., Methodology in the Use of the Old Testament in the New: Context and Criteria
Reviewed by Maria Brutti
John Binns, The T&T Clark History of Monasticism: The Eastern Tradition
Reviewed by Robert A. Kitchen
Sarah H. Casson, Textual Signposts in the Argument of Romans: A Relevance-Theory Approach
Reviewed by David J. Neville
Brandon D. Crowe, The Hope of Israel: The Resurrection of Christ in the Acts of the Apostles
Reviewed by David M. Allen
Edward L. Greenstein, Job: A New Translation
Reviewed by James L. Crenshaw
Max J. Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries
Reviewed by Timothy A. Brookins
Jeffrey J. Niehaus, When Did Eve Sin? The Fall and Biblical Historiography
Reviewed by Mark A. O’Brien
Donald W. Parry, Exploring the Isaiah Scrolls and Their Textual Variants
Reviewed by Jacob Stromberg
Jordan D. Rosenblum, Rabbinic Drinking: What Beverages Teach Us about Rabbinic Literature
Reviewed by Claudia D. Bergmann
Joachim Schaper, Media and Monotheism: Presence, Representation, and Abstraction in Ancient Judea
Reviewed by Matthew Lynch