Showing posts with label New Testament. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Testament. Show all posts

Saturday, June 03, 2023

Mining the Minors: Habakkuk (9)

Psalm 110 and Isaiah 53 are among the most-quoted passages in the New Testament. However, if we break the quotations down to individual verses, Habakkuk 2:4 is also right up there, appearing on three separate occasions as evidence for three slightly different lines of theological argument.

Before we consider how the NT writers use it, however, we should probably consider the point Habakkuk was making in its original context.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Absence of Evidence and Evidence of Absence

“As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.”

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


The End of (Certain) Spiritual Gifts

Most scholars believe Paul wrote the words quoted above somewhere between AD54 and 55. All Christians can agree he is saying that certain spiritual gifts will cease to exist at some then-future date. The questions much disputed among believers boil down to when and why. Some people say tongues, prophecy and other gifts like them have already ceased. Others argue Paul is saying they will cease at the end of the church era when Christ returns. Perhaps, but if so, why not mention the cessation of teaching, service, hospitality, administration and the other gifts we still see on display in our churches?

Saturday, February 04, 2023

Mining the Minors: Micah (22)

Sometimes the writers of the New Testament directly quote the prophets of old. Other times, they make allusions or obscure, paraphrastic references to prophetic subject matter. Readers may find it a little more difficult to be confident about whether these really mean what people say they mean. There are also cases, I think, where the writers of the New Testament are said to have a particular Old Testament passage in mind, and on closer examination it turns out they were probably thinking of something else entirely.

Let’s finish up our study in Micah by examining a few such passages in the New Testament. Some of these we can be very sure of, others not so much.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Orderly Meditation: A (Very Late) Follow-Up

Quite some time ago, I wrote a post on the subject of the order of the books of the New Testament, which, as most of our readers are probably aware, is anything but chronological. I noted that I had decided to start reading the NT in the order it was written (as far as we are able to determine) on my next daily pass through the Bible “just to see how it goes”.

Time flies, and more than five years have passed since I wrote those words. I am just starting my eighth straight trip through the NT in chronological order, which seems as good a time as any to report on the experience.

I’m going to give it a big thumbs-up.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Orderly Meditation

Have you ever thought about why the books of our New Testament are ordered the way they are?

They’re not alphabetical, like a reference work. We can see that right away.

They’re definitely not completely chronological, like most novels or histories. Read the NT through a few times and that will certainly become evident. There is some evidence of chronology, certainly, in the sense that the four gospels come first, but Acts is a history that spans a period of decades during which most of Paul’s epistles were written. If we were able to determine precisely when each epistle was written, we might try to slot them in between chapters of Acts, but that would make for an awkward read.

Some have argued that the order is providential (in fact, in 1864, Thomas D. Bernard did that precisely), but good luck trying to make that case. You’d pretty much have to take that on faith.