Old Testament

Is It Wrong to Draw Moral Lessons from OT Figures?

"It’s important to distinguish between 'moralism' and 'morality.' One is anti-gospel, the other is a byproduct of the gospel. Moralism focuses on outward behavior and is generally encouraged for personal profit and reputation. Moral transformation and conformity to the will of God is rooted in the fear of God, the pleasure of God, and is demonstrably tied to the Word of God." - TGC

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The “Day of the Lord” in the Old Testament

The Day of the LORD in the Old Testament1

The expression “the Day of the Lord” is sometimes thought to refer to the time of the end of this age.2 Unquestionably, there are passages which do refer to the eschaton, and we shall look at them, but not every usage of the phrase can be slotted into the last days—the locust plague in Joel 1 being a case in point.

In Joel 1 the Day of the Lord speaks of Yahweh using things in the natural world to punish His people. Four descriptions of the locusts are given in Joel 1:4 and 2:25 (which could describe four separate varieties of locust). This appears to tie together Joel 1 and 2. Additionally, Joel 1:6 depicts the teeth of the locusts as lion’s fangs, which is figurative, so we must take into account similes when reading about the appearance of the army in Joel 2:4 as like horses.3 For reasons such as these, Thomas Finley believes that Joel 1:5- 2:25 describes a contemporary locust infestation.4

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Did OT Believers Go to Sheol?

Reposted, with permission, from DBTS blog.

Despite many advances over the last century in archaeology and biblical backgrounds, together with a growing field of studies in biblical theology, consensus concerning ancient Israel’s perspective of the afterlife remains elusive. The view that conscious life continued after death was pervasive not only in ancient Israel but throughout the ancient Near East. Defining and conceptualizing Sheol in the OT and in Israel’s social practices, however, remains a notorious difficulty.

In the past half-century surprisingly few detailed studies of Sheol have appeared. Among these, most scholars conclude that the ancient Israelites believed that all the dead went to Sheol. In contrast to this understanding, however, a number of biblical passages appear to hold out hope for the deliverance of the godly from Sheol (Gen 5:24; 2 Kgs 3:3–10; Job 14:13; 19:25–26; Ps 16:10–11; 49:15; 73:24; Prov 15:24; 23:14; Hos 13:14). In studying these latter passages, I have come to the conclusion that ancient Israel, from the perspective of the biblical text, and likely also within its social-cultural practices, distinguished the destinies of the righteous versus the wicked in the afterlife. The righteous were understood to ascend to God for a beatific afterlife replete with continued fellowship and joy, while the ungodly were seen to descend to the gloomy underworld known as Sheol to await future judgment by God.

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New Lachish Find Adds Fuel to the Debate: Is the Bible Accurate?

"The find of 10th-century BCE fortifications of Lachish supports the Bible but not all archaeologists are convinced. ...Traditionalists, also referred to as maximalists, claim the Biblical descriptions of a complex and powerful Davidic Kingdom based in Judea in the 10th-century BCE are accurate.

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Did New Testament Writers Misread the Context of Old Testament Passages?

"Sometimes NT writers cite or allude to the OT in ways which, at first blush, seem to disregard the context or, worse, to alter its meaning. This leads many readers of the NT to wonder if its authors were always faithful to the original intent of these passages." - DBTS Blog

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Review: “The Old Testament,” by Richard Hess

Image of The Old Testament: A Historical, Theological, and Critical Introduction
by Richard S. Hess
Baker Academic 2016
Kindle Edition 825

Richard Hess is an Old Testament professor at Denver Seminary who has distinguished himself with a brace of high quality studies and commentaries. These include a notable Commentary on Joshua in the Tyndale series, and a book on Israelite Religions. This work of Old Testament introduction competes with the works of Hill & Walton, Longman & Dillard, Arnold & Beyer, as well as older books by Gleason Archer and R. K. Harrison.

In The Old Testament Hess reviews each book of the Hebrew Bible providing an outline, an overview of the contents, a helpful section on “Reading” each book, which is divided into “Premodern” and critical readings; the latter being particularly useful. There is then a section on “Gender and Ideological Criticism,” Ancient Near Eastern and Canonical context, Literary structure, Theological themes, and a brief annotated bibliography. Overall, the style is highly readable and informative. The chapters are enhanced with black and white charts, diagrams, maps, photos, and insets focusing on pertinent topics.

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Why the Old Testament Matters

In this excerpt from his book, Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament, Walter Kaiser explains why the Old Testament should be emphasized more in local churches:1

Let it be affirmed right away that the central theme of both the Old and New Testaments is Christ. Did not our Lord rebuke the two disciples on the road to Emmaus on that first Easter Sunday afternoon for their failure to understand that he was the one to whom all the Law, Prophets, and Writings pointed (Luke 24:25–27)?

Indeed, while the prophets were ignorant of the time and the circumstances surrounding the coming of the Messiah (1 Pet. 1:10–12), they were clear about five things: (1) they were writing about the Messiah; (2) they knew Messiah would suffer; (3) they knew Messiah would also be glorified and that he would triumph; (4) they knew the suffering would precede the glory; and (5) they knew that they were speaking not only to their own generation but to all of us who would come later, such as those in the church in Peter’s day.

Therefore, the prophets’ bewilderment about their lack of knowledge as to the precise date of the appearing of Messiah should not be taken as proof that the prophets spoke “better than they knew,” or that they often spoke in ignorance of what they wrote.

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