While Jesus clearly did many signs throughout his ministry (2:23; 6:2; 20:30), most scholars agree that there are seven signs that are emphasized in the Gospel of John, but only six are universally identified.
“He said to him, ‘Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.’ And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.” (Genesis 15:9-11)
When Abram asked for a sign concerning the Lord’s promise concerning an heir, the Lord carried it out with animals slain and displayed upon the Land. In the Covenant-literary structure of Genesis 15, the animals were slain and laid out at “Pass-over,” and the Lord’s chariot (as a Head and Body) “passed-through” at Atonement, (matching Pass-over” chiastically) picturing Joshua and Israel entering Canaan. (See Pass-over and Pass-through, and compare the charts on pages 93 and 115 of Bible Matrix.)
What is also interesting is the “architecture” of the sacrifice. We do not know which animals were considered “clean” by the Lord in Noah’s time, but the number of sacrificial animals was now limited to five. They correspond to the architecture of the Tabernacle. If we include Abram in his deep sleep (as a “covering”) and the birds of prey representing the curse of the Law, in the following diagram we have the complete “footprint” of the humaniform house made entirely out of birds and beasts.
The letters to the pastors of the seven churches in Asia are a prophecy of the history of the Church, according to dispensationalist Bible teachers. For interpreters who are committed to a “literal” hermeneutic, this is bending the rules in the direction of a “literary” hermeneutic, which is excellent. However, they apply the letters to the wrong future, and overlook the obvious allusions to the past.
What is the referent of “body of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 11:29?
“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”
The first verses of 2 Thessalonians 2 have been an unnecessary battle ground. The Day of the Lord would not come until after the Man of Sin had been revealed. This reasoning seems obvious to Paul. It should be obvious to us if we know the early chapters of Genesis and their corporate expression in Israel’s festal calendar.
An online acquaintance asked: “There’s a hermeneutical method that’s been used on this site called ‘systematic typology’. What is it? How does one apply it? Are there contexts where it is considered to be a particularly good or particularly bad fit? Where can one go to learn more about it? And where does it come from? (Who developed it, and based on what?)
In this final post on the structure of Ephesians, we will cover stage 6 (Conquest/Atonement) and stage 7 (Glorification/Booths). (Unfortunately, I can’t refer to them as cycles because there are 8 cycles, as previously discussed.)
A common interpretation of the “armor of God” relies on the assumption that Paul is using the kit of a Roman soldier as a metaphor. This shows how fragmented is our understanding of the Bible, an organic text which is not fragmented at all, and not reliant upon the various contemporary cultures anywhere near as much as we assume. The armor in Ephesians 6 is that of a priest, a priest with a sword, fulfilling his guard duty at the gate of God.
“And, most heartbreaking, most breathtaking of all, is His willingness to actually become the veil, the flesh that was torn away to reveal the “naked” mind of the Father, the unhidden face of His mission for a bride for His Son.”
“And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” (Genesis 6:6)
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:36-37)
The relationship between the Father and the Son is an eternal to-and-fro. It is this primary “chiasm,” a “there-and-back-again,” a forming and a filling, which gave shape to the Creation Week and every facet of the Word of God and of human life.
We have reached the fifth stage of the matrix in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, which is the sixth cycle (as discussed in part 5, stage 3 — Ascension — is often split into two parts, altar and sacrifice).
So this fifth section is the “Deuteronomy” of the epistle. It is a New Covenant version of Moses giving his final words to the children of Israel before the conquest of the Land. Likewise, Paul himself, and all the other apostles (except perhaps for John, the final word) would be gone before the rulers of the Land (Revelation’s “kings of the earth”) would be wiped off the face of it forever.
As in all previous cycles, there are some real literary wonders here, which is especially satisfying to see when the passages themselves (unparsed) are so familiar. It’s like seeing old friends in a new way: the letter resurrected and alive and walking around.