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.”
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.
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.
Covenant Structure in Judges 14-15:8
“I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old… “
The account of Samson’s marriage and the subsequent collateral damage is one of those stories out of which teachers and preachers try in vain to wring a moral. After all, isn’t that what the Old Testament is for? Actually, no. It is a history of God’s Covenants, and every single text, whether historical narrative or prophetic vision, has a Covenant structure. Certainly, there are morals, but some stories resist such an obvious use (unless we are willing to cook the Book). These stories of God’s delegated authorities are intended to illustrate the work of God in the world.
It’s been a while since I blogged due to some pesky Russian hackers.
Well, it looks possible at this point that Ephesians actually has eight cycles, just as many of its “sevenfold” stanzas have eight lines. This is because step three reflects the Altar and the Table, the Land and the fruits of Day 3 (the first half of the cycle has a preliminary “filling”).
This means that the previous cycle, which spoke of the gifts to the Church, concerned the initial outpouring of the Spirit by Christ at His ascension. If that was the “three-and-a-half,” this next cycle must then be the Day 4, the governing lights, which seems to be the case as it begins with a reference to enlightenment, and proceeds to comment on what this looks like in the saints. If this is indeed the structure here, what follows below is the “Ethics opened” section of the epistle. The new Israel will not be given to harlotry in the wilderness, as the old one was.