Jul 18 2014

Uncircumcised Jews

Joshua Jordan-West

At that time the Lord said to Joshua,
“Make flint knives and circumcise
the sons of Israel a second time.”
(Joshua 5:2)

Was Israel disobedient in its failure to circumcise every male born in the wilderness? The Lord never chastised them for this. If this lapse in the practice of circumcision was in the plan of God, what was the purpose of that plan? The example which first comes to mind is the circumcision of the firstborn son of Moses in Exodus 4:24-26.
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Feb 22 2014

A Place For The Stars

Many of the obscure and apparently obsolete details in the Torah are hints of events later in the Bible. Some of these details are not what is said but what is not said. And some of these unspoken hints are discernible only through identification of common structures. One example is a line missing from Genesis 1.
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Nov 7 2013

The Household of Faith – 2

Part II – The Black Sabbath

“For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night,
in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.”
(Exodus 40:8)

Continued from The Household of Faith – 1

“You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.” (Exodus 35:3)

Israel took the man who was collecting kindling on the Sabbath and nipped his sin in the bud. His intentions were plain, so they wanted to know what should be done with him. It sounds brutal, but Exodus and Leviticus give us a plethora of strange laws for Israelites. At least, they seem strange until we understand that not only was Sinai replicated in the Tabernacle, the Tabernacle was to be replicated in every Israelite tent, and indeed in every Israelite. Every household was a tent of God, a cloud, and every Israelite a burning star in the sky. The tribes were, after all, arranged around the tent in military “constellations.” This new Black Sabbath was to reconnect every tent with its source, the tent of God.

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Nov 5 2013

Out Of His Belly

or Semina Divina

And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” (Mark 5:30)

We aren’t told in Genesis 9 what Ham’s intention was when he “uncovered” his father, Noah. Peter Leithart and James Jordan both present some fascinating insights (which differ from each other), but perhaps there is a solution elsewhere in Genesis, which, combined with both these possibilities, offers something new.

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Oct 28 2013

Galatians – 10

Born from Above

I’m currently working hard on Bible Matrix III: The House of God. This third volume is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It really is. Being so engrossed in the shape and processes of the Bible (yes, even more than usual), it has struck me how foreign the various theological schools’ thinking and speech is to the actual text.

The debates about “Pauline Theology” are the perfect example, especially the focus on narrow (yet important) topics such as justification. An academic divides and redivides the text in the way an expert in any science overspecializes. He ends up knowing everything about nothing. After spending a few hours each day wandering and describing the halls of biblical architecture, I am more convinced than ever that the only way to fully understand Scripture is architecturally. This is because, for our glorious God, architecture is ethics, and ethics is architecture. Divorced from the biblical mud map, the Edenic grid, modern theologians are discussing less than a dim distorted reflection of the book God has given us. They are feeling their way around the house with their eyes shut. Continue reading

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Oct 24 2013

The Household of Faith – 1

“Once the architecture is taken into account, the text is not ridiculous but terrifying. It marches inexorably through the deep rhythm of the seven days with laser precision, stately deliberation, and omniscient vision. These words were breathed by the source of all breath.”

Part I – Picking Up Sticks

“You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.” (Exodus 35:3)

Many Christians ignore, and atheists poke fun at, the weird bits of the Bible, as though these texts are primitive, distorted, or contrived. Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that these texts are designed to choke the faithless, and to be chewed over, meditated upon by the faithful, that we might be changed.

Why was fire forbidden on the Sabbath? The first thing to do with any text is identify its context. No more treating Bible texts like fortune cookies, do you hear me?

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Oct 22 2013

Q&A: Why Ten Words on Two Tablets?

When Moses is given the Ten Commandments they are written on two tablets:

And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone. (Deuteronomy 4:13)

Why are the Ten Commandments written on two tablets? Was one tablet not big enough for God’s handwriting? Or did God give Moses two copies of the Law, one tablet being a duplicate of the other?

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Oct 18 2013

Galatians – 9

Paul’s Deuteronomy

That day Moses charged the people, saying, “When you have crossed over the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. And these shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. (Deuteronomy 27:11-13)

Paul now moves into the Deuteronomy section of his epistle to the Galatians, and it becomes clear that, structurally-speaking, Galatians gets no further than Moses. The epistle is fivefold in nature, a recapitulation of the Torah, and thus it ends on the wilderness side of the Jordan. Like Moses, Paul will not live to see the new order, except from afar.

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Oct 7 2013

Galatians – 8


“The Spirit consistently puts earthly Succession to death, dividing families, communities and entire countries, as we see today. To claim otherwise is to work against the Spirit in the world. My heredity, my household, my culture, is the target of my ministry, not its source.”

It’s time to get back into Galatians. To recap, the epistle follows the Covenant structure, but gives the central point, the Ethics, its own Covenant structure. If this thesis is correct, what we should expect in the next “cycle” (Gal. 3:26-4:7) is a discussion of Covenant Succession. Lo and behold, this is exactly what we find.

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Sep 24 2013

Q&A: Sin, Righteousness and Judgment

In John 16:7-11, we read:

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

What does it mean for the Spirit to “convict the world in regard to righteousness?” And what is the causal connection with Jesus going to the Father?

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