Theology of the Old Testament

Introduction

What is the theology of the Old Testament? What did God reveal to Israel concerning His plans and purposes? What was the theological knowledge and outlook of a first-century Jew, a Jew of Jesus’ day? These are the questions this article will consider.

Jewish Theology

God revealed His plans and purposes for Israel and the nations through His covenant promises to Israel and His revelations through the nation’s prophets. Thus, Jewish theology began with the Abrahamic covenant and progressed through the other covenants: the Palestinic (Land), Mosaic, Sabbatic, Davidic, and New.1 God’s major prophetic revelations also began with Abraham and extended through Malachi to John the Baptist, Jesus, the Twelve, and finally, Paul. These prophecies added details of God’s plans and purposes for the people of Israel.

Jewish Theology in a Nutshell

Psalm 2 contains a summary of Jewish prophetic theology. Everything else is detail. Jewish theology encompassed two key events: the Wrath of God (the Day of the Lord) and the Kingdom of God.

Psalm 2Comment
Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”
vv. 1-3 reveal God’s intent for His Messiah to reign (1st and 2nd advents) and His rejection by both Jews (peoples and rulers) and Gentiles (nations and kings of the earth).
He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying,
vv. 4-5 show God’s disdain and wrath against those who reject His Messiah (cf. Acts 13.38-41).
“But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.”
“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.
‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, you shall shatter them like earthenware.’”
vv. 6-9 reveal God’s setting up His Messiah to rule from Jerusalem (Zion), His declaration of the Messiah’s Sonship (i.e., resurrection, cf. Acts 13.30-33), His giving His Son the nations for an inheritance, and the nature of the Messiah’s rule.
10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth.
11 Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling.
12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
vv. 10-12 reveal God’s warning to the nations to worship and revere His Son, so as not to anger Him. This refers primarily to His 2nd Advent.
Jewish Theological Concepts in Psalm 2 Extended in Other Passages
The Wrath of God on the Earth
(The Day of the Lord: The Tribulation)
The Kingdom of God on the Earth
(Messianic Kingdom: Christ Rules as King)
Isaiah 2.20-21, 24.19-23, 34.1-3; Jeremiah 30.5-7; Zephaniah 1; Joel 2.1-11, 30-31; Zechariah 14.1-7Isaiah 2.2-5, 9.6-7, 11.1-16; Jeremiah 23.3-8, 30.8-24; Ezekiel 36.21-38, 37.1-28; Zechariah 14.8-11

The Messiah was the principal actor of these events. The primary revelation about the Messiah the prophets had disclosed was about His reign as King in the kingdom of God on earth (Zechariah 14.9). In the Gospels, one can gain tremendous insight into Jewish theology by reading Luke 1-2. The testimonies of Zechariah, the priest, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Simeon, the righteous Jew, and Anna, the prophetess provide great insight into what godly Jews understood about God’s plan.

By means of the Messiah’s rule God would fulfill His covenant promises to Israel and elevate them to be the premier nation on earth (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13). Israel in the kingdom will be a large country occupying the boundaries God gave Abraham. The nation will cover most of the Mideast (from the Nile to the Euphrates to the Red Sea to the Mediterranean–Exodus 23.31; Ezekiel 47.17-20; Genesis 15.18; Numbers 34.6, 11-12; Deuteronomy 11.24; Joshua 1.4.). This promise was the hope of believing Jews in the time of Jesus (Luke 1. 30-33, 46-55, 67-79, 2.27-32). Much more vague were prophecies concerning the Messiah’s suffering. Especially cryptic was how He would deal with the problem of sin. Only one passage dealt with this aspect of His work: Isaiah 53. The Jews had no understanding of the meaning of this passage (and still do not).2 For them, the animal sacrifices offered by the priesthood of Israel were reality, not shadows. They had no idea of a greater truth beyond them.

Shortest Course of Jewish Theology

The shortest, most succinct course in Jewish theology is Isaiah 61.1-2. In two verses (really one) Isaiah laid out the principle elements of Jewish theology. Isaiah 61 reads:

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners;
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn,

Isaiah 61.2 Succinctly Summarized God’s Theological  Program For Israel and the Nations3
a) To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord1st Advent (Christ solves the problem of sin)
b) The day of vengeance of our GodGod’s Wrath (Tribulation) against His enemies
c) To comfort all who mourn2nd Advent and Establishment of Messianic Kingdom on Earth

Verse 1 elaborates upon verse 2a. It outlined the Lord’s first advent. Jesus confirmed this prophecy and quoted it in his visit to the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4.16-21). What was striking about the Lord’s reading (which His listeners noted) was that He only quoted verses 1-2a. He did not quote verse 2b and 2c. In other words, He stopped in the middle of the verse. The reason He did not read the entire verse was that He knew verse 2b and 2c composed two large-scale and separate parts of Jewish theology which would be fulfilled later.

Verse 2b described God’s wrath, the “day of vengeance of our God,” i.e., the Day of the Lord. In His response on the mount of Olives to His disciples question about end-time events the Lord called this time the “Tribulation” (Matthew 24.15-16 cf. Daniel 9.27, 11.31, 12.11).

Verse 2c, “to comfort all who mourn” refers to the Messianic kingdom which will last for 1,000 years on the earth. In this kingdom God will smooth out life’s inequities (Isaiah 40.3-5; Matthew 6.10). The Lord will reign over the earth as King (Zechariah 14.9) and it will be a time of unprecedented peace and righteousness (Isaiah 11.1-9). God will fulfill all His covenant promises to Israel and Israel will be the premier nation of the world (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13).

Conclusion

While Jewish theology is simple and brief in its basic conceptions, it is replete with detail. We have many hundreds of passages devoted to it (most of the Old Testament, the Gospels, and all non-Pauline writers).

Christian theology (things that pertain to the Church, the body of Christ), is wholly found in the writings of Paul. The reason for this is God did not reveal the Church in the Old Testament, in Jesus’ earthly ministry, or to the Twelve. He revealed it to Paul alone. Paul called the principal elements of Christian theology “secrets” (μυστήριον) because that is what they were. God had kept them secret until He revealed them to and through Paul.4

1 See the author’s study, Covenants of Israel, for more information on them.
2 See Acts 8.26-39. The Ethiopian eunuch, a Jew who served as Secretary of the Treasury for Candace, Queen of Ethiopia, was returning home after having gone to Jerusalem to worship. As he traveled, he read Isaiah 53. He did not understand it. The Lord directed Phillip to him who explained the passage. The Ethiopian Jew was not dumb. His ignorance revealed this Scripture was not understood by educated Jews.
What is obviously missing in this theology is the Church, the body of Christ. God did not reveal the Church, the body of Christ until He saved and commissioned Paul as the apostle of the Gentiles. Thus, all Christian i.e., Church theology begins with Paul and comes from him alone.
4 For more information on these “secrets” see the author’s other articles, especially, Paul’s “Mystery”.

©2015 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.


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38 Responses to Theology of the Old Testament

  1. John Gregory says:

    Again! Thanks for giving us a clear statement
    Concerning this subject! God bless You, & keep
    Up the great work.
    John H. Gregory

  2. Becky says:

    Your comments and Scripture references for Psalm 2 are so sound. I am daily in awe at how the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place with your studies. I searched for years, having to put so many things “on the shelf” and hoping the Holy Spirit would open my eyes; but without understanding the Jews/Gentiles, Israel/Church, Jesus/Paul thing, it is literally impossible to get past the confusion in order to fully see the simplicity of the truth. The thing about your studies is you clearly are not trying to gain a following, but rather are pointing us in the right direction and giving us the insight to stand on our own feet. I thank God for your willingness to share all your hard work, serving the saints that they might just sit down and “feast.” May He continue to bless you.

  3. John Duryea says:

    Thank you for your pithy comments. I appreciate your style of writing very much.

  4. Joe says:

    Please correct me where I am wrong. I am not familiar with any place in the old testament where Heaven is the eternal destination for believers after death. I believe Abraham’s bosom/Paradise was the location until the Risen Lord took them at his ascension. Some day the Lord will set up the Kingdom on earth and that will be the eternal home for the believers of that dispensation and it will extend on into the (earth part) of the new heaven and new earth. Church age believers will rule and reign with Christ in a more Universal heavenly setting. I am confused about the New Jerusalem that comes down from Heaven and who is to live there. Thank you

  5. Joe says:

    Doctrine,

    In a nut shell can you explain the significance of Korah’s rebellion in the book of Numbers? What does it say about Moses and how does it apply to us today? Does this event have an explanation of why Moses did not enter the Promise land or was it simply the incident of hitting the rock that did that?

    Thank you, Joe

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      In Numbers 16, Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against Moses and accused him of not being guided by the Lord. To prove them wrong, the Lord opened the earth and consumed them. Paul occupies a position similar to Moses for the Church. Paul pronounced a curse on any proclaiming a gospel different than his (Galatians 1.6-9). To do so challenges the authority God gave Paul, just as He worked with Moses. Moses could not enter the promised land because he struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it as the Lord commanded. The Rock is Christ Who was struck once. Striking the rock twice broke the typology God had in mind with the crucifixion.

  6. Roger Spielmann says:

    I just have a simple question that I’ve never heard a satisfying answer to. Over the years I’ve asked many Christians how they reconcile an OT God who commands and commits barbaric atrocities with the teachings of Jesus. Usually I get a response along the lines of, “That was then, this is now. Jesus came to change all that.” I would be interested in reading how you believe the two can be reconciled.

    For example, we don’t kill homosexuals anymore, but Jews did until Christ came. Come to think of it, perhaps the real question is: why don’t orthodox Jews not kill fellow Jews anymore for various acts as God commands them to do in the Old Testament?

    Thank you for reading this post.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      God’s moral requirements have not changed. The commands God gave the Jews to annihilate peoples such as the Canaanites was most likely because of the pollution of the human genome which began in Genesis 6. These hybrid fallen angel/human unions were Satan’s attempt to destroy the human race and eliminate the possibility of a Redeemer. The situation became so dire God brought about the Flood and destroyed the human race. Noah was spared not only because he believed in the Lord but because his genetic line had remained uncompromised (Genesis 6.9). After the Flood such unions again took place (Genesis 6.4) and their offspring of the unions existed into David’s reign. Remember Goliath? The Mosaic Law will enforced in the Millennial kingdom when Christ reigns as King. The reason Jews do not enforce these laws today is because the state is not a theocracy. The explanation of “that was then, this is now” is simpleminded. God does not change in dealing with sin. For example, as a preview of the kingdom, Ananias and Sapphira were killed immediately for lying to the Holy Spirit. Such enforcement will characterize the Messianic kingdom. See Revelation 2.27, 12.5.

      • Roger Spielmann says:

        Just to be clear, are you saying that, during the 1,000 year reign by Christ there will be lots os stoning and killing?

        I must have misunderstood. Thank you.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Roger,
          The world today has an epidemic of murder, rape, corruption, etc. Listen to the politicians. It’s hard to find one sentence from their lips which is not a lie. How does one stop an epidemic? Crime and corruption will almost cease to exist in the 1,000 year reign of Christ on earth. He will rule with a rod of iron with perfect wisdom and justice. I suspect relatively little executions and punishment will take place. Once it is known that one cannot get away with crime it will cease.

  7. Roger Spielmann says:

    Thank you for your response. The question presses, though: Why don’t orthodox Jews obey God’s commands in the Old Testament TODAY to kill people? Not the genocide stuff, but the commands such as killing homosexuals or killing a girl who doesn’t yell loud enough while she’s being raped? (Deuteronomy 22:23-24).

    I can’t recall hearing or reading a satisfying answer to this this question. When I asked a rabbi about this he said, “We’ve evolved as humans. We know that such killing is wrong now.” See what I mean? Any light you can shed on this issue would be appreciated.

    Thank you for reading my post.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      The Rabbi did not know his Torah. But how could this occur? Even if orthodox Jews wanted this they live in a secular state. BTW, no rape exists in verses 23-24. The text does not read that the man forced her. It also doesn’t read that she didn’t cry loud enough. It reads she didn’t cry at all. In other words, the sex was consensual. This law was also limited to the city. Verses 25-26 deal with rape. The girl is innocent.

  8. Joe says:

    Is it possible that OT legalism is actually the correct way to run a society and today’s progressive culture of tolerance is wrong. Look what we have today: 60 million abortions since R v. Wade, drugs, divorce, fatherless families, terror etc. Have man’s laws done any better? Civilization is a mask. A kid recently was given 10 years probation for killing 4 people in a drunk driving case, “Affluenza”. How many times should that kid have been put in stocks in the city square before his ‘accident’? Now he’s broken probation.

  9. Roger Spielmann says:

    Merry Christmas. Our study group recently watched a video by Ken Hamm of the Creation Museum. There was no mention of the two creation accounts in Genesis 1-2, so I asked the leader of the group about it and he told me he didn’t know but would get back to us on it. He hasn’t yet, so I’m wondering if you can help me reconcile the two accounts.

    To be a bit more specific, in Genesis 1 God creates big things: light, water, sky, and earth, during the first two days. Then on day three he creates plant life. Then he goes back on day four to creating big things like the sun, moon and stars. He then creates creeping things twice, first on day five and then again on day six.

    Then we get to Genesis 2 and we read a completely different order of creation.

    Anyway, I’m sure you’ve written and/or thought about this before. Can you shed some light on the two different creation stories and why they differ in order and method?

    Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      More heat than light has been shed on the supposed “different” creation stories. Genesis 2 elaborates with greater specificity the creation account of Genesis 1. For example, Genesis 2.18, 21-22 provides detail of God’s creation of man in Genesis 1.26-27. Genesis 2.19 recounts the animal creation of Genesis 1.20-21, 24-25. In Genesis 1, Moses revealed God as אֱלֹהִים but in Genesis 2 as יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים because God is dealing personally and specifically with man. “LORD” is the OT name for the Son, the Word of God and visible manifestation of God. So the long and short of it is we have a single creation account, Genesis 1 being a summary and Genesis 2 providing specifics concerning man. This is because the Bible is all about God’s relationship to and with man.

  10. Roger Spielmann says:

    Granted, but the question presses: Why do the two accounts differ on what was created on each day?

  11. roger Spielmann says:

    I’m not sure if this is the proper forum for my question, but I’ll ask it here anyway. After Moses received the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, he smashes the tablets when he sees his people worshipping a golden calf. Then in Exodus 34 God tells him to bring two new tablets up the mountain. As you know, the two sets of commandments (both referred to as “The Ten Commandments”) are almost completely different. You would think that, with both sets of commandments, that the God of the universe could come up with better commandments. (How about “Thou shalt not enslave other people.”) And in the second version of the Ten Commandments we read things such as “Don’t boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” Like, these kinds of things are what the God of the universe gives us to follow? Any explanation would be appreciated.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      A careful reading of the text reveals God wrote on both sets of stones the same words (Exodus 34.1). Thus, in Exodus 34.28, the “he” of the second sentence refers to God, not Moses.

      • roger Spielmann says:

        I’m still confused (which seems to be my normal default position…). If the second time God commands Moses to bring the tablets up the mountain in Exodus 34 with the same Ten Commandments written on them, what are we to make of verses 10-27?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Roger,
          The verses 10-27 deal with God’s instruction for the Jews on keeping themselves separate from Gentiles and how to approach Him. The promise He made was to give them the land He promised Abraham. Remember, 500 years had passed since that initial promise. These were additional instructions regarding God’s relationship with His covenant people. God continued to elaborate on these things through other covenants and He revealed many other laws beyond the Decalogue, i.e, regarding sacrifices, the civil law, etc. Maimonides enumerated 613 commandment in the Mosaic code.

  12. roger Spielmann says:

    My question has to do with Genesis 34. Jacob’s daughter, Dinah, goes to visit some of the other women in that country, gets raped by Shechem who, after he rapes her, decides he’s in love with her and asks his dad, Hamor, to get him this girl so he can marry her. Jacob finds out his daughter was raped, but meets with Hamor to discuss details of the marriage anyway. But Jacob’s sons wanted revenge. So they came up with a plan. They told Hamor that Schechem could marry Dinah if he agreed to have all of his men circumcised. So, after all of Hamor’s men were circumcised and still in pain and sore, Simeon and Levi, two of Dinah’s brothers, walked into the city where Hamor and his men were and proceeded to kill every man there, including Hamor and Schechem. Then the rest of Jacob’s sons came into the city where the slaughter had occurred and took all the wives and children as slaves and looted the city. When Jacob heard about the slaughter he was upset, but not because he considered the slaughter of the men to have been overkill for Schechem raping his daughter, but because his reputation was soiled and he feared the Canaanites would find out about it and wipe out his people. The chapter ends with the brothers saying, “Nobody’s going to treat our sister as a whore and get away with it.”

    So, my question is: What does this story teach?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      This is a story of perfidy and grief. It reveals the consequences of sin (Romans 15.4). Even for God’s chosen people, the Bible minces no words.

      • Roger Spielmann says:

        Agreed, the Bible minces no words when it comes to “missing the mark,” but I think my question has more to do with the message(s) of this story: the inequality of women, vengeance, cunning, wholesale slaughter and those kinds of things. We read Genesis 34 in our discussion group and when one person (not me, by the way) said “This story seems to reflect a terrible attitude towards women, and seems to celebrate cunning and violence. What are we to take away from this story? Certainly we don’t view women this way anymore, right?” The group leader responded with, “Well, that’s just the way women were viewed in the Old Testament and God did demand that people be put to death for a variety of reasons in the Old Testament: working on the Sabbath, being gay, being disobedient to your parents and on and on. But things changed when Jesus came to earth and we no longer do those things.” I kept quiet but I’d really like to know how you would have responded to that question. Did “things change” when Jesus came to earth? Thank you.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Roger,
          The standard line is the God of the OT was cruel but the God of the NT is merciful. This did not make sense to me when I heard it as a child and makes less sense after studying the Scriptures. God does not change His character. What He does change are His programs, i.e., Israel was under the Mosaic Law, the Church is under grace. The consequences of sin under the Law were severe. But the reality is that all sin leads to death. So nothing has changed except the timing and administration of its consequence. Jesus ministered under the Law and recognized its authority. Paul wrote the Church is not under the administration of the Law. But God’s character does not change. For example, Paul wrote the Corinthians, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6.9-10).

        • Faith says:

          God also showed His wonderful grace and mercy to women in many examples: Esther (she became a powerful queen and a “savior” to her people), Hanna (blessed by God in the fact that Samuel became a famous prophet), Ruth (became the lineage of Jesus even being a gentile), Rahab (gentile pagan saved from destruction and Lineage of Jesus), Abigail (through her courage and protection of her wicked husband became a wife of a king), Deborah (warrior and protector of her people), Sarah (was favored by God highly and the mother of Israel). God gave many examples of how He favored women; man has free will and abused the vessel of God (woman)- sin (as Doctrine puts it) has consequences, even by the sheer natural order that God put in place on the earth from the beginning. You mess with the natural order that God ordained, consequences of sin even on the innocent causes devastating results. I know now even in my own life that when something bad has happened or is not fair that God will always produce GOOD as an outcome to those who place their trust in Him. I have never met a person who went through horrific things, but also put their trust in the Savior come out and say, God is at fault and I am worse off. I have always encountered the opposite- God is an awesome God and I have learned so much from what I have gone through.
          If we never go through hard and difficult times how in the world would we be able to have compassion and learn from those hardships? Hardships teach us about love and grace; hardships teach us about patience; hardships teach us about how to have wisdom to not make the same mistakes; hardships teach us about self-control and so on.
          It is all about how one will take those hardships and use it for good or fall back into sin.

  13. Faith says:

    Also remember there is an adversary (the Devil) just as intent on tempting someone to sin as there is a God who continually urges us to follow good and trust in Him.

  14. Roger Spielmann says:

    You wrote in an earlier post that, “God does not change His character. What He does change are His programs.” I *think* I know what you mean, but the question presses: What, exactly, is meant by God’s “character”? For example, it appears that part of God’s character is to change His mind. (The Flood story comes to mind, among others). That’s fine with me; I just want to know what is meant when we talk about His “character.” Certainly He is good, loving, forgiving, merciful and so on, but what are some other of His attributes? Would we include the attribute of changing His mind? Of being willing to barter with His people? (Sodom and Gomorrah) Of permitting the sun to shine on the good and the unjust? (Proverbs somewhere) What I’m trying to ask in a very inelegant way is: Can you point me to a list or references that clearly describes character?

    Thank you.

  15. Brad says:

    Hello Don,
    I wanted to ask you about your above comment where you talked about ” these hybrid fallen angels/ human unions”. I have studied all your articles and have done all of Les Feldicks lessons many times over, and feel I have grown considerably the past 2 years. I have found no indication that angels have the capacity to reproduce. In 2 Peter 2:4, it says that the angels that sinned were cast into hell, delivered into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgement. Were the fallen angels roaming the earth during that first 1600 years after creation, and if so were they even able to reproduce contrary to the will of God?
    My feeling is that ” the sons of God” were the descendants of Seth, and the daughters of men were of Cain. Giants could mean men of great fame and accomplishments “men of renown” not necessarily stature. Though genetically they could have been of larger stature. I respect your work and wanted to know your feelings on this.
    thank you for your ministry, and God bless

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Brad,
      Thank you. So encouraging to hear of your growing in Christ. No Biblical evidence exists to support the view that these were “sons of Seth.” There is a lack of parallelism in the Genesis 6 account and the term “sons of God” is always used of angels. Furthermore, Jesus did not say angels did not have the power to engage in sexual activity. What He said was that the angels in heaven did not do so. That’s precisely the point. The angels of Genesis 6, referenced by Jude and Peter, left heaven to engage in sexual activity. And one minor point: all the early Church believed these were fallen angels. It was not until Augustine’s time that this began to change.

  16. Joe says:

    A ‘scholar’ I’ve been following says:
    Because the content of Genesis 1-11 has so many deep, specific touch points with Mesopotamian literary works, many scholars believe that these chapters either were written during the exile in Babylon or were edited at that time * (*denotes a footnote)

    *(foot note 19)

    * Very few (scholars) would have any trouble with the notion of the Torah reaching its final form during the exile whether they embrace Mosaic authorship in whole or in part.

    Doctrine, I learned that the Torah was written by Moses…your thoughts about the Torah being written whole or in part during the Babylonian captivity. comments please. ty

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      The notion of editors and redactors is scholarly nonsense. I think Moses wrote the Torah and that the only activity concerning it was in studying and preserving the text. Peter wrote men were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1.21) to write the Scriptures. I think the scholars forget the Bible is a divine and a human book.

  17. Joe says:

    I’m giving up on this ‘scholar’. He’s just told me in his book that all the old testament promises have passed to the Church.

    He says, “Since the Church, the corporate body of believers, inherited the promises given to Abraham (Gal 3:26-29), believers are the ‘true Israel’ that the New Testament talks about. When we inherit rule of the nations with Jesus at the end of days (Rev.3:21), we will displace the corrupted divine sons of God presently ruling the nations, who are under judgement (Psa. 82) We are already, but not yet, Yahweh’s new council on earth”.

    Would you say he’s a ‘Replacement Theologian”? I haven’t figured out his label. any ideas? Darrell L. Bock, PhD wrote a forward to his book…Isn’t he from Dallas? I think Dallas has moved away from Chafer.

    thanks again.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      Many at DTS have moved away from Dispensationalism. They are going in exactly the wrong direction, abandoning Chafer and traditional Dispensationalism and moving to Calvinism. Heiser has many good insights but does not understand Paul’s unique apostleship or Paul’s secrets. As a result, he makes a major error in thinking Galatians 3.26-29 means the Church is Israel. There is a great difference between being a “child of Abraham” and Israel. Israel is a technical term and always refers to a descendant of Jacob whereas a “child of Abraham” can be a believing Jew or a believing Gentile, based on Paul’s gospel. Paul states we are children of Abraham but never Israel. This is a major interpretive error of Calvinists and creates a false understanding of the Scriptures.

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