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Review: Messiah ben Joseph by David C. Mitchell

Messiah ben JosephRead carefully, for not all is as it seems. A son of Joseph will be the Messiah. He will begin by gathering a following in Galilee before journeying to Jerusalem, where he will be killed. A foreigner will then attack Jerusalem, take captives, and leave many to wander in the wilderness. But the Messiah ben David will descend in the clouds to Jerusalem and raise the Messiah ben Joseph, and others, from the dead. There will be a time of peace before Gog will arise against Jerusalem. The LORD will then destroy Gog and Death itself, and the nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh.

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The Ancient Origins of Messiah ben Joseph (Deuteronomy 33)

Leading up to Easter, I thought I’d trace the long-unknown concept found within ancient Judaism of a dying Messiah. In Messiah ben Joseph (review here), David Mitchell seeks to establish that the prominent and ancient Jewish tradition of a suffering, dying and rising Messiah was not a response to the life of Jesus, and certainly not that of Bar Kochba or Josephus. Rather, he is found within the Pentateuch itself. Mitchell’s two-pillar argument is found in deciphering the eschatological blessings of Jacob and Moses on Joseph’s seed in Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33. In this post, we will consider the second (see first post).

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The Ancient Origins of Messiah ben Joseph (Genesis 49)

Leading up to Easter, I thought I’d trace the long-unknown concept found within ancient Judaism of a dying Messiah. In Messiah ben Joseph (review here), David Mitchell seeks to establish that the prominent and ancient Jewish tradition of a suffering, dying and rising Messiah was not a response to the life of Jesus, and certainly not that of Bar Kochba or Josephus. Rather, he is found within the Pentateuch itself. Mitchell’s two-pillar argument is found in deciphering the eschatological blessings of Jacob and Moses on Joseph’s seed in Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33. In this post, we will consider the first.

 » Read the entire post: The Ancient Origins of Messiah ben Joseph (Genesis 49)  »

Review: Jew and Gentile Reconciled by Bryan E. Lewis

Was Paul a faithful reader of Scripture? Or did he twist Scripture to whatever he wanted? I believe Paul read faithfully, but must admit there are some problem texts. His use of Hosea 1:9-10 and Hosea 2:23 in Romans 9:24-26 is one that’s puzzled me for years. In Bryan E. Lewis’ published mDiv dissertation, Jew and Gentile Reconciled, he presents an ingenious solution, while unearthing a significant but surprisingly overlooked theme in the NT.

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Review: Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord by Alan Kurschener

It’s commonly argued that God will snatch His people to heaven before the great tribulation. One go-to text is 1 Thessalonians 5:9: “For God has not destined us for wrath”. How could believers face a future time of God’s wrath poured out on the earth? This can be expressed as a syllogism: believers won’t face God’s wrath, the great tribulation is a time of God’s wrath, therefore, believers won’t experience the great tribulation. This is the Pre-Tribulation rapture view. However, what if the great tribulation isn’t the time of God’s wrath? Alan Kurschner, director of Eschatos ministries, such in his Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord. If Kurschner is right, then believers need to wake up to a coming persecution and deception beyond the likes the church has yet faced.

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Review: The Voices of the New Testament by Derek Tidball

If you could ask Peter one question, what would it be? Or Paul? Better yet, what would it look like if the NT authors were gathered together in one room to discuss a given topic? Sometimes we like to play these thought experiments, but Derek Tidball has done one better: he’s written a book imagining a roundtable with the NT authors called The Voices of the New Testament.

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