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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).

 » Read the entire post: The Ancient Origins of Messiah ben Joseph (Deuteronomy 33)  »

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)  »

My Digital Seminary in Books (2016)

For me (and many others), December is a month for retrospection. Every New Year’s Eve, Natasha (my wife) and I discuss our hopes for the following year and what we saw in the year now past. This seems a good place to do something similar with books and the ideas that have influenced me. Below are my 9 most impacting Biblical studies books I read this year. These are books that profoundly excited new interest in, opened my mind to, or deepened my love for, a given subject. I also think these are objectively great books, but since there are tons of great books, this list is entirely subjective.

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“Who is the Messiah ben Joseph?” An Interview with David Mitchell

Messiah ben JosephDavid Mitchell is a unique fellow. He is a Biblical scholar, expert in the Psalms, and an archaeo-musicologist. His important work on the Psalms, The Message of the Psalter, gave a fascinating defense of an eschatological focus to the Psalms, and is referenced in virtually every major work on the Psalter. Mitchell also recently released a stimulating work devoted to the Songs of Ascent (my review). His newest work is sure to be just as fascinating, as it is devoted to a little-known topic: the Messiah ben Joseph.

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Review: The Songs of Ascents by David C. Mitchell

The_Songs_of_Ascents_CoverDavid C. Mitchell is a Biblical scholar, archaeomusicologist and the author of the influential The Message of the Psalter released back in 1997. In The Songs of Ascents, he applies these skills to create a fresh and novel study on Psalms 120-134. Though he calls it a “commentary”, one soon recognizes a book that surpasses expectations from this label by encompassing ancient Israelite worship. If this still sounds too narrow or abstract, let me spoil the ending: this would have been a strong contender for my favourite book of 2015 if I had read it before the end of the year.

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