Redemptive-Historical Survey: 2 | The Fall (LDBC Recap 2/21/16)

Explanation

logo-lake-drive-baptist-churchOn Sunday, January 24th, 2016, I began a Core Seminar on Redemptive History & Biblical Theology at my church, Lake Drive Baptist Church. During the course of this series I’ll be sending out emails recapping lessons and directing recipients to resources for further study.

Rather than just share these recaps with my church family, I’ve decided to share them here on the blog for anyone else who might be interested. I will be posting them occasionally over the next couple of months on a weekly basis or so.

See previous posts:

Recap/review

This week we covered the role that the fall plays in the all-encompassing storyline of scripture that is redemptive history. Now, by “the fall,” we mean, of course, humanity (and, by extension, creation’s) “fall” into sin and corruption.

Overview of Biblical material

We began with an overview of the Biblical material that covers this fall.

Genesis 3:1-6:8

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The meaning of the imagery in Hosea 13:12 – “The transgression of Ephraim is being bundled up; his sin is being stored up”

The following was a short exegetical essay for Dr. Eric Tully’s Advanced Hebrew Exegesis of Hosea course at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Please note: I use the Hebrew Bible’s chapter and verse references below, which can at times be different than what one will find in our English translations.


In Hosea 3:12, Hosea says, צָרוּר֙ עֲוֹ֣ן אֶפְרָ֔יִם צְפוּנָ֖ה חַטָּאתוֹֽ (“The transgression of Ephraim is being bundled up. His sin is being stored up”). But what exactly does Hosea mean by this sin being צרר (“wrapped up”) and צָפַן (“treasured” or “stored”)? Is this intended to convey some negative idea or a positive concept? And how does the context influence one’s understanding of this imagery? Unfortunately, as Andersen and Freedman (637) note, “The connection of 13:12 with its context is not easy to trace;” and “neither of the adjacent verses seems to throw light on it.” Furthermore, given the abstract nature of sin (חַטָּאת) and iniquity (עָוֹן), what could it possibly mean to pack them up and hide them away? The exegete does well to investigate these matters. Therefore, this paper will examine the meaning of this imagery employed in Hosea 3:12.

Andersen and Freedman (637-638) suggest that this imagery could refer to leaving sin concealed, i.e., Israel not admitting her guilt. Nonetheless, they prefer a different interpretation. Noting the potential background of storing away precious manuscripts in caves, they suggest understanding the verbs (צרר and צָפַן) as having to do with storing something for safekeeping and the nouns (עָוֹן and חַטָּאת) as referring to idols—Israel’s specific sin. However, as Garrett insightfully comments, “It is not likely that the text means that the Israelites have been concealing their guilt [or their idols], since the fertility cult that Yahweh condemns was a very public part of Israelite life” (262). Stuart (206) understandsצָרוּר֙ עֲוֹ֣ן אֶפְרָ֔יִם as meaning something like, “The payback of the long history of Israel’s disloyalty is still ‘on hold,’ as it were” and צְפוּנָ֖ה חַטָּאתוֹֽ as meaning that “this sin [specifically Israel’s idolatry and polytheism mentioned in vv.2-6] has been noted and will not be forgotten or forgiven until punished.” Wolff (227-228) insists that this imagery must be understood in light of the context of the previous verses which list a long chain of national transgressions. Citing Isa 8:16, he argues that the background of this language is the binding, sealing (צרר), and preserving (צָפַן) of legal documents. The meaning: Israel’s “guilt … remains in effect, as though it were laid away in a nonrevisable legal record….” Thus, v.12 relates to the litany of sins and judgment that immediately precede. Similarly, McComiskey (223) comments on this imagery, “We must think of Ephraim’s guilt as having been sealed, all of it carefully kept in store.” It denotes the ultimacy of Hosea’s doom-statement. In contrast to these interpretations stands Garrett (262-263). In light of what he sees as a parallel with Zech 5:5-11, Garrett interprets Hosea as essentially saying that the evil of Israel must be contained and removed, which is accomplished in her exile—an act of judgment, yet also an act of grace in this sense. But this interpretation seems dubious and strained.

In closing, it seems best to understand this imagery as a way of expressing Israel’s impending doom. The couplet is best understood as expressing one unified idea. And, if Wolff is correct about the legal document background, the idea here is that Israel’s guilt is not forgotten or dismissed but demands a punishment which is as sure as an irreversible legal document.

Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther

The following comes from a paper presented for Dr. Scott Manetsch at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for the course Classic Texts in the History of Christianity CH 8100.

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In The Bondage of the Will Martin Luther sets out to investigate what ability human freedom possesses and how it relates to God’s grace (II.iii.). For Luther, this theological dispute over human freedom is of utmost importance. He claims it is the fundamental disagreement between himself and the Catholic tradition (II.iii.; VIII.). Because this topic strikes at the heart of soteriology, truths of “eternal consequence” are at stake (II.vi.). To know nothing of these matters is to know nothing of Christianity (II.iii.); the entirety of the Christian faith and the gospel would be ruined by such ignorance (II.v.).

Responding to Desiderius Erasmus’ Discourse on Free Will, Luther asserts that man has no “free-will.” Contrary to Erasmus (IV.i.), men are not autonomous in regards to meriting or even willing salvation (II.x.), but are enslaved, “ever turned in the direction of their own desires, so that they cannot but seek their own” (V.iv.). God’s will is carried out necessarily; no room is left for man’s so called “free-will” (V.vii.).

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Having Taken Off the Old Man and Put on the New (Colossians 3:1-11)

The following is an exegetical paper on Colossians 3:1-11 entitled “Having Taken Off the Old Man and Put on the New: An Exegetical Analysis of Colossians 3:1-11.” I wrote this paper in partial fulfillment for a Greek Exegesis course at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.[1] Fair warning–This paper is a bit more technical than our typical blog posts. If you are not acquainted with New Testament Greek you may find some parts unintelligible although the occasional summary statements should clarify things. But either way, whether you are a Greek scholar or not, I trust the theological discussions in this paper will prove to be beneficial for you.

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Authority–Man’s Word < God’s Word

Preface

On Sunday, August 26th, my pastor preached an excellent sermon from Matthew 15:1-9 at Lake Drive. The question he posed was, “What hold’s authority for the Christian?”  The topic of the sermon was God’s word and man’s word—that is, God’s truth, His teaching, His commandments versus man’s teaching, man’s instruction, or man’s tradition. Allow me to share with you some thoughts I had or that pastor Curt Leonard brought out in his message.

Introduction

God’s word is authoritative. It is perfect, it is true, and it is binding. As such it is the believer’s ultimate authority of faith (what to believe) and practice (what to do; how to live). A parallel truth to this fact is that God’s word is sufficient to instruct us on how to live godly lives in our present age or generation, which implies the concept of making direct applications of its truth to our contemporary setting.

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