IN THIS ISSUE
CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION
Most of the articles in Issue 28 of Grace & Knowledge follow up on articles from previous issues. This should hardly be surprising. As people grow older, they often fall into the habit of repeating themselves, and I am certainly no exception. It is also true that the short articles in this magazine do not give the last word on any topic. There always seems to be more to say.
One aspect of the Bible that deserves repeated attention is its continual repetition of themes and images. Recognizing these motifs can greatly enhance our scriptural understanding. I discussed several examples from the first five books of the Bible in the article "Deja Vu All Over Again: Learning from Recurring Themes in the Pentateuch" in Issue 10. Then in Issue 23 I talked about one more example, the way in which Abram and Sarai's journey to and from Egypt (Gen 12-13) foreshadows Israel's later experience. In the article "Back to the Future: the Narrative Typology of the Pentateuch," I also reflected on what such examples say about the nature of history, the character of God, and the interpretation of the Bible.
These two articles only scratch the surface of a big subject, and so I am glad to return to this subject in Issue 28. The article "Echoes of the Exodus throughout the Bible" focuses on the ubiquity of motifs from the Exodus in the Bible. It is based on a wonderful series of lectures by Dr. David Emanuel of Nyack College that I had the privilege of attending in October 2013. The ideas covered in these lectures have been very helpful already in the weekly Bible study on the Minor Prophets that we are having at the Church of the Messiah in 2013-2014. I hope that you find the article useful in your own study of the scriptures as well.
Another article that appeared in Issue 10 was "Watch your Antecedents!", a discussion of three examples of pronoun ambiguity in the book of Genesis. In each of these examples (Gen 9:27; 35:4; 37:28) there are two possible antecedents for a pronoun, leading to two different understandings of a verse. I argued in that article that it can be edifying in such cases to consider all the possibilities. In Issue 28 we present a sequel that looks at four more instances of pronoun ambiguity, three from Genesis and one from Exodus. In these verses the two possible antecedents are always two individuals in a close relationship, and both possibilities seem to be valid. Israeli scholar Dr. Brachi Elitzur speculates that the ambiguity in these cases is deliberate and meant to convey the idea that both antecedents are, in fact, intended.
In the article "Of Horns and History," Jared Olar continues the discussion of pesher interpretation of prophecy begun in Issue 27, focusing on a "historicist" reading of Rev 17 that sees the seven heads and ten horns of the beasts in John's vision as revivals of the Roman Empire. Charts of such models can look impressive, but how well do they really square with historical data? A good dose of history is often exactly what is needed to put prophetic speculations in perspective, as we have argued previously.
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On 19 Jan 2014, 20:12.