Thanks again for your insight. I had a few more questions that I also needed some help with.
What was the purpose of The Angel of the Lord and what biblical verses suggest he was the preeminent Jesus?
You are very welcome. As to you current questions:
Jesus has always been the revealed Person of the Trinity. The Angel of the Lord was the way in which He made Himself manifest before He actually came in the flesh at the point of the virgin birth.
Who was the man that Joshua ran into in Joshua 5:13? Why did he state neither for or against Joshua and his men? and why was the ground he was standing on suddenly holy?
Joshua 5:13 is a Christophany, that is, an appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament manifesting Himself as the Angel of the Lord (see the link). He is not called "the Angel of the Lord" here but "the Ruler of the Host of the Lord". While Israel is sometimes called "the hosts (plural) of the Lord" (e.g., Ex.12:41), this phrase is never used of Israel in the singular (according to Keil and Delitzsch in loc.). The "host" (singular) of the Lord is usually the heavenly host. It is not impossible that both are meant here. Jesus Christ is the head of all angelic kind as well as the head of the Church composing true Israel and all believers (e.g., Col.1:16-18). This explains why the ground mentioned is now holy ground (cf. the burning bush at Ex.3:5). The "neither" part in Hebrew is the simple negative lo', and means "no!" (or "not!"). "Neither" is not an impossible translation but it forces an interpretation which may be overly restrictive. Joshua had supposed that the Lord was a human warrior (and wanted to know whose side He was on); our Lord is correcting his thinking here. One could expand the "No!" into "Wrong!" or "I am not what your suppose; rather I am the Ruler of the Host of the Lord". That is what is meant, in any case.
A question on the following passage:
"See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him."
Exodus 23:20-21 NIV
Why wouldn't the Angel forgive?
The "Angel" of Exodus 23:20-21 is a Theophany, or better put, a Christophany. Jesus Christ is the revealed Person of the Trinity, and He is always the One who interacts personally (in the form of the Angel of the Lord; see the link) with Israel during the Old Testament (i.e., before His incarnation). So the injunction is not to angels but to the children of Israel who are told to respond to their Savior, foreshadowed in the Law but not fully revealed until that blessed future day. But then as now putting faith in the Lord for salvation is the only way to heaven; rebellion, the rejection of Christ who is the truth then as now, results in condemnation. There is no forgiveness for those who reject Jesus Christ – that is the only unpardonable sin.
Regarding Jesus, you wrote: He is the burning bush which burns with fire and yet is not consumed.
Could you just indicate where this comparison comes from?
The burning bush is found in Exodus chapter three, Moses' call to deliver the children of Israel. It is also referenced elsewhere in scripture (e.g., Deut.33:16; Mk.12:26; Lk.20:37; Acts 7:30-35). The Person who speaks to Moses is called "the Angel of the Lord" in verse two, but then "the Lord" and "God" thereafter, which taken together tells us we have a Christophany here, with the fire representing the fire of judgment at Calvary where our Lord in His humanity similarly burned without being consumed so that He might expiate the sins of the world. Please see the link: "The Angel of the Lord".
Hi Dr. Lunginbill,
Pleased to make your acquaintance. I had the unfortunate experience recently to personally enter into a dialogue debate with Dr. Anthony Buzzard who irritatingly both teaches and publishes the "Unitarian" theology that Jesus is for a FACT not God (He a non-deity). As the basis and nucleus for his argument is his misguided use of the Hebrew "adoni" in Ps. 110:1, whereby he adamantly claims that this said "adoni" is used in the MT some 195 times - and EXCLUSIVELY in reference to either a created angelic being or a natural human...but never as a "Deity".
However, I brought to his attention that both Josh. 5:14 and Jdgs. 6:13 both reveal what the accredited and acclaimed BDB Lexicon on pg. 11 of their published work to be defined as a "Theophanic angel" - thus a Theophany.
It seems that once he realized that his notion of an absolute non-deity representation in relation to his subscribed published declaration of the Ps. 110:1 Hebrew "adoni", had now been completely compromised by the BDB citation of Josh. 5:14 & Jdgs. 6:13 Theophanic angel - he immediately began to redefine the well established and traditional publication of a Theophanic angel.
He now adamantly declares that the two above cited BDB Passages of Josh. 5:14 & Jdgs. 6:13 Theophanic angel were intended by BDB to mean - "an appearance and presence of an angel (created) of God, speaking for and on behalf God to man".
In other words, an intentional and clever attempt to twist the literal meaning of a Theopany (an appearance of God or god to man) to mean a created angelic being representing and speaking on behalf of God - but not a literal Theophanic appearance of God Himself to man.
If Dr. Buzzard's suggested redefinition of a Theophanic angle can stand his theological argument in the professional criticism of institutional Biblical scholarship then he will have indeed thwarted BDB's direct Thephanic angel citation for both Josh. 5:14 & Jdgs. 6:13 - to be nothing more than two "non-deity" appearances for each Passage and thereby securing his Hebrew "adoni" Ps. 110:1 EXCLUSIVITY claim of a non-deity.
As a Biblical scholar do you think he is right?
Moreover, as a Hebrew scholar do you personally know of any other MT Passages (proof) that employs the specific Hebrew "adoni" in direct relation to a "Deity" (God) - as though there should even be any needed subsequent proof beyond the clear and concise BDB Josh. 5:14 & Jdgs. 6:13 "Theophanic angel" citation?
If you should agree with this summation that what this man actually teaches is indeed an abominable heresy could you please publish yourself as an accredited author, an article and circulate this BDB information among your professional colleagues at you acclaimed University - as to just what this guy and his minion echoes are actually teaching to unsuspecting and innocent Biblical students.
In summary, the way I see it, based on the published and accredited BDB Lexicon and its clear cited notation of Josh. 5:14 & Jdgs. 6:13 as a "Theophanic angel", Dr. Buzzard's persistent and insisted claim that the "adoni" of Ps. 110:1 is an "absolute" non-deity in ALL MT is theologically proven null and void.
Your scholarly attention and support for this request will most sincerely be appreciated!
P.S. - If we save just one unsuspecting soul from being entrapped and entangled by Dr. Anthony Buzzard's intentional but misguided theological heresy and his fraudulently striking at the heart of the doctrine of the Trinity through his deceptive teaching of Ps. 110:1 Hebrew "adoni" it will be more than worth all of our efforts.
Good to make your acquaintance as well. I have heard the first part of the argument before (it's not original to Dr. Buzzard); the "quick fix" he appends to deflect your strong objection strikes me as absurd on its face because then there would be no difference between an angel and a theophany – which clearly there is. An angel is a creature. God is God. When God makes Himself visible to His creatures, that is a theophany, not an angel. The fact that the phrasing "THE Angel of the Lord" is a standard biblical way to represent theophanies given to human beings on earth does not mean that God is an angel or that angels are God (as the people who wrote and read the original texts understood very well). The word "angel" in Hebrew means, first and foremost, "messenger" (as does also the corresponding Greek word angelos from which we get the word angel). BDB is a work of secular scholarship so that they have no conservative theological axe to grind (just the opposite); all other scholarly lexica of which I am aware will say essentially the same thing – because it is patently obvious from reading the Hebrew text. There are places where God appears in the OT, and these are conventionally termed "theophanies"; where angels who are not God appear, these are not "theophanies"; there is no overlap between the two.
I am less concerned about the 'Adonay versus 'Adoniy argument. The Old and New Testaments so thoroughly and obviously teach the deity of Christ that if a person stops believing in the Trinity because of the distinction in a Hebrew pronoun which he/she most likely doesn't really understand anyway, well, there's not much faith there. More to the point, there's not much willingness there to believe what the Bible says either. Whether Christ or a theophany of Christ is addressed as "my Lord" or "my LORD" just shows the custom of the time – and that the person doing the addressing is giving the Addressee proper respect. It is only latter (as in Israel today) that the difference between these two becomes profound (see below).
This is all to some degree a moot point because the critical issue in our Lord's quotation of Psalm 110:1 does not depend on 'Adonay versus 'Adoniy. The Hebrew (apparently) has the latter (i.e., Lord vs. LORD). However, it is not really possible to say with absolute authority because the vowel points were all added much latter (possibly as late as ca. 8th cent.), and these two forms are identical in the consonantal script (which is the only part of the text which is actually inspired). As I say, all that is moot, since Jesus' point is that David gives to his Son the respect which one would give God, and calls his Son "Lord/LORD" even at that time well before the incarnation. How then can the Messiah be both David's Son and his Lord/LORD? Only if He is also God – otherwise He would be only a human being who, though exalted, would still owe respect to His famous elder David, not the other way around. That is Jesus' point. His Lordship/deity is proved by David combining the two, Son and Lord, not by the particular form of the word used.
Finally on this point, Greek, although it is a language of great subtlety and admits of all manner of precise distinctions, does not distinguish between LORD and Lord. The Greek word kyrios is used for translating the Hebrew in both places (i.e., LXX and GNT) and in both cases as if there were no distinction at all. So for anyone to make more of this difference than the Bible itself makes seems to me to be going down a rabbit hole. That is frequently what false teachers do, of course. Kudos to you for your courageous and intelligent prosecution of this issue!
Best wishes for your continuing ministry to the Church of Jesus Christ,
THANK YOU VERY MUCH for your well thought of response.
You definitely gave Dr. Buzzard the scholarly body slam that I was unable as a simple student of the word to give him.
Moreover, your statement that the vowel points were a Massoretic UNINSPIRED addition to the INSPIRED Text simply leaped off the page at me - what a remarkable intelligent theological thought. True scholarship in action.
WONDERFUL!!! KEEP it up.
Thanks to you too.
Feel free to write any time.
In Jesus our dear Lord,
Hello again Bob!
How are you keeping? All the best to you and your family for 2013 - may it be an awesome year for you! Bob - you said I could email you for help - so I'm emailing :-) HELP..... I have started taking Hermeneutics classes through our local church and I have an assignment to submit on literary genres (obviously specific to the books of the bible) and I need sources of information in terms of Activities in the Process, i.e.
I don't even understand the blinking question - let alone how to get to the darn answer! Incredible! Anyways, have you anything on your website that I could maybe have a look at or use for information? Obviously I will make full mention of you as my source in the bibliography.
Please help! Thank you in advance Bob
PS- how are you coming along with the rest of the Tribulation Series?
Good to hear from you – and thank you for your good new year's wishes (I certainly wish the same for you and your family).
The Coming Tribulation series has been done for some time now (Bible Basics is still in process; see the links).
As to your question, the words you list are "buzz words" that are often used when dealing with literary interpretation. There are many schools of the latter, most of which are not applicable to the Bible in my view.
The question is not all that clear to me either. But, from what I gather here, this is an attempt to have students consider some of the aspects of interpretation which may affect the "rules" one is using to interpret (i.e., one's "hermeneutic" or "hermeneutics" from the Greek hermeneuo meaning "to interpret or explain" derived from the name "Hermes", the messenger of the gods).
"Genre", for example, is the type of literature in question. Poetic diction is, in all languages and literatures, different from the diction of prose. What we might say in a poem and how we might say it will differ somewhat from what we would say in a business letter and how we would say it. This would seem to be pretty obvious, but it is an often overlooked fact that the Psalms and most of the prophetic writings of the Old Testament are in poetic form. One of the things that has largely fallen our of use in English poetry is the use of "figures of speech" (e.g., poetic plurals, hendiadys, periphrasis, etc.); but as these are plentiful in Hebrew poetry, recognizing that such is the genre of Psalms, for example, may prevent an interpreter from making the mistake of reading things that are meant to be poetic in expression as prosaically literal.
The other words on the list are open to interpretation. "Paradigm" generally means the lens or theory the interpreter is working with. For example, if a person (very wrongly) believes that the Book of Revelation is entirely a metaphor or not meant to be taken literally, that would result in spawning all manner of false interpretations (Revelation, as with almost every verse in the New Testament, is prose).
So it may be that you instructor knows very well that these words overlap and will vary from person to person, time to time, and theory to theory as to their exact meaning and application, and is merely trying to get his/her students to think about the question of interpretation generally.
For a specific application of these principles in the Bible, you might want to check out this link to the appropriate section in part one of Coming Tribulation: "Hermeneutic Issues". And here are some other links where the topic is discussed in passing:
Old Testament Prophecies
Interpreting the Book of Job
Old Testament Typology
Hope this helps – please feel free to write back about any of the above.
In Jesus our dear Lord who is the truth,
Bob - thank you so much for your insight. If I don't even understand the questions, how am I going to get the answer right! Anyway, I am sorry for getting mixed up with the sections that you were still busy with. I should know which is which because I downloaded ALL of the Tribulation series, Satan's Rebellion series and the Bible Basics series (sans the sections you are still busy with of course!). Strangely enough one of my reasons for doing this course is to have a better understanding of your work on the bible. I can only guess that your writings that you have uploaded and share(d) with us is your hermeneutic then? Am I correct in saying you have undertaken the process of exegesis and your writings is the outcome of said exegesis? Am I correct? Or is your writing your interpretation? What methods did you use in same? Our book review assignment is on MJ Gorman's, Elements of Biblical Exegesis I am on page 13 of the book where he is discussing the various methods of exegesis - I would be curious to know what methods you have/you do employ with your writings?
You are very welcome. As to your questions here, "exegesis", as it is generally employed in discussing the Bible, usually means careful interpretation based upon a conservative set of principles (or hermeneutic) in conjunction with accessing the original languages.
Any time anyone says anything about the Bible it is an "interpretation". Indeed, it is impossible even to translate the Bible without a certain amount of interpretation (there are many applications which might possibly be correct in any given verse, and one's understanding of what the verse actually means cannot help but influence the outcome).
The important things that come into the mix in explaining or exegeting scripture are 1) being able to access the original texts in order to be able to find out what the passage actually does say (so that a good and deep knowledge of Greek and Hebrew [and Aramaic] is important for successful interpretation); 2) a broad understanding of the culture and history of the times and places where these texts were written; and 3) a solid theological background. Ideally, the last point will involve understanding a great deal about what scripture really means, both internally in the passage and book being considered ("Biblical Theology"), and also overall, throughout the entire scripture ("Systematic Theology"). In practical terms that means that the more one learns, the better one gets at this, so that anyone involved in this process will be ever circling in on the truth, closer and closer as more and more is learned. This three-fold approach is sometimes called "Isagogics" (by the way).
Here is where one's hermeneutic principles come in. Many secular scholars have deep backgrounds in the original languages and also in the history, culture and archaeology behind the texts. They may even have a good grasp of historical theology. The problem for almost all such – and for many so-called "Christian" scholars who indulge in interpretation – is that they often don't believe that the Bible is God's inerrant Word. They may not even believe in God. Interpreting scripture is different from interpreting any other literature, because the Bible is actually the truth. Being the truth, it can only be understood through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and only by believers, and only if they believe what is being taught (see the link: "Epignosis, Christian Epistemology, and Spiritual Growth."). So while there are many different ways to explain and look at the issue of hermeneutics and the other associated issues you broach here, this is really the critical point. As Christians, we are here to learn the truth, to believe the truth, and live the truth – then help other Christians do the same. That is the Christian life in a nutshell, and the only path to glorifying Jesus Christ. The vast majority of "interpreters" disqualify themselves from saying anything useful to Christians determined to walk with Jesus – because of their unbelief (whether absolute or relative). Furthermore, while anybody can with practice and study come to a good understanding of any branch of secular literature and become conversant with literary theory so as to engage in interpretation of that literature, only those gifted by the Holy Spirit (and properly prepared) can teach the Bible in a way which actually edifies the Church through making the truth understandable (e.g., Eph.4:11-15).
So while there are many "moving parts" in these matters, especially as they have come to be explained in formal academic venues, in practice, God's economy of biblical interpretation can be put in much more simple terms: it's all about learning the truth from those who are gifted and prepared to explicate the truth. The practical question for every Christian who wants to draw closer to God and advance spiritually, therefore, is finding that source.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."
Matthew 13:44-46 NKJV
Ichthys is one such source. May the Lord lead you to the one which is absolutely right for you.
In Jesus Christ who is the truth, the Word of God Himself.
Thank you Bob.
I am so hoping (human side of me) and praying (spirit within me) that I am found to be worthy to be allowed and able to be blessed by the Holy Spirit to have the Word and its treasures revealed to me. Whether this may happen through self-discovery as I spend time with God and He reveals Himself to me through the living Word, or whether it be through other more "official" type avenues like this course I am taking, my only outcome and aim is to better understand the Father heart of our God and the truth through Jesus Christ our saviour. The great I AM! My only aim and hope is that He will take me under His wing and open the eyes of my heart and the eyes of my very spirit and soul. I am deeply indebted to you for your wisdom and your approach you have taken in trying to help me through my questions. Thank you Bob... that's all I can say is thank you. Can I ask one more thing of you please? Would you please pray for me so that I can continue this course with my heart, spirit, soul my very being and existence in fact, pointed to Jesus and that through His redeeming work on the cross, His gift of grace, that we may call ourselves sons and daughters of the most high Living GOD! I thank you again Bob for your help. I may call on you again soon - I hope not to take advantage of you nor your blessing that you have been given by God to have such an incredible relationship with the Bible!
In the meantime, take good Godly care of yourself Bob and again, thank you for everything. All for and too the glory of God & his son Jesus Christ. Amen
You are very welcome.
I will certainly pray for you, and wish you to win the three crowns and a wondrous eternal reward.
Do feel free to write any time.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I know from your readings that sometimes God's behaviour or thoughts are presented in human terms. I assume this is the case with Psalm 78:36?
But they deceived Him with their mouth And lied to Him with their tongue.
Is the 'deceived' here used as synonymous to 'lie', as God cannot be deceived?
Yes. It's called, technically, anthropopathism (i.e., the attribution to God of human characteristics in order to illustrate a point, rather common in scripture). God cannot be deceived. They thought they were deceiving Him, but were only deceiving themselves.
Thanks so much for writing back. I really appreciate that.
Yes, open theism has to do with the idea of the future being partly open (undetermined). They base it on the following scriptures and thoughts:
* God speaks of the future in terms of what may or may not be: Ex. 3:18, 4:9, 13:17; Eze.12:3
* God changes His plans in response to changing circumstances: Ex. 32:10-14, Jer. 18:1-10
* God's willingness to change His plans is considered one of His glorious attributes:Jonah 4:2; Joel 2:12-13
* God tests people to see what types of decisions they will make: Gen. 22:12;Ex.16:4;Deut. 8:2, 13:1-3; 2 Chron. 32:31
* God has had disappointments and has regretted how things turned out: Gen.6:6; 1 Sam.15:10, 15:35
* God has expected things to happen that didn't come to pass: Isa. 5:1-5; Jer. 3:6-7, 3:19-20
* God gets frustrated and grieved when he attempts to bring individuals into alignmentwith his will and they resist: Eze. 22:29-31; Isa. 63:10; Eph. 4:30; cf. Heb. 3:8, 3:15, 4:7; Acts 7:51
*The prayers of man have changed the plans of God
*God is said to have repented (changed His mind) several times in the bible
*The future is capable of changing: Ex. 32:10-14, Jer. 18:1-10, Num. 14:10-20 etc.
I copied the above from a website. I know some Christians who deeply love the Lord who believe in this, but I'm not sure exactly why they like to talk about this subject to such a fair extent. I think they tend to read the writing of Finney and Moral Government which leads them to talk about this subject quite a bit. Despite the above Scriptures they list, I still think of God as omniscient.
There are sooooo many discussions like this on facebook and concerning original sin/born in sin, Calvinism/TULIP etc etc, that I'm pretty convinced the Holy Spirit is leading me to leave all this behind. I feel that people get too caught up in petty debates, and lose sight of what the real issue is: the Lord's life changing gospel. And like you said above, issues like original sin, Calvinism etc etc mean so many different things to so many different people. What I really appreciate about your site is that you overall concentrate on sharing the gospel that can change men's hearts from one of stone to one of flesh. You focus on what truly matters. When I look at the vast majority of "Christian" websites out there, this is what I normally see:
1. Partial gospel websites: these either focus too much on grace and won't share honestly about repentance; Or else they go to the other extreme, and focus too much on repentance, and focus very little on God's grace.
2. Rude condemning legalistic websites: People shouting and screaming about hell and repentance in a very harsh condemning way, and making people angry and encouraging arguments instead of humbly drawing people to God's love.
3. Too much focus controversial issues and complicated theology websites: These sites almost tend to make an idol of various issues and debates, and almost seem a bit 'puffed up' on certain issues. There is too much focus on debate and not enough on the gospel of peace and truth.
4. Weird websites galore: love of signs, wonders, trips up to the 3rd heaven, visions, dreams, 'tongues', UFOs etc etc
I am working on a gospel video now and it was 95% done when I discovered your website, and I am really appreciating that when I read your writings, that everything you write lines up with my video. I am not going to finish it anytime very soon, but when I do I was wondering if I could include your site at the end. Sometimes people get changed by the gospel and excited and joyful, but then when they go to search churches, TV, radio, and computer for "Christian" encouragement and added guidance they just find a huge ugly mess out there (like the 4 areas I described above.) If I added your site, at least they would know of a place of excellent Christian teachings to turn to that will continue to steer them in the right direction. I won't have the video done anytime soon, but when I do, I will show it to you, and if you see any error you can let me know so I can change it. Thanks very much and will talk to you more later!
You are most welcome. And thank you for this comprehensive, wise and extremely useful list of "rocks and shoals" out there in cyber-space. I will get to posting it one day for sure. And you may certainly reference Ichthys in anything you produce. This problem, the one you are addressing, is the very one which most vexes my heart (and explains the origin and the purpose of this ministry). Having been saved, the present generation of Laodicea has very few places to go to buy the eye salve, raiment and currency necessary to see clearly, walk in a genuinely holy manner, and produce the good crop "for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph.4:12 NKJV). And this is the only way to win the eternal reward which our Lord recommends.
As to "oneness", I think most of the objections listed and pasted here would be explained if the persons in question understood the principle of sanctified anthropopathism (see the link), that is, the point that God often represents Himself to us in human terms so that we may understand His actions and relate to Him better. E.g., God is said to have "hated Esau" (Mal.1:3), yet we know that He is love and that Jesus died for the sins of all human beings. Clearly, rather than an actual assessment of His holy character, this is merely an expression of intense divine displeasure put in terms we can understand, meant to show us and teach us the way the Lord would have us to walk, the way which is better for us by far: Jacob will be in heaven, but Esau is in hell. Thinking that God can be "frustrated", for example, is about the best illustration I can find for showing up what is wrong with this sort of half-baked theology: it posits a very "little" God, one who is nothing like the One who planned all of history for our benefit, the One who knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning, the One who loved us so much He sent His beloved Son to die for our sins. If they can't appreciate His glory and His power and His magnitude, one would think that they might be able to appreciate something of His unfathomable love, and goodness and grace. As it is, this sort of thing makes me doubt the salvation of those who pen it, because such a little entity certainly would not have the power or the wisdom or the moral authority to make us stand judgment for our choices in this life – not to mention atone for our sins and give us eternal life. I think if Satan has a favorite theology, it might very well be this one . . . simply because it sails close enough to the truth to seem not particularly dangerous, even though the shipwreck of true faith would seem to be inevitable for those who take this ill-considered voyage.
Thank you so much for all your good words and for all you efforts on behalf of the Body of Christ.
In Jesus our dear Lord,
One more question regarding the 'Davidic covenant' from Ps.89:13-37. You wrote: David is quoting the Lord. The eternal aspects throughout are speaking about the Messiah.
Should we thus understand all of this Psalm as a quotation by our Lord? I'm still unsure whether our Lord in this Psalm refers partially to David, partially to Himself?
One has to take these passages one at a time. As king of Israel and one specially chosen of God, David is a "type of Christ", and that typology is very frequently seen in his writings. Consider what Peter says about Psalm 16, for example:
"Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay."
Acts 2:29-31 NIV
For more on this principle please see the link: "Typology"
(17) By Faith Abraham offered up Isaac when he was tested, and was on the point of offering up [in sacrifice] his one and only son, the one who [about whom he] had received the promises, (18) about whom it had been said, "In Isaac shall your seed be called", (19) [for Abraham was] reckoning that God was able to raise [him] from the dead, whence (i.e., from the dead) he did receive [Isaac] back even metaphorically (i.e., Isaac was as good as dead but God delivered him through the substitute of the ram, a type of Jesus Christ).
Since you write ' through the substitute of the ram, a type of Jesus Christ', I assume then that both Isaac himself and the ram are symbols of Christ? The former (as you describe earlier in the paragraph) due to being one and only son sacrificed by his father, the latter as a 'substitute' for our sins. Please correct my understanding.
Yes indeed. You have put it well. Isaac is the type – until he is rescued. The sacrifice of Isaac as the yachidh, or "one and only son" is important in helping us to understand just what Jesus' sacrifice cost the Father.
You wrote: The powerful image conveyed by the picture of the Shepherd who guards and guides us is ubiquitous in the scriptures, conveying the truth that our Lord is our merciful protector and provider, ever present to comfort and take care of us (Gen.48:15; Ps.28:9; 80:1; Eccl.12:11; Jer.31:10; 49:19; 50:44; Ezek.34:23; 37:24; Zech.13:7; Matt.2:6; 25:32; 26:31; Mk.14:27; Jn.10:2-16; 1Pet.5:2-4).
Ezekiel 34:23 doesn't seem to be referring to Jesus?
Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.
Ezekiel 34:23 NASB
You do of course have a point about Ezekiel 34:23, but the emphatic designation "One Shepherd" has lead me (and also, e.g., Unger, UCOT in loc.) to conclude that Jesus is meant. David is a "type of Christ" and that seems to be the usage here. However, as David will be resurrected and have a special role in the government of Israel proper during the Millennium, I am not prepared to say that there might not be a dual application here.
Why did David see the angel of Yahweh? Most angel sightings seem rare but to have meaning.
And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of Yahweh standing between earth and heaven, with his sword drawn in his hand, stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces.
1 Chronicles 21:16
This was indeed a unique situation. But then David was a unique individual. He is a "type" of the Messiah, and this event is typological of the Messiah's deliverance of Israel (and of us all). A plague is about to destroy Jerusalem, but the destruction coming from God is stayed at the precise spot where the altar which represents the cross would be placed. Symbolically, therefore, the incident represents our deliverance from sin through the death of Christ in our place, and also the deliverance of Israel at the second advent when the remnant at Jerusalem is about to be destroyed by antichrist. Both deliverances occur at this same place, so that David is given to see the destructive force in the form of the angel and that he may then report it and that we may draw these blessed conclusions with their concomitant encouragement.
You wrote: The three days in the grave are very important to fulfill our Lord's prophecies concerning His physical death (e.g., Matt.12:40; 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; 26:61; Lk.9:22; 13:22; Jn.2:19; cf. Gen.22:4 with Lk.24:46).
Could you please explain the comparison of Gen.22:4 with Lk.24:46? Did you include Gen.22:4, because Abraham is sacrificing his only son?
Yes. There are many deliberate parallels between the [near] sacrifice of Isaac and our Lord's death on the cross; the former is a "type" of the latter (e.g., it happened at exactly the same place; Mt. Moriah is the place of the later temple in Jerusalem: 2Chron.3:1). That being the case, the "on the third day" of Genesis 22:4 is clearly significant for this discussion, helping us to see the link between the (almost) sacrifice of Isaac and the coming sacrifice of our Lord Jesus of whom Isaac is a type.
You wrote: Perhaps the most common Christophany is the appearance of "the angel of the Lord", where the word "angel" is used to express a manifestation of Christ rather than an angelic creature per se.
Matthew 2:13 uses the same term to describe an angel, instead of Christ: "Now when they had gone, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream."
I assume it comes down to what you wrote before, with our Lord being the Angel of the Lord?
Yes. The definite article is the key. There are many "angels of the Lord", but Jesus is the Angel of the Lord.
Having quoted Ezekiel 1:26-28 NIV and Isaiah 6:1 NIV you wrote:
We know this because in referring to this second passage above John at John 12:41 says "Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him" (NIV).
How do we know it is Jesus who is described in Ezekiel 1:26-28?
I would say because, when all of the information is put together, the proposition that it is Jesus who is the revealed Person of the Godhead, and that it is He who is ever dealing with mankind directly, is persuasive and makes this a logical assumption. After all, if even "in His temple" the Person seen by Isaiah was truly Jesus Christ, then a fortiore the Person seen by Ezekiel as having come to earth to appear to him in this form must have been the Son representing the Father and not the Father. There is no other case of the Father coming to earth – until the victory is won and all trace of sin and evil have been expunged from the New Heavens and the New Earth. Then and only then will the Father "live among us" on earth (Rev.21:3).
If I remember correctly (I may be wrong here), you wrote somewhere that God cannot be seen by a human being, as his glory is overwhelming. On the other hand, Isaiah (in Is. 6:5) says he did see the Lord.
There are a number of instances in scripture where we do receive reports of the Almighty. This passage you ask about, Daniel chapter seven, and the book of Revelation are the most explicit. I take these situations, described in the most detail by John in Revelation, to be instances of prophetic ecstasy. That is to say, this is not precisely the same as viewing God in His glory from our sinful flesh (that is what is impossible) but very rare situations where the special situation of being supernaturally made to be "in the Spirit" obtains. This has only happened to a handful of exceptional prophets and for the purpose of allowing us these important, encouraging and awe-inspiring glimpses into such heavenly things (see the link: Spiritual Ecstasy).
You wrote (about my question if it's Jesus who appears as an epiphany in Genesis 3:8 and later): Yes and (with some exceptions such as Daniel chapter 7) yes.
Could you briefly explain the meaning of Daniel 7? I thought that the following verses refer to Jesus too:
"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
The Ancient of Days (Dan.9:7) is the Father before whom the Son of Man (Dan.9:13) appears.
You wrote: 'Without a human or angelic father (Heb.1-2; cf. Jn.19:34-35; 1Jn.5:6-8)'.
I'm aware that 'cf.' may refer to a less direct reference, but I haven't established the link between your statement and Jn.19:34-35; 1Jn.5:6-8.
These two passages are John's proofs of the reality of our Lord Jesus' true humanity, given here to balance the Hebrews passage: although sometimes appearing in Christophany before the incarnation (and often described as the Angel of the Lord), our Lord in not an angel – but He is, since the incarnation, a genuine human being (pace some early heresies and modern false teachings to the contrary).
Pls Sir, could you clarify the statement of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:25? In ESV translation it is 'the fourth is like a son of the gods' while KJV says 'the fourth is like the son of God'. Is the fourth person Christophany? Secondly, concerning last email responses on long endings in the book of Mark. Some translation like FSV stated before 6:9 that "*some of the earliest ms do not include 9-20". Knowing that no one should add or subtract from the holy book, why do they?
Thanks in advance.
Hello my friend,
Always good to hear from you. Yes indeed, the fourth person is Jesus Christ, appearing before the incarnation in a Christophany. Nebuchadnezzar's astonishment at the condition of the other three is trumped by the obvious impression the glory of the fourth person provided, so He can only be God, the Son of God our dear Lord Jesus.
As to the "why" of the additions to Mark, first, the fact that there are so many different versions and types shows without question that they are false. But I'm not sure I can tell you about the "why". Unbelievers are motivated by all sorts of worldly concerned, and believers who are spiritually immature – which, in the history of the world, is the case with most believers – are often conflicted in their motivations as well. No doubt at least some of those who were tinkering here thought they were "doing a good thing" – although I can't imagine what they might have had in mind to think that way. We might just have to wait until we get to heaven to ask them (assuming they will even be there).
Keep running the good race for the prize in Jesus Christ!