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Faith, History, and Isaiah 7

A QUESTION ARISING OUT OF MY DISCUSSION OF FAITH AND HISTORY, IN REFERENCE TO AN EARLIER POST ON ISAIAH AND THE VIRGIN BIRTH QUESTION: I know that you posted something on the virgin birth in Isaiah in the past (which I think was in fact an excerpt from your forthcoming Bible Intro book) – but can you elaborate how you will apply your approach you discuss here with passages such as Isaiah 7 where there is debate around whether it is a prophecy referring to Jesus or not. Will you take a hardline interpretation and saying it must not be referring to Jesus, or will you just outline the major interpretations and stay neutral so the reader doesn’t know how you personally interpret it? RESPONSE: It’s a good question, and I do indeed have a firm opinion about it.  My opinion is not very idiosyncratic; it is simply rooted in the “historical method” that I prefer to use when reading ancient texts.   If you look at Isaiah of Jerusalem living in the 8th century BCE, [...]

2020-04-03T19:21:01-04:00September 27th, 2012|Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Reader’s Questions|

A Virgin Birth? The Importance of Context

I continue to be writing up a storm, making just the progress I've wanted on my Bible Introduction. Gods willing, I will finish chapter 8 tomorrow, which is all of the chapters dealing with the Hebrew Bible. I was eager to finish this part of the book before the weekend, because on Monday I head overseas for the rest of the summer (Sarah and I spend a good chunk of every summer in London; she's a Brit, and has been there already for a couple of weeks, teaching a Duke summer school program abroad). I hope to finish the NT section while I'm there, but that won't take as much work, in a sense, since I have, well, written about the NT before. (In another sense it takes a lot more work -- about 35 years worth altogether). While I'm away, I will certainly keep this blog going full steam. In case you wondered! Below is a little section from my opening chapter of the Intro. Remember: this book is for 19 year olds, most [...]

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