OT/ANE Background Studies: Five Theses

Sometimes when Christians study the OT they are apprehensive about allowing ancient Near Eastern background studies to aid in interpretation.  Or, to state this apprehension in a question: “What do ANE studies have to do with OT interpretation?”  For some reason most Christians are more comfortable with NT background studies than OT ones.  I appreciate… Continue reading OT/ANE Background Studies: Five Theses

Ancient Cosmology

   I've got a few flights and a short vacation in front of me, so one of the books I plan on reading is this 2009 IVP book by John Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One.  Andrew said I'd appreciate it, and based on the first few paragraphs of chapter one, I think I will. … Continue reading Ancient Cosmology

OT Israel History and Literature

 "...The purpose of Israel's literature is theological.  It is selective, as all historical writing must be, and it has an agenda.  It is not interested in preserving events for history's sake.  Its purpose is to document Yahweh's action in history and his control of the flow of events.  In these documents the nation is more important… Continue reading OT Israel History and Literature

Elijah and Elijah: Polemics against Baal

In her outstanding comparison of the canonical Elijah/Elisha texts and the ANE Baal texts, Leah Bronner makes the point that the Elijah/Elisha stories are polemics against Baal and his minions.  Here is a summary in her own words. "The writer of these episodes about the lives of these prophets wrote them as deliberate polemics against Canaanite mythology, as we… Continue reading Elijah and Elijah: Polemics against Baal

Sproul on the Curse and the Cross

In his excellent little book, The Truth of the Cross, R.C. Sproul discusses the Ancient Near Eastern  (Sumerians, Akkadians, etc.) treaties/covenants and how parts of them were pretty much universal back then.  He then shows now the blessings and curses of the Mosaic covenant point to Christ.  In the light of the curse specifically, Sproul… Continue reading Sproul on the Curse and the Cross