Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Interpreting The New Testament

Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Bock & Enns

It is easy to claim improper usage of Old Testament (O.T.) texts in the New Testament (N. T.) if there is not a seemingly logical flow. Bock debunks this idea with his Single Meaning, Multiple Contexts and Referentsmethod. He makes very persuasive points, taking both an historical-exegetical and a theological-canonical approach to the reading of Scripture. The strength of his argument is found in the appeal to an “inherent futureness” found in the texts.[1] Bock agrees with Kaiser’s “Single Meaning, Unified Referents” adding that N.T authors authoritatively used O.T texts with “the presence of new factors in the progress of revelation within the movement of the history of salvation, factors not obvious at the time of the original production of the text.”[2]

Sunday, August 12, 2018

How The New Testament Authors Used The Old Testament: Examples

New testament writers often utilized Old Testament texts to indicate a direct fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Because they had a Christotelic mindset, their use of certain seemingly unrelated Old Testament texts elicited claims of arbitrary and embellished use of the Scriptures. Both Matthew and John utilize Messianic typological interpretive methods in revealing Jesus to their audience.

Zechariah was a priest and one of “the greatest post-exilic prophets.”[1] He had more to say about the Messiah than all other prophets except Isaiah and “his message included rebuke, exhortation and encouragement.”[2] The surrounding context of the pericope finds the Israelites as a vassal of the Medo-Persian empire (539-334 BC).[3]  God assigns Zechariah to convey a symbolic message to the nation in response to their rejection of him. He will use multiple metaphors to deliver the message. In chapter 11, verses 1-3, Zechariah describes the national apostasy using “picturesque language of trees (nations)wailing, fire (judgment) devouring, shepherds(kings/leaders) weeping and lions (kings) roaring.”[4]  In a magnificent display of power, Zechariah prophetically describes desolation from Lebanon in the north to Bashan to the South. “The figurative of shepherds and lions describe the leaders of Lebanon and Bashan lamenting the destruction of their pride and livelihood, which is the timber of the region.”[5]As part of his Messianic prophecy, the message he develops is that when the “Good Shepherd” is rejected, the people will be led like sheep to the slaughter by evil, insensitive, ungodly and wicked leaders (11:6-7). There will be rampage as all they have will come to ruins (v. 3). “Resistance is futile, so Lebanon should open her doors (like the gates of a fortified city) to the fire of God’s judgment awaiting her.”[6] Miller suggests that Jewish rabbis interpreted Lebanon as representative of temple and the devastation would be so complete that what the fire did not destroy would be cut down.”[7] The destruction Zechariah alludes to is the Abomination of Desolation realized in Jerusalem when the Roman armies descended in A.D. 70.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Transformation Ministries Florida Fall Launch Info - Prelim.


Meeting Space: The Hampton Inn
        5740 South State Rd. 7
        Coconut Creek, Fl 33073
        (754) 214-5601

Mailing Address: P.O. BOX 120981
           Fort Lauderdale,
           Florida, 33312.


Save The Date!.......  All Are Welcome.

The Official Launch of Transformation Ministries Florida

Sunday November 18, 2018 @ 3:00pm

Multi-Purpose Auditorium
City of Lauderdale Lakes
4340 Nw. 36th Street
Lauderdale Lakes
Florida 33319

"Be Transformed By The Renewing Of Your Mind."
                                                            (Rom. 12:2)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Still Under The Law?

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians said, “But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore, the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:23-24, Nasb 2000). Here is good defense in support of the role of the law in the life of the Christian. Parts of it still works. Surely not the ceremonial and some of the civil pieces (for these would be unreasonable to uphold), but they played the crucial role as that of a school master/principal – keeping you in line till graduation. My tutor gives me guidance and insights; keeps me focused when I wish to game away the evening; keeps me in check and sometimes chastises me (in the old days, give me a whipping). But all for a good purpose.

Paul was accused of cozying up with the Gentiles and watering down the need for upholding the Law. He responded essentially that “the law teaches us the need for salvation. It has its place. The law is not what gives salvation, only God. The Old Testament reveals God’s nature, his will, his moral laws and gives guidelines for living. But what the law does is show people where they have sinned (tutor) and points them to Christ.”[1] The law was truly an integral part of their identity. But now, the identity of the Christian is not to be found in a set of laws as the Israelites had, rather faith in Christ. Why put your confidence in a system that was “restated, modified, intensified, changed and repealed?”[2] Makes no sense when we can have direct access to the law maker himself. Christians are now governed by the Holy Spirit and the law provides both moral and ethical guidelines for living today.

[1]. Life Application Study Notes, (La Habra, CA: Zondervan, 2000), 2061.  

[2]. J. Daniel Hays, Applying The Old Testament Law Today, Bibliotheca Sacra, Iss. 158 no 629 (2001):29, accessed July 19, 2018.
Written by Kevin A. Hall

Thursday, July 19, 2018

What of Matthew 5:17? Is the Mosaic Law Still Valid?

The Mosaic Law & Its Application
The contention surrounding Matthew 5:17  is most often concerned with the words “abolish and fulfill”. The exegesis of the text reveals that Jesus came “not to sweep away the righteous demands of the law, rather to fulfill (bring the intended meaning) its righteous demands.”[1] While the Mosaic law was a critical component of daily living for the Israelites and their land, “Christians are in no way tied to either the land nor its laws,”[2] rendering the law non-binding. Christ Jesus is the standard for the gospel, moral teaching and governance of the church,[3] not the Mosaic Law, especially in light of the fact that the New Covenant (Hebrews 8-9) renders the Mosaic Law obsolete. Christians are no longer under the Law (Gal. 3:25, 2:15-16; Rom. 7:4, 6:14-15; 1 Cor. 9:20; Eph. 2:15). The Law remains a guide to shed light on sin and the human nature, but the Christian is now bound to an internal governance by the Holy Spirit, his Word, and the fellowship of the church (Jer.31:31-33; Ezek. 36:24-28).

[1]. J. Daniel Hays, Applying The Old Testament Law Today, Bibliotheca Sacra, Iss. 158 no 629 (2001):29, accessed July 19, 2018. 
[2]. Ibid., 30.
[3]. Ibid.  

Written by Kevin A. Hall

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Doctrine of Inspiration

The Authoritative, Inspired Word Of God
  From the inception of the church, converts of Christ’s way came to know their God through the holy writings of Scripture. There were no available New Testament Scriptures. The early church relied on the writings of Judaism and “further developed the faith that the Jews had in their Scriptures.”[1] The earliest texts of the New Testament canon would contain the same formulas of quotation and reference as found in the Jewish texts. Example, “For it is written,” (thirty-one times) and “Scripture says,” (seven times).[2] These formulas of quotation and references attest to the doctrine of inspiration and is “conclusive proof sealed by divine authority and which, consequently, is to be accepted with faith and reverence.”[3]
            In the Old Testament, God’s mouthpieces would engage their audience authoritatively through declarative statements such as “Thus says the Lord” (Exodus 4:22, 5:11,7:17; Numbers 14:28; Joshua 24:2; Judges 6:8; 1 Samuel 2:27, 15:2). The New Testament also affirms God as speaking in this manner (Acts 15:18; Romans 12:19, 14:11; 1 Corinthians 14:21; 2 Corinthians 6:17,18; Hebrews 8:8-10, 16; Revelation 1:8). After the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the main thrust of the New Testament writings would be guidance from the Holy Spirit. “However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13a). The revealed Christ becomes the focus of the text.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Original Sin & The Problem of Evil

The Fall, The Nature of Sin & The Problem of Evil.
The doctrines of the fall, the nature of sin and the problem of evil, have revealed more to me about the nature of God than all of the other doctrines combined. It is not uncommon to address the questions of “Why were humans created?” and “Why does a good God allow evil?” in daily conversations. These three doctrines (fall, sin, evil) provide some answers, as they are interrelated. It is now my understanding that because “God is the highest being and we are his creatures, failure to fulfill his standards disrupts the whole economy of the universe.”[1] It is very clear that God wanted  a relationship with his created beings. His daily interactions with Adam and Eve serves as the model (Genesis 3:8). It was their sin that transformed the relationship. A loving God as father and creator, provided everything necessary for his children (animals included) and they in turn trusted and obeyed him. The choice to sin “violated God’s trust and command, placing them on the wrong side of God, in effect making them his enemies.”[2]