Posts in Theology
“Prince of peace” is biblical language. In other words, it derives from its use in the Bible as a descriptive title with a very specific context. The title “Prince of Peace” is used of the Messiah in Isaiah 9:6. It is, therefore—according to Christian orthodoxy—a reference to Jesus Christ. This is an extraordinarily honorific title. It denotes the full realization of messianic hope. In the Christian Scriptures it alludes to human reconciliation with God, and only by extension to the realization of peace within the human community. The agent, of course, is the Prince of Peace ...
It is commonly claimed that when Jesus used the phrase “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι, ego eimi), he was making a direct reference to the name of God in the Old Testament, YHWH. There is some truth to this, but I want to suggest three important caveats to this claim:
- “I am” (ἐγώ εἰμι), by itself, is not a code for the name of God;
- “I am” is only intended to refer to deity in some of Jesus’ sayings;
- Paying too much attention to the “I am” part of the sentence distracts readers from paying attention to the rest of the sentence.
One of the keys to understanding the New Testament (NT) use of the Old Testament (OT) may be the recognition that when a NT author draws upon an idea found in a particular OT passage, it does not have to be the main idea of that passage to be usable. The contemporary assumption (often not articulated) that it has to be the main idea of an OT text to be legitimate seems to be a key stumbling block for people studying the NT use of the OT. The tendency for people to focus only on the main idea of a text (rather than also upon sub-themes) may also explain my present discomfort with the sense / referent distinction made by various authors. The sense / referent distinction seems to assume a single sense for a verse that is akin to an exegetical idea of that verse.
Have you ever wondered what theology and ice cream have in common? Some Zondervan authors shed some light on the matter, and our very own Dr. Joanne Jung chimes in.
The dialogue between Michael and Jim comes to a close:
Michael: But what if it doesn’t happen the way I hope? What if I set out on a course of action and my impact turns out to be minimal?
Jim: I don’t believe that anyone who lives a life of whole devotion to God will only have minimal impact. But it’s not until eternity that we will be able to see all that has occurred through our lives. In other words, we don’t always see fully now. But, let’s say that you really don’t make an impact; you can’t even see a dent. Even then, you’ve lived life according to the purpose for which you were created, and that can never be called an empty life.
Michael: But if your ministry is unsuccessful, you haven’t succeeded.
Jim: Not necessarily ...
As a parent, my favorite word to say is “yes.” Saying this word puts me in a favorable position with my children. The look of joy on their faces when I say “yes” compels me to say it more and more. I even struggle saying “yes” when I know it would be wiser to say “no” due to budget restraints (“yes, take my last $20”), or health concerns (“yes, eat the whole gallon of ice cream”), or just common sense (“yes, you can play in the street”). My children expect a “yes” when they ask because I love saying “yes” so often. So when I say “no” they are surprised by my objections to their request. However, my disapproving “no” is just as loving as my “yes,” and many times it is a much more compassionate response ...
The dialogue between Michael and Jim continues:
Michael: I think I’ll never find a church I can take my family to.
Jim: WHY NOT?!
Michael: There’s just too much hypocrisy!
Jim: I have to agree with you there.
Michael: (not listening to Jim’s answer) … I know it’s hard for you to hear this, since you’re in the ministry and everything … (all of a sudden catching on) … did you say you agree?!
Jim: Of course I do ...