The Israelite origins of the Samaritans

My reading of the parable of the Good Samaritan, outlined here and here, depends largely on two factors. The first factor concerns the alleged inter-textual relationship between the parable and the story of the prophet Oded in 2 Chronicles 28. Does the parable actually invoke the Chronicler's story of the Judean captives and their merciful … Continue reading The Israelite origins of the Samaritans

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More on the Good Samaritan: the humiliation of Israel’s shepherds

I argued last time that when read with the story of the prophet Oded in view (2 Chronicles 28), the parable of the Good Samaritan constitutes an indictment against Israel's religious establishment for failing to protect vulnerable members of the covenant community. According to Jesus, the priest, scribe, lawyer, and Pharisee have failed to love … Continue reading More on the Good Samaritan: the humiliation of Israel’s shepherds

The literary origins of the Good Samaritan: Oded and the priestly law of brotherly love

The Lukan parable of the Good Samaritan contains certain intriguing similarities with the obscure story of the prophet Oded in 2 Chronicles 28. As I hope to show here, the correct interpretation of Luke's parable lies in these similarities. We thus begin with Oded.  According to the Chronicler, during the reign of king Ahaz Judah … Continue reading The literary origins of the Good Samaritan: Oded and the priestly law of brotherly love

Another look at God’s kingdom in second temple context

The kingdom among Jews I previously made the case that the kingdom of God as understood by the first Christians was not fundamentally a place, a polity, or a period of time; it was rather a process by which God's will became manifest on the earth in history. This process would at first be sudden … Continue reading Another look at God’s kingdom in second temple context

Virgin birth in ancient context: sowing the father’s πνεῦμα

Seed and soil The people of Antiquity subscribed to what is called the "seed and soil" theory of human reproduction. According to this theory the father conveyed life and form to the child in and through his seed. As with a plant seed then, most if not all morphological features were passed on by the … Continue reading Virgin birth in ancient context: sowing the father’s πνεῦμα

Functional eschatology at Thessalonika

Paul outlines what appears to be a novel eschatological scenario in his first letter to the churches at Thessalonika. He writes that at the coming of Christ believers will be raised from the dead, collected into the air, and brought into the presence of the Lord (4:16-17). At the sound of the last trumpet there … Continue reading Functional eschatology at Thessalonika

The resurrection to heaven

Christ's physical resurrection In two previous posts I tried to discern the significance of Christ's resurrection for earliest Christianity. I came to the conclusion that the resurrection served, for the most part, as a sign pointing to the exaltation of Christ to God's right hand. I argued that this exaltation, in turn, established Christ's role … Continue reading The resurrection to heaven