Footnote 35 – Teaching by Implication, Drawing Necessary Inferences

Footnote 35 — Christopher J.H. Wright, Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament (2nd ed., Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2014), pp. 71, 256-257.

Learning Biblical truths by implication (and the inferences drawn from narrative, prophecy, poetry, legal mandates or prohibitions, etc.) has been a topic of controversy in some religious circles for awhile now. Christopher J.H. Wright’s work connecting various Old Testament texts with Jesus provides some insight into how that process was used by the Lord himself to teach those who were seeking the truth about him.

“In order to explain Jesus, the New Testament connects him to a whole range of Old Testament Scriptures that are all perceived as expressing God’s promise – whether directly or by implication” (p.71, chapter 2).

Wright picks up this dangling thread later in his work, for example, in explicating the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13) –

“And once again, in the conversation afterward, Jesus helps them to understand the significance of John the Baptist. They knew the accepted teaching of the experts – Elijah must first come before God arrives. The staggering challenge lay in the implications. Here is the logic:

Elijah comes first, then God will come down (drawn from Mal 4:5).
 You know that John has already come first, and then Jesus came.
 So if John was Elijah, who is Jesus?
 Get it?
“In ways like this Matthew shows that Jesus used Scripture that spoke about God in ways that pointed to himself. He did not stand up with a banner proclaiming, ‘I am God.’ He did not need to. The people around him knew their Scriptures. Jesus pointed to those texts, pointed to himself, and in effect told them to draw their own conclusions.” (pp. 256-257).

Part of the issue, of course, is not so much about whether Jesus, and Biblical authors, taught by implication. That they did is an obvious truism — and expected others to draw the logical conclusions. The problem seems to be some of the UN-necessary inferences which some have drawn from Biblical teachings – “whether directly or by implication.”

Think about it, and draw your own conclusions!

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Mount Arbel and the Sea of Galilee

Ferrell's Travel Blog

Our photo today was made from NW of the Sea of Galilee. The formation on the right is known as Mount Arbel. The agricultural area you see slopes down to the Plain of Gennesaret which stretches about 2½ miles to the Sea (Matthew 14:34).

View of Mount Arbel and the Sea of Galilee from the NW. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins. View of Mount Arbel and the Sea of Galilee from the NW. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Across the Sea of Galilee is a portion of the Golan Heights, known in Old Testament times as Bashan. This territory was taken by Israel from Og the king of Bashan and eventually became territory belonging to the tribe of Manasseh.

Then they turned and went up by the way to Bashan. And Og the king of Bashan came out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. But the LORD said to Moses, “Do not fear him, for I have given him into your hand…

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Gate A-4

naomi_shihab_nye

Gate A-4 By Naomi Shihab Nye:

Wandering around the Albuquerque Airport Terminal, after learning my flight had been delayed four hours, I heard an announcement: “If anyone in the vicinity of Gate A-4 understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately.” Well— one pauses these days. Gate A-4 was my own gate. I went there.

An older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing. “Help,” said the flight agent. “Talk to her . What is her problem? We told her the flight was going to be late and she did this.”

I stooped to put my arm around the woman and spoke haltingly. “Shu-dow-a, shu-bid-uck, habibti? Stani schway, min fadlick, shu-bit-se-wee?” The minute she heard any words she knew, however poorly used, she stopped crying. She thought the flight had been cancelled entirely. She needed to be…

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“Me, Too.”

Well said, Randy — thanks!

Randy Daw

Lust has had its way for too long.  In entertainment, at school, and even in church we hear story after story of women who have been assaulted by powerful or even “trusted” men.

Among the teenaged and adult women you know, probably one in every three has been violently assaulted.  More than half have been sexually coerced or harassed.

Note:  Violence includes manipulation or threats which result in sexual compliance. Any touch is violence when consent is coerced, or when consent cannot be legally given.

abused woman

Many courageous women have told their stories in recent weeks.  Others by the (literally) millions have responded on social media and other fora by answering “Me too.”

Other men have often seen and done nothing.  Worse, they have conspired to keep an assault secret, rationalizing that the woman must have done something to bring it about.  If a man knows something and does nothing, he…

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What every church leader needs to know about hymns and hymnals in the digital era

What every church leader needs to know about hymns and hymnals in the digital era

Thanks, Kent — well done!

way truth life love

NEW MUSIC IS NOW BECOMING AVAILABLE TO THE AVERAGE CHURCH AT AN UNPRECEDENTED PACE. Simultaneously, music literacy is declining. Church leaders are often ill-equipped to discern between the various sources of music that may be infiltrating the church. Worship leaders may have competing agendas regarding worship styles, new songs to introduce, and favorite arrangements. Composers and song writers may now publish or self-publish instantaneously and your church can download digital music to print and project as well as play audibly. All of this can lead to confusion, impeded worship, and in the worst cases, division. The days of buying a hymnal and coasting for fifty years are over. Church leaders must become educated on trends and equip themselves to gracefully guide the church to filter the noise and select the best worship resources for their church culture and theology. This article attempts to aid toward that end, though it is…

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Two Are Better Than One

Two Are Better Than One

Lindsay makes her Dad smile, and warms his heart!

twisted running

Last weekend I ate my words and finished a race I had said repeatedly I would never run (and I still haven’t run it-ha!). Though our family in Corning, NY had asked us to combine a visit and a race, we had told them no several times. First, I hate the name. I could spend hours telling you about how much I hate alcohol for all it has done to people I love(d), but I won’t. So running the Wineglass Half, even though there was no real connection between the name and the race, wasn’t high on my list– even though I had heard such amazing things about the course (fast and net downhill), the setting (hi Upstate New York in peak leaf season) and the medal (pretty pretty Corning glass). Secondly, as a Sunday race it was off the boards for us because we have been pretty staunch…

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My Top 5 King James Bibles

King James Bible Blog

As the bestselling Bible, there are many King James Bibles in print. There is just about one for every occasion. How does one even begin to narrow it down? The following are five King James Bibles that I would recommend for every KJV-reader to own. I am not listing these in any particular order, since they are all valuable, and I suggest everyone have a copy of each.

1. The English Bible: Norton Critical Edition

The English Bible: Norton Critical Edition is an academic study Bible edition of the KJV. It comes in two volumes, the Old Testament and New Testament with OT Apocrypha. Unlike most KJV study Bibles today, this one is designed to be a university and seminary textbook, and is academic in content rather than doctrinal. Reading this Bible, the notes remind me of the New Oxford Annotated Bible (4th ed.), which is a standard text…

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