Like most speeches, the Sermon on the Mountain was obviously composed privately before it was delivered publicly. But what is the logic behind Jesus’ meticulous – and magnificent – literary architecture?
Psalm 110 is one of the two most frequently quoted Psalms in the New Testament, yet its purpose and content remain mysterious unless we take into account its Covenant-literary structure.
The revival of debate over the “eternal subordination of the Son” boils down to yet another attempt by Christian academia to solve the biblical jig saw puzzle with no reference to the picture on the box.
In the fifth cycle of John’s first epistle, he has reached the final step of the fivefold Covenant pattern: Succession. His subject matter is historical continuity via offspring, however the New Covenant “sons” are not natural but spiritual seed.
In the English New Testament, “Judas” and “Judah” as personal and corporate names are a helpful differentiation. But when it comes to Judas Iscariot, his Hebrew name links him “liturgically” to the fate of the kingdom of Israel.
In the fourth cycle of John’s first epistle, the apostle shifts from the stipulations of the New Covenant (Ethics) to the role of the saints as faithful representatives of that Covenant (Oath/Sanctions). Since John’s deep structure is a recapitulation of the Torah, his major theme is now the book of Numbers.
In the third cycle of John’s first epistle, the apostle employs the themes of ascension – the firstfruits of the land and the womb, lawgiving at Sinai, and “Levitical” purity – in his exhortation to the New Covenant Israel. But these saints had assembled at a better mountain.
In the second cycle of John’s first epistle, John shifts his focus from the Tabernacle itself to the guardians of worship, from Transcendence to Hierarchy.
The astronomical shift from geocentrism to heliocentrism is today regarded as part of a greater philosophical shift – the rejection of special creation as taught by the Bible. But this reveals the ongoing incapacity of humanity to perceive the nature of what God considers to be truly “central.”
Matthew’s account of Jesus, Peter and their miraculous payment of the Temple tax is a classic literary puzzle. Providentially, the Bible’s own covenant-literary matrix is its key.