Paul’s words concerning the return of the Lord were a comfort to the grieving Thessalonians, but they have caused protracted strife among theologians. Perhaps the solution lies in his use of Covenant-literary structure.
The rulers of Jerusalem tested Yahweh and refused to enter into His rest. In Matthew 21-22, Jesus is challenged by the authorities five times. The sixth challenge comes from Jesus, who then pronounces their doom.
The modern practice of dismantling the Bible into a shambles of documents authored in response to disparate historical events rather than viewing it as a unified testimony inspired by God is a surefire way to miss what is actually going on in the text. This failure is compounded by an outright refusal to accept Genesis 1-3 as the foundation for the entire metanarrative.
John Weis wisely read Moses and the Revelation twice before reviewing, and on his second pass he made a helpful summary.
The Lord judged and rejected Saul, and then withdrew His Spirit from him. Then the Lord sent His Spirit to comfort Saul – in David.
The book of Zechariah takes post-exilic Israel from the founding of a new Jerusalem under Persia to its destruction under Rome. For the saints, however, for whom judgment is a blessing, the prophecy works from glory to glory, from Jerusalem below to the unshakeable one above, from an earthly Sabbath to an eternal one.
Jesus’ seven last “words” from the cross follow the pattern of Creation. Why? Because He was making all things new.
While we must avoid extracting verses from Paul’s epistles as if they were theological fortune cookies, an analysis of his systematic reasoning without reference to Covenant-literary structure is still prone to missing much of the meaning, beauty and wit.
Jacob’s sons would contemptuously combine two acts of bloodshed – a mercy commanded by God and a vengeance abhorred by God – for the sake of their own honor. There would be no animal substitute for the firstborn of believing Hamor.
To avoid another global judgment, the Lord established a substitutionary, sacrificial “creation” in Abram, a man who bore the Edenic curses upon land and womb and overcame them by faith.