Sunday, October 12, 2008

'Jesus is my Boyfriend'

I've found something that Rowan Williams and Mark Driscoll (from the very little that I've read) agree on. Williams, that a good deal of twentieth century theology has been characterised by bewilderment and agnosticism about the figure of Jesus, sitting next to a hugely popular devotional 'idiom' that s uncomplicatedly focused on the worship of Jesus.

"The late twentieth century has witnessed an extraordinary explosion of devotional song, whose popularity seems to cross an unprecedented range of cultural and linguistic boundaries; n a way curiously reminiscent of the Middle Ages, there is now an international language for worship - not literally a single tongue, but a strongly unified style. Its roots are evangelical and charismatic, but it has conquered great tracks of the Roman Catholic world as well. Some of it, perhaps much of it, has a solid theological basis, and can be strongly evocative of the paradoxes of 'meekness and majesty' (to allude to the refrain of a well-known example); much of it is utterly unadorned and often deeply moving adoration of Jesus. But there is a disquieting element in a good deal of this literature.; it is not just that devotion to Jesus can often be expressed in a way that detaches it from the Trinitarian dynamic of the New Testament, it is also that the erotic idiom of medieval and Counter-Reformation spirituality can reappear with fewer checks and nuances than in early centuries. Jesus as object of loving devotion can slip into Jesus as fantasy partner in a dream of emotional fulfillment. To avoid sentimental solipism, there needs to be either a strong and self-critical theological environment or (which is often the same thing in other guises) a clear orientation to the world's needs and the action of Chris in the whole social and material environment."

Similarly, in The Radical Reformission, Driscoll talks about being a members of churches (pre Mars Hill) where the minister was a manly man (i.e. a former NFL star), who taught the Bible 'verse by verse' and didn't make Driscoll view Jesus like a life long prom date.

Can you think of any songs that have the problem Williams speaks of? Or can you think of any songs that meet the standards of the Archbishop? Write and let me know.

117 comments:

Mike Bull said...

Surely this has a great deal to do with individualism? The church is only the bride of Christ corporately.

In 'Why Men Hate Going to Church', David Murrow talks about men who are turned off church because they can't compete with Jesus for the devotion of their wives. 'Jesus doesn't even need a breath mint.'

Moffitt the Prophet said...

I think it is more to do with some songs and other devotional pracitces that speak of Jesus in quite erotic language.

I remember one song at St Hilda's which had words such as: "Jesus, oh your eyes, how beautiful are your eyes" and so on.

mike said...

Of course the rigorous theological environment throws up it's own type of emotional-fulfillment songs, " Now I know Jesus, everything is so clear"....shudder

Mike Bull said...

The only solution is to sing the Psalms. That will sort the men out from the groupies. I know of a few congregations that are making a big effort to do this and it sure changes the worship.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Or maybe we need to make sure our songs are trinitarian in basis, christological in focus, cosmic in scope, graciously ethical in direction, generous in difference and with a resurrection hope.

Mike Bull said...

Yeah, we can do it better than God's own songbook. It's a bit imbalanced, irrelevant, politically incorrect and culturally bound.

NOT

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Of course not, but the Psalms are not the only things we can sing, and they are not the only songs in the bible.

Mike Bull said...

; ) Yeah, I know.
But
1 We tend not to sing many (if any) Psalms, and
2 If we sang more Psalms our theology might be more balanced for when we do write our own songs. It was more like that in the past I think.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

which is why you should become Anglican :p We're supposed to say/read a psalm in each of church services. It's a practice that has died of, but at Ashfield we've started to revive it.

Mike Bull said...

I'm very glad to hear that.
Here's a link to someone recommending a new book I would like to get...
http://fullcontactchristianity.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/cantus-christi/
I have been thinking of moving to St Hilda's but have stayed at BBC for the kids' sake - and Anglicans have this strange habit of baptizing people before they believe. A sad dreg of popery.
(: o

Moffitt the Prophet said...

In my view, that's because baptizing babies says far more about God that it does about the baby. In bringing the baby for baptism, you're saying that despite the heresy of the minister, the incompetency of the parents, the stupidity of the god parents and the infancy of the child, you trust that God will take this child and make him/her his own. You are pledging the child's life to be united to Christ's life and have confidience that God will make it so.

Mike Bull said...

Sure sounds like popery to me. Baptism is a voluntary response to the "If..." of Jesus' challenge to discipleship.

I have some articles on my blog if you are interested: www.bullartistry.com.au/posts (search 'baptism')

Especially this one:
http://www.bullartistry.com.au/posts/index.php?blog=1&title=weapons_of_war_5&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

I guess this isn't the place for such a debate.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

But when has baptism ever been voluntary? We do it because Jesus commanded it, the church has been baptising babies long before popery got going.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Check out this post by Justin Moffatt.

Mike Bull said...

Nice post, but that's not what baptism means.

By voluntary, I meant voluntary for the one being baptized. It is an act of submission to church membership, and to church government (discipline), and a very public identification of where one's loyalty lies. It has nothing to do with baby dedication. It is more like a knighthood (in the old sense, not the Elton John sense).

Justin refers to teaching children to walk, talk, etc. That is the Old Covenant. Circumcision was an entry into a people. Baptism is the sign of the New mature Covenant - entry into an army.

There's another relevant post here: "Why are females baptized?"
http://www.bullartistry.com.au/posts/index.php?blog=1&title=blood_and_water&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

Moffitt the Prophet said...

By voluntary, I meant voluntary for the one being baptized. It is an act of submission to church membership, and to church government (discipline)...

Can you show me were you're getting that from? Bipstim is nailing your colours to Jesus' mask. It's about self identification with Jesus, our faith in his faithfulness and God's grace in redeeming us from bondage to sin and evil (Romans 6). And we baptise kids because what God has done for us we trust he can do for our children too.

It has nothing to do with baby dedication. I agree with you. and it has nothing to do with our decision either. It's about Jesus and the grace of God. :)

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Hey Bully,

thanks for keeping this civil and above the belt my friend. :)

Here is a word from the goodly bishop of Durham:

Question:

What do you see as the Biblical justification for infant baptism? What does baptism signify for our children? Does Covenant Theology play a role here?

Answer: Covenant theology certainly plays a role here, and I’m grateful you leave it that vague, because describing what covenant theology is and how it works would take too long right now! The cross-over from circumcision to baptism, as the people of God move from BC to AD, is significantly marked in e.g. Colossians 2, and though there are obvious differences (only males got circumcised, whereas females too get baptized, a point with resonances in Gal 3.27-28) there is a strong sense in the NT that God’s people in Christ are all, including children, to be marked with the covenant sign. This of course raises all kinds of other well known questions and problems, but actually granted the more or less universal practice of the church until comparatively modern times the real question ought to be, what is the biblical justification for NOT baptizing children? Baptism signifies membership in Christ... of course the follow-up question is always, how can children have the faith which is the sole badge of that membership, and part of my answer (only part, but it needs to be said) is that as a parent I know I can communicate with a tiny child, can give and receive love — and if God, the father of all, from whom all families take their name, cannot likewise give and receive love, then I am shocked and surprised. And how might God do that? Well, perhaps it might have something to do with bringing the child into the family of the church under the sign which speaks powerfully of the death and resurrection of Jesus...

Much more to be said of course but that’s a start!

Mike Bull said...

"And we baptise kids because what God has done for us we trust he can do for our children too."

The problem here is one of tense. In Scripture, baptism always comes after faith.

The bishops extension of both-genders to "children too" can't be supported (unless they are believing children).

The biblical justification for NOT baptizing children is that our circumcision is one made "without hands" When we believe, and not before, we are made one with Christ's death. I have no problem with baptizing children who believe, as the bishop implies. But that cannot include babies.

This also solves the paedocommunion 'debate'.

Regarding decisions, discipleship is very clearly about our decisions. It is a choice to identify with both Christ and with the visible church. Jesus often began His discipleship challenges with an 'if.'

How baptism is modelled for us in the New Testament - and in the literary structures of Acts - cannot be underestimated.

To clarify my point about army and people. What I call 'Adam-Israel' was an earthly people, a nation centred on earth. You joined by blood.

The Christian church, 'Eve-Israel', is a nation centred in heaven. You join by water (the crystal walls of a New Jerusalem). To be inside her walls, you must have personal faith.

This might seem fuzzy, but it is ground in Scripture at a very deep level. I recommend reading those posts if you have not done so.

The Red Sea circumcision was death, separation from the world. Baptism is the Jordan resurrection of the saints ready to govern and minister. Infant baptism is a misuse of this mature New Covenant sign. The bishop needs to get his covenants straight.

Blood and water

Why are females baptized?

The Bible begins with the entire physical creation in view and works its way down through a Covenantal ‘world’—Adam-Israel (the blood of circumcision)—to Jesus, in whom the entire old world is slain and resurrected. The Bible then works its way out again through a Covenantal ‘world’—Eve-Israel (the water of baptism)—to a totally redeemed physical creation at its end.

It is the difference (typologically) between Isaac and Esther. He is presented. She presents herself.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

The problem here is one of tense. In Scripture, baptism always comes after faith.

Do you mean in Acts?

Moffitt the Prophet said...

In Scripture, baptism always comes after faith.

And in infant baptism the hope is that the child being baptized will be brought to faith by God.

Mike Bull said...

Matt

The New Testament is all we have to go on. Even the 'household' argument doesn't stand, as it comes after faith:

'Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.'

Its misuse can't be justified, and it throws a spanner in the works by dividing the physical sacrament from the 'confirmation' of faith. Not good.

Do we give the Lord's supper to infants in the hope they will come to faith?

Moffitt the Prophet said...

We give the Lord's Supper to whoever has repented and belives Jesus to be Lord and raised from the dead becasue it's not an Anglican table, it's not a baptist table; it's Jesus' table and everyone who belongs to him belongs to that table.

The New Testament is not all we have to go on. It's the final authority. But the book of Acts I take is more descriptive than proscriptive, and we have an array of very early church history to help us out.

Mike Bull said...

Your first argument is muddying the waters. Both baptism and the Lord's table are for those who belong to Christ. The apostolic church did not divide the sacraments in this way.

When an apostle wrote: "To the church in..." they meant those who identified with that assembly through baptism and the table.

The fruit of this abuse of baptism (generally) has been nominal Christianity. Why wouldn't it be? If you were baptized as an infant you are 'Christian'.

I know baptism of believers can be abused too, but not with the entrenched, systematic unbelief that this practice has encouraged.

If you are going to baptize unbelievers, there should be a corresponding excommunication if they don't come to faith, as there is for saints who fall into open sin.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

But this arguement is flawed. We are not baptising unbelievers. We are baptising children of christians (this may not always have happened, and is now pretty much changing). These are the children of thos with faith and we trust that they too will one day share in that faith for themselves.

Mike Bull said...

Matt

How is someone who doesn't yet believe a believer? Or, how is someone who doesn't yet believe not an unbeliever?

These sacraments are tied together in the NT. You can't divorce them.

I should reiterate that baptizing children is not the problem. Children can believe and come to the table. Many baptist churches wrongly delay baptism even when faith is very apparent in a child.

Baptism is immersion into Christ. It is the gates of the crystal city which is only entered by repentance and faith.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

I should reiterate that baptizing children is not the problem.

Then what are we disagrreing about?

Mike Bull said...

Baptizing them BEFORE they believe.
Adding them to the church before God does.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Adding them to the church before God does

I'm pretty sure we're baptising them into the church beacuse they are already part of the church.

Mike Bull said...

Matt

God only 'adds' believers.

Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added.

Acts 2:47 ...praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Acts 5:13-14 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.

Unless you give infant baptism some superstitious power outside of a sign of obedience and a public testimony (which God does bless), it would make no difference if you didn't actually do it.

We recently had a baptismal service with about 8 teenagers giving their testimonies. You guys miss out on the God-intended marriage of their statement with a very dramatic sacrament.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

That's what confirmation is for (well, one reason). It is an entirely predicatble and thoroughly helpful complement to baptism, though without status in the New Testament. It doesn't add to baptism, but it's a good idea.

Baptism is first and foremost about what God is doing, despite a fully formed human response.

And the Acts passages don't prove or disprove either arguement because this started as a second generation issue. It's not soemthing the very early church had to deal with. But let me ask you this - how should we raise our children? As little Christians or as little pagans?

Mike Bull said...

When I got confirmed, the bishop put his hands on me (from memory) which biblically is for ordination or prayer, and messes with the death-to-life picture. God is big on pictures.

In one way, confirmation is wetter than baptism! Wet as in girlie. Believer's baptism is charged with courage, as intended by God.

Baptism is first and foremost about what God is doing, despite a fully formed human response.

That doesn't stand up. What baptism about is very clear in Scripture, both in type and antitype. It is the Jordan crossing before conquest, not "oh, you decided to stay after all."

...this started as a second generation issue. It's not soemthing the very early church had to deal with.

I can see your point, but it doesn't justify breaking a typologically significance built up over almost the whole Bible to these passages. Christianty is not passive, as infant baptism is and confirmation looks.

But let me ask you this - how should we raise our children? As little Christians or as little pagans?

This is irrelevant to the debate. Infant baptism is not faith. It is a superstitious misuse of a powerful sacrament given to signify voluntary repentance, submission and faith.

How many babies were baptized in the Jordan by John? That's my point.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

How many babies were baptized in the Jordan by John? That's my point.

And when did we use John's baptism as a model of our own? Cf. Acts 18.25.

This is irrelevant to the debate. Infant baptism is not faith. It is a superstitious misuse...

No it's not. It's the belief that God can do far more we or able to dream or imagine, and even bring these little children from death to life. So do you raise our kids to be Christians or pagans? If Christians, then they should be baptised, because that's what Christians do. (Also, that's why there is only 1 baptism (cf. Ephesians 4.5) Once baptised, always baptised. There's a great quote by Luther about this which I will find).

Baptism is first and foremost about what God is doing, despite a fully formed human response.

That doesn't stand up. What baptism about is very clear in Scripture, both in type and antitype. It is the Jordan crossing before conquest, not "oh, you decided to stay after all."


And we're they able to cross the Jordan on their own, or was not the river stopped. Anyway, most baptism reference in the New Testament are about the exodus (i.e. Romans 6).

Mike Bull said...

And when did we use John's baptism as a model of our own? Cf. Acts 18.25.

Jesus was baptized by John, but baptized no one. The apostles did that. The link between John's and the apostle's baptisms is Jesus. But in all cases the physical rite was the same. It was believers.

It's the belief that God can do far more we or able to dream or imagine, and even bring these little children from death to life.

I agree with you. My point is that this is not what baptism is for.

Once baptised, always baptised.

Which is why handing out badges and uniforms to babies is wrong. 'Are you a Christian?' 'Yes, I was baptized.' The cart is before the horse.

And were they able to cross the Jordan on their own, or was not the river stopped?

Good point. At both the Red Sea and Jordan, the Lord made the water stand up as walls, or in a heap. With the New Jerusalem, God has made the crystal sea stand up as crystal walls, with the 'gates of judgment' open to the repentant. Opening the gates was God's work. Entering them is ours.

Anyway, most baptism references in the New Testament are about the exodus (i.e. Romans 6).

I checked Romans 6. There is both death and resurrection there. You might be thinking of 1 Cor. 10, which talks about the fathers being 'baptized' into Moses. I would correlate that with the national 'circumcision' at Passover (which the circumcision of Moses' firstborn prefigured). But for us in the New Covenant, this is the Red Sea 'circumcision without hands' we are baptized into when we believe.

So you have your Jordan before your Red Sea. Jordan is re-entry for ministry and government. Ours is the baptism of Joshua, not Moses. It is not the bloody altar but the laver before the throne, the crystal sea. At baptism, the saints pass through this laver, stand on this sea, and have access to the throne that Israel never had.

Mike Bull said...

So do you raise our kids to be Christians or pagans? If Christians, then they should be baptised, because that's what Christians do.

We raise them to be Christians, and then when they are, we baptize them.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

I should have added that in Romans 6-8 Paul has the Exodus in the back of his mind. So chapter 6 - the crossing of the Red Sea; chapter 7 - the wilderness sojourning of Israel; and chapter 8 - entry into the promised land.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

We raise them to be Christians, and then when they are, we baptize them.

Is that good enough? We raise them as Christians, they are part of the Christian community, we pray that they're lives are being transformed by the Spirit (whether they know it or not), and so they should get baptized.

Mike Bull said...

That's the same logic one would use to justify giving babies the Lord's supper.

Mike Bull said...

Christ's baptism was a 'Red Sea' baptism, as it occurred before His testing in the wilderness. When he returned he 'repeated' the Law.

I agree that baptism is both a death and resurrection all in one, but the bigger picture is that we are baptized into Christ's death, and the rite of baptism looks forward to resurrection.

To explain that I would say that both Red Sea and Jordan had an in and an out. But the Red Sea was the big in, and the Jordan the big out. I hope that makes sense.

You've got your out before your in.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Yeah, Jesus' baptism was a Jorda baptism because he 'launching a renewed Israel' movement in and around himself, announcing the end of the exile. But most New Testament thought about baptism is particuarly focused on Exodus.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

That's the same logic one would use to justify giving babies the Lord's supper.

Ha, that's what happened to my wife. She was baptised, confirmed and had first communion all in the one day - Greek Orthodox!

Mike Bull said...

Matt

The exile ended under Cyrus. The majority is wrong on this one:

“The Restoration is the least familiar and least studied phase of Old Covenant history. It is often assumed that the Kingdom of God went into the doldrums during this period, and that the people simply suffered until the coming of Messiah. Such an understanding of the post-exilic era utterly fails to do justice to the case. The Restoration was actually a far more glorious time than ever before, in terms of spiritual power, though not in terms of outward glory and splendour.” James B. Jordan, Through New Eyes, p. 254. Available to download at http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/pdf/jjne.pdf

In His baptism, Jesus took the old creation under the flood and raised up a new Land, hence the dove hovering over Him. I agree there is an element of Joshua's Jordan (every baptism has its in-and-out as discussed), but Jesus' wilderness testing followed.

My point is, it has nothing to do with the exile. The exile ended, the Temple and city were rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah, and glorified with riches (material and human) under Esther and Mordecai.

If anything Jesus was announcing a new Exodus, out of the Egypt/Sodom/Babylon of Herod's Judaism, a decayed tent ready to pass away.

Mike Bull said...

That raises a good point. How many Anglicans remember their baptism?

Moffitt the Prophet said...

The exile ended under Cyrus?!?

Israel returned to the land - yes. They built a pidly little temple - yes. They were free from foreign domination - no. The golry of the Lord covered the earth like the waters covered the sea - no. The prophecies about the end of exile were fulfilled through Ezra and Nehemiah - No! Why else would Nehemiah say this:

Behold, we are slaves this day; in the land that you gave to our fathers to enjoy its fruit and its good gifts, behold, we are slaves. And its rich yield goes to the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins. They rule over our bodies and over our livestock as they please, and we are in great distress. Nehemiah 9.36-37 (note that this is after Cyrus' declaration and the rebuilding of the temple).

Jesus was reconstituting Israel around himself, and quite concsiencly understood himself as bringing the exile to an end through the new exodus promised by the prophets. He did this by calling the lost of Israel, by defeating Israel's enemies, and the return of YHWH to Zion.

Jesus is the end of exile. You need to understand this to understand Jesus, and understand the rest of the New Testament.

Mike Bull said...

God removed Israel's corrupt kings and built a new Tabernacle (Daniel 2) within which the restored Jews would work as priests. The empires were like the four guardian cherubs under God's throne (Ezek. 1, Dan 7). Each time a guardian went bad, God replaced it.

The Restoration Temple was less glorious to outward eyes, but Ezekiel saw its true glory. It was a Temple made of people, a new Jerusalem that prefigured the New Covenant transition to a temple and city made of all people.

Your view has to disregard the book of Esther, where all the Gentile rulers between India and Ethiopia submitted to Mordecai. The Restoration era (the 'New Covenant' predicted by Jeremiah) was very definitely glorious, and prefigured the events in the New Testament. The exile/Restoration prophets must be taken in their context. Their primary fulfilment was that period in history.

Throughout the book of Acts, it is Roman officials that protect the church from Jewish persecution. Revelation shows this final guardian beast, Rome, going bad, and being replaced by the 5th empire, the kingdom of God. The New Jerusalem needs no earthly guardian.

Regarding the empires, there is also a typological correspondence between Israel's greatest kings and the Persian emperors during the Restoration:

"The Lord had removed the kings of Judah and replaced them with world emperors. King Ahasuerus is presented as a new Solomon, a new bridegroom in a glorious palace. James B. Jordan writes:

“Cyrus is presented as a new and greater David, who gets the people organised to build the Temple. He provides material for them to build it. Then the building project is stopped, because of the sins of the people, just as David, for his own sins, was not allowed to build the Temple. The next significant king is Darius the Great. Darius sees to it that the Temple is finished, and so Darius is a greater Solomon... Darius is a new Solomon in that he gets the Temple built, he gets the walls of the new “holy city” built (which extend the walls of the Temple to the whole city), and his love of a bride is celebrated in a book [Esther], like Song of Songs.”*

The garden court of Darius’ palace is described in detail to remind us of Solomon’s Temple, yet it is even more glorious than that. It had violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rods and marble pillars, couches of gold and silver (glorious sabbath rest) and most importantly, a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and precious stones. This Persian king sat enthroned over his very own crystal sea."

God flooded the old Canaanite world with Babylon, and raised up a new Land under Persian rule with a new Temple at its centre. The exile was most definitely over, and through it God also brought a greater influence to His people. They were to be suffering servants, a priesthood that included every citizen (see Ezra) within the Tabernacle (metal man) of the empire. Paul's missionary journey's were limited to this territory. This was the harvest Jesus spoke about, ready to be collected, and Acts records the existence of many Gentile believers.

Of course, this whole process would be repeated, with Jesus as Jeremiah (the suffering prophet), Ezekiel (the son of man who destroys and resurrects Israel), Judah as Babylon, Paul as both Jonah and Nehemiah, and the Christian church as Esther, standing on Darius' crystal sea (Rev 15:2) and requesting the destruction of her enemies. All fulfilled by AD70.

The Lord had already returned to Zion. He was about to leave again, but this time the restoration would be centred on a heavenly mountain.

*James B. Jordan, Rethinking the Order of the Old Testament, Biblical Horizons No. 80.

Mike Bull said...

Matt

This might help to make the progression through the Restoration Covenant more obvious:

Ox - Altar
Priest enthroned in sanctuary = Mosaic Covenant

Lion - Ark
King enthroned in land = Davidic Covenant

Eagle - Lampstand
Emperor enthroned over world = Restoration Covenant

Man - Table
Christ enthroned in heaven = New Covenant

Moffitt the Prophet said...

And you disregard that the kings of th ePersian empire may have served Mordecai, but he wasn't a Jewish king, and it only lasted a generation.

You disregard the oppresion of the Greeks, Ptolomeys and selecuids, who set up an idol (the abomination that casues destruction) in the second temple.

You disregard htat although the Romans may have protected the church in Acts, they soon turned around and started persecuting the church. That is why Revelation is a veiled critique of Roman power and ideology.

And you disregard that it is the idea about Jesus and the exile that makes sense of 70AD.

Read Jesus and the Victory of God :) Boy, have we strayed a bit from infant baptism.

Mike Bull said...

And you disregard that the kings of the Persian empire may have served Mordecai, but he wasn't a Jewish king, and it only lasted a generation.

It wasn't about having a Jewish king. If you remember, in Zechariah the Davidic crown is put into safekeeping with the priesthood.

It was about being faithful servants. The Mordecai pattern was the one they were to follow. If they disobeyed, people like Haman would be the emperors' right hand men. If they openly witnessed to the Gentiles, like Mordecai finally did, and like Daniel and Joseph before him, God would exalt a Jew to steer the empire for the people of God. The way it went in the end was a Jew exalted himself using Roman power, Edomite clay 'intermarried' with Roman iron, the Herods. This was the failure that brought an end to the Restoration covenant.

You disregard the oppresion of the Greeks, Ptolomeys and selecuids, who set up an idol (the abomination that casues destruction) in the second temple.

As in the time of Noah, the desolations were always the outcome of the compromise of the priesthood. It was the Jews who wanted to syncretise with Hellenism and had their foreskins sewn back on (!) that brought about the desolation under Antiochus. He was the punishment, not the crime. When God's people are faithful, He sends bad dreams to the Gentiles - as in Pharaoh, King Neb, Darius (ironically) and then not until Pilate's wife I think.

You disregard htat although the Romans may have protected the church in Acts, they soon turned around and started persecuting the church. That is why Revelation is a veiled critique of Roman power and ideology.

Revelation shows Jewish persecution (false Nazirites with 'women's hair) taking vows, then false doctrine spewed out of the serpent (Paul dealt with this). After these failures, Satan corrupted Rome, rolled Jewish and Roman persecution together and brought them down on the church - the great tribulation. Revelation is not a critique of Rome, but of a Rome corrupted because the Jews were not faithful witnesses but compromisers after political power. 'We have no king but Caesar.' Babylon was the corrupted priesthood riding on the Roman beast. She is burned with fire according to the Law concerning corrupt priests and their corrupt children.

And you disregard that it is the idea about Jesus and the exile that makes sense of 70AD.

Read Herod as Haman, a usurping Edomite/Amalekite. That makes more sense. Because of Mordecai's initial disobedience, Esther was able to obtain mercy (Romans 11). And so all Israel was saved - again.

Read Jesus and the Victory of God :)

If what he says is what you have said, he is has confused the Restoration Covenant with the New Covenant. The latter fulfills the former.

Boy, have we strayed a bit from infant baptism.

And Jesus as boyfriend songs.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Sorry, I disagree with most of that, i.e. the hope in Zecharaiah is for a kingdom under a Davidic descendant (Zerubbabel). Hmm, come to think of it, thats another piece of evidence for continuing exile.

What restoration covenant?

Mike Bull said...

They were restored under Zerubbabel. As the son of Jehoiakim, he was the (olive) branch that linked the old world with the new (prefiguring Christ). Zechariah makes it clear that the priesthood were to look after the crown until Messiah.

What restoration covenant?

The new covenants promised by the prophets that the bishop takes out of their historical context. All the restoration promises that get 'spiritualised' to refer to the church while their imminent fulfilment is ignored. When Jeremiah redeemed some land, he wasn't talking about the Christian church. When he spoke of a new covenant, it wasn't Christ he was speaking about.

However, all these things were fulfilled in Christ and the church, which is why Paul quotes Jeremiah, Isaiah and Haggai. But we mess it up if we ignore their initial meaning for those who heard these prophets. Good shook the world under Mordecai. And He shook it again under Christ, standing at God's right hand as Joseph, Daniel and Mordecai.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Seems like you're over playing the place of Esther and Mordecai. You're giving it a primacy that no one in Jesus' day seems to have done.

I don't understand what you're saying about Wright. He for one, certainly doesn't spiritulize what the prophets are saying (WHICH YOU WOULD KNOW IF YOU READ THE BOOK). In fact, one of the great strengths is that he sets Jeremiah et al back in their historical context (which he does very well considering he's an historian).

And Jeremiah might not of had Jesus in mind, but Jesus and Paul reconstitute it to be about Jesus.

Furthermore, the very fact that Zechariah talks about a future Messiah shows that the exile hadn't finished. The messiah is the king, (and Israel had had lots of messiahs; every king was one). Therefore, no king, no end of exile.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Jesus really did believe that Israel’s God was acting through him and his movement to do for Israel at last what die prophets had promised.

What, more precisely, was that? With the Exodus as their symbolic and narrative backdrop, the prophets declared that Israel would be released from the bondage that had begun with Babylon and that continued into Jesus’s own day. Nobody in Jesus’s day would have claimed that the visions of Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel had yet been fulfilled. The Babylons of this world would be defeated, and Israel would be free. And this real “return from exile”—that is, this complete liberation—would, of course, involve the return of YHWH to Zion. Prophet after prophet says so; nowhere in Second-Temple literature does anyone claim that it has actually happened. The prophets, moreover, interpreted the exile as the punishment: for Israel’s sin; the end of exile would, therefore, be “the forgiveness of sins.” It would mean Israel’s redemption, evil’s defeat, and YHWH’s return. All of this can be summed up in a single phrase: “the kingdom of God.”

Mike Bull said...

No king, no end of exile? But they did have a king. Israel and Judah's kings modelled themselves after Gentile kings and failed to keep the sabbaths, so God used a Gentile king to bring the land the sabbaths they owed - Nebuchadnezzar.

So the progession does work from Garden King (high priest) to Land King (Solomon), to World King (Darius), to Heavenly King (Christ). You are making the same mistake the first century Jews made. They should have had converted Gentile kings all along because that was their job as mediators! The Restoration covenant was a more mature covenant than its predecessors. The Jews had to use more wisdom in applying God's law in a new situation - as we do today in an even greater measure.

Jeremiah's prophecies were not reconstituted but referred to as types. Just as Nehemiah's resurrected Jerusalem was a type of the 'Christian church'.

Exile refers not to Jewish kings but to land. They did return to the land. Wright is wrong on this. I recommend Jordan's 'Handwriting on the Wall.'

Mike Bull said...

With the Exodus as their symbolic and narrative backdrop, the prophets declared that Israel would be released from the bondage that had begun with Babylon and that continued into Jesus’s own day.

Yes, Isaiah predicted they would cross the great river dryshod, but this was a return to the Land. It was a Joshua crossing, not a Moses crossing.

Nobody in Jesus’s day would have claimed that the visions of Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel had yet been fulfilled... nowhere in Second-Temple literature does anyone claim that it has actually happened.

This was precisely their mistake. They looked to build and glorify a physical temple, even after Jesus said it would be torn down. And Revelation calls Herod's Temple a graven image that speaks!

Ezekiel's vision follows his prediction of Mordecai's victory over Haman (Ez 38-9) which follows his prediction of their 'resurrection' from Babylon (Ez 37). That's when it happened. All fulfilled.

As in the days of Moses, a new generation was mustered (Ez 37 - Deuteronomy), they crossed the river and conquered (Ez 38-9 - Esther - Joshua), and ruled the world as mediators (Ez 40-48 - Judges). Only, as in Judges, they eventually failed.

Which is why we needed another Covenant that would fulfill them all once and for all. Wright seems to confuse things.

How is possible to overestimate the events in Esther? It's HUGE. India to Ethiopia? Two full days of killing? All plunder taken back to Judah?

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Wright's point is that, yes, they are back in the land, but it's not like what they promised. And there needs to be a Jewsih King, otherwise 2 Samule 7 is useless and Jesus may as well have been born in Babylon or Athens.

Wright is right. Almost all Jews in Jesus day understood themselves to be in exile still. That's undeniable. What is Simeon waitng round for in Luke 2. And Nehemiah 9, Israel bemonas the fact that they are still in exile.

Anyway, we have drifted from baptism and girly songs. Maybe we should postpone this discussion until you've read Wright and I've read Jordan.

Mike Bull said...

it's not like what they promised.

They didn't understand dominion by submission and servanthood (Joseph, David, Daniel, Mordecai). Instead of being shepherds they behaved like wolves - beasts. Trace this right back to Adam's failure (seizing dominion rather than earning it by obedience) and right forward to Zechariah's portrayal of the Herods as false shepherds who devoured the flock for the sake of ungodly dominion. That's why they saw themselves in exile.

But they were actually in the garden again. Like Adam, they were given an opportunity and like Adam they failed. By the time of Christ, God was ready to vomit them not just out of the Land, but out of the World. And He did. As the sons of god, they failed, and the world was full of violence due to their offspring - double the children of Gehenna. It was as it was in the days of Noah, and the end came suddenly, when they said 'Peace and safety - the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, Herod has finished it!' Then the Romans came in like a flood (Dan 9:26).

Re Nehemiah 9 - that was before the victory in Esther.

Re Simeon, as I said, Zechariah makes it clear that He was yet to come.

The Restoration Covenant and the New Covenant are very much tied together. False worship was exiled to Shinar (Babylon) in Zech 5 (a woman called wickedness) but in Revelation she is back again, and ruling as a queen. Revelation is about the end of the Restoration covenant. It gets rolled up like a scroll.

Isn't this more fun than girlie songs?

Moffitt the Prophet said...

How does the New Testament start? Abraham to Jesus split into three: Abraham to David, David to Babylon, and from Babylon to Jesus.

Why? God made covenant with Abraham and promised him a great nation. David, as a typology of Christ, almost fulfills this, and at the very least secures Israel in the land.

From David to Babylon you get the Kingdom at it's highest to the kingdom at its very lowest when it is vomited out of its land and sent into exile.

And from Babylon to Jesus you get the start of the exile to the end of the exile, which as the gospel goes on to show, is achieved in Jesus.

Mike Bull said...

So how come you give the first two a 'new covenant' status but not the third?

Moses was given a heavenly blueprint (Tabernacle). So was David (Temple). And so was Ezekiel (Restoration Temple).

And so was John (the church, fulfilling all of the above).

And from Babylon to Jesus you get the start of the exile to the end of the exile, which as the gospel goes on to show, is achieved in Jesus.

But they weren't in exile. They were in the Land. It was a whole new exile/restoration.

Moses - Egypt - wilderness - Canaan

David (ark) - Canaan - Philistia - Canaan

Ezekiel - Canaan - Babylon - Canaan

Jesus - Judah (Egypt) - Judah/Rome (Babylon) - heaven

Moffitt the Prophet said...

It's completely old covenant.There is no new covenant until Jesus defeats sin, death and all evil, ending the exil, and allowing the gathering of the gentiles.

Nad yes, they were in the land, but they didn't own it. They were slave under a foriegn king. And they had a piddly little temple where God didn't 'reside'. There was no shekinnah! and everybody new it. The Jews knew they were in exile, biblical theology says they were in exile. They were in exile.

Mike Bull said...

If it's all Old Covenant, why did you make four divisions? I agree that the first three are under Moses but there is a very clear progression.

As far as a 'piddly' Temple goes, Ezekiel's temple was made of people, and the Land under God's dominion was now the size of an empire, planting synagogues. You are referring to earthly glory. Imagine using the same criteria to judge the faithful, piddly things we call churches?

They were slaves under a foreign king because of their own disobedience. If they had been faithful servants, like Daniel etc., they would have been serving under converted emperors, steering the empire for the salvation of the world. They blew it. Probably because they didn't have eyes to see Ezekiel's Temple or the chariots of the Lord.

Ezekiel portrays God's people as fire from heaven. The conquering Jews were His glory cloud. People became the wall of fire...

...prefiguring the day of Pentecost, when, for the first time, the priesthood didn't have to leave the Temple when the Lord moved in, because the people were the Temple. We are the shekinah glory, and so were the Jews during the Restoration.

Mike Bull said...

There's another reason why Ezekiel's Temple is Old Covenant - the priests in it still weren't allowed to drink wine in the presence of God (Ezekiel 44:21).

Moffitt the Prophet said...

4 divisions? I count only 3.

Was Ezekile's temple built? No - it was a vision of what the temple was meant to look like, and is a prime exeample of how the promises didn't happen jsut becasue Judah returned to the land. And they coudldn't build a temple like that becasue they were SLAVES.

On the exile, see Daniel 9, Sirach 36, 1 Enoch 89—90, Baruch 1—3, but especially Daniel 9 where continuing exile is part of the plan.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Psalms of Solomon 11:
Sound in Zion the signal trumpet of the sanctuary;
announce in Jerusalem the voice of one bringing good news,
for God has been merciful to Israel in watching over them.
Stand on a high place, Jerusalem, and look at your children,
from the east and the west assembled together by the Lord.
From the north they come in the joy of their God;
from far distant islands God has assembled them.
He flattened high mountains into level ground for them;
the hills fled at their coming.
The forests shaded them as they passed by;
God made every fragrant tree to grow for them.
So that Israel might proceed under the supervision of the glory of their God.
Jerusalem, put on the clothes of your glory,
prepare the robe of your holiness,
for God has spoken well of Israel forevermore.
May the Lord do what he has spoken about Israel and Jerusalem;
may the Lord lift up Israel in the name of his glory.
May the mercy of the Lord be upon Israel forevermore.

This psalm is regularly, and rightly, referred to as evidence that the theme of the Isaianic
herald was alive and well in the first century. Its significance for our purposes, however,
goes further. The psalm speaks of the return of Israel from exile. It is generally agreed
that it dates from a time several centuries after what is normally thought of as the ‘return’; and yet it still appeals to YHWH to fulfil at last his ancient promises of
‘return’—specifically, the promises of Isaiah 40. It is evident that for this writer, as for
many others in second-temple Judaism, the ‘return from exile’, predicted by Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others, had not yet taken place.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

And Ezra 9.8-9

Mike Bull said...

Matt

There's an interesting article here:
http://biblicalhorizons.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/exile-or-ark/

'Exile or Ark?'

"It is often assumed these days that the Jews (Israel and Judah) did not really “come back from exile,” and that the Exile continued until Jesus ended it. New Testament scholars like this idea, but I think they need a bit of help from OT scholars. It’s clear from Zechariah 1-6 that a new covenant came into being when the Jews returned to the land, far more powerful and glorious than the Davidic covenant. The one aspect of the realm of Israel that did not return to power was the king himself. Every other aspect of Israel was resurrected and glorified. I’ve discussed this in my Daniel commentary at length, so there is no need to go into it here.

The Exile that Jesus ended began when Adam was cast from the garden of Eden. There may be some Babylonian Exile motifs used in the rhetoric of the gospels and epistles, but it is the Adamic exile that is what the gospels are ending."

I do agree with you that the Restoration era promises foreshadowed something greater, but not that they were not fulfilled.

Israel's history was a new creation, ending with the birth pangs of a new man, the totus Christus, head and body:

Day 1 Light
Patriarchs - Abraham (Sabbath)
Light dawned upon the waters of the 70 nations.

Day 2 Waters Above & Below
Exodus - Moses (Passover)
Israel was separated (slain and resurrected) to mediate for the world.

Day 3 Dry Land, Grain & Fruit
Promised Land - Joshua (Firstfruits)
Israel ‘ascended’ to the Land and sat by God’s throne as Judges

Day 4 Ruling Lights
Kings - David & Solomon (Pentecost)
The transfigured king failed. God’s throne was rejected.

Day 5 Birds & Fish
Captivity - Armies (Trumpets)
The “birds and fish” swarms were eagles (Nebuchadnezzar) and sea monsters (Assyria and Babylon).

Day 6 Land Animals & the Man
Restoration - Joshua the high priest Atonement (covering)
The dominion of the four land beasts who covered Israel was given to the Son of Man. ‘Eve’ was resurrected by crossing the sea and was brought to God. (Then the Roman ark/beast was no longer needed.)

Day 7 Rest & Ruling
Redemption - Jesus Booths (“Clouds”) (ingathering)
Adam rested at the right hand of the Father as Transfigured King. He received His transfigured Eve-people at the first resurrection in AD70, and the marriage supper followed.

So the exile of Day 5 became the ark of Day 6, the ark of atonement.

Notice these seven steps also follow the basic themes of the first 7 books of the Bible.

Mike Bull said...

4 divisions? I count only 3.

1 Abraham to David (Abrahamic) Ox

2 David to Babylon (Davidic) Lion

3 Babylon to Jesus (Restoration) Eagle

4 Jesus (New Covenant) Man

Was Ezekiel's temple built?

Was the New Jerusalem 'built'? It is made of living stones.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

The Exile that Jesus ended began when Adam was cast from the garden of Eden. Yes, and if we understand the place of Israel properly, Israel - the representative of all humanity, has also gone into exile. Jesus ends this exile, and in so doing, ends the exile of Genesis 3, fulfilling Israel's mission (Israel was chosen by God to solve the problem of sin and evil. But as it turned out, she too was part of the problem).

Exile in Paul from Galatians:

1. that the God of Israel is the one true God, and that the pagan deities are mere
idols;

2. that Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified and risen one, is not merely ‘Lord’ in some cosmic sense, but is actually King—King of Israel, and hence (on the
Davidic model of passages such as Psalm 89) the King before whom all the kings of the earth shall bow;

3. that Israel’s destiny has been fulfilled, her exile finished, her salvation won, but in a manner which undermines the Jewish ethnic and nationalistic hope that Paul had formerly espoused; and

4. that the rule of the pagan idols, which have kept the pagan nations in their iron grip has been broken, and that those who follow and serve them are now
summoned to share in the blessings of Israel’s ‘age to come’.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

On Galatians again:

"And Judaism in Paul’s day, as all Jews knew, had not in fact been redeemed
within its own terms of expectation. The only redemption, the only fulfilment of the
Isaianic return-from-exile prophecy, which had occurred, was the resurrection of the
crucified Jesus; any attempt to purvey a ‘gospel’ which ignored the implications of this
central event was a non-gospel (1.6-9), for the very good reason that it had no good news
to offer."

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Galatians again:

"Paul’s reconstrual of the Jewish worldview necessarily involved one aspect of praxis which broke the bounds of previous Jewish ways: those who hailed the Messiah Jesus as their Lord formed a single family, whose common table functioned as a vital symbol. Remove that symbol, cease that praxis, and the entire worldview is under threat. Unless they are in place, the ‘gospel’ which he has announced is a lie. The powers have not been defeated; there is no new king, no lord of Jew and Gentile alike, no new family from Jew and Greek alike.

This is why Paul can speak of scripture ‘preaching the gospel in advance’ to Abraham (3.8). ‘The gospel’ which is thus ‘preached’ is, once more, not the summons to a new dimension of religious experience (that might make Christianity into simply another mystery religion); not the invitation to a private experience of salvation, either in the present or the future (that might simply create a new sense of shut-in privilege in place of that which Paul had renounced); but the message that all the nations would be blessed in Abraham (3.8b). The gospel narrative, the story of Jesus the Messiah, is the story of how that promise has come true. It tells of how Israel’s own exile at the hands of the pagans, which might have seemed to block the promises for good, has been dealt with in the execution of the Messiah (3.10-14). It tells of how the single ‘seed’, the one family promised to Abraham, has been created, despite the division between Jew and Gentile which the Torah, if absolutized, would have maintained (3.15-22, 28 29). In other words of how a new family has

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Question: What do you think of the idea of “Exile”, thematically as a multi-threaded metaphor running through the entire Canon with an actual, real referent – i.e., multi-dimensional alienation from God, self, others, et. al. due to rebellion – beginning with Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden?

ANSWER: It’s a great controlling metaphor. I’m not sure it covers every base in biblical theology but it certainly does a great many of them. I am increasingly fascinated by the way in which the great prophets of the Babylonian exile must have seen, and probably reshaped, the creation-and-fall story in the light of their own experience of ejection from their paradise garden. And that reminds us that the prophecies of Israel’s redemption are to be seen as signposts towards the larger-still redemption which Paul speaks of in Romans 8.18-27.

Mike Bull said...

On your last two posts, I agree to a degree, but there are similar patterns working at various levels. Wright seems to confuse them.

Israel's 400 years without a word from God does correspond to their 400 years in Egypt, but this captivity, like that one, resulted from a tyrant placed over them by God for their disobedience. In the first century, it was not their disobedience before the captivity they were being judged for. It was definitely not the same captivity. They had slipped once again. It was not an exile for the old idolatries, but for new ones, for political syncretism with Greece and Rome. It was the same conspiracy Adam and Eve made with a beast to gain dominion before they were ready for it.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

In Matthew there are only 3 divisions.

And you should know that the new Jerusalem will be a physical that arrives with the new creation.

YOu can't talk about Ezekiel's temple as an object reality when it is apocalypitic imagery pointing to something else.

By apocalyptic read historical or politcal event endowed with theological or spiritual significance (G.B. Caird).

Mike Bull said...

...the prophecies of Israel’s redemption are to be seen as signposts towards the larger-still redemption which Paul speaks of in Romans 8.18-27."

I agree, but they were fulfilled in Israel during the Restoration. All the Covenants were signposts. You can't just skip over the Restoration. Revelation ends the restored covenant begun in Daniel, Ezekiel and Zechariah. We don't get that, so we get Revelation wrong. It is a Covenant lawsuit against Judah, not against Rome. It even follows the structure of Ezekiel step-by-step. Judgment begins at the house of God, and they were the house of God.

Mike Bull said...

And you should know that the new Jerusalem will be a physical that arrives with the new creation.

She is here and now, the mother of us all. Her gates are wide open and the nations are streaming in. The firstfruits church ascended in AD70 and her pattern is 'coming down from heaven'- just like the patterns of Moses, David and Ezekiel. It is being measured out across the earth, as it is in heaven, fashioned by Spirit-filled craftsmen - us.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Because there is no restorartion covenant. The prophets don't speak of one, and the people didn't make one. They come back to Jerusalem and promise to keep the old covenant. The keep circumcising their manhood, not their heat, unlike what Jeremiah had said.

If there was a restoration covenant, Paul would have had to write about it. But he didn't. There is no restoration covenant.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

The New Jerusalem is an image for the church.

The firstfruits church ascended in AD70. Have you been reading Left Behind.

Mike Bull said...

They come back to Jerusalem and promise to keep the old covenant. The keep circumcising their manhood, not their heart, unlike what Jeremiah had said.

Like the Davidic Covenant, it was a more glorious form of the Old Covenant. Zechariah's visions follow the 'new creation' pattern that all the Covenants (and Tabernacle and Temple dedications) follow, culminating in a new priesthood under Joshua.

If there was a restoration covenant, Paul would have had to write about it. But he didn't.

He referred to Jeremiah's promised Restoration covenant, which prefigured the New Covenant under a new Joshua as High Priest with a new priesthood.

Mike Bull said...

The New Jerusalem is an image for the church.

And Ezekiel's Temple wasn't ?

The firstfruits church ascended in AD70.

Have you been reading Left Behind?

No - this was the resurrection the apostles were looking forward to. It was imminent.

Christ first

THEN those who were His at his parousia (AD70)

THEN comes the end, which we are still waiting for. He is still reigning until all enemies are under His feet.

This follows the Garden-Land-World pattern established in Genesis (Adam-Cain-Sethites). It also follows the Firstfruits-Pentecost-Booths harvest pattern. You and I get the Booths - the harvest feast that Gentiles were invited to.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

No - this was the resurrection the apostles were looking forward to. It was imminent.THEN those who were His at his parousia (AD70) Sound a bit like Spong. and this IS NOT what the apostles were expectin - in terms of resurrection. It is Jesus resurrection and then ours, and you can't show me otherwise.

And the Davidic "covenant" is part of the Old Covenant, adding the bit about the King. To suggest that it is seperate is just whacky. So you still haven't shown me scriptual evidence for your restoration covenant.

Mike Bull said...

this IS NOT what the apostles were expectin - in terms of resurrection. It is Jesus resurrection and then ours, and you can't show me otherwise.

Oh yeah? ; )

"Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him..."

Read 2 Thessalonians 2 with Herod in mind as the man of sin, and the Judaisers as the falling away. These were the false prophets Jesus predicted, and He said that generation wouldn't pass until all those things were fulfilled.

And the Davidic "covenant" is part of the Old Covenant, adding the bit about the King. To suggest that it is seperate is just whacky. So you still haven't shown me scriptual evidence for your restoration covenant.

The ark gave its "life" for a new Jerusalem (you see it ascended in Zech 5), just as the human ark, Jesus gave His life for a New Jerusalem.

I agree they are linked, but so as to follow the creation day pattern I outlined. Since AD70, we live in the new 'world' (oikumene) now [Heb 2:5], and will do so until Jesus hands this 'world' [kingdom] to the Father.

"For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels."

No. He has put it in subjection to men. This is the Covenant of the Man, ruling from heaven with His bride.

Mike Bull said...

Oh, and in 2 Thess 2, it was ROME, the guardian cherub, that was restraining the Herodian Jews from killing Christians.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

These were the false prophets Jesus predicted, and He said that generation wouldn't pass until all those things were fulfilled.

I agree with that. But it's not what Paul is talking about. The problem in Thessalonians is that a. some Christians have already died, so they want to know more re resurrection, and b. some guys are going round claiming the resurrection has already happened.

Zechariah 5? Are you sure that's what you mean?

Since AD70, we live in the new 'world' (oikumene) now [Heb 2:5], and will do so until Jesus hands this 'world' [kingdom] to the Father.

I have to disagree here :p It is the resurrection that brings in the new world. IF Jesus has a new creation body in AD 30ish, there is no way that the new world doesn't exist until AD 70.

Mike Bull said...

Re 2 Thess 2 - you can't take it out of its context. The lawlessness was already at work and the coming/gathering was very clearly imminent. Why else would they be worried? They weren't asking what a resurrection was!

Re Zech 5 - yep. That's exactly what I mean. the visions follow the 7 feasts (Lev 23). The true ark/scroll had ascended as the first goat, and a false (round) ark is expelled to Shinar as the scapegoat. Same in Revelation. Christ ascends and opens the scroll, then the false worship, the harlot, is expelled forever. Judaism is destroyed with seven temple bowls, the rejected seven sprinklings of atonement.

Re Heb 2, the word oikumene means (roughly) kingdom. Our English Bibles don't help here.

Jesus death as Passover resulted in the 'Trumpets' summoning the saints in Acts and the AD70 Atonement, fulfilling the feasts. It's a new world. Get used to it.

Revelation shows the Old Testament saints asking for vengeance. They are told to wait a little longer, until the NT saints are 'harvested' as bread and wine (Rev 14). Their blood tipped out on the Land summons up the avenger, as it did in Egypt, and brings the final destruction of the Old Covenant.

That is the New Testament process. Jesus ascended as head, the church ascended as body. Read Leviticus 1. You also see the pattern in Elijah and Elisha.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Very quickly: sorry, but oikumene has never meant kingdom. I studied NT Greek at uni. It means specifically, the known world. Comes from oikos, the household, the same word that we get economy from.

So you can't use that word to interpret the OT with a 20th century reading.

I'll get back to you about 2 Thessalonians later.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Oh yeah, funny story about the exile stuff. Alison was teaching about Nehemiah in scripture last year and the second temple. They went through the significance of what the return to Palestine meant, and then reviewed the covenant promises to Israel - and that only the return to the land had been fulfilled (where they were slaves). So the year 4 kids worked out that Israel was still in exile.

Mike Bull said...

"So the year 4 kids worked out that Israel was still in exile."

So it's the Latin prefix 'ex' that you, and they, don't understand.

Of course all the Covenant promises weren't fulfilled until Christ. I'm not disputing that. But the exile was over.

Wikipeda definition: Exile means to be away from one's home (i.e. city, state or country) while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened by prison or death upon return. It can be a form of punishment.

Mike Bull said...

"Comes from oikos, the household, the same word that we get economy from."

And that in no way relates to a kingdom? Its usage in the New Testament supports my view:

Luke 2:1 "And it came to pass in those days [that] a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the oikoumene [empire] should be registered."

Luke 4:5 "Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the oikoumene [empire] in a moment of time."

Acts 17:6 "But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the oikoumene [empire] upside down have come here too."

Acts 17:30-31 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the oikoumene [empire] in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained." (Hence Paul's warning!)

Acts 19:27 ""So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the oikoumene [empire] worship."

Acts 24:5 "For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the oikoumene [empire], and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes."

Romans 10:18 "But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: "Their sound has gone out to all the ge [Land], and their words to the ends of the oikoumene [empire]."

The next two uses are in Hebrews 1 and the Hebrews 2 passage we are discussing.

Revelation 3:10 ""Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole oikoumene [empire], to test those who dwell on the ge [Land].

Technically it is the inhabitable world. Practically it was the Roman empire. Aside from a few more careful uses in Revelation, all the other 'worlds' in the NKJV are kosmon. Using 'empire' and 'Land' sure helps with interpreting the Revelation, passages such as "all the tribes of the Land will mourn".

The "empire to come" in Hebrews 2 has already come.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

No, this is sloppy scholarship and it's wrong. There was a greek word for Kingdom, basilica. Oikoumene was never used for that, which is why nobody has ever translated it as kingdom/empire.


Luke 2:1 "And it came to pass in those days [that] a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the oikoumene [throughout the known world - they wouldn't have used empire here because the ideology still didn't exist!] should be registered."

Luke 4:5 "Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the oikoumene [world - the jews knew about parts of the world that were'nt under Roma control] in a moment of time."

Acts 17:6 "But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the oikoumene [turned the whole world upside down - there is lots at stake here, and it iis lost if you go for this outrageous translation] upside down have come here too."

Acts 17:30-31 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the oikoumene [world, or is Jesus just Lord of the Roman empire, so what happens in babylon or persia will escape his judgement?] in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained."

Acts 19:27 ""So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the oikoumene [world - Diana was not worshipped in the western
Roman world, but was outside the Roman world in the Greek culture.] worship."

Acts 24:5 "For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissension among all the Jews throughout the oikoumene [world], and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes."

Romans 10:18 "But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: "Their sound has gone out to all the ge [Land], and their words to the ends of the oikoumene [world]."

Revelation 3:10 ""Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole oikoumene [world], to test those who dwell on the ge [Land].

Technically it is the inhabitable or known world. Rome would like to think it was all under their control, but Paul et al aren't going to be into Roman imperialism and blasemphy. Cosmos could be used for this, but it is mainly used to refer to the whol of creation.

It is pointless arguing this point further, because I have the greek in front of me.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

"So the year 4 kids worked out that Israel was still in exile."

So it's the Latin prefix 'ex' that you, and they, don't understand.

Wikipeda definition: Exile means to be away from one's home (i.e. city, state or country) while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened by prison or death upon return. It can be a form of punishment.


When did wikipedia become a reputible source? It's not about symantics and makins sure that according to the OED Israel was in exile or not. It's about when the promises for the end of exile happened. The end of of th eexile was meant to usher in peace, defeat of God's enemies, an end to sin, and the new covenant Jeremiah spoke about. And there was meant to be a stump of Jesse. Did this happen a) in Ezra/Nehemiah or b) in Jesus?

Mike Bull said...

No, this is sloppy scholarship and it's wrong. There was a greek word for Kingdom, basilica. Oikoumene was never used for that, which is why nobody has ever translated it as kingdom/empire.

Well, it isn't a kosmos either. So why did they translate it 'world'? (Sloppy translation!) It has the idea of an international (read 'inter-kingdom') commonwealth within a specified geographical area, the commonly known inhabited land.

So it is not just a kingdom, I agree. But it is not 'the world.' Getting Hebrews 2 wrong minimises the work of Christ concerning the principalities and powers, both seen and unseen.

"...the Remnant Era, initiated by Elijah and Elisha, and continuing down to the Exile... is the time of the prophets, and we notice that these prophets speak not only to (Northern) Israel/Ephraim and (Southern) Judah, but also to the nations. They do not speak to all the nations of the world, but to a circle of nations around Israel. A limited international scene is coming into focus.

This international situation will be formalised by God, beginning with Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar, into a series of empires or commonwealths. The New Testament uses the Greek term “oikumene” to refer to this international commonwealth, and in this commentary we shall call it the Oikumene."

The Handwriting on the Wall p.21-22

So, in practice, it was the territory of the empire. It was not creation. The destruction of Judaism and the Roman guardian was the beginning of the fifth oikumene (Dan 2).

Mike Bull said...

When did wikipedia become a reputible source?

Their quote was from an apparently reputable source. I just liked their wording. The meaning of the word is pretty obvious.

It's not about symantics

Unless you want to argue about oikumene!

It's about when the promises for the end of exile happened. The end of of the exile was meant to usher in peace, defeat of God's enemies, an end to sin, and the new covenant Jeremiah spoke about.

All these promises were fulfilled. The Jews had rest from their enemies (while they remained obedient - as with Solomon. Notice at the end of Nehemiah he deals with the exact sins of Solomon's kingdom because he knows what God will do to his new 'city of peace' if they fail again.)

God's enemies were all defeated in the book of Esther, from India to Ethiopia.

Jeremiah's new covenant was fulfilled. It was they only way the Land would support them.

And there was meant to be a stump of Jesse. Did this happen a) in Ezra/Nehemiah or b) in Jesus?

The answer to this in all cases is both. It was all fulfilled. Isaiah's new heaven and new earth came to be (this always refers to a Covenant) and the Gentile wolves submitted to Mordecai and lay down with the Jewish lambs in the new ark, the Oikumene, a vessel that would carry them all into a new age. It all follows the pattern set down and used in previous scripture perfectly.

Regarding the stump, the context of Isaiah 11 is clear. It was the time when "Ephraim shall not envy Judah" any more. When they returned from exile, the divided kingdom was resurrected united.

The context of Isaiah is pretty clear, concerning both Israel and the surrounding nations. Babylon brought a 'floody' end to the old Canaanite world, hence the warnings. The resurrection of Israel from exile was 'a new earth [Land],' typologically significant for the NT but fulfilled nevertheless. That's why most commentators fumble the ball with Isaiah. They just don't get God's (Abraham to AD70) 'world model' - Israel=Land, Gentiles=Sea. Since the end of Judaism, there is 'no more Sea.'

Ezekiel 17 describes the process of the eagle (King Neb) taking the topmost branch (Jehoiakim) and it getting replanted on God's mountain (Zerubbabel).

What makes it tricky is that, although this was all fulfilled in the Restoration, it was replayed in the New Testament. And as I said, Zechariah makes it clear that although this was a 'new heavens and earth' covenant, and the exile was over, the Davidic crown would be underground until Messiah. He would be a heavenly king, but until then, they had kings who were closer to heaven than Judah's kings were, allowing their influence to expand. He scattered them for their sin, but brought good out of it for the sake of the Gentiles.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

oikoumene usually refers to the known world, or the inhabited world.

Kosmos is used to refer to the whole creation.

Ezekiel 17 describes the process of the eagle (King Neb) taking the topmost branch (Jehoiakim) and it getting replanted on God's mountain (Zerubbabel). And then all the birds (the nations) roost in the tree. Doesn't happen to Jesus.

And Zechariah is talking about stuff that is going to happen, not what the current state was.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

...minimises the work of Christ concerning the principalities and powers, both seen and unseen.

No can hardly accuse Wright of this. It's one of the main reasons other evangelicals dislike him.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

minimises the work of Christ concerning the principalities and powers, both seen and unseen.

Good thing we're not talking about a word.

Mike Bull said...

oikoumene usually refers to the known world, or the inhabited world. Kosmos is used to refer to the whole creation.

Exactly my point. Hebrews 2 refers to the former. It was the 'world' that the apostles turned upside down.

And Zechariah is talking about stuff that is going to happen, not what the current state was.

Sorry - I was referring to his visions, not the whole book. In fact, that's a good point! Zechariah begins with the re-establishment of worship as a new creation under Joshua (the Restored covenant and priesthood), and idolatry exiled to Babylon. It finishes with the fulfilment of the type in the first century, with the establishment of New Covenant worship under Christ, and the destruction of Judah’s Babylonian worship.

No can hardly accuse Wright of this. It's one of the main reasons other evangelicals dislike him.

Cool. Then this interpretation would just give him more ammo! ; )

Moffitt the Prophet said...

I thought you were saying in hebrews 2 that it meant the empire and not the world?

Mike Bull said...

Yep - the empire/commonwealth 'world' the apostles turned upside down. Not a kingdom, or the cosmos.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

But it's bigger than just the empire - they've turned the whole world upside down. Which is why you can't just choose to translate it as empire.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

A ha, according to wikipedia, James B Jordan is a paedobaptist!

He also supports Wright's "NPP" work.

Mike Bull said...

No - the apostles only turned the oikumene upside down. Read Acts.

A ha, according to wikipedia, James B Jordan is a paedobaptist!

I don't follow people blindly. ; )

He also supports Wright's "NPP" work.

It must be good then.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

I have read Acts - which is why I know they turned the whole known world, and not just Rom, upside down, i.e. Ethiopia.

Mike Bull said...

Ethiopia was part of this territory, hence the importance of the Ethiopian eunuch. He was part of the harvest that was ready to reap. Why else would he come to Jerusalem to worship, and be carrying a very expensive copy of holy writ? A Gentile!

Esther 1:1
Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia).

Esther 8:9
So the king's scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, to every province in its own script, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.

Mike Bull said...

Hi Matt

Do you mind if I put some of our baptism debate on my blog? (I'm a bit bankrupt for material this week).

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Bully, at this stage I would prefer you didn't. I want to write up all of my thoughts in one post.

Mike Bull said...

No probs. I will be interested to read it. I enjoyed the debate.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

The reason why Esther doesn't contain the end of the exile is because it doesn't deal with sin. Sin got Israel into exile, and the victory in Esther, as agood as it may be, leaves Israel still in sin.

Mike Bull said...

The sin was dealt with in Zechariah. He saw the ark (the scroll), the lampstand, the incense altar, but no table of showbread. Why? Because it was the Angel of the Lord as bread and wine who provided a covering for Joshua in the face of the accuser. The Land was saved and the Temple could be finished.

In Revelation, the same thing happens. John stands on the crystal sea (laver), sees the elders (incense), the seven spirits (lampstand) and the ark-throne, but he wept when no one was worthy to open the New Covenant scroll. Then he saw the slain Lamb, the table of bread and wine. The world was saved and the Temple could be finished.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

It's pretty obvious that the sin is not dealt with in Zechariah because Israel is still 'in Adam'. If their sin was dealt with, then Jesus mission is redundant.

Mike Bull said...

The sin was dealt with in the same way it was when the Covenant was first initiated by God - with animal sacrifices. But in the Restoration Covenant there is a greater access to God. Joshua is given access to "these who stand here", the elders before God's throne. There is a very definite progression towards the New Covenant.

Of course they were still in Adam. They were in Adam when they were in the Land before! The Restoration was still prefiguring the New Covenant to come. But it was more glorious spiritually than its predecessors, and would require more wisdom on Israel's part.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

The only problem is that there is no restoration covenant.

The return from exile was also meant to herald the defeat of sin and evil, and that doesn't happen until Jesus, the true Israelite, the renewd Israel, dies the world's death on the cross (becasue Israel was always in the world for the world).

PS Zechariah is using apocalyptic language. He is endowing historical and politcal events with their theological and spiritual significance. If Joshua the priest and Zerubbabel are so significant, then why doesn't Jesus make reference to them?

Mike Bull said...

The only problem is that there is no restoration covenant.

Read the prophets in context. Judah and Ephraim? etc. etc.

The return from exile was also meant to herald the defeat of sin and evil, and that doesn't happen until Jesus, the true Israelite, the renewd Israel, dies the world's death on the cross (becasue Israel was always in the world for the world).

Yes but you are jumping the gun. The exile was over and there was yet another stage of maturity for Israel. Daniel calls it the latter days.

Zechariah is using apocalyptic language. He is endowing historical and politcal events with their theological and spiritual significance.

You have it the wrong way round. Zechariah is totally passive. He was shown by God the real reason why the Temple couldn't be completed, and its solution.

If Joshua the priest and Zerubbabel are so significant, then why doesn't Jesus make reference to them?

He does, in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It brings an end to the Restoration Covenant by fulfilling it, and makes many direct references to the Restoration prophets.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Zechariah is using apocalyptic language. He is endowing historical and politcal events with their theological and spiritual significance.

You have it the wrong way round. Zechariah is totally passive. He was shown by God the real reason why the Temple couldn't be completed, and its solution.


Doesn't contradict what I said.

He does, in the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It brings an end to the Restoration Covenant by fulfilling it, and makes many direct references to the Restoration prophets.

Can you show me a reference in Revelation to Joshua and Zerubbabel?

Read the prophets in context. Judah and Ephraim? etc. etc.

I usually do, so please explain.

The exile was over and there was yet another stage of maturity for Israel. Daniel calls it the latter days.

Daniel refernce please. Nobody thought the exile was over circa 500AD until we forgot what the signifcance of the Old Testament was and decided that Jesus came out of nowhere to just offer us individual salvation.
So read the exile in the context the biblical metanarrative.

Mike Bull said...

Doesn't contradict what I said.

It implies his visions were just an apocalyptic 'coating' on the 'real' events, rather than the heavenly reason for earthly events.

Can you show me a reference in Revelation to Joshua and Zerubbabel?

Joshua - the one I referred to earlier re the Table. Christ as High Priest among the elders, then exalted above them in glorious robes. He opens the scroll that releases the gospel horsemen which in turn exiles the woman of Babylon.

Zerubbabel - the priest and king pillars of Solomon's temple were deconstructed by King Neb. In Zechariah they are represented by a white capstone that is priest, prophet and king all in one. Waaaay too much detail to go into here. I can send you a copy of my book. The reference to the two olive trees as the apostolic witness (linking Zechariah's mega-Lampstand with Pentecost), and the promise that the Davidic prince who founded the Temple would also finish it (author and finisher). There's heaps more.

I usually do (read the prophets in context), so please explain.

The texts in the exilic prophets that we love to quote and apply to Christ are contained within passages that refer to the restoration, such as the example I gave you concerning Judah and Ephraim being resurrected as one nation - Jews. Of course they later find fulfilment in the first century, but we don't see the Restoration because we jump ahead.

Daniel reference please.

Dan 2:28; 10:14; Ezek 38:16 (referring to Haman)

In Daniel 9, the Lord shows Daniel that the second 490 years (the latter days) of the Temple would end the same way as the first 490 years (the former days), with its desolation by a Gentile flood.

Nobody thought the exile was over circa 500AD until we forgot what the signifcance of the Old Testament was and decided that Jesus came out of nowhere to just offer us individual salvation.

The Jews lost sight of their Restoration calling. They were to be suffering servants before they could be exalted.

So read the exile in the context the biblical metanarrative.

I do. They were back in the Land with a new, greater, more mature mission for another 490 years.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

rather than the heavenly reason for earthly events.

That's partly what I'm saying. By apocalyptic I don't mean what you think I mean. See G.B. Caird.

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Joshua - the one I referred to earlier re the Table. Christ as High Priest among the elders, then exalted above them in glorious robes. He opens the scroll that releases the gospel horsemen which in turn exiles the woman of Babylon.

Zerubbabel - the priest and king pillars of Solomon's temple were deconstructed by King Neb. In Zechariah they are represented by a white capstone that is priest, prophet and king all in one. Waaaay too much detail to go into here. I can send you a copy of my book. The reference to the two olive trees as the apostolic witness (linking Zechariah's mega-Lampstand with Pentecost), and the promise that the Davidic prince who founded the Temple would also finish it (author and finisher). There's heaps more.


Seriously?

Moffitt the Prophet said...

The texts in the exilic prophets that we love to quote and apply to Christ are contained within passages that refer to the restoration, such as the example I gave you concerning Judah and Ephraim being resurrected as one nation - Jews. Of course they later find fulfilment in the first century, but we don't see the Restoration because we jump ahead.

I disagree. I apply these passages for Christ because I'm looking for the restoration and don't see it happening until Jesus. Your problem is that you not only look for the restoration, but you decide that it must have happened and so you things like allegory to insert it into texts that wouldn't claim that the restoration has happened yet.


In Daniel 9, the Lord shows Daniel that the second 490 years (the latter days) of the Temple would end the same way as the first 490 years (the former days), with its desolation by a Gentile flood.

Sorry Bully, but you've missed it here. The 490 years talking about the exile and how it will be not just be 70 years but 490 years - which takes it up to Jesus.

The Jews lost sight of their Restoration calling. They were to be suffering servants before they could be exalted.

You still haven't shown any such restoration calling existed. They were still under the covenant of Moses.

And Israel had always been the suffering servant, not just post 500BC.

I do. They were back in the Land with a new, greater, more mature mission for another 490 years.

But you're stuck in your wikipedia definition of exile. The prophets redefine it to not just be about the land.

Mike Bull said...

That's partly what I'm saying. By apocalyptic I don't mean what you think I mean. See G.B. Caird.

Fair enough.

Joshua and Zerubbabel
Seriously?

There is a sevenfold literary structure that begins in the Creation week, structures the Tabernacle and Temple and also the seven feasts (Lev 23). This structure orders the preliminary sections of Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah and Revelation, and then also the whole books. I traced it thru in my book and it worked like clockwork at multiple levels simultaneously. It was like ticking the boxes. And it made sense of the weird stuff once it was in context. So, more than serious. Architectural literature that is irreducibly complex. Too much to expound here.

Mike Bull said...

Sorry Bully, but you've missed it here. The 490 years talking about the exile and how it will be not just be 70 years but 490 years - which takes it up to Jesus.

So Jeremiah lied? I don't think so. The 70 years of rest for the Land paid back the Sabbaths they owed.

Daniel is shown the bigger picture - the end of the Old Covenant. That's not what we're talking about here. But this final period was the Restoration Covenant era - Day 6 of Israel's history (see my previous chart).

You still haven't shown any such restoration calling existed. They were still under the covenant of Moses.

They were scattered throughout the empire and then restored to be witnesses to it. They were to follow Daniel's pattern. Mordecai and Esther initially failed in this witness, so God allowed Haman to take Mordecai's place. When they did witness, God turned it around. It's all there.

And Israel had always been the suffering servant, not just post 500BC.

Like Adam, they were to mediate for and be a shepherd to the world. But like Adam, they ended up behaving like beasts. After Solomon, like Gentile kings (hence Ezekiel's name calling - the 'king of Tyre' is the high priest, and their religion had become the Queen of Sidon, etc.) And by the end of the Restoration they had again 'intermarried' with the beast, this time the iron of Rome. So, yes, I agree, but no, it was a situation that required more maturity. And they were more mature. They never returned to the old idols. It was a new Israel.

But you're stuck in your wikipedia definition of exile. The prophets redefine it to not just be about the land.

Isaiah 45 speaks about God using Cyrus to release the exiles in the language of a new creation. It has nothing to do with the first century, although of course the first century follows the same pattern:

"Thus says the LORD to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held -- To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut: ...I have raised him up in righteousness, And I will direct all his ways; He shall build My city And let My exiles go free, Not for price nor reward," Says the LORD of hosts.

Jeremiah 30-31 are good chapters, too.

The point is that Israel was now part of a bigger world, serving under a more powerful king, prefiguring a similar process in the first century. These new Restoration era tests would make their trials under their own kings seem like child's play.

I don't dispute your bigger picture. It's definitely there. But the restoration covenant is a new stage within the Old Covenant, just as the Davidic covenant was.

To read Jeremiah 31 and apply only one verse to the first century is to make nonsense of its details. The entire chapter was about the Restoration covenant. Paul quotes it because he sees the same pattern happening in the first century - a new Jerusalem.

God did write his law on their hearts and minds. But by the time of Christ they had turned even this into rebellion.