The message of the so-called Joseph Narratives

Wed, 24/01/2024 - 17:41 -- James Oakley
Cover of Bruce Waltke's commentary on Genesis

I'm a big fan of Bruce Waltke's commentary on Genesis. He does a great job at holding together two tasks that are vital. It's easy to lose one whilst trying to do the other. He both pays attention to the narrative craft of Genesis, and at the same time tracks the overall storyline of Genesis and what the book as a whole is communicating.

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Jesus in the Old Testament

Mon, 19/08/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

It's funny how an issue looks different depending on who you're talking to.

When I was at college, my third year dissertation was looking at the faith of the Old Testament saints. How much about God and the gospel did Abraham know? Is he an example that it's possible to be saved without explicitly knowing about Jesus? Or did he know more than we give him credit for.

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Sabbath Rest

Mon, 18/02/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley
Image Credit: milinkapoor

I'm taking a 3 month sabbatical starting in May. This is something many Christian ministers find helpful. The Diocese of Rochester, within which I serve, used to recommend this every 7 years (although I see that their guidance now says 10 years).

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Genesis 15 and the conquest of Canaan

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 11:59 -- James Oakley

Many Christians struggle with the conquest of Canaan in the Old Testament. We don't get there until the book of Joshua, but to the modern mind it can seem like barbaric genocide. The people of Israel were told to conquer the land of Canaan, which was already occupied.

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Eve as "helper" for Adam

Wed, 23/01/2013 - 21:29 -- James Oakley

Genesis 2:18 describes God making Eve as a "helper" (עֵזֶר) for Adam.

This particular word occurs 19 times in the Old Testament, and it pays to notice carefully what it does and does not mean elsewhere.

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The message of Genesis

Mon, 10/09/2012 - 10:17 -- James Oakley

What's the whole of Genesis about?

Jason Hood, over at the SAET blog, has some very sensible things to say about how the whole book speaks a message that needs to be heard by NT Christians, and what's more speaks it with great clarity:

His full post is not long and is well worth a read:

Here's a small extract to whet the appetite and send you to the full thing:

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What destroyed Sodom?

Sat, 23/06/2012 - 13:28 -- James Oakley

Waltke again:

Scientifically, the fire and cataclysmic destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah may be explained by an earthquake. Heat, gases, sulphur, and bitumen would have been spewed into the air through the fissures formed during a violent earthquake (14:10). The lightning that frequently accompanies an earthquake would have ignited the gases and bitumen.

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