Theopolis ArticlesFilter

  • Waters of Earth and Heaven

    Genesis 2:5 says that no shrub yet existed in the earth and no field plant had sprouted for two reasons. The first is that “Yahweh God had not caused rain upon the earth,” and the second is that “there was no man to serve the soil.” Then v. 6 explains that “a spring used to […]

  • The Jephthah-Jesus Connection

    Why there is more to Jephthah than meets than eye It was not that long ago that I realized the Jephthah-story and the Jesus-story were basically the same story. Sounds crazy, I know. But here is a one-paragraph synopsis of both: The people of God have gone their own way, chasing after other gods, and […]

  • The Problem of Psalm 137

    Psalm 137 is widely regarded as one of the meanest of the imprecatory psalms. Certainly as we read it it is seems to be a song of pure vengeance. The exiles in Babylon, in grief over the judgment that Babylon has brought upon them, pray for the destruction of that great city. There is a […]

  • Galilee of the Gentiles

    Matthew records that Jesus “withdrew” to Galilee to begin His public ministry there after He “heard that John had been delivered up” (Mt. 4:12). Matthew’s typically matter-of-fact style veils the truly remarkable character of Jesus’ withdrawal. Matthew has been presenting Jesus as the Messiah, the Seed of Abraham and Son of David (1:1, 16), Immanuel […]

  • The Rock That Followed Them

    “. . . and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock that followed them; and the rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4).   Paul’s passing comment about the rock that followed the Israelites in the wilderness has often been treated as a bit of Jewish tradition that crept […]

  • Hezekiah’s Sign

    The story of Hezekiah’s illness and recovery is familiar to every child who has attended Sunday School. Informed that he would die, faithful King Hezekiah pleaded in tears for a longer life. God heard his prayers and saw his tears, and promised fifteen more years. As a sign that He would keep His promise, God […]

  • The Oddness of the Feast of Booths

    The Feast of Ingathering in the seventh month of the Sinaitic calendar is also called the Feast of Sukkoth, of Booths, also called Feast of Tabernacles. I have usually called it by that last phrase, and it is the most common today; but there is a problem: A tabernacle is a tent, and tents are […]

  • A Universe Less Expanded

    When Matthew’s Gospel was first read aloud to the fledgling Christian congregations, the experience must have been like seeing the words “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” appear afresh on cinema screens in 1999. Yet, unlike The Phantom Menace, the New Testament did not disappoint. Why? Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus Christ […]

  • The Unseen Things

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). The famous definition of faith with which the eleventh chapter of Hebrews opens has received a number of different interpretations. The crux of the problem is the interpretation of the words translated in the KJV as “substance” (hupostasis) […]

  • Babel Academy, Part 2

    For Part 1, click HERE. Genesis 1 describes the creation of the physical order. Genesis 2 recapitulates the pattern of Genesis 1 as it describes the creation of the social order. Genesis 3 describes the intended founding of an ethical order. It was here that sin entered into the world, and with it, the distinction between clean and unclean. The failure of Adam to rightly […]

  • Babel Academy, Part 1

    The Business of Keeping the Saints in the Dark Let there be light! The first recorded “spoken” words of God. Curiously, even this creative decree was a deed whose fruit required an appraisal. God judged the light and separated it from the darkness. As the cardinal act within a newborn heavens and earth, this ruling […]

  • Introduction to the Ascensions

    Before considering the details of the Leviticus, we must have before us certain matters that have been established in Genesis and Exodus. These are things that we as Israelites already know when we first hear Moses report what God dictated to him in Leviticus. Adam Let us begin with Adam. Adam watched God plant the […]

  • The Dew of Heaven

    The Hebrew word for dew (tal) refers both to morning dew and nighttime mist. Dew was important to Ancient Near Eastern agriculture. The climate was so hot and dry that often only the dew kept vegetation alive during drought and heat. According to the New Bible Dictionary, “Dew is beneficial to summer crops. This has […]

  • Bread and Cup

    This article is a continuation of James Jordan’s article, “From Bread to Wine“.  We will here investigate the use of the word “cup” for the wine. I suggest that the cup itself corresponds to the firmament shell between heaven and earth, and that the liquid in the cup corresponds to the waters above the firmament. […]

  • From Bread to Wine

    In the Bible, bread (and beer, usually translated “strong drink,” liquid bread made from grain) is priestly and wine is kingly and prophetic. Bread comes first and wine later. Bread is alpha food while wine is omega food. You eat bread in the morning and drink wine at night. Bread is suitable for children while […]

  • Of Wine and Wineskins

    Part 1: Observations from the Texts (Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22, Luke 5:33-39) The precipitating context for the new wine/old wineskins discussion is people asking Jesus why His disciples did not fast. His immediate answer is that you can’t get the friends of the groom to fast at the bachelor party or the wedding — they […]

  • Abram’s 318 Men

    Genesis 14:14 says that Abram mustered his trained men, “born in his house,” to rescue Lot, and gives their number as 318. It is clear that the precise number is provided for some reason, but what is it? S. Gevirtz notes that 318 is the sum of all the prime numbers between 7 and 7 […]

  • The Flying Scroll

    And he said to me, “What do you see?” And I answered, “I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits” (Zechariah 5:2). Immediately following his vision of the outpouring of the Spirit upon the restoration community (4:1-14), Zechariah saw a flying scroll. The interpreting angel told him that […]

  • Locusts and Honey

    John the Baptist is presented in the gospels as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise that God would send His messenger to prepare the way for the coming of the glory of the Lord (Is. 40), and the promise to send Elijah before Him to turn the people to repentance (Mal. 4). Thus, Matthew’s […]

  • Sunrise

    “And God made the two great lights; the greater light for the dominion of the day, and the lesser light for the dominion of the night; the stars also.” (Genesis 1:16, NASV) In Judges 5, verse 31, the prophetess Deborah prays, “let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its […]