Theopolis ArticlesFilter

  • Israel Redux: The Image of Christ in the Gospel According to John (Part III)

    John 12.12 – John 17: Latter Prophets In the Hebrew Scriptures, Kings is followed by the Latter Prophets. John 12:15 quotes Zechariah 9:9 as having prophesied Jesus’ triumphal entry: “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”[1] N.T. Wright sees, beside Zechariah, the fulfillment of […]

  • Israel Redux: The Image of Christ in the Gospel According to John (Part I)

    Since my educational and professional training have revolved around story and narrative structure, I approach John’s Gospel from a literary and narrative perspective. In doing so, I have noticed structural story patterns and followed them where they seem to lead: the Gospel of John parallels the ordering of the books of the Tanakh. Although John’s […]

  • Thomas and Us

    An octave is a repetition, a repetition with a difference. It’s not the first note played again, but the first note played at a higher pitch. Octaves have always marked new beginnings. Hebrew boys were circumcised on the eighth day. Firstborn sheep were dedicated to Yahweh on the eighth day. Aaron entered the priesthood on […]

  • Jesus’ Burial Clothes

    John devotes much attention to Jesus’ burial clothes. He tells us that Nicodemus brought about a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes to spice Jesus body, and that He was bound in linen wrappings. We find out that His body and His head were wrapped separately. (John 19:39-40; 20:6-7). When Jesus was raised from the […]

  • And the Holy of Holies Became Flesh

    And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory…(John 1:14) Commentaries on John, discussing the Word or Logos in John 1, routinely turn to Greek philosophy and say that John is using a term and at least part of an idea familiar in the ancient world. John is showing the […]

  • The Strange Love of Jesus

    Eleonore Stump in her book Wandering in Darkness invites us to re-read the story of Lazarus (John 11) from Mary’s perspective. Stump argues that the story of Lazarus is a story of Mary, since both Lazarus and Martha are identified by their relationship with Mary. The true ending of the story is to be found […]

  • The Gardener and the Beloved, 3

    The voice of Jesus transforms and changes Mary when she hears him speak her name. This is her last “turning.” So also the woman in the Song of Songs longs to hear the voice of her beloved.   Let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your […]

  • The Gardener and the Beloved, 2

    The details of this story call the attentive reader back to the drama of Solomon’s Song of Songs. And the Song of Song’s alludes to, ties us into the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden and the promise of a coming Messiah that will victoriously crush the head of the Serpent, bringing deliverance […]

  • The Gardener and the Beloved, 1

    On a fresco in a chapel in Padua, Italy, there is a famous painting depicting the dramatic post-resurrection scene in John 20 with Mary and Jesus outside of the garden tomb. Giotto di Bondone painted it in the early 14th century. Jesus is striding from the tomb with a victor’s flag in his left hand. […]

  • Engaging John, Engaging One Another

    The Paradosis Center at John Brown University in Siloam Spring, Arkansas, put on its first conference last week, it was a remarkable event. It was an ecumenical conference including Orthodox (John Behr, Edith Humphrey, others), Catholic (Rusty Reno, Michael Root, others), and Evangelical (Timothy George, David Lyle Jeffrey). Unusually for such a conference, it focused on […]

  • Gift of Glory, Gift of Unity

    The doctrine of the Trinity is woven into our worship every week. We are called to worship in the Name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. We confess the Trinity in the Nicene Creed. We are blessed in the Name of the Trinity. Pervasive as it is, the Trinity can be bewildering. How […]

  • Jesus, David, Adam: A Reading of John 18:1-11

    John 18:1-11 appears on the surface to be a straightforward, if somewhat unusual, narrative of Jesus’ arrest by officers of the chief priests and Pharisees accompanied by an apparently large group of Roman soldiers, all of them led by the betrayer, Judas. But there is much more here than what appears on the surface. Paying […]

  • The Girding of Peter

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself, and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do wish to go.” Now this He said, signifying by what kind of […]

  • Jesus’ Burial Clothes

    John devotes much attention to Jesus’ burial clothes. He tells us that Nicodemus brought about a hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes to spice Jesus body, and that He was bound in linen wrappings. We find out that His body and His head were wrapped separately. (John 19:39-40; 20:6-7). When Jesus was raised from the […]

  • Born From Above

    Nicodemus’s conversation with Jesus in John 3:1-15 is often regarded as an illustration of the tremendous stupidity of the Jews of our Lord’s day. Those who take the passage this way fail to recognize the profound nature of Nicodemus’s questions and of Jesus’ answers. In verse 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born […]