Theopolis ArticlesFilter

  • Yoram Hazony and the Deception of Isaac

    Perhaps one of the most stimulating sections of Yoram Hazony’s The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture addresses the question of how we are to discern the meaning of biblical narratives, especially how biblical narratives might present arguments of a more general nature. Hazony quotes John Barton’s remarks about the difficulty of recognizing the moral stance of the […]

  • Drunk, Naked, and Accomplishing God’s Will

    A Closer Look at Noah’s Post-Flood Humiliation In Genesis 9:20-27 My wife is currently leading a Bible study through Genesis for a group of insatiable Bible students. Because she is a deep thinker and has a high view of inspiration, there is no passage she is unwilling to face head on, seeking the interpretive clues […]

  • 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 […]

  • Toledoth and the Structure of Genesis

    As many commentators point out, Genesis is structured by 10 uses of the word toledoth, “generations.” The word means something along the lines of “begotten things,” and the toledoth statements head the various sections of Genesis. When Genesis 2:4 announces “these are the begettings of heaven and earth” and then proceeds to recount the creation […]

  • A Note on the Structure of Genesis 22, Part 2

    In part 1 of this article we saw how various attempts to identify the underlying structure of Gen. 22:1-19 fell short and proposed a new structure for the passage. In part 2, we will look at how the sections of the chiasm relate and draw some conclusions from our investigation. A Sections In the a1 […]

  • On the Structure of Genesis 22, Part 1

    Chiastic structures abound in the book of Genesis. For example, the Flood narrative is one long chiasm, as is the life of Abraham. It is the contention of this brief study that Gen. 22:1-19, also known as the Aqedah, is another such passage. And this structure reveals a talented author who gives us a foreshadowing […]

  • The Falls of Man

    The story of the Fall enjoys a peculiar place in Christian thought. Together with the creation account in the two chapters that precede it, it is one of the few Old Testament narratives consistently to escape the relative neglect the Hebrew Scriptures often suffer. While the characters of Abraham, Moses, or David may be accorded […]

  • The Original Murder

    My title, “The Original Murder” will be understood by many readers, if not almost all, to refer to Cain’s murder of Abel, but I have in mind the very first murder, the one which Jesus pointed to when He said that Satan was a murderer “from the beginning.” “You are of your father the devil, […]

  • Big Love: A History of Stolen Fruit

    “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed.” (Luke 11:27) Arguing for Christian morality in a secular society is difficult. A culture which accepts evolutionary dogma has no intellectual place — or inherent desire — for absolute morality, since it believes morality is only helpful because it was shaped by […]

  • The Two Shall Become One Flesh: A Wedding Homily

    Philosophers have measured mountains, Fathom’d the depths of seas, of states, and kings, Walk’d with a staff to heaven, and traced fountains But there are two vast, spacious things, The which to measure it doth more behove: Yet few there are that sound them; Sin and Love. The Agonie – George Herbert As a way […]

  • Every Noise Appalls

    The first two essays in this series drew attention to the structure of the first part of Macbeth and to the way Shakespeare incorporates the Garden of Eden into his story. Macbeth, we saw, is a temptation story in which, compared to the Biblical story, the temptation itself is drawn out and extended. The Garden […]

  • Maker of Heaven and Earth, 5

    In my previous posts, I looked at the theme of creation as it is found in a sequence of psalms devoted to Yahweh’s Kingship (Psalms 93-100). Among other matters, these psalms declare that when the Kingdom of Israel’s God comes, it is the Kingdom of the world’s own Creator. I now hope to tie this […]

  • Covenant Structure in Genesis 2

    The first chapters of the Word of God have a poetic rhythm. This is used to discredit their accuracy as historical narrative, but the truth is that these same rhythms continue far beyond the book of Genesis. In fact, the later texts shed light on the frustratingly succinct account of the Creation and the Fall. Although the word “Covenant” […]

  • Heavenizing Earth: Eschatology in the Beginning

    When we think about eschatology, we think immediately of Daniel, of Matthew 24-25, of 1 Corinthians 15 and 2 Thessalonians 2, and of course of Revelation. We don’t, I suspect, think about Genesis. Perhaps Genesis 3:15, with its promise of the woman’s seed, would come to mind. So might the promise to Abraham in Genesis […]

  • Integrity

    Integrity seems to have two meanings. It can mean the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. A man of integrity is a person of honour, rectitude and probity, truthful and trustworthy. Integrity also describes a state – the quality of being whole and undivided. If things are integrated they are brought together […]

  • A Sabbath Conversation

    As Adam and Eve walked to the Garden of Eden to meet with Yahweh on their first Sabbath they conversed about the origin and age of the earth. Adam: You know, honey, we spent a lot of time yesterday making preparations for this house, and we still have an awful lot of work left to […]

  • Maker of Heaven and Earth

    From an early period in church history, Christians have confessed belief in a God who created “out of nothing.” God doesn’t need pre-existent matter to work with like a human artisan does; rather, God both calls into existence the material substrate he intends to work with, and he fashions whatever he wishes from it. Genesis […]

  • Why Genesis Matters

    Creationism is debated widely in the US, especially when it comes to teaching creation as an alternative theory of origins in public schools. Every few months, there’s another poll showing that many Americans still believe Ussher’s claim  that the world was created around 4000 BC, which always elicits a contemptuous guffaw from pollsters and reporters. […]

  • The Gospel of Genealogy

    Genesis 3 ends on a decisive, and decisively negative, note.  Yahweh “drove the man out” of the garden, and, in addition, “at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life.”  Because he seized that fruit, […]

  • Jacob and the Stone

    When he first arrives in Harran, at Paddan-Aram, the home of Laban his uncle, Jacob sees a well. Wells are mentioned frequently in Genesis. Twice Hagar finds a well in the wilderness (Genesis 16:14; 21:19).  Philistines seize Abraham’s well (21:22-34), and Abraham’s chief servant finds a wife for Isaac at a well (24:10-27). Later, Philistines […]