Archive for January, 2008

Peace be unto you

In his comments on John 20:19, D. Carson suggests that the risen Lord’s greeting to his disciples, “Peace be unto you” ειρηνη υμιν is more than just a traditional Hebrew greeting. Arguing from the Lord’s previous promise of peace in 14:27 and 16:33, and from the general observation that “shalom was also the embracing term used to denote the unqualified well-being that would characterize the people of God once the eschatological kingdom had dawned,” he concludes, “Jesus’ ‘Shalom!’ on Easter evening is the complement of ‘it is finished’ on the cross, for the peace of reconciliation and life from God is now imparted.” Continue reading Peace be unto you…

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Common Words in Uncommon Phrases

Matt. 24:29-30 predicts that “immediately after the tribulation of those days … all the tribes of the earth shall mourn” when “they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with power and great glory.” The prophecy is understood in two different ways. Thoroughgoing preterists (like John Gill) understand the coming of Christ predicted in this verse to have taken place in the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in AD 70, drawing on verses like Isa 19:1 to show that a military invasion can be the instrument of a divine intervention. Futurists (notably dispensationalists) and partial preterists like John Calvin understand the verses to speak of a coming of the Lord that is still in the future. Continue reading Common Words in Uncommon Phrases…

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Finding What’s Not There

“John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

Compare this verse with its counterpart in the synoptics (BW: enter “John 19:30” in the command line, then select “Tools/Synopsis Window” to bring up a harmony of the gospels). All four gospels report that the Lord says something, and then dies, but only John notes that “he bowed his head.” Is John simply adding a detail from his personal observation of the event (Alford, Carson), or does he attach some meaning to it? Gill suggests the gesture shows his submission to the Father’s will. Morris draws a tentative link with Matt 8:20 and Luke 9:58, where the phrase refers to taking rest in sleep (“the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head”). Continue reading Finding What’s Not There…

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How Many Women?

How many women are standing by the cross in John 19:25? “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.” Is “Mary the wife of Cleophas” the sister of “his mother,” or are the two distinct women? Because it is unlikely that two sisters would both be named “Mary,” most commentators prefer the latter reading. But “sister” could refer to a sister in law or a cousin. It would help if we knew how often omission of the conjunction in a list in John is simply asyndeton as opposed to apposition. Continue reading How Many Women?…

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