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Thread: Intimations of Exegesis

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    one thing I heard ( a long time ago) was that the Jews had formed many expectations or requirements that they expected to be characteristic of the Messiah. So we might expect this of passages such as "out of Egypt I have called my Son" or that "he would be called a Nazarite." I believe that some specific types of miracles were expected of the Messiah -- probably of healing a person who was born blind. The drawback on this stuff I heard ... I don't have the original recording/lecture and I don't have scholarly sources.
    It would be interesting to see if such fulfillments are only in Matthew, as the Jewish-focused gospel. If only in Matthew, we may have rough confirmation of the idea that some of these were expectations by the first century Jewish people. Some investigation would also have to be done as to the degree that OT prophecies are addressed in the other gospels.

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Enns wrote a paper on Hosea 11:1 and Matthew's use (or repurposing?) of that verse, which on face value seems acontextual. He used to have it available for free on his website, but the link has expired. The title was Matthew and Hosea: A Response to John Sailhamer. Here's a response by Gregory
    Beale: https://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-P...-715_Beale.pdf

    On the outset, I will admit I think Enns has the better of this particular argument; that it is too much of a stretch to argue that Matthew's usage of Hosea remains in Hosea's context. My understanding of NT messianic prophecy is similar to that of MM above. This does not exclude the idea that God may have orchestrated some similarities in some cases, which I think is especially likely in the case of Isaiah 53.

    Enns makes a big deal out of this issue in Inspiration and Incarnation, which strikes me as another example of his making a mountain out of what I don't even think is a molehill.
    Last edited by KingsGambit; 06-11-2019 at 07:00 PM.
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  3. #23
    tWebber
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    McCartney and Enns ("Matthew and Hosea: A Response to John Sailhamer." WTJ 63 (2001 ) 97-105) note on page 103:
    Hence, Matthew does not quote Hos 11:1 on the occasion of Jesus' return from literal Egypt, but regards it as fulfilled by Jesus' departure from Israel into Egypt. For Matthew, literal Israel has become "Egypt" and the king of literal Israel (Herod) is a new "Pharaoh" that tries to kill the promised deliverer by slaughtering infants, whereas literal Egypt becomes a place of refuge
    However, this reversal of roles would make Hosea 11, as a whole, unreadable. The rejection of such reversal of roles in this instance does not mean that we reject the potential reversal of roles in other passages.

    It seems that the reference to Hosea 11 from Matt 2 would be used to point the reader of the gospel to the events in Hosea 11-14. For Matthew 2 to effectively point out the judgment in Hosea, the Jewish readers would have had to be receptive to the idea that Jesus coming out of Egypt was a bookmark into the similar statement in Hosea 11. This bookmark utilization makes better sense than assuming that the context of Hosea 11 is being interpreted as any clear indicator of the Messiah.
    However, once it is recognized from Malachi and/or Micah, that the Messiah would come with judgments, then Hosea could be read in light of this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Seems to me that what Enns describes as Paul "winging it" is simply him practicing standard 2nd Temple Jewish Midrash, likely as taught to him by Gamaliel or through his vocation as a Pharisee. Imbuing Old Testament passages with a fuller meaning is Midrash 101.
    Enns' article that I linked to in the OP is titled: Paul: Well, Technically Speaking, He’s Not REALLY “Winging It”. It's safe to assume Peter Enns is familiar with "Midrash 101".

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Anyhow, N.T. Wright deals with the "issue" Enns raises in his book Paul and the Faithfulness of God. It's very deep and lengthy, but a decent summary can be found on a blog post here. The following is a snippet:

    The many individual stories in the Old Testament make up one large overarching narrative, sometimes called a meta-narrative (the story behind the stories). This ongoing narrative embodies IsraelÂ’s worldview.

    In his analysis of this worldview, N.T. Wright points out that there really are three stories or three levels to the one story. We are looking at the story of Israel, but this story is part of the larger story of humanity. After all, this is where the Bible begins in Genesis 1-11, with the creation and ruin of the human race. The story of Israel only begins at the end of chapter 11, when Abraham enters the scene. Obviously, Israel is GodÂ’s pathway to redeeming humanity, in order to bring this broken story to a good ending. Behind the story of humanity lies yet another story, the story of creation, implying the cosmic or all-encompassing dimension of salvation history.

    This way of looking at it is quite different from the Western approach to theology, which has majored in abstract ideas such as justification, sanctification, election, etc. The ideal was often to bring these ideas together in a more or less timeless system. With the Reformation and even more so with the Enlightenment, there also came a strong focus on the individual, making the central question: how do I (or how does a person) get saved? In contrast, Paul and his contemporaries thought of the community (Israel) before they thought of the individual, and they started with a story, not with abstract ideas.

    A Story in Search of an Ending

    The problem of course is that IsraelÂ’s story is broken as well. Israel fails in its mission as the agent to bring salvation to the world; instead, it suffers judgement and exile. The question therefore becomes how God will bring this story to a good ending, because he has promised to do so. Obviously then, IsraelÂ’s story is a story in search of an ending.

    . . .

    Paul therefore does not take this as yet another exhortation for Israel to obey the law, but as referring to a whole new ballgame. The word to be obeyed is now in their heart, not just on tables of stone. Leviticus 18:5 states the general principle behind the law as it was valid for the phase before the exile (the ‘old’ ballgame). In Paul’s view, this ‘exile’ stage has just come to an end and the ‘restoration’ phase has begun. Deuteronomy 30 is located in this new phase, in which Israel’s inability to keep the law has been dealt with. There is therefore a narrative sequence, a story, involved.

    Once we see this, we understand how Paul can quote the law to back up grace. Paul is not mining the Old Testament for proof texts, for isolated incidences, statements, and examples he can put to use for his own purposes. He has not taken his proof text out of context at all; on the contrary, he has noticed that the context has changed – something I expect most of us have missed (I certainly have). He has noticed that Deuteronomy 30 belongs to a different part of the narrative map: this goes with the time of restoration.

    It is something to be aware of: often, in quoting Scripture, Paul does the opposite of isolating a proof text from its original context and putting all the weight on a single verse (or two), regardless of whether the verse can really carry that weight! On the contrary: often, the short quote serves as a signpost to something much larger: the longer passage of which it is part, an overarching narrative (which is the case here), or a big theological idea (as in those two words “in Christ”; not a quote, to be sure, but still a world of biblical thought condensed in just two words).

    Paul recognizes in the death and resurrection of Christ the beginning of the new phase, and therefore in the gospel the word that has to be received and believed. Paul finds further support for this in the prophets: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32, ESV, quoted in Rom. 10:13). Again, just one verse, but connecting us with – and pointing to – the whole prophetic concept of a new age and a restored creation.
    Enns, in usual Enns fashion, is simply making the Bible harder to read, and finding discrepancies where there really aren't any. I'm not looking forward to the day he apostates, and I pray that he doesn't, but I have a hard time seeing how he can remains in Christ if he continues to undermine scripture in this fashion over and over again. What you cited from him was written in 2016, here he was in 2017. Only God know where his heart is today, but I hope the Holy Spirit moves in him heavily, and that God brings helpful friends and peers into his life to help answer his questions and get him back on track again.
    I think Enns is basically sharing his scholarly considerations and conclusions at this point in time, after extensive study and subsequent teaching at the seminary and doctoral levels (Westminster Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Lutheran Theological Seminary, and Biblical Theological Seminary).

    Enns has also interacted with Wright's books, shared the panel with Wright, etc. He's clearly quite along in his spiritual journey by now, sharing his wisdom, and acknowledging and underscoring the uncertainty we find ourselves in. I will continue to be challenged by and benefit from his material despite disagreeing along the way.

  5. #25
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    Enns' article that I linked to in the OP is titled: Paul: Well, Technically Speaking, He’s Not REALLY “Winging It”. It's safe to assume Peter Enns is familiar with "Midrash 101".
    Yes, you linked to one of his articles, and then quoted it at the top of the page, but the thrust of your OP was really his previous article, PAUL: IT LOOKS LIKE HE’S SORT OF WINGING IT


    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    I think Enns is basically sharing his scholarly considerations and conclusions at this point in time, after extensive study and subsequent teaching at the seminary and doctoral levels (Westminster Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Lutheran Theological Seminary, and Biblical Theological Seminary).
    Ok? I'm sure that's all Bart Ehrman was doing with Forged as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    Enns has also interacted with Wright's books, shared the panel with Wright, etc.
    Great! Then I suppose there's not really an issue then. You should have started with Enns' interaction with Wright rather than a blog post that suggests Paul is winging things by pitting Deuteronomy against Leviticus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    He's clearly quite along in his spiritual journey by now, sharing his wisdom, and acknowledging and underscoring the uncertainty we find ourselves in.
    It is not at all clear to me that Enns is quite along in his spiritual journey, unless that journey is on it's way out of the faith. And I certainly don't share that journey. I don't struggle with the fears, uncertainty, and doubts that he seems to suffer from. Certainly not to the extent that he does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    I will continue to be challenged by and benefit from his material despite disagreeing along the way.
    That's your prerogative, of course, but how it comes across on these forums is you struggling with scripture, and allowing Enns to add to your confusion and own uncertainties and doubts. If that isn't what's going on, if instead, Enns work is strengthening your faith, and putting to rest any uncertainties, then great, but that's not how it reads to at least a few of us on the other side of the screen.

  6. Amen KingsGambit amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Yes, you linked to one of his articles, and then quoted it at the top of the page
    Yes, and that quote states: "I want to tease this out a bit because saying that Paul is “winging it” doesn’t quite get at the dynamic...From an ancient Jewish perspective, Paul isn’t winging it."

    but the thrust of your OP was really his previous article, PAUL: IT LOOKS LIKE HE’S SORT OF WINGING IT
    That previous article was linked to in: Paul: Well, Technically Speaking, He’s Not REALLY “Winging It”.

    Ok? I'm sure that's all Bart Ehrman was doing with Forged as well.
    Bart Ehrman's scholarship brings to light many true and accurate things. One could certainly benefit from his writings as well.

    Great! Then I suppose there's not really an issue then.
    The NT's use of the OT is far from a cut and dry issue. I also linked to a review of Zondervan's: "Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament" in the OP to highlight that fact.

    You should have started with Enns' interaction with Wright rather than a blog post that suggests Paul is winging things by pitting Deuteronomy against Leviticus.
    No, I think my OP is fine as is.

    It is not at all clear to me that Enns is quite along in his spiritual journey unless that journey is on it's way out of the faith. And I certainly don't share that journey. I don't struggle with the fears, uncertainty, and doubts that he seems to suffer from. Certainly not to the extent that he does.
    I appreciate Enns' intellectual integrity, scholarship, honesty, and vulnerability. I likewise appreciate your good qualities, and your desire to honor God through the use of apologetics and scholarship.

    That's your prerogative, of course, but how it comes across on these forums is you struggling with scripture
    Ah, the beautiful struggle of faith.

    and allowing Enns to add to your confusion and own uncertainties and doubts. If that isn't what's going on, if instead, Enns work is strengthening your faith, and putting to rest any uncertainties, then great, but that's not how it reads to at least a few of us on the other side of the screen.
    Doubts, confusion, and uncertainty are all the result of my bible reading and critical thinking. Peter Enns confirms to me that I am not alone. Perhaps you are far above most of this, but I certainly have my doubts.

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    Actually, it isn't. The link is dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    Bart Ehrman's scholarship brings to light many true and accurate things. One could certainly benefit from his writings as well.

    If only that were all he was doing... Ehrman clearly has an agenda in his writings, and one could be (and plenty have been) led out of their faith in large part to his own frustrations with the text, and manipulation of the data. As C Michael Patton concludes in his review of Forged,

    The fact that Bart Ehrman has put forth a trade-book rather than a scholarly monograph on ancient pseudepigrapha allows him the luxury of not having to deal with counter-evidence or peer review. Nowhere does he cite E. Earle Ellis, D. A. Carson, Leon Morris, Douglas Moo, Donald Guthrie (except for one note on an article, ignoring his massive work on NT introduction), Andreas Köstenberger, L. S. Kellum, Charles Quarles, Richard Longenecker, Anthony Kenny, Martin Hengel, Alan Millard, K. J. Neumann, David Dungan, T. L. Wilder, Harold W. Hoehner, or countless other scholars whose research disputes his conclusions. To the unsuspecting layperson, Forged looks like a death knell to the NT canon. To those who labor in the discipline of NT studies, it looks like yet another sensationalist book from Ehrman that is heavy on rhetoric and light on facts.


    The fact that you're defending Ehrman's scholarship as merely "[bringing] to light many true and accurate things" is, I don't know...I think it's sad really. I'd expect that sort of response from a skeptic, but if you've read anything by Ehrman, you know there's more going on than simply bringing to light many true and accurate things. Ehrman has ulterior motives, and those motives include intentionally dirtying the waters of NT scholarship, and attempting to make it out to be a barely comprehensible mess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    Doubts, confusion, and uncertainty are all the result of my bible reading and critical thinking. Peter Enns confirms to me that I am not alone. Perhaps you are far above most of this, but I certainly have my doubts.
    If you're struggling with doubt and confusion about scripture or your faith, then reading Peter Enns isn't going to build you up. It's not going to edify you. It's merely going to pile on to the doubts and confusion you already have. Sure, misery loves company, but if all you want to do is commiserate with Enns, then I don't see how that's helpful at all. I really don't get why you're not getting this, or why you seem to want doubt, confusion, and uncertainty to be a result of your Bible reading and critical thinking. Especially when there are plenty of phenomenal Biblical scholars out there who can answer your questions, and bring clarity and understanding to your reading of scripture. Enns is drowning in his own doubts and fears, and all he's doing is dragging his readers down with him.

  9. Amen One Bad Pig amen'd this post.
  10. #28
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Actually, it isn't.
    No, that article is there, linked to at the top of the page.

    The link is dead
    It was working for quite a while, even last night for me. I'll contact him and let him know.

    If only that were all he was doing...
    I stated his scholarship brings to light many true and accurate things. One could certainly benefit from his writings as well. I never said that's all he was doing.

    Ehrman clearly has an agenda in his writings
    I imagine that equally applies to Christian apologists.

    and one could be (and plenty have been) led out of their faith in large part to his own frustrations with the text, and manipulation of the data. As C Michael Patton concludes in his review of Forged,

    The fact that Bart Ehrman has put forth a trade-book rather than a scholarly monograph on ancient pseudepigrapha allows him the luxury of not having to deal with counter-evidence or peer review. Nowhere does he cite E. Earle Ellis, D. A. Carson, Leon Morris, Douglas Moo, Donald Guthrie (except for one note on an article, ignoring his massive work on NT introduction), Andreas Köstenberger, L. S. Kellum, Charles Quarles, Richard Longenecker, Anthony Kenny, Martin Hengel, Alan Millard, K. J. Neumann, David Dungan, T. L. Wilder, Harold W. Hoehner, or countless other scholars whose research disputes his conclusions. To the unsuspecting layperson, Forged looks like a death knell to the NT canon. To those who labor in the discipline of NT studies, it looks like yet another sensationalist book from Ehrman that is heavy on rhetoric and light on facts.
    I'm not sure how Ehrman responded, or would respond to that. People have deconverted after reading the bible. Those who want to deconvert will eventually find a way. I imagine if someone reads nothing but Ehrman (and other skeptics of his ilk), they're simply looking for intellectual justification to deconvert. I've never advocated that someone read only one scholar or one brand of scholarship; quite the opposite, actually.

    The fact that you're defending Ehrman's scholarship as merely "[bringing] to light many true and accurate things" is, I don't know...I think it's sad really.
    Well, the fact is, Ehrman does bring to light many true and accurate things. I stand by my statement.

    I'd expect that sort of response from a skeptic
    Skeptics say many true and accurate things, too. If only more Christian's practiced basic skepticism, I say.

    but if you've read anything by Ehrman, you know there's more going on than simply bringing to light many true and accurate things.
    If you would have asked for clarification or elaboration, I would have affirmed that myself.

    Ehrman has ulterior motives, and those motives include intentionally dirtying the waters of NT scholarship, and attempting to make it out to be a barely comprehensible mess.
    Yes, Ehrman is not an objective scholar, and he has received valid criticism.

    If you're struggling with doubt and confusion about scripture or your faith, then reading Peter Enns isn't going to build you up.
    That doesn't quite reflect my experience.

    It's not going to edify you.
    Some things have been edifying.

    It's merely going to pile on to the doubts and confusion you already have.
    Reading N.T Wright actually did this for me.

    Sure, misery loves company
    I'm not miserable. Faith can be found in doubt. Some things don't have clear answers. I have made peace with this reality. Enns helpfully affirms this too.

    but if all you want to do is commiserate with Enns
    That is far from "all I want", and far from all I do.

    then I don't see how that's helpful at all. I really don't get why you're not getting this, or why you seem to want doubt, confusion, and uncertainty to be a result of your Bible reading and critical thinking.
    I think every sober minded Christian will admit to gnawing doubt and uncertainty of some form. Peter Enns just vocalizes a lot of what we tend to internalize and keep to ourselves.

    Especially when there are plenty of phenomenal Biblical scholars out there who can answer your questions, and bring clarity and understanding to your reading of scripture.
    Yet disagreements abound even among those you deem "phenomenal biblical scholars". Moreover, answers to issues that you personally find convincing may not be equally the case for myself or others. But I do advocate that people search far and wide for answers, consulting different scholars.

    Enns is drowning in his own doubts and fears
    I think he is making peace with his doubts and accepting human uncertainty and fallibility.

    and all he's doing is dragging his readers down with him.
    I don't think that's all he's doing. That seems to be your experience, but not necessarily the experience of others.

  11. #29
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    Adrift: Feel free to respond to the above, but I will discontinue the conversation at this point as quarreling seems inevitable. Thanks for your care and concern and any prayers you offer on my behalf. I will strive to do the same for you.

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    I imagine that equally applies to Christian apologists.
    Well of course it does. Apologetics is evangelistic in nature.


    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    I'm not sure how Ehrman responded, or would respond to that. People have deconverted after reading the bible. Those who want to deconvert will eventually find a way. I imagine if someone reads nothing but Ehrman (and other skeptics of his ilk), they're simply looking for intellectual justification to deconvert. I've never advocated that someone read only one scholar or one brand of scholarship; quite the opposite, actually.
    This is a bit disingenuous. Ehrman is actively looking to tear down people's faith. That's quite different from someone who passively deconverts simply by reading the Bible (which is often because they don't have a teacher/are lacking understanding of the text).

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    I think every sober minded Christian will admit to gnawing doubt and uncertainty of some form. Peter Enns just vocalizes a lot of what we tend to internalize and keep to ourselves.
    I don't agree. I think the mature Christian eventually moves well past "gnawing doubt." If you're still suffering from gnawing doubt this many years in Christ then there's something...I don't know...off. Something more is going on at play here. I don't internalize the stuff that Peter Enns vocalizes. Peter Enns vocalizes his own confusion and fears, not mine, and not that of many other mature Christians I know. Obviously none of us know it all, and I have as many questions about scripture, theology, doctrine, etc., as the next guy, but I've long since moved past any doubts that would seriously effect my faith. I trust my Lord. And those questions and concerns I have, I pray and fast on them, or simply set them aside. I can't count the number of times I've had hard question answered, and I wasn't even looking anymore. God is constantly bringing things to light for me. But I expect that I'll continue to have questions on all manner of issues until Christ's return. I don't let them move me though. At some point you have to simply step out in faith knowing that God has got you. That he has made himself trustworthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    Yet disagreements abound even among those you deem "phenomenal biblical scholars". Moreover, answers to issues that you personally find convincing may not be equally the case for myself or others. But I do advocate that people search far and wide for answers, consulting different scholars.
    Those disagreements aren't a death knell though. Just because scholars disagree doesn't mean the answer isn't in there someplace. When I come across scholars that hold varying views I either continue my study to see how things shake out, or I tentatively hold both views as plausible until/unless one seems more obviously correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    I think he is making peace with his doubts and accepting human uncertainty and fallibility.
    Well then, your reading of him, and mine are very different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    Adrift: Feel free to respond to the above, but I will discontinue the conversation at this point as quarreling seems inevitable.
    As you wish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    Thanks for your care and concern and any prayers you offer on my behalf. I will strive to do the same for you.
    Thank you.

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