My Theological Essays


I’m putting up my essays for posterity and in case any are helpful to those seeking more information on their pertinent topics.

Jurgen Moltmann’s ‘The Trinity & The Kingdom’ Review – I review his lengthy book musing on various views of how the Trinity functions. Not an easy task deciphering his thoughts, especially as he’s a German theologian being translated into English! In particular, he affirms a controversial view that all believers (and even all creation!) will join with the Trinity to become part of God. Although he says he denies pantheism, he already seems to support panentheism as the current state of affairs – so really what else is there in further joining to God than straight-up pantheism?

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Christopher Ash’s ‘Bible Delight: Psalm 119’ Review – A short review of a book with the full title ‘Bible Delight: Heartbeat of the Word of God: Psalm 119 for the Bible Teacher and Bible Hearer.’

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How John’s Gospel Portrays Jesus Christ – In which I argue using many example passages that John portrays Jesus as the very same YHWH, one true God of the Old Testament Jews. This explains why strictly monotheistic, shema-affirming Jews could worship Jesus without considering it blasphemy. I peruse quite a bit of Two Powers in Heaven and other material related to the Old Testament and Second Temple Jewish belief in an embodied, multipersonal YHWH.

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High Christology in Colossians (With Divine Council Worldview) – I took this opportunity to introduce the Divine Council Worldview (as popularized by Dr Michael Heiser), where Jesus is the very same God who arises to reclaim the whole earth as per Psalm 82:8, who conquered every spiritual power and principality – as Paul mentions multiple times in Colossians. If anyone is totally unfamiliar with the concept of the Divine Council Worldview, this essay is a good primer using mainly familiar Old & New Testament passages by showing how they are linked as part of a coherent whole.

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Elwell and Yarbrough’s ‘Encountering the New Testament’ Review – A short review of their introductory overview of the New Testament. I liked the explanations of geographical, cultural and historical backdrop – but their chapter on Revelation is extremely short, especially for such a long and complicated portion of the Bible!

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Tall el-Hammam: Fire From Heaven – Archaeology and arguments for why this is Biblical Sodom. Lots of impressive images, and over 100 footnotes with useful links to further information. The Sodom narrative is one of the most spectacular and memorable in the Bible, and the fact that the evidence of its firey (and salty!) is still around to be dug up and archived is simply amazing.

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Finding Sodom in 15 Slides (Tall el-Hammam) – Companion short Powerpoint presentation (with audio) for the above essay.

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Psalm 82 – Gods or Frauds? – I use four layers of context (the Psalm itself, the wider Old Testament, the surrounding and rival Ancient Near Eastern religions with their divine councils, and Jesus’ use of Psalm 82 in the New Testament) to argue for a supernatural interpretation of the elohim, bene elyon of this passage. Like my Colossians essay above, this essay is geared towards a reader who might have zero exposure to Divine Council Worldview or the plurality of elohim in the Bible. As might be expected when it comes to the Divine Council, Dr Michael Heiser is cited and referenced a lot – especially since his PhD thesis was on this very Psalm! There are over 60 footnotes with lots of useful links to more in-depth material related to this topic, including many articles by Dr Heiser (some obscure, some better known) and other Old Testament scholars. A sneak peek from the New Testament section:

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Psalm 82 – Gods or Frauds? (Original Long Version) – An extended version of the above, before I drastically cut down the number of words to somewhat fit the wordcount target! The footnotes are roughly the same though less by An expanded version of the above table with relevant explanation:

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1 Peter 3, A Trifecta of Hope in Christ I point out how various groups use parts of this passage to prooftext for things like apologetics (v15), the Harrowing of Hell (v19) or baptismal regeneration (v21)… Not that these are invalid! However, I argue that as a whole the passage is about reassuring believers to hold on to their faith despite persecution and suffering, by knowing why they can have such confidence – because Jesus Christ has overcome the three historic divine rebellions of the Fall, the precursor event to the Flood, and the division of nations to Babel (see also my essays on Colossians and Psalm 82 above). Dr Heiser has often stated that Second Temple Jews expected Messiah to reverse all three of these afflictions, but to my knowledge he hasn’t pointed out how all three rebellions are mentioned in 1 Peter 3.

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