Volume 10, Number 1 (Spring 1999)

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A Festschrift in Honor of Robert L. Thomas

  • by Robert L. Thomas, Jr.

  • by Dennis M. Swanson

    Dr. Robert L. Thomas has been involved in theological writing for over forty years. During that time, he has published in almost every conceivable venue and been extensively involved in the editorial direction of significant works in biblical studies. This bibliography breaks down his writings into their major categories. The entries are listed in chronological order within each section, with the exception of the Editorial Supervision and/or Translation category. Here his work is broken down according to the level of editorial oversight which he had for each project. Additionally, Dr. Thomas has been active writing and reading papers in several scholarly societies, such as the Evangelical Theological Society. Since most of those papers have subsequently been published in other formats, only those papers as yet unpublished are listed in a separate category.

  • by John F. MacArthur

    Arguably, the two greatest biblical portraits of the Lord Jesus Christ both appear in the apocalyptic gallery of John's Revelation. They introduce a magnificent study in contrast. The first (1:9-20) casts the Savior as the comforting Lord of the church bringing encouragement to John and timely reminders to the churches during troubling times. The second masterpiece (19:11-16) pictures the King of kings as Lord of the earth coming to forcefully and permanently reclaim His kingdom from unbelieving rebels. These two scenes do not present an either/or approach to understanding the real Jesus; rather, they reveal the both/and person of Christ. The former still comforts the church today, while the latter terrifying moments still await fulfillment in the future.

  • by James A. Borland

    Opinions vary as to how God might have preserved the text of the New Testament. No originals remain, only copies, and these have many variations. Yet, it can be said that the New Testament text is substantially pure as demonstrated in the existing manuscripts. The minor differences that exist between manuscripts should be examined carefully, however, keeping in mind that the Scriptures came to man in an inerrant fashion. The original location of the autographs can provide a key to understanding their transmissional history. Manuscript choices are crucial and can help or hinder doctrinal understanding.

  • by F. David Farnell

    Modern historical criticism has systematically ignored the writings of the early church fathers regarding their viewpoints on the Gospels. This article examines pertinent writings of several significant early fathers (Papias, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Eusebius, and Augustine) regarding any information that they can impart regarding the chronological order of the Gospels. Their writings reveal that the unanimous and unquestioned consensus of the early church was that Matthew was the first gospel written. They also reveal that, while they considered John as written last, Luke was predominately considered second and Mark third (although admittedly Mark, at times, appears in second place). Since the church fathers lived much closer to the time of the composition of the gospels and were scholars in their own right, their testimony must be given serious consideration in any hypothesis regarding chronological order. Such early testimony stands in direct contradiction to the predominant contention of source criticism that concludes for the Two- or Four-Document Hypothesis (i.e. priority of Mark and Q), especially since the latter is not a product of objective historical analysis but a late-blooming conjecture spawned by Enlightenment ideologies.

  • by Paul D. Feinberg

    This essay is designed first to set out the Apostle Paul's teaching on the relationship between Christians and civil authorities, and then to examine its contemporary application for Christians using the clearest New Testament text - Romans 13:1-7. This passage contains general commands for both Christians and non-Christians. Paul reasons that obedience is required because civil authorities have been ordained by God (13:1b-2) and because civil rulers are responsible to maintain civic order (13:3-4). Two motivations for obedience are the avoidance of wrath and the maintenance of a good conscience (13:5). Finally, the obligations of obedience are discussed (13:6-7). It is concluded that Romans 13:1-7 is just as applicable today as it was in Paul's time.

  • by R. Kent Hughes

    Since Krister Stendahl's monograph, The Bible and the Role of Women, published in 1966, and the evangelical articulation of his thoughts in Paul Jewett's Man as Male and Female, the traditional interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 has been under increasing attack. The newness of these assaults leaves the burden of proof upon the revisionists. This article demonstrates that the perspicacity of Scripture is still intact, that Scripture means what it says, and that adherence to the creation order graces the church.

  • by Donald G. McDougall

    A very familiar quotation in Christian circles is: "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers." It seems to be applied most often in the context of mixed marriages or mixed business partnerships. That admonition and its related command, "Come out from their midst and be separate," are central themes in a very important paragraph. As familiar as those two commands are, the context in which they are found is often totally disregarded in their application. The paragraph in which they are found - 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 - has been the center of great controversy for over a century. Some doubt that Paul even wrote these verses, while others question their position in the text. In order to correctly understand this passage and its message to the Corinthians and to the church as a whole throughout the centuries, it is essential to examine these verses contextually and historically and thereby come to an understanding of Paul's purpose in penning these words in their given location in the text.

  • by James E. Rosscup

    One of the Holy Spirit's ministries in Romans 8 to those whom God has justified is intercessory prayer, i.e. taking personal matters of prayer beyond the believers' own prayer effort. The chapter has the entire walk of the saints in view from the time of their being justified to their future glorification, but the only express example of a specific experience in the Christian life is prayer. The focus is on a weakness of believers, i.e. not knowing what to pray, whereas God knows perfectly. The Spirit prays on their behalf by groanings in which He does not use words. As believers pray about the myriad of life's struggles, the Spirit works in close coordination with their prayers; yet the groanings are distinctly His own, in caring empathy, to secure what is best for them at God's throne. Believers are imperfect and pray with limitations, but God is perfect and unlimited in seeking what is for their good.

  • A Spiritual Giant   (163-64)

    by Irv A. Busenitz

  • by Jim M. George

  • by Alex D. Montoya

Volume 10, Number 2 (Fall 1999)

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An Issue Devoted to the Subject of The Biblical Covenants

  • by Irv A. Busenitz

    The prominence of the OT covenants throughout the Bible makes various facets of information about them - the etymology of the OT term, the OT and NT usages of relevant terms, covenant phraseologies, pledges, signs, witnesses, consequences, conditionality, and the number of covenants - matters of deepest interest to students of the Bible. The six covenants that provide a foundation for understanding God's working in human history are the Noahic, the Abrahamic, the Priestly, the Mosaic, the Davidic, and the New covenants. The Noahic Covenant came at the time of the great flood when God promised Noah, his family, and all mankind subsequent to them that He would never destroy the world with a flood again and gave a sign of the rainbow to remind Himself of His promise. God made the Priestly Covenant with Phinehas when Phinehas executed an Israelite man and a Moabite woman who were in the process of consummating marriage with one another. He made it clear that this covenant like the other unconditional covenants was to be perpetual too.

  • The Abrahamic Covenant   (191-212)

    by Keith H. Essex

    All admit the importance of the Abrahamic Covenant in understanding biblical revelation, but not all agree on its interpretation. Genesis 12 is a pivotal statement of the covenant because it contains God's first recorded speech to Abraham. There God promises to make Abraham a great nation, to bless him, and to make his name great. Genesis 15 makes clear that the LORD took upon Himself alone the responsibility for fulfilling the covenant. Genesis 17 adds the revelation that the covenant would be everlasting. Genesis 18 and 22 restate terms of the covenant in connection with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the offering of Abraham's son Isaac. Exodus through Deuteronomy describe the initial outworking of the Abrahamic Covenant. The elements of the covenant are threefold: making Abraham into a great nation, blessing Abraham personally, and blessing all nations in Abraham. The promises of the covenant are unconditional. The rest of the OT repeatedly refers back to God's oath to Abraham in the Torah. The NT does the same by pointing out that Jesus Christ, Abraham's seed, will make possible the final fulfillment of that covenant in the future.

  • The Mosaic Covenant   (212-32)

    by William D. Barrick

    The Mosaic Law is one of six covenants that God made with Israel, all six of which have five concepts in common: their authority resides in Him, they all came at a time of crisis, no covenant nullifies a previous one, salvation from sin is not obtained by keeping any covenant, and significant negative events followed the instigation of each. The theological context of the Mosaic Covenant is Israel's election by grace and the redemptive context God's deliverance of Israel from Egypt. The content of the covenant follows the pattern of the ancient suzerainty treaty. The covenant was the most conditional of all the covenants, and like all the covenants, it promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. The covenant addressed itself to Israel and Israel alone with its divinely authoritative rules that stipulated standards of righteousness. No one can justly separate the moral, civil, and ceremonial parts of the Law from each other; it is a unit. The Law has no authority over Christians because it has been fulfilled by the death of Christ.

  • The Davidic Covenant   (233-50)

    by Michael A. Grisanti

    The centrally important Davidic Covenant was one of the "grant" covenants, along with the Abrahamic Covenant, in contrast to the Mosaic Covenant that was a "suzerain-vassal" treaty. Second Samuel 7:8-16 articulates the Davidic Covenant in two parts: promises that find realization during David's life and promises that find realization after David's death. Though "grant" covenants such as the Davidic are often considered unconditional, conditionality and unconditionality are not mutually exclusive. God's covenant with David had both elements. Psalms 72 and 89 are examples of ten psalms that presuppose God's covenant with David. Various themes that pervade the Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New covenants show the continuity that connects the four.

  • The New Covenant   (251-70)

    by Larry D. Pettegrew

    Theologians of all kinds focus on Christ as the key to understanding the biblical covenants. Two significant characteristics of the New Covenant promised to Israel are its newness in replacing the Mosaic Covenant and its everlasting and irrevocable nature. For Israel the New Covenant promises her transformation through providing her a new heart, her final and permanent forgiveness, and the consummation of her relationship with the Lord. Through Israel God will also bless the Gentiles because of this covenant. As mediator of the New Covenant, the Messiah will be identified with Israel as God's Son, Servant, covenant, and Abraham's seed. Though the Messiah is not yet identified nationally with Israel, He is already identified with the church. Terminology and provisions spelled out in the NT indicate that Christ inaugurated the New Covenant at His first advent. Though the New Covenant will not be fulfilled with Israel until her future repentance, the church through Spirit baptism into Christ participates in that covenant.

  • by Dennis M. Swanson

    This issue of The Master's Seminary Journal contains articles on the biblical covenants. This bibliography represents the collected research of the authors and some additional sources that were consulted, but not cited in the articles. Its five sections are (1) Reference Works, (2) Systematic Theologies, (3) Monographs and Multi-Author Works, (4) Journal Articles, and (5) Unpublished Materials. The listing is not exhaustive, but will serve as a foundation for readers desiring to pursue the study further. Included also are articles and entries in some standard reference works that will be a starting point for those to whom the study of the biblical covenants may be new.