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I recently spoke on this subject for the Davenant Institute. You can listen to the lecture here:
On the latest episode of the Theopolis podcast, Peter Leithart and I are joined by the Jewish biblical and political scholar, Yoram Hazony, for a long and stimulating conversation about his recent book, The Virtue of Nationalism. I summarized and explored the thesis of that book a few weeks ago.
You can follow the Theopolis podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, and on most podcast apps. You can read show notes over on the Theopolis podcast website. You can also see past episodes I have contributed to by clicking the ‘Theopolis’ link in the bar above.
The Davenant Institute has a new podcast, with Samantha Cohoe and Mike Plato, called Crossing Borders. The first couple of episodes are here:
A post of mine has just been published over on the Theopolis blog. Within it, I engage with part of Yoram Hazony’s superb The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture, bringing him into conversation with James Jordan’s Primeval Saints on the question of the ethics of Jacob’s deception of his father Isaac. I outline Hazony’s approach to the interpreting of scriptural narrative and then bring those principles to bear upon the narrative of Genesis 27, calling into question Jordan’s reading of the passage (a reading I have advanced myself in the past):
However, if we are to perceive the meaning of the arguments being advanced in biblical narratives, Hazony maintains that we must first be disabused of our expectation that the viewpoint of the biblical authors is a simplistic one. This attitude is especially pronounced among those who approach biblical narratives seeking a tidy ‘moral of the story’, assuming that ‘the author’s view of what is taking place in a given passage must be locatable on a map of simplistic categories such as: (i) approves, (ii) disapproves, or (iii) is amused and intrigued but passes no moral judgment.’ Rather, we must recognize the sophistication and subtlety of the biblical authors. While we may discover a clear authorial standpoint, we should not expect it to be such a simplistic one.
Read the whole thing here.
A number of years ago there was a lot of debate in certain circles in the UK revolving around these topics: the degree to which Christ/the Trinity is explicitly present in the OT; the nature of the Angel of the Lord; relatedly the object of believers’ faith in the OT (did OT saints trust consciously and explicitly in the Son?); the degree to which revelation is progressive from the OT to the NT. A lot of these threads were explored in the Blackham-Goldsworthy debate: http://www.theologian.org.uk/bible/blackham.html
What are your views on these topics? Some more specific questions might be:
– Does the OT, read on its own terms, clearly present a unipersonal God or a binitatian/Trinitarian God? Or does it murkily present the latter?
– How were OT believers saved? Through explicit faith in the Son, or through other means?
– Who is the Angel of the Lord?
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