Israelology: A Biblical-Theological Perspective of the Past, Present and Future of Israel
This article was submitted to In die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi in the morning of 23 December 2016 (South African time), which turned out to be an important day for Israel at the United Nations. The article was written in Afrikaans with an English abstract. The Afrikaans article is the accredited, official article. The reason why an English translation exists is because the Afrikaans article and this English translation contain the following dedication: This article is dedicated to Dr Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum and Ariel Ministries. Read it here.
A Review of ‘He Will Reign Forever: A Biblical Theology of the Kingdom of God’ by Michael J. Vlach
Jesus says, ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you’ (Matthew 6:33). There are indeed many great themes in the Bible, such as ‘covenant’, ‘promise’, ‘glory’, ‘salvation’, ‘law, ‘people of God’, and ‘grace’. Not that these themes should be pitted against each other, but is it not possible to identity a central theme of Scripture that functions like a hub or centre in which other important themes are connected? According to Michael J. Vlach (2017:21), ‘the kingdom of God is the grand central theme of Scripture that encompasses all other biblical themes’. Read the review here.
Between the Mount of Transfiguration and Jerusalem and beyond: The chiastic structure of Matthew 17:14–20:34
In this article, a chiastic structure in Matthew 17:14–20:34 is identified, evaluated and discussed. This structure highlights the movements of Jesus between the Mount of Transfiguration and Jerusalem as he is on his way to the cross to provide forgiveness of sins. However, this chiastic structure may also be considered in its wider, prophetic context. The structure of Matthew 17:14–20:34 fits into the larger thought or movement of Matthew 16:28–25:46. This shows Jesus’ movements from the Mount of Transfiguration to Jerusalem and beyond — not only during his first advent, but also at his second coming. Read it here.
Mark 4:1–34: A Simple Structure for the Mystery of the Kingdom
When discussing the mysteries of the kingdom, the parables of Matthew 13 receive all the attention, neatly outlined and structured, only to be appended by a unique Markan parable (4:26–29) that sticks out like a sore thumb. However, Mark 4:1–34 is not only structured, it also contains an integrated set of parables that collectively describes the mystery of the kingdom of God. Read it here.
Reading Matthew 13 as a prophetic discourse: The four parables presented in public
This article proposes that the task of Jesus’ disciples could be to juxtapose new and old unconditional prophecies concerning the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 13 can be read as a prophetic discourse and specific, prophetic referents are identified to gain insight into the prophecies contained in these parables. From a pre-millennial perspective, the kingdom of heaven is seen to exist in terms of the New Covenant in a spiritual sense from the cross of Christ onwards, but it will also be established in a literal sense in terms of the Davidic Covenant when Christ returns. This article discusses the four parables of Matthew 13 that were presented in public. Read it here.
Reading Matthew 13 as a prophetic discourse: The four parables presented in private
The task of Jesus’ disciples might be to juxtapose ‘new and old’ unconditional prophecies of the kingdom of heaven. After describing its setting, the four parables in Matthew 13, presented in private, are considered from a pre-millennial perspective. The parable of the hidden treasure may indicate how Jesus Christ first authenticates and then hides his authority and power to rule as King in terms of the Davidic Covenant over the literal Davidic kingdom – before he then goes to the cross. Having been to the cross, the parable of the pearl merchant may show how the first, spiritual phase of the kingdom commences when Christ Jesus starts his pearl ministry as High Priest in terms of the New Covenant. The parable of the dragnet has in view the transition from the spiritual phase of the kingdom into its future phase. An overview of the four privately given parables of Matthew 13 is then provided. After this a summary of the new and old prophecies contained in the eight parables of Matthew 13 is presented, followed by the conclusion. Read it here.
Matthew 13 and the feasts of the LORD
After summarising the results of reading Matthew 13 as a prophetic discourse containing ‘new and old’ prophecies that have been, or will still be, literally fulfilled, this article links the parables of Matthew 13 to the prophetic and typological fulfilment of the feasts of the LORD. Read the article here.
The kingdom of heaven and Matthew 10
This article proposes that the mission discourse in Matthew 10 is a single mission assignment that covers two distinct time periods when the gospel of the kingdom is preached. This assignment commenced during Christ’s first advent when the 12 apostles preached the gospel of the kingdom only in Israel. However, as a result of ‘this generation’ committing the unpardonable sin, this assignment became postponed until it will be resumed in the Tribulation when the coming King will authorise Jewish messengers to preach the gospel of the kingdom again – this time as a witness to all the nations. Based on this view of the mission discourse in Matthew 10, this article proposes a chiastic structure for Matthew 9:36−11:1a. Each section of this text will then be briefly discussed. Although the Church can make applications from this discourse, it is argued that Matthew 10:5b−42 does not refer to the Church age. Read it here.
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!’ A chiastic structure for Matthew 21:1–23:39
The identity and authority of Jesus Christ is of fundamental importance. As Jesus’ public ministry is about to commence, God the Father attests to Jesus’ identity and the Spirit of God comes to rest on Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew, however, narrates the conflict over the Person and message of the King. As his public ministry is about to end, Jesus is involved in five controversies concerning his authority and identity. This article proposes a chiastic structure of Matthew 21:1–23:39, which focuses on the authority and identity of Jesus Christ, Lord and Son of David. Read it here.
Behold the glory of the King: The chiastic structures of Matthew 21-25
The Olivet Discourse is complex and difficult to interpret, but crucial to any preaching about eschatology. By identifying two chiastic structures that mirror each other, namely in Matthew 21:1−23:39 and 24:1−25:46, the relation and correspondence of the parts to each other and to the whole may be identified. Whereas the centre of the chiastic structure of Matthew 21:1−23:39 emphasises the authority and identity of Jesus Christ, the Lord and Son of David, the centre of the chiastic structure of 24:1−25:46 focuses on the sign and coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 21:1−25:46 could be a major literary unit that emphasises the King’s entrance into, rejection of and exit from the temple and Jerusalem during his first coming, juxtaposed with the sign and coming of the Son of Man to Jerusalem in glory. Until then, the Lord expects his followers to watch, to be ready and prepared as they labour faithfully for him in these last days. Read it here.
One Messiah, two advents, three forerunners: The chiastic structure of Matthew 11:2–17:13
This article proposes and evaluates a large chiastic structure for Matthew 11:2–17:13, leading to a discussion about the one Messiah, his two advents, and three forerunners, namely John the Baptist, the prophet Elijah, and another forerunner, the Apostle Peter, during the Inter-Advent Period. The structure emphasises God’s kingdom programme, the Inter-Advent Period and the parables of Matthew 13. What may be theologically significant about this chiastic structure is that it may link Matthew 13 to the typological fulfilment of the feasts of the Lord by the Lord Jesus Christ and it also focuses attention on the roles of three forerunners. Read it here.