Friday, February 28, 2020

The Old Testament's Revelation of Christ [Pt.6]

by Rudolph P. Boshoff

[Continued from Pts. 1234, & 5]

I. A Holistic Understanding of the Person of Jesus Christ Revealed in the Old Testament

There is a clear indication from the above-mentioned chapters that Jesus was the expected Messiah that was anticipated through prophetic types within the Old Testament text, active within the world through Theophanies, clearly mentioned in the Scriptures. In conclusion, we will show how the Old Testament flows into the New seamlessly.   

II. The Story of God as the Story of Jesus

N.T. Wright (2000:167) calls for the explicit recognition that when we start with the Old Testament Scriptures and ask ourselves what it might look like if God was to become a man, He would very much look like Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Thinking and speaking therefore of God and Jesus in the same breath are not a category mistake, but simply the realized expression of what the Old Testament predicts and foreshadows. Job (19:25-26) looks forward and says:
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.” 
John (1:14) the Beloved writes: 
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.
The only truthful expression to this reality of Christ is found later in the same Gospel (John 20:28) when Thomas calls out to Jesus as “My Lord and my God.” [Gr. Ὁ Κύριός μου καὶ ὁ Θεός μου]. Larry Hurtado (2003:53) says the clear accommodation of Jesus as recipient of cultic worship with God is uncontested and was a major development in the practice and belief of the first Christians. 

When Jesus, therefore, affirms Himself to be “the Alpha and Omega” (Rev 22:13) we understand that He is calling on the Old Testament to affirm who He was and is (Isa 41:4, 44:6, & 48:12). The very identity of Christ hinges on the fact that He was the revealed Lord Yahweh from the Old Testament. We can therefore clearly see that the Worship of God is given to Christ (Isa 45:23, Phil 2:10-11) because He reveals the works of God (Joel 2:32, Rom.10:13) and the glory of God (Exod 33:19, John 12:41), being judge as God (Ecc 12:14, Acts 17:31). Jesus has the highest possible position on the throne of God (Dan 4:34-35, Rom 14:10, Ps 110:1, Matt 22:44, Heb 1:3,13) being equal with God (Exod 20:3, 7; Deut 5:7,11; cf. Ps 110:1; Dan 7:13-14; cf. Ezek 1:26-28, Matt 9:3; cf. Mark 2:7 & 14:61-64; John 5:17-18, 8:58-59, 10:27-33, & 19:7). Jesus Christ as Yahweh rules over everything (Isa 44:24; Jer 10:16, 51:19; Matt 11:25-27 & 28:18; Luke 10:21-22; John 3:35, 13:3, & 16:15; Acts 10:36; 1st Cor 15:27-28; Eph 1:22; Phil 2:10 & 3:21; Heb 1:2 & 2:8; Rev 5:13) forever and ever (Ps 9:7 & 45:6; Luke 1:33; Eph 1:19-21; Heb 1:8). 

The first Christian community who looked at the Old Testament and identified the fact that this Jesus Christ was both Lord and God gave this seamless reality. Michael J. Kruger (2017:144) mentions that the first Christian community could affirm on the authority of the Old Testament that there was One God that was the sole creator of heaven and earth and the same God predicted the coming of the Messiah Jesus Christ. This Messiah was from the seed of David born from the Virgin Mary and was the creator of all things who came into the world as God in the flesh. To those who believe in Him He would grant salvation because of His suffering and vicarious death, burial, and resurrection. In addition, he will one day return visibly to judge both the living and the dead and reward those who faithfully followed Him.

To understand the central revelation of the Old Testament Scriptures was to identify the person and work of Jesus Christ within the Scripture. There was no other reality evident amongst the first Christian community and to them the coming of Jesus Christ was the ultimate eschatological reality fulfilled in the historical person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, John the Beloved writes:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.
[1st John 1:1-3.]

Works Cited

Bates, MW. The Birth of the Trinity: Jesus, God, and Spirit in the New Testament & Early Christian Interpretations of the Old Testament. Oxford University Press, 2015.

Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the God of Israel. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2008.)

Bird, Michael F.; Evans, Craig A.; Gathercole, Simon J.; Hill, CE; Tilling, C. How God Became Jesus: The real origins of belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature – A Response to Bart Ehrman. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.)

Bowman, Robert M. and Komoszewski, J. Ed. Putting Christ in His Place: The case for the deity of Christ. Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kregel Publications.

Borg, Marcus J., Wright, NT. The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions. (San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishers, 2007.)

Borland, James A. Christ in the Old Testament: A Comprehensive Study of the Old Testament Appearances of Christ in Human Form. (Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, 1978.)

Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis: Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1982.)

Bruce, FF. Zondervan Bible Commentary: One-Volume Illustrated Edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008.)

Carson DA. Jesus the Son of God. (Wheaton: Crossway Publishers, 2012.)

Childs, Brevard S. Isaiah. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.)

Dunn, James DG. Christology in the Making. (London: SCM Press Ltd, 1989.)

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. (Baker Books. 2004.)

Fairbairn, Patrick. The Typology of Scripture. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1969.)

Frame, John M. The Doctrine of God. (Phillipsburg: P & R Publishing , 2002)

France, RT. Jesus and the Old Testament: His Application of Old Testament Passages to Himself and His Mission. (Vancouver: Regent College Publishing, 2000.)

Geisler, Norman L. 2002. To Understand the Bible Look for Jesus: The Bible Student's Guide to the Bible's Central Theme. (Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2002.)

Gowan, DE. Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries: Daniel. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2011.)

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An introduction to Biblical Doctrine. (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.)

Haasbroek, D. The Wonder of Jesus in the Old Testament. (Pretoria: MP Books,  2004.)

Hamilton, VP.  The Book of Genesis, Chapters 18-50. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans,1995.)

Hammer, R. The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the Book of Daniel. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976.)

Holmgren, FC. The Old Testament and the Significance of Jesus. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999.)

Horbury, W. Jewish Messianism and the Cult of Christ. (London: SCM Press Ltd, 1998.)

Hurtado, Larry W.  Lord Jesus Christ. (Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans, 2003.)

Kruger, Michael J. Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church. (London: SPCK Publishing, 2017.)

Lee, AHI. 2005. From Messiah to Preexistent Son. (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co., 2005.)

Loader, RG. Jesus and the Fundamentalism of His Day. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.)

Longenecker, Richard N. The Christology of Early Jewish Christianity. (Vancouver: Regent College Publishing, 1970.)

Macleod, Donald.  The Person of Christ: Contours of Christian Theology. (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1998.)

Nägelsbach, CWE.  The Prophet Isaiah: Theologically and homiletically expounded Volume XI. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980.)

Nelson, WB. Daniel: Understanding the Bible Commentary Series(Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012.)

Robinson, R. Christ in the Sabbath. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014.) 

Rosen, C. & M. Christ in the Passover. (Chicago: Moody Publishing, 2006)

Stephens, J. Theophany: Close Eencounters with the Son of God. (Herefordshire: Day One Publications, 1998)

Walvoord, John F. Jesus Christ our Lord. (Chicago: Moody Publishing, 1969)

Walton, John H. The NIV Application Commentary Genesis. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001)

Wiersbe, Warren. The Bible exposition commentary: Old Testament Prophets. (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook Publishers, 2002.)
_____The Wiersbe Bible Commentary on the Old Testament. (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook Publishers, 2007).
Wright, NT. The New Testament and the People of God. (London: SPCK Publishers, 1998.)

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Old Testament's Revelation of Christ [Pt.5]

by Rudolph P. Boshoff

[Continued from Pts. 1, 2, 3, & 4]

I. Introduction

In the previous section, we affirmed a definite presence of Jesus Christ as the expected Messiah who was clearly typified throughout the Old Testament and exemplified in theophanies by scholars. Now we will turn our focus to two passages of Scripture and see how they relate to Jesus as God.  

II. Exegesis of Daniel 7:13-14

I have selected the Daniel 7:13-14, since it is the climax of the book where we finally have an encounter with the Son of Man, which is clearly more than just an ordinary man. It is also one of the texts in the Old Testament scriptures that emphatically situates the person of Jesus Christ in a place of clear pre-eminence and Old Testament fulfillment. It reads as follows:
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.”
(a.)“There before me was one like a son of man.” 

The Son of Man title existed in pre-Christian Jewish thought and resembled a transcendent redeemed figure whose coming to earth would inaugurate the end of the age (Longenecker 1970:82). This portion relates also to ore-Christian source materials in the first book of Enoch (37-71) and the fourth book of Ezra (13) and affirms the pre-Christian Jewish expectations regarding the Son of Man as the eschatological agent of redemption (Longenecker 1970:83). Hammer (1976:78) holds that this is a man that approaches the Ancient of Days (God) and he is definitely the Messiah. Gowan (2011) notes that the use of fire in this context can signify the presence of a theophany and this can also be a Semitic idiom that means ‘like a human being’ or ‘someone’ but maintains that in light of the New Testament that this refers emphatically to Jesus Christ. This would mean that even from the Enochian Similitudes we see clearly that Daniel’s ‘Son of Man’ is a transcendent and glorified redeemed figure who is exalted above all sufferings (Longenecker 1970:87). Jesus fits perfectly into these categories and the earliest Christian communities affirm that this was in fact Jesus of Nazareth (Mark 14:16-62) and His subsequent crucifixion on the charge of blasphemy by the High Priest (Mark 14:64) affirms He was perceived, yet rejected, as the coming Messiah. 

Longenecker (1970:92) mentions that for the first Christian community the title ‘Son of Man’ resembled Jesus as the suffering man in line with Daniel’s representation that would be glorified and return to complete the full prophetic picture. Jesus also relates to the Son of Man as being and confirms that ‘No one has ever gone onto heaven except the One who came from heaven-the Son of Man [who is in heaven].’ (John 3:13). Jesus clearly relates that him being the Son of man pre-existed with the Father in heaven coming down to be the agent of redemption. He even prayed in John 17:5 that the Father restore Him to the place of glory He had ‘before the world began’ [with you – Greek: ‘papa soi’]. In his exaltation, we can clearly affirm that the Son of Man seated on the divine throne itself (Dan 7:14) receives obeisance and is recognized as the unique Divine Sovereign (Bauckham 2008:171). 

(b.) “Coming with the clouds of heaven.” 

In Matthews Gospel Jesus says:
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.” (Matt 24:30) 
He also mentions that He will ‘come with the clouds of heaven’ (ἐρχόμενον μετὰ τῶν νεφελῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) in Mark’s Gospel (14:62). This passage draws from Daniel 7:13 that states: 
“And behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like the Son of Man.” 
Miller (1994:207) mentions that in the ancient world, clouds provided transportation only for deities and Jesus is clearly associating this metaphor with Himself (cf. Rev 14:14-15). Clouds are depicted in the Old Testament as being Yahweh’s chariots (Ps 104:3) and God even appears within a thunderstorm (Judges 5:4). David pleads Yahweh for help, and God arrives upon the cherubim from His heavenly temple (Ps 18:11) and Nahum (1:3) beholds clouds at the feet of Yahweh in his theophanic vision. Clouds were associated with Yahweh’s judgement (Isa. 19:1) and the prophet Ezekiel records Yahweh coming from a cloud (1:4, 28) where the temple was filled and judgement would be poured out later (10:3-4). What startled the High Priest was that Jesus dared to parallel Himself with Yahweh that would judge the nations. 

This was a prerogative that was clearly only central to Yahweh in the Jewish understanding. Yahweh would judge the nations several times in the Old Testament from a cloud-mass (Ezek 30:2, 34:12; Joel 2:2; Zeph 1:15) where His anger would become a dark smoke cloud (Isa 30:27). France (2002:612) holds that Jesus here declares that in the metaphors ‘sitting’ and ‘coming’ Jesus is referring to one initiative and that is ‘sovereign authority.’ The representation of clouds in the Old Testament was clearly connected with eschatological judgement and salvation (Isa 4:5; Nah 1:3). What Jesus is saying is in fact justifying the High Priest reply, because He identifies Himself with Yahweh that will stand in complete judgement of the High Priest Himself as well as the whole nation of Israel. Further, makes Himself the spiritual head of the nation of Israel because He was assuming a place of authority over the High Priest who was under the impression that He was judging Him.  Donald Macleod (1998:59) says the fact that Jesus calls for the return with the clouds of heaven is synonymous with his return to the glory of His Father and being the royal, superhuman, and divine, Son of Man clearly lends itself to the idea that He was preexistent and the divine Messiah.          
II.a Exegesis of Isaiah 7:14

I have selected Isaiah 7:14 to show that the intention of God in the incarnation of the Messiah was so that He would be a sign of God born of a Virgin being God with us. 
The passage reads:
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.”
F. F. Bruce (2008:738) contends that the Prophet Isaiah was referring to a young woman (almâh) or virgin in the time of Ahaz born to his harem or even of Isaiah’s own son born to his wife (Isa 8:1-4). As for the immediate context, this Son would be a sign of God’s presence amongst the nation of Israel and there would be a future expected fulfillment in another Son (Isa 9:6). Matthew immediately mentions that Christ fulfilled this expectation and says that “the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” [Greek – ‘μεθ ἡμῶν ὁ Θεός’] (Matt 1:23) coming directly from Isaiah’s prophecy. In this book there is clear evidence of double fulfillment’’ where specific texts would be applicable to the immediate context and to a future point of time. 

The Prophets Isaiah (9:6) states that ‘a Son will be given’ who will be ‘eternal father. Oswalt (1986:247) says this phrase must not be taken lightly as this person mentioned in an ancient Near Eastern context contains a clear divine element. Some scholars might think that only an immediate fulfillment would apply to this context, but what we recognize is that Ahaz’s good son Hezekiah was already born at the time of the prophecy and he had other children as well which means that his wife would not have been a ‘virgin’ anymore. The only reasonable explanation was then to understand that this Prophecy was given with an future prophetic intent as well and the context of Isaiah clearly speaks of the Messiah as being send and commissioned by God (Isa 9:6, 11:2). 

Carl Nägelsbach (1980:125) says that we should keep in mind that the title ‘Immanuel’ [אֵֽל] refers to the Son as a ‘type’ that points to the faithfulness of God and a pledge from God that in His Son’s visitation to His people in the person of the God-man, He would redeem His remnant. Wiersbe (2002:19) mentions that the ultimate fulfillment is of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is ‘’God with us’’ (Matt 1:18-25; Luke 1:31-35). The virgin birth is a key doctrine because Jesus is not born from sinful human flesh but He is born sinless and perfect to be the Savior of the entire world. Brevard Childs (2001:66) shows that this name does not occur elsewhere in the Old Testament and closely only parallels a Psalm (46:8, 12) that is an expression of trust in the presence of god integral to Israel’s piety. There is a clear application evident within this given text and we can be assured that the New Testament believers had absolutely no reservations to apply this phrase to both the Old Testament context. Ahaz did not accept the sign of God’s presence amongst them and the Jews in the New Testament the sign of the Son in their presence as Immanuel God with us but Jesus bares a clear resemblance to the Messiah predicted in the book Of Prophet Isaiah and is ultimately deemed as the fulfilment of its context (Isa 40-55).  

II.b Summary

This section sets out to show that in the Old Testament there was definitely an expectation within the Hebrew text of one to come as the Savior of all humanity. In Daniel’s vision, he speaks of a figure that would transcend the bounds of just a normal Prophet or human being, approaching the Ancient of Days being accepted and commissioned by Him as the ruler of everything. In the New Testament, the favorite designation of Christ was to title Himself the ‘Son of Man.’ Similarly, in the book of Isaiah we find the prophet speaking of events that would inaugurate the favor and direct presence of God amongst Israel. The sign will be that this child will be born from a virgin as affirmed by the voice of the Gospels in latter times. There are numerous passages of Scripture that hints and confirm the expectation of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament and the fulfillment is applied in the new.

[Continued in Pt.6]

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Old Testament's Revelation of Christ [Pt.4]

by Rudolph P. Boshoff

[Continued from Pts. 12& 3]

III. Jesus in Old Testament Theophanies

James A. Borland (1978:9) describes a theophany as “a manifestation of God in visible and bodily form to conscious man perceptible by human senses, before the incarnation” of Jesus Christ. The validity and fact that distinguish theophanies are evident and we will look at the characteristics and facts of Theophanies in the Old Testament. 

III.a The Characteristics of Theophanies in the Old Testament

Borland (1978:17-19) mentions that it is important to recognize that Theophanies were actual and not imaginary that was initiated by God alone. In Judges 13:8 Manoah prayed; “O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again to us” and Moses inquired to God to “show me thy glory” (Exo 33:18-34:9) but the Old Testament text unanimously shows that God was always the One that disclosed Himself out of His own will. Genesis 12:7 mentions that He “appeared… and said”; “found her… and He said” (Gen16:7-8). No human petition, prayer, technique, or formula could evoke the presence of God because God’s will revealed His essence and nature where man was the recipient of His self-revelation. Theophanies were therefore always revelatory in that it always revealed something about God or His will to a recipient (Borland 1978:20). 

God would declare a promise to a specific individual like Abraham (Gen 12:1-3), Hagar (Gen16:10-12) and sometimes He would warn or judge as we see with Adam and Eve as well as the serpent (Gen 3:14-19) or Cain (Gen 4:9-12) or Sodom (Gen 18:20-21). At another time God would simply instruct like with Joshua (Jos 5:14-15) or Samson’s parents, Manoah and his wife (Jud 13:3-5). It is important to note that Theophanies were for specific chosen individuals. Many times God would appear to individuals like Adam and Eve (Gen.3:8-19), Cain (Gen.4:9-15), and Enoch (Gen 5:22, 24), Noah (Gen 6-9), and Abraham (Gen.12:1, 7; 17:1-22; 18:1-33), Hagar (Gen 16:7-11), Isaac (Gen 26:2, 24) just to mention a few (Borland 1978:21-22). Another point is that Theophanies were intermittent and did not occur with precise regularity. God appeared as He pleased and there was no hard or fast rule as to these apparitions (Borland 1978:23). 

Theophanies were therefore temporal occurrences that were transitory only for a brief period. Gods preferred self-disclosure is ultimately evident in the persona and manifestation of Jesus Christ (John 1, Col 2:9-10) as perfect God and perfect man (Borland 1978:25). Theophanies also included auditory perception and were both audible and visible (Borland 1978:26). In Genesis 32:30 Jacob expressed amazement when he said, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved” and with God’s revelation of Himself at Mount Sinai (Exo 24:11) there was a very similar wonder at the actual visible and aural experience. Even though these experiences were visible and audible, they varied in form. It is a fact that God did appear (Gen.18:1, 4-8) in the semblance of human form (Gen 18; 32, Exo 24:9-11, Jos 5:13-15, Jud 13:3, 6, 8-11, 1 Sam 3:10, 21) that showed signs of change from time to time to where not even Abraham always immediately recognized his visitor from heaven (Gen 12:7, 17:1-22, 18:2) (Borland 1978:27-29). 

Borland (1978:29-30) also mentions that we need to keep in mind that Theophanies were Old Testament occurrences before the incarnation of Christ. There is nothing in the New Testament similarly to these revealed experiences and we know that these appearances were related to the second person of the Trinity as revealed in the New Testament. In the next section, we will look at four Old Testament references that show these apprehensions of God the Son. 

III.b Some Theophanies in the Old Testament

i. Jacob Wrestling With God (Gen 32:24-32)

In this Theophany there is a clear identification of both the form and the person that is Jacob is encountering (Borland 1978:78). This Theophany reveals an appearance of a man and the person is a messenger of Jehovah (Hos 12:3-5). This apprehension of a man asks Jacob his name being fully aware of his promise (v.28). Walvoord (1969:52) indicates that God changes Jacob’s name to Israel, in this culture only God changed names. Jacob was so deeply impressed with this event and was assured that the ‘man’ he struggled with was the place where he saw God ‘’face-to-face’’ and he called the place ‘Peniel’ because he survived (v.30).  Jonathan Stephen (1998:141) mentions here that for Jacob this was the most critical part of his whole experience and in it, God reveals Himself to show himself faithful on Jacob’s behalf. Jacob does inquire of the man to reveal His name, but at the time, it was more then what God was willing to reveal (Stephen, 1998:142).  

ii. Balaam, the Donkey, and the Angel of the Lord (Num 22:22-38)

Borland (1978:79) mentions that the messenger of the Lord stood in the path of Balaam and mentions that the donkey could perceive him but not Balaam. God opened up the donkey’s mouth (v.28) and the eyes of Balaam (v.31). Both the donkey and Balaam saw an individual who ‘stood’ with a sword ‘in his hand’. These speak of human acts that show that God seems dressed for the occasion to fit the social customs and the circumstances of the particular situation. The angel of God warns Balaam (vv.22-35) and even cautions him that what he is about to do is evil in His sight (v.32). God instructs what Balaam must say (v.35) and speaks just as he heard from the man who was God (v.38).  

iii. Joshua and the Commander of the Lord's Army (Jos 5:13-15)

Even though this is the shortest theophany in the Old Testament, it is worth noting as it corresponds once more with the two previously mentioned examples that I have given. Joshua encounters a man standing with a drawn sword in his hand (v.13). Joshua immediately inquires of the man if he is for them or against them (v.13). The reply from this man is ‘neither’ (v.14) which seems a bit confusing but the then mentions that He is the commander of the Lords army. Joshua immediately bowed down with his face to the ground (v.14) worshiping asking what the Lord wants from him (v.14). As with Moses at the burning bush when He encountered God (Exo 3:1-15) the commander of the Lord’s army instructs him to take of his sandals as He was in the presence of God and the place where he was standing was sacred to which Joshua complied (v.15). Borland (1979:79) states that Joshua does not use the word ‘Adam’ but ‘Ish’, which clearly denotes a being that appears to be human but do not have a human nature. Joshua’s immediate reaction is worship to which a monotheistic Jew clearly held as only reserved to the God of Israel (Deut 6:4) but interesting to note that this theophany held both the appearance of a man and the designation of God.   

iv. Gideon Questioning the Angel of the Lord (Jud 6:11-23)

The author of the book starts of by attributing personalized traits of a man who ‘sat under a tree’ (v.11) and in his encounter with Gideon, he calls him ‘sir’ (v.13). Clearly, Gideon at first had no idea who he encountered and in this instance thought, he was encountering an ordinary man. He carried a staff (v.21) and spoke (vv.12-23) with questions that evoked a deep skepticism in Gideon’s mind (v.13). When the Lord turns to Gideon, he asks for an additional sign to confirm it is God speaking to him (v.17). Gideon brings the Lord a meal in where the Lord stretches out His staff and consumes the food with fire (v.21). Gideon mentions that he had seen the God face to face (v.22) but the Lord immediately gives him peace that he would not die because Gideon had seen him (v.23) (Haasbroek 2004:95).  

III.c Summary

This chapter sets out to show what scholars reveal about what the Son of God was actively present in the combined testimony of the Old Testament. He was prophetically present in the Old Testament and we recognize that he was the fulfillment of the coming expected Messiah. He is also seen as portrayed and signified through the lives and typologies evident in all of the people, places, and prophecies. Lastly, we maintain that the Son did not just exist in the mind of the father but that He was in fact active and communicated directly with various individuals in history even before His incarnation. We can therefore affirm that the reality of the Old Testament is truly given to the Jewish people, and in retrospect for us, to come to the full understanding of the revelation of Jesus Christ who explained that all of the Scriptures evidently speaks about Him (Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Heb 10:7; Matt 5:17). These theological perspectives agree therefore that Jesus transcends both space and time and He seems to be the very central focus of our faith in both the Old and the New Testament. In the next chapter, we will look at a textual analysis that affirms this reality.