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I'm a born-again Christian, active member of the body of Christ, husband and father, and Bible teacher. I love to study Scripture, and firmly believe it is the only credible standard for truth.

Aside from my devotion to God, His people, and His word, I don't really have any loyalty to a particular doctrine or creed.

(The guy in the picture is Zhuge Liang from the movie Red Cliff.)


May
21
comment How can we determine when an image is a symbol?
Oh, and I am also trying to preserve the distinction between the historical context and the narrative context / between the quoted speaker and the narrator.
May
21
comment How can we determine when an image is a symbol?
I can tell you are well educated in hermeneutics, so to state it more technically, I am trying to caution against the "exegetical fallacy" of "illegitimate totality transfer" (where the connotations of a word in one context are illegitimately carried to another context.)
May
21
comment How can we determine when an image is a symbol?
In John 1:1-5 the narrator explains "In the beginning was the Word . . . All things came into being through Him . . . In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness . . . ." Given the context and the genre, it is easy to see here that the narrator is establishing a symbol by speaking metaphorically about the Son as "the Light." However, I don't think it is safe to assume that because John recorded a discourse which includes Jesus establishing a symbol that the symbol carries over outside of that discourse. (cf. various uses of "seed" in Matt. 13)
May
21
comment How can we determine when an image is a symbol?
RE: the fig tree, Mark may have been implying a similarity between the fruitless fig tree and the temple, but I am wary of "the fig tree is a symbol for the temple" given the typical usage of the statement. RE: Redaction, I agree. RE: Jesus' symbols, they are His, not John's. It has to be shown that John was also intentionally establishing a symbol (vs. intentionally including the discourse for another reason.) RE: John 4:28, she left in haste. I think we need to be cautious of drawing too much significance from a single word. (I would suggest posting a separate question for this one.)
May
21
comment How can we determine when an image is a symbol?
Some good thoughts. I would challenge the fig tree example though, on this basis. With the light motif, Jesus identified Himself as the light of the world in a particular context for a particular purpose. John shared portions of Jesus' discourse for a particular purpose, but that does not mean that John was establishing a symbol for his own use outside of Jesus' discourse.
May
19
answered How can we determine when an image is a symbol?
May
19
comment How can we determine when an image is a symbol?
Matt, could you possibly provide an example of what sorts of passages you are wondering about? With the ambiguity in terms and variety in perspectives out there today it is tough to know exactly what you are seeking based solely on linguistic descriptions. Is there a particular passage that has caught your attention in this regard? If not, could you give us a couple of examples of each to clarify your question?
May
19
comment How can we determine when an image is a symbol?
Great answer. I understood your usage of "subjective," but as you noted in your comment about "free will," the term carries different connotations depending on usage. Since the OP was using the terms differently, it would be helpful to clarify how you are using the terms, or stick with the vocabulary he was using. Thanks for the great contribution though. Please continue to share your insight!
May
10
comment Why does Jesus tell his mother his “hour has not yet come”?
@Joseph Interesting thought. Jesus is indeed presented in the Gospel of John as the "2nd Moses", so I suppose it is possible that once again He was pointing to His true identity here by this "attesting miracle." (On an unrelated note I think "saving the best wine for last" is a reference to the Spirit, who Jesus would send after He finished His work on the cross. I'm not sure Matthew Miller's claim that the link is based on intoxication is reliable though.) What Jesus does here is not merely some "work of power." By redeeming a very shameful situation, He also shows Himself to be The Redeemer.
May
8
comment Why does Jesus tell his mother his “hour has not yet come”?
Could you possibly site your sources, or is this from personal observation?
May
8
comment Why does Jesus tell his mother his “hour has not yet come”?
@MatthewMiller I didn't mean to imply the entire answer came from His commentary. I have edited to clarify. (I just wanted some "meat" behind my claim about the "hour" reference.)
May
8
revised Why does Jesus tell his mother his “hour has not yet come”?
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May
8
answered Why does Jesus tell his mother his “hour has not yet come”?
May
8
comment Is there any exegetical reason for believing the seven churches of Revelation correspond to seven successive “church ages”?
A lot of this was interesting, but all of it was confusing. What is "Sabbath/Day 1"? I thought the 7th day was the Sabbath? What does "Trumpets/Day 5 swarms" mean? How did you come up with this stuff? Or did you read this somewhere? Given how confused I feel after reading this, I'll have to down-vote pending some clarifying edits. (Thanks for the effort, though.)
May
7
comment Is there any exegetical reason for believing the seven churches of Revelation correspond to seven successive “church ages”?
Thanks Bob. I'm going to accept this for now, since I don't want to forget to accept an answer, but I am still eagerly awaiting the "yes" perspective as well.
May
7
accepted Is there any exegetical reason for believing the seven churches of Revelation correspond to seven successive “church ages”?
May
7
comment Is there any exegetical reason for believing the seven churches of Revelation correspond to seven successive “church ages”?
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May
7
revised Is there any exegetical reason for believing the seven churches of Revelation correspond to seven successive “church ages”?
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May
7
asked Is there any exegetical reason for believing the seven churches of Revelation correspond to seven successive “church ages”?
May
7
revised How should ἐκκλησίαις be translated in 1 Corinthians 14:34?
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