Foundatons of Theology:                                                                                                                                                              

Theology of Promise -                                                                                

Dr. James Strauss 

 

Theme: The Promise and the Promised Land

 

I.     Land in The Old Testament; Ex. 12.Iff; Dt. 11.10-12 (Egypt and Canaan Compared)

 

          A.   God created the Heavens and The Earth - Gen 1-3.

          B.    Garden of Eden

          C.    East of Eden

          D.   Babylonian context of Abraham - Gen 12-27

          E.    The Land as Gift in The Books of Moses (words for land - eretz and adamah)

                   1.    Gen 15.1-61, 17ff - (compare with Gen 12.1-3) Promised Heir - II Kgs 5.Iff

                   2.    Ex 23.31ff.

                   3.    Hum. 34.1-10

                             1. Dt 11.24 - see various boundaries G.’W. Buchanan, The Consequences of The                                          Covenant, 1970, pp. 91-109.

          F.    God is God of The Fathers (esp. Dt 9.24-29) - Dt 1.8,35; 7.13; 10.11; 11.8,9; 30.5; 34.4;

                   the plural is used in 4.1; 12.1; 29.22,28.

          G.   Inheritance - 17.1-14 (J. D. Hester, Paul’s Concept of Inheritance (Edinburgh, 1968;

                   TDNT/ DNTT)

          H. Land of Yahweh - Lev 25.23; [ha’aretz] I Sam 13.19; 23.3,5,9-13; Josh 23.15,16; 24.8ff;

                   Dt 29.2ff; Ps 44.3; Ez chps 47 and 48 [the land and the new temple]

                   1.    Earth of Israel was not tribal property - Hum 26.55; 27.21

                   2.    Harvest Festivals are to be understood in light of Yahweh’s ownership of the Land - Ex

                             22.28; Lev 18.24; Dt 14.22; 26.9-15 (Pedersen’s Israel, II, p. 306; compare with Barr’s

                             Semantics of Biblical Language, 1961)

                   3.    Sabbath and Land - Lev 25.2,4

                   4.    Holiness and Land - Num 35.34; Dt 4.40; Pss 78.54; Zech 2.16

                   5.    Morality and Land - Lev 19.29; 22.5ff; Num 25.29-34; Dt 21.6-9, 22-23; 24.1-4; Pss

                             106.38,39; Jer 3.1; Isa 24.4,5; (note land in the Apocrypha II Maccabees 1.7; Wisdom

                             12.3; II Bar 63.9-11; 84.8; Sibling Oracles III 266-267; 4th Ezra 13.38)

                   6.    Land in The Prophets (Kingdom) - Jer 29.1,4-9; 24.5,8,9; 38.2; Ezra 17; 4.15; Amos

                             9.14,15 [Acts 151; 5.26; 7.17; Hosea 1.10-11; 2.14-23; Isa 2.1-5; 9.1-9; chps 10-16;

                             chps 24-27; 26.15-20; 29.16-21; 32.6-25; Jer 3.18,19; 11.4-5; [remnant TDNT, IV, pp.

                             200ff - Restoration Theme]

 

II.    Land in Hew Testament: Dwelling Place, Promise, and Presence (J. C. deYoung, Jerusalem in The New Testament (Kok: Kampen, I960; J. Comblin, La Liturgie de la Nouvelle Jerusalem, ETL, 1953, vol. 29, pp. 15-40; M. Rissi, Time and History. (R. H. Lightfoot, Locality and Doctrine of The Gospels, NY, 1937) Jerusalem, Zion, and Temple

 

            A. Jesus and Land in Gospels

 

                   1.    Isa 8.23 - 9.2; Mk 4.12-16; 6.1-6; 14.27-28

                   2.    Geographic division in Mark between Galilee (1.13-10.52) and Jerusalem

                   3.    Mk 6.1 - 9.50 - Jesus is at times outside Galilee in Tyre (7.24), Tyre and Sidon (7.3D,

                             Bethsaida (8.22), Caesarea Philippi (8.27), the country of the Gerasenes (5.1)

                   4.    Topographical Data: Mt 3.13; 6.46; 9.2,9

                             a.     Sea of Galilee - 1.16; 2.13; 3.7; 4.1

                             b.     The Other Side - 4.35; 5.21

                             c.     At Home - 2.1; 3.20; 7.17,24; 9.28

                             d.     A Desert Place - 1.35,45; 6.31,32

                             e.     The Synagogue - 1.21-39; 3.1; 6.2

                   5.    Land in Luke/Acts (Palestine) Acts l.l ff; 4.14 - 9.50; 7.Iff; 13-l6-4lff; 17.11; 19.29-3.49;

                             23.50-24.53; chps 27,28; Lk 24.44 ff

                   6.    Geographic Interests in John’s Gospel: (cf. F. M. Braun, Jean Le Theologien, 196^; see

                             commentaries by Schnackenberg, Brown, Dodd, Barrett,

                             a.     Temple “Holy Place” - 2.13-22

                             b.     Chps 7-8ff,  ‘The I am’s’, Jerusalem, and The National Feasts

                             c.     Bethel - 1.51; 4.Iff (Gen 28.10-17)

                             d.     Samaritan Holy Places - 4.1-15

                             e.     Bethzatha - Jn 5.1-9

                             f.      Pool of Siloam - 9.7,11

                             g.     Geography of John The Baptist - 1.6f,26,28,33; 3-30; 5.35

                             h. Galilee and Judaea - 4.43; 5.43; 7.3; 1.43; 18.15

 

          (W. A. Meeks, “Galilee and Judea in the Fourth Gospel” JBL, 85 (1966):159-169.

 

          B.    Land in Pauline Epistles

 

                   1.    National Pride - Names - Hebrew, Israelite, Abraham (Rom 11.Iff; Phil. 3.5

                   2.    Absence of Express - reference to the land (I Cor 15.38; Gal 1.17; Acts 9.17; Rom 9.4

                             (Promise - Messianic predictions)

                   3.    Abraham and Promise - Gal 3.; 4.2; II Cor 9.22; Rom 4. 9.7; 11.28

                   4.    Salvation is apart from circumcision and The Law- Rom 4.10-15; Gen 15.6;Gal 3.10-24

                   5.    Salvation grounded in Promise and in Faith - Gal 3.9,14,18,22; Com 4.11-13,16; Gal

                             4.21-31

                   6.    Salvation is Pan-ethnic - Gen 12.3; 18.8; Gal 3.6-9; Rom 4.16-18

                   7.    Rom 9-11 (Israel and Church)

                   8.    Heirs according to the Promise - Gal 3.27-29 (P. Richardson, Israel and The Apostolic

                             Church, 1969, esp. pp. 97ff; My Israel, Kingdom, Church and World; and articles in

                             TDNT/DNTT.

                   9.    The Temple - II Cor 6.14 - 7.1; I Cor 5.9ff (esp. Lev 26.12; Ez 37.29; Rom 12.Iff; I

                             Thess 4.17; Eph 2.21; Isa 52.11; II Sam 7.14; II Cor 1.22; 6.16; 3.16-17; Lev 26.11-12.

                             Paul applies to the new community passages from the OT applied to Tabernacle and to

                             the future Temple in the Land - II Thess 2.3-4.

                   10. Jerusalem - Rom 9.25,26; 15.9,19; Acts 19.21; 20.22; 21.11ff; II Thess 2.3,4; Gal 4.26.

                              Zion in Rom 11.26 quotes Isa 59.20,21; 27.9; Jer 3U33ff.

                   11. Jerusalem from Above. New Heaven and Earth (Isa 65.Iff; Rev 21-22).

 

Bibliography and Notes

 

Markus Barth, Jesus the Jew (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1978), 59.; Cf. Paul Tournier, A Place for You (NY: Harper &.Row, 1968); Vance Packard, A Nation of Strangers (NY: McKay, 1972); Peter Berger, The Homeless Mind, (NY: Random House, 1973); Walter Brueggemann, The Land, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977); Juan I. Alfaro, “The Land—Stewardship,” Biblical Theology Bulletin (April 1978), 57; Anthony A. Hoekema, The Bible and the Future (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Pub.Co., 1979), 206; Herman N. Ridderbos, “The Future of Israel,” in Prophecy in the Making, ed. by Carl F. H. Henry, (Carol Stream,  IL: Creation House,   1971), 320 W. D. Davies, The Gospel and the Land, (Berkley: University of California Press,   1974), 372ff; Albertus Pieters, The Seed of Abraham,  (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1950), 76ff; Pleroma is an eschatological term meaning “full number,” “the full complement,” as used in Roms 11,  all believers in Israel and among the Gentiles who by God’s grace will be gathered into his kingdom. For a helpful discussion see H. N. Ridderbos,  Paul:

An Outline of His Theology,  (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1975), 358f; Cf. Henrikus Berkhof,  Christ the Meaning of History (Richmond: John Knox Press, 1966), 134-153.