Old Testament Theology - Lesson 14

Son of Man Theology

Isaiah 53 describes the suffering that the servant will experience. Verses from this chapter are quoted in both the Gospels and the letters of the New Testament. This chapter also describes what Jesus will do in his healing ministry, his atoning death and the resurrection. Isaiah 61:1-3 is the passage that Jesus reads in the synagogue at the beginning of his public ministry. After reading this passage, he says, "These words are fulfilled in your hearing." Jeremiah 23:1-8 describes the Messiah as a coming shepherd to lead the people of Israel. Jeremiah 31 and 33 describe a new covenant that is coming and someone from the lineage of David to make it happen. Jesus refers to himself as the, "son of man," which is a description of the Messiah in Daniel 7: 13-14.

Paul House
Old Testament Theology
Lesson 14
Watching Now
Son of Man Theology

OT590: Old Testament Theology - Son of Man Theology

I. Introduction to Son of Man Theology

A. Definition of Son of Man

B. Background and Context of Son of Man in the Old Testament

II. The Use of Son of Man in the Book of Daniel

A. Overview of the Book of Daniel

B. The Significance of Son of Man in Daniel 7

III. The Son of Man in Intertestamental Literature

A. Influence of the Book of Daniel on Intertestamental Literature

B. The Use of Son of Man in the Dead Sea Scrolls

IV. The Son of Man in the New Testament

A. The Significance of Son of Man in the Teaching of Jesus

B. The Development of Son of Man Theology in the New Testament

V. Conclusion: The Significance of Son of Man Theology for Biblical Interpretation

  • This course covers the main currents of Old Testament theological thought, encourages you to formulate your own ideas about major topics, guides you to develop a process for understanding the text while identifying theological truths and helps you develop a biblical theology that will inform your ministry. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul teach from the Old Testament and affirm it. The Hebrew canon of the Old Testament is divided into the Law, the Prophets and the Writiings. 

  • Johann Gabler's approcach was that systematic theology should grow out of Biblical theology. Look at each Biblical text and examine it historically, compare different Biblical texts, then find the universal abiding principles. Bauer's approach emphasized theology, anthropology and Christology. Another approach is approach is from a more romantic perspective that emphasizes ideas that encourage people toward higher living. Valtke says that the Israelite religion evolves from simple to complex. Conservative scholars in the 1800's began emphasizing messianic and salvation themes. In the early 1900's Karl Barth emphasized the theme of sin and humans' need for God. Later in the 1900's theologians often tried to emphasize a single theme in the Old Testament like God's presence or covenant, and also God's work in history. The texts in the Old Testament are used and reused, preached and repreached. 

  • In the 1960's, there was an emphasis on Biblical Theology and the unity, the history and the distinct nature of the Bible. One author emphasized that each book of the Old Testament has its own distinct theological witness that forms the ongoing witness of the Old Testament. Some taught that the order of the books of the Old Testament is important to the structure of the message of the Old Testament. Some recent Old Testament theologies are written from a post-modern point of view where everyone's opinion is considered equally, regardless of whether or not it has merit. Presuppositions for OT Theology are: 1. Biblical texts are God's Word and carry God's character, 2. the Bible unfolds canonically and reflects God's work in history, 3. a viewpoint of the writer of the Bible conflicts often with how people acted in history, 4. Jesus bases his teaching on the Law, Prophets and Writings, 5. the Bible interprets itself historically, and 6. the Bible interprets itself thematically. The approach Dr. House uses is: 1. teach the text in canonical order, 2. discern subjects in the text, 3. trace the subject iin canonical order, and 4. note connections between your subjects and other related subjects. 

  • Psalm 19 and Psalm 119 are passages that are central to the teaching and meaning of the Old Testament. Creation is a foundational theme in the Old Testament and throughout Scripture. the Creator created creation. Creation is a beginning point in describing the trinitarian nature of God. The account of creation also gives you insights into God's character and his purpose for creating the universe. The universe is created in an orderly way and structured to function in a specific way. Since humans are made in the image of God so we should treat others with respect and dignity. Animals are not on the same level as humans because they are not moral, but humans should not mistreat animals. The Sabbath is instituted in creation. Process theology and Creation theology are two ways of looking at God's nature and how he relates to his creation. 


  • Dr. House discusses the essential relationship between the Creator and his people. God has created human beings for his glory. He knows the future. We often do not know the ultimate reasons for the circumstances we experience. God does reveal some things about his plan for the world and his love for people. We see some examples in the stories in the Old Testament. It is sometimes difficult to have faith that God loves us when we experience difficult circumstances. Some people believe that God relates to the world in a way they describe as process theology, or an "open" view of God. 

  • Creation is a theme that appears in books in the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Israel's covenant relationship to God is unique to countries of that time in the Ancient Near East. God promises blessings if Israel keeps the covenant and curses if they don't keep it. The purpose of the Law is to create a holy people and a kingdom of priests. The Law is relational because it assumes a prior relationship with God. 

  • One purpose of the law is to focus individuals on loving God and loving others. It also helps people create a holy community. Living out the law requires both revelation and wisdom from God. The Tabernacle was a symbol of the presence of God being at the center of the Israelite community. God set up the sacrificial system as part of the process for people to be forgiven when they didn't live up to the covenant. The job of the priests was to care for and teach the Word of God, make sure the sacrifices were offered correctly and to determine what was clean and unclean. At the end of Leviticus, God offers blessings for adherence to the covenant. Living by faith led to people following the works of the Law. 

  • Numbers begins with the Israelites preparing to enter the Promised Land. However, they don't believe that God will give them victory, so God tells them that the current generation will die in the desert. Even though they complain and rebel, God provides for them. Moses leads them and also prepares them to enter the land by reminding them of past and also giving them the details of the covenant that God wants them to live by. When the people break the covenant, God sends prophets to remind them to keep the Law and to bring their sacrifices for the right reasons. The message in Deuteronomy is that the covenant is based on God's love for them and their love for him. Christ came to fulfill the Law and teach that it's more than just trying to do as many good deeds as you can. The Law demonstrates that sin is a problem that we can't solve ourselves. It requires a mediator, who is Jesus. 

  • God must be in control of history because he promises Abraham that he will make him a great nation, he will make his name great, he will be a blessing, God will bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him, all the families of the earth and God will give him the land of Canaan. God promises David an eternal kingdom. He also promises to send a messiah and describes the circumstances surrounding his appearing. 

  • After the Israelites had lived in Canaan for a while, they rebelled and worshipped other Gods. God sent judges to serve as deliverers. The book of Judges includes examples of the Israelites and the judges themselves behaving in a way that is inconsistent with the standards in God's covenant. God appoints Saul as the first king, but Saul becomes strays from following God and dies in battle. We see a picture of God who is strong enough to stay the course even when there is suffering and a God who is soft enough to feel pain. God chooses David to be king. Even though David commits sins like adultery and murder, he repents, and God considers him to be a man after his own heart. God rules history: both the good and the bad, judgment and blessing. 

  • Messianic theology is the most important theme in the Old Testament but not every text in the Old Testament can say something about Christ. The writers of the New Testament interpret Old Testament Messianic texts historically and contextually. The Old Testament offer a multi-faceted portrait of the Messiah so that people would recognize him when he came. The promise of the Messiah begins in Genesis chapter three with the curse of the serpent after Adam and Eve sinned. God also made promises to Abraham and David that are fulfilled in the Messiah. The Messiah is also described as being a prophet. 

  • The Messiah is described as being a king from the line of David. Isaiah describes the Messiah as a coming savior who is a righteous ruler and a servant of God. Isaiah also describes the birth of the Messiah in Isaiah 7:14 and says that he will be known as the wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. 

  • Isaiah chapter 11 begins by describing the Messiah as being from the lineage of David's father. The Messiah will also have a spirit of wisdom and understanding, council and strength. Isaiah 25 describes a scene with no threat. God is not only the judge of all nations, he is also the one who reaches out to them. Isaiah 42 and following are the passages known as the Servant Song. The servant referred to in these passages are likely an individual, not the nation of Israel. Isaiah 53 is one of the most cited passages in the New Testament. 

  • Isaiah 53 describes the suffering that the servant will experience. Verses from this chapter are quoted in both the Gospels and the letters of the New Testament. This chapter also describes what Jesus will do in his healing ministry, his atoning death and the resurrection. Isaiah 61:1-3 is the passage that Jesus reads in the synagogue at the beginning of his public ministry. After reading this passage, he says, "These words are fulfilled in your hearing." Jeremiah 23:1-8 describes the Messiah as a coming shepherd to lead the people of Israel. Jeremiah 31 and 33 describe a new covenant that is coming and someone from the lineage of David to make it happen. Jesus refers to himself as the, "son of man," which is a description of the Messiah in Daniel 7: 13-14.

  • Ezekiel's message to the people of Israel who are captives in Babylon is that God will bring them back to their land and eventually they will live in glorified Jerusalem. He will put his Spirit within them, cause them to walk in his statutes and they will be careful to obseverve his ordinances. God will change their hearts. Ezekiel's message for the nations is one of both judgment and redemption. Imagery that you find in prophets like Micah and Zechariah are referred to in the New Testament. Common themes in the Gospels are Jesus being referred to by the title of Son of Man and also describing the ministry of Jesus as a shepherd. Each of the Gospels also includes references to the Spirit in the ministry of Jesus to the disiples and to the crowds. The Spirit worked in obvious ways in the lives of people in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. The church began with the manifestation of the Spirit at Pentectost after Jesus rose from the dead. 

  • It is possible that Christ appeared to some people in the Old Testament. The Psalms were written to worship and express emotions to God as people were experiencing many different circumstances both personally and as a nation. In David's Psalms, when he uses Zion, he is often referring to glorified Jerusalem. The word, "anointed" often refers to the Messiah. 

  • God does not promise us as humans, omniscience, so we cannot know for sure the significance of the timing , circumstances and results of any situation we face. We sometimes suffer because of the sins of others, because of our own sins or because of evil and chaos in the world. God gives us hope because he can redeem the consequences of sin in a way that is for our good and his glory. Joseph's life is a good example. We can also see examples in the lives of the prophets and the apostle Paul. 

  • The entire book of Job focuses on the question, "If God is good and powerful, why do you see suffering in the world?" (see the course, The Book of Job). Part of the answer is that God has made Job's suffering redemptive to him, to his family, to his community and to everyone who reads his story. Naomi's husband and sons die, but Ruth takes care of her and gives birth to a son that Naomi sees as an indication that her future is secure. Lamentations is written during a time when the people of Israel were in captivity with no end in sight. 

  • Jeremiah was called to preach repentance when the nation of Israel was deteriorating. God also gave him a message of building and planting which included the promise of a New Covenant. It will be written on the hearts of people, not just on tablets of stone. The New Covenant is limited to only people who know God, which is a link to the teaching about the New Covenant in the New Testament. Various denominations have different views about how baptism should be done and what part it plays in your conversion experience. 

  • Even while the Babylonians are laying siege and occupying the land, God tells Jeremiah to purchase property as a sign that God will bring the people of Israel back to the land. Eschatology is a theme that links the Old and New Testaments. Jesus preaches about the Kingdom of God in a way that shows that there is a present as well as a future aspect. When you are studying a subject or theme in your reading or preaching, synthesize what both the Old Testament and New Testament teach about it. 



Welcome to Old Testament Theology with Dr. Paul House. In this course, we'll be discussing the theology of the entire Old Testament. This is a huge and complex topic, but Dr. House is one of the leading experts in the field, and he's also a great teacher with a unique sense of humor. So I'm confident you'll find this course to be both informative and enjoyable.

Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12, pretty much holy ground for Biblical theology. Starts 52:13 with: “Behold my servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted,” which seemingly back to the kind of imagery we had in Isaiah 11 right? “Just as many were astonished at you, so His appearance was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of man,”

And you say wait a minute I thought…whose gonna prosper then? The individual servant? Cuz you wanna prosper and be exalted, and then the next verse says He’s gonna be marred. Verse 15, “Thus He will sprinkle many nations, kings will shut their mouths on account of him; for what had not been told them they will see and what they had hear-not heard they will understand.” So this servant will have a strong effect on the rulers. 53:1: “Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm,” or the strength, “of the Lord been revealed?”

"For He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and a root out of parched ground.” We’ve had shoot and root imagery [amused], back in Isaiah 11 again, only there it was a shoot of Jesse, the root of David. “He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon him, no appearance that we should be attracted to him.” It will not be physical appearance that would be striking. Makes you wonder about some religious art. You know, it runs in cycles. When I was a kid you always had this picture of a long, thin Jesus.

Now in Christian bookstores you’ve got robust, vibrant Jesus, smiling, really good-lookin’ guy and that kinda thing. Whatever it is that draws people, it’s not necessarily physical appearance here. Verse 3: “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised and we did not esteem him.”

All this in the context of a servant prospering, being highly lifted up and exalted, and yet suffering. “Surely our griefs He himself bore, and our sorrows He carried.” And, I have to look it up, Matthew, it’s on page 292 of the textbook, bottom paragraph. New Testament writers think Jesus is the servant Isaiah portrays.

Matthew 8:17 and 12:18 to 21 cite Matthew 53:4, the passage I just read, and 42:1 to 4 respectively are reference points for Jesus’ healing ministry. So that our griefs He bore, our sorrows or sicknesses He carried. You know we ourselves esteemed him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. So there is a misunderstanding of what the servant is doing.

“He was pierced through for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities.” So at this point it seems that He is suffering for the sins of others. Perhaps in a general way but it becomes more specific in verse five, “the chastening for our well-being fell upon him, and by His scourging we are healed.” So there is a substitutionary element here. That is emphasized by a quotation, or an image, used earlier in Isaiah, “all of us like sheep have gone astray, we have each turned to His own way, but the Lord has caused an iniquity of us all to fall on him.”

It’s not just that He is suffering for the sins of others but that their healing is affected by His suffering. He was brought into being by His suffering. “He was oppressed and afflicted yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb that is led to slaughter and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.”

Stop for just a moment and…and collect a few thoughts. Isaiah 53:5, “pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities” is used as evidence for Jesus’ atoning death in first Peter 2:24 and Romans 4:25. Listed there at the top of page 293 in the textbook. First Peter 2:24, Romans 4:25, citing Isaiah 53 as evidence for Jesus’ atoning death on behalf of others.

Verses 7 and 8 are cited by Philip, or actually the Ethiopian eunuch is reading these verses and asked, “Who does this text speak of? Who does the writer speak of, himself or someone else?” Philip answers and speaks to him about Jesus. Verse 9, “His grave was assigned with wicked men yet He was with a rich man in His death because He had done no violence nor was any deceit found in His mouth.” That’s a tough passage to translate but Matthew 27:57 cites this passage as evidence that Jesus was indeed to be buried in the rich man’s grave. It’s hard to tell from this text.

And from John, whether that’s seen as a good thing, He had a nice grave, or He’s lying down, He’s not been gathered to His Father’s but been gathered to the oppressors. You’re never quite sure what the disposition of the rich happens to be in a passage without getting into the context of it. But, text there says, this passage indicates that His grave would be assigned with the rich.

Verse 10: “The Lord was pleased to crush him and put him to grief. If He would render himself as a guilt offering,” now this is interesting, just like in Isaiah 9, the phrase “mighty God” is the only time that that’s used of a [phonetic]coming person. This is the only text in – to my knowledge in the Old Testament that treats a human offering, a) as a guilt offering and b) positively. Cuz human sacrifice is denied throughout the Old Testament.

But here this individual is a guilt offering, that is an offering that’s offered for specific sins that require restitution, according to Leviticus. So this individual is a guilt offering. Now, whatever else we can say about a guilt offering, we should say that it is dead. Right? Guilt offering is put to death. And yet in the second half of the verse, “He will see His seed” back to [amused] that word again. “He will prolong His days and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.” At that point you’re sayin’: “I thought He was dead.” 

He gives himself up as a guilt offering, and as a result of that He sees His offspring, prolongs His days, and the good will of the Lord prospers in His hand. This is one of the passages I think, the New Testament often says. An example being first Corinthians 15: “Jesus was raised from the dead, according to the scriptures.” And you say “according to the scripture” is usually a phrase that says, “as is in accordance with a variety of scriptures” when they wanted to cite one, they tend to cite it.

But I think this is one of the passages that you have a Messianic text, you have the Savior put to death, you have him then prolonging His days. Verse 11: “As a result of the anguish of the soul He will see it and be satisfied. By His knowledge, the Righteous One, my Servant, will justify the many.” Same word as in Genesis’ 15:6, “counted him as righteousness.” But what He does here, the servant makes righteous the many, “causes to be righteous”, is the word, literally.

So again, your theology of justification is gonna enter in here. And, I was on a translation team, I don’t remember how it came out, but boy there was a big move to say, “well even though it literally means ‘make righteous’ what we wanna do is, we’re gonna say ‘declares righteous.’” And again, I’m not wanting to get into the distinction because I think in the New Testament justification can mean “declared righteous”, but it also indicates that you’re declared righteous because God has made you a new creation. God is declaring, as God always does, something that’s true.

You’re made righteous, not of your own merit but of the work of the Servant here. “And He will bear their iniquities.” So it’s not anything they’ve done to get out of their own sins. He did it. And they couldn’t justify themselves, He did it. “Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great and He will divide the booty with the strong.”

So here He is again, you could say this is eschatological, but it seems to be-be seen as offspring prolonging His days, seems to be now. “He poured out himself to death, was numbered with the transgressors, He bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors.”

What is the atoning work of the Messiah? You could make as many summary statements as you wanted to make from Isaiah 53. How many sentences could you come up with? He interceded for the transgressors; He bore the sins of the many. He poured himself out to death; with His stripes we are healed. On the one side you could say, you could write down, on the one side of the ledger what the servant does. And then you could write on the other side what the results are. Servant’s work results for the people.

And I think it’s, again, important to see that this guilt offering’s back alive, which would be unusual to say the least. When Jesus explains His own death to His disciples in Luke 22:37 He uses Isaiah 53:12 as a base. 

Oh, let’s see, it’s Luke 22:37. I’m just kinda workin’ from my own notes which have been in this book. So, everything from the healing ministry, to Jesus, to His atoning death and resurrection, the New Testament calls upon this section of scripture to make these points. Had we not seen that it starts with verse 13: “My servant will prosper, be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.” We might not be able to connect it to earlier passages except for Isaiah 50: “But the servant who will bring God’s people back to God. The servant who is ministering to the servant Israel is the same servant who will die for their sins, to justify them and to share spoils with them.”

But this is the most detailed statement about suffering and the servant, in Isaiah. And it makes the most; we would, propositional statements about what the servant’s work is and what it does for His people. So it is interesting too, as…and I wanna get to questions about 53, but conclude it by saying 55:3, in an invitation passage: “Incline your ear and come to me, listen that you may live, and I’ll make an everlasting covenant with you according to the faithful mercies shown to David.”

So the eternal covenant with David’s brought back to cap this section and put the servant within that context. It is true that the servant passages do not, necessarily, tie the servant directly to David in the way that Isaiah 9 and 11 do. But by describing the servant in the same terms and by using the term servant at all, which is used in second Samuel 7, in the foundational passage, use it again: “king, servant, and son”. It would at least make it plausible, and I think more than that, but I don’t think it takes special pleading to say: this is the same individual at a different stage of that individual’s ministry.

So, it’s almost saying, until the eschaton Christ is not the exalted king. He is and He isn’t. The same way David was and [amused] wasn’t. Again that is not to diminish Christ at all, but He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords by Revelation 19, o’ course, when the victory comes, when the victory’s won. And so we can talk in terms, is Christ king now? Yes, of course. Will it be more evident that He is king when every knee bows and every tongue confesses, even those that don’t love ‘im now? Yeah, I think it’ll be a little more evident then, to everyone. So I’m not trying to diminish the kingship now, it’s just more apparent when Christ rules everything.

Maybe good – one other Isaiah passage and, we close, and that’s Isaiah 61:1 through 3, you will recognize this passage from Luke 4, “The spirit of the Lord is upon me.” We read that already in Isaiah 42 and Isaiah 11, we are back to spirit imagery. “Because the Lord has anointed me,” which is messiah word, the anointed me, “to bring good news to the afflicted, He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.” Not unlike what we read in Isaiah 11:4, right?

“To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Jesus read these verses in the synagogue in Luke 4, at the inauguration of His ministry and said: “These words are fulfilled in your hearing.”

Though He did not say the following words, quote: “I am the Messiah.” Unquote. For anyone to read this passage in the context of Isaiah, where this passage attributes to this individual the same characteristics as attributed to the servant and to the king, in Isaiah, was basically to say to them, “I am the Messiah”. Do you say, “Hey I’m the one who sets the afflicted free, I’m the one who pardons sin, I’m the one who does all that.” You’re basically saying: “I’m the Messiah that’s promised.”

And though, as [phonetic]Matear says, Isaiah 61 really treats the Messiah in 61, as the anointed conqueror, it’s still the same characteristics. So I mean it-it’s – as we say you have this building portrait, and you’re sayin’, “Okay the Messiah has to be the coming King, the suffering servant, and the anointed conqueror,” Because the s – all those titles are wrapped up in the Messiah who shares the same characteristics across all three types of text.

To me personally, I’m speaking personally here, one of the advantages of starting with the beginning and heading to the New Testament is, I begin to see the immensity of Jesus in a way I don’t if I take a specific text and go find its original prediction. If I just, [inaudible] okay, predicted He was born in Bethlehem, predicted He would die. So that – it’s – you say, “Man I don’t know how I’m gonna keep all these notes together.” Well there’s a way in which that’s supposed to be how you feel. Because the immensity of who Jesus is, then in the New Testament – I don’t know if it comes with joy, relief, or all, or all of the above when you say, “Okay, they’re saying that this Jesus is all of that.” Or you end up saying, “You know I didn’t know how much I did believe.’ 

Before now. So maybe you knew it all and that’s great, but as you walk toward it, you’re going to sense a greater and greater aspect of who Jesus is. I just like Isaiah a lot. Again at your leisure read Isaiah 65 and see how many images from Isaiah 65, Revelation 21 picks up. I say it without any sense of territorial-ness, it’s just nice to see the apostle of the apocalypse and Isaiah the prophet agreeing on what we’re gonna have when we die. I’m all for that.

So, again, this is all mediated. And if you – so see, I had a – I got a call student back from, whose graduated from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, and say, “What about the after-life in the Old Testament?” Well, for the faithful, read Isaiah 65. For those who are not, read Isaiah 66, start with verse 21.

Again speaking about the nations: “I will take some of them for priests and for Levites, says the Lord. For just as the new heavens and the new earth, which I make, will endure before Me, declares the Lord. So your seed, your offspring and your name, will endure, and it shall be from new moon to new moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come and bow down before Me, says the Lord. Then they will go back and look forth on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched, and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.” All flesh, is literally.

So if you say, “Okay, at the end of Isaiah, where are the faithful ones who love the Lord who are His remnant, where are they?” In the new heavens and the new earth where there’s no sin, sorrow, suffering or death, where are those who…have transgressed, rebelled against him, who won’t bow down? Well, they’re where the fr-worm doesn’t die, the fire is not quenched. It’s a sobering and staggering statement.

So when the New Testament speaks of hell and that fire not being quenched, that sort of thing, it’s – there are a lot of sources but one of ‘em’s right here. So, I just want us to understand their implications. The implications are as clear in Isaiah as they are in the gospels. To those who would accept the Messiah God sends the Servant, the King, the Anointed Conqueror, and those who will not. So, that’s a bit of Isaiah and His Messianic theology. Whatever you wish to say.

Is there any…

Audience Member: [inaudible]

In those passages it’s talking about results, not origins. I’d take the doctrine of election to talk about origins of faith. Here, He’s talking about the result. I don’t think the issue of election, in a specific way, is not in play here. Talkin’ about the results. Now, of course there is election in Isaiah. If someone has been chosen from the womb, that is election imagery. You can then decide from your own perspective exactly what that means, as to whether God caused what He foreknew or just foreknew. You get into those discussions again.

But the fact is, if Israel is God’s inheritance from the womb, if the servant is called from the womb, if that sort of imagery is used, then certainly there is election imagery. But it’s not prominent in the text we just…covered, in my view. It’s focusing upon the work of the savior not the origins of the faith of the people of God, and it’s talkin’ about the results, not about how those results specifically begun before the start of time. If that makes sense. I don’t know that election’s the major theme there.

Audience Member: [inaudible]


Audience Member: [inaudible]

Because they rebelled against God, is how they’re outside in Isaiah 66:23 and 4. This text says nothing on that question. That’s not an irrelevant question; I’m not tryin’ to say that. It’s not relevant to that passage or to what we’ve looked at today. Now, it is certainly a Biblical, theological question. You would start that question…at least at-at Genesis 25. Maybe with Abraham, but certainly with the birth of Jacob and Esau. That passage is where, awhile before they’re born, one is chosen as the bearer of the covenant. Malachi 1 talks about that. Romans 9 through 11 talks about it.

But in Isaiah, though we do have the imagery we’ve talked about, a lot of people have really stressed that in Isaiah it’s people’s rebellion that is the focus. So that human responsibility is stressed there. But there aren’t many statements in Isaiah specifically about election. So that the blame for the person burning in chapter 66 verse 24, is also in verse 24, the reason is, they rebelled or transgressed against God. So human responsibility is stressed, and all throughout Isaiah, come let us reason together. You know, though are sins are [phonetic]scarlet they can be as white as snow. And so Isaiah’s – those were the stresses that He offers.

And then the question is: is he not interested in the kind of question that you asked that other texts are interested in? Does he not believe it? Does it not fit his situation? We don’t know. But in the text at hand it’s human rebellion that’s focused upon. You know, so, the other thing we might do later, is to go back and trace that, you know, doctrine, work some more with salvation and election, how that unfolds.

But the blame is laid on human beings in 24. The reason – they-they didn’t create the place of burning, but the reason they’re there is their own rebellion. Now then, other? That’s a good question, hope I was fair to it, I wasn’t tryin’ to dodge it there but I think it’s an accurate answer. Is there, other questions?

Audience Member: What about how Jewish [inaudible]

What Jewish community you wanna talk about?

Audience Member: Yeah I know there are multiple[inaudible]

Well and which era, and which era, cuz the New Testament struck me finally, somebody sayin’, “What do Jewish people think about this?” Well you know the New Testament writers were Jewish. That’s one Jewish community. I’m not chastising you, cuz I know you had a job to do, that’s where you were, but right – so-so what I’m about to say is not any criticism of you.

Right – but - you know, before the break, one of the things we were talkin’ about is not, specifically, but I’ll remind the class that, before the break we said, the first century Jewish community, a variety of reasons for rejecting Jesus as a Messiah. Sadducees didn’t believe in resurrection, final judgment, so they wouldn’t agree with Jesus no matter who they thought He was. They wouldn’t agree with him. Others thought He came from the wrong place or hung out with the wrong sort of people. The Pharisees never said, “You’re the wrong kinda king.” They disagreed with His ritual purity, with His treatment of Sabbath, et cetera. You never hear the Pharisee’s sayin’ “What-hey.” The average person, a lot of the crowds though, we read that, they like the zealots wanted a political liberator, right? So they weren’t gonna be pleased with Jesus.

Some of them weren’t even interested in that. They weren’t that exc- what they wanted was someone to feed and clothe ‘em and give ‘em daily sustenance. So when Jesus says to ‘em, “You’re only followin’ me cuz of the food.”

See, not this food, which doesn’t endure. But, ya know, you get John 6, and a lot of ‘em turn back and didn’t serve him anymore, over that issue. In a way, I used to think, and I may have left the impression, I used to think the average Jew didn’t want Jesus because He wouldn’t set himself up as a King. You read the New Testament carefully, there are a lot of other reasons why they didn’t serve him.

But, the other issue is, a lot of the Jewish community that still believes in the Messianic promise - which is by no means the majority - would say that the passages in Chapter 7, and 9, and 11, indicate that when the Messiah comes it’ll begin these promises. It’ll be fully realized eschatology. He’s here, He’s now, the Kingdom’s now, sin is eliminated, our enemies.

But it is a legitimate eschatology as well, the New Testament writers had it, the Pharisees, I think some of them had it, Qumran indicates, or some Qumran texts, that said that the Messiah would die, the Gentiles would kill ‘im. And as I said earlier today whether that’s just cynicism or depression, or whether that’s a br-Bible reading, we don’t know, but they thought, that’s the way they read Isaiah 53. Some read earlier Targums and such, read Isaiah 53 Messianically but thought it wasn’t Jesus. So, those are some of the readings.

But what we can say, is that it is a legitimate reading that the New Testament does, that it’s possible that these Messianic texts, some of them are for the earthly ministry of a servant who dies and is raised again, and some of them are texts that have to do with the end of time. And I have to say if you don’t accept – I don’t want to load this up too much, if this is an overstatement or seems manipulative, forgive me, I don’t mean it to be.

But, if we don’t read Isaiah that way we’re not gonna agree with the New Testament writers, are we? Cuz that’s their viewpoint. That Jesus is the Messiah, that He came and taught and healed and suffered and died, and was raised from the dead. Is coming again to fulfill those promises of Isaiah 65, cuz that’s what Revelation 21’s sayin’. That’s yet to come. So, that’s pretty much, as I read it, the perspective of the New Testament.

And I just honestly say, if they’re wrong they’ve misread Jesus as the Messiah. So that allows some Jewish groups now to be more benevolent toward Christian theology and say: “Jesus was a great man, was a great teacher. The church just misread him as the Messiah. He’s not the one. Not Jesus’ fault that the church didn’t have His ministry down right, didn’t understand him.”

So, and then o’ course you have a whole lot of secular Jews who – I remember when I was in Israel for a summer, one of the popular pop song was, “The Messiah’s Not Coming” and it was a song about taking responsibility for Israel’s future. And it was a great secular, atheistic kinda song, which basically says, “If there’s no afterlife” and they didn’t believe there was, “if God’s not gonna intervene” and they didn’t believe He was, cuz they weren’t sure He existed, “then we need to take responsibility for our actions and build the best world we can, the Messiah’s not coming. That was the song. And, basically it was an ethical, atheistic stance. Quit waitin’ for God to bail you out. If there isn’t a God, your best help’s [inaudible] in the arms of all your friends.

So really depends on whatcha mean, and a lot of Jewish theologians right now believe that Messianic theology has divided them from Christians for years and years and years, it needs to be set aside. A lot of Christian theologians including Brueggemann and His Old Testament theology says look, “Jewish people are already all right, really by birth. And it’s Gentiles that have to be joined in. They’re all right from the start, we join in through Christ, but it’s all the same stream. They don’t have to accept s- Christ to be all right.” Even though, again, the New Testament is filled with Jewish writers who disagree. We’re joinin’ in that stream.”

So it’s kind of a two-covenant kind of approach. Tryin’ to be a smart-aleck, that when I said, “Well it depends on what Jewish group we’re talkin’ about” and then there’s probably a whole host of ideas that I don’t – I’m not fully cognizant of. But you have a Jewish witness that says, “This is legitimate reading of Messianic theology.” And it – really pretty much how the New Testament handles the two types of text. 

And I think it’s legitimate reading given the Old Testament. Because, and I think this is Matear’s crucial point, because the descriptions of the servant and the characteristics of the servant are in many cases identical to those of the king. So you either got two people who are genetically connected [laugh] or you have the same person, or you have two people who have the same characteristics, or the same person.

But see, this is why at least one Qumran text says, “There gonna be two Messiahs, one person can’t do all this. It’s the Christian testimony that one person does.” But this might explain to you why, as I say, if you’re a believer in Jesus by the time you get to the New Testament you say, “Wow, that’s a big portrait.” That might also help us understand how people who start from the beginning get to Jesus and say, “Hang on. First of all, is all that gonna be in one person?”  “Second of all, is that reading the eschatological passages correctly?”

And I think they’re legitimate questions, I really do. And I think Paul had to answer ‘em virtually every day of his ministry, among people who were Bible readers. Because remember, the apostle Paul, on his missionary journeys, there might have been an exception that proved this rule, but it’s unlikely he ever preached to anybody who had ever seen Jesus in the flesh. In other words, he didn’t say, “Hey you remember all those miracles? Remember all that stuff that guy did?” You know? And not only that, if my reading of the gospel of John is correct, John may be telling us, it might not help it they had.

The astonishing thing was, as John says over and over again, “these signs Jesus did”, and over and over again, “they didn’t believe the signs”, and so in Luke’s gospel Jesus says in a parable: the rich man and Lazarus. What does Lazarus want father Abraham to do? First of all he wants some relief. But then he says, “Send somebody back. They have the law of the prophets. They’ll believe if somebody comes back from the bed.” What’s the chilling comment?  No pun intended.

Audience Member: the prophets.

They won’t believe if somebody comes back from the dead. Proven in John 11, with Lazarus being raised from the dead, some believed and some went and told on Jesus to the authorities. They held a caucus to see what they could do to put an end to that. The signs don’t necessarily lead to faith. Signs tend to confirm the faith of those who believe more then they engender faith.

I remember being troubled when I first heard of a lot of the signs and wonders movement, and how it was being carried out an – as an evangelistic tool. And it finally struck me, I can’t tell in the New Testament that signs and wonders actually produce faith in very many people. They are wonderful to confirm the faith of those who believe and to reassure them and to help them. But, Susan would know more about this then I would, but you know, I assume that in a jury trial, what people are willing to believe and not believe are – is an extraordinary [inaudible] things.

Audience Member: They’re often looking for confirmation of their own [inaudible] beliefs. Which is why so much goes in to [inaudible] cuz they’re looking for confirmation. But they’re coming to the table, not empty, but full of experience, and what makes them who they are, which is-which is bound to be - so the same set of facts are gonna be interpreted differently then - the signs confirm.[inaudible]

Right. Sure. And then some are unable to believe certain things, no matter what. They could be fair, decent people. I’m always interested when I see –  these days we hear of heinous crimes and we see them on the news. There’s always somebody in the crowd who would say, “They must be insane if they did that.” They can’t conceive of somebody ruthless and cruel enough to do such-and-such an act. At any rate, I digress.

It seems to me like – that the evidence before a first century person was the text of scripture, what they had seen of Jesus, the witness of the apostles and their credibility, right? And again, when you put yourself in Paul’s place - and I keep stressin’ that because it’s Paul who had to teach people from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. It’s the missionary movement. Then, put yourself in that position as you work with your Messianic theology.

Now a couple of other passages in the prophets and in – looks like the writings will take up a bit of time. Jeremiah 23:1 through 8 in a passage in which primarily Jeremiah is criticizing the poor shepherd leaders of his day. He says, “There’s coming a sh-servant, shepherd kind of leader who’ll be what we need.” 23:1, “Woe to the shepherds who are destroyed and scattering the sheep of my pasture, declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who are tending my people, you have scattered my flock, have driven them away, have not attended to them.” That’s not a very positive comment on their leadership. So behold I’m about to attend to you!

"For the evil of your deeds, declares the Lord, that I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I’ve driven them, bring them back to their pasture, and they’ll be fruitful and multiply.” What happens post 587 when Babylon destroys Jerusalem? God then eventually gathers the people back to the land, verse 4, “I’ll raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them, they’ll not be afraid any longer, or by terrifye-terrified, nor will any be missing.” The fact is, God brought a remnant back to the land and that remnant awaited the Messiah, in Jesus’ day.

Verse 5 “Behold the days are coming, declares the Lord, I’ll raise up for David.” Who else? Who else could it be? A righteous branch, or a righteous sprout, as in Isaiah 11:1. “And He will reign as King and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.” If anything this passage seems more concrete and less eschatological for sure, then say, Isaiah 11 or 9. There are no lion and lamb imagery here to let you know that that’s an idealized picture.

“In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell securely. And this is His name by which He will be called, the Lord is our right.” That’s His name. This Davidic ruler is to bring the righteousness [pages turning] that their current rulers do not bring. Now then, I begin to deal in the last day or not, before, with Jeremiah 31, which is the new covenant passage. Where God says He will make a new covenant and a new people.

Audience Member: You said Jeremiah 31?

Yeah, the new covenant passage, Jeremiah 31 verses 31 to 34. So I-I say that because before we come to the next Messianic image, we’re in a context, in a – Jeremiah 30 to 33 of new covenant in days to come. And then in Jeremiah 33:14 we’re going to have the new covenant imagery connected to the Davidic ruler in a way that Jeremiah 31 itself doesn’t do. 33:14 through 26 is the whole context, we’ll probably just do snippets, but, “Behold the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous branch of David.” Remember chapter 23? “A righteous branch of David to spring forth, and He shall execute justice and righteousness” not just in Israel, but where? “on the earth.”

This is a worldwide kingdom. “In those days Judah will be saved, Jerusalem will dwell in safety, and this is the name which she will be called. The Lord is our righteousness.” Same phrase as Chapter 23. “For thus says the Lord David will never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.” Where’d we first hear that? Second Samuel 7. “And the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before me to burn offerings, to burn grain offerings to prepare sacrifices continually.”

What does Hebrews make of that? Saying, “Man, who’s on the throne?” Verse 19: “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah saying thus says the Lord if you can break my covenant so that day and night will not keep their appointed time,” and by the way, the same phrase is about night and day, follow the new covenant passage in Jeremiah 31. It’s in Jeremiah 31:35 to 37.

“If you can break that covenant,” verse 21, “then my covenant may also be broken with David my servant, so that He will not have a son to reign on His throne, and with the Levitical priests, my ministers.” He says in verse 22, “As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured so I will multiply th-the seed of David my servant and the Le-Levites who minister to me.” Where did you get imagery like that before? In the Old Testament. Was not with David but with whom?

Audience: [inaudible] Abraham

With Abraham! Specifically, in Genesis 15 right before the, “believes in God and is counted righteous.” So, understand that He’s not gonna reject the descendents of Jacob and David my servant, and look at verse 26, “Then I,” this if/then again, “if my covenant for day and night won’t stand,” verse 26, “then I would reject the descendants of Jacob and David my servant. Not taking from his seed rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Again, not just the David, but back to the Genesis 49 text, “But I will restore their fortunes and I will have mercy on them.” The covenant with David’s connected by reference here with the new covenant of chapter 31, and this Messianic king. By the way I forgot to add, what’s David called in verse 26, what’s His designation?

Audience: [inaudible] Servant

My servant. We’re back to the servant imagery. Though connected to second Samuel 7 not necessary to Isaiah. This passage does the following: The new covenant is connected to the eternal covenant with David. The new covenant is connected to the eternal covenant with David. Second, we’re reminded that David is God’s servant. God’s servant. 

So the first thing: the new covenant’s connected to the eternal covenant with David. Second: David is called God’s servant. Third: this passage links David’s seed and Abraham’s seed. So we have a bringing together of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants in a Messianic text, which again is what the New Testament’s going to do. It’s going to bring together the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants in the person of the Messiah. 

So, I would just fourth refer you to Ezekiel 34:20 to 31, where you have some of the same images. Davidic covenant, new covenant, peacefulness, God’s servant David. Ezekiel 34:25-31, like Jeremiah pulls together these images, and as we’re going to see when we talk about the new covenant, when the people of God, when Ezekiel conceives of God and the people of God, when you ask, “Well how’s He gonna do this? How’s God gonna create the new people?” Ezekiel says by a direct, giving of the spirit of God into the heart of the people.

Jeremiah 31 says “the law will be written on their hearts” Ezekiel 36 says “it’ll be done by the spirit”. So, the longer we go on, in salvation history in the prophetic part of the canon, the more you see that Jeremiah and Ezekiel are pulling together threads and themes. Uniting them in the person of the Messiah, and this is not even to go into the minor prophets who have their own testimony of where the messiah will be born. Bethlehem because it’s the city of…David. Zachariah saying the shepherd will be struck and the sheep will be scattered. Also, you know, Zachariah portraying Jesus as coming in on the donkey and being the anointed conqueror, just like Isaiah. So this is hardly to exhaust the passages even if it exhausts my physical strength and your patience, although you’ve been very – you’ve been a gracious class it’s – I don’t think we’ll exhaust your patience until eleven o’ clock on Friday. But let’s understand then that a whole lot from the law and the former prophets is pulled together by the latter prophets. So much from the law and the former prophets, from the law and the historical books, is pulled together, brought together, by the latter prophets. By Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve.

It is the writings but, question about Daniel 7:13 and 14, I’d like to answer the question because of – not just out of courtesy, because I don’t know exactly where we would fit this in. You would do this in the writings and description of the Messiah. But it’s important to see that in Daniel 7:13 and 14, at the end of time - here’s kind of the narrative - at the end of time, the ancient of days, what a description for God. The one who is just ancient from old times, or does it mean He just has days and days and days and days. He gives the kingdom of God to the son of man.

And in first century, here’s something we…I don’t know again, just kinda in popular theology I grew up with, which is what I whole – I keep mentioning that, not to try to give my testimony but because I think there are a lot of people like this in your churches. I’ve been taught that son of man imagery is to show - in the New Testament - is to show Jesus identifies with human beings. I think the opposite’s true. In the Old Testament, in Daniel, you asked, “the son of man is the one to whom God gives the kingdom.”

So for Jesus to say, “I’m the son of man.” This is causing a bit of a reaction from the get-go. If He were using son of man the way God uses to speak of Ezekiel, I don’t think it’s gonna get the reaction it gets in the first century. So the son of man will be given the kingdom of God by the ancient of days. There are two chief doctrines that Daniel – well, I – that’s an overstatement – but there are at least two very s-s- - important New Testament matters that Daniel takes up.

One’s the son of man statement that you brought up, the other one’s chapter 12 where He talks about resurrection. Tells him, “Go lie down Daniel, you’ll sleep for awhile, I will raise you up and reward you.” It’s clear resurrection/judgment text. There are other things Daniel contributes but some of the things we’ve been talkin’ about today. But yeah Daniel’s in the writings, but that, the son of man theology of Daniel in that passage is a distinct contribution that Daniel makes. And it’s almost one of a kind.

If you’re following along in the Old Testament, see all these threads comin’ together. If we’re alert enough we say, “David’s the servant of God.” Where does that start, you re- you’ll have – always have somebody sittin’ on the throne, we say, second Samuel 7. But, you don’t really see that son of man passage coming, or at least I don’t. And so, it is such an evident passage to say that whoever the son of man is, is going to be The King. Again, scholars debate whether the son of man is a Messianic image. I like what Gerhard von Rad says, “Who else would it be?”

Audience: [laughter]

In Old Testament theology, to whom else would God give the Kingdom besides the Messianic king, servant, et cetera? There isn’t anybody else to receive it. That’s where I would place that. But it’s a-it’s a very important piece of the puzzle if we didn’t get there. So, this brings us to the Psalms and really to the end of – I have a choice of either starting the Psalms…

Audience: [laughter]

And tryin’ to jam those in the last few minutes. I don’t think I wanna do that. This may be a serendipitous moment, tomorrow we’re supposed to be talking about the Psalms anyway and the God who merits worship. So maybe be a good thing to-to tie that together with the Messianic text and to bring it together that way, this will cheat the merits worship theme a bit, the way I cheated the holiness a bit. I guess though, it’d be better to proceed that way. Appreciate the questions. Do we have – I think we’re – we’d do well to give you an extra eight minutes. To work on those exams and -

Audience Member: I was going to ask you one real [inaudible]

Okay yeah, go ahead, yeah. We’re here.

Audience Member: inaudible] I have a quick question are you gonna be able to [inaudible]

Well we’ll see when we wanna answer it.

Audience Member: What do you think about the Christophany, the alleged Christophany? Do you think there’s [inaudible]

Could we start that tomorrow?

Audience Member: [inaudible]

The question’s about Christophanies.

Audience Member:[inaudible]

Appearances of Christ or not in the Old Testament? Why don’t we start with that, cuz that’s really a question that flows out of, mostly the law and the former prophets.

Audience Member: [53:03]

We can start with that tomorrow. Thank you very much.