Interpreting the Old Testament is easy, right? We just read our English translations, knowing that they say exactly what the original Hebrew said. Right? Dr. John Walton’s son Jonathan joins Phil and Christian to describe the work involved in digging into the original language as he and his father strive for the most accurate interpretation possible. Plus, Phil describes his fun fun trip to the National Religious Broadcasters convention.
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Great show! Please have Jonathan back to talk about his thesis on Satan and Demons. I assume it’d be fascinating!
I was so glad to SEE you again! 🙂 I’m a huge fan, and really enjoy the video part of your podcasts.
Was Jonathan Walton trying to address the question “Did the Amorites deserve their punishment?” All his talk about guilt doesn’t mean guilt, yet doesn’t mean yet, and punishment not being full or fully paid out yet seemed… circuitous. As I tried to focus and understand his intent, I wondered… who has (ever?) asked that question, and why does it have merit enough for a full-blown ‘study’? The Old Testament books that are Israel’s history are what they are. The Amorites were idol worshipers. That’s a simple concept, and God’s view of it is plain. If we ask who “deserves” what, we can be led to ask if God is “fair”, and next we can try to tell God his business… and THAT is a silly and fruitless endeavor. Isn’t it?
Oh, I got my horse before my cart! I just listened to #188 ‘God and Genocide’ with Dr. John (Walton). I understand better now, and appreciated everything Dr. Walton had to say.
Hi Phil, Christian, and Skye,
I’m a huge fan AND a subscriber to Skye’s daily devotional. Thank you for what you all do.
i found this podcast (Did Christians Create Trump?) to be compelling and the whole discussion on pastors preaching on political (not partisan) issues fascinating.
I partially disagree and I’d like to offer two counterpoints:
1) Most pastors have a reasonable grasp of the ethical issues but have an extremely superficial view of the economic and political issues. For example, I work in an industry that is HUGELY impacted by immigration – particularly H1B visas. To charge that I’m against immigration (I’m an immigrant myself) in the form of H1B visas would be superficial. I’m against it because they are abused and are simply a gateway to a) indentured servitude and b) eventually offshoring domestic work. And unfettered immigration in other industries simply drives down wages for the lowest skilled in our country who already can’t afford further wage depression. For example, apple (or any fruit) pickers, entry-level construction jobs, etc. If we want to address Kingdom ethics then we should care about those that are now displaced by those that are willing to undercut a living wage. We should be demanding that Americans pay for fruit based on what a living wage should be for picking fruit. We simply say “allow immigration!” without considering the economic implications to the immigrants and others that are displaced. If we wanted justice we would seek to encourage changes in the economies in Latin America that disadvanage those on the lowest economic rungs such that they are willing to do anything to look for a better life.
My point is that I’m not trying to argue the merits for or against immigration. Rather, I simply wouldn’t want my pastor even trying to address the issue of immigration – because I wouldn’t be confident they have anything more than a very superficial understanding of the underlying issues. Let’s be real – most pastors can’t exegete scripture well – why would I assume they can correctly exegete geopolitical macroeconomic issues?
2) Most pastors have never had a real job in their lives. Therefore, when they go outside of their traditional domain people automatically tune them out. The immediate thought is “this guy has no clue about MY life and what I deal with.” Most pastors in my circles have grown up in the church, attended Christian schools including Christian colleges their entire lives. If and when they seek to speak into my particular circumstance their advice is not welcome. They cannot possibly understand my life nor my challenges.
Now, I am 100% in favor of pastors encouraging their congregation to consider what kingdom justice looks like in their lives. What do kingdom ethics mean in their daily lives? But trying to nail down particulars is simply akin to a fish out of water.
The Walton’s have strengthened my faith through their inspiring research. I have purchased Dr. John Walton’s books and I am thankful for this family. For the rest of you who take offense at their scholarly endeavors you will be forced off of Walton Mountain and no longer will you say to your kin… “Goodnight Grandpa”.
This is the second time I’ve listened to this podcast and it was great to have son of John on! I found it intriguing that you seemed to wonder how we can accept the Old Testament based on an intense scholarly understanding of it primarily. The first and foremost reason we can accept it is because Jesus himself verified it as noted all over Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In fact he based his entire ministry on it. If you accept Jesus as who He claimed to be, Lord and Saviour, then acceptance of the Old Testament is implicated.