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  • Bible Survey: 3 John
    author by name He is simply called the elder However the style and structure of the letter seem very similar to what was seen in 1 John and so a common author may be assumed The date of writing is hard to place though AD 90 seems a good guess III An Outline of 3 John I Salutation 1 1 II About Gaius 1 2 8 III About Diotrephes 1

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/3john.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • Bible Survey: The Book of Jude
    same as it is today in German Jude Judah and Judas are all variations of the same name Ioudas Greek Yehudah Hebrew II Author and Setting The author of the letter is Jude based on 1 1 Jude a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James To those who have been called who are loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ Jude claims to be the brother of James 1 1 which presents the best clue for identifying who this Jude might be After James the son of Zebedee was martyred by Herod Agrippa I c AD 44 cf Acts 12 2 the only James well enough known in the early church would be James of Jerusalem whom Paul identified as the Lord s brother Galatians 1 19 Therefore Jude is apparently also a half brother of Jesus otherwise unmentioned in the New Testament Based on 2 Peter s apparent dependence upon Jude a date of composition between AD 60 and 65 seems reasonable III An Outline of Jude I Introduction 1 1 4 II False teachers 1 5 16 III Perseverance 1 17 23 IV Conclusion 1 24 25 Questions on Jude 1 What

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/jude.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • Bible Survey: The Book of Revelation
    the second advent of Jesus Christ and the end of the age The seals the bowls the trumpets the plagues refer to events yet to be The beasts of chapters thirteen and seventeen relate to the coming Antichrist Antichrist will arise just before the end of all things and then Jesus will arrive defeat him and set up his earthly millennial kingdom It is the viewpoint held by early expositors such as Justin Martyr died AD 165 Irenaeus died about AD 195 Hippolytus died AD 236 and Victorinus died about AD 303 Today it is the most popular view among evangelical Christians 2 Historicist An interpretation that apparently began with Joachim of Floris who died in 1202 In his view the book was a prophesy of the events of Western history from the times of the apostles until the end of time Generally the papacy is viewed as the Antichrist This interpretation was popular with the early reformers Luther and Calvin It is not a popular point of view today principally because of a lack of consensus among various exegetes as to the historical identification of the various events in the book 3 Idealist An interpretation which takes Revelation as basically poetic symbolic and spiritual The book of Revelation does not predict any specific historical events but rather simply sets forth the timeless truths concerning the battle between good and evil that rages throughout the church age The approach is similar to the general allegorizing principles of interpretation used during the middle ages it is not a particularly widely held viewpoint today again because of its general subjectivity and lack of consensus among exegetes 4 Preterist An interpretation which sees Revelation as related to what happened during the time it was written The main contents of chapters four through at

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/biblesurvey/revelat.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • Segment of the Isaiah Scroll
    Isaiah Scroll Note the following which have been circled On the right of the page are words running up and down the page instead of across this is a marginal gloss where words were added to the text which had been left out On the left of the page you can clearly see the stitching which held the sheets of skin together the scrolls were written on skin or papyrus

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ds01.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • The Order of the Community
    Journal Areopagus Contact Us Appendix C The Order of the Community Note below is simply a segment of the Order which describes the rules and regulations of belonging to the Essene Community School Church Publishing Writers Remata Christianity We Believe

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ds03.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • The Pesher (Commentary) of Habakkuk
    on the seventh line a word is circled because its letters are different than the rest This is Archaic Hebrew Script and here it is the word YHWH or Yahweh the name of God in the Old Testament The Qumran Essenes held the word as especially sacred and in order to avoid pronouncing it they wrote it in this script in many of the texts The Arabic numbers in the

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/ds02.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • What is Theology?
    daylights out of most people When they hear the word mentioned their eyes glaze over they have visions of white haired old men with degrees spilling out of their ears speaking in polysyllables and attempting to complicate simplicity They imagine lists and categories and dry barren wastes without a drop of water Not surprisingly therefore many will doubt the need for theology at all asking the pertinent question Isn t it true that all we need to know is to love each other and preach the good news However it is a truism that everyone has a theology even those millions who deny there is any need for it Everyone who reads the Bible or even thinks about God has contrived a theology of some sort So there is a question that everyone must face Is my theology a good one By good I mean is it accurate biblical coherent and consistent This is not a subjective question there are objective criteria to think about Jesus told the Samaritan woman that those who worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth John 4 23 The prophet Hosea wrote My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge Because you have rejected knowledge I also reject you as my priests because you have ignored the law of your God I also will ignore your children Hosea 4 6 Why is Theology Important Besides keeping a lot of theologians off welfare and out of trouble it brings clarification Unlike the way teachers so often present it theology is not a settled issue of firmly established facts Theology is theory and like theory in science forever alive and developing In the early Church questions arose now and then and theology theory to answer them had to be developed For instance in Acts the church was faced with the problem of what to do with all the Gentiles who were coming to Christ Did they have to become Jews first before they could be saved Or was entrance into Christianity by grace alone And then even if it was by grace shouldn t they follow the laws of Judaism Later on people began wondering who precisely was Jesus Was he really God or simply an emanation or maybe a created being How are such questions answered By studying the Bible God s special revelation and the universe God s general revelation and finding out what they say This action of looking to the Bible and the world for answers raises a question of its own if we are going to find out about God if we are going to do a proper theology formulate reasonable theories what are the revelations of God and how do we go about using them properly The Five Kinds of Theology 1 Natural Theology Natural theology is restricted to the facts concerning God which are revealed in the universe around us Thomas Aquinas in a systematic fashion outlined his belief that the existence of God may be proven from reason alone Modern theologians such as Karl Barth reflecting Immanuel Kant and David Hume argued that there was essentially no validity to a natural theology while Process theologians such as John B Cobb Jr Schubert Ogden and David Griffen have argued the exact opposit Within evangelical circles there is a division on this question 2 Biblical Theology Biblical theology is restricted to the biblical revelation of God Its sole source is the Bible independent of any philosophical system ideally In reality any approach to theology must inevitably carry certain philosophical presuppositions and perspectives 3 Dogmatic Theology Dogmatic theology refers to those elements of theological truth which are absolutely certain It will avoid controversial fields of study and will concentrate on those points about which the church throughout history has held to unswervingly such the virgin birth the resurrection the Trinity and the like 4 Practical Theology Practical theology has to do with the actual function of the truth in the lives of people Given beliefs and doctrines are considered true if they work in the lives of real people In other words if it works then it is true Otherwise it is of no consequence 5 Theology Proper Theology proper concerns itself with the study of the person of God apart from his works It deals with the existence of God the ability of people to know him his various attributes and the nature of the Trinity In other words Theology Proper is concerned with understanding and knowing God Our Approach The five kinds of theology are not necessarily mutually exclusive and in fact this essay will make use of all five sorts Our approach is not designed to give the student a complete ready made theology just add water and shake Rather the goal is to give him or her tools to reveal the questions and to explain how to ask questions that will lead the reader to teach himself or herself how to correctly formulate theology The learning process is stimulated both by outlining a proper methodology and by discussing in detail some of the most serious riddles facing theologians people who think about God pointing out what are sometimes provocative and controversial possibilities in the hope of encouraging or even forcing the student to learn how to think for himself or herself In the end it is hoped that the student will be able to explain not just what he or she believes but also why Supernatural Help is Required A basic presupposition in the approach taken here is that God is real more than that it is assumed that he cares about human beings as individuals and that he is interested in them learning and understanding and getting to know him better Therefore it is to be expected that God will help the reader as he or she develops his or her own theology A theology does not grow up in a vacuum apart from a genuine relationship with the object of study In contrast to most other objects of study God is a person and he desires a relationship Simple knowledge apart from the relationship is not only boring but mostly useless The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned 1 Corinthians 2 14 But I tell you the truth It is for your good that I am going away Unless I go away the Counselor will not come to you but if I go I will send him to you When he comes he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment in regard to sin because men do not believe in me in regard to righteousness because I am going to the Father where you can see me no longer and in regard to judgment because the prince of this world now stands condemned I have much more to say to you more than you can now bear But when he the Spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all truth He will not speak on his own he will speak only what he hears and he will tell you what is yet to come He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you John 16 7 14 Methodology In our approach to theology we will make use of both deduction reasoning from the general to the particular and induction reasoning from the particular to the general We will begin with inductive reasoning since all thinking begins with particulars from which general principles are derived That is we learn what dogs are like from having been around a lot of dogs we learn that we tend to sunburn easily if we get frequent sunburns Thus we will look at the individual particulars in the Bible and Nature and from those particulars we will infer general principles For instance we learn that God is loving from the numerous examples and statements in the Bible that tell us this Theology not unreasonably is called a science because it makes use of the same principles and methods as science The scientific method which also becomes then the theological method may be defined as that method for describing and explaining the revelations of God that incorporates the principles of verification operational definition statistical generalization and confirmation John Dewey in his book How We Think described five steps that are involved in problem solving a We become aware of the problem or question b We clarify the problem or question through definition observation and the classification of facts c We come up with a possible solution to the problem or answer to the question We call this a hypothesis d From our hypothesis we make some predictions That is if the hypothesis is true then certain other things will be true as well These other truths are described as our testable consequences e Through tests we then verify the hypothesis and adjust it as necessary This will lead us to either accept or reject the hypothesis that is our answer to the problem will be found to be either true or false How do we Find Out About God In modern thinking a certain dualism has arisen whereby reason and science have been separated from the realm of faith and religion severed like East and West Berlin once were Francis Bacon wrote It is therefore most wise soberly to render unto faith the things that are faith s for from the absurd mixture of matters divine and human proceed heresies and fantastical philosophies In the same vein a guest lecturer I once heard at UCLA stressed that it is a fundamental methodological error to mix the religious experience and the scientific experience As he would say one cannot ask of religious evidence the same things one would ask of scientific evidence Such thinking has infected the minds of many Christians but it s time to take a pill This iron curtain must collapse this Berlin wall in our philosophy must fall While it is one thing to read modern scientific theory into ancient poetry or to read anything into it for that matter it is another to exclude spacetime affirmations from the book authored by the Creator of the physical universe A certain question needs asking is God real or isn t he Is he as real as this chair this piece of chalk the food I ate for lunch Unfortunately for many Christians today the answer is negative For them the Bible is infallible only in spiritual matters and does not speak inerrantly of historical and scientific things they actually imagine it makes no cognitive truth claims about God or about the physical universe To illustrate how this modern dualistic disease this iron curtain works out in a practical way an example can be taken from Mormonism John Dart in the Los Angeles Times wrote Some Mormons have asked rhetorically how much difference exists in the final analysis between a salamander and an angel and between magic and religion Others have said the basic truths of the faith are unaffected The Arizona based Latter Day Sentinel which is also circulated in Southern California recently ran a story with the headline So Why the Fuss Over the White Salamander Letter It noted efforts to equate a white salamander with an angelic figure or an ancient warrior which Moroni was according to the Book of Mormon Susan Turley an editor at the newspaper said Like most Mormons I know in the Phoenix area my testimony of the church is not based on history but on what my own spiritual experience and study of church doctrine have done for me The words of that newspaper editor summarize the modern philosophic view of religion generally it is simply truth for me Religion has become utterly subjective and completely personal it is not based on objective fact like the existence of say a bar of soap Contrast the modern attitude toward spiritual truth with the words of Peter in Acts 2 22 37 Men of Israel listen to this Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles wonders and signs which God did among you through him as you yourselves know This man was handed over to you by God s set purpose and foreknowledge and you with the help of wicked men put him to death by nailing him to the cross But God raised him from the dead freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him David said about him I saw the Lord always before me Because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices my body also will live in hope because you will not abandon me to the grave nor will you let your Holy One see decay You have made known to me the paths of life you will fill me with joy in your presence Brothers I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried and his tomb is here to this day But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne Seeing what was ahead he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ that he was not abandoned to the grave nor did his body see decay God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of the fact Exalted to the right hand of God he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear For David did not ascend to heaven and yet he said The Lord said to my Lord Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet Therefore let all Israel be assured of this God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ When the people heard this they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles Brothers what shall we do Notice that Peter s sermon is critically dependent on the reality of certain events He makes several statements rooted in objective or verifiable reality He says that Jesus was a man that his hearers had known who had performed certain deeds that they had witnessed and heard about that he had been killed by them and that he had risen bodily from the dead Peter also discusses a former king of Israel historically verifiable named David and quotes from writings which purport to have come from his hand If the events that Peter is describing did not occur as described then Peter s message is untrue He bases his conclusion about who Jesus is theologically on what occurred historically The same is true for Christianity as a whole Critics have not been shy about pointing this out Michael Arnheim writes More than any other religion Christianity stands four square on the acceptance of an historical improbability namely that one particular man was no mere mortal but the Christ whose death changed the course of human history forever and who continues to exist as God the Son part of an indivisible threefold Godhead It was only in the wake of the rationalism and skepticism of the Enlightenment that the historical accuracy of the Christian scriptures eventually came to be questioned Wit the application to the Gospel of the methods of historical criticism applied to secular sources the Gospel accounts were declared by scholar after scholar to be unreliable By the early twentieth century the so called Quest for the historical Jesus was bogged down in negativism The Gospels according to an influential school of Protestant theologians were to be taken as theological rather than as historical documents and they could yield no authentic information about the life and deeds or even the sayings and teachings of Jesus Such a conclusion might have been expected to have a cataclysmic effect upon Christianity For after all there could surely be no Christianity without Christ and could there be a Christ without Jesus But if Jesus were so shadowy a figure as to belong more to the realm of myth and legend than to that of history and fact the whole edifice of Christianity must surely crumble Not so said the radical theologians The truth of Christianity was independent of historical proof and historical evidence was therefore quite irrelevant to the validity of Christianity How then is one to decide on the truth or falsehood of Christianity For Rudolf Bultmann one of the most influential Christian theologians of the twentieth century the key element was what he called an existential encounter with Christ which did not depend upon any intellectual critical process but rather on a leap into the dark or to put it more crudely upon an acceptance of faith on trust J Knox and D E Nineham two leading British theologians similarly reject the possibility of basing Christian faith upon historical evidence but resort instead to the church as the basis of faith thus becoming caught in a circular argument As Donald Guthrie remarks Neither Nineham nor Knox has recognized the inconsistency of appealing to the testimony of the Church when they have already denied the historical accounts which they regard as the products of the Church With this we are back to square one By what criterion may the truth or falsehood of Christianity be judged To base one s acceptance of a religion upon blind faith or unsupported trust gives one no right to claim the superiority of that religion over any other religion nor does it entitle one to assert the truth of that religion And yet

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/theology/theology.htm (2013-12-10)
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  • Quartz Hill School of Theology
    help the students Click below to send us suggestions URL s for links to books magazines or other sources you think might be valuable for our library info theology edu Also let us know if you have any problems with a link Be sure to visit the Quartz Hill School of Theology Home Page We offer online courses that you can take for free Like shareware you pay only if

    Original URL path: http://theology.edu/library.htm (2013-12-10)
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