Understanding the First Testament

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Understanding Second Testament Theology
The subject of Second Testament Theology is a big one. There are several massive volumes that share great insights on the subject. I have listed four of these for you in a short bibliography below. These sessions are built as a primer to help the student to begin his or her journey into the world of Second Testament Theology. There are several grids through which one can view the information that the authors of the Second Testament present. I have chosen the kingdom of God as a grid. It appears to me to be the focus of the writers of the Second Testament books and makes the most sense out of those books. The late Dr. George Eldon Ladd (d. 1982) and Dr. James Kallas have been my mentors in my own journey. Ladd presents the kingdom of God theology in A Theology of the New Testament that serves as the text for this course. James Kallas inspired me to understand how this theological mindset played itself out on the pages of the Second Testament and in the practical dealing of daily life. My first introduction to Kallas was The Significance of the Synoptic Miracles: Taking the Worldview of Jesus Seriously. Over the years, Jim became a friend and I had the honor to republish “Significance” and also publish two other books for him: Biblical Chaos: Holding Opposites Together in Tension (2012) and The Bible Twice Denied: A Cure of the Continuing Collapse of Christian Influence (2013). To each one, I owe an enormous debt. I trust that you will find the information, which we cover, somewhat stimulating in your own kingdom journey.

1. Understanding the Kingdom of God
2. Understanding the Cosmic Conflict on Earth
3. Understanding the Kingdom of God and the Ecclesiae
4. Understanding The Works of Jesus
5. AD 49-51: Understanding the Theology of Galatians, James, 1 & 2 Thessalonians
6. AD 53-57: Understanding the Theology of 1 & 2 Corinthians, Romans
7. AD 60-61: Understanding the Theology of Mark, Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, Luke, Acts, Philippians
8. AD 63-80: Understanding the Theology of 1 Timothy, Titus, 2 Timothy, 1 & 2 Peter
9. AD 63-80: Understanding the Theology of Matthew, Hebrews, Jude
10. AD 80-100: Understanding the Theology of John, 1, 2, 3 John, Revelation

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Jesus Followers


There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.


(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)