What’s Next?

As I noted in the introductory chapters of The Unseen Realm, I view the book as a starting point. I have plenty of material for a follow-up book. Lord willing I will be able to produce that at some point.

 

Aside from developing some topics and trajectories in more detail, there are many new items to cover. As with the content for the first book, each one of these topics has solid, often copious, peer-reviewed scholarship behind it. Here’s the list in no particular order.

 

The concepts of Chaos and Chaoskampf (“struggle against chaos”)

 

cosmic mountain and trees

 

Sukkot’s Seventy bulls – http://thetorah.com/sukkots-seventy-bulls/

 

Israelite cosmology

  • The three-tiered universe of pre-scientific ancient near east
  • Earth as temple or heavens and earth as God’s temple
  • Whirlwind / storm imagery

 

Wisdom as co-creator

  • Implications for both testaments, Christology

 

Divination and sympathetic magic as divine activity

 

Teraphim

 

Maṣṣebot (standing stones) and elohim

 

Adam as priest and king

 

Adam’s sin and Romans 5 in ancient Near Eastern context

  • I do not take the traditional view of this verse. It never mentions guilt, only that all humans sin. No human can be saved apart from the work of Christ (in any degree) because of our own sin, not because of someone else’s. Since Rom 1:3 has Jesus being a descendant of Adam “according to the flesh,” and he is a direct descendant of Adam, the traditional view of Romans 5:12, that all are guilty because of Adam (as opposed to their own sin) creates a significant theological problem for Jesus as a direct lineal descendant of Adam “according to the flesh.” The virgin birth doesn’t solve this, because Mary is fully human and descended from Adam like everyone else, and because if Jesus is a son of David “according to the flesh” he wasn’t just inserted into Mary’s womb with the effect that he was biologically unrelated to either Joseph or Mary. This quandary was why Roman Catholicism invented the doctrine of Mary’s sinlessness. I reject that idea as unbiblical. I believe Jesus is insulated from this problem by a better (text-driven) view of Romans 5:12. There is a better way to interpret Rom. 5:12 for what it specifically says — not for what tradition has read into it — a way that is also consistent with ANE backgrounding to paradise stories.
  • Note that my view isn’t unique to me in Christian tradition. But this is an item for a future book.

 

Pre-existence of the soul; Job 15:7-8

 

How Adam = Israel and Eden = Promised Land

 

Nimrod identification and traditions

 

Gen 15:5 – the idea that this is a qualitative promise as well as a quantitative one (i.e., believers will be made as the stars – glorified, exalted to divine status; gods were spoken of in astral language all the time in the ANE, so this is a motif associated with humans becoming divine and divine council members).

 

Genesis 14, Abraham, and the Rephaim

 

Melchizedek episode (Gen 14) and its typology in both testaments

 

Job as an Edomite issue (are Transjordanian descendants of Abraham Gentiles? Implications for “Promised Land” and Israel’s wars?)

 

“Be holy as I am holy” = “Be holy ones” (it’s plural in Hebrew)  – “Behave like human representatives of the divine council, because you image me, the ruler of the council.”
Recent work on imaging and election, tied into the concept of “bearing the name” (or not “bearing” the name of the Lord in vain – the word translated “take” in that command is נשׂא, which is frequently translated “bear” or “lift up”)

  • The command about “taking” (Hebrew: bearing) the name in vain
  • Relationship between imaging and bearing the name
  • Unbelievers bearing the name of the beast
  • Acts 4:12 – no other name
  • Naming the name of Christ

 

Divine co-regency (Ugaritic background) and Christological co-regency

 

Exile motif; is Israel still in exile (good indications that’s the case); how the Pentecost event is was the beginning of the end of the exile; how the ending of exile is related to the idea of tribulation (the gods opposing the end of exile)

 

Ezekiel 1 vision and “astral theology”

 

Jesus birth as astral prophecy (see The Portent for how this moves beyond Rev 12)

 

Jesus as the bridegroom

  • Marriage supper
  • OT antecedents; Ugaritic divine feasting connections

 

Jesus’ genealogies and links to Enochian literature; “divine begetting” and Deut 32 (cf. Deut 32:18 – Matt 1:20)

 

Jesus as temple

 

The crucifixion as Chaoskampf

  • The Day of the Lord in the Death and Resurrection of Christ

 

Purification of the Temple: Preparation for the Kingdom of God

 

Ezekiel’s temple and New Testament temple language (Jesus and Church)

 

The Angelomorphic Spirit

 

Jesus and exorcism – Solomon, Exorcism, and the Son of David

  • There’s no OT messianic profile element that suggests messiah will cast out demons — so where does the idea come from? Why did it make sense to NT people that the messiah would have this power?

 

Implications of Acts 17:26-27 – a theology of the nations

 

“Binding” and “Loosing”: The Matthean Authorizations

 

Apostasy and eternal security

 

Patterning of recovery of the nations in Acts – Judea, Samaria, Ethiopia, Damascus

 

Head covering 1 Cor 11 “because of the angels”

  • This one you could never do in church; it has to do with ancient conceptions of sexual fidelity and fecundity (cp. the Enochian violation

 

Romans 8 – creation groans; sons of God; eschatology

 

Revelation 666 and Israel’s tribes

 

The Watcher story as the backdrop to the 144,000 in Rev 14

 

Angel Christology and Revelation; angels in Revelation

 

Gematria – dove, sons of God

 

Hebrews 11-12 and Num 13 (new exodus); Hebrews and the End of the Exodus

 

Zion Symbolism in Hebrews

 

Pseudepigrapha (esp. Enoch’s Watcher story) as backdrop to Galatians 2-3 and the coming of the son of God

  • “the law was added because of transgressions” (whose transgressions is Paul talking about?)