OpenTheo

Q&A#65 Did the Scriptural Authors Intend their Figural Meanings?

Alastair Roberts

Q&A#65 Did the Scriptural Authors Intend their Figural Meanings?

October 4, 2018
Alastair Roberts
Alastair Roberts

Today's question:

"I'm wondering to what degree you believe that the original authors of the text(s) were deliberately employing [analogies, types, themes, metaphors, "word pictures", etc.]? Was the intellectual complexity that you perceive present in the original authorship context, or has the Spirit has orchestrated a significantly bigger picture than those authors could have ever intended?

For example, on your recent answer to the Pool of Bethsaida question, you draw attention to and relevance from the 38-year infirmity of the healed man, and offer a many-minutes-long unpacking of the significance of that number and how it fits the oft-employed water theme in the book of John, etc. My question(s), as applied to this particular situation, would be something like the following:

- Was the man really suffering for exactly 38 years, or did John just pick a number that fit the metaphor he intended to convey?

- Did John know the significance of 38 years. Was he intentionally communicating as deeply as [you believe], or is that depth something the Spirit applies "at a layer above", that is, across the larger biblical narrative?"

See my discussion of John 5 here: https://alastairadversaria.com/2018/09/29/video-whats-the-deal-with-the-weird-healing-pool-in-john-5/.

If you have any questions, you can leave them on my Curious Cat account: https://curiouscat.me/zugzwanged.

If you have enjoyed these talks, please tell your friends and consider supporting me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/zugzwanged.

The audio of all of my videos is available on my Soundcloud account: https://soundcloud.com/alastairadversaria. You can also listen to the audio of these episodes on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/alastairs-adversaria/id1416351035?mt=2.

Share

FacebookTwitterRedditCopy Link

Transcript

More From Alastair Roberts

Q&A#66 Is the Elect Lady of 2 John a Woman Pastor?
Q&A#66 Is the Elect Lady of 2 John a Woman Pastor?
Alastair Roberts
October 7, 2018
Today's question: "Could the "elect lady" of 2 John be a woman pastor/elder? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2018/09/10/woman-pastor-named-in-
Q&A#67 Should Christians be Friends with Non Christians?
Q&A#67 Should Christians be Friends with Non Christians?
Alastair Roberts
October 8, 2018
Today's question: "What is your opinion on close-knit churches that teach members to not become close friends with outsiders/heathens? They teach to b
Q&A#68 Did Jephthah Kill His Daughter?
Q&A#68 Did Jephthah Kill His Daughter?
Alastair Roberts
October 9, 2018
Today's question: "Jephthah? Human sacrifice or something else?" For more on this question, see John Barach's lectures on Joshua, Judges, and Ruth: h
Michael McClymond & Gerald McDermott, 'The Theology of Jonathan Edwards'
Michael McClymond & Gerald McDermott, 'The Theology of Jonathan Edwards'
Alastair Roberts
October 3, 2018
Within this video, I review Michael McClymond and Gerald McDermott's superb book, 'The Theology of Jonathan Edwards': https://amzn.to/2yaXVsb. If you
Q&A#64 How Should We Understand the Weird Circumstances Around the Circumcision of Gershom?
Q&A#64 How Should We Understand the Weird Circumstances Around the Circumcision of Gershom?
Alastair Roberts
October 2, 2018
Today's question: "What is happening in Exodus 4 where the Lord seeks Moses' life, but Zipporah circumcises Gershom and touches Moses' feet with the f
Q&A#63 Why Did Satan Enter into Judas to Betray Jesus if He Knew the Cross Would Defeat Him?
Q&A#63 Why Did Satan Enter into Judas to Betray Jesus if He Knew the Cross Would Defeat Him?
Alastair Roberts
October 1, 2018
Today's question: "How should we understand Satan entering into Judas and his ensuing plan to betray Jesus (Luke 22:3-6)? The wilderness temptations,
More From "Alastair Roberts"

More on OpenTheo

Lydia McGrew Answered! An Introduction
Lydia McGrew Answered! An Introduction
Risen Jesus
June 7, 2024
In this episode, part 1 of 8 in a series, Dr. Licona describes his research on Gospel differences and introduces us to a critical assessment of his wo
What Apologetics Strategies Can We Use with Agnostics?
What Apologetics Strategies Can We Use with Agnostics?
#STRask
May 30, 2024
Questions about apologetics strategies to use with an agnostic who says it’s pointless to worry about whether there is a God because we can’t know if
Drinking, Merriment, and Heaven
Drinking, Merriment, and Heaven
For The King
May 8, 2024
What is the biblical view of alcohol? https://fortheking.substack.com/p/drinking-merriment-and-heaven Parallel Christian Economy * ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Ref
Pentecost and the Gift of the Spirit (with Rev Benjamin Miller)
Pentecost and the Gift of the Spirit (with Rev Benjamin Miller)
Alastair Roberts
May 17, 2024
My friend Benjamin Miller joins me for a seasonal discussion of Pentecost and the gift of the Spirit. Follow my Substack, the Anchored Argosy, at htt
#219 Title Why don’t I hear from God any more? (Replay)
#219 Title Why don’t I hear from God any more? (Replay)
Ask NT Wright Anything
May 30, 2024
Join Tom today as he sits down to answer a fresh batch of questions from listeners who are having trouble hearing from God. Nicole asks why 'Ask and y
Petrus Van Mastricht's Theoretical-Practical Theology with Todd Rester
Petrus Van Mastricht's Theoretical-Practical Theology with Todd Rester
Life and Books and Everything
May 1, 2024
What are you doing with your life? Todd Rester is using a big chunk of his life to translate a seventeenth-century Dutch theologian's magnum opus (all
Lydia McGrew Answered! On Gospel Differences
Lydia McGrew Answered! On Gospel Differences
Risen Jesus
June 26, 2024
In this episode, part 7 in an 8 part series, Dr. Licona reviews several events in the Gospels to demonstrate how compositional devices are more plausi
What Should I Say to a Reformed Christian Who Dismisses Many Non-Believers as Lost Causes?
What Should I Say to a Reformed Christian Who Dismisses Many Non-Believers as Lost Causes?
#STRask
June 13, 2024
Questions about the best way to respond to someone who believes in double predestination and who dismisses many non-believers as lost causes and wheth
#223 Pastoral questions on porn, personal tragedy and coming back to faith (replay)
#223 Pastoral questions on porn, personal tragedy and coming back to faith (replay)
Ask NT Wright Anything
June 27, 2024
Tom answers listener’s pastoral questions including a person racked by guilt over whether his wife’s miscarriages were a judgment on his porn addictio
Lydia McGrew Answered! Are the Gospels Greco-Roman Biographies?
Lydia McGrew Answered! Are the Gospels Greco-Roman Biographies?
Risen Jesus
June 10, 2024
In this episode, part 2 of 8 in a series, Dr. Licona answers Lydia McGrew's contention that the Gospels are not affiliated with Greco-Roman biography.
How Can I Convince Someone They Shouldn’t Rely on AI to Find Truth?
How Can I Convince Someone They Shouldn’t Rely on AI to Find Truth?
#STRask
July 4, 2024
Questions about how to show someone that relying on AI for answers is a flawed way of finding truth, the role personal testimony should play in apolog
Is Matthew 23:23 an Argument for Social Justice?
Is Matthew 23:23 an Argument for Social Justice?
#STRask
May 13, 2024
Questions about how to respond to someone who uses Matthew 23:23 as an argument for social justice and what to say to a family member who argues that
Why Weren’t the Israelites Explicitly Forbidden to Practice Polygamy?
Why Weren’t the Israelites Explicitly Forbidden to Practice Polygamy?
#STRask
June 20, 2024
Questions about how to reconcile the biblical model of marriage with polygamy in the Old Testament, why the Israelites weren’t explicitly forbidden to
#222 What if I’m not really saved? (replay)
#222 What if I’m not really saved? (replay)
Ask NT Wright Anything
June 20, 2024
Can We Lose Our Salvation? Join us this week as Tom addresses common doubts that crop up time and again from our listener's questions. Do you ever que
Casey Luskin: Debunking the Myth of Junk DNA
Casey Luskin: Debunking the Myth of Junk DNA
Knight & Rose Show
June 22, 2024
Wintery Knight and Desert Rose interview Dr. Casey Luskin about junk DNA. Is your DNA assembled by undirected forces, or is it intelligently designed?