The Living God

by Rev. Jefferson Vann

When the early Christian Church set out to define herself in the first few centuries after the ascension of Christ, the creeds she produced indicated that her primary concern was the nature of God. From these early creeds developed a set of standards that still stand as tests of orthodoxy. From the seeming paradox of God’s unity and three-ness the doctrine of the trinity developed. Other definite standards of theology proper were also set, for example: God is immutable and infinite as regarding time (eternal), space (omnipresent), power (omnipotent), and knowledge (omniscient). These descriptions are derived from a reading of what the Scriptures assert concerning God, including the various titles of God given in Scripture.

Not every title of God in Scripture has been given equal footing when it comes to establishing orthodoxy in theology proper. Some titles are quite obscure and are not understood well, thus are less frequently quoted. One such title, The Living God, deserves more careful attention than it has been given by theologians to date. It relates to certain attributes of deity. Those attributes are power and permanence. Living God implies that God is more powerful than his enemies, exists exclusively in a different category than the gods of the nations, and will exist eternally – long after they have perished.

In the Old Testament the term is used in a variety of contexts, sometimes in fear of God, sometimes in confidence in God. The first undisputed reference to the Living God in the Masoretic Text is Deuteronomy 5:26.Here Moses recounts to the Israelites how they reacted when YHWH revealed himself to them on Mt. Sinai. They begged for Moses to intercede on their behalf so that they would not have to experience that miracle again! Their question is telling of their relationship with this God: “For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of fire as we have, and has still lived?”

This reaction is somewhat understandable when one remembers that these are the Hebrews who had seen first-hand the mighty acts of God against Pharaoh in Egypt. The plagues that came upon the Egyptians were a judgment from God and a display of who he was. The “Exodus was essentially a statement concerning God, not humans. This event was to reveal God’s glory first, and then secondarily bring about human redemption. That vision of God’s redeeming glory would serve as the focus of the redeemed community’s motivation to serve him.”[1] But in Deut. 5:26 the memory of God’s power displayed in the violence of the Exodus, coupled with the violent display on Mt. Sinai, motivated the Israelites to fear God, not serve him.

“Proximity to the holy God … proved uncomfortable for them. They feared for their very lives (vv. 24-26). Having survived one such encounter, they did not wish to risk further contact with the Holy. Instead, they requested Moses to mediate their dialogue with YHWH (v. 28).”[2]

The term they used for God there spoke of the sharp distinction between YHWH and those discarded gods of Egypt. They were gods of tradition and superstition, but he was the Living God. They probably could not have explained all the details of that sharp distinction, but for them it undoubtedly existed. They saw YHWH as different from the gods of the nations, and that difference was reason enough to keep a respectable distance.

The Hebrew of the phrase from this verse ((~yYI÷x; ~yhi’l{a/) is the most complete used for the title. The same phrase is found in 1 Samuel 17:26, 36; Jeremiah 10:10, 23:36. The same concept is implied by the phrase (yx;ê ~yhiäl{a/) found in 2 Kings 19:4, 16; Isaiah 37:4, 17. The shortest way of expressing the concept is simply (yx;Þ laeî) found in Joshua 3:10; Psalm 42:2; 84:2. The Greek terms used in the Septuagint are a variety of case-forms of the noun qeo.j and the participle zw/n, derived from the verb za,w. Altogether the term is found 35 times in the Bible.

Many other titles of YHWH are more well known, in spite of the fact that they occur less frequently in the text. El-Shaddai (yD:v; laeÛ) for example, only occurs five times. The frequency of the occurrence of the phrase Living God, along with the special contexts in which the term is found, implies that the term should have a more prominent place in our theological vocabularies.

Joshua picked up on the fear factor of Deut. 5:26 and harnessed it in favor of the Israelites. He said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites.” Once again the term is used with a strong connection to the violent power of God manifested by the miracles of Exodus. Perhaps there is also an allusion to that power manifested on Sinai that gave the Israelites such timidity.

Another idea can be inferred from Joshua’s use – one that might have been connected with the term all along. YHWH is among his people, thus not one of these seven nations can stand up against them, because of the Living God among them. The miracle power of Exodus is present to support the Israelites in their conquest of the land. The term appears to have been “turned into a liturgical formula in Judaism.”[3]As such it served to encourage Joshua’s armies as they prepared for battle to gain the land promised to them by God.

The fear of God that had been manifested by the Israelites at Sinai is now seen on the faces of the pagan nations in Canaan. Rahab puts it this way,

“I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.”[4]

The assertion is that YHWH is stronger than the local gods of Canaan, thus the Israelites are a people to be feared. So Joshua turns that Sinai fear to good use for his people, as a motivation for courage in battle, and resolve to get on with the conquest. Their hearts are strengthened while the hearts of the people in the seven nations are melting with fear. Their fortified cities are no match to a people whose God can defeat the Egyptians and the Amorites.

For Joshua, “The living God characterizes the Lord as one who lives and acts, contrasted with the pagan gods, who are ‘dead,’ that is, unable to act and save their peoples.”[5] His expectation is that “victory over the inhabitants of the land will confirm who is living and who is dead.”[6] The conquest was a god contest.

The next occurrence of the phrase is also in the context of the conflict between pagan nations and Israel. The voice is that of a young shepherd named David who is angered at the human giant who dares to challenge the armies of the divine conquering God.

“And David said to the men who stood by him, ‘What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? … Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.’”[7]

Whereas Joshua had invoked the term to encourage an army to fight, David invokes the term to the chagrin of an army who had refused to fight. But the same imagery emerges from the term itself. The God who defeated Pharaoh’s army and the Ammonites, etc., is certainly not at the mercy of this uncircumcised Philistine, no matter how tall he is. The Living God is taller.

David is not only inspired to make his boast because of the nation’s victories in the past, but also because of his own personal experiences of victory, which he attributes to the presence of the Living God with him in the fields. The lions and bears had to fall because of the presence of God accompanying the shepherd.

According to Keck, David “sees clearly what Saul and the rest of Israel apparently do not: that to respond only in terms of the Philistine trust in force of arms leaves them in the clutches of fear and death, but to understand the Philistine offense as being against a living God is to open up powerful and unexpected resources for life.”[8] But the conflict is not merely between the might of the Philistine army and YHWH with his army. The god of the Philistines is also a player. David asserts that YHWH is the Living God. Who, then, is the god of the Philistines? Radmacher says that “there are two battles here. One is the outer battle on the field; the other is the inner battle in the king’s tent!”[9] Actually, there are three battles. The third is the battle to determine who the living God is.

So far, the term Living God has been used in two types of context. The first is fear of God’s violent display of power. The second is national conflict, where God must defend his reputation by delivering his people powerfully and miraculously. Another example of the latter type is found in 2 Kings 19.

It may be that the LORD your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the LORD your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.” Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God.[10]

The parallels between this story and the preceding one are remarkable. Both involve a pagan who taunts the Israelites (Goliath and Rabshakeh). Both exhibit a fearful king (Saul and Hezekiah). Both kings are addressed by a man of God (David and Isaiah). This story makes it clear that a conflict of the gods is in progress. The King of Assyria boasts that none of the gods of the other nations were able to deliver them (18:33-35; 19:10-13). Hezekiah reacts as one does when he hears blasphemy: he tears his garment. “Hezekiah’s hope was that God, having been ridiculed by the Assyrians, would act on behalf of his people and prove that He was the true and living God by granting a miraculous deliverance to His people.”[11]

Freeman comments “The Assyrian monuments give evidence of a custom that illustrates the haughty language of this verse. It was the practice of Assyrian conquerors to take the idols that they found in the temples of the people whom they subdued and carry them to Assyria, and put them in Assyrian temples as captive gods.[12] Ironically, Israel had no national idol for the Assyrians to capture. Overholt adds “The thing to note is the contrast drawn between the effective power of the ‘no gods’, who could not save their own nations, and Yahweh, whom Hezekiah feels certain will be able to deliver his.”[13]

God, through a miracle again, kills 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night, and eventually causes Sennacherib’s own sons to assassinate him. The effect of this deliverance was to once again accentuate the difference between Israel’s Living God and all other gods. The information found here in 2 Kings 19 is reproduced in Isaiah 37, along with the two references to (yx;ê ~yhiäl{a/) (37:4, 17).

The title finds its way into the Psalms as well. Psalm 42:2 states “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” The entire psalm sounds like the words of one who is desperately depressed and seeks to cheer himself up. No doubt the image of a mighty, miraculous, violently powerful God is enough to overcome the depression.

Another Psalm contains the same longing, but this time in a context of joyful praise. “My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God (Psalm 84:2).” The praise appears to make up for the apparent disappointment of one who (for whatever reason) is unable to be where he wants to be – in the Lord’s presence at Jerusalem. According to Wiersbe, “life has its disappointments, but the three beatitudes in this psalm (dwelling, desiring, and depending on God) tell you how to handle them.”[14] Personal disappointments must be seen in perspective, and there is no greater cure for depression than the sustained relationship with the powerful Living God.

Jeremiah picks up the term (~yYIßx; ~yhiîl{a/), which had been used in 1 Samuel. He says “But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation.”[15] The context is again contrasting Israel’s God with the gods of the nations. The triplet parallelism helps us to understand Jeremiah’s meaning of the term “living.” Living is synonymous with true. The gods of the nations are not to be regarded as true gods, because they do not share God’s divine attributes.

This is not to say that those gods have no existence. They are not the same as the idols that Jeremiah condemns with sarcasm: “Their idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field, and they cannot speak; they have to be carried, for they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good (Jer. 10:5).” Carl F. H. Henry asserts that “Yahweh (is) the living One who, in contrast to the lifeless non-existing heathen gods, evidences his existence and presence in absolute supremacy.”[16] He thus blurs the distinction between idols (which are nothing) and gods (which are real beings who must be judged).[17] The Living God is greater than the gods because he is more powerful, and will outlast the gods of the nations. This is seen clearly in Jeremiah 10:11, which (inexplicably) uses Aramaic to say “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.” As Ackroyd comments, “The Aramaic saying (vs. 11) (is) in all probability a marginal note subsequently inserted in the text, interrupts the Hebrew but is entirely relevant, since it makes the same point that whereas Yahweh is creator of all, the other gods are not creators and must perish, an idea which is echoed in the last line of v. 15.”[18] Actually, a case could be made that the verse is not an insertion, based on the same logic.

The apostle Paul reminds us that … “For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth – as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords” – yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).” The pagans, through their idolatry are submitting to demons (1 Cor. 10:20; Revelation 9:20). Those demons will have their day in God’s divine court, and will eventually lose their authority, and their lives.[19]

Note that the latter reference makes a clear distinction between the idols and the demons. The difference is that the demons are not “true” and they are not “eternal.”

Edwards notes “Many passages … emphasize the fact that unlike Yahweh the images are impotent and lifeless; they cannot hear; they cannot stand; they cannot come to help in response to the cries for help from their people.”[20] The term Living God for YHWH indicates the opposite: He is always alive and can respond to help his people.

Jeremiah again evokes the term in his denunciation of false prophets. He advises “But ‘the burden of the LORD’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God (Jer. 23:36).” To claim to speak God’s word when you are really only speaking your mind is to deny that YHWH is the Living God. It is to equate him with those helpless gods of the nations. In Jeremiah’s day, as in our own, often the burden presented as Gods burden is someone else’s big idea. Carson points out that this is still a danger in today’s church: “In terms of declaring God’s word in the church of Christ and to an unbelieving world, the responsibility — as awesome as for the prophets of old — is to declare his ‘whole counsel,’ never tailoring it for our own ends, or deliberately making it more palatable than it is.[21]

The Old Testament book that most often refers to YHWH by this title is Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar praises the God who “lives forever” (am’Þl.[‘ yx;) (4:34) at the end of his days of humiliation. He uses the Aramaic (aY”©x; ah’äl’a/) (6:20, 26) to describe Daniel’s god, who is distinguished by his eternal reign. Here we see that being a “living God” is not just about being powerful. There is a real sense in which the other gods differ because they are temporary, while YHWH is permanent.

God is “the one who lives forever” (~l’_A[h’ yxeäB.) according to an angelic figure in Daniel 12:7. This not only verifies the words of that repentant pagan king, but also reveals another use of the concept of God’s eternal life. The angel is calling on the fact that God will live forever to validate the veracity of his statement. The phrase “as the LORD lives,”(hw”©hy>-yx;), is used numerous times in the Scriptures as a means of confirming or verifying a statement.[22] This concept, then, that God is different because he lives forever was a fundamental principle of Jewish life.

The prophet Hosea used the term Living God as well. In 1:10, he predicts a restored Israel, which is no longer (yMiä[;-al{)) (not my people), but (yx'(-lae( ynEïB.) (children of the living God). There is a hint of eternal salvation there, in that being a part of the community of the Living God suggests that believers will also live forever. These hints will be explained more fully in the New Testament.

But before traversing the so-called 400 “silent years,” one can pick up sounds in the Second Temple literature that also speak of God in terms of his eternal life. Four times in the story of “Bel and the Dragon” God is called by that title.[23] The story parodies the foolishness of idolatry, portraying Daniel as a super-sleuth who proves that idols are not alive, but God is. The term is also found in 3 Macc. 6:28.

The New Testament continues the Old Testament’s usage of the phrase, utilizing all cases of the noun Qeoj and the participle form of the verb za,w used adjectivally. This use is the same as the Septuagint corresponding to the Hebrew terms mentioned above.

The most famous New Testament use of the title is Peter’s confession of Christ, when, at a crucial point he admits “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16).” Seen against the background of the title’s usage in the Old Testament, this takes on even more significance. Jesus is much more than Elijah, or one of the prophets, because all of those persons are mortal. God, however, is the Living God (tou/ qeou/ tou/ zw/ntoj). He is able to do more than give temporary victory over one’s foes. His victory is permanent, because he is permanent. The phrase in Greek contains four definite articles, as if to emphasize that Jesus is the only Son, and God is the only Living God.[24] Often commentators, like Thiemann, ignore the term tou/ zw/ntoj entirely, even though claiming that Peter’s statement as a whole is very important.[25]  Likewise, Berge calls Peter’s confession “the focal title in the Christology of Matthew,” yet fails to comment further on the adjectival participle.[26]

At Christ’s trial, the high priest invoked the title, seeking to force him to confess blasphemy (Matt. 26:63). This shows that the term was still a popular title for God, especially when making serious affirmations. The Textus Receptus version of John 6:69 contains the title as well, apparently a gloss added as a means of harmonization. Paul uses the title in Acts 14:15 to discourage idolatry: “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.”

The apostle Paul quoted Hosea 1:10 to show that God’s grace extends to Gentiles. In 2 Cor. 3:3 he calls the Holy Spirit the Spirit of the Living God. In 2 Cor. 6:16 he calls the Church the temple of the Living God. He also praises the Thessalonian believers because they turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thess. 1:9). Here again is a reflection of the terminology used in Jer. 10:10. He uses the phrase several times in 1 Timothy, exhorting believers to recognize God’s hand in their salvation.

The writer of Hebrews uses the term four times.

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God” (3:12).

“ … how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (9:14).

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (10:31).

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering” (12:22).

His goal seems to be to encourage Jewish Christians to hold on to their faith in Christ in a time when they might be tempted to revert to the old Judaism. To revert would be to fall into the hands of the living God, something the Israelites of Deut. 5:26 did not want to do. But they have not come to Mount Sinai (emphasizing the curses of the Mosaic covenant, but Mount Zion (emphasizing the promises of the Davidic covenant).

Finally, John mentions the title in Rev. 7:2-3 .

“Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, ‘Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’”

This chapter mentions two sets of believers who are sealed with the seal of the Living God. The first are obviously Jews who believe in, and remain true to Christ. Perhaps the 144,000 represents those first-century Jews who came to Christ amidst persecution by their own brethren. The second group is multicultural, and too large to number. Perhaps these represent believers of all nations who come to Christ during this age before he returns. Both have the seal of the Living God, therefore both groups will not be utterly destroyed. Through the miracle of the resurrection, made possible only by him who lives forever, they will be united alive at the parousia. The same Living God responsible for delivering Israel from her enemies will also deliver these believers from the domination of the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet.

  1. T. France suggests that the contemporary Christian world has a real need to rediscover the fact that God is the Living God.

As far as the ordinary man in the pew is concerned, God is dead. His daily life runs its predictable, gilt edged, humdrum course without reference to God. He would, of course, be scandalized by the suggestion that God is dead, but if it were true it would make no practical difference in his life. His work, his home, his sport, his politics, yes, and even his church life, would run on very much the same.[27]

Perhaps the concept that God is alive and lives forever was such a given for the people of the early church that they felt no need to include the immortality of God in their creedal statements and doctrinal formations. But modernism and post-modernism pose a significant challenge for the believer. He must re-learn how to act and speak as if (or better, seeing that) God is forever alive. Even theologians run the risk of so compartmentalizing themselves by specialization in systems of thought that the reality of God’s eternal existence can fail to sink in.

The Bible’s assertion that God is the Living God can touch contemporary lives in the same way that it did the ancients. He can be feared, revered, loved, relied upon and longed for. But going through the motions of Christian life (and even Christian ministry) without a close personal relationship with him can lessen the chances of this happening. Even the disciplines of prayer and Bible study, without this living contact, remain unfruitful. But these disciplines may be helpful methods of achieving and maintaining that contact. Following the commands of Christ can help believers affirm the reality of God as the Living God. Obedience to all the commands of Christ makes sense because of the power and permanence of God, as expressed by the title Living God.

Responding to a society that defined “god” in a thousand different ways, the early church championed a God who was consistent in his nature and sovereign in his power. But they failed to challenge their society with a theological concept that the Bible had introduced: the permanence of God, compared to the temporary lives and reigns of the gods. The apostle Paul said that God “alone has immortality” and deserves “honor and eternal dominion” (1 Tim. 6:16). By contrast, the gods of the nations are (avsqenh/ kai. ptwca.) “weak and inferior,” and do not share God’s nature (mh. ou=sin qeoi/j).[28] Paul envisioned a time when all of Christ’s enemies (including the gods of the nations) would be put under his feet.[29] This concept of God’s power and permanence, identified by the phrase Living God in Scripture, should have had a more prominent place in the early church’s proclamation. It certainly also has a place in today’s world of postmodern pluralism.

If anyone should be making the proclamation of the truth that God is eternal, it should be Advent Christians. His exclusive immortality is one of our most cherished distinctives. Too often, we as Advent Christians have avoided preaching and teaching those distinctives for fear of offending other believers who hold to doctrines which conflict with it. The doctrine of innate immortality (borrowed from Greek philosophy) conflicts with it. The doctrine of eternal conscious torment in hell (the result of reading biblical texts about hell with an a-priori assent to innate immortality) conflicts with it.

Believers who reject conditionalism need to know that their cherished doctrines are denials of the biblical teaching of God’s exclusive immortality – which they claim to adhere to. Their doctrine of human nature (that all human beings are born immortal) needs to conform to what the Bible says about God’s nature (that he alone is immortal). Their doctrine of hell (that it is an eternal process where God has to keep sinners alive forever to torture them) rejects the fact that only the living God can be the source of eternal life, and he has not chosen to give that gift to those who refuse Christ.

It could be that conditionalists (including Advent Christians) will have a major impact on the next generation of evangelicals. But that is not likely if we remain merely known as a people who reject the traditional teachings on the nature of humanity and/or hell. It is more likely if we become known as a people who are passionate about defending what the Bible clearly says about God.

[1] Robert B., Hughes, and J. Carl Laney, Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary. (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 34.

[2] Mark E. Biddle, Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary: Deuteronomy (Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys, 2003), 117.

[3] Moshe, Weinfeld, The Anchor Bible: Deuteronomy 1-11. (New York: Doubleday, 1991), 324.

[4] Joshua 2:9-11 ESV.

[5] Robert G., Bratcher, and Barclay M. Newman. A Handbook on The Book of Joshua. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1983), 42.

[6] J. Gordon Harris, and others. New International Biblical Commentary: Joshua Judges, Ruth. (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2000), 33.

[7] 1 Samuel 17:26, 36 ESV.

[8] Leander E. Keck, and others, The New Interpreter’s Bible: Vol. II. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998), 1111.

[9] Earl D., Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen and H. Wayne House. Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary, 1 Sam. 17:1-58. (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999).

[10] 2 Kings 19:4, 16 ESV.

[11] John F.Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985)

[12] James M. Freeman,and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. Rewritten and updated by Harold J. Chadwick (North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998),271.

[13] Thomas W.Overholt, “The Falsehood of Idolatry: an Interpretation of Jeremiah 10:1-16.” Journal of Theological Studies, ns 16 (Ap 1965), 9.

[14] Warren W. Wiersbe, With the Word Bible Commentary, Psalm 84:1. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1991.

[15] Jer.10:10 ESV.

[16] Carl F. H. Henry, “The Living God of the Bible.”Southern Baptist Journal of Theology, 1 Spr 1997. 16-31.

[17] cf. Psalm 82:1, where God stands in judgment over the gods.  Those are not human rulers, as some suppose. The term “god” (~yhla) is consistently used in the Psalms for YHWH or the gods of the nations.

[18] Peter J. Ackroyd, “Jeremiah 10:1-16.” Journal of Theological Studies, ns 14 (O 1963), 389.

[19] cf. Psalm 82:7-8.

[20] Edward M.Curtis, “The Theological Basis for the Prohibition of Images in the Old Testament.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 28/3 (September 1985), 277-278.

[21] D. A. Carson,New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition. Rev. ed. of: The new Bible commentary. 3rd ed. / edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970. 4th ed., Je 23:9. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.

[22] Cf.Jdg. 8:19; Ruth 3:13; 1 Sam. 14:39, 45, 19:6, 20:3, 21, 25:26, 26:10, 16, 28:10, 29:6; 2 Sam. 4:9, 12:5, 14:11, 15:21; 1 Ki. 1:29, 2:24, 22:14; 2 Ki. 2:2, 4, 6, 4:30, 5:16, 20; 2 Chr. 18:13; Jer. 4:2, 5:2, 12:16, 16:14f, 23:7f, 38:16; Hos. 4:15. See also the variation “as God lives” in 2 Sam. 2:27; Job 27:2.

[23] 1:5, 1:6, 1:24, 1:25.

[24]o` cristo.j o` ui`o.j tou/ qeou/ tou/ zw/ntojÅ

[25] Ronald F. Thiemann, “Matthew’s Christology: A Resource for Systematic Theology.” Currents in Theology and Mission, 4, D 1977, 350. Note how Thiemann shortens the statement to “Christ, the Son of God.”

[26] Paul S. Berge, “Exposition of Matthew 16:13-20,” Interpretation, 29 Jl 1975, 283.

[27] R. TFrance, The Living God. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1970), 10.

[28] cf. Gal. 4:8-9.

[29] 1 Cor. 15:25

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