Semănătorul

Semănătorul   (The Sower)

The Journal of Ministry and Biblical Research

Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania

Volume 4, Number 2.

Articles published by the Faculty of Theology in Emanuel
University of Oradea, and International Contributors,
October 2023.

DESTRUCTION AND DISPOSSESSION OF THE CANAANITES IN THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

David M Howard, Jr.

ABSRTACT
In Joshua 6:17–21, we encounter the first significant discussion in the book of the related concepts of setting the Canaanites apart for destruction and driving them out of the land. The supposed “genocide” of the Canaanites is one of the most vexing questions in the entire Old Testament and a leading reason that many people dismiss the Old Testament as hopelessly barbaric, so an examination of the issues here is in order.
We will discuss this in five discrete sections: (1) the idea of setting people or things apart to the Lord for destruction; (2) the idea of driving out the Canaanites from the land; (3) the concept of “Yahweh war” (also known as “holy war”); (4) the ethics of Yahweh war; and (5) the New Testament and violence.
KEY WORDS: The Canaanites, inheriting the land, dispossession, holy war, violence.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.58892/TS.swr4210

THE BOOK OF ACTS: FOUNDATIONAL ISSUES

Peter Firth

ABSRTACT
This article focuses on two issues that relate to the study of the book of Acts: the literary relationship between the third Gospel and the book of Acts and the purpose Acts. Often deemed as “introductory” or “foundational matters”, clear thinking on these areas is essential for a correct understanding and interpretation of Acts (and indeed the third Gospel). The article examines and evaluates various scholarly proposals about both issues before drawing certain conclusions. With respect to the issue of literary relationship, the discussion follows the four-fold schema set out by I.H. Marshall. It concludes that the Third Gospel and Acts are best viewed as a two-volume work. With respect to the issue of purpose, six distinct proposals are investigated and assessed before concluding that the main purpose of Acts (and the third Gospel) is pastoral in nature. Whilst recognizing that this is the strongest of the six proposals, it does not exclude the possibility of subsidiary purposes.
KEY WORDS: Luke, Acts, unity, purpose, pastoral.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.58892/TS.swr4220

THE LOVE CHAPTER, 1 CORINTHIAN 13, AND ITS SETTING WITHIN THE EPISTLE

Robert Murdock

ABSRTACT
I Corinthians 13 has often been used in isolation from the context in which it  finds itself. This popular use of it as a separate entity has also been how it is studied in many academic studies where both the unity of the chapter and its  setting in the epistle as a whole has been questioned. The two transitional clauses in 12:31b “And I will show you a still more excellent way” and 14:1a “Pursue love…” have been interpreted as editorial linkages. Yet, this article will maintain that, for example, verses 4-7 are far from detached from the situation at Corinth, where virtually every behavioural problem at Corinth is mentioned. It is clear that in many writings, speakers can break off from the use of prose and actually draw upon the help of poetry to express themselves. There is a strong connection between Paul’s exaltation of love and the problems relating to the exercising of spiritual gifts as discussed in chapters 12 and 14. The place of chapter 13 should not be assessed as much from a literary perspective as to seek to note the theological connections between it and the gift chapters.
KEY WORDS: Love, Greek and Hebrew poetry, edification of the church, exercising spiritual gifts, spiritual gratification.

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.58892/TS.swr4230

THE CONCEPT OF PROPITIATION IN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST

Hamilton Moore

ABSRTACT
The English word “propitiation” (Greek hilastērion) is not in common theological use today. Modern theology has generally become uneasy with it. The aversion to it is because the idea is associated with the sense of appeasing an angry deity brought in from pagan use and practice. This has resulted in the removal of the traditional translation “propitiation” with many modern English Bible translations preferring “expiation,” or “atoning sacrifice,” or some other general phrase.
Thus, for example, while the New King James Version of Romans 3:25 is  translated, “whom God set forth as a propitiation,” and the English Standard Version, “whom God put forward as a propitiation,” other modern translations are different. The New International Version is rather, “sacrifice of atonement;” Revised Standard Version has “an expiation by his blood;” Common English Bible, “place of sacrifice;” The Bible in Basic English, “the sign of his mercy.” This article insists that we must not just reject the use of the word propitiation simply because it was wrongly understood in pagan quarters. It conveys something vital when we come to consider what God has done for us in Christ. Until recently, many understood by this word that the death of Christ has effected the removal of the wrath of God and made us the recipients of his mercy. The cross brought satisfaction to violated justice.
KEY WORDS: Propitiation, expiation, wrath of God, love of God, penal substitution.

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.58892/TS.swr4240

WHO INVENTED WHAT? EXPLORING THE ROLE OF THE NORTH WESTERN SEMITIC ALPHABET UPON THE FORMATION OF MODERN EUROPEAN LANGUAGES

Aurelian Botica

ABSRTACT
It is an accepted fact that, with some exceptions, the ancient Greek and Latin languages served as the basis for the formation of most of the Western (modern) languages. However, what remains less known is that the Greeks borrowed the alphabet letters from the North-Western Semitic alphabet of the 2nd millenium BCE. This alphabet was used by Phoenicians, Arameans, Hebrews and the Moabites beginning with the early second millenium and was borrowed by the early Greeks from Phoenician merchants in the later part of the second millenium and the beginning of the first millenium BCE. In this article we will explore the issue of the revolutionary contribution that the North-Western semitic alphabet had upon the cultures of the Ancient Near East (including Egypt, Canaan, Mesopotamia and Siria).2 The transition from a system that used hundreds of pictograms and signs (the cuneiform and hierogliphic alphabets) to an alphabet of only 22 linear letters marked one of the most important, yet neglected, innovations in ancient history. The purpose of our article is to draw on both ancient and contemporary scholarship in order to show how this revolutionary alphabet influenced the Greek and Latin alphabets (and implicitly the languages themselves) and the impact that this event had upon the formation of the modern European languages.
KEY WORDS: Greek, Latin, North Western Semitic, alphabet, languages

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.58892/TS.swr4250

THE PARABLE OF THE GREAT BANQUET: MINISTRY CHALLENGES IN LUKE 14

Ovidiu Hanc

ABSRTACT
The parables of Jesus encapsulate the theology of the Kingdom of God. Since Jesus used to teach many things in parables it is impossible to define a theology of ministry outside this framework that compresses a thorough understanding of this concept. There are several narratives as the sending of the twelve and the great commission mandate in the Gospels, however The Parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14, rooted in the Isaianic divine feast, is a parable that reflects not only a grace-based universal invitation but also some ministry challenges that arise with the refusal of such an offer.
KEY WORDS: Parables, kingdom community, Pharisees, banquet, challenges

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.58892/TS.swr4260

THE FRUITS OF TRUE CONVERSION IN JONATHAN EDWARDS’ «RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS»

Dinu Moga

ABSRTACT
This presentation offers to examine some of the most wonderful truths discussed by Edwards in his treatise on Religious Affections. I will seek to establish the nature of true godliness and to explain what constitutes a true believer and how we can distinguish him from a hypocrite. The subject is a very practical one and requires to be treated from a very practical point of view. The stress was laid on the inclinations of the heart. The whole objective is to prove that a man’s act must be the proper evidence of the state of the heart. In Edwards’s terms this is called Christian practice and is evidenced by its fruits. After an analysis of the fruits of true conversion we conclude with Edwards that Christian practice ‘is a great and distinguishing sign of true and saving grace’.
From the general presentation of the fruits of true conversion I have moved to present a fruit that is absolutely essential to true spirituality: evangelical humiliation. Our interest is first to differentiate between legal humiliation, inappropriate for the true converted believer, and evangelical humiliation, absolutely necessary in the life of the truly converted believer. From there we proceed to discover how evangelical humiliation originates and then manifests itself in the life of the believer.
Our conclusion is in saying with Edwards that all Christian affections flow out to Christ from a pure and broken heart.
KEY WORDS: affections, conversion, hypocrite, inclination of the heart, fruits,
true spirituality, saving grace, evangelical humiliation.

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.58892/TS.swr4270