Some Thoughts on SJ Thomason’s Response to Elisha Ben Abuya

via Some Thoughts on SJ Thomason’s Response to Elisha Ben Abuya


Some Thoughts on SJ Thomason’s Response to Elisha Ben Abuya

The Amateur Exegete

In December Twitter user Elisha Ben Abuya posted to his blog a piece on Isaiah 53. In it he lays out his case that the passage which Christians attribute to divine prophecy about Jesus is actually about Israel and is hardly prophetic at all. He wrote,

My intent was to show that Isaiah 53 needs to be read COMPLETELY with the other chapters.

And if you pull out chapter 53 and threw it away, and you had to guess what it would have to say, based on all of the other chapters before and after.

The individual words of one chapter are not as important as the complete package.

And isn’t that something that Christians are always complaining about? “You are taking it out of context!”


In response to his post, pop-apologist SJ Thomason posted a rebuttal that not only completely misses the point of Elisha’s work but…

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Michael D. Coogan: Three Different Versions of the Ten Commandments

The Amateur Exegete

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Literary and Historical Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 123.

It is important to note that the Bible contains three different versions of the Decalogue. The first is in Exodus 20.2-17; in its present form, it has been edited by P; note especially the reference to Genesis 1’s account of creation in six days (Ex 20.11). The version found in Deuteronomy 5.6-21 is largely the same as that found in Exodus 20, although there are some differences, most notably in the motivation given for the sabbath (Deut. 5.15; compare Ex 20.11), and in the separation of the coveting of the neighbor’s wife and property into two separate commandments.

Yet another version of the Decalogue is found in Exodus 34, in the context of the episode of the golden calf….When he sees what has been going on, an angry Moses breaks…

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Evangelical Eisegesis: A Dalliance with Daniel, part 1

The Amateur Exegete

“Fulfilled prophecies are what distinguish the Bible from other holy texts and are evidence of direct revelations by God.” – SJ Thomason.1

In a bid to demonstrate the superiority of Christianity and the significance of Jesus of Nazareth, pop-apologists often appeal to so-called prophecies found in the Hebrew scriptures that are “fulfilled” in the events described in the New Testament. Theirs is a hermeneutic born of the New Testament authors themselves as those first and second century writers frequently appealed to passages in the Tanakh as proof of Jesus’ divine authority.2 More often than not those appeals are eisegetical; they read into the text what they want to get out of it. This tendency has plagued Christianity for the entirety of its history as it sought to place itself into the Jewish stream in which the historical Jesus and his teachings first arose.

Not that long ago…

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