Thursday, February 5, 2009

Study Bible Notes Compared 3: Ezekiel 40-43

Ezekiel describes a temple in chapters 40 - 43. The debate over this passage is whether or not this is a literal temple or is it intended to be understood figuratively. First let me say how I decide what passages I comment on. Generally speaking it has to do with something I'm already reading. In this case the topic came up because of a chapter in a new book from Baker Academic, The Case for Historic Premilliennialism, which touched on this issue and prompted me to pull out my study Bibles. What did I find? I looked at six study Bibles. The NLT Study Bible provided a small note but then offers three extended articles on the topic: "Temple Architecture as Theology", "Temple Legislation as Theology", and "Israel's Geography as Theology". It clearly states that this is "not a blueprint for future construction." The articles are very well done but it is all from one viewpoint. The Life Application Study Bible offers four views as does the ESV Study Bible. The latter does add that this is "one of the most difficult passages in the entire Bible." The MacArthur Study Bible only offers one view. I've come to expect this from the single-author study Bibles. The NIV Study Bible only offers one view as an "idealized picture of a new order to be put in place." My first choice this time goes to the Life Application Study Bible and the ESV Study Bible for interpretive options and the NLT Study Bible for the most extensive explanation from one particular viewpoint. I was disappointed in the NIV Study Bible this time around. I did look at the NET Bible but they had no comment. Next time I'll look at Genesis 6 and "Who are the Sons of God?"

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