Arnold, Clinton, 3 Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare (Baker, 240 pp); hereafter abbreviated as "3Q's"
Page, Sydney, Powers of Evil: A Biblical Study of Satan and Demons (Baker, 295 pp); hereafter abbreviated as "PE"
Noll, Stephen, Angels of Light, Powers of Darkness: Thinking Biblically About Angels, Satan & Principalities (Intervarsity, 250); hereafter abbreviated as "ALPD"
* You should know that, although I consider your textbooks quite good, you will notice when you read my article (see below) that I disagree with certain of their conclusions. Don't let this bother you. You are not required to agree with me or your texts, and I have made an effort to stick to the texts when it comes to answering questions. You should, however, be prepared to detect these differences when questions merit such distinction.
* You must also have a Bible (it is advisable to consult more than one version) AND A CONCORDANCE to do many of the assignments. The concordance at the back of your Bible is NOT sufficient.
* You may also need to consult commentaries and other material. See the bibliography at the end of the learning agreement for suggestions.
Recommended Methodology for Learning Experiences:
As a way to assist you in getting the most out of the learning experiences below, I suggest you do the following:
1) Read the required textbook reading first. Make a sincere effort at understanding the material– with particular attention to material that relates to the questions.
2) Read through the questions in the assignment.
3) Check my website (under the appropriate class title) for any hints in regard to the questions. "Hints" refers to the notations I sometimes include that, in a sentence or two, give you the gist of the article and or the point of the question(s) I have asked you to read in conjunction with the required texts. If you do not have internet access, let me know right away so I can provide a hard copy of any hints.
4) Read any extra articles and complete the assignment.
Assignment 1:The Divine Council
Read ALPD chs. 1-2 (ch. 2 is especially important); PE ch. 2 (pages 54-65, 78-80 only); Psalms 82 and 89, I Kings 22, and Job 1-2; and the following articles:
Read my article, "Deuteronomy 32:8-9 and the Sons of God" – this is scheduled for January 2001 publication in Dallas Seminary's journal Bibliotheca Sacra. I have also posted it on my website. This article contains a text-critical discussion that you don't need to comprehend fully, but also contains an evangelical introduction to the divine council – the article is REQUIRED for this class.
In a total of 4-7 pages, answer the following questions:
1) Look up all the occurrences in the Old Testament of the phrase "sons of God" (this exact phrase) – are they human beings?
2) In Psalm 82:1 (and other places in the Old Testament), other gods (plural use of the word "elohim") are said to exist – how do you explain this (cf. my article for help)?How can this be affirmed without being polytheism?
3) Read Genesis 18-19, Isaiah 6 and Ezekiel 1 and 10 – are these the same kinds of angelic beings? Is there more than one kind of "angel"?
4) From the biblical material you have read, as well as your textbook, summarize the biblical proof for a COUNCIL of God
5) Read Genesis 1:26-27; 3:22; and 11:1-9 – who is referred to by the plural pronoun "us"? What are the interpretive options? You will most likely need a good commentary on Genesis to answer this fully.
6) What is the point of Deut. 32:8-9 (following the Septuagint reading; cf. my article) in the context of Genesis 11?
Assignment 2 – Angels and Creation
Read ALPD ch. 3 and, in a total of 3-5 pages, answer the following questions:
1) Can you prove biblically that the angels were (a) created by God, and (b) created before the initial creation event?In other words, are there verses that SAY or imply these things, or is the impression in the Bible that angels are "already there" at creation? You may have to use a concordance, and don't expect to find good material just looking up "angels" – use the biblical phrases to search for angelic beings – "sons of God", "heavenly host", etc. (use the Anchor Bible articles from assignment 1 to help you with phrases).
2) Read Genesis 1:26-27 again carefully, and think through these questions logically: Do angels share the divine image? Is there something shared between us and angels? Did the angels "co-create" humans (defend your answer using THIS text)? For help, read my sermon notes from a message I preached on the image of God. It's posted on my website at www.professorheiser.com
Assignment 3 – Satan, his fall, and the fall of other divine beings
Read ALPD chs. 5; PE ch. 1, 2, and 5 (read all of chapter 2 again, re-reading the pages you had for Assignment 1); read Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, Genesis 2-3, and Genesis 6:1-4.In a total of 5-8 pages, answer the following questions:
1) Is "Satan" a person? What is he like? Are there differences between the Old Testament revelation concerning "Satan" and the New Testament revelation?
2) Re-read Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19.WHY do you suppose "the Shining One" (Lucifer / Helel in Hebrew) fell from grace (an answer of "pride" isn't sufficient – the answer needs to focus on WHAT caused him to be puffed up and offended). Hint: consider the nature of humans and angelic beings – who was superior (give me Scripture) and who was put in charge of Eden – the dwelling place of God and His council?(See below in regard to the descriptions of Eden for this equation).
3) Re-read the short paragraph (actually, a few sentences) in my article relating to the place where the divine council met. Compare Genesis 2-3, Isaiah 14:12-15, and Ezekiel 28:11-19.What do you notice about the descriptions of Eden in Genesis and Ezekiel? What are the similarities and differences between the descriptions of the entity in Ezekiel 28, the "serpent", and the cherubim (a plural word, remember) assigned to guard the entrance to Eden? What do you think went on in Eden at the Fall?
4) What happened in Genesis 6:1-4? What are the interpretive options scholars have offered to explain this passage? Of what importance are Jude and 2 Peter for correctly interpreting Genesis 6:1-4 (see PE, 235-238)? Do you agree with Page's (PE) assessment of the passage?
5) Who were the nephilim? Using a concordance, trace these individuals through the Old Testament. NOTE: the nephilim were also known by other names (cf. Numbers 13:33 for example):Anakim (sons of Anak), Rephaim, Zamzummim, Emim. Where do these individuals show up in the Old Testament and how were they distinguished visually? Do you see any relationship to their presence in Genesis 6 and later Israelite encounters with them?
Assignment 4 – The Angel of the LORD and other "deity figures"
Read ALPD ch. 4 and, using a concordance, find ALL the places in the Old Testament where the angel of the LORD appears and read them carefully (you need to include the phrase "my angel" for this). In a total of 4-7 pages, answer the following questions:
1) Are Yahweh (the LORD) and His Angel the same person or different individuals? What is there about THIS particular angelic being that creates the impression he is possibly God? If you don't think this angel is a deity, how do you account for passages such as Exodus 3:1-2 and other occasions where the Angel of the LORD mouths the words of God (such as the covenant with Abraham, given originally in Gen. 12:1-3) while using the first person pronoun ("I said to you …)?
2) If God is a spirit (according to Jesus in John 4:24), how do you account for Genesis 18 (one of the three "men" is the LORD) and Exodus 24:1-11 (esp. verse 10)? Might these be other appearances of the Angel of the LORD – what similarities are there between these accounts and those where the phrase "angel of the LORD" actually occurs? If these are other appearances, what are the implications for the Old Testament doctrine of God? What are the implications for Jewish evangelism? (Jews, of course, insist that God is only one person, and that he can never be seen).
3) Look up the following passages: Exodus 14:19-24 (esp. verse 19); 16:10; 34:5; 40:34-38. What do these passages suggest?
4) In light of PE pp. 84-86 (see esp. the charts), do you think it is possible that there is a connection between Jesus and the Angel of the LORD? Why or why not?
5) Read Daniel 7:1-14 (esp. 9-14) – but NOT in the KJV (it's a poor translation here).Do you notice a difference between this throne room scene and that in Isaiah 6? What is it? Who is the Ancient of Days? Who is the Son of Man? Jewish commentators have struggled with this passage in regard to their doctrine of God and angels- why? Of what significance is this passage to Mark 15:53-64? What was Jesus claiming here?
Assignment 5 – Functions of Angels
Read ALPD chs. 7,8 and the Conclusion. In a total of 3-5 pages:(1) summarize what angels do in the Bible; and (2) tell me what you think of pp. 170-172 (guardian angels).
Assignment 6 – Principalities and Powers, Spiritual Warfare, and Demonic Possession
Read PE chs. 3,4, and 6, as well as ALL of Clinton Arnold's 3Q's.In 5-8 pages, answer the following questions:
1) What is meant by the term "spiritual warfare"?
2) Do S. Page and C. Arnold agree or disagree on whether Christians can or should engage in spiritual warfare? What are their reasons?(Be specific in your answers and elaborate on your reading of these authors).
3) Do they agree or disagree on whether believers can be demon possessed? How do they argue their positions?