Judah Praised, Triumphant, And Reigning In The Coming One: An Exposition Of Genesis 49:8-12 -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 19:1 (Winter 2010)
Article: Judah Praised, Triumphant, And Reigning In The Coming One: An Exposition Of Genesis 49:8-12
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Judah Praised, Triumphant, And Reigning In The Coming One: An Exposition Of Genesis 49:8-121

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Lewis Johnson served as a teaching elder and regularly ministered the Word at Believers Chapel in Dallas, Texas for more than thirty years. During his academic career he held professorships in New Testament and Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. At the time of his death in 2004 he was Professor Emeritus of New Testament Literature and Exegesis at Dallas Seminary. Both MP3 files and printed notes of Dr. Johnson’s sermons and theological lectures may be downloaded from the web site of the SLJ Institute «www.sljinstitute.net».


It is a prevalent view of modern theology that the early church is responsible for the view that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled in his life and ministry the Old Testament Scriptures, although he is not really there at all. In fact, modern scholarship pictures the church as ransacking the Old Testament to find texts to “prove” that Jesus was the Messiah. The names of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were noms de plume, i.e., pen names, but they were not the real authors. Unknown members of a day later than our Lord are responsible for the gospels.

There are many flaws in this scheme of things. In the first place, it discounts objective Christian tradition for the subjective speculations of scholars notorious for changing views. Second, it assumes that the early church had no interest in the factuality of Jesus’ life, a thoroughly unnatural perception of human psychology.

More fundamental, however, is the conviction of many scholars that predictive prophecy is impossible. Contrary to most liberal scholars, Rudolph Bultmann was very honest in acknowledging his own presupposition that there are no miracles in our day. All of our history,

he claimed, occurs within a closed continuum, and in it everything proceeds according to natural law.2

R. P. Carroll, the author of When Prophecy Failed, sympathizes with the view that God can foresee the range of things that may happen, but he cannot see what is to happen. What is to happen depends on the exercise of human freedom. What Carroll has is a limited God, an ungodded God!3

These humorless scholars, who apparently fail to recognize their assumptions, remind me of the well-known Chinese proverb, “To prophesy is exceedingly difficult, especially with regard to the future.”

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