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On the Apostolic Preaching Paperback – November 1, 1997
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Why three stars? This particular binding is one of the worst quality books I have ever seen, the brand new book arrived rippled and unevenly put together, the text itself is a clearly pixely scan of an earlier edition, printed in such a way that the ink bleads into the paper, like a cheap inkjet.
The text is excellent, but this was an exhausting read, simply due to the horrible quality of the text. Cheap airport novels come in a higher quality binding. For the price paid I'd expect better.
-Irenaeus, On the Apostolic Preaching
Who was Irenaeus?
Irenaeus was basically the Luke Skywalker of the Early Church: Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp, Polycarp was a disciple of John, and John was a disciple of Jesus.
He is fantastic. Irenaeus will make the Old Testament more exciting than the New Testament. By proxy, the New Testament will become even more exciting than it was before, and the never-ending feedback loop will keep growing until you die—and see the real thing.
The Angry God of the Old Testament?
“Why is the God of the Old Testament so angry?” We’ve probably heard that question asked, and it was the first controversy in the 2nd century of the Church. Is the God of the Old Testament different than the God of the New Testament? No.
Types & Shadows
What is so significant about the flawed Patriarchs? Adam eats the forbidden fruit, Noah gets drunk, Abraham lies, Moses kills a man, David kills a man and sleeps with his wife, and the Prophets weren’t perfect either (see Jonah).
“Prefiguring” the Messiah “Anointed One”
Yet, according to Irenaeus, all of the Patriarch “prefigure” the coming Messiah. The word Messiah means “anointed one”, and many of the Patriarch’s were referred to as messiahs “anointed ones”.
A Tale of Two Trees
The Old Testament is a Tale of Two Trees. The first tree brought the curse, through the sin of the first Adam; the second tree bore the curse, through the righteousness of the second Adam; the first Adam was the first created son of God who was man, the second Adam was the second begotten Son of God who became man. Through the fruit of the first tree, the first Adam became naked, and through the fruitlessness of the second tree, the second Adam was naked. The first Adam lost Life and was kicked out of the Garden, the second Adam gained Life and was resurrected in a new Garden.
One of the most exciting words Irenaeus introduces is recapitulation!
Recapitulation is when Christ “redo’s in order to undo”.
In essence, “He who knew no sin, became sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God.”
The Old Testament: A Portrait of Jesus
If Jesus had a portrait it would be Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Daniel, Moses, David, Joseph, Adam, all crammed into one canvas, called the Old Testament. Even more so, the Tabernacle, the Passover, the ceremonies, and every minute detail is a prefigured image of the Messiah.
Nothing is unessential, no ceremonial cleansing, no bread of presence, no Jewish holiday, no minor skirmish, no lamp-stand, no sacrificial law, no minor character is unimportant in this massive portrait of the Christ.
He is the Tabernacle; He is the Passover Lamb; He is the Son of God; He is the King; He is the true Prophet; He is the Temple; He is the true Manna; He is the Law; He is Isaac’s Ram; He is the Second Adam; He is the true Moses; He is the true David; He is the true Daniel; He is the true Priest; He is the true Aaron; He is the true Solomon; He is the true Suffering Job.