Judges as Shepherds

In an essay on “Jesus, John, and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” Craig Evans observes that

Jesus’s appointment of the twelve (Mark 3:14; 6:7) is an extension of John [the Baptist]’s typology. The Jordan River has been crossed, and now representatives of the restored tribes have reentered the promised land, announcing the rule of God. If the nation repents, restoration will take place. It will be a time when the twelve apostles will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, judging not in a condemning sense but in an administrative, even shepherding sense (Evans 60; emphasis added).

That is to say, according to Evans, Jesus’ description of the apostles’ judicial vocation (Matt 19:28; Luke 22:30) resembles much more the situation in the book of Judges, where the judges rescue Israel from her enemies and, at least when they executed their office properly, guide Israel in faithfulness to her God, than it resembles the role of one who decides a dispute or passes sentence on someone convicted of a crime (cf. Gundry 393; Keener 479–80).

In this post:

Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls
John Collins and Craig Evans
Robert Gundry
Craig Keener
Craig Keener

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