July 2011

Preaching Christ From the Old Testament-Jesus and the Law of Moses-pt.6.

The last reference to Christ and the Old Testament as seen in the Law of Moses that I want to consider is the most important. In a sense, I have been waiting a long time to just get to this one reference.

Jesus said to the Jews of John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures because you  think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.” Jesus was reprimanding the Jews for their misguided zeal and willful misplacement of Scripture. They, in their religious system, had taken Scripture, the Law of God, and believed that in bisecting and dissecting it to their own ends, they can gain eternal life. This is the heart of all their misunderstanding of Torah. Numerous times Jesus rebuked the Jews for their lack of understanding of Scripture. And, in many ways, Jesus, were He physically walking among His churches today, would say the same thing to us. Just like the days of the Jews, we too have taken the Scripture and used them to our own prescribed religious and personal ends. You know that this is the case when pastors, 1) Don’t believe that they really need to study in order to prepare for their messages on Sunday. 2) Don’t believe there is a need to know the original biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek (I would like to see a medical doctor get away with thinking, “I don’t need any specialized training.” 3) Have already convinced themselves of the meaning of the text before really dealing with the text. 4) Follow established systems of theology without subjecting that system to the exegetical findings of the actual text of Scripture. 5) Refuse to study anymore because they have been in the ministry for years and think they understand the Bible well enough by now. 6) They ridicule those who refuse to do all the above. You also know that this is the case with those attending church when, 1) They don’t carry a Bible to church. 2) They disagree with the Scripture when correctly understood. 3) They believe that they own the church because they give a certain amount of money. 4) They judge the pastor by the way he dresses, and not how he handles Scripture. 5) They expect to be entertained while in church and if that does not happen, then they threaten to leave. 6) They refuse to show love to someone who hurt them 20 years ago. 7) They make light of the sufficiency of Scripture, thinking in their hearts, “We can’t just study the Bible when we come to church. We need something more.”

The above scenarios divulge a modern-day Judaism that Jesus was essentially clamoring against. We use the Scriptures to our ends, but refuse to be taken by the Scriptures to God’s ends, namely Jesus Christ. Or worse, we build our methods and ‘ministries’ and attribute them to Jesus, when in reality they contradict and undermine His very work.

Jesus corrects the Jews. Rebukes them really. He says that they think that in the Scripture they have eternal life. That is, simply codifying the Bible like a textbook and following subsequent religious functions is what gains eternal life, and that is not so. It is true that Scripture is living and active (Hebrews 4:12; in that context, it is referring to the power of the Word of God to judge) and the “incorruptible seed” (1 Peter 1:22-25). However, the Scriptures testify of Christ for eternal life. Eternal life is the issue. The Scriptures did not die for sins. Our religious systems did not atone for our sins. Our Calvinism did not remove our sins from God’s books. My Doctrines of Grace did not permit God to justify me. Only Christ holds that supreme position. Only Jesus Christ is capable of these things, not the systems that we hold dear. I find it amazing that people are so proud of their Calvinistic leanings, their dispensational stance, their Covenantal tradition and their independent, fundamental history, and yet speak very little of the Person, work and economy of Jesus Christ. This tells me where their allegiance and worship is. And, by and large, just like the Jews, it is misplaced.

The Scriptures testify of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, they describe and define Him, His work, and His eternal kingdom. His accomplishment is the subject of Scripture. This is far more than a devotional understanding of Jesus. The depth and height to which God has gone in order to gain all the glory for redemption is breathtaking. And Jesus Christ is in the center of it all. However, we cannot breathe the air of that glory unless, as Jesus said, we are “willing to do the will of the Father” (John 7:17).

The panorama of God’s work of redemption (John 5:17), begins in seed-form. It, like a tree, begins with a small reference to the hope that God announced to the couple who plunged the universe into futility and separated man from his Creator and from their blossoms unto maturity in the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was also an announcement to the one heavenly being responsible for the generation of sin in the first place. The declaration to Satan by God is a judgment and a warning of his impending death. The passage that we will be examining in some detail is Genesis 3:15. It is the foundation of all the redemptive revelation found in the rest of God’s Word. Its shoulders are broad and strong. It is the footer upon which the entire building of redemption, both Jew and Gentile, is built. It is all summarized in one single sentence.

    And I will put enmity
      Between you and the woman,
      And between your seed and her seed;
      He shall bruise you on the head,
      And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Having already covered the first days of creation in past posts, I won’t do so now. However, it is important to realize that at this point, the pristine glory and beauty both in creation and in the man and woman are lost. They have ‘died’, as it were. Their hearts have been darkened and their consciences seared. This is all evident from the responses that God received from Adam and Eve after they ate of the tree. God, now, has to punish all parties involved. He does so.

He begins with a curse upon the serpent, the animal. He makes the animal to slither on the ground, changing the animal anatomically into eternal humility because of its role in corruption. However, the being who inhabited the snake, he sentences him not to eternal humiliation, but eternal damnation for his role in the whole event. It is to him that the above-mentioned verse is spoken.

Notice that God continues the sentence upon the serpent, speaking to the being behind the act of the snake, by using the conjunction “and.” In doing that, it continues the curse upon him that was started with the animal. The curse upon the being, Satan, is that God will put a hostile disposition between the offspring of Satan and the offspring of the woman, i.e. righteous offspring. Their “children” will be at odds. This is the source of all spiritual struggles (Ephesians 6:10-20).

However, there is something very unique about this curse. At the end of the verse, it states, “He shall…” We need to stop and ask, “Whom?” At this point, we understand that it is a singular, masculine pronoun. This is referring to a singular, male offspring of the woman. God did not say, “it”, or “she.” God specifically said, “He.” Further, God states that this One will “bruise you on the head.” There will be a final, fatal blow to the head that will end up in the death of the Satan. This will result in bruising which indicates fatal, internal damage. This intimates that the One giving the blow will be stronger than he. Thus, this seed must not be a human, since mankind has just bowed the knee to Satan via the man and the woman. And yet, He will be a human since He will be the seed of the woman. So, this will be one who is above Satan, and yet is made of the same material as those who bow to Satan, i.e. a man. Satan, then, is told that he will die at the hands of a child of the woman.

What is interesting is the reference to the woman. This is peculiar since obviously the seed is from the man. So, for God to relegate the seed to the woman indicates a purposeful peculiarity of the Child. So, this offspring of the woman will be the One who will fatally deal with the enemy of God, and thus, undo all his handiwork (Hebrews 2:14; 1 john 3:8), and he will be powerless to stop it. At this juncture, God’s plan for redemption of sinners is begun. And what a plan it is! The central figure in it all is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. He will crush the serpent. He will pay the penalty of death for man. He will be the unique seed of the woman, and not of a man. However, He will be fully man and yet without sin, which makes Him superior to Satan.

This reference to Christ as the seed of the woman and the enemy of Satan is what feeds the rest of Scripture. It is the hope of all the redeemed. It is the purpose and plan of God. It is the magnanimous foundation upon which the whole structure of God’s redemptive plan rests. And, it is spoken in just one sentence. Truly, our God is in the heavens, He does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3).

Children in the Worship Service-Do They Belong?

Introduction

As anyone in Children’s Ministries in a local church knows, there is a plethora of opinions when it comes to how to occupy the children while the parents attend worship. Some would advocate a Sunday School approach where the children learn Bible lessons. Some would take advantage of the time to teach a new Bible-centered craft. Some may even simply try to keep the children occupied by games or singing until Mom and Dad come to pick them up.

However, all of these scenarios lack the Scriptural backing for their approach to occupying children during worship because Scripture indicates that children are not supposed to be separated from the parents during worship, but rather are to attend the worship service with their parents. I hope to show that the presence of children in worship service was the normal expectation for families in Israel. Further, it is also the same expectation for the church of Jesus Christ as well.

What Is Worship?

First of all, I want to define worship as used in this essay, as those times where the local church body meets corporately in order to pray, sing, preach, and otherwise fulfill the obligations of corporate worship. It is true that worship is primarily a personal thing in that worship is to be done from a heart that is sincere and pure (Mark 7.6-7). Exterior occupations do not make up the heart of worship. However, because the issue that is being developed deals primarily with corporate meeting of the church, that is the way that the concept of worship will be used in this essay.

Children and Their Inclusion in Israel’s Worship

I will review a number of passages from the Old Testament that illustrate an presence of children in the corporate worship of Israel.

There are a host of key texts that give indication, of the presence of children in the activity of worship within the nation of Israel. This may be explicitly stating that children are present, or by assuming they are present by what the children say.

The night before Israel was released from Egypt, the first Passover was held in obedience to the instructions given to Moses by God (Exodus 12). The Passover[1] would become a vivid reminder and illustration of the time of Israel’s stay in Egypt and the final of the ten plagues that came upon the Egyptians. This was a significant time in the life of the nation. It was the beginning of their existence as a nation, as indicated by the declaration that that very day marks the first day of their national calendar (Exodus 12.2). Further, the rite of the Passover was to be a perpetual ceremony meaning that the nation would celebrate it as the long as she exists (vv.14, 17). This ritual would be a memorial meant to call to mind the deliverance of Israel by the hand of God (v.17). However, what is significant for our study is that God concerned Himself with the children. In vv. 23-27, God foretells of the time when, upon returning home from the Passover feast as Israel is in the land God promised, the son would ask his father about what just happened. The sights and sounds of the slain lamb, the fire (Leviticus 23.8), the unleavened bread, and the overall solemn tone of the “holy convocation” (Leviticus 23.2-4) would all be a curious sight to a child (see also Joshua 4.6-7, 21-24). God gives instruction to Moses to pass on to the fathers. The fathers were not to tell their son to be quiet and keep walking, as fathers sometimes can do. Rather, the father is to take the opportunity to teach the son about the rite and the significance of it. Why? First, it was to teach the child about the Lord and His works (v.27). Second, it would lay the spiritual foundation necessary for the next generation of Israelites. As we will see later, this is critical to the spiritual health of the nation. Therefore, the fathers of Israel were to use the natural curiosity of the children as an opportunity to teach them. In fact, God even gave them the exact words to use.[2] Thus, we see that this corporate activity of worship of the highest order also included concern for the children as well.

In Deuteronomy 31, Moses assembled the priests, the Levites and the elders of the nation for a final exhortation from the book of the Law. He commanded them to make sure that at the end of seven years, during the Feast of Booths, the elders will assemble the people for worship (v.11-“comes to appear before the Lord your God”). That is a significant event. The whole book of the Law, from Genesis to Deuteronomy, is to be read aloud and heard by all. Notice that everyone within the nation is to be there; men, women, children, and foreigners. All are commanded to be there in order to hear the Law read. However, this is not just an exercise in oratory. This is to be the culmination of that holy convocation, the Feast of Booths. This is the highpoint of the worship of God for the nation. This is a solemn assembly. This is approaching God to hear His word. This is instruction from the Sovereign to His subjects. It is nothing to trifle with. It is significant, I believe, that the children are told to be there. Everyone who comes is called to be there in order to learn to fear YHWH (Dt. 31.12). However, there actually is a special emphasis placed upon the role of the children. In v.13, Moses says, “Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” As mentioned earlier, it is assumed that the children are also there during the Passover, which is also held during that week of worship. In addition, the culmination of that week-long worship service is the reading of the Law of God. The impact of that entire time including the reading from the word of God is that the children would then learn to fear YHWH. That is significant for Proverbs 1.7 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And wisdom is a prized possession and is the one thing that will protect a child from the consequences of foolishness (Proverbs 2.10ff.). The conclusion of this passage as well is that children were included even the most holy of times. The greatest times of worship included the children so that they too would be ministered to by the word of God.

These two passages seem to be the foundation passages for the rest of the Old Testament. We see the inclusion of children in times of worship for Israel in a number of other passages as well.

In 2 Chronicles 20.5-19 King Jehoshaphat is faced with the impending invasion of the Moabites, Ammonites along with some Meunites. They were coming via the sea (v.2) and were going to invade from the south in Engedi. They were bent on taking Judah captive. Jehoshaphat hears of it and holds a worship service, really a prayer meeting of a large scale. The whole of Judah (v.4) gathered to seek the Lord in order that He might not allow them to be invaded. Jehoshaphat prays a very profound prayer which indicates his understanding about who YHWH is (vv. 5-13). What is interesting is that included in this assembly were infants and children. What does that mean? It demonstrated complete consecration on behalf of Judah. The petition of the Lord was not simply an exercise that the heads of the household did, although that is a valid thing to do for them. However, because of the impending invasion and the dire need of the moment, there needed to be a demonstration of the unity and solidarity of Judah in their dependence upon YHWH. No doubt the infants behaved as infants do. No doubt the children behaved as children do. No doubt there was some bustling in the audience as Jehoshaphat prayed. Nonetheless, the seriousness of the times called for worship from the whole family.

A similar assembly of petition is also seen in Ezra 10. Upon realizing the level of their unfaithfulness to YHWH, i.e. mixed marriages with foreign women, Ezra was surrounded by “a very large assembly” (v.1). In that assembly were men, women, and children. This is a serious time, as indicated by the decision to divorce from the foreign wives with whom the Israel men, including priests (v.10.18), had married. And yet the children were all there watching. Again, no doubt, they would ask what all this meant. This would be an opportunity to teach them concerning the holiness of God and the complete obedience that He deserves.

There is an interesting example of children actually adding to the worship of God’s people in Nehemiah 12.43. In this wonderful time of rejoicing at the completion of the wall and the restoration of the Temple for worship, the people gathered to give worship and glory to God (v.45). In addition, when the choirs had sung and the sacrifices were made, the rejoicing gained momentum as the people of Jerusalem were heard in praise to God. Many were in the assembly that wonderful day. God gave them joy. God instilled in their hearts the joy of the Lord (Nehemiah 8.10). The women and their children were also among those rejoicing for what God has done in restoring the wall and Jerusalem. Apparently, God had given them joy as well! I believe that it is significant that the children are there as well as the women. God receives their worship. It is same as the praise of the children when Jesus entered Jerusalem on His triumphal entry (Matthew 21.15-16).

The normal inclusion of children in times of worship for the nation of Israel seems to have been the standard. There was a critical element to their inclusion in the worship of YHWH. The existence of the nation as a “holy nation” and a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19.6) actually depended upon the appropriate training of the children. This was not only training in the home from the Law, but the worship service itself became a teaching tool for the children as well. Psalm 78.5-8 captures it well. God has done what He did in Israel (“established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a Law in Israel” v. 5), in order to have the fathers teach the children. Why? “That the generation to come might know.” (v. 6a). It was critical to the nation of Israel that the upcoming generation, even the generation to come after them as well (v.6)[3], know who God is and what He has done in Israel.

By way of illustration, a case can be made that the failure of Israel in the land stems from a lack of proper instruction of the children in spiritual matters of the Law, which, as we have seen, was introduced and reinforced as children were exposed to worship events.

Joshua has taken over Moses’ position a leader of the nation of Israel. They have entered the land of which God has promised them. The commentary of the condition of the generation after Joshua is that they were faithful (v.7). However, there is one area that they apparently lacked faithfulness and that was the teaching of the children in the truths of YHWH. After Joshua and the generation after him, there arose another generation after them “who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.” (v.10). Why didn’t they know the Lord and His works? Didn’t their fathers tell them? How can there be a wholesale abandonment of the Lord by an entire nation? It seems the answer is that there was a failure to pass on to the children, who became the nation who did not know the Lord and soon after served Baals (v.11), the two critical elements that Moses had instructed Israel to teach to the their children: 1) who God is and 2) what He has done (see Exodus 12.23-27). These are the very areas that this generation seemed to fail to learn. A hint is given in the narrative in v.7 where it is said of the generation after Joshua that they had seen the great work of the Lord. It would seem that they had seen the work, but failed to describe it to their children. Before Judges 2.10, there seems to be a positive tone, even though there was evident disobedience (2.1-5). However, 2.10 seems to be the hinge pin that swings the door wide open for the evil and confusion that follows. What is obvious, but possibly needs to be remembered, is that children grow up to be the next generation. This generation of Israelites were not taught properly in the things of God and may indicate a lack of proper instruction stemming from not witnessing worship. This should serve as a reminder, and a frightening one at that, that God’s people are always one generation away from defection, if not instructed properly.

Children and Their Inclusion in the Church’s Worship

The previous Old Testament passages certainly do tell us that the normal pattern in worship gatherings for Israel included the children of the families of Israel. However, can that be said to be the norm for the church as well? Do we also, as the church of Jesus Christ, distinct from national Israel, have the same expectation as we have seen in the Old Testament? My answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes’.

The original proposition of this essay which I have been attempting to support is, “the presence of children in the worship service was the normal expectation for families in Israel. Further, it is also the same expectation for the church of Jesus Christ as well.” Therefore, since we have seen the presence of children in many passages in the Old Testament, the fairest question to ask is, “What passages in the New Testament also attest to the expectation of children present in the worship service of the church?”

The reader of the New Testament will not find a hard and fast passage indicating the presence of children in the New Testament worship service. However, you will find children present in the life and ministry Jesus Christ following Him and even ascribing worship to Him. We need to examine a few key verses in the gospels and the epistles to demonstrate this fact.

The earliest passage that deals with children in the worship service is actually concerning Jesus Himself. Luke tells us that Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover (Luke 2.41). Obviously, they would bring their children with them. There is no reason to assume that the children were dropped off somewhere while Joseph and Mary went on to observe the Feast. In fact, there seems to be the expectation that even at twelve, Jesus would have some part to play in the Passover observance. Alfred Edersheim wrote, ““Rabbi Jehudah, the son of Tema, says: “At five years of age, reading of the Bible; at ten years, learning the Mishnah; at thirteen years bound to the commandments; at fifteen years, the study of the Talmud; at eighteen years, marriage; at twenty, the pursuit of trade or business (active life); at thirty years, full vigour; at forty, maturity of reason; at fifty, for counsel; at sixty, commencement of agedness; at seventy, grey age; at eighty, advanced old age; at ninety, bowed down; at a hundred, as if he were dead and gone, and taken from the world.””[4]

The child of Israel would not be left to himself or others to look after him while the parents went to worship. As the child grew, he or she was expected to understand and keep up with the activities surrounding the worship event.

Still this does not illustrate the presence of children in the worship of the New Testament church. However, it does illustrate a very important principle that should be recognized. It is safe to say that where the New Testament is silent, and other doctrines of the New Testament do not contradict, the church can and should adopt those practices of Israel within the worship service. The continuation of worship practices into the ministry of Jesus Christ which were not abrogated by His death and resurrection, may very well fill in the “white spaces” of the particulars of New Testament corporate worship.

Jesus Himself received the worship of children. The importance of this fact is found in that the worship service is not for our convenience and accommodation. It is strictly for the praise and adoration of the Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ from those who recognize who He is and remember what He has done.

Matthew has a wonderful picture of children ascribing praise to Jesus Christ and Jesus receiving their praise. Jesus has just entered the city of Jerusalem riding on a colt. Upon driving out the money-changers and healing the lame, the priests and scribes become furious and indignant at Jesus. However, they specifically mention another segment of society who is praising Jesus, children. They were proclaiming the praise of God for bringing the Son of David finally to Israel (v.15). Had Jesus been indifferent or even outside of the praise of children, he would have had a perfect opportunity to say so at that time. However, just as He taught in Mark 10.13-16, do not forbid the children from coming to Me, so He here welcomes their praise! How the heart of God is open wide for children (Mark. 10.14) and their praise. Although this is not an example of a formal worship service and the inclusion of children in it, we can see, however, the heart of Jesus Christ toward children’s worship.

Further, Peter makes an interesting remark in his exhortation of the Jews in Acts 2.39. There he had just completed preaching to the Jews that were responsible for the murder of Jesus Christ and they were convicted by Peter’s preaching. They pleaded to Peter and he tells them to repent and align yourself with Jesus Christ, which is illustrated in baptism. Their sins, and they were great, would be forgiven and they would also receive the promised Holy Spirit. Then Peter makes a very interesting statement regarding to whom the promise of the Holy Spirit is given. The intended audience of this promise is “you and your children and for all who are afar off.” There are 3 categories of people here. There are the Jews to whom Peter is speaking. There are the Gentiles, who are characterized by being “afar off”. And then there are the children of the Jews. Again, it seems, God is concerned that the children are also able to learn of Him and receive His Spirit.[5] This reference to “children” in Acts 2.39 cannot simply refer to a future generation only, as those who would be able to be saved sometime in the future after they have grown to adulthood.[6] If that were the case, we would also have to add some condition on the other 2 categories of people as well. It is more consistent with a literal hermeneutic to understand this reference as “children” who are children at the time that they hear the gospel. Besides, salvation is a spiritual work of God primarily and He will “call” whom He will.

Further, the Apostle Paul may be making direct commands to the children of the congregations of Ephesus and Colossae when he commands them to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3; Colossian 3.20). It is fair to assume that just as Paul is addressing the parents who are present in the assembly as well as the masters and slaves who are there in the assembly, it stands to reason that there are also children present in the assembly. Again, a continuation of Old Testament practices.

Beyond these references, there is not clear indication that children were present in the worship services of the early church.

Does This Have Significance for Today’s Church?

Given the information concerning the presence of children in the worship services of Israel, i.e. Passover, and the seeming inclusion of children in the New Testament worship service, and the fact that God has great endearment toward children and receiving their praise, it seems important that the role of children in the worship service of the church be addressed. A number of books written on this subject are from the perspective of a liturgical approach to worship and they endeavor to include the children in the liturgy so that they can learn about God in that fashion. However, these usually end up being nothing more than arts and crafts opportunities built upon the assumption that the children are not capable of understanding the truths of Scripture or sit still in the sanctuary long enough not to be a distraction to others around. Still, others have written of the presence of children in the worship service almost making them the focus of the service.[7] They have Christianized the New Age perspective of making the child the example to the adults of what the adults are supposed to be like-curious, innocent and carefree. However, that is far from the biblical norm for children who are supposed to be sober-minded, obedient, and wise.

The information in the Bible seems to indicate that children are capable of understanding biblical truth, they are capable of being attentive to the worship service being conducted, and most important of all, they are capable of giving worship and praise to God. Again, as stated above, that is really the main point.

If I were to address the issue of how to “reintroduce” children back into the worship service of the church, I would have to address how the child is trained at home. Is he taught the meaning of worship? Is he taught the importance of being quiet? Is he taught that God is holy and awesome and deserves worship from His people and that is why we are there? Do the parents take this seriously?

Conclusion

The families in ancient Israel worshiped together. The children were next to their parents observing and, sometimes, participating in worship. The opportunities for teaching the children as a result of worshiping together are crucial to the understanding that child gains of God, Jesus Christ and His church. It is my observation that the families of church of Jesus Christ are failing to train their children in the matters of the word of God and spiritual truth. The fascination with the separation of families into segregated age groups not only disturbs a family’s opportunity to worship as a unit before God, but it also tends to not allow for proper instruction in the things of God in the context that children are built to learn best-the family.

Based upon this study, it seems that our churches need to bring the children back to worship. Families need to worship together. Accommodations in church buildings need to reflect the importance of parents and children worshiping together.

To the degree that we fail to train up the children via the worship of the church, it is to that degree that the church will, most likely, reflect Israel who “did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2.10).


[1] A very good overview of the meaning and the history of the Passover is given in Alfred Edersheim The Temple, Its Ministry and Services as They Were at the Time of Jesus Christ (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2003), 208-248.

[2] I would understand this as the starting point of the conversation. A faithful father would develop other truths of God and His works, but the significance of the Passover rite is encapsulated in the passage of v. 27.

[3] This is really a way to indicate the perpetual nature of the instruction. The current generation teaches the next generation who is able to teach the generation which comes after them as well. Paul clearly had that in mind in 2 Timothy 2.2 as a pattern in the church. This appears to be a typical Jewish, or better biblical, pattern for learning and its roots are in the family.

[4]Alfred Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2003), 105.

[5] See Charles Spurgeon, Come Ye Children (Bibliolife: unknown, 2008), 21 for a convincing argument for the application of this passage in light of children.

[6] John B Polhill. Vol. 26, Acts. electronic ed. Logos Library System; The New American Commentary. (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 1992. There the author understands “their children” as simply referring to a “future generation”. I Howard Marshall does not attempt to deal with the question, but rather refers to this as a false reference to infant baptism [Acts Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Intervarsity, 1980), 81-82. It seems the more popular perspective is that ‘children’ refers to the son and daughters prophesying in Acts 2.17. However, again, that seems inconsistent with the categorical reference to those who would be called by God.

[7] See John T. Carroll, ‘Children in the Bible’ Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology: April 2001, Vol.55(2), pp. 121-134.

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