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Vos Group #85 — The Temptation in the Wilderness

In this installment of Vos Group, Lane Tipton and Camden Bucey discuss pp. 330–333 of Geerhardus Vos’ book, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments. In this section, Vos focuses on the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, a pivotal event in the Gospels. Vos examines various interpretations and challenges to the historicity and objectivity of this event, discussing theories that view it as mythological or parabolic. He argues for its historical and objective reality, using scriptural references such as Matthew 12:29 to support his view. Vos emphasizes the dual nature of the event as both a temptation by Satan and a probation by God, underscoring its importance in the Messianic mission of Jesus. He contrasts this with the temptation of Adam in Genesis, noting differences in their respective contexts and purposes. Vos also explores the implications of the event on the understanding of Jesus’ sinlessness and His role in atonement. Throughout, he maintains a theological perspective that situates the temptation within the broader narrative of redemption and Christ’s mission.


  • 00:00:07 Introduction
  • 00:06:31 Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness
  • 00:10:46 Myth and the Liberal Interpretation of Scripture
  • 00:19:08 Matthew 12 and the Binding of the Strong Man
  • 00:27:16 Eschatology and the Kingdom of God
  • 00:30:28 The Impeccability of Jesus
  • 00:51:34 Jesus Historically Casts Out Demons
  • 00:53:28 The Holy Spirit, Messianic Sonship, and the Kingdom of God
  • 00:59:00 Practical Applications of Jesus’ Temptation
  • 01:05:34 Conclusion

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Christ the Center focuses on Reformed Christian theology. In each episode a group of informed panelists discusses important issues in order to encourage critical thinking and a better understanding of Reformed doctrine with a view toward godly living. Browse more episodes from this program or subscribe to the podcast feed.


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