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Michael Daling, Ph.D. 2012

Recipient of the Betty Burtness Knoedler Fellowship

My dissertation, entitled “Idolatry and Reversal: Isaiah 6:9–10 and Matthew’s Use of an Isaianic Theme,” examines Matthew’s broad use of themes from Isa 6:9–10 with regard to Christology and the charge of idolatry against Jesus’ opponents.  For Matthew, Jesus is the center of the restoration from exile.  Those who submit to God’s sovereignty in Jesus begin to have their idolatrous condition removed, while those who do not are further hardened.  The reversal of Isa 6:9–10 is the proleptic guarantee of future consummate restoration, while the eschatological declaration of Isa 6:9–10 in judgment guarantees the judgment of those who oppose Jesus.  

I chose Wheaton because it offered a well-integrated and challenging environment for biblical and theological reflection.  The breadth of study and the daily interaction with extraordinary scholars was the perfect environment form me to grow as a scholar.  I was driven to think carefully, write clearly, converse across disciplines, research tirelessly, and work independently.  The close relationship I developed with my mentor provided a wealth of critique, respect, and knowledge that has set the foundation for all future scholarship and ministry.  The friendships that I gained with fellow students, each of them world-class scholars in their own right, provided me with great help and encouragement in my dissertation and well beyond.  Wheaton’s program combines the best of biblical and theological scholarship with a forthright commitment to honest, critical, and affirming fellowship.  It is my sincere pleasure to say that I earned a Ph.D. at Wheaton College.