Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wow! N.T. Wright to Teach Full-Time!

The biblioblogosphere is abuzz with the news that N.T. (Tom) Wright will be retiring as Bishop of Durham on August 31st. Moreover, he has accepted the position of Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, effective September 1st. You can read more about this here. After losing Richard Bauckham to retirement and Bruce Longenecker to Baylor, St. Andrews has made a stunning and quite needed move. I can hear the PhD apps already filing in!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Book on Paul and Racial Reconciliation

A forthcoming volume by Jarvis Williams, One New Man The Cross and Racial Reconciliation in Pauline Theology (Broadman & Holman, Nov. 2010), looks quite promising and will hopefully fill a rather large lacuna in Pauline studies.  The foreword is written by Tom Schreiner and is endorsed by Doug Moo among others.

Williams, an assistant professor of New Testament and Greek in Campbellsville University's School of Theology, has already written an important volume entitled, Maccabean Martyr Traditions in Paul’s Theology of Atonement: Did Martyr Theology Shape Paul’s Conception of Jesus’s Death?, where he argues quite impressively and convincingly I must add, that Paul viewed Jesus' death in terms of Maccabean martyrdom theology.

Williams is definitely an up-and-coming Pauline scholar worth keeping an eye on and I predict this volume will be as well.

Quite the Steal!

James D.G. Dunn's  two-volume Romans commentary came in the mail today. I have been wanting this commentary set for sometime now, but was always waiting for a great deal.

Well, I was able to win both volumes on ebay last week and it only cost $26.00 total including shipping! The volumes are in great used condition, there are no markings whatsoever, and I could not be more pleased with this purchase.

Now, onto Wright's Romans commentary, Martyn's Galatians, and Thiselton's 1 Corinthians...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ardel Caneday's New Blog

Ardel Caneday has a promising new blog entitled ἐξήγησις where his labors reading and translating the GNT will be featured. His first exegetical post is very interesting entitled "χωρὶς in Romans 3:28. "  Do check this out and add your two cents!


Doug Moo's "tweet" on Justification

During an interview with Josh Moody, Doug Moo was asked to give a "tweet" account of justification and here is what he said:

The Bible pictures all human beings as defendants in a courtroom: a courtroom in which God is the judge and our sins constitute the evidence against us. The judge weighs the evidence and finds every single one of us guilty of sin and announces that we, therefore, must be condemned. The marvellous news of justification is that God has himself provided for us the means of escaping that condemnation: by responding to his gracious initiative in faith, we become joined with Christ, who died for us and was raised for us. We become joined to Christ, who takes on himself the penalty for our sin and covers us with the ‘righteousness’ that we need to reverse the verdict of condemnation and receive the verdict of ‘justified’, ‘right’ with God. And because we have been joined to Christ, the holy one, and have in that union received the gift of God’s powerful holy Spirit, we, who have been justified, also find our lives transformed so that we love God and neighbour.
HT: Justin Taylor

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Interesting Quote from Epictetus

But what says Zeus? Epictetus, if it were possible, I would have made both your little body and your little property free and not exposed to hindrance. But now be not ignorant of this: this body is not yours, but it is clay finely tempered (ἀλλὰ πηλὸς κομψῶς πεφυραμένος.). And since I was not able to do for you what I have mentioned, I have given you a small portion of us, this faculty of pursuing an object and avoiding it, and the faculty of desire and aversion, and, in a word, the faculty of using the appearances of things; and if you will take care of this faculty and consider it your only possession, you will never be hindered, never meet with impediments; you will not lament, you will not blame, you will not flatter any person.
(Epictetus, Discourses, 1.11)

The above quote reminds me a bit of Romans 9.21 where Paul states: "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay (τοῦ πηλοῦ )some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? "(NIV). Of course, Paul owes his use of this language to Isa 29.16; 45.9. Paul's imagery of the potter and the clay helps further his argument for the acceptance of Gentiles vis-a-vis Israel in God's plan (Rom 9 ff.).

Another example of Paul using similar language and conceptually closer to Epictetus' quote above occurs in 2 Cor 4.7ff.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay (ἐν ὀστρακίνοις σκεύεσιν) to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

What makes Epictetus' and Paul's quote so interesting is the similarities and differences in their conception of the body. Zeus tells Epictetus that his body cannot avoid troubles and to remember that his body belongs to him. Zeus reminds Epictetus that he is given a portion of the gods faculties which if used properly will cause Epictetus to overcome the troubles his body cannot. The body is seen negatively here and suffering is to be avoided.

Paul, on the other hand, uses the suffering of his body to glorify God and to demonstrate Christ's sufferings. Paul's bodily testimony identifies him closely with the gospel he preaches, namely, the cross and resurrection. For Paul, suffering is not something to be avoided, rather it proves the gospel that he preaches. 

Forthcoming Hendrickson Releases

Here is a quick peek at some interesting forthcoming releases from Hendrickson Publishers.

Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis

by Steven E. Runge

Retail: $49.95

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Pub Date: September 2010

ISBN: 9781598565836

ISBN-13: 9781598565836

Product Description: In Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, Steve Runge introduces a function-based approach to language, exploring New Testament Greek grammatical conventions based upon the discourse functions they accomplish. Runge’s approach has less to do with the specifics of language and more to do with how humans are wired to process it.

The approach is cross-linguistic. Runge looks at how all languages operate before he focuses on Greek. He examines linguistics in general to simplify the analytical process and explain how and why we communicate as we do, leading to a more accurate description of the Greek text. The approach is also function-based—meaning that Runge gives primary attention to describing the tasks accomplished by each discourse feature.

This volume does not reinvent previous grammars or supplant previous work on the New Testament. Instead, Runge reviews, clarifies, and provides a unified description of each of the discourse features. That makes it useful for beginning Greek students, pastors, and teachers, as well as for advanced New Testament scholars looking for a volume which synthesizes the varied sub-disciplines of New Testament discourse analysis.

With examples taken straight from the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, this volume helps readers discover a great deal about what the text of the New Testament communicates, filling a large gap in New Testament scholarship.

Each of the 18 chapters contains:

• An introduction and overview for each discourse function

• A conventional explanation of that function in easy-to-understand language

• A complete discourse explanation

• Numerous examples of how that particular discourse function is used in the Greek New Testament

• A section of application

• Dozens of examples, taken straight from the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament

• Careful research, with citation to both Greek grammars and linguistic literature

• Suggested reading list for continued learning and additional research

Author Bio

Steven E. Runge is the General Editor of the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. He has a Master of Theological Studies degree in Biblical Languages from Trinity Western Seminary in Langley, B.C., Canada; a BA in Speech Communication from Western Washington University; and a Doctor of Literature degree in Biblical Languages from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Northwest Baptist Theological College, Trinity Western University, and Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS) while completing his education.

Key Questions about Christian Faith: Old Testament Answers

by John Goldingay

Retail: $19.95

Binding: Paper

Pages: 384

Pub Date: September 2010

ISBN: 9781598564303

ISBN-13: 9781598564303

Product Description: A highly respected author and scholar, Goldingay brings his strong knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures and his deep appreciation of the New Testament to offer biblical and practical answers to 25 serious theological questions, including:

• Who Is God?

• How Do God’s Love and God’s Wrath Relate to Each Other?

• Does God Have Surprises?

• What Does It Mean to Be Human?

• Can We Make Sense of Death and Suffering?

• What Is Sin?

• What Is the People of God? (A Narrative Answer)

• What Is the People of God? (An Answer in Images)

• What Is a Covenant?

• What Is the Meaning of Sacrifice?

• Why Circumcision?

• Should I Tithe Net or Gross?

• Was the Holy Spirit Active in First Testament Times?

• How Does Prayer Work?

• What Is Israel’s Place in God’s Purpose?

• Is Election Fair?

• What Is the Relationship Between Creation and Salvation?

• How Does the First Testament Look at Other Religions? • Is Leadership Biblical?

• Is God in the City?

• Does God Care About Animals?

• What Is a Family?

• What Does the Bible Say About Women and Men?

• What Might the Song of Songs Do for People?

• How Should We Think About Same-Sex Relationships?

Pastors, curious laypeople, college students, Sunday school teachers, and small-group Bible-study leaders will appreciate Goldingay’s passion for his subject. Writing in the Anglican tradition of Owen Thomas, N.T. Wright, and others, he challenges the reader with an intelligent and clear dogmatic; and derives pragmatic contemporary principles and applications from ancient laws and literature.

Author Bio

John Goldingay is David Allan Hubbard Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister and and is the author of numerous books and articles, including Isaiah in the NIBCOT and Old Testament Theology, Volume One: Israel’s Gospel.

The Christ of the Miracle Stories: Portrait through Encounter

by Wendy J. Cotter, C.S.J.

Retail: $24.95

Binding: Paper

Pages: 250

Pub Date: October 2010

ISBN: 9781565634718

ISBN-13: 9781565634718

Product Description: “. . . all those interested in the miraculous in the New Testament . . . will benefit from Cotter’s work.”

—Review of Biblical Literature, in praise of Miracles in Greco-Roman Antiquity

Veering away from the academic norm (Bultmann, Theissen, Dibelius) that has historically focused on the actual phenomena and messages in the New Testament miracle accounts, Cotter brings attention to bear on the way Jesus responds to the petitioner—and what the anecdotes reveal about his person, character, and power. She addresses the function of the miracle stories prior to their incorporation into the gospels, contextualizes the behavior and speech of the supplicants against the cultural backdrop of the Greco-Roman world, and reveals the example—and challenge—of a compassionate Christ in situations that reveal not only his power but also his “soul,” as Plutarch would say.

The Christ of the Miracles is divided into four sections, according to the relationship of the petitioners to the needy person:

Section I: Petitioners Who Must Ask for Themselves

Chapter One: Jesus and the Leper (Mark 1:40–42, 44)

Chapter Two: Jesus and Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46–52)

Section II: Petitioners Who Ask on Behalf of Others

Chapter Three: Jesus and the Friends of the Paralytic (Mark 2:1–12)

Chapter Four: Jesus and the Centurian (Q [Luke] 7:1, 3, 6–9)

Section III: Petitioners Who Ask on Behalf of Their Child

Chapter Five: Jesus and the Syrophoenician Mother (Mark 7:26–30)

Chapter Six: Jesus and the Father of the Demonized Boy (Mark 9:17–27)

Section IV: Petitioners Who Are Jesus’ Disciples

Chapter Seven: Jesus and His Storm-Tossed Disciples (Mark 4: 35–41)

Chapter Eight: The Sea-Walking Jesus and His Disciples (Mark 6:45–51)

Each chapter begins with an original-language rendition of the featured text with a fresh English translation. Individual anecdotes are then analyzed for editorial revisions in order to clarify and affirm their message. Detailed character studies of seekers and Jesus as presented by the gospel narrators are thoroughly discussed and set against their cultural venue, as is the way in which Jesus’ “virtue,” his narrated portrait, is revealed.

Scholars, students, and interested laypersons will find Cotter’s revelatory descriptions and conclusions and her carefully explained method of exegesis very helpful in their own exploration of the New Testament texts. Copious footnotes, indices, and a bibliography add to the volume’s usefulness.

Author Bio

Wendy J. Cotter, C.S.J., is associate professor of Theology at Loyola University, Chicago. She is also the author of Miracles in Greco-Roman Antiquity: A Sourcebook for the Study of New Testament Miracle Stories.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Unsolicited Comments

Lately I have been noticing a disturbing trend on this blog concerning either inappropriate comments (sexual solicitations) and the latest, somebody trying to sell me a home in West Palm Beach. These comments are akin to the spam one gets in their email inbox.

Is there any means of ridding my blog of these? I monitor every comment that comes to this blog before I decide to publish it or not. I'm growing tired of this and would appreciate any feedback.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dan Hawk series on Joshua

Dan Hawk, who was one of my professors of OT at Ashland, has a series on Allan Bevere's blog (another former professor of mine) concerning a new volume he has authored, Joshua in 3-D (Wipf and Stock ).  I can think of no better person to address the thorny issues that the narrative of Israel's conquest of Canaan presents. What's more is that Dan is able to apply this narrative to the narrative of America, namely the ideology of Manifest Destiny. I would encourage all who can to pick up Dan's book being offered at a 40% discount exclusively through Allan's blog for a limited time. Do check it out!

Quote of The Day: Bruce Waltke

I found this gem on Facebook as Bruce Waltke posted the letter he wrote to the RTS/Orlando constituency regarding the recent events that led to his resignation. After listing his hopes for the future, he writes:

Our community is based on the rock-solid foundation that our Triune God’s sovereignty over all things is informed by sublimities that surpass our imagination and our ability to praise them.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gospel of John in The NICNT

Leon Morris wrote the original volume in the NICNT series for the Gospel of John in 1971. Fast forward almost 40 years and a replacement volume is finally here, authored by J. Ramsey Michaels.

Here is the description:

This elegantly written, section-by-section, verse-by-verse commentary gives primary attention to the Gospel of John in its present form rather than to the sources or traditions behind it.

Since J. Ramsey Michaels takes seriously the Gospel’s claim to be the work of someone very close to Jesus — the “disciple whom Jesus loved” — he assumes it to be a testimony to events that actually took place in the life of Jesus. At the same time, his commentary places as much (or more) emphasis on the Gospel’s literary character and its theological contribution to a larger Christian community, both in its own time and up to the present. Michaels shows John to be a unified composition, intertwined with but not dependent on the other three Gospels, drawing sometimes on their traditions and at other times on earlier traditions unknown to Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Seventeen years in the making, synchronic in approach, reflecting fifty years of classroom teaching, packed with fresh insights, and displaying a great deal of independent judgment, this landmark commentary should prove to be highly useful not only to scholars and students but also to its main target audience of pastors.

“Here is a substantial, truly original exposition of extraordinary insight and helpfulness to pastor and scholar alike, which should have a considerable life span after both the author and editor have gone to their eternal reward.”

— Gordon D. Fee (from editor’s preface)

Looks like it is time to make more room on the ol' bookshelf.

Happy Easter!