Saturday, May 26, 2012

Douglas Campbell Conference Audio/Video

Well, I'm probably a bit late on this, but Chris Tilling has pointed to the audio/video links for the conference entitled, Beyond Old and New Perspectives on Paul, which centered around Douglas Campbell and his massive tome, The Deliverance of God. Grace Communion International recorded both the audio and video for the conference, and all of it can be found here.

I am very grateful that conferences continue to see the wisdom in providing these resources. It is always a nice consolation when one knows that even if he/she cannot attend these conferences, that the audio/video will be made available for free.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Murray Harris on Greek prepositions

An interesting new title on the subject of Greek prepositions is due out in the fall by the eminent NT scholar, Murray J. Harris.

Harris, perhaps best know for his magisterial 2 Corinthians commentary, work entitled Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament: An Essential Resource for Exegesis is being published by Zondervan Academic. With this item due out by the time SBL annual rolls around, my advice would be to wait to purchase it at the annual meeting. It is a hefty $42.99, a curious price considering it only weighs in at 192 pages.

Here is a description of the work:

Prepositions are important in the exegesis of the Greek New Testament, but they are at the same time very slippery words because they can have so many nuances. While Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament rejects the idea of a “theology of the prepositions,” it is a study of the numerous places in the Greek New Testament where prepositions contribute to the theological meaning of the text. Offered in the hope that it might encourage close study of the Greek text of the New Testament, its many features include the following: Coverage of all 17 “proper” and 42 “improper” prepositions Explores both literary and broader theological contexts Greek font---not transliteration---used throughout Comprehensive indexes to hundreds of verses, subjects, and Greek words Discussion of key repeated phrases that use a particular preposition.

Frank Matera's Pauline Theology

Frank Matera is one of my favorite NT scholars going. I love both his 2 Corinthians and Romans commentaries, finding both of them lucid and great for teaching.

I am really excited to see that the soon-to-be-retired, Matera, has authored a Pauline Theology entitled, God's Saving Grace: A Pauline Theology (Eerdmans) that will be released in time for the SBL annual meeting.

The book weighs in at an accessible 288 pages, retails for an affordable $28.00, and should provide an excellent textbook for any introductory course on Paul and his letters.

Here is a description of the work:

God's Saving Grace by distinguished biblical scholar Frank Matera views the theology of the Pauline letters through the lens of the saving grace that Paul experienced at his call and conversion. Focusing on Christology, soteriology, theology, anthropology, ecclesiology, ethics, and eschatology, Matera explores the unity as well as the diversity of the thirteen Pauline letters. After considering the nature and goal of Pauline theology, Matera examines the crucial role that Paul's call and conversion played in the development of his theology, and he demonstrates how this event influenced the whole of Paul's thought. Written in a clear and coherent style, God's Saving Grace presents students, professors, and pastors with an overview of the theology found in the entire corpus of Paul's letters. This work is comprehensive yet concise, accessible to students and scholars alike.

On the Importance of Bibliography: A Thought on the EEC

One of the most critical components in any commentary or any piece of scholarly literature for that matter, is the choosing of one's conversation partners. We have all heard that it is annoying to pick up a commentary only to find that it is just another commentary on other commentaries, with the idea implied that the author has no original thoughts of his/her own and is simply regurgitating the interpretative agendas of those who have come before. Many of us have also experienced the frustration of seeing some works marginalized and/or ignored in scholarly works without explanation. I'm sure commentators deal with this frustration most acutely, as one cannot possibly read all that is out there, and by necessity must be selective.

It has brought me great satisfaction then, to take a glimpse of Seth Ethorn's volume, Philemon, in the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) series. I notice that he includes the important works of my friend and mentor, John Byron in his bibliography. Call this a bias on my part, but whenever I see a work on slavery in the ancient world, John Byron's name should be included, period! Well done, Seth! You have passed my random, bibliographic test!

See here for exhibit A:

(Click on to enlarge.)

Brief Observations on the Logos' New Commentary Series: The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary

Many of you who own Logos Bible Software are fully aware that they offer many commentary series digitally. This is advantageous for many reasons, one obvious being saving on bookshelf space! But, other advantages exist as well, such as the tagging system that allows you to hover over footnotes with your mouse to access bibliographic information, and to do the same with scripture references that allow you to do the same. Not to mention the fully-integrated morphological system for both Hebrew and Greek. I have found that having the Pillar, NICGNT, and other series in this digital format to be extremely handy and time-saving.

In addition to the aforementioned series, Logos has decided to launch the first, digital-only commentary series deemed the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary Series. A list of contributors can be found here. I have found that this series follows similar formats of other exegetical commentaries. Introductions, Textual Matters, Authorship, Recipients and Date, Occasion and Setting, etc. make up the introductory sections prior to diving into the verses proper. However, it is nice to find some fairly extensive discussion of theological emphases included in the introductory sections, something not always present in commentary series.

Here is a brief look at the commentary proper. Notice the tagging system indicated by the text marked in blue. One has to simply point with their mouse to those items and without opening up another screen (another nice feature!), Logos' system will simply add a 'pop-up' over your existing screen to let you know what those items are.

(Note to reader: Double-click on the image to enlarge.)

Thus far, two volumes have been released, Seth Ethorn on Philemon and Israel Loken on Ezra and Nehemiah. Three others are to appear shortly, Exodus by Eugene Carpenter, 1,2,3 John by Gary Derickson, and James by William Varner.

So far, I really like what I am seeing here. I will have more thoughts soon.

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Location for The Jesus Conference

Chris Keith has kindly informed me of the new location for the Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity Conference that was to be held originally at Lincoln Christian University before the Anthony LeDonne debacle occurred.

His email to me reads in part:

The 2012 Jesus Conference will be held Oct. 4 and 5, 2012 in Dayton, OH.The co-hosts are United Theological Seminary and the University of Dayton's Center for Scriptural Exegesis, Philosophy and Doctrine. We're very excited to partner with these institutions and their fine faculty. More information concerning registration, schedule, etc., will be forthcoming.

I am so pleased that this conference is still going forward. I really believe that the conference has taken on even greater significance with all that has transpired over the past month.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hearing the Silence: An Interview with Bruce Longenecker

I have often scratched my head at the ending of Luke 4:28-30. How does Jesus escape the clutches of the angry Nazarene mob that is ready to hurl him off the side of a cliff? Luke's narrative does not tell us the "how", he simply writes, "But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way" (Luke 4:30; NRSV).

Talk about an understated conclusion! What is Luke on about? Why would he end such a gripping scene so anti-climatically? Thankfully, Bruce Longenecker,  Professor of Religion and W.W. Melton Chair at Baylor University. along with being a  first-rate New Testament scholar and author, has penned a volume,  Hearing the Silence: Jesus on the Edge and God in the Gap--Luke 4 in Narrative Perspective (Wipf and Stock), that addresses these perplexing questions and more. Longenecker provides a sure-footed and imaginative way forward, and manages to write such a reader-friendly and entertaining volume while addressing complex exegetical issues at the same time. This book needs to be used in classes such as Luke-Acts, Jesus and Film, and any classes that deal with Narrative Criticism.

Recently, Bruce was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions regarding this volume. I don't want to give away how Bruce comes to the conclusions that he does. Trust me, it will be worth your while to pick this up!  Now, on to the interview...
those who have not read it yet, I purposefully restrained myself from asking too many questions, because you

1.      Could you talk a bit about how Hearing the Silence came about?

            To answer this, I need to take you back to 2003, when my historical novel The Lost Letters of Pergamum was published. The prospect of writing a historical fiction was actually proposed to me by the publisher of that book (Baker Academic); at first I told them that I wasn’t the right person to write something like that. But I gave the prospect some thought, and to my utter amazement, a narrative started to take shape even within 24 hours of the proposal. The pieces seemed to fall into place without much prompting from me, and the narrative virtually wrote itself. Since its publication, The Lost Letters of Pergamum has been used widely in university and seminary courses that introduce the New Testament, enabling students to better imagine their way into the ethos and practicalities of the first-century world.
            But after that novel was published, I started to become interested in reading other fictions about Jesus and his first followers. So I began making my way through some of them, since they make for good bedtime reading. After a while, I begin to see certain patterns and features emerging from a cross-section of very diverse novels about Jesus. It occurred to me that the study of Jesus-novels might make for an interesting research project “on the side.” Little by little I began to craft what looked like a pretty interesting book on the subject of how the story of Jesus is being used today as a vehicle to engage with debates currently underway within the theological disciplines in particular and society more generally. But one chapter in that book just kept growing and growing. Eventually it became so large that I needed to jettison it from the larger project. So when my friend Robin Parry (an editor at Wipf & Stock publishers) asked me if I had anything that they could consider for publication, this project on Luke 4 came to mind. At that point the project was only 25,000 words (maybe something like 80 published pages or so), but it ended up at about 45,000 words. So that’s the story of the books inception over the past eight years. 

2.   In Hearing the Silence you mention “narrative vacuums” in the Canonical Gospels and the attempts that novelists and filmmakers make in filling those gaps in creative ways. Could you discuss some of the guiding principles they use in filling these lacunae in creative ways?

            Well, the main guiding principle is simply this: Use the story of Jesus to amplify your own interests. I know it sounds crass to say it like this, but it is what characterizes the whole enterprise, no matter where novelists are on the theological spectrum.
            The enterprise of amplifying the Jesus story by adding to it in one way or another has traditionally been done by “orthodox” Christians, from the earliest centuries of the common Era right up to today. The task is to devise an extra-canonical story about Jesus in order to explore some particular interest held by the novelist. So we get novels that probe what it might have been like for one person to have been fully divine and fully human. Or novels that tease out Jesus’ parables by giving them back-narratives to enable their meaning to be fully appreciated. Or novels demonstrating that Jesus brings wholeness and healing where there was psychological fracture and loneliness. Or stories about Jesus whose love restores relationships of enmity. That sort of thing.
            But other interests get thrown into mix along the way. What about abortion? Well, there’s a Jesus novel that deals with that. What about capitalism? Sure, take your pick – there’s a Jesus who embodies all that is good about Western capitalism, and there’s a Jesus who despises capitalistic impulses altogether. What about homosexuality? What about relations between Christianity and Judaism after the Holocaust? Or other religions? What about the reliability of the New Testament Gospels? Sure enough, the “novel Jesus” has had a lot to say about all these matters in recent years. That’s because the story of Jesus is such an intriguing venue in which to carry out reflections on matters of pressing interest. This is not an arena reserved solely for Christians; all sorts of people beyond the Christian church have seen advantages in tapping into the Jesus story in order to promote special interests of one kind or another. This has been going on for centuries, as testified to by the many apocryphal Gospels of the second and third centuries.

3.   The focus of Hearing the Silence is centered on the narrative of Luke 4:28-30. Can you talk about some of the difficulties that the ending of 4:30 brings to the reader/hearer?

            I sometimes ask students to pretend that they are Hollywood film directors directing a movie about Jesus, and to consider how they would choreograph the movement from Luke 4:28-29 to Luke 4:30. First, Jesus is dragged to the top of a cliff by an angry mob that holds him virtually tip-toed above the precipice, but then the conflict tappers off as Jesus simply “walked through their midst and went on his way.” How does this happen? The narrative gap here is so wide that, unless these budding film directors are going to drop the scene from their movie, they simply must fill the gap in one way or another. They will need to make decisions about how the event is orchestrated in terms of its cause-and-effect relationships.

     4. Could you provide a couple of examples on how novelists and filmmakers have dealt with the curious ending of Luke 4:30?

            I do that in two chapters of the book, where I canvass all of the options that I know to be on offer currently. Basically, if cause-and-effect is the product of human ingenuity and initiative, then Jesus can be likened to one of the following four: (1) a force-wielding Obe Wan Kenobe who uses something equivalent to a Jedi mind trick; (2) a well-intentioned Frodo accompanied by an entourage of skilled companions; (3) an adroit Indiana Jones, whose whip-snapping get-away skills come to the fore; and (4) someone who knows how to jump behind bushes when necessary (sorry, movie analogies escape me for this category; maybe Yogi the Bear?). Novelists and film-makers often seek out explanations of this episode’s cause-and-effect relationships within the realm of options such as these.

    5. How does viewing the Nazareth incident in 4:28-30 in light of the death and resurrection of Jesus provide interpretive clues for the reader/hearer?

            Ah, well, you’ve put your finger on the pulse of the matter. The point I try to make in the book is that Luke’s narrative world is one in which initiatives are not simply restricted to the kinds of ordinary cause-and-effect relationships that we might normally see on the silver screen. Luke’s theological world embraces theological initiative from start to finish. So at the beginning of his Gospel we see life emerge from death, as John the Baptist is born from within the “lifeless” bodies of Zachariah and Elizabeth. So too at the end of Luke’s Gospel we see the risen lord emerge from the tomb of the crucified Jesus. This is divine initiative to the extent that what looks to be a dead end is actually a new beginning. The same pattern appears repeatedly in the Acts of the Apostles (written by the same author).
            So in a sense, if we come to grips with the narrative movement of Luke 4:28-30, we come to grips with the very heart of the Lukan worldview. Held by clutches of anger above the Nazareth cliff, Jesus went through the midst of them and went on his way. This isn’t a theology peddling “it will be alright on the night”; instead, it's a theology undergirded by a remarkable confidence in the final triumph of God.
            So Luke 4:30 serves an important narrative and theological function within the broader story of Lukan Gospel. It introduces a narrative gap that is left so wide open precisely for the purposes of tantalizing readers, who are to consider their own worldview in relation to the worldview of the narrative.
            Luke is doing more than that in this gap, as I explore in the final chapter of the book. I propose there that Luke offers an intriguing insight into the mechanics of how Jesus moved from the edge of the cliff to be on his way. It’s a proposal that is best left for readers to explore for themselves in its fuller form rather than trying to defend it in a sentence or two here.  But I can at least say that explores another of Luke’s favorite themes regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus – that is, the fulfillment of Scripture. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Was Jesus Literate? An Interview with Chris Keith

Chris Keith, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Lincoln Christian University, is one of the brightest up and coming Historical Jesus scholars on the scene today. Historical Jesus studies has waned a bit over the years, but Chris Keith (and others) are proposing new ways forward in making sense of Jesus and the first-century world in which he operated.

Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Chris's latest book, Jesus' Literacy: Scribal Culture and the Teacher from Galilee . He also graciously agreed to an interview concerning this book. So, without further ado, on to the interview.

  1.  Could you discuss some of the factors that led you to write Jesus’ Literacy?

Jesus’ Literacy was a natural outgrowth from my The Pericope Adulterae, theGospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus.  In that study, which was my PhD at the University of Edinburgh, I argued that the references to Jesus “writing” in the ground in John 8.6, 8 were indeed claims that he could write.  Of course, in discussions about my thesis, people always asked whether I thought he really could.  I always answered vaguely—“Well, that’s not what the study is really about.”  I realized, though, that no one has really addressed the historical Jesus in terms of literacy in a systematic manner—there was no book on it.  Furthermore, most of the scholarly discussions treated the issue like a novelty topic.  From my earlier study, though, I was convinced that the issue of Jesus’ literacy actually mattered in a core way to historical Jesus studies, because it relates to how Jesus fit within the socio-cultural context of Second Temple Judaism and his career as a teacher within that context.  So, I decided I would turn and write a book on this topic.

  2. Scholars often appeal to the same texts and describe the same cultural enviornment, yet come to opposite conclusions regarding the issue of Jesus' literacy. Is this due to common misunderstandings of literacy in the ancient world?

Yes, I think so.  The misunderstandings are common for a reason, though.  Literacy in the ancient world is substantially more complex than most people think.  I think this is one reason why some scholars treated (and still treat) the topic of Jesus’ literacy as a novelty topic.  They read Crossan say that Jesus was illiterate and either agreed or disagreed, thinking that the terms “literate” or “illiterate” were relatively straightforward.  If one reads, however, Catherine Hezser’s work on literacy, or Raffaella Cribiore’s discussion of the school papyri of Greco-Roman Egypt, or even William Harris’s classic monograph, one realizes that literacy manifested in many contexts, languages, and skills.  There was nothing straightforward about it, and yet it was extensively tied into the social and political systems of the ancient world.  Current studies, like Sang-Il Lee’s Jesus and Gospel Traditionsin Bilingual Context, are only making clearer just how complex Jesus’ environment was in terms of language and literacy.

   3.    Form criticism and the criteria for authenticity have stood behind the various quests for the Historical Jesus. Describe why these methodologies are flawed and how does social memory theory provide a way forward.

They are flawed for the simple reason that there is no such thing as past-without-interpretation, or at least access to it.  The criteria, in their dependence upon form criticism, attempt to reach or reconstruct an entity that stood behind the interpretations of the Gospels.  That’s fine and good and, even if ultimately impossible, still the work of historical Jesus scholars in one form or another.  The problem is that they tried to reach or reconstruct that past entity in contradistinction to the interpretations in the Gospel narratives, again revealing their form-critical roots, since form criticism tried to reconstruct the oral tradition behind the Gospels by breaking units of tradition from the interpretations in the texts.  The interpretive frameworks of the present that give meaning to the past—i.e., enable the articulation of the past at all—are the only means in which the past survives.  Thus, the attempt to understand or reconstruct the historical Jesus should begin with the interpretations of the Gospels rather than in spite of them.  The criteria do the exact opposite.  Social memory theory, however, takes the complex interaction between the past and present seriously and provides a platform to understand various interpretations and, in some cases, posit a development.  At the end of the day, the criteria and social memory theory differ in their conceptions of the role of interpretive frameworks in historical reconstruction; the criteria dispose of them, social memory approaches work with and through them.

   4.    A distinction that you are careful to make in Jesus’ Literacy is the one between literacy and textuality (87-88). Could you comment on the importance for scholars to recognize the differences between the two when reconstructing the past?

Well, the clearest example of scholars not being careful of distinguishing the two is when they assert that literacy in Judaism was most likely higher than the rest of the ancient world because they were committed to a holy text.  One does not follow from the other, though.  Knowledge of a text, even intricate knowledge, does not require the ability to access that text for oneself.  That was even more common on the ancient world, where people held and even died with contracts that they were incapable of signing (for example, Babatha), than it is in our culture; and it’s common in our culture.  Lots of church- and synagogue-attendees know their holy texts intricately, but most are incapable of reading it in the original language themselves.  Rather, they are dependent upon what H. Gregory Snyder aptly calls “text-brokers.”  Thus, although texts were everywhere in Second Temple Judaism, it doesn’t mean that everyone could read them.  And, in many cases, the precise authority that the minority literate has is due to the fact that the majority illiterate esteem a text highly.  (Brian Stock’s The Implications of Literacy details this very well.)

5.   Discuss the importance of texts such as Mark 1:22// Matt 7:29; John 7:15 when discussing Jesus’ teaching authority vis-à-vis scribal-literate status.

What this group of texts claims is that Jesus’ audiences did assess his teaching career in light of known scribal-literate authorities.  That is, the theme of how Jesus’ own scribal abilities “stack up” against known authorities is a theme in the Gospels.  According to the first example, Mark 1:22//Matt 7:29, Jesus was “not like the scribes.”  And according to John 7:15, Jesus’ audiences questioned whether he was literate.  (The Greek literally reads, “How does this man know letters when he’s never been taught?”)  In short, these texts are significant because they show that questions like “Was Jesus a scribal-literate authority?” were not just questions for modern-day scholars—they were active questions in the first century CE.

6.  One of the key issues involving Jesus’ literate status is the differences portrayed in the Synoptic accounts. Could you talk about these differing portrayals and how John’s Gospel contributes to this debate?

I argue in the book that Mark and Luke have differing opinions as to Jesus’ social class.  Mark 6 claims that Jesus’ hometown rejects him as a synagogue teacher because he is a tektōn, typically translated “carpenter,” but a member of the manual-labor class.  (Matthew 13 follows Mark, but has Jesus as the son of a tektōn.)  Luke agrees that Jesus’ hometown rejected him, but it’s because of his statements in the synagogue, not because he’s a member of the manual-labor class.  Luke, in fact, removes the reference to Jesus being a tektōn, has the audience call Jesus simply “Joseph’s son,” and attributes to him scribal-literate skills of reading and handling a manuscript, even finding the location of a text in scriptio continua.  So, in short, there’s a difference of opinion within our first-century sources as to which class Jesus was in.  This shouldn’t surprise us.  John 7:15 says that Jesus’ own audiences were confused about whether he fell in the scribal-literate class or scribal-illiterate class.  Their question “How does this man know letters?” implies that Jesus was in the scribal-literate class; but their qualification “when he’s never been taught” implies that he was not.  “The Jews” of John 7:15 thus find Jesus to be a conundrum—he teaches like a scribal-literate person but they know he’s not because he wasn’t educated.  Importantly, the narrator never claims Jesus was “not like the scribes” as do Mark and Matthew; he claims only that Jesus is the type of Jewish teacher who made his audiences confused on the issue.  I think this claim on the part of the Johannine narrator has a very high degree of historical plausibility.  And if different audiences of eyewitnesses came to different conclusions about Jesus’ scribal-literate status and authority, and I argue in this book for the likelihood that they did (just like some members of his audience attribute Messianic status to him and others rejected it), we should not be surprised that this tension is present in our first-century sources as well, particularly if we believe that these sources do have some relationship to some form of eyewitness testimony.  (If I can raise the issue of “eyewitnesses” without being too nuanced about the details, since it’s a complex matter.)

7.    One of the key points you make in your work is that confusion about Jesus’ literate status in the early church can be attributed to Jesus himself. What are some of the key factors that helped you arrive at this conclusion?

The main factor that contributed to this issue was a preliminary methodological commitment, based on social memory theory, that the various images of Jesus must factor into an overall theory about the historical Jesus.  In other words, it wouldn’t be appropriate historiography simply to choose Mark’s scribal-illiterate Jesus or Luke’s scribal-literate Jesus, then dismiss the other image from the historical task altogether.  Whatever theory one proposes, it must explain how we already have differing images in the first century.  Once I started thinking about how both images could have already emerged in the first century, another issue came to the surface, which had its roots in my original work on literacy at Edinburgh.  Throughout the ancient sources, different social positions, and concomitant literate abilities, are viewed differently.  For example, a completely illiterate farmer may view a village scribe as a literate and honorable person.  At the exact same time, truly elite members of society saw village scribes as barely-literate, indeed, from their perspective illiterate, “wannabes.”  This secondary factor was instrumental because I realized that no one prior had asked whether different sections of Second Temple Palestinian culture might have interpreted, e.g., Jesus’ debates with known scribal-literates, differently.  That is, the role of perception in associating literate abilities with particular social roles led me to consider that Jesus’ own actions likely created the differing images of him.  If he was a scribal-illiterate person but did things—like teach in synagogue and debate Pharisees in public—that were typically the actions of scribal-literates, he inevitably contributed to the production of different receptions of him. 

8.  What implications do you foresee your work having on any future work done on the Historical Jesus, namely, the controversy narratives that occur between Jesus, the scribes and Pharisees?

I think Jesus’ Literacy has serious implications for how we interpret the controversy narratives because Jesus and the authorities are constantly arguing over Scripture and authority, and these two issues were hard-wired into scribal-literate culture.  Whether one considers Jesus as scribal-illiterate or scribal-literate changes how one understands those battles.  Were they attempts to expose Jesus as an imposter?  Or were they debates between two equally-authoritative teachers?  (And that assumes that the controversies are not the figments of later Christian imagination.  The majority of scholarship thinks this, but I’ll be arguing on the basis of my argument in Jesus' Literacy that something of the like had to have occurred.)  I’m working on this project currently in a book tentatively entitled Jesus the Controversial Teacher.  I’m arguing, in other words, that Jesus’ status as a teacher was a central factor (not the exclusive factor, of course) in why there was a controversy in the first place.  BakerAcademic is publishing this volume, and it should be out by 2013, but I’m cutting it close!

Friday, May 4, 2012

New Romans Commentary

Another Romans commentary is on its way, slated for the end of June. This time, noted commentator and New Testament scholar, Colin Kruse, is about to offer up his effort in the Pillar series.

Here are the details:

In keeping with the aims of the Pillar series, Colin Kruse in this commentary explains Romans to serious pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible. Kruse -- a well-known evangelical scholar -- solidly bases his exegesis on the Greek text, in conversation with scholarly literature, both ancient and modern, and with special attention to the literature of the last thirty years. This commentary shows how Paul expounds and defends the gospel against the background of God's sovereign action as creator, judge, and redeemer of the world. In the process, Kruse elucidates Paul's teaching about matters of concern in the Roman house churches -- issues that remain important today. Kruse's clarity and economy in dealing with such complex and important matters, along with the other features mentioned above, promise to make this commentary an enduring standard for years to come.

The book retails for $52 and is an economical 656 pages (for Romans at least!).

Audio and Video for Creation, Conflict, and Cosmos: A Conference on Romans 5–8

Princeton Theological Seminary is hosting the conference, Creation, Conflict, and Cosmos: A Conference on Romans 5–8, in  celebration of  their Bicentennial. I just wanted to let everyone know that video and audio can be downloaded from this page. Each day will be updated with video and audio of the speaker's presentations. Day one includes such luminaries as Stephen Westerholm,  Ben Myers, and Susan Eastman. Check it out!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jonathan Pennington's Site: Reading the Gospels Wisely

I have blogged about Jonathan Pennington before, see here , but for those of you who are not aware, Pennington has a very useful and attractive companion site set up for his new introductory Gospels textbook, Reading the Gospels Wisely

Here is the video introducing the book and some of its key emphases: