Sunday, June 9, 2013

Andrew Lincoln's Latest: Born of a Virgin?

Well, it looks that the SBL wish list just got a tad
longer as I have learned that Andrew T. Lincoln, Portland Professor of New Testament at the University of Gloucestershire,  has a forthcoming volume on the way provocatively entitled, Born of a Virgin? Reconceiving Jesus in the Bible, Tradition, and Theology (Eerdmans; November 2013; 384 pp.).

Here is a description:

This book will appeal to those many Christians who struggle with the concept of the virgin birth. Andrew Lincoln's Born of a Virgin? begins by discussing why the virgin birth is such a difficult and divisive topic for Christians. The book then deals with a whole range of literary, historical, and hermeneutical issues from a perspective that takes seriously creedal confessions and theological concerns. As part of his exegetical investigation of the New Testament texts, Lincoln considers the literary genre and distinctive characteristics of the birth narratives as ancient biography. Further, he delineates how changes in our views of history and biology decisively affect any traditional understanding of the significance of an actual virgin birth, and he explores what that means for the authority of Scripture and creed, along with implications for Christology and for preaching and teaching from the birth narratives.

Lincoln has already written two excellent books on John's Gospel, one a commentary for the Black series, and the stimulating monograph, Truth on Trial: The Lawsuit Motif in the Fourth Gospel, so I am eager to see the latest offering from one of the finest NT scholars in the world today. Incidentally, for those who have access to the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Lincoln has published an article entitled, " Contested paternity and contested readings: Jesus’ conception in Matthew 1.18-25" JSNT 34 (2012) 211 – 231; and has another on the way in the Journal of Biblical Literature entitled, "Luke and Jesus' Conception: A Case of Double Paternity?" JBL (forthcoming 2013). These two articles may give one a sneak preview of  Lincoln's thesis before the book arrives.

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