Ship of Fools— World Party'Avarice and greed can't give you what you need, you may buy today, but you will pay tomorrow....take a ride on the ship of fools' … [Read more...]

Calling all Angels— Ancient Syncretistic Inscriptions


One of the things most notable to the student of Biblical literature is the vast increase in the interest in the demonic and the angelic during the inter-testamental and NT eras compared to what we find in the OT itself. But it was not just Jews or Christians who were naming and calling on angels. Pagans did this as well. J.R. Harrison presents us in New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity Vol. 10 with an interesting inscription found on a gem stone, dating to perhaps 150 or so A.D. The … [Read more...]

Paul, Ephesos, and the ‘grace of Augustus’


Another of the very helpful entries in New Docs. Vol. 10 involves and inscription from Ephesos/Ephesus and its explanation and implications spelled out by J.R. Harrison, one of the new editors of the series along with Stephen Llewelyn. The inscription is from about 22 B.C. and is found in both Latin and Greek. The Greek reads "By Caesar Augustus' grace (xapiti) from the sacred revenues which he himself freely gave to the goddess [Diana/Artemis] a road was laid under the proconsul Sextus … [Read more...]

An Invitation to the NT– Textbook Resources Rolled Out!


I am very pleased to announce that the online resources (tests, answers, a variety of online extra resources) are now available at the Oxford U. Press website for teachers who have adopted this text as a textbook, and they are excellent, saving teachers a lot of hard work. There are also lots of study questions and the like there as well. You can contact the OUP representative at (800) 280-0280 if/when you need access to the supplements. Here is a link to the book’s page ( … [Read more...]

What’s in a Name?— Onamasticons

BW0498- Synagogue Lentil - Corinth

One of the most important series of publications of primary sources translated into English that is of direct relevance to the study of the NT over the course of the last thirty plus years is New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity now stretching to ten volumes and having gone through many editors. Thankfully Eerdmans picked up the torch from Macquarrie University and has been providing us with splendid editions of these volumes.The series was the brain child of Edwin Judge and … [Read more...]

‘The Impossible’ Takes a Little Longer


Disaster movies are often tough to watch, especially ones that are based in actual events and tell the story of actual people in crisis. Sometimes the director gins up the drama, amplifies the disaster, focuses on the mayhem, and the human story gets swallowed up in a tidal wave of action.'The Impossible' directed by Juan Antonio Bayona is not like that. It is a sensitive portrayal of one particular family caught up in the tsunami of Dec. 26th 2011 that hit the coast of Thailand, arguably … [Read more...]

The Infancy Narratives– Part Five


If we were hoping for some comments from the Pope on the 2nd century Infancy Gospels (of Thomas, or the Protevangelium of James for example) we were hoping in vain. He does make a passing comment that he things somethings in them may go back to 'family tradition', but he says no more. Instead the last full chapter of his little study focuses on the famous Magi story, and the Epilogue on Jesus in the Temple at 12 (Lk. 2.41-52). In other words, he has basically been proceeding through these … [Read more...]

The Infancy Narratives— Part Four


Of late we have heard in the news about a discovery of a town near Nazareth called Bethlehem, and not unexpectedly, some archaeologists are suggesting that this is more likely to be the birthplace of Jesus, than the 'city of David'. Whatever the merits of this view, it is not what either the Lukan or Matthean birth narratives say or suggest, and the reference to Bethlehem as the birth place is one of the most salient facts that Mt.1-2 and Lk. 1-2 share in common.The third chapter of the … [Read more...]

The Infancy Narratives– Part Three


The lengthy second chapter (pp. 14-57) covers a great deal of ground including the annunciations stories, and the discussions of the virginal conception. Along the way we discover something of who are the Pope's regular exegetical discussion partners, namely familiar to those of us who have read Continental scholarship on the Gospels (and the OT prophecies referred to in the Birth Narratives)-- O. Kaiser (on Isaiah), J. Gnilka, R. Laurentin E. Peterson, H. Schurmann, even P. Stuhlmacher on the … [Read more...]