Paul and the Heritage of Israel– Part Seven


The essay entitled "In Paul's Defense" by Timothy Brookins, Mikeal Parsons and Peter Reynolds seeks to provide the reader with translations from 'J.A. Cramer's Catena' (1838) which collected early defenses of Paul, or clarifications of Acts' portrait of Paul that might seem to tarnish his halo. The attempt also is to exonerate Paul from any infelicity or wrongdoing. The scholia in Cramer's catena are thought to go back to Archbishop Andrew of Caesarea of Cappadocia, and so to the 7th century … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel— Part Six


Richard Pervo's contribution to the Paul and the Heritage of Israel volume, entitled "(Not) Appealing to the Emperor" is a valuable one. For one thing, it is a mistake to lump attitudes about the Empire, attitudes about a particular Emperor (say Nero) and attitudes about the growing Imperial cult together. One could be anti-Imperial cult without reservation and at the same time say something like we find in Rom. 13. Pervo's purview is to sort of Luke's view, and he begins with a crucial … [Read more...]

History Channel’s ‘the Bible’— Less Filling, Tastes Great


(picture courtesy of Joe Alblas, History Channel)At this season of the year, with Easter approaching, we usually have some sensationalized documentaries, or docudramas, meant to suggest things like Jesus was a Gnostic, or Jesus' family tomb has been found, or Jesus was actually a Marxist revolutionary in disguise, and the like. When an Easter time program comes along that avoids all of those fallacies and instead simply tries to present the story of the Bible, Christians and Jews alike … [Read more...]

‘In the Fields of the Lord’– Mark Oppenheimer’s Bombshell

First of all, I admit to being a sports fan. A big sports fan. Always have been, and probably always will be. And I have also seen the inside of sports, the ugly side, the bad side, especially when we are talking about college and professional sports. But of course I have also seen parents yelling and swearing at their six year olds to play better. We are a sports obsessed nation, and even more than that, we are a 'just win baby' nation when it comes to sports. And here in lies a major … [Read more...]

The Emperor Cult— Hurtado Assesses the Literature


[Here are some helpful resources and a helpful analysis by Larry Hurtado on the Emperor cult] Roman Emperor Cult & Early Christianity: Some Recent Studies by larryhurtadoIn the ancient Roman setting in which the Christian movement emerged, the Emperor was a towering figure, successively from Augustus onward. I experienced a particular example of this myself a few years ago when visiting the Roman theatre in Orange. Above the stage area stood a large statue of the Emperor, … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel— Part Five


In summing up recent trends in the assessment of the relationship of the Paul of the letters, and the Paul of Acts, Simon Butticaz in his article " Has God Rejected his People (Rom. 11.1): The Salvation of Israel in Acts: Narrative Claim of a Pauline Legacy" (pp. 148-64) argues that "Modern research now appears to be firmly engaged in a third direction: locating the Paulinism of Luke between irrefutable proximity and noteworthy distance. In other words, the exegetes are increasingly convinced … [Read more...]

Hurtado on Monotheism and Paganism


This is a reposting of some of Larry's updating of his essay on monotheism. “Monotheism” in/and Ancient Roman Religion: The Continuing Discussion by larryhurtadoHaving just tried to do a last-minute updating of my essay, "How Do We Recognize 'Ancient Jewish Monotheism' in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods?," scheduled to appear in the next issue of Journal of Ancient Judaism, I want to mention a recent multi-author volume with some high-quality contributions on a number of matters rel … [Read more...]

The Wit and Wisdom of Will Rogers


Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash, was one of the greatest political sages this country has ever known. Some of his sayings:1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco. 2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day. 3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman. Neither works. 4. Never miss a good chance to shut up. 5. Always drink upstream from the herd. 6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. 7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back into … [Read more...]

Paul and the Heritage of Israel– Part Five


The second major portion of Paul and the Heritage of Israel deals with The Figure and Legacy of Paul in Acts. The first essay in this section is an important one by David Moessner.Moessner situations Acts, quite rightly, as a volume completed in the last couple of decades of the first century when the first generation of witnesses had died off or were no longer able to give credible witness. Written apostolic traditions are proliferating, collections of Paul's letters are circulating and … [Read more...]