It would be difficult to fully assess in one blog post the work of J.D.G. (Jimmy) Dunn. For one thing, he is among the most prolific NT scholars of the modern era. Don’t believe me? Check this out…. James D. G. Dunn (1970). Baptism in the Holy Spirit (Studies in Biblical Theology Second Series 15). London: SCM Press. James D. G. Dunn (1975). Jesus and the Spirit. London: SCM Press. James D. G. Dunn (1985). The Evidence for Jesus. Philadelphia:… Read more

I’m often asked why I turned down Oxford, where I had been accepted to do my doctoral work, to go to Durham. The answer is simple— Durham had a better NT department with Barrett and Cranfield and others, and C.K. Barrett was at the time the best Methodist NT scholar in the world, by general acknowledgment. In fact, as time went on, it was surprising to hear various of the German scholars like Martin Hengel say that Barrett was the… Read more

Ian Howard Marshall was someone I could identify with quite readily. He was an Evangelical and he was a Methodist and he was a NT scholar as well. One of his earliest books (1969), based on a thesis was Kept by the Power of God, which made sense of all the apostasy and perseverance texts in the NT. This is still one of the best studies on this particular subject. Howard was a real churchman as well, frequently preaching here… Read more

One of the more controversial aspects of the Gospels is the two genealogies we have for Jesus, one in Mt. 1.1-17 the other in Lk. 3.23-38. While there are a few similarities between the two (e.g. they both mention that Jesus is the ‘so-called’ son of Joseph), they are mostly different, and they serve very different purposes. Some Bible students along the way have tried to suggest that we have Mary’s genealogy in Luke, and Joseph’s in Matthew, but this… Read more

You may be surprised to hear me say so, but the third episode of Finding Jesus, about the Gospel of Judas, was the most effective of those which have aired thus far. It’s a very fair probing of what we ought to think about Judas (some pros, mostly cons), and the subsequent traditions about Judas, including the late second or early third century document called The Gospel of Judas. Kudos to David, Mark, Candida and others who made it so…. Read more

Towards the end of my college years, I read a book that I really loved, recommended by Dr. Boyd— Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Prophets (two volumes). I still love it. For the first time I began to see the prophets as real flesh and blood people, real passionate believers, and I learned about their pathos, what really moved and exercised them. The books focused on their sense of divine love, on ‘hesed’ and what it meant. Suddenly the prophets were… Read more

It is, under any circumstances, quite difficult to catch fire twice with the same story line. Lightning, as it turns out seldom strikes twice in the same place. Yet, if you have a compelling cast, a good storyline, some wit and some wisdom, and an interesting enough setting it does happen once in a while. On the cast front, and the setting front ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ gets the nod as a worthy sequel. Unfortunately, the second movie… Read more

The journey has been a long one for me. It’s taken reading several thousand books over the years. It really began back in high school when I read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. That really stuck with me. So did Leslie Weatherhead’s little book on The Will of God. I remember a book on the Shroud of Turin which was fascinating too. Of course I also read all the Tolkien, and Lewis, and Williams, and Sayers volumes I could… Read more

In honor of my sister’s birthday, I pass along this story from alert reader Jim Horn… A flustered woman hurried to the pharmacy to get medication for her sick child, got back to her car and saw that she had locked her keys inside. She found a rusty coat hanger on the ground, looked at it and said to herself, “I don’t know how to use this.” Not knowing what to do, the woman bowed her head and asked God… Read more

Valentine’s weekend. Warm thoughts, cold everything else. Only we were headed to Boston for a long weekend and a conference. Except the blizzard came to town, and I don’t mean the DQ blizzard. We never got to Boston, and watching the Valentine’s Day massacre on the highways and byways around Boston, and the 79 freaking inches of snow pile up, we were glad we never got there. So….. instead, Boston came to us. Over a foot of dry powdery snow,… Read more

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