Jesus and his Disciples—- What’s in a Word


(A schematic of the large house of the fisherman unearthed in Bethsaida--- hometown of Peter and Andrew).The term mathetes is thrown around a lot in church these days, usually translated 'disciple'. It's actual literal sense is a 'learner' but often it means something more like 'adherent'. Interestingly, this term does not really show up in the NT outside of the Gospels and Acts, and in Acts the usage seems to be Lukan, by which I mean it does not seem to come from Luke's sources, but from … [Read more...]

Skyfall—- a 50th Year Anniversary Windfall

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While it is hard to believe, there have been 50 years worth of James Bond films, some very good, some not so good, some forgettable. Cubby Broccoli was in charge for most of the way, but more recently his daughter Barbara has taken over the director's chair, and to good effect. For the record, I've seen all the Bond films, some of them several times, and I am extremely happy to tell you--- the 50th anniversary edition is one of the very best. While the ending drags on a bit long as the villain … [Read more...]

Hurtado on God-Talk


“Binitarian,” “Dyadic,” “Triadic”: Early Christian God-talk and Devotion by larryhurtadoBack from the annual meeting of the British New Testament Society (King's College London, 6-8 Sept), I want to report on, and engage briefly, the plenary lecture by Professor Anthony Thiselton: "Must We Rest Content with 'Binitarianism' in New Testament Studies?" I respect and admire Professor Thiselton greatly, and this is not in any way intended to refute or negate his lecture. But, given that he ope … [Read more...]

A Dog Gone Mistake

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Here's a helpful piece by Larry Hurtado. See what you think. BW3 Dogs, Doggies, and Exegesis by larryhurtadoSince the assigned lection a few Sundays ago on Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician woman (Mark 7:24-30), I've intended to comment on what appears to me a surprisingly widespread mis-reading of the passage. Essentially, the "dogs" (who Jesus says here must wait till after the "children" have eaten before they can be fed) are taken with an extremely pejorative connotation as feral … [Read more...]

The Radicality of Jesus

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Despite our very best efforts to domesticate Jesus, or recreate him in our own image, Jesus continues to burst our conventional ideas and images of what he must have been like. This is especially clear in his sayings about calling people away from their families in order for them to follow Jesus. We've discussed sayings like 'I did not come to bring peace but sword....' before on this blog, not to mention Mk. 3.31-35, but today we need to address certainly one of the most shocking things … [Read more...]

‘Flight’ Risk—Decensus ad Inferno

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When you come to the end of yourself, you meet your God. And when you come to the end of your lies, you meet the truth. Whip Whitaker is an addict so deeply into denial, that like most addicts, he thinks his will power is still in control. Alas, of course it is not. The problem is multiplied by the fact that he is also a major airline pilot, and worse still he is able to fly well, even when, stoned, drunk, or coked out or all three. We meet Whip the night before a flight from Orlando to … [Read more...]

The Interconnectedness of Ethical Judgments


We live in a world of compartmentalization. You go to the grocery store and there is a bread aisle, a fruit aisle, an ice cream aisle. You go to Best Buy and there is a TV section, a cell phone section, a DVD section, a computer section. You go to the Mall and there are stores for men's clothes, more stores for women's clothes and so on. You go to the car dealer and there is a row of convertibles, a row of mini-vans, a row of SUVs, a row of hybrids, a row of sports cars. You get my … [Read more...]

You are Invited!! The Introduction to the NT


O.K. all you buyers of socio-rhetorical commentaries who have been hounding me to produce an Introduction to the NT that is a companion volume to those commentaries and introduces the whole NT in that manner..... you need look no further. By the end of this month or sooner Oxford U. Press will be publishing my socio-rhetorical Intro to the whole NT. It is already up and available for pre-order on Amazon. Note to all ya'll-- because this is going to be a textbook for college and entry level … [Read more...]



There is a new book out on the market comparing and contrasting four popular recent translations Evangelicals tend to use--- the NIV, the NLT, the ESV, and the HCSB. The book is entitled Which Bible Translation Should I Use? A Comparison of Four Recent Versions, and its introducers and editors are Andrew Kostenberger and David Croteau (B+H, 2012, 204 actual pages). Each of the four versions are essentially presented or defended by four individuals who were involved in the translation work … [Read more...]