I can smell the salt air, I can feel the sea breeze. It’s a great treat to go for a week long sail in a Gulet Boat. This time we were in a bigger boat than when I went in 2010. And here is our able captain, Ahmed. And here are our able young energetic deck hands… And here’s the whole crew including our fabulous chef…. with Levent. And here’s the sleeping quarters… And here’s the dining area on deck,… Read more

On the way to Marmaris our friend Mark Fairchild suggested we stop at Nysa, not to be confused with Nyssa (as in Gregory’s turf in Cappadocia). It is not a Biblical site, but it was once a pretty impressive Greco-Roman city, as you will now see, but first a pit stop at another one of those wonderful truck stops where we bought Magnum bars, Turkish coffee beans, and even zeytinyagi=olive oil… Here’s a brief summary about the city of Nysa….. Read more

After leading a tour as extensive and intensive as the tour we did of Israel and Turkey, what do you do for an encore? Well, before the encore….. we went to the beach. A really nice beach, Chesme (which means fountain), on the east coast of Turkey, and not far from Izmir, which served as a sort of home base. And Chesme means……. well…. this… And this…. And this… In case you are wondering, the Aegean is cool, but not… Read more

Balance is what Tom calls for in the discussion of Paul’s already and not yet comments on rulers and authorities, and I quite agree. And the not yet seems clearly enough in play in 2 Thess. 2.1-5 when we hear about the man of lawlessness who will be revealed, who usurps divine roles, making himself out to be a god. Here, it would indeed appear that the target may be the Emperor cult. Having said that, it is well to… Read more

Tom points to 1 Cor. 2.6-8 to make his point on p. 1285. Here he is probably right that human rulers are meant, especially since the crucifixion by them is mentioned in vs.6. What is said of them however is that they are not in on the eschatological secret that Christ is the Lord of glory, otherwise they would not have crucified him. Now this implies that with more knowledge they would not have done what they did. In other… Read more

It is always a dangerous thing to make categorical statements about either/ors when you are in a situation of already and not. Tom, however, following the lead of his doctor father George Caird, and others says on p. 1281— “Either the history of Rome provides the true story, with Christian faith content to shelter as a permitted religion under its banner. Or the history of Israel climaxing in the crucified and risen Messiah must be seen as the true story,… Read more

SPOILER ALERT: THE FOLLOWING IS A RANT! If you have been paying any attention to the news of late, you may well be doing more than just scratching your head. There is increasing evidence that America has simply lost its mind. Let’s start with the story about the nine year old who accidentally shot her shooting instructor in Arizona while learning how to use an Uzi, not mind you on single shot, but on repeat. What kind of parent even… Read more

Tom’s fondness for chiastic structures leads to the final three chapters of the book (minus the final final chapter which is just conclusions) being a revisiting of the issues introduced in the first three chapters of this magnum opus, only now in reverse order. SO the overall plan of the book is: 1) the study of Paul’s world in three parts; 2) the study of Paul’s theology focused on three major themes— monotheism, election, and eschatology; and then 3) the… Read more

As Tom admits, in discussing the phrase ‘The Redeemer/Deliverer’ (p.1251) in Rom. 11.26-27, Paul does elsewhere use the cognate phrase, ho rheumenos’ very clearly to refer to Christ’s return and delivering his people from wrath in 1 Thess. 1.10. And I would say there is no reason it can’t mean that here in Romans as well. Tom seizes on the Isaianic phrase “whenever I take away there sins” and while he is right that this could refer to multiple actions… Read more

The discussion in pp. 1245ff. is a good example of how a scholar can be right as rain about what he rejects, but wrong about what he affirms. It will be remembered that Tom’s view of Romans 11 is that “the saving of all Israel may refer here as in 11.14 and surrounding verses to actual concrete ‘turnings’ in which more and more of Paul’s fellow kinfolk will no longer remain in ‘unbelief’ (11.23)” (p. 1245). He quotes Ed Sanders… Read more

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