COUNTING THE WAYS March 24, 2014 By Philip Jenkins 0 Comments (Edit) Early Christians referred to their movement as The Way, Hodos. No later than the early second century, the converts’ manual that we call the Didache, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, began by declaring that “There are two Ways [Hodoi], one of Life and one of Death, and there is a great difference between the two Ways.” As I have suggested, references to the Way occur throughout the… Read more

[Here is a repost, by permission, of a fine comment by Philip Jenkins, which reminds us that you cannot rely purely on an English translation of the Bible if you want to be a good interpreter of the Bible–every translation is already an interpretation] THE WAY TO TRANSLATE March 21, 2014 By Philip Jenkins 0 Comments For some years now, I have found it hard to read the New Testament in English alone. Now, don’t think I’m showing off there…. Read more

Where Tom agrees with Sanders is that the Christ event made him take a more radical view of the plight than he had when he was a Pharisee. And this in turn affected his view of the Law— if righteousness came through obedience to the Mosaic Law, then Christ died for nothing. That was a conclusion Paul could not accept (p. 750). Further, the resurrection of Jesus made clear that the plight involved creation itself, all of creation would need… Read more

When it comes to the issue of the origins of evil, as Tom says on pp. 740ff. neither the OT nor early Jews sought to offer a detailed explanation. It appears they were more concerned with a solution to the problem rather than answers to abstract questions. It is interesting that not until the late first century A.D. were there Jews who traced the rot back to Adam and Even themselves, as the origin of at least human evil. One… Read more

Beginning on p. 728, Tom will deal with monotheism and the single united family of God. Here the basic thesis is— “It is after all the unity of the Messiah’s followers that will demonstrate that they are indeed the new humanity, the true people of the one God of Israel.” For Tom this segment, and the focus on the community is crucial not least because mere new ideas are not sufficient to create a new worldview. He puts it this… Read more

I’ve spent a lot of time in hotels in my life— little ones, big ones, new ones old ones, cheap ones opulent ones. I have to confess, I love grand old hotels. Some of the old European ones have an especial charm to them. This movie, which was filmed basically in Germany, in particular in Gorlitz and other parts of Saxony, takes us back to a bygone era, the early thirties, only just before the rise of Hitler and the… Read more

On p. 722, we have a brief discussion of what the ‘obedience of faith’ means for Paul, and a connection between Rom. 5.3-5 and Rom. 8.27ff. in regard to what is said about the love of God. Tom suggests that in Rom. 5 the focus is on our love for God, as it is in Rom. 8.28. He asks, following Caird what sense it would make to speak of God’s love for his people in ‘our’ hearts. I see what… Read more

O.K. Kindle hounds, you now have another good offering available to you from yours truly– The Gospel of Jesus. One could call this Ben’s Diatesseron, if you know what that is. Many centuries ago, Tatian, a church father sought to combine the stories in the four Gospels to provide one seamless narrative. That is not quite what this is— this is the singular oral story behind the various Gospel tellings of the life of Jesus, as I have reconstructed it…. Read more

There are important points along the way where Tom helpfully summarizes what he is arguing for or believes, and this helps provide clarity to the discussion. For instance on p. 710 we hear: “with both christology and pneumatology it seems that the normal assumption of many [modern] writers is radically mistaken. It is not the case that the NT is unclear or fuzzy on these subjects, and that the early Fathers invented a high view of Jesus and the spirit… Read more

O.K. all you Kindle hounds, the Kindle edition of ‘Ephesian Miracle is now available for less than $10! Here’s the link— It’s a a steal, and complete with pictures too. The first to do a good lengthy review on Amazon can have a free (different) book, my new Gospel of Jesus book, from me if you will send me a self-addressed, stamped mailing envelope to my school address— ATS, N. Lexington Ave. Wilmore, Ky. 40390. Enjoy the fun…. BW3 Read more

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