Bridge of Spies/Bridge of Sighs

Tom Hanks, over the last couple of decades, has played many roles, and many have suggested he, like Jimmy Stewart before him, has been playing ‘everyman’ in all these roles. There is considerable truth in this assessment, and when he teams up with Mr. Spielberg, then we are really off to the races when it comes to ‘everyman’ movies. Those going to Bridge of Spies, expecting another Saving Private Ryan, will be disappointed, in the sense that this is not… Read more

John Barclay’s Paul and the Gift– Part Two

Ben: The Greek term ‘charis’ does indeed have as a basic meaning gift, though the term can also be used to refer to the response of ‘gratitude’ to the gift. One linguistic question arises— can a response to a charis (gift) really be seen as a ‘gift’, since it’s not initiated without prior stimulus or conditions? Or should we say that ‘charis’ at least when predicated of humans responding to God has a different sense than it does when it… Read more

John Barclay’s— Paul and the Gift– Part One

(published August 2015, Eerdmans, 656 pages). There are only a few landmark or seminal books in one scholar’s lifetime, that are written in his field. When it comes to Paul and my scholarly career, one can easily mention E.P. Sanders Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977), and Wayne Meeks, The First Urban Christians (2 editions, 2nd edition 2003). It is too early to assess the impact of John Barclay’s Paul and the Gift, for various reasons, not the least is that… Read more

City of Gold and Shadows– The Twelfth Felse Novel

The Felse series of novels first appeared in the 60s and 70s, then there were new editions by Headline in the 80s and 90s, the latter partly prompted, no doubt, by the enormous success of the Cadfael novels which began in 1977 and ran into the 90s. The Twelfth novel in the Felse series, which emerged for the first time in 1973, is once more all about George the Inspector (with cameo appearances by Bunty), and not about Dominic or… Read more

More Analysis on the Talpiot Tomb and the James Ossuary

Eerdmans has published a very important collection of essays, which were originally papers given at a conference in Jerusalem in January 2008. The papers have been collected and put together by my fellow N.C. Methodist NT scholar, Jim Charlesworth, and the book is entitled ‘The Tomb of Jesus and His Family? Exploring Ancient Jewish Tombs Near Jerusalem’s Walls (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. Pp. xx + 585. Paper.$48.00. ISBN 9780802867452. The book has recently been reviewed by Jodi Magness of UNC… Read more

Death to the Landlords— the Eleventh Felse Novel

The second and final Felse novel set in ‘darkest India’ is a novel that involves only Dominic Felse, whose fiancee has apparently gone back to Oxford to finish her degree, leaving Dominic to go walkabout. In other words, this is a travelogue novel, with Dominic touring the southern part of India, right down to the Cape. Along the way, he has the misfortune of running into another murder, this time by Nagalite terrorists who’s battle cry is ‘Death to the… Read more

The Knocker on Death’s Door— The Tenth Felse Novel

The word knocker can have several meanings. It can refer to a person who knocks on a door, or it can refer to an implement on the door, in this case a church door. In Ellis Peter’s tenth novel, and the best so far in the series, it, and many other things are in fact double entendres. Indeed, many things are not as they seem in this novel. There is a church door which isn’t, and a Norman family which… Read more

Mourning Raga— The Ninth Felse Novel

As it turns out, some this series of mysteries by Ellis Peters focus on George, some on Dominic, and at least one on Bunty Felse. This one is entirely focused on Dominic and his girl Tossa, and their impromptu trip to India, free of charge, in exchange for escorting the daughter of a film star to her father’s home in Delhi. If the last novel was all opera all the time, this one is all atmosphere, and Peters does an… Read more

The House of Green Turf– The 8th George Felse Novel

The eight novel in the George and Dominic Felse series takes on the character of an opera, not least because it involves a diva, Maggie Tressider, who has gained fame throughout Europe as a remarkable alto with beautiful steel blue eyes. Maggie is unattached, married to her career so to speak, and doing well until one very rainy day, she slides off the motorway and has a big wreck and a near death experience. This in itself might be enough… Read more

The Grass Widow’s Tale– The Seventh Felse Novel

The Free Dictionary online (by Farlex accessed 8-27-15) gives us an interesting history for the term grass widow. It says the following— The phrase “Grass widow is first recorded in 1528, and originally referred to an unmarried woman who has lived with one or more men, a discarded mistress, or a woman who has borne a child out of wedlock. The grass in grass widow seems to have originally made reference to the makeshift bed of grass or hay (as… Read more

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