Gary Hoag’s Wealth in Ancient Ephesus– Part Four

Gary Hoag continues------ Texts like 1 Tim 2:9-15 reveal that social and cultural expectations linked to the decorum and deeds of women in God’s house must change dramatically (see chapter three of my BBRS volume). Ephesiaca was instrumental in helping me suggest that the prohibited hairstyle may point to the coiffure that all young ladies were expected to wear to exhibit their piety to the goddess Artemis. This hairstyle was coupled with sumptuous adornment in Ephesiaca revealing that the c … [Read more...]

Gary Hoag’s Wealth in Ancient Ephesus— Part Three

Q2.BEN: From the outset of your study, you seem concerned to take the old Dibelius and Conzelmann claim about the supposed ‘bourgeois ethics’ of the Pastoral Epistles to task. They seem to have assumed the ethics in the Pastorals were at odds with the eschatological ethics of other parts of the NT, and reflected a capitulation to or accommodation with the cultural norms of the day. By contrast, you suggest that the Pastorals reflect something of a counter-cultural ethic. In what ways would you sa … [Read more...]

From Pharoah with Love— A Valentine’s to Remember

On Valentine's weekend we were privileged to be invited to come see American Pharoah at Ashford Stud, in Versailles. The ole boy has put on 120 lbs. since he won the Breeder's Cup and looks good. As of Valentine's Day he is officially out to stud, price tag $200,000 a pop. Here are some of our best shots of the 2015 athlete of the year, who won both the Breeder's Cup and the Triple Crown--- never done before, and he's a horse from right here in the Bluegrass. … [Read more...]

Meditations for the Lenten Season– Part Two

THE ALCOVEA niche, A hideaway A retreat A sanctuary For prayer Communion Contact Reunion Like the horns on the altar Like the hem of his robe Like the songs in the psalter Like his hand on the globeLike a vault for safekeeping Like a treasury found Like a library of answers Like a truth that’s profound One God One sinner One entreaty One answerForgiveness For peace For wisdom ReleaseA secret space A closet A meeting p … [Read more...]

Mistranslated and Misquoted Verses—- Isaiah 45.7

In working on the Hebrew text of Isaiah, for my forthcoming book, Isaiah Old and New one of the things that has certainly struck me is how often bad theology happens as a result of a mistranslation or misreading of a translation of a text, usually an OT text. One excellent example of this is what happens sometimes with Isaiah 45.7.Vs. 7 has sometimes, mistakenly been taken to mean that Yahweh is the author of everything, good and evil alike. Here again is how the matter is phrased … [Read more...]

Risen! The Story that Will Not Die are many things that one could put on the desideratum list when it comes to swords and sandals cinematic epics involving the story of Jesus. At the top of the list would be--- 'Please dear God, let them get the story right this time'. Despite some reviews already out, it is not entirely correct to say 'they got the story right this time'. For one thing they indulged the medieval legend that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute. Nope. To the … [Read more...]

Gary Hoag’s Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and 1 Timothy— Part Two

Q1.BEN: First of all thank you Gary for this stimulating new book of yours based on your study of the little known work by Xenophon of Ephesus, his ‘Ephesiaca’. It is always a good thing when we do primary source research on extant documents from the same era and social location as the NT documents. What was it that got you interested in studying this particular possibly first century A.D. romance novella in tandem with 1 Timothy?A1.GARY: After my first year of PhD research at Trinity Col … [Read more...]

Gary Hoag’s Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and 1 Timothy— Part One

It is not always necessary to write a large scholarly tome to write a good one, and Gary Hoag's Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and the First Letter to Timothy. Fresh Insights from Ephesiaca by Xenephon of Ephesus (Eisenbrauns, 2015, $49.00, 266 pages), is a good book. It approaches 1 Timothy with an attempt to read the letter in light of its likely social and religious context in a city dominated by its main temple, which was also its main bank and tourist attraction--- the temple of Artemis. I am … [Read more...]

Hail Caesar! From Commies to Christ, and Back Again 1953 a movie came out entitled The Robe which was a sand and sandals epic about a Roman centurion who had been one of the ones who crucified Jesus, and won his robe on the toss of the dice, and was thereafter haunted by the man on the cross. Unlike, Hail Caesar (which draws upon some of the premise of that earlier movie, but is a satire), the Robe, starring no less an actor than Richard Burton, was a serious movie. What you have in Hail Caesar … [Read more...]