Robert Gundry Nails the Purpose of Mark’s Gospel

Robert Gundry’s 1993 Mark commentary remains one of my favourites. In particular, I think he nails the purpose of Mark’s Gospel:

An apologetic purpose with regard to the Cross provides a comprehensive explanation of all elements and, more especially, of the ways in which those elements are presented. Fitting together to form an apology for the Cross are not only the authority and radicalism of Jesus’ teaching but also the fulfilment of his predictions, not only his power-packed miracles and exorcisms but also the supernatural manner and accompaniments of hsi death, not only his attraction of crowds but also his burial by a pious and brave member of the Sanhedrin, not only his baptismal approval by the Father and enduement with the Spirit but also his resurrection. No element has to be slighted or subsumed. Mark’s taking for granted little if any knowledge of Jesus favors that Mark writes apologetically not to keep Christians from apostatizing out of shame for the cross … but to convert non-Christians despite the shame of the Cross … So this gospel is for people who are afraid to believe in a world that despises weakness and esteems power. The Jesus of Mark is overpowering. Let the weak find in him their champion, the strong their conqueror (p. 1026).

Introduction to the New Covenant Commentary Series

See below a video by myself and Craig Keener about the New Covenant Commentary Series published by Cascade (Wipf & Stock). … [Read More...]

Rudolf Bultmann versus the Jesus Mythcists

Nice words from the old Marburger against Jesus mythicism: Of course the doubt as to whether Jesus really existed in unfounded and not worth refutation. No sane person can doubt that Jesus stands as founder behind the historical movement whose first distinct stage is represented by the oldest Palestinian community. But how far that community preserved an objectively true picture of him and his message is another question. Bultmann, Jesus and the Word, pp. 17-18. … [Read More...]

The Spirituality of Wine

I'm again reading through Gisela Kreglinger's book The Spirituality of Wine, and it is a terrific read.The chapter begins with the words, "Wine is a great mystery and a profound gift." And while one might think that the Bible would speak against the desire and temptations of wine, it speaks far … [Read More...]

An Anomalous Jew – The Musical

Here is a Hamiton spin-off I shot with Eerdmans's Rachel Bomberger about my book An Anomalous Jew.See here.Good fun! … [Read More...]

My New Novel – The Divinity School – Now Ready for Order

Okay, my novel, The Divinity School, is now ready for ordering for Australian and New Zealander readers! Not yet on Amazon.com, but available at the Morning Star's Home Page.Here's the blurb:The Divinity School follows the lives of four of faculty members at an interfaith studies centre at … [Read More...]

Martin Hengel’s Verdict on Rudolf Bultmann

I'm reading a lot of Rudolf Bultmann these days, as part of a particular research project, and as much as I try to like Bultmann - even with David Congdon's help - I just can't. In the end, I agree with Martin Hengel's verdict on Bultmann: After I became Stiftsrepetent [i.e., a student instructor] … [Read More...]

Book Notice: John Stackhouse on Partner’s in Christ

John G. Stackhouse Partners in Christ: A Conservative Case for Egalitarianism Wheaton, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2015. Available at Amazon.comReviewed by Felicity CliftIn the conservative evangelical world (and perhaps beyond) it seems that conscientious evangelical women pursuing … [Read More...]

Nijay Gupta on 1-2 Thessalonians

If you don't have Nijay Gupta's Thessalonians commentary, why not, you should, it's great. I reckon it is one of the best around, up there with Mahlherbe and Fee (though John Byron is good too in the SGBC, esp. for preachers).Here's an interview Nijay did about the volume! … [Read More...]

Mega Archaeological Find: New Cave Discovered at Qumran

This is not a drill, over at theLab, Craig Evans writes on a new cave discovered at Qumran, including some new parchments! This is known as Cave 12 with a possible Cave 13 still to be found. [Randall] Price and his team made a truly significant discovery. Although the cave that the archaeologist … [Read More...]

Another Review of What Christians Ought To Believe

Glad to see another positive review of What Christians Ought to Believe, this time by Donnie Haflich over at Solid-State ApologeticsAnyone who thinks that the practice of orthodox doctrine in one’s life is a pursuit of stale, boring, and dusty thinking from ancient people who were not as te … [Read More...]

Book Notice: A Short Life of Thomas Cranmer

Leslie Williams Emblems of Faith Untouched: A Short Life of Thomas Cranmer Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016. Available at Amazon.comThomas Cranmer was the Archbishop of Canterbury during the tumultuous reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I.In this short biography, Leslie Williams … [Read More...]

Win a Copy of Paul’s Triumph

Christoph Heilig is my favourite German Neutestamentlich Aussenseiter and you can win a copy of his new book Paul’s Triumph: Reassessing 2 Corinthians 2:14 in Its Literary and Historical Context published by Peeters. In his second (canonical) letter to the Corinthians, Paul makes an assertion about … [Read More...]

N.T. Wright Interviewed Books and his New Book

N.T. Wright gets interviewed by Krish Kandiah on Three Book that Changed N.T. Wright's Life (his picks will surprise you!) and Eric Metaxas also interviews Wright on his show about The Day the Revolution Began. … [Read More...]

The Council of Nicea Rap Battle

As some of you may know, before I was a theologian I was a soldier and before I was a soldier I was a budding lyricist for musicals. Below is my attempt to write a hip-hop style rap between the Arians and Homoousians at the Council of Nicea. Note, not quite historically accurate, Athanasius was a … [Read More...]