The “particularity of the Jew” according to Karl Barth

Here is the peculiarity of the Jew and the meaning of circumcision. God is known as the Unknown God, who justifieth the ungodly (4:5), who quickenteth the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were (4:17), on whom men can only in hope believe against hope (4:18). When the ‘Jew’ realizes this peculiar possibility, [Read More...]

Galatians and Christian Theology (Baker Academic)

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In 2012 St. Andrews University hosted their fourth Scripture and Theology Conference. The focus was Galatians. I had the privilege of participating and offering a paper “Davidic Messiahship in Galatians”, which was eventually published in the JSPL 2.2. (79-96). The conference volume has just been released by Baker Academic: Galatians and Christian Theology: Justification, the Gospel, and [Read More...]

And There is A Time to Avoid Simplicity in God-Talk

In responding to a critic of his first edition of The Epistle to the Romans, Karl Barth offers a reflection on the relative importance of simplicity in his preface to the second edition (1921). One critic dismissed Barth’s first edition of the commentary with the line “Simplicity is the mark of divinity”. Barth’s reply is [Read More...]

The More We Know . . . the More We Understand

The more accurately we understand the historical setting of 1st-century Palestine, the more precise and faithful will be our understanding of what the incarnate Word taught, did and suffered. The more we know of the Mediterranean world of Roman antiquity, more naunced will be our understanding of the ways in which the NT’s epistles summoned [Read More...]

“The NT is not a Christian Document”: Logos Mobile Education Course: Jewish History & Literature

I’m please to announce the upcoming release of a Logos Mobile Education bundle featuring two courses by myself and David deSilva called Between the Testaments Bundle. David deSilva’s course is on the Old Testament Apocrypha. My course is a survey of the history and literature of the Jewish Second Temple period, the time between the [Read More...]

How Do We Tell One Story of Jesus?: The Plurality of the Four Gospels and the “So Called Historical Jesus”

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I continue to struggle with how to factor in the plurality of the four Gospels when presenting the story of Jesus. On the one hand, I am uncomfortable with the harmonizing and minimizing tendencies of my evangelical tradition when it comes to alleged contradictions in detail. Francis Watson I think is right when he recently wrote [Read More...]

The Pilgrimage of Commentary Writing

Origen (3rd century church father) spent three decades writing a commentary on the Gospel of John which remained incomplete at his death. In the preface to “Book 32″ of the commentary (an exposition of John 13:2-33) he wrote about the work utilzing the analogy of the wilderness wandering of Israel. These are encouraging words to [Read More...]

The Story of Israel is “the story of the world’s redemption”

The story of Israel’s “fall’ might, after all, seem remote and scarcely interesting to gentile Christians in Rome. I sometimes wonder whether such imagined uncomprehending listeners are rally the coded presence of modern western scholars and preachers who are hoping that Paul will, in his every sentence, say something readily accessible to the deeply non-Jewish [Read More...]


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