I’ve been reading Seneca’s On Mercy and noting certain themes in his praise of mercy as both virtue and a necessity for rulers. Seneca is, of course, trying to persuade the young Nero to be a merciful emperor. A few things stand out: Seneca believes that mercy should be in some part deserved or based on one’s capacity for reform: Therefore a wise moderation should be exercised which will be capable of distinguishing between curable and hopeless characters. Neither should we… Read more

Ian Paul Revelation TNTC; Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2018. Available at IVP Ian Paul has written a fantastic intermediate commentary on Revelation as part of the reboot of the Tyndale commentary series under the editorship of Eckhard Schnabel. Paul has done a good job of writing a commentary on one of the hardest books of the NT to write a commentary on that is informed and yet not bogged down in detail, so it’s readable and useful to students and pastors…. Read more

Nearly every theologian has their own book on the Apostles’ Creed. I have one (What Christians Ought To Believe), so does Barth, Pannenberg, McGrath, and Horton too. And now Ben Myers also has one, except, well, his is quite good. Ben’s book is beautifully presented by Lexham Press, it’s a small and neat hardback, wonderfully designed cover and interior. This book is a mixture of theological exposition and devotional reflection. The chapters are just the right length to give you… Read more

Many have been outraged with US attorney-general Jeff Sessions using the Bible to justify the Trump government’s policy towards illegal immigrants. This policy includes separating parents and children at the border as a form of deterrence to border crossings. Sessions alludes to Romans 13:1-7, which he calls the Apostle Paul’s “clear and wise command,” which he paraphrases as “to obey the law of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.” Here is the text that Sessions… Read more

The latest issue of Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus (16.1 (2018) includes these articles: Editorial Anthony Le Donne Simon J. Joseph Exit the “Great Man”: On James Crossley’s Jesus and the Chaos of History James Crossley A Chaotic Jesus: A Response to Simon Joseph Rafael Rodriguez What is History? Reading John 1 as Historical Representation Andrew Gregory Memory as Method: Some Observations on Two Recent Accounts Bruce Chilton Implications and Prospects of Jewish Jesus Research: A Review Essay Read more

Larry Hurtado has a new book out, Honoring the Son: Jesus in Earliest Christian Devotional Practice (ed. M. Bird; Snapshots Series; Bellingham, WA: Lexham, 2018). Available on 27 June! Pre-order here! Probably the best short summary of what Hurtado has argued in a life time of study on Christology and Christian origins. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of early Christian origins and scholarship on New Testament Christology, Hurtado examines the distinctiveness of early Christian worship by comparing it to both Jewish worship… Read more

Stephen J. Chester Reading Paul with the Reformers: Reconciling Old and New Perspectives Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2017. Available at Amazon.com This book by Stephen Chester is a terrific effort at showing the relative differences and parity between the Reformers (esp. Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin) and modern scholarshipship typified by the New Perspective on Paul (NPP) and apocalyptic Paul interpreters. It was a worthy winner of the Christianity Today book of the year award in biblical studies. Chester takes issues… Read more

Mangum, Douglas, and Douglas Estes, eds. Literary Approaches to the Bible. Vol. 4, Lexham Methods Series. Bellingham: Lexham, 2017. Reviewed by Andrew Judd Some time ago a student came to my office to talk about his research project. His topic is New Testament hermeneutics, and while we were chatting he asked if a book existed which went through all the “criticisms” and explained where they came from and how they work – Historical Grammatical Criticism, Form Criticism, Narrative Criticism, Rhetorical… Read more

Dr. Anthony Bradley is a religious scholar at the conservative King’s College, and over at Fathom he offers a great plea to use Christian wisdom rather than an American version of individual rights to think about gun culture in America. The article is called For the Love of Students, and Bradley concludes: An individualistic and narcissistic culture is a culture obsessed with “my rights.” My “right” to an abortion. My “right” to purchase any firearm I want. My “right” to… Read more

David J. Downs The Offering of the Gentiles: Paul’s Collection for Jerusalem, in its Chronological, Cultural, and Cultic Contexts Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016. Available at Amazon.com. This book by David Downs (Fuller Seminary) is based on his Princeton PhD thesis about Paul’s collection for the saints in Jerusalem. Downs rejects prior views of the collection as an expression of the eschatological pilgrimage of the gentiles bringing gifts to Jerusalem, the collection as a type of obligation incumbent on Paul… Read more

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