June 18, 2018

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

June 16, 2018

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

June 13, 2018

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

June 11, 2018

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

June 10, 2018

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

June 7, 2018

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

June 4, 2018

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

June 1, 2018

What if there really were other inhabited planets somewhere else in the galaxy, what if we met an alien species, what if there really is a multi-verse where alternative realities existe? How would Christianity address this, could Christianity survive such a discovery, and how would we begin to make sense of such a thing? Well, this is not really a new set of questions. The discovery that we live in a heliocentric solar system and the discovery of the “new… Read more

May 29, 2018

In terms of the biblical narrative, I think it helps if we remember that we are consistently given a picture of God’s intention to make humanity his vice-regents who will reign with him and for him over the world. This was the role of Adam in Eden, Israel in Canaan, and the church in Christ’s kingdom is explicitly promised to reign on behalf of God (see Gen 1:28; Exod 19:6; Dan 7:27; 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 5:10; 11:15; 20:6; 22:5),… Read more

May 28, 2018

While the church fathers were far from monolithic in their atonement theology, the dominating idea seems to have been something along the lines of the Christus Victor model, albeit often combined with a ransom view, or some aspect of Jesus’s death as redemptive and generally salvific. It was often possible to combine Christus Victor and substitutionary atonement. Athanasius artfully combined the two together when writing about the incarnation: The Word, as I said, being Himself incapable of death, assumed a… Read more

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