What Do You Do First in Studying the Gospels: The Theological Narratives or Critical History?

When it comes to studying the Gospels, how should you do it? Should one begin with a study of the critical issues like the Jesus tradition, synoptic problem, and genre and then move onto the narrative and theological texture of the Gospels? OR Should one first begin with the final form of the Gospels, describe their story [Read More…]

A Doctrinal Correction and Marketing Tip for Complementarian Church Plants

The Acts 29 network is a church planting movement that establishes Bible-believing churches in various places throughout the world, including in Australia. I recently came across a peculiar item in their doctrinal statement about love, Christ, leadership, and gender (HT: Megan Du Toit). You can read their doctrinal statement here, which is fairly straight forward, [Read More…]

Brill’s 15 Most Downloaded Journal Articles in Biblical Studies … Free!

Brill’s 15 most downloaded journal articles in religious and biblical studies are available for access for free until 15th of April. See the website here. Here’s some of the biblical studies articles: The Oldest Interpretation of the Suffering Servant Author: H. L. Ginsberg Vetus Testamentum, Volume 63,No. 10, pp. 25‑28 Papias, Origen, and Eusebius: The Criticisms [Read More…]

No “Judaism” in the Ancient World?

I find Daniel Boyarin’s ideas always thought provoking, if not always convincing. This recent lecture on the term ioudaismos and its development in early Christianity is extremely important. The Lecture is a part of his current research for a book called Imagining No Judaism. The thesis of the book is “Judaism is not a native [Read More…]

Book Notice: From Messiah to Preexistent Son

Aquila H. I. Lee From Messiah to Preexistent Son Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2005. Available at Amazon.com Aquila Lee’s book on the origins of pre-existence Christology is a quite a good book, though lesser known than Simon Gathercole’s volume of the subject in his The Preexistent Son. However, what I really like about Lee’s book is that [Read More…]

Mark Garcia on Justification

Now available on-line is Mark A. Garcia, “Debating Justification Productively: A Review Essay” SBET 31:2 (2013): 211-26, which is basically a review essay of Justification: Five Views, thorough and quite enjoyable read. I should add, by the way, that Mark A. Garcia’s own book Life in Christ: Union with Christ and Twofold Grace in Calvin’s Theology is worth at [Read More…]

The Four Most Important New Testament Words?

What if I told you that the Paul provides the key themes of the New Testament in his letter to the Galatians by means of a specific grammatical structure? In Galatians, four times Paul modifies an abstract noun with the genitive Christos. Notice the list we end up with: The Grace of the Messiah (1:6) The [Read More…]

Book Cover for How God Became Jesus

Here is the book cover for How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature: A Response to Bart D. Ehrman. Will be available in both paper back and on kindle. The official release date is 25 March! Oh, here’s the blurb for those who haven’t seen it: In his recent book How Jesus [Read More…]

What is the Mission of the Church? – Jürgen Moltmann

A few years ago, Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert published the book What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission. At that time I wrote an extensive review of the book on this blog. The general premise of the book was that the church’s mission is [Read More…]

Is Schism Ever Justified?

The other day I was reading and reflecting on the theme of schism in the New Testament. I read over the famous passage 1 John 2:19: “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going [Read More…]

Book Notice: Coffee with Jesus

David Wilkie Coffee with Jesus Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2013. Available at Amazon.com As you all known I’m not adverse to a joke or a bit of a laugh. And David Wilkie’s Coffee with Jesus is hilarity laced with genuine reflections on Christian discipleship. I confess that I was having a rather bad day, feeling drained, stretched, [Read More…]

To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism

The Anglican Communion of North America has produced To Be a Christian: An Anglican Catechism, written by several folks including J.I. Packer, Mark Galli, and Justyn Terry and others. It includes an exposition of basic tenets of faith, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments. I love the first item in the [Read More…]

Advocating for Jewish Ethnic Identity Within the Church

Over at First Things Mark Movsesian has responded to my post about the growing support among medical professionals and politicians for a ban on circumcision in Scandinavia. I believe he has not only missed the point of my post, but has falsely characterized my response to him and others like him. I would like to address his [Read More…]

Review of “Are You the One Who is to Come?”

All of my books have a special place in my life and memory, but my volume Are You the One Who is to Come? The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question is among my favourites. It feels kind of like my Habiltation and I think I made a solid scholarly case for Jesus as a messianic claimant. [Read More…]

Paul on Sin in Romans 5-6

For Paul, “sin” is not just behavior, but more akin to force and dark power that holds sway over people. While the doctrine of “original sin” gets a hard time (I prefer talking about original “guilt” and original “death”), G.K. Chesteron famously said, original sin is the only Christian doctrine that is empirically verifiable. All [Read More…]


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