When is a Gospel not a Gospel?

I’ve been reading an old article by F.F. Bruce, “When Is a Gospel Not a Gospel?” BJRL 4 (1963): 319-39. Bruce concludes with this: To sum up, then, we may say that, according to the general consensus of the New Testament teaching, a gospel is not a gospel when: 1. It is detached from the Jesus of [Read More...]

The Meaning of the Advent Candles

Advent 2012

Why are there so many different themes attached to the four Advent Candles (purple and pink). A survey of websites and books on Advent surface a number of options. Does anyone know why there are so many different traditions? Is there a source that has researched this phenomenon? Here’s just are some examples: Promise, Light, [Read More...]

Advent – Holy Dissatisfaction and Hopeful Anticipation

Advent 2012-2

A couple of weeks ago, Thanksgiving Eve to be exact, Karla and I marked an anniversary of sorts; we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our engagement. Let me just say, I did it right. I asked her to marry me at the top of the Hancock Building in downtown Chicago. It was Nov 23rd, 1992. [Read More...]

Noteworthy Items in RBL

In the latest issue of RBL there are two noteworthy reviews: 1. The volume Paul and the Gospels edited by Michael Bird and Joel Willitts is reviewed by Thomas P. Nelligan 2. Gordon Fee’s Revelation commentary in the NCCS series, which Michael Bird and Craig Keener edits, is reviewed by Alexander Stewart.   [Read more...]

Keep the Nomina Sacra in Xmas

  When folks get cranky at me for abbreviating “Christmas” as “Xmas,” I just ask them if they’ve ever heard of the nomina sacra. Usually the answer is “no,” so I explain the potential purposes of nomina sacra in ancient manuscripts. It kinda freaks them out! [Read more...]

Textual Diversity in the Proto-orthodox Churches

A common line in scholarship is about how stifling and intolerant the proto-orthodox churches were towards “other” Jesus literature and “other” forms of Christianity. While the proto-orthodox churches very quickly venerated the four Gospels, this never seems to have meant restricting themselves to reading only the four Gospels. First, the papyri available from the second [Read More...]

The Bird Sayings Tradition in T-Shirt Form

The students at Crossway College provided me with a wonderful farewell gift. It is a t-shirt inscribed with various sayings attributed to me. Now, just like the Jesus tradition, some of the sayings are authentic, some capture the gist of what I said, and others are just flat out apocryphal. [Read more...]

David deSilva’s New Homepage

David deSilva of Ashland Theological Seminary has a new webpage detailing his various scholarly adventures in Hebrews, Revelation, and 4 Maccabees. [Read more...]

N.T. Wright on the Women Bishops Debacle in the Church of England

I must confess that I’m growing weary of the mantra that the failure of the Church of England (COE) to ordain women into the episcopacy is the fault of a few geriatric conservatives among the laity who have been exercising a disproportionate degree of power. For instance, see Sarah Coakley’s piece at ABC Religion and [Read More...]

Book Notice: Unity and Diversity in the Gospels and Paul

Christopher W. Skinner & Kelly R. Iverson (eds.) Unity and Diversity in the Gospels and Paul: Essays in Honor of Frank J. Matera Atlanta: SBL, 2012. Available at Amazon.com I first came across the work of Fr. Frank Matera while in seminary where I read extensively through Matera’s Ph.D thesis on The Kingship of Jesus: Composition [Read More...]

Ravi Zacharias Meets the Leader of Hamas

This is a very poignant video where Ravi Zacharias tells a story of his meeting with a Hamas leader. [Read more...]

Church of England Rejects Women Bishops … Some Thoughts

The news is in that the COE Synod has rejected a  vote to have women bishops. Read articles at BBC, HuffPost, and CNN for more info. A 2/3 majority was needed to carry the motion. It passed in the house of bishops and house of clergy, but fell short by just six votes in the house of [Read More...]

Sarah Lebhar Hall on Union with Christ

Over at CT is an interesting article by Sarah Lebhar Hall on the frustration of living purposefully ( The Key to a Purposeful Life). She notes how many folks, esp twenty-somethings, fear not fulfilling their ambitions and goals in life. She raises several points on that in relation to union with Christ: If I am united [Read More...]

Con Campbell on Romans no. 5

You have to see the ad with Brad Pitt for Chanel no. 5 to really appreciate it. [Read more...]

Stanley vs. Stanley

Last year at SBL I was sitting with a group of scholars and pastors and someone mentioned the name Andy Stanley who is the Pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta. The three Aussie guys in the room just shrugged their shoulders and said, “Who?” We were then informed that he was the senior [Read More...]