Another Polite Bribe

I had the chance to finish watching the documentary A Polite Bribe, which I blogged about briefly on a previous occasion, and so now want to say more about it. I honestly cannot think of another single documentary film about the Bible which has such a wide array of the very best and best-known scholars [Read More...]

A Polite Bribe

I was asked to review the forthcoming documentary movie,¬†A Polite Bribe, about the apostle Paul’s “offering” to the Jerusalem church from the Gentile churches he established. Unfortunately, my access to the online preview expired before I could finish watching. But from what I saw, I can say it is worth watching and offers interesting perspectives [Read More...]

His Testimony is Truthyish

The Gospel of John may be the first Gospel that we know of to bring the question of its author’s credentials into the work itself (the Gospel of Luke does something similar, with its emphasis on the author’s research, but it may or may not be earlier than John). In the period not long after [Read More...]

Did Paul Have a Distinctive Christology? Did He Think of Jesus as a Pre-Existent Human Being?

In a recent blog post, Larry Hurtado noted Morton Smith's observation that Christology never turns up as an issue between Paul and the more conservative Jewish Christian groups that he interacted with directly and indirectly, centered in Jerusalem. And so this seems to confirm that Paul did not take a Jewish Messianic figure and turn [Read More...]

Retelling Romans 3:21-31

And now, God’s justice has been manifested apart from the Bible (though the Bible testifies to it): God’s justice through the faithfulness of Christ Jesus to all who trust. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and lack God’s glory, all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption accomplished in Christ [Read More...]

Paul vs. His Modern Inerrantist Interpreters

There is an interesting contrast between the way Paul wrote about the content of his own writings, and the way modern-day inerrantists talk about them. Paul is relatively humble, even while claiming authority, compared with the claims of inerrantists, and he nuances things differently than they do. If we focus just on 1 Corinthians we [Read More...]

Gentiles, Gays, and Animals

I had someone comment on a post I wrote about homosexuality, making the tired but nonetheless common non sequitur that, if one views same-sex relations as acceptable, then one must also embrace bestiality. I found myself wondering whether the apostle Paul faced the same sort of ridiculous objection from his contemporaries. I can imagine his [Read More...]

Retelling Romans: Introduction

I have long said I wanted to write a “blogmentary” (blog commentary) on Romans. I think what I really wanted to do, above all else, is try¬†retelling Paul’s letter to the Romans so that it can be heard afresh by a modern Christian audience. One big challenge for Christian readers of the Bible is the [Read More...]

Appropriately Skeptical Thomas

The above cartoon depicts the caricature of a doubter, and specifically of Thomas who became known as “Doubting Thomas.” But is skepticism in the face of seemingly incredible claims really inappropriate? Was Thomas the fool depicted in the cartoon above, or wiser than far too many gullible Christians today, whose unwillingness or inability to doubt [Read More...]

Beverly Gaventa on Romans

HT Nijay Gupta [Read more...]

John Byron on the Centurion’s Slave and Homosexuality in the New Testament

John Byron has offered a great response on his blog to my post about the New Testament’s relative lack of interest in the topic of homosexuality. He agrees with me on the point that at times it is appropriate to view a matter differently than New Testament authors did. And he makes the point that [Read More...]


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