July 10, 2020

Recently SBL posted the following about a *Free* symposium on the topic #BlackScholarsMater In this two-part online symposium organized by the Society of Biblical Literature, we will have a chance to hear and learn from some of our guild’s Black colleagues about their experiences in the academy and the changes that they would like to see happen. Special thanks to Tat-siong Benny Liew, Kimberly Russaw, and Raj Nadella for organizing this symposium. Day 1, 12 August (morning session 10:00 am–12:00… Read more

July 10, 2020

The journal Review & Expositor published a May 2020 issue dedicated to the subject of the #MeToo & #ChurchToo movements in theological perspective. I’m not going to lie to you. These articles are very uncomfortable to read, especially since I am a man and I have hurt women through my words, actions, and inaction. But reading and learning is a key step towards change. I found these articles especially insightful: “#MeToo Jesus: Naming Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse” (Jayme… Read more

July 9, 2020

I am deeply grateful for Matt Novenson’s invitation for me to write for the Oxford Handbook of Pauline Studies. I have been tracking the progress of this handbook for many years and Oxford has posted some chapters online (for subscribing institutions). The contributors are leading Pauline scholars, many working in the UK, but not all. I wrote my essay on the Pistis Christou debate. I thought before that I had a good handle on the state of the discussion, but I went back… Read more

July 8, 2020

I just finished watching Prof. Mary Beard’s trenchant public lecture called “WOMEN IN POWER.” It offers not only lessons in ancient history, but also food for thought for women in government, higher ed, and the public eye today. She ends with a bit of her own story of navigating the academic world, which is well worth hearing. Oh to have a small bit of her vast knowledge of the ancient world! But for now it is enough to watch free… Read more

July 8, 2020

Adam Winn has written a really engaging historical fiction story of Jesus in his last days and the circumstances that led to his death “on the ground level” so to speak. Winn took some time recently to talk about conceiving of and writing this fascinating work. I admire the grit and wisdom it takes to pull of historical fiction, which he does so well. Read this book! What inspired you to write Killing a Messiah? AW: For many years I… Read more

July 8, 2020

Jesus and the Forces of Death: The Gospels’ Portrayal of Ritual Impurity within First-Century Judaism The new book, Jesus and the Forces of Death, is a quick and compelling read about how we should interpret Jesus’ attitude toward ritual impurity when we read the Gospels. What was Jesus opposing in his ministry and miracles? There is a long and sad history of assuming and arguing he was rejecting Jewish religion, Judaism, Jewish ritual, or religion itself. This is clearly wrong, and… Read more

July 7, 2020

Reading Revelation This is the last post in this “5 Books” series! Thankfully, there are loads of interesting and helpful books out there to counteract and correct bizarre (but popular) interpretations of Revelation.   Michael Gorman, Reading Revelation Responsibly This is easily the first thing I recommend to pastors and students wanting to study Revelation. In a relatively small space, Gorman covers the basics well with style.   Reading Revelation in Context It is crucial to read Revelation in its first… Read more

July 6, 2020

The Preformed Christ Hymn is Not Preformed…Or a Hymn It has been long said that more ink has been spilled (and keyboard keys clicked!) on Philippians 2:5-11 than on almost any other passage in the Bible. That is the say, scholars have long disagreed about the “Christ Hymn’s” origins, meaning, and purpose; but all agree that this is a key text that gives insight into NT Christology. Here in this myth-busters blog I argue that the long held views that… Read more

July 6, 2020

A New Guide to Narrative Criticism and the Gospels I regularly teach courses on the Gospels, so I am always on the lookout for good textbooks. This new Baker book by Jeannine Brown is an accurate and accessible introduction to reading the gospel as stories. It is detailed enough to showcase the benefits of narrative criticism; but short enough to read in a couple of sittings (~200 pp.)   After an introduction and basic overview of narrative criticism (ch 1), Brown… Read more

July 5, 2020

Peter and the Petrine Literature The Petrine letters have been recovering from many years of academic neglect, but the figure of Peter has been an ongoing interest. What to read? Here are my picks. (I do not include commentaries in this list, and I aim for affordable works)   Pheme Perkins, Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church Perkins reexamines the Petrine traditions in the NT and argues that because there are several images of Peter, he can function as a… Read more

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