September 24, 2020

The dichotomy between an ostensibly “Jewish” Matthew and Matthean community and a seemingly “Gentile” Paul with Gentile communities is patently false. First, Paul’s self-identification, symbolic universe, religious habits, sacred texts, and antagonism towards Hellenism remain indelibly Jewish. Paul affirms Israel’s God, Israel’s Torah, Israel’s Messiah, and Israel’s hopes. Even Paul’s argument that Gentiles do not have to convert to Judaism via the rite of circumcision in order to be Christ-followers was not entirely unique since other Jews argued over the… Read more

September 21, 2020

One aspect where Matthew and Paul obviously agree is the necessity of a mission to the Gentiles. Paul was a key protagonist in that mission – but not its only participant it should be remembered – and Matthew writes at a time when the writing is on the wall and the church is definitely heading in the direction of a Gentile majority in the foreseeable future. Paul described his own “conversion” to Christ as co-terminus with a call to be… Read more

September 18, 2020

A friend of mine was once doing a short internship at an African-American church in the United States. During the Sunday morning service, when the offering was taken up, the congregation would sing a song about sowing in generosity and reaping a blessing. My friend would always shake his head at this, feeling somewhere between bemused and alarmed at this flagrant display of prosperity theology.  He felt no small dose of shame when it finally dawned on him one day… Read more

September 15, 2020

Richard Bauckham’s new book is Who is God? Key Moments of Biblical Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2020). If someone asked you to talk to a group of university students about God, what passage of the Bible would you go to and why? If I could really only choose one passage, I think it would be the Prologue to the Gospel of John, because it so clearly relates the Old Testament’s portrayal of God to the incarnation. In my book, it features… Read more

September 12, 2020

I’ve recent recently noticed how Philo depicts Israel’s God as having two powers within himself, his creative and vitalizing power called “God” and his sovereign and regal power called “Lord.” For instance: Therefore the appellations already mentioned reveal the powers existing in the living God; for one title is that of Lord, according to which he governs; and the other is God, according to which he is beneficent. For which reason also, in the account of the creation of the… Read more

September 9, 2020

My dear friend and former Ridley Student Rachael Lopez is launching a faith-based magazine called Soul Tread with a great team of designers and writers. They have a Kickstarter to raise funds. What is more, if you donate $150, you can win a zoom session with N.T. Wright and Mike Bird where we’ll answer all your questions about Bible and Theology! Read more

September 9, 2020

The ancient historian Herodotus (ca. 484-425 BCE) observed two types of worship Heracles, as an Olympian god and as a deified mortal: “And further: those Greeks, I think, are most in the right, who have established and practice two worships of Heracles, sacrificing to one Heracles as to an immortal [athanatō], and calling him the Olympian, but to the other bringing offerings as to a dead hero [hērōi enagizousi]” (Hist. 2.44). Diodorus Siculus (ca. 90-30 BCE) referred to this bipartite… Read more

September 7, 2020

Some 15 years ago I was heralding the scholarly achievements of Markus Barth (son of Karl Barth). Seriously, his works on baptism, Lord’s Supper, resurrection, justification, Ephesians, Colossians, Jewish-Christian relationships, and pistis christou are work checking out. More recently, the Journal of Reformed Theology has published the proceedings of Princeton Theological Seminary’s Markus Barth conference: Remembering Markus Barth: A Biblical-Theological Existence An Introduction By: Philip G. Ziegler Pages: 167–168  The World of the Bible—Always Strange, Forever New Markus Barth as Teacher… Read more

September 5, 2020

I’m very happy to announce that we have launched a podcast to go with our book The New Testament in its World where I interview a star cast of eminent scholars on the New Testament and we hear from N.T. Wright on several subjects. In this podcast, Wright and I explore many of the topics covered in our book – questions about the purpose of the New Testament; the meaning of the resurrection; the life and ministry of Paul; what it… Read more

September 3, 2020

Christoph, your first book was Hidden Criticism? about the alleged counter-imperial ethos of the New Testament. Your latest volume is Paulus als Erzahler? Eine narratologische Perspektive auf die Paulusbriefe (English: Paul as Story-Teller: A Narratological Perspective on Paul’s Letters). What brought you to this topic? In some sense, I wanted to do something quite similar in both cases, namely to scrutinize very influential approaches to Pauline exegesis on a fundamental level. (Note the question marks in both titles). Moreover, both… Read more

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