March 22, 2020

There’s a great video over at the Smithsonian channel on Crucifixion Became a Very Popular Roman Spectator Sport. The newly-discovered Lex Puteolana tablet helps us understand the ritual and economics of crucifixion in the Roman world. But it also reveals how it evolved into a spectator sport. In 2006, a construction team in Italy stumbled upon an isolated skeleton from a Roman-era burial. Experts believed it was the remains of a man who was crucified. If so, the skeleton would… Read more

March 21, 2020

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m about to watch my church’s sermon on-line, do on-line Sunday school with my kids, then prepare for a “virtual classroom” for my campus students, curate my usual on-line classes, and then prepare for a live stream of a lecture on 2 Corinthians that I’m doing tomorrow night for St. Hillary. All this reminds me about a great talk that Guy Mason (Senior Pastor, City on a Hill, @Guy_Mason) did at the Ridley… Read more

March 19, 2020

Would Matthew (the author of the Gospel of Matthew) and the apostle Paul (author of all those epistles) find themselves in basic agreement or something of intra-Christian rivals? Scholarship has been fascinated (or plagued!) by the question. In my opinion, the dichotomy between an ostensibly “Jewish” Matthew and/or Matthean community against a seemingly “pro-Gentile” Paul with his Gentile communities is patently false. First, Paul’s self-identification, symbolic universe, religious habits, sacred texts and interpretation, and antagonism towards Hellenism remain indelibly Jewish…. Read more

March 18, 2020

If you are stuck at home or trying to cobble together some on-line resources for people, remember these: Ridley College is offering its lay-level Bible Overview for free. SBL’s Bible Odyssey project has great articles and videos. N.T. Wright on-line is offering temporary free access to Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. My own channel has some videos you might want to check out on everything from evangelical theology, to the apostles’ creed, to Romans and Philippians, to debates with… Read more

March 16, 2020

A couple of years ago I posted some remarks about Jesus and the Syro-Phoenician woman in Mark 7:24-30 largely in response to some things tweeted by the late (and much missed) Rachel Held Evans. There is a good piece on this recently by Matthew Malcolm, “Did the Syrophoenician Woman Change Jesus’ Mission?” BBR 29.2 (2019): 174-86. Here’s the abstract: Recent readings of Mark’s account of Jesus’s interaction with the Syrophoenician woman have frequently emphasized the woman’s role as an agent of change… Read more

March 13, 2020

If classes are canceled, if church is on hiatus, if you are quarantined, and if you’re just generally stuck at home, here are some tips for what to read, watch, and listen to while you’re cooped up at home. Read Nijay Gupta and Scot McKnight, The State of New Testament Studies, terrific volume that brings you up to date on what is happening in the various seminar rooms of NT studies, very informative, and highly recommended. Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, fantastic… Read more

March 11, 2020

Tremper Longman III and John H. Walton. The Lost World of the Flood: Mythology, Theology and the Deluge Debate. Downers Grove: IVP, 2015. Available at Intervarsity Press. By Jill Firth In The Lost World of the Flood, Tremper Longman and John Walton bring their expertise on ancient Near Eastern backgrounds and hermeneutics to bear on a controversial topic of current popular interest. The argument offers 17 propositions, seeking to lead the reader through ‘a logical sequence of the principal points… Read more

March 8, 2020

John Goldingay. Reading Jesus’s Bible: How the New Testament Helps Us Understand the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017. Available at Eerdmans and Koorong. By Jill Firth John Goldingay offers us another interesting reading challenge: to read the Old Testament as Jesus’s Bible. Reading the OT and the NT is a two-way process. Quoting Richard B. Hays (Reading Backwards, 4), Goldingay invites us to ‘learn to read the OT by reading backwards from the Gospels, and–at the same time–we learn… Read more

March 5, 2020

Over at the White Horse Inn is a great discussion with Richard Bauckham, D.A. Carson, Craig Blomberg, Andreas Kostenberger, Lydia McGrew, and others on the authorship of the Gospel of John. I’m glad to say that Mike Horton sides with Richard Bauckham here! For me, part of a clincher is John 18:15-16, which says, “Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, but Peter… Read more

March 2, 2020

Ronald E. Heine Origen: An Introduction to His Life and Thought Cascade Companions. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2019. Available from Wipf & Stock. Ronald E. Heine has written a short, informative, and readable intro to Origen. There is a lot on Origen’s early life and context, his time in Alexandria and Caesarea. Probably the highlight is how Heine explains Origen’s rationale for allegorical and deeper readings of Scripture, very, very good. Also, Heine demonstrates that Origen is a genuine biblical interpreter,… Read more

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