May 19, 2024

The obedience of faith—what does it mean? In Romans 1:5 we read that the reason Paul was specially selected by the Lord to become an apostle was for the purpose of bringing about the “obedience of faith” (ὑπακοήν  πίστεως / hupakoên pisteôs) among all nations on behalf of Christ. The importance of the phrase is clearly evident. It reappears at the letter’s end in Romans 16:26, forming as it were bookends at the virtual beginning and ending of Romans—an inclusio.... Read more

May 5, 2024

Here are the 10 most memorable books and interviews with biblical scholars I have conducted over the last several years.  Have you read these books yet? 10 Interviews and Books You Should Read (actually more than that…)  Atlas of the Biblical World (Fortress Press) – Mark Vitalis Hoffman and Robert A. Mullins Professor Robert Mullins, a top-rated archaeologist, shares his experience regarding digging expeditions and insights into the Hebrew Scriptures based on his recent book. This one is written in... Read more

April 22, 2024

Similar to the early Jesus believers, Philo of Alexandria valued the concept of faith in his writings (in Greek: πίστις/ pistis). In relation to God, he seems to have understood this term generally as trust, as we shall see. Philo was a Hellenistic Jew who lived during the time of Christ (c. 20–50 CE). Many of Philo’s writings survive including a number of treatises and commentaries related to Mosaic Law. He is also considered a Middle Platonist, a term used... Read more

April 8, 2024

We are back for a third and final round with some more questions for Jason A. Staples, based on his recent book, Paul and the Resurrection of Israel: Jews, Former Gentiles, Israelites (Cambridge University Press, 2024). He teaches as a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina State University. Our previous episodes covered Israel’s restoration (Pt. 1) related to the end times, and Pt. 2: Jewish identity, living by the Law (Torah), and Christ as... Read more

April 4, 2024

We are back again with some more questions for Jason A. Staples. This time we discuss Jewish identity, living by the Law (Torah), and Christ as the “end” of the Law. In our first episode, we covered, among other things, Israel’s restoration related to the end times. All these and many other issues are addressed more fully in Dr. Staples’s recent book, Paul and the Resurrection of Israel: Jews, Former Gentiles, Israelites (Cambridge University Press, 2024). To refresh our memory,... Read more

March 22, 2024

For this episode we will cover a book hot off the press entitled, Paul and the Resurrection of Israel: Jews, Former Gentiles, Israelites (Cambridge University Press, 2024) by Jason A. Staples. This study asks on what basis the gospel that Paul proclaimed provides equal access for both Jews and gentiles. Staples unlocks biblical texts to uncover the importance of Israel’s restoration in Paul’s thinking. Dr. Staples comes from the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina State University,... Read more

March 13, 2024

We continue our discussion on Paul’s theology according the Eastern Orthodox tradition. This week we will cover works of the law, justification, and union with Christ, also known as participation “in Christ.” Once again, Athanasios Despotis will be our guide. Professor Despotis teaches New Testament at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany. He has academic publications in both in German and English. We will be focusing on his edited volume entitled, Participation, Justification, and Conversion: Eastern Orthodox Interpretation of Paul and the... Read more

March 3, 2024

Among the various perspectives on Paul is the viewpoint held by those from the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Athanasios Despotis provides us with good insight on Paul in this tradition. I had the privilege of catching up to him asking him about some of his scholarly research. Professor Despotis belongs to the faculty department of the New Testament at Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn, Germany. He has published monographs such as, Greek and Byzantine Philosophical Exegesis, Eastern Church Identities 5 (Leiden: Brill, 2022)... Read more

February 25, 2024

What does the gospel according to Paul look like from a traditional Protestant perspective? This question is relevant for someone like me who compares and evaluates theological perspectives on Paul. A fellow scholar recently mentioned to me that in his earlier years he was influenced by Archibald M. Hunter’s book, The Gospel According to St. Paul (London: SCM, 1966/Philadelphia: Westminster, 1967). Dr. Hunter was Yates Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at Mansfield College, Oxford. He then became Professor... Read more

February 12, 2024

We are back for a third and final segment of a three-part interview with Matthew Thiessen, author of the recent book, A Jewish Paul: The Messiah’s Herald to the Gentiles (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2023). Dr. Thiessen is an associate professor of religious studies at McMaster University. He presents us with a well-written and provocative interpretation of Paul in this book. If you missed the previous segments, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2. Part 3: Conclusion... Read more


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