Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Richard Hays on Imagination and Identity

Richard Hays being interviewed,

The figural character of scriptural revelation can encourage and inspire us to think and preach and pray in a way that is boldly imaginative. The New Testament’s richly imaginative reception of Israel’s story should warn us against narrow literalism. The Bible is a complex symphony that invites us to a posture of grateful astonishment at its unexpected harmonic variations on the themes of God’s power and love. Our hermeneutical instructions are clear: “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you” (Mark 4:24).

. . . 

The public and personal reading of Scripture offers us, first of all, our true identity as a people. Scripture teaches us to know ourselves not as autonomous, self-inventing “consumers” driven aimlessly by market forces, but as God’s people, the body of Christ. We are given purpose and hope by the biblical story in which we are caught up. And we’re given one another, a …

1 Corinthians and Women's Silence

The discussion as to what Paul meant and whether he even wrote parts of 1 Corinthians continues.

Textual evidence that 1 Cor 14:34-35 is a later interpolation.

Which Larry Hurtado think is correct, but not news.

And in 1 Cor 11:3 "head" does not mean "leader" (HT)

Relatedly, Wayne Grudem continues to amaze us all with his warped theology and supreme lack of scholarly depth. Thankfully Beth Allison Barr puts him straight.

Let me know what you think :-)




Galbraith and Rauser - What's Wrong with Children's Bible Stories

Deane Galbraith takes justified aim at simplified and (semi) sanitised Children's versions of violent Bible stories. Although it is not just the incoherent violence but the theology of the book that worries me.



Is the suggestion here that if Goliath had asked God for help he might have won instead? This is not just a simplification, but an addition of a theme which is not present in the original and changes the meaning of the story altogether.

In a Trinities podcast Randal Rauser shares his shock at discovering the "Disney-fied" version of the Bible he grew up with and how much violence and sex the original contained (from the 23 minute mark).

It is a conundrum. Frequently people have given my children "Bible books" which are both Disney-fied and often theologically confused. Because they are generally rubbish compared to the high quality "secular" books also in the home, I don't worry too much, their attention soon wanders. The fact is the state o…

Sex, Slogans and Σώματα now on Academia.edu!

Back in 2010 I completed a 40,000 wrd, 1 Year EFT, research project on 1 Cor 6:12-20.  It's seemed pretty awesome at the time, although coming back to it 7 years later I'm happy to say I've developed as a scholar. I've already shared some of my research in very rough form on this blog. I have now uploaded it in its entirety to Academia.edu. Click on the Title to go to the PDF.

Sex, Slogans and Σώματα: Discovering Paul’s Theological Ethic in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 Abstract:

This study examines 1 Cor 6:12-20, a problematic Pauline text.  It is one of only two places where Paul discusses πορνεία (sexual immorality) in any depth.  A thorough grammatico-historical exegesis is performed in conversation with recent scholarship.  Particular attention is given to the use of metaphor.  The issue of Corinthian slogans within the pericope is also  discussed, with the conclusion being reached that it is not necessary to identify any part of 1 Cor 6:12-20 as a Corinthian s…

The Ancient Origins of the Study Bible

I don't like study Bibles, they annoy me that the Biblical text has to be surrounded by a commentary telling you what it really means, along with little text boxes expounding on various "topics" tangentially related to the biblical text they neighbour. However it  seems they have a longer history than I realised . . .

Roger Pearse writes, 

Not everyone will know what a “catena” (the word means “chain”) is.  The term itself is modern.  It refers to medieval Greek biblical commentaries.  These are composed entirely of extracts from earlier writers, chained together by slight wording alterations at the ends.  They usually appear in the margins of Greek bibles; or, rather, the biblical text appears in a small box in the centre of the page, surrounded by a mass of small writing!  The author of each catena entry is indicated, usually using the first letter of their name or something of the kind.  This of course gives plenty of scope for misattribution!  Often the main author …

Mike Bird on Mark's Account of Jesus Baptism: Not Adoptionist!

Mike Bird has a short article over at Christian Origins no doubt timed to help him sell some of his new book, and why not? In the comments though he is lured into addressing the Markan Baptism scene.

He writes:
I left out Mark’s baptism due to brevity.
First, I think Michael Peppard has shown that it is possible to read Mk 1.9-11 in an adoptionist sense, esp. if one regards eudokesa as meaning “chosen” and in light of Roman adoption practices. But I’m just not convinced that that is what Mark is trying to convey or how it was received by its initial readers.
Second, I don’t think Mark’s Gospel as a whole lends itself to adoptionism, since the demons somehow fear that Jesus is the Son who has “come” to destroy them (Mk 1.24; 5.7) and the Son belongs to a heavenly triad of Father, Son, and angels (Mk 13.32).
Third, if a divine voice calling Jesus “Son” marks out an adoption, then Jesus gets adopted three times at his baptism, transfiguration, and crucifixion. If one wanted to pick an adopt…

SBL Abbreviations Made Easy

Nothing makes using an abbreviation system easier than actually knowing what it is! Online, Roy Ciampa's impressive resources for NT Exegesis webpage has them all on one page. But keeping that open in my browser window for quick access is a pain, so I have made a printable word doc version of that page (it makes 6 A4 pages), so now you can print it out and stick it on your wall next to your picture of a dog on a bicycle. Never again will you wonder how to abbreviate Ezra's Greek Apocalypse or wonder what the heck b. Bic 3b is and why it keeps coming up in conversations about the right way to make a fruit salad.

You're very welcome.

DeConick and the relationship between Christology and Soteriology

April DeConick in a provocative book chapter makes a compelling argument for how Christological developments could fuel soteriological development. Without fully accepting her assumptions or conclusions, I think her point is very well made, who Jesus is understood to be is bound to have an effect on how this Jesus is understood to save us. DeConick sketches the following paradigms.

Christology --> Soterology
Righteous One/Human, became divine at resurrection --> Behavioural/Imitative
Pre-existent Spirit/Angel, created divine, became human --> Atonement/Sacrificial
Precosmogonic/Hypostatic, uncreated divine took on flesh --> Transmutative/Ingestive/Theosis


See further (she kindly makes it available for all on her website), April DeConick, "How We Talk About Christology Matters," in Capes, DeConick, Bond, (eds)  Israel's God and Rebecca's Children. (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2007), 1-23.

In this chapter DeConick does not deal in depth with Mark'…

Evil Angels?

Really enjoying reading a brilliant article by the magisterial Dale Martin, like all good scholarship familiar texts are revealed to hold surprising and unsettling possibilities!

Angels populated Paul's world in a lively way. Contrary to modern popular assumptions, angels for Paul were not always good. They could be evil and malicious or simply morally ambiguous. There certainly are "good" angels in Paul's world (2 Cor 11:14; Gal 1:8; 4:14), and certainly also "bad" angels. 1 Corinthians 6:3 mentions that "we" (presumably Paul and other followers of Jesus) will "judge" angels, implying that there are angels who are criminal. If Paul's reference to the "thorn in the flesh" that tortures him is to an "angel of Satan" (2 Cor 12:7), which I take to be the case, and not just a metaphorical "messenger of Satan," we would have here a satanic angel as Paul's tormentor.

Some scholars believe that the phrase &…

A Preexistent Christ in Mark?

Just been reading a fun little article with an approach to Jesus' preexistence in Mark's Gospel that I haven't come across before. I think there are some holes in it, but on the other hand it is quite refreshing to see the usual arguments and texts turned on their heads!

The fact that Mark begins his Gospel with the baptism scene has often been taken to indicate his espousal of adoptionist christology which excludes any attribution of intrinsic divinity. On the whole, this proves to be untenable. Mark specifically identifies John’s baptism as the beginning of the gospel, not of Jesus; there is no denial of Jesus’ personal preexistence, a necessary corollary of divinity. On the contrary, even though the ascription of sonship in 1.11 is phrased in terms of Ps. 2.7, the specifically adoptionist element of that verse is omitted. Instead of ‘this day I have begotten you’, we read, ’with you I am well pleased.' The aorist probably indicates that God’s pleasure in Jesus is al…