Jul 25, 2017

How Many Members Did the First Century Church at Philippi Have?

Eduard Verhoef suggests that the church numbered around 33 in the AD 60s. He arrives at this number by noting that, “All in all we can list 11 people who had chosen to go the way indicated by Paul: Lydia, the goaler [sic, jailer], two bishops, two deacons, Epaphroditus, Eudia, Syntyche, the ‘companion’ and Clement.”

He also then notes, “The 11 people mentioned above will have belonged to different families. The average family may have consisted of two parents, two children and two slaves. Let us say that half of those people comprised the congregation, there were 11 x 3 = 33 members of the congregation.
Verhoef is cautious about the number, noting the uncertainties and hypothetical nature of the data. But he also suggests that 33 is “defendable.” Eduard Verhoef, Philippi: How Christianity Began in Europe: The Epistle to the Philippians and the Excavations at Philippi (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 21–22.

Jul 24, 2017

New Open Access Journal: Text and Archaeology

There is a new open access journal entitled Archaeology and Text, edited by Itzik Shai and David Small. You can access the first volume here

HT: Aren Maier

Jul 23, 2017

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Michael F. Bird
The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus
Reviewed by Albert Lukaszewski
Reviewed by Youngju Kwon

Ellis R. Brotzman and Eric J. Tully
Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction
Reviewed by Terry Giles

Andrew J. Brown
The Days of Creation: A History of Christian Interpretation of Genesis 1:1–2:3
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay
Lydia as a Rhetorical Construct in Acts
Reviewed by Marianne Blickenstaff

David Luckensmeyer and Pauline Allen, eds.
Studies of Religion and Politics in the Early Christian Centuries
Reviewed by Aaron Ricker

Dinh Anh Nhue Nguyen, ed.
The Bible and Asian Culture: Reading the Word of God in Its Cultural Background and in the Vietnamese Context
Reviewed by Jione Havea

Peter Oakes
Reviewed by Bart J. Koet and Jaap F. van der Meij

David Lee Phillips
The Samaritan Version of the Book of Numbers with Hebrew Variants: A Close Textual Study
Reviewed by Nathan R. Jastram

Daniel Y. Wu
Honor, Shame, and Guilt: Social-Scientific Approaches to the Book of Ezekiel
Reviewed by Tobias Häner

Jul 19, 2017

Canonization as a Card Game

Apparently, there is now a card game related to the biblical canon. You can read about it here.

Jul 18, 2017

The Idea of Missions in the Old Testament

"J. H. Bavink once observed that “at first sight the Old Testament appears to offer little basis for the idea of missions,” adding that “that entire pagan world is portrayed more as a constant threat and temptation to Israel than as an area in which God will reveal his salvation.” However, when the Old Testament is more thoroughly studied, it soon appears that there is much concern for the future of the nations and that God’s plan of salvation has the whole world in view. Any account of missions in the Old and New Testaments must take account of the fundamental principles found in the revelation of God. The perspective of Holy Scripture is from the beginning universal, ecumenical and missionary. The first concern of the Bible is not with Hebrews but with humanity, The Bible does not begin with the birth of Abraham, father of the people, or with Moses, prophet of God, but with the creation of the world and the advent of man.” 

Richard R. DeRidder, Discipling the Nations, Twin Brooks Series (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1975), 14.

Jul 17, 2017

Repetition in Genesis

Sam Bray notes here the importance of noting and translating repetitions in the Bible, notably in this case Genesis.

Jul 15, 2017

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Barbara Aland, Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce Metzger, eds.
The Greek New Testament with Dictionary
Reviewed by Timothy A. Brookins

Herbert W. Basser with Marsha B. Cohen
The Gospel of Matthew and Judaic Traditions: A Relevance-Based Commentary
Reviewed by Akiva Cohen

Martin Leuenberger, ed.
Reviewed by Bob Becking

Jack R. Lundbom
Jeremiah: Prophet Like Moses
Reviewed by Samuel Hildebrandt

Robert D. Miller II, ed.
Between Israelite Religion and Old Testament Theology: Essays on Archaeology, History, and Hermeneutics
Reviewed by Ryan P. Bonfiglio

B. J. Oropeza
Exploring Second Corinthians: Death and Life, Hardship and Rivalry
Reviewed by Elliott C. Maloney, OSB
Reviewed by Adam White

Christopher R. Seitz
Reviewed by Devin L. White

Joan E. Taylor, ed.
Jesus and Brian: Exploring the Historical Jesus and His Times via Monty Python’s Life of Brian
Reviewed by Brian LePort

Risto Uro
Ritual and Christian Beginnings: A Socio-cognitive Analysis
Reviewed by Maria Karyakina

Jul 14, 2017

Staff Bios

Thom Rainer has some good suggestions here on six things to include in church staff bios. I think this would also relate to faculty bios as well.

Jul 13, 2017

Archaeological Conservation

During my recent participation at the Tel Gezer dig, I learned that what is uncovered must either be protected or conserved. So sometimes what is uncovered is re-covered to protect it. In other cases, what has been exposed is left exposed. In such instances, conservation or preservation is undertaken. In this post, Leen Ritmyer gives an excellent explanation of what is involved in conservation and his involvement at Tel Shiloh.

Jul 12, 2017

Fly Through Animation of Ai (Khirbet el-Maqatir)

Fly Through Animation of the fortress of Ai based on the archaeological excavations at Khirbet el-Maqatir.

The Corruption of Biblical Studies?

This essay does a decent job in pointing out the tensions between religious and academic studies of the Bible and how the latter is not as agenda driven as the former. As the subtitle points out, the "Academic scrutiny of scripture, a discipline prey to intellectual fashion since its inception, is today pursued by many in the service of secular liberal positions."

HT: Rob Bradshaw

Jul 11, 2017

Five “Fake News” Stories Related to Early Christianity

Michael Kruger identifies five “fake news” stories that many people believe about early Christianity here.

Jul 10, 2017

Project Habakkuk

This story might need to be put in the bizarre file, but you can read about a secret proposal called "Project Habakkuk," to build aircraft carriers out of ice during WW II.

Jul 9, 2017

Tandy Archaeological Museum Honored with 2017 Best of Fort Worth Award

You can read this story about the Tandy Archaeological Museum here. I visited the Tandy museum a few years ago but it sounds like I need to make a return visit. The museum has a decent website here and you can view photos of the collections here.

Jul 8, 2017

Text-Driven Preaching Workshop: Philemon

Some readers might be interested in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Text-Driven Preaching Workshop focusing on Philemon. The workshop is on Monday, October 9 (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.). Speakers include David Allen, Denny Autrey, Deron Biles, Barry McCarty, Matthew McKellar, and Kyle Walker. No registration details are listed yet, but you can see the announcement here.

Jul 7, 2017

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Aaron Chalmers
Interpreting the Prophets: Reading, Understanding and Preaching from the Worlds of the Prophets
Reviewed by Samuel Hildebrandt

Panayotis Coutsoumpos
Paul, Corinth, and the Roman Empire
Reviewed by H. H. Drake Williams III

Thomas Esposito
Jesus’ Meals with Pharisees and Their Liturgical Roots
Reviewed by Dennis E. Smith

Simon Gathercole
Defending Substitution: An Essay on Atonement in Paul
Reviewed by Jarvis J. Williams

David Gowler
James through the Centuries
Reviewed by R. Alan Culpepper

Michael J. Kok
The Gospel on the Margins: The Reception of Mark in the Second Century
Reviewed by Elizabeth Struthers Malbon

Helen Leneman and Barry Dov Walfish, eds.
The Bible Retold by Jewish Artists, Writers, Composers and Filmmakers
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Gordon H. Matties
Reviewed by Ryan P. Bonfiglio

Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spanò
Goliath’s Legacy: Philistines and Hebrews in Biblical Times
Reviewed by Carl S. Ehrlich

Diego Pérez Gondar
Caín, Abel y la sangre de los justos: Gn 4, 1–16 y su recepción en la Iglesia Primitiva
Reviewed by Susana de Sola Funsten

Alistair C. Stewart
The Original Bishops: Office and Order in the First Christian Communities
Reviewed by David J. DeVore

Patricia K. Tull and Jacqueline E. Lapsley, eds.
After Exegesis: Feminist Biblical Theology
Reviewed by Lisa W. Davison

Michael Wolter
Paul: An Outline of His Theology
Reviewed by Matthew V. Novenson

Sami Yli-Karjanmaa
Reincarnation in Philo of Alexandria
Reviewed by Gregory E. Sterling

Tamar Zewi
The Samaritan Version of Saadya Gaon’s Translation of the Pentateuch: Critical Edition and Study of MS London BL OR7562 and Related MSS
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow

Jul 6, 2017

Original Turabian?

In the process of packing some things today, I can across this copy of Turabian. There is no indication of a second or later edition so it may be a first edition. In any case, it is only 61 pages long!


How to Talk to Famous Professors

Robin Bernstein has some good advice here.

Jul 5, 2017

Two Views on Applying 2 Chronicles 7:14

Steve Gaines argues for direct application here and Russell Moore argues against direct application here (written in 2016). I wonder whether at least some of the differences between Gaines and Russell relates to a failure to distinguish between principles and applications.

Jul 4, 2017

Leviticus and Sexual Morality

Jeff Mirus has a good post here on what Leviticus has to teach us about sexual morality and ourselves.

Jul 3, 2017

Infographic: Singleness, Dating, and Marriage

Crossway has a helpful infographic on singleness, dating, and marriage here.

HT: David Murray

Jul 1, 2017

Free Logos Book for July: The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity

The free Logos Book of the Month for July is The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity by Mark A. Noll. For this and other offers you can go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.