Feb 9, 2016

The Trude Dothan Collection at the Lanier Theological Library

In a previous post I mentioned attending the Lanier Theological Library for a lecture by Michael Bird. After the lecture I was wandering through the library and noted that they have apparently acquired Trude Dothan’s personal library. Some readers might be familiar with Dothan’s work in archaeology, especially as it relates to the Philistines. Some might also be aware of her recent passing. (You can read a write up here from the Biblical Archaeology Review folks here and from the Lanier library here.) I did not have a lot of time to poke around the collection but it includes not only her books but also what appear to be drafts of papers she delivered and other unpublished materials. What little I saw was mostly in Hebrew. Here is a photo of part of the collection (sorry about the poor quality). 

Feb 8, 2016

Paul to Malta and Happy Septuagint Day

Paul may have sailed from Malta to Rome on this day nearly two thousand years ago. You can read more about it here.

Today is also the 10th annual International Septuagint Day. You can read about that here.

The Apocalyptic Paul?

A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to hear Michael Bird speak at the Lanier Theological Library. His talk was entitled “An Invasive Story: Paul’s Theology between Messianic Event and Salvation History.” Here is a paragraph describing the topic.
In the contemporary study of the Apostle Paul, some scholars have stressed that Paul was a very "apocalyptic" thinker, believing that God had invaded the world to bring an end to "religion" by dramatically revealing salvation in Jesus Christ. Yet some have questioned whether this is really what "apocalyptic" means and whether Paul really posits such a rigorous discontinuity between Israel's "religion" and his own account of Christian faith. Accordingly, other scholars have contended that Paul had a theology informed by a continuous story called "salvation-history" in which salvation is not the negation of the old order, but its very fulfillment in Christ. The Book of Galatians has been the primary battleground in this debate between "apocalyptic" and "salvation-history" and is currently one of the more contentious contemporary debates in Pauline studies. The purpose of this lecture is to introduce this topic to a wider audience, to briefly evaluate both the apocalyptic and salvation-history approaches, and to propose a somewhat mediating position between them. 
Bird began his talk by sketching out for common approaches to Pauline theology: Traditional, New Perspective, Radical Paul/Paul within Judaism, and Apocalyptic Paul. 

For the apocalyptic Paul view, the problem is the cosmic tyranny of son and death that religion cannot fix. The solution then was the faithfulness of Christ who undoes sin, death, and evil. Bird also explained the major emphases of the apocalyptic Paul view by borrowing and adapting the Reformed acronym TULIP (here is an earlier and slightly different version). 

Tendency to downplay salvation-historical continuity 
Unveiling of salvation in the apocalypse of Jesus Christ 
Law as the agent of Oppressive Powers 
Invasion of Grace as the End of Religion 
Pistis Christou as the Faithfulness of Christ 

Bird notes that one of the challenges to an apocalyptic reading is the matter of definition since apocalypse can refer to a literary genre, apocalyptic eschatology to a worldview, and apocalypticism as a social movement or group.
Bird went on to examine and critique the apocalyptic approach and seems to find it wanting as the best way to understand Paul. But he did mention a forthcoming volume, Paul and the Apocalyptic Imagination, that those interested in the apocalyptic approach might want to pick up. 

The Lanier library typically posts videos of the lectures but this one is not yet available.

Feb 7, 2016

Psalm 80 as a Messianic Psalm

Lindsay Kennedy has some good interaction here with Andrew Streett regarding Psalm 80 as a neglected messianic psalm.

Feb 6, 2016

The Hidden Beauty of a Bad Sermon

Tim Challies has a great post here on the hidden beauty of a bad sermon. Make sure to read the whole post but this final paragraph is gold.
Young preachers, new preachers, preach bad sermons. They preach bad sermons as they learn to preach good sermons. And in some ways, those bad sermons serve as a mark of a church’s health and strength because they prove that the church is fulfilling its mandate to raise up the next generation of preachers and the one after that. They prove that the church refuses to be so driven by a desire to display excellence that they will not risk the occasional dud. They prove that the congregation is mature enough to endure and even appreciate these first, messy attempts. There is hidden beauty, hidden value, in these bad sermons.

Feb 5, 2016

Piper on Proverbs 22:17-19

John Piper has a three-part series on Proverbs 22:17-19 here, here, and here. I am not sure whether there will be more but this will get you started

Feb 4, 2016

Text-Centered Preaching Vs. Text-Driven Preaching?

David Allen has an interesting and helpful side-by-side comparison here of text-centered preaching versus text-driven preaching.

Bad Homiletical Models of Expository Preaching

Derek Thomas looks at five "bad" models of expository preaching here. There are some interesting and surprising (at least for some) names mentioned.

Feb 3, 2016

The Old Testament Law and the Christian

George Athas has a pretty good discussion on Christians and the Old Testament Law here.

Feb 2, 2016

Free Audio: I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist

Christianaudio.com's free audio selection for February is Norm Geisler and Frank Turek's I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist. You can access the offer here.

Feb 1, 2016

Free Logos Book for February: Journal of Theological Interpretation, Volume 1

The free Logos Book for February is volume 1 of the Journal of Theological Interpretation. You can also purchase John Walton's Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology. You can also enter to win the entire 12 volumes of the Journal of Theological Interpretation. Go the Logos' Free Book of Month page to enter and download your free book today!

Jan 29, 2016

Urim and the Thummim

Steven Anderson has a very good post here on the Urim and the Thummim (e.g., Exod 28:30; Lev 8:8; Deut 33:8).

Jan 27, 2016

The Early Christian Use of the Codex

Larry Hurtado here identifies seven key points regarding the early Christian use of the codex form.

Jan 26, 2016

The God Who Names Himself

Timothy George has a nice post here on the use of, and implications for, the designations of God that one finds in the Bible.

Jan 25, 2016

Ben Witherington on Isaiah and Brevard Childs

Check out Ben Witherington's series interacting with Brevard Child's book, The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture. Witherington is already up to five posts. Go here and access all five.

Jan 22, 2016

An Article on Intertextuality in New Testament Scholarship

Samuel Emadi has a good overview-type of article on intertextuality in the latest volume of Currents in Biblical Research (Oct. 2015). The article is entitled, "Intertextuality in New Testament Scholarship: Significance, Criteria, and the Art of Intertextual Reading." Here is the article's abstract.
‘Intertextuality’ is currently a hot topic among biblical interpreters. However, a great deal of debate regarding the locus, purpose, and meaning-effect of an intertextual event, the criteria used to discern the presence of intertexts (if in fact there are any), and the theological value of intertextuality in Scripture still exists. This article surveys these interpretive questions and discusses how the foremost contributors to the conversation have aimed at resolving these hermeneutical tensions. In this article, I examine and compare the hermeneutical methodologies of Richard Hays, Michael Thompson, Dale Allison, Greg Beale, Christopher Beetham, Leroy Huizenga, and Peter Leithart with respect to intertextuality. My aim is to identify the strengths of each contributor’s hermeneutical method, while clarifying where these scholars share similar hermeneutical convictions, as well as where they part ways with one another’s convictions about the practice of intertextual reading.
And here is part of the conclusion to the article.
Each of the above authors has made significant contributions to the discussion of intertextuality. Hays's work is foundational, and has charted the trajectory of the conversation ever since its publication in 1989. Allison and Leithart's resurfacing of the value of patristic exegesis is a helpful corrective, and indicates that we need a fresh, open look at what the fathers have to teach us about reading the Bible. Beale's works have shown an unrelenting zeal to be robustly biblical in the hermeneutical endeavor. Likewise, Leithart's timely and essential proposal is that being a good interpreter is more about being a certain type of person, and less about doing certain things.

Jan 20, 2016

Praying the Psalms

Don Whitney identifies five benefits of praying the Psalms here.

Jan 19, 2016

Psalms Resources: Audio and Articles

Lindsay Kennedy has another nice post on preaching resources on the Psalms. In this post he addresses articles and audio resources. For the first post you can see here.

Jan 18, 2016

Preaching and Inerrancy

Dennis Swanson has a good discussion here on innerancy (mostly) and how it can affect preaching.

Jan 16, 2016

Unearthing the World of Jesus

The Smithsonian has a nice article in its latest issue entitled, "Unearthing the World of Jesus." You can see the article here.