Nov 7, 2009

Does the Book of Psalms Contain an Argument?

Although it is commonly known that the Book of Psalms consists of five smaller books or sections (1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150), there is some debate as to whether the arrangement of the individual psalms convey an argument or not. Julia O'Brien has a nice discussion of this issue here.

Sale on Some Titles from Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press is having a holiday sale of select titles, 30-65% off. Titles of interest include:

Israel in Egypt: The Evidence for the Authenticity of the Exodus Tradition - James K. Hoffmeier for 50% off = $17.50

The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship- Gerry Marsden for 50% off = $10.00

A Guide to Biblical Sites in Turkey and Greece - Clyde E. Fant, Mitchell G. Reddish for 65% off = $10.50

The Apocryphal New Testament - ed. J. K. Elliott for 30% off = $59.50

Paul: His Story - Jerome Murphy-O'Conner for 30% off = $17.49

The Holy Land: Oxford Archaeological Guide - Jerome Murphy-O'Conner for 30% off = $26.50

To see all 31 religion and theology titles at 30% off go here.

To see all 31 religion and theology titles at 50% off go here.

To see all 52 religion and theology titles at 65% off go here.

I am not sure you will need it, but the promo code is 28359

Jervell on Paul According to Paul and Acts

"The Lukan Paul, the picture of Paul in Acts, is a completion, a filling up of the Pauline one, so that in order to get at the historical Paul, we cannot do without Acts and Luke."

Jacob Jervell, The Unknown Paul: Essays on Luke-Acts and Early Christian History (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1984), 70.

Nov 6, 2009

Contemporary Studies in Acts

Phillips, Thomas E., ed. Contemporary Studies in Acts. Macon, GA: Mercer, 2009

Book Description:

The book of Acts contains the only biblical narrative of the events that occurred in the early church between the early first-century ministry of Jesus and the early t
o mid-second-century emergence of the Christian apologists. As such, the book of Acts has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. These present groundbreaking essays reveal the best in contemporary thought about this fascinating one-of-a-kind book. The authors in this volume provide us both with snapshots of the most pressing questions in contemporary Acts scholarship and with succinct expressions of the best answers for those questions. This volume is more than a mere restatement of the status quo. Rather it is very much an exploration, but an exploration guided by seasoned Acts scholars. Perhaps most importantly, many of the contributors pay particular attention to the question of the origin and reception of Acts as a pivotal document within early Christian thought. Together they call for a reconsideration of many widely held, but not well-defended truisms in Acts scholarship. These new investigations into Acts originated from the 2006 and 2007 meetings of the SBL section on ACTS. These essays reexamine the origin and reception of Acts as a document within the larger world of early Christianity. The list of contributors includes both well-established and emerging leaders in Acts studies.

The essays include:

Wrestling with and for Paul – Joseph B. Tyson

Acts in the Suburbs of the Apologists – Richard I. Pervo

Irenaeus and the Reception of Acts in the Second Century – Andrew Gregory

The Reception of the Book of Acts in Late Antiquity – Francois Bovon

Acts and the Structure of the Christian Bible – David E. Smith

The Rhetorical Function of Refutation in Acts 6–7 and 10–1 5 – Julien C. H. Smith

Tabernacle and Temple – James N. Rhodes

Paul's Dream at Troas – John B. F. Miller

Embedded Letters and Rhetorical au;xhsij Justin R. Howell

“Friendly” Pharisees and Social Identity in Acts – Raimo Hakola

The Downfall of Eutychus – Andrew Arterbury

Prophets, Priests, and Godfearing Readers – Thomas E. Phillips

SBL Papers Online

The Paul and Scripture blog has links to some of this year's SBL papers related to the Pauline Corpus. See it here.

HT: Nijay Gupta

Nov 5, 2009

Babylon in the British Museum

Note: There is some political commentary before you get to the presentation on Babylon itself.

Evangelicals and Reading the Church Fathers

David Neff has an interesting post of the recent fascination of Evangelicals with reading the Church Fathers.

Nov 4, 2009

The Epistle of James?

"Is the letter of James a letter, and if not, what is the genre of James? The text itself purports to be a letter. In classic form it begins with the sender, then the addressee, followed by the traditional greeting, chairein (greetings). Is that enough to qualify James as a letter? Yes. First, despite the pervasive influence of Paul, there is not a single model in the NT of what a letter looks like. NT letters vary in length, audience, outline, and topics, from the ‘letters’ in Acts to the ‘letter to the Romans.’ To argue that James cannot be a letter because it lacks final greetings is like arguing that Mark is not a gospel because it originally had no resurrection appearance, nor John because it has no birth narrative. Second, to disqualify James as a letter because the majority of its verses are devoted to paranesis (traditional moral instruction) and diatribe (moral exhortation) is to confuse form and content. By this standard one would also disqualify Romans . . . More generally . . . James may be thought of as a homiletical letter intended to be circulated and read aloud (as were all letters) by early Christian communities influenced by the Jerusalem church. Whether one thinks of it as a letter in the form of a sermon or as a sermon in the form of a letter, it was a vehicle for sharing the teaching of James with the extended early Jewish Christian community – the ‘twelve tribes of the Dispersion’ (Gk diaspora).”

William F. Brosend II, James and Jude, New Cambridge Bible Commentary (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 7-8.

Nov 3, 2009

Handling Criticism

We all experience it. Trevin Wax has a good reminder of how to handle criticism in ministry. Read it

Jesus' Birth and the Census of Quirinius

See this
article by Jared Compton posted at the Associates for Biblical Research website entitled " Once More: Quirinius's Census."

HT: Stephen Smuts

Nov 2, 2009

Pragmatism and Building the Church

post on pragmatism and building the church.

Logos 4

Logos 3 Bible software users can now check out or purchase the brand new Logos 4. See it

Theological and Biblical Media Resources

If you have not seen this already, Daniel Doleys has two great lists of theological and biblical studies media resources
here and here.

Varner on Lament Psalms

William Varner has a brief but helpful overview of lament Psalms

Nov 1, 2009

Free Audio of John Piper's Desiring God is offering a free audio download of John Piper's classic Desiring God. Go here and use the coupon code NOV2009.

Emmaus Bible College Online

Some may be interested in Emmaus Bible College's online program. You can watch sessions from some of the courses here.