Dec 19, 2009

James, Peter, Acts, and Canon

“One of Acts’ decisive guidelines that arises for the reader of the canon is the apostles’ community with each other. The model of the community between the apostles is drawn in Acts 15 by means of an example. Here, Peter and James appear as spokesman of the Jerusalem church when the meet Paul and Barnabas as emissaries from the church of Antioch. Both pairs of spokesman are portrayed as being in agreement with each other, as well as against differing positions. The fundamental agreement of the apostles, in spite of varying attitudes about and strategies of mission, building up churches, or expressing belief, is the precondition for introducing and arranging their writings into the canon, as well as for their reception.”

Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, “James in the Minds of the Recipients,” in The Catholic Epistles and Apostolic Tradition: A New Perspective on James and Jude, ed. Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr and Robert W. Wall (Waco, TX Baylor University Press, 2009), 51–2.

Top(?) Ten Christian History News Stories of 2009

Ted Olsen at has an article on the "Top(/) Ten Christian News Stories of 2009." You can read the article

Dec 18, 2009

The End of the Law

One of the books that I am currently working through is Jason Meyer's recent book The End of the Law: Mosaic Covenant in Pauline Theology. Here is the publisher's blurb and table of contents

Commonly understood as the first theologian of the Christian fa
ith, Paul set forth the categories by which we describe our relationship with Christ. Did he understand the new covenant Jesus announced at the Last Supper primarily as a replacement of the old Mosaic covenant God made with Israel, or as a renewal and completion of the old? Jason Meyer surveys the various differences that have been argued between the two covenants in The End of the Law, carefully and inductively perfoming a semantic, grammatical, and contextual analysis of all the Pauline texts dealing with covenant concepts.

Table of Contents:

List of Abbreviations
Series Preface

Author Preface

1. Introduction

2. A Transhistorical Understanding
3. The Old and New Antithesis in Paul

4. Contexts of Contrasts: 2 Corinthians 3-4
5. Contexts of Contrasts: Galatians 3-4
6. Contexts of Contrasts: Romans 9-11

7. The Mosaic Covenant on Old Testament Terms
8. Conclusion

Author Index
Subject Index

Scripture Index

Thanks to Jim Baird at Broadman Holman for the review copy.

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews that may be of interest from a Bible Exposition perspective include:

Rami Arav
Bethsaida: A City by the North Shore of the Sea of Galilee, vol. 4
Reviewed by David Fiensy

Gary Burge, Lynn Cohick, and Gene Green
The New Testament in Antiquity: A Survey of the New Testament within Its Cultural Context
Reviewed by Mark Fairchild

Guy Couturier
«En commençant par Moïse et les prophètes...»: Études Vétérotestamentaires
Reviewed by Philippe Guillaume

J. de Waal Dryden
Theology and Ethics in 1 Peter: Paraenetic Strategies for Christian Character Formation
Reviewed by John H. Elliott

Duane A. Garrett
Amos: A Handbook on the Hebrew Text
Reviewed by John Engle

Luigi Gioia
The Theological Epistemology of Augustine's De Trinitate
Reviewed by Mark Weedman

Daniel M. Gurtner
The Torn Veil: Matthew's Exposition of the Death of Jesus
Reviewed by Felix Cortez

André LaCocque
Esther Regina: A Bakhtinian Reading
Reviewed by Mercedes García Bachmann

Roger L. Omanson
A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of Bruce M. Metzger's Textual Commentary for the Needs of Translators
Reviewed by Zeba Crook

Carol Poster and Linda C. Mitchell, eds.
Letter-Writing Manuals and Instruction from Antiquity to the Present: Historical and Bibliographic Studies
Reviewed by Jan-Wim Wesselius

Kavin C. Rowe
Early Narrative Christology: The Lord in the Gospel of Luke
Reviewed by Troy Troftgruben

Louis A. Ruprecht Jr.
God Gardened East: A Gardner's Meditation on the Dynamics of Genesis
Reviewed by David Maas

Niketas Siniossoglou
Plato and Theodoret: The Christian Appropriation of Platonic Philosophy and the Hellenic Intellectual Resistance
Reviewed by Jeremy Schott

R. M. M. Tuschling
Angels and Orthodoxy: A Study in Their Development in Syria and Palestine from the Qumran Texts to Ephrem the Syrian
Reviewed by Jan G. van der Watt

Karen J. Wenell
Jesus and Land: Sacred and Social Space in Second Temple Judaism
Reviewed by Cecilia Wassen

Dec 17, 2009

Do People Listen When You Speak and When You Don't?

I found this quote from the December 13, 2009 edition of the Dallas Morning News interesting

"Henry was incapable of overstatement, so when he spoke, we all listened. When he didn't speak, we listened." -Senior Rabbi David Stern of Temple Emanu-El on the life of Dallas real estate icon Henry S. Miller Jr. (, Tuesday).

Dec 16, 2009

Gorman on Paul and the Incarnation

See Michael Gorman's discussion of Paul on the incarnation
here. Near the end of the post Gorman offers the following five conclusions:

1. Incarnation and cross are inseparable.
2. Both incarnation and cross are necessary for our salvation.
3. Both incarnation and cross express the self-giving love of God in Christ.
4. Both incarnation and cross should narratively shape the Christian believer and community into the image of Christ, decisively affecting Christian praxis in multiple ways and in all areas of life.
5. A Pauline theology/spirituality of theosis (becoming like God, in Christ, by the Spirit) is able to hold incarnation and cross together. And with that link, incarnation, cross, and resurrection/exaltation are all tied together in Paul.

Kingdom of Priests

Eugene Merrill's Kingdom of Priests (rev. ed) is the offering today for Logos Bible Software's "Twelve Days of Logos" sale for $19.95. The special is only good for today and you must use the code 12DAYS8. You can see the special

Ritmeyer on Leprosy in Jerusalem

See Leen Ritmeyer's brief post on "Leprosy in Jerusalem"

Preaching With Purpose

Peter Mead has a great reminder to preach with the passage's original purpose in mind. Too often passages are used to answer questions or address issues that were not part of the author’s intention. You can read Peter's post

Dec 15, 2009

Using Illustrations With Integrity

Colin Adams has
posted a good reminder about being truthful in the illustrations we use.

Three Pastoral Models

Glen Scrivener has an interesting post comparing three pastoral models. Read it

Dec 14, 2009

Language of the New Testament

Although I have not used Eugene Van Ness Goetchius' Language of the New Testament, I have heard some good things about it. So some might be interested to know that Westminster Bookstore has the book on clearance sale at 75% off ($13.80) here.

Variety in Preaching

See this helpful
post by Colin Adams on how you can keep variety in your expository preaching.

Dec 13, 2009

Foundational Convictions Concerning Preaching

Darrell Johnson, in his recent book The Glory of Preaching identifies the following three
foundational convictions concerning preaching.

1. When the living God speaks, something always happens.

2. When the preacher speaks God's speech, God speaks.

3. Therefore, when the preacher speaks God's speech, something always happe
ns. Always?

Darrell W. Johnson,
The Glory of Preaching: Participating in God's Transformation of the World (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2009), 10.