Feb 13, 2010

Wilson on the Use of the Term Law in Luke-Acts

“A survey of the occurrences of
no,moj in Luke-Acts suggests that they fall into two main categories. The majority refer to the prescriptions of the law in such phrases as 'the law of the Lord' (Lk. 2:23-4,39), 'the law of Moses' (Lk. 2:22; Ac. 15:5; 13:39), 'the customs of the law' (Lk. 2:27) or simply 'the law' (Lk. 10:26; 16:17; Ac. 7:53; 13:15; 18:13,15; 21:20,24, 28; 22:3, 12; 23 :3,29; 25 :8). The remainder speak of the predictive aspect of the law (Lk. 24:44; Ac. 24: 14; 28:23; possibly Lk. 16:16), always in connection with 'the prophets', and normally with reference to their presentiment of the fate of Jesus. Both categories will be explored later, but at this stage it is sufficient to note that in linguistic terms Luke's use of no,moj is not unique. It reflects normal Jewish and Christian usage.”

S.G. Wilson, Luke and the Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 1.

Interpreting Law Passages

Peter Vogt,
Interpreting the Pentateuch: An Exegetical Handbook (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2009), 136-46, offers the following guidelines which I have summarized for interpreting the Law passages:

Determine the contexts of the passage

Identify the kind of law(s) involved

Determine the nature of the legal requirement

Describe the purpose of the Law in Israel
-What kind of situation was this law designed to prevent or promote?
-Who would have benefited from this law, and why?
-Is this law designed to restrict someone's power? How? Why?
-What values or moral principles may be seen as underlying this law?
-What vision of society is being promoted or pursued in the inclusion of this law?
-What penalty (if any) is prescribed for violating this law?
-What does the penalty show about the seriousness of the law and its objectives?

Identify the applicability of the purpose in a contemporary context.

Feb 12, 2010

Fifteen Pastoral Temptations

Deek Dubberly has a list of fifteen pastoral temptations
here. NB.

Origen on the Prohibitions in Acts 15

Origen has an interesting take on the prohibitions in Acts 15:20, 29: 21:25. From his commentary on Romans 9:28 (Patrologia Graeca 14:1228) Origen writes,

“Now in these precepts where it says that no other burden ought to be imposed on Gentile believers except abstinence from the sacrifices of idols, from blood, from what has been suffocated and from fornication, homicide is not forbidden, nor adultery, nor theft, nor homosexual acts, nor other crimes that are punished by divine and human laws. But if it is saying that Christians must observe only that which it has recounted, it will appear to some that it granted license concerning the rest. But consider how the Holy Spirit manages affairs: since other crimes are avenged by laws of the world, it seemed superfluous for those things, which are sufficiently covered by human law, also to have been forbidden by divine law. It only decreed those things about which human law had said nothing and which seemed proper to religion.”

Feb 11, 2010

Feb 10, 2010

Wisdom Literature Bibliography

Adam Couturier has
posted a bibliography on Wisdom Literature that looks pretty good. But, Adam does not list resources that he does not have, which, might make this a bit less helpful for some. In any case, you can access the bibliography here.

Christology and the History of Christology

Frederik Mulder has an interesting discussion with Leander Keck on the Jesus' resurrection and Christology and the history of Christology

Faith in Hebrews

Steven Coxhead has a nice post on the concept of faith in Hebrews

Feb 9, 2010

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:

Michael F. Bird
Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission and His Message
Reviewed by Tony Costa

Craig A. Blaising, Carmen S. Hardin, and Quentin F. Wesselschmidt, eds.
Psalms (2 volumes)
Reviewed by Gert T. M. Prinsloo

Delbert Burkett
Rethinking the Gospel Sources, Volume 2: The Unity and Plurality of Q
Reviewed by Tobias Hagerland

Greg Carey
Sinners: Jesus and His Earliest Followers
Reviewed by Burgert De Wet

Andrie Du Toit; edited by Cilliers Breytenbach and David S. Du Toit
Focusing on Paul: Persuasion and Theological Design in Romans and Galatians
Reviewed by Sheila E. McGinn

Carole R. Fontaine
With Eyes of Flesh: The Bible, Gender and Human Rights
Reviewed by Robin Gallaher Branch

J. R. Daniel Kirk
Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God
Reviewed by Jens Herzer

Kenneth L. Schenck
Cosmology and Eschatology in Hebrews: The Settings of the Sacrifice
Reviewed by Thomas Kraus

Gerhard Sellin
Der Brief an die Epheser
Reviewed by Angela Standhartinger

Benjamin D. Sommer
The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel
Reviewed by Gilbert Lozano

David Toshio Tsumura
The First Book of Samuel
Reviewed by Phillip Camp

Edna Ullmann-Margalit
Out of the Cave: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Dead Sea Scrolls Research
Reviewed by Samuel Thomas

God and the Law in Acts

“God is the Author of the law. It was received by the Jews in ordinances—given by angels (7:53). Saul of Tarsus was trained in fine detail in the law-and had a zeal for God (22:3). The law is to be believed (24:14; cf. 26:27). Critics of Stephen said that he made blasphemous statements against Moses and against God, incessantly speaking against the law (6:11, 13–14). It was venerated and not to be changed. Paul denied that he had sinned against the law in any way (25:8). Its divine origin obviously gave it a preeminence.”

Ronald Ward, The Pattern of Our Salvation (Waco, TX: Word, 1978), 359.

Feb 8, 2010

Mounce on Poiema in Ephesians 2:10

Mounce has a good discussion of how not to use Greek in his post on the use of poiema in Ephesians 2:10. Read it here.

Links to Online Research in Biblical Studies

David Stark has a helpful compilation of links to help in doing online research in biblical studies. Check it out here.

What Do You Have to Prove?

See this post by Tim Chester.

Preaching and Teaching Laments in the Old Testament

Walter Kaiser in answering the question, "Why Study and Preach from Lame
nts?" states:

God has placed personal and national laments in Scripture, it would appear, a
s a corrective against euphoric, celebratory notions of faith, which romantically portray life as consisting only of sweetness and light. Such a one-sided, happiness-only view fails to deal with the realities of life. It drives the hurtful and painful side of life into the corners of faith and practice leaving few guides or comforts from mortals of the Word of God.

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament: A Guide for the Church (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 125.

Feb 7, 2010

Malleson on the Prohibitions in Acts 15

The paragraph below from F. A. Malleson, The Acts and Epistles of St. Paul (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1881), 197, is interesting in that they were published in 1881 but yet anticipates at least two conclusions reached by a number of modern interpreters. First, Malleson seems links the prohibitions in Acts 15:20, 29 to the issue of pagan idolatry. This is a view championed by Ben Witherington and others. Second, Malleson seems to see Law observance as still required of Jewish Christians. This position is also quite prevalent today.

“My sentence, therefore, is, that we neither trouble nor molest by harassing laws of ancient ceremonial those from among the Gentiles who are turned to God, forbearing to lay upon them a yoke which we ourselves are glad to feel removed. But that instead we write unto them to abstain from the pollutions of idol worship; from the uncleanness, and from all manner of foul iniquity, taught and practised by the priests of idolatry; and because the blood of animals is their very source and support of life, that they abstain from the strangled and bloody carcasses of the sacrifices, eating nothing from which the life-blood has not first been poured out. To the converted Jews there will be no need to read this decree, for of old time the Jews of the Dispersion, in every city of the world, hear the Law of Moses read in the synagogue every Sabbath day.”