May 29, 2010

The Bible and the Current Immigration Debate

I must confess that I have been a bit uncomfortable with how the Bible is sometimes being used in the current immigration debate. Here is an article by Jason Poling at the Washington Post website that exposes just some of the problems.

Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary

Anyone who is interested in working on biblical Hebrew vocabulary might be interested in

Testing Ancient Coins

Ancient coins are often an overlooked aspect of primary source material for biblical backgrounds. Coins can shed light on a number of historical questions as seen in this article.

HT: G. M. Grena

May 28, 2010

Barrett on the Church

“The chuch as the body that lives under—or indeed on—the cross is expressing in its disciplined and triumphant life the very nature of its Lord; and this is not in any sense peripheral.”

C. K. Barrett, Church, Ministry, and Sacraments in the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985), 26.

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:

Charles B. Cousar
Philippians and Philemon: A Commentary

Reviewed by Eduard Verhoef

E. A. Judge
The First Christians in the Roman World: Augustan and New Testament Essays

Reviewed by Everett Ferguson

Ulrike Mittmann-Richert
Der Sühnetod des Gottesknechts: Jesaja 53 im Lukasevangelium

Reviewed by Christoph Stenschke

William D. Mounce
Basics of Biblical Greek: Grammar

Reviewed by Laurence M. Vance

Jacques van Ruiten and J. Cornelis de Vos, eds.
The Land of Israel in Bible, History, and Theology: Studies in Honour of Ed Noort

Reviewed by Hallvard Hagelia

William A. Simmons
Peoples of the New Testament World: An Illustrated Guide

Reviewed by James Riley Strange

Michael Sokoloff
A Syriac Lexicon: A Translation from the Latin, Correction, Expansion, and Update of C. Brockelmann's Lexicon Syriacum

Reviewed by H. F. van Rooy

Günter Stemberger
Juden und Christen im spätantiken Palästina

Reviewed by Peter J. Tomson

May 27, 2010

Introduction to 1-2 Corinthians

Matt Capps has posted a pretty good introduction to 1-2 Corinthians

Seifrid on Luke's View of the Law in Acts

“I am arguing that, at crucial points, Luke gives evidence that he maintains an ethic which transcends Torah (and hence
may overturn it): (a) the enthroned Messiah, Jesus, places new demands on humankind; (b) the recipients of salvation (and hence, the people of God) are not determined by Mosaic law, but by faith in Jesus; (c) the Mosaic law is not the criterion which determines the modus vivendi of the Gentile believers; (d) the Mosaic law need not govern the conduct of Jewish believers either.”

M. A. Seifrid, “Jesus and the Law in Acts,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 30 (1987): 40.

May 26, 2010

Israel Museum Reopening

See Todd Bolen's post on the reopening of the Israel Museum.

May 25, 2010

Mounce on 2 Peter 1:20

Second Peter 1:20 is well known as
crux interpretum. Bill Mounce has a good discussion of the issues here. For what its worth, I happen to agree with Mounce's conclusion. I offer the following four reasons for the the "origins" view (I prefer inspiration view).

(1) This view fits the context of authentication (v. 19). Peter never states how one is to properly interpret the Scriptures.
(2) Grammatically, v. 20 goes with v. 19 rather than v. 21 Thus, Peter is not talking about interpretation but authentication (Green, 2 Peter and Jude, 90).
(3) The conjunction
ga,r is often used inferentially to indicate the basis of or conclusion for something previously stated. It is easier to see how the logic fits this view (Scripture is inspired → how inspiration occurs) rather than the other (Scripture must be properly interpreted → how inspiration occurs).
(4) While the term
evpi,lusij can be translated as “interpretation,” it is never used this way elsewhere to refer to the interpretation of Scripture (Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 230–31).

May 24, 2010

Irony in 1 John

Ardel Caneday has a brief but interesting post on irony in 1 John. Read it

Gordon Fee's 1-2 Thessalonians on Sale at 50% Off

Eisenbraun's deal of the day has Gordon Fee's 1-2 Thessalonians commentary (NICNT) on sale at 50% Off ($22.00). The sale is only good until tomorrow at noon. Check it out

The End of the Law in Luke-Acts

I have been working through Jonathan Bayes,
The Weakness of the Law: God’s Law and the Christian in New Testament Perspective, Paternoster Biblical Monographs, ed. I. Howard Marshall et al. (Carlisle: Paternoster, 2000). Here is a section in which Bayes discusses the end of the ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic Law in Luke-Acts.

"There are indications already in Luke’s Gospel that the coming of Jesus as the Christ who must suffer (Lk. 9:20, 22), heralds the displacement of the ceremonial law by the new reality of fulfillment in Him. It is noteworthy that five references to the law are clustered in 2:22–39, but the word occurs only four more times in the Gospel thereafter. For this reason the authenticity of Luke 1–2 has been doubted, but this view has been compellingly refuted. More likely, the phenomenon is symbolic of the fact that a transition to something new has begun with the event described in chapter 2. Luke notes that, for the angels, it was more important that the One who had been born was the Christ than that His name was Jesus (2:11). Later, Jesus twice pronounces “Woe” on the lawyers (11:46, 52): this again may be an indication of the approaching demise of the law. In 22:37, in connection with the fulfillment in Him of the Scripture prophesying His identification with the transgressors (avno,mwn), Jesus says: “The things concerning Me have an end (te,loj).” Perhaps there is a deliberate double entendre here: the te,loj (goal) of what was prophesied about Jesus, and the life which He lived, was this identification in his death with the lawless, but that very death spells the te,loj (termination) of the law which thus pointed forward to Him.

“Because Jesus is the Christ, His coming, and particularly His death have rendered the old ceremonies unnecessary, since He is their fulfillment. Without Him, the law was incomplete; now that He has come the law is obsolete, and the time would come when that would be recognized and the ceremonies would cease.”

Bayes, The Weakness of the Law, 72–3.

May 23, 2010

Köstenberger and O’Brien on Acts 15

“Luke’s account of this momentous incident in Acts 15 has been described as ‘the most crucial chapter in the whole book,’ since it is positioned both ‘structurally and theologically at the very heart’ of Acts. “The chapter describes the turning point of Luke’s story. The threat to the expansion of the gospel to Gentiles is not only dealt with, but is turned around so that the Christian mission now extends to western Asia and Europe (15:36–19:41). After the council the Jerusalem church is hardly mentioned in Acts. Once the decision has been made, there is no further mention of the Jerusalem apostles (apart from 16:4), and the focus of the book is on the irresistible progress of the gospel to 'the ends of the earth' through Paul.”

Andreas J. Köstenberger and Peter T. O’Brien, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: A Biblical Theology of Mission, ed. D. A. Carson (Downers Grove, IL, 2001), 151.