Jan 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I want to wish my readers a very blessed New Year.

Dec 31, 2010

What Is “the Law and the Prophets” in Luke 16:16?

Yesterday I posted a survey of the treatments of Luke 16:16–18 in some major commentaries. Now I thought I would share with you some of the positions held by the commentators concerning the identification of “the law and the prophets” in Luke 16:16. Here is a table with some results.

The identification of “the law and the prophets”
Old Testament preaching
Joseph Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke 10–24: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB (1985), 1116
The period of time marked by the law and the prophets or the Old Testament period or age
I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (1978), 628
Alfred Plummer, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to St. Luke, ICC (1901), 389
Norval Geldenhuys, The Gospel of Luke, NICNT (1977), 420
Robert H. Stein, Luke. NAC (1992), 418.
Darrell Bock, Luke 9:51–24:53, BECNT (1996), 1351, 54.
The Old Testament
William Hendriksen, The Gospel According to Luke, NTC (1978), 774.
C. F. Evans, Saint Luke (1990), 607.
Craig Evans, Luke, NIBC (1990), 246.
John Nolland, Luke 9:21–18:34, WBC (1993), 821.
C. Marvin Pate, Luke. Moody Gospel Commentary (1995), 316
Joel Green, The Gospel of Luke, NICNT (1997), 603.
The testimony of the Scriptures
Luke Timothy Johnson, The Gospel of Luke, Sacra Pagina (1991), 250. Probably should be included in the OT category.

Dec 30, 2010

Discussions of Luke 16.16–18

I have been working recently on Luke 16:16–18. This is an important passage for understanding how Jesus understood the relationship between the proclamation of His kingdom and the Mosaic Law. In my research I consulted a number of commentaries and I thought I might share with you my basic evaluations of the discussions of the passage in each of the commentaries. Please note that these evaluations are by no means complete and therefore may or may not reflect the overall quality of the commentary as a whole. I have listed the commentaries and annotations in alphabetical order.

Joseph A. Fitzmyer, The Gospel According to Luke 10–24: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB (1985). A fairly detailed discussion of the major issues, but after explaining the options, Fitzmyer does not really take a stand on the meaning of biazetai in 16:16. Furthermore, the explanation of continuing validity of the Law begs for further elaboration: “Jesus sees his preaching of the kingdom as something more abiding than the universe itself, because it is the real meaning of the continuing validity of the Law.”

Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke, NICNT (1997). Green has one of the most disappointing treatments of the passage. One would expect more detailed exegesis in a full-length commentary in a major commentary series. While Green provides a decent explanation of the flow of the argument he doesn’t deal adequately with the details of the text. For example, the meaning of biazetai in v. 16 is barely addressed.

Walter Liefeld and David Pao, “Luke, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, rev. ed. (2007). Liefeld and Pao provide a decent explanation of biazetai in v. 16 (although they do not take a position) but not much of an explanation of v. 17.

I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NIGTC (1978). Good discussion of both the details and meaning of the text. But it would have been more helpful for Marshall to clarify his explanation of the continuing validity of the Law in light of the coming of the kingdom in vv. 16–17.

John Nolland, Luke 9:21–18:34, WBC (1993). Nolland offers a good discussion both in the details of the text and of the meaning of Luke’s argument as a whole. But the discussion of the continuing validity of the Law in v. 17 is a bit confusing. On the one hand, Nolland writes, “The continuing validity of every detail of the law is here being lent the sense of permanence that adheres to the creation itself” and later in the same paragraph he states, “The addition of v 17 makes it quite clear that v 16 is not to be read as implying any kind of supersession of the law,” but then Nolland suggests that “while v 18 to follow suggests that an ethical focus should be given to the sense of v 17” (p. 821). What is confusing is whether Nolland believes that v. 17 is teaching all or some (the ethical) aspects of the Law are being presented as continuing in validity.

Robert H. Stein, Luke, NAC (1992). Stein offers a solid overall discussion of the significant details of the text. Stein also identifies five different views of v. 17: “(1) All the laws in the OT will remain. (2) All the moral but not the ceremonial and civil laws found in the OT will remain. (3) All the promises/prophecies in the OT will be fulfilled. (4) The OT is transformed and fulfilled in Jesus’ teachings. (5) The OT in all its aspects, i.e., its law, promises, and prophecies, will be fulfilled. In light of the following verse it appears that the second interpretation probably was meant” and eventually settling on the second option (p. 419).

Dec 29, 2010

Tips for the Th.M.

Marc Cortez has a series of posts on tips for doing a Th.M here.

Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament on Sale

Christian Book Distributor’s Midweek Markdowns has the three-volume Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament edited by Jenni and Westermann on sale for $24.99 (a 79% discount) until tomorrow. They are also offering 10% off (use code 339017) or free shipping (use code 339015) if you spend over $25. You can see TLOT here as well as other midweek markdowns here.

Dec 28, 2010

Bulletin for Biblical Research 20:4

The latest volume of the Bulletin for Biblical Research is out. It contains the following articles.

Labor Pains: The Relationship between David's Census and Corvée Labor
Kyle R. Greenwood

The "Better Righteousness": Matthew 5:20

Don Garlington

The Order and Essence of Canon in Brevard Childs’s Book on Paul

John C. Poirier

The Problem with the Observance of the Lord’s Supper in the Corinthian Church

Barry D. Smith

Cosmology, Eschatology, and Soteriology in Hebrews: A Synthetic Analysis

Alexander Stewart

Understanding the Gospel of Judas

Craig A. Evans


Dec 27, 2010

Christological Titles in Acts 2

"Of all the christological titles or categories, two are clearly of great importance to Luke: Jesus as Lord (kyrios) and Jesus as Christ (christos). It is indeed the explicit justification of the use of these two terms for Jesus which governs the programmatic speech of Peter in Acts 2: the whole of the speech is, in one sense, an attempt to provide a detailed justification for the claim that God has made Jesus to be ‘Lord’ and ‘Christ’ (2:36). Indeed this structure to the speech, and the importance which the speech clearly has within the book of Acts as a whole, must clearly throw into question any claim that Luke is totally uninterested in the christological titles; certainly the way that Luke’s Peter clearly seeks to justify the use of these two terms suggests that Luke does see the terms as having some significance."

Christopher M. Tuckett, Christology and the New Testament: Jesus and His Earliest Followers (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2001), 140.

Dec 26, 2010

The Latest Issue of 'Atiqot

'Atiqot 64 is now available online at www.atiqot.org.il. "Articles published in 'Atiqot are the result of the numerous salvage excavations conducted each year on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, which provides the most encompassing research on the region and its connections with the neighboring countries."