Jan 28, 2012

Grace in the Hands of Jesus

  
"Grace in the hands of Jesus is difficult to accept. It is no respecter of conventional social boundaries. His stories are his meals and his healings betray a decided preference for the socially marginal, for the religiously unrespectable. Indeed, Luke records Jesus' own admission that, in the eyes of his critics, he is nothing other than a 'friend of tax collectors and sinners.' In a word, in the message and public ministry of Jesus grace is offensive, even scandalous."

John T. Carroll and James R. Carroll, Preaching the Hard Sayings of Jesus (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996),6.
   

Jan 27, 2012

Wine in Ancient Israel

  
See this Jerusalem Post article.
 

Jan 26, 2012

The Apostolic Decree in Acts 15

  
James Gray has a brief but solid post here on the Apostolic Decree in Acts 15. James has a nice comment in a footnote on my 2004 Bibliotheca Sacra article. I am flattered to be included among the likes of Ben Witherington and Darrell Bock.
 

Biblical Humor in The New Yorker Magazine

  
Some might find this article on "Biblical Humor in The New Yorker: A Brief History" interesting.
 

Jan 25, 2012

Exodus 32-34: Golden Calf and Covenant Renewal

  
Victor Hamilton has an encouraging word in his Exodus commentary on the purpose behind the covenant renewal with Israel after the golden calf incident. 


“Not only will the Lord continue with Israel, but he also will renew and reaffirm his covenant with Israel. This is the principal thrust of chap. 34. The reason God will do so is not because the people have repented of their sin. There is not evidence of any contrition on their part. They regret the Lord’s threatened absence, but not their idolatry (33:4). Nor are Moses’s prayers the determining issue, although they surely play a critical role in God’s sorting out his options. The key factor is this: what kind of God is the Lord? While not oblivious to sin and its fallout (34:7b), he is “compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, faithful, . . . loving, . . . forgiving” (34:6-7a AT)."

Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker), 2011), 528.

   

Jan 24, 2012

New Images from Khirbet Qeiyafa Excavations

  
Some might enjoy these new images from the Khirbet Qeiyafa excavations.
 

Social-Scientific Interpretation

  
Stephen Barton in arguing for the place of social-scientific perspectives in New Testament studies states,

"Once it is recognized that NT interpretation is a necessarily historical enterprise (whatever else it may be), then it is a short step to recognizing that other disciplines from the human sciences have a part to play as well, not least the social sciences. Conventionally, these include sociology, social (or cultural) anthropology, and psychology. These disciplines have the potential for throwing new light on the world behind the text (the world of the author), the world within the text (the narrated world of characters, intentions, and events), and the world in front of the text (the world of the reader).


"The main presupposition that underpins the use of the social sciences in NT interpretation is that the text of the NT is a product, not just of historical conditioning, but of social and cultural conditioning as well. To the extent that cultural factors and social forces played a part in the lives of the individuals and groups that produced the NT or to which the NT refers, sociological analysis is legitimate and necessary. If it is possible to write a social history of early Christianity using the NT as a prime source, is it not possible to engage in social-scientific analysis as well?"

Stephen C. Barton, "Historical Criticism and Social-Scientific Perspectives in New Testament Study," in Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation, 2nd ed., ed. Joel B. Green (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 40-41.

    

Jan 23, 2012

Lanier Theological Library

  
The Lanier Theological Library sounds like a wonderful (see this article). I will need to check it out next time I am in Houston.
 

Jan 22, 2012

Symposium on Worship and the Psalms

  
Those who are in or around the Grand Rapids area on January 26-28 might be interested on this Symposium on Worship focusing on the Psalms. Speakers include Walter Brueggemann and N. T. Wright. Sounds interesting.