Jul 21, 2012

Jesus and Miracles

"A study of the life of Jesus that excludes the miraculous is destined from the start to produce a Jesus who is an aberration. He will be a stranger both to his opponents, who acknowledged his miracles (compare Mk 3:22; b. Sanhedrin 43a), and to his followers, who will no longer be able to identify him as the object of their faith. There is  a certain wholeness about the Jesus who preached the arrival of the kingdom of God, who ate with tax collectors and sinners, who healed the sick and raised the dead, who dies sacrificially on the cross and rose triumphantly from the dead. This wholeness produces an overall portrayal of Jesus of Nazareth that is convincing to a sympathetic reader of the Gospels. Attempts to strip the supernatural from Jesus' life can only produce a Jesus so radically different that he is unrecognizable and his impact on history unexplainable."

Robert H. Stein, Jesus the Messiah: A Survey of the Life of Christ (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996), 24.

Jul 20, 2012

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below.
Leslie C. Allen
A Liturgy of Grief: A Pastoral Commentary on Lamentations
Reviewed by Elizabeth Boase
Eryl W. Davies
The Immoral Bible: Approaches to Biblical Ethics
Reviewed by Joel Williams
James Dawsey
Peter's Last Sermon: Identity and Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark
Reviewed by Adam Winn
Detlev Dormeyer
Das Lukasevangelium: Neu übersetzt und kommentiert
Reviewed by M. Eugene Boring
Justo L. González
Reviewed by Martin M. Culy
Edwin M. Good
Genesis 1-11: Tales of the Earliest World
Reviewed by George Savran
Lester L. Grabbe and Oded Lipschits, eds.
Judah between East and West: The Transition from Persian to Greek Rule (ca. 400-200 BCE)
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz
Kenneth Liljeström, ed.
The Early Reception of Paul
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek
R. B. Salters
Lamentations: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary
Reviewed by Eleuterio Ruiz
Géza G. Xeravits, ed.
Dualism in Qumran
Reviewed by Devorah Dimant

Jul 18, 2012

Doing Systematic Theology and Hebrews

"Although extracting systematic propositions from the text of the New Testament is a rather old-fashioned approach to theological analysis, Hebrews invites such an approach with its very plain propositional claims about God, which it apparently invites to be taken seriously" (Harold W. Attridge, "God in Hebrews: Urging Children to Heavenly Glory," in The Forgotten God: Perspectives in Biblical Theology [Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002], 197).

Although I am not a systematic theologian by discipline, I was struck by this statement. I have heard some criticize  systematicians for not being exegetical enough. But if Attridge is right then actually working with Scripture is considered "old-fashioned." What is a systematic theologian supposed to do? They are condemned for not working with the text or considered old fashioned if they do! Perhaps I am missing something here.

Jul 17, 2012

Michelangelo’s David

Some might be interested in this article on Michelangelo’s statue of David.

Is the Gospel More Than Story?

Leslie Leyland Fields has an interesting article at Christianity Today entitled, "The Gospel Is More Than a Story: Rethinking Narrative and Testimony." I am a bit pressed for time at the moment, but a quick scan of the article suggests to me that Fields has identified some needed critiques and cautions concerning the current Bible as story emphasis. In any case, you can access the article here.

Update: Unfortunately, this article now appears to be behind a subscriber firewall.

Jul 16, 2012

First Peter and the Old Testament

“First Peter makes abundant use of the Old Testament, with at least eighteen direct citations and twenty-five allusions. The references are predominantly from four books—Genesis, Isaiah, Psalms, and Proverbs—and Peter normally makes
 Use of the Greek version, the Septuagint (LXX).”

Daniel Keating, First and Second Peter, Jude, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011), 20. 

Jul 15, 2012

Messianic Psalms

It is not academically fashionable these days to categorize some psalms as messianic. So I was pleasantly surprised to see Walter Kaiser identifying thirteen psalms as messianic (2; 16; 22; 40; 45; 68; 69; 72; 89; 109; 110; 118; 132). Of these psalms, Kaiser would place them in the following chronological order of fulfillment.

David’s Greater Son, Messiah—Psalms 89; 132
The rejection of Messiah—Psalm 118
The Betrayal of Messiah—Psalms 69; 109
The Death and Resurrection of Messiah—Psalms 16; 22
The Written Plan and Marriage of Messiah—Psalms 40; 45
The Triumph of Messiah—Psalms 2; 68; 72; 110
Walter Kaiser, Preaching and Teaching the Last Things: Old Testament Eschatology for the Life of the Church (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011), 63-4.