Aug 10, 2013

A Theology of Exile/Restoration in the Prophets

Nicolas Batzig has a post on the biblical theology of exile/restoration in the Old Testament Prophets here.

Aug 9, 2013

Ezra 7:10

Andy Naselli has some thoughts and links related to Ezra 7:10 here.

Aug 8, 2013

The Purpose of Ministry

"The ministry in any age is in danger of losing its purpose. Only when it remembers the one who gave us that ministry-the one who did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped, the one who humbled himself by taking the very form of a servant (Phil 2:5-11)–only then can it know its true purpose, which always has been and always will be diakonia, service."

Joel C. Elowsky, “The Ministry in the Early Church,” Concordia Theological Seminary 76 (2012), 310.

Aug 7, 2013

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.

Christoph Dohmen
Studien zu Bilderverbot und Bildtheologie des Alten Testaments
Reviewed by Sven Petry

Mark W. Elliott
The Heart of Biblical Theology: Providence Experienced
Reviewed by Mark McEntire

Larry R. Helyer
The Life and Witness of Peter
Reviewed by Timothy P. Henderson

Matthias Henze, ed.
Hazon Gabriel: New Readings of the Gabriel Revelation
Reviewed by Aaron Koller

Jan Joosten
The Verbal System of Biblical Hebrew: A New Synthesis Elaborated on the Basis of Classical Prose
Reviewed by Jerome Lund

Granville J. R. Kent
Say It Again, Sam: A Literary and Filmic Study of Narrative Repetition in 1 Samuel 28
Reviewed by Andrew Steinmann

Yoo-Ki Kim
The Function of the Tautological Infinitive in Classical Biblical Hebrew
Reviewed by Hubert James Keener

R. Reed Lessing
Isaiah 40–55
Reviewed by Alphonso Groenewald

Rüdiger Lux
Hiob: Im Räderwerk des Bösen
Reviewed by Urmas Nommik

Andrew G. Shead
A Mouth Full of Fire: The Word of God in Jeremiah
Reviewed by Hallvard Hagelia

Aug 6, 2013

The Controversy Over "In Christ Alone"

I think that more attention should be paid to the theology of the songs that we sing. So whether I agree or disagree with the PCUSA’s decision to exclude “In Christ Alone” from the denomination’s hymnbook, I do appreciate that theological concerns appear to be at the core of the decision. To read more about this controversial decision go here.

Aug 5, 2013

The Element of Surprise in Jonah

"The element of surprise is the key structural device employed by the writer of Jonah. Before 3:10–4:1, the writer misdirects the readers, leading them to picture Yahweh as a God of wrath who pursues persons or groups until they are appropriately punished, and leading them to see Jonah as a reluctant, passive prophet who flees the task of crying against a wicked city. The repentance of the Ninevites poses an intriguing problem, since no one has up to this point in the book repented and sought God’s forgiveness, and the question rings out: “Will this wrathful God forgive Nineveh?” The writer then springs his surprise: God does indeed repent of the evil he had intended to inflict on Nineveh, while the seemingly passive Jonah issues a furious fusillade against God (3:10 and 4:l). The element of surprise makes the readers vulnerable and therefore receptive to the writer’s basic point that Jonah’s anger and vindictiveness are inappropriate in the light of the forgiving nature of God. The final chapter emphasizes this point by means of the dialogue between Jonah and God, wherein God is clearly portrayed as one eager to forgive his creatures, while Jonah is seen to be excessively self-serving."

Alan Jon Hauser, “Jonah: In Pursuit of the Dove,” Journal of Biblical Literature 104 (1985): 37.


Aug 4, 2013

Biblical Theology and the Book of Hebrews

"By now it will be clear that we shall not get anywhere with this until we have defined what we understand by Biblical theology. If we take it to mean the theological content of the Bible, and in particular the common outlook that binds the New to the Old Testament, we might be able to trace it back to the Epistle to the Hebrews. That epistle can plausibly claim to have been the first systematic attempt to demonstrate that the true meaning of the Hebrew Bible can only be found in the person and work of Jesus Christ, to which it bore witness “at many times and in many ways,” as its opening sentence so memorably states. Few analysts of modern Biblical theology would go that far back, but there is little doubt that virtually all serious Christian writers from New Testament times to the eighteenth-century Enlightenment took the approach of Hebrews as axiomatic for their interpretation of the Bible and their understanding of what Christian theology is. Systematization, which began with what we now call scholastic theology in the thirteenth century and was adapted to both Protestant and Eastern Orthodox needs after the Reformation, may have gone beyond the Bible but it did not go against it, at least not intentionally."

Gerald L. Bray, "Biblical Theology and From Where it Came," Southwestern Journal of Theology 55.2 (2013): 194.