May 30, 2015

Abiathar in Mark 2:26

Many students of Mark are familiar with the problem of the naming of Abiathar in Mark 2:26. Rob Plummer has a pretty nice explanation of the issue and some of the potential solutions in the video below.

May 29, 2015

Audio of the 2014 Evangelical Theological Society Meeting on Sale is offering the complete set of 630 mp3 downloads from the 2014 Evangelical Theological Society Meeting for the sale price of $69.99. You can check it out here.

May 28, 2015

Reminding the Corinthians of the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:1?

Matthew Malcom has an interesting observation here related to the use of gnorizo in 1 Corinthians 15:1

May 27, 2015

The Use of Acts in Developing Church Practice

Loveday Alexander, in a chapter entitled, “Community and Canon: Reflections on the Ecclesiology of Acts,”makes the following insightful comment regarding the use of Acts in debates concerning church practices. 
In such debates, all protagonists tend to cite biblical models in favour of their own position: so it seems pertinent for us, as biblical scholars, to re-examine the model of the church which all Christian sects and denominations claim as their fons et origo, the church of the apostles as portrayed in the book of Acts. The book of Acts has been used to provide a scriptural basis for a variety of ecclesiologies, from catholic to charismatic: and all (or most) of these to some extent can be justified from within the text. The search for Luke's ecclesiology is thus partly an exercise in deconstruction, in detaching the text from the layers of interpretation which inevitably read Luke's story in the light of their own times and experiences. It is also an exercise in disciplined attentiveness to Luke's own rhetorical agenda, in which ecclesiology as such plays a relatively minor part. But in the end, we have to come back to the broader, hermeneutical question: how can this text help us today to construct an ecclesiology for our own time and place?
Loveday Alexander, “Community and Canon: Reflections on the Ecclesiology of Acts,” in Einheit der Kirche im Neuen Testament: Dritte europäische orthodox-westliche Exegetenkonferenz in Sankt Petersburg 24.–31. August 2005, ed. Anatoly A. Alexeev, Christos Karakolis and Ulrich Luz in collaboration with Karl - Wilhelm Niebuhr, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 218, ed. Jörg Frey (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 46.

May 26, 2015

Ridiculous Stunts Pastors Have Pulled To Get People To Church

The HuffPost has an article entitled, "6 Of The Most Ridiculous Stunts Pastors Have Pulled To Get People To Church" here. I am not a fan of this approach to ministry and think that generally it is not ultimately helpful. But I must admit that some of the "stunts" performed by some of the prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel were likely viewed as "over-the-top" by their contemporaries. What are your thoughts?

May 25, 2015

Locusts and the Book of Joel

The book of Joel is known for its use of locusts as a metaphor for coming judgment. Many of us in the Western world have little personal experience with locusts or locust plagues. And I have always wondered what the difference was between grasshoppers and locusts. An article by Harold Brodsky helps to explain.
The mature biblical desert locust has a wingspan of about 4 inches, and a body length of about 3 inches. Locusts look like large grasshoppers and are, in almost all respects, morphologically the same. Technically, what distinguishes a true locust from a large grasshopper is behavior. When conditions are right, grasshoppers that normally act as solitary individuals learn to swarm. During daylight hours they will rise as a cloud and migrate in search of moist green vegetation. Not all species of grasshoppers can exhibit this type of behavioral transformation. When they do, they can be called locusts.
Harold Brodsky, “An Enormous Horde Arrayed for Battle”: Locusts in the Book of Joel,” Bible Review 6:4 (1990): 24.