Jul 29, 2017

Four Common Misconceptions about Learning

Here is a brief but helpful reminder concerning four common misconceptions about learning. I actually shared similar points with a student recently.

Schreiner on the Law in Galatians

Check out Tom Schreiner's comments here on the role of the Law in Galatians

Jul 27, 2017

The Distinction between Genre and Style

Leslie Allen, provides a helpful explanation of the distinction between genre and style noting that, 
Genre can provide the skeleton of a passage, but rhetorical style is an aspect of its flesh and blood. If genre helps the informed reader by providing typicality, a stylistic analysis uncovers the passage’s individuality that sets it apart from other examples of the same genre.
(Jeremiah: A Commentary, Old Testament Library, ed. William P. Brown, Carol A. Newsom, and David L. Petersen [Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2008], 6).

Jul 26, 2017

The Danger of Obscuring the Text

As I was preparing to teach Romans again, I came across the following reminder from Doug Moo. 
The interpreter of Romans is faced with the danger that the text of what Paul himself wrote will become obscured by the reams and reams of material that other people have written about the text. Thomas Hobbes is reputed to have said, “If I read as many books as most men do, I would be as dull-witted as they are.” Certainly it is easy for the interpreter of Scripture to substitute broad reading in books about the text for deep reading in the text itself. In no book of the Bible is this more of a temptation than in Romans, and I hope I have not succumbed to it.
(The Epistle to the Romans, New International Commentary on the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), xviii.

Jul 25, 2017

How Many Members Did the First Century Church at Philippi Have?

Eduard Verhoef suggests that the church numbered around 33 in the AD 60s. He arrives at this number by noting that, “All in all we can list 11 people who had chosen to go the way indicated by Paul: Lydia, the goaler [sic, jailer], two bishops, two deacons, Epaphroditus, Eudia, Syntyche, the ‘companion’ and Clement.”

He also then notes, “The 11 people mentioned above will have belonged to different families. The average family may have consisted of two parents, two children and two slaves. Let us say that half of those people comprised the congregation, there were 11 x 3 = 33 members of the congregation.
Verhoef is cautious about the number, noting the uncertainties and hypothetical nature of the data. But he also suggests that 33 is “defendable.” Eduard Verhoef, Philippi: How Christianity Began in Europe: The Epistle to the Philippians and the Excavations at Philippi (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 21–22.

Jul 24, 2017

New Open Access Journal: Text and Archaeology

There is a new open access journal entitled Archaeology and Text, edited by Itzik Shai and David Small. You can access the first volume here

HT: Aren Maier

Jul 23, 2017

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 but unfortunately you must be a SBL member.

Michael F. Bird
The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus
Reviewed by Albert Lukaszewski
Reviewed by Youngju Kwon

Ellis R. Brotzman and Eric J. Tully
Old Testament Textual Criticism: A Practical Introduction
Reviewed by Terry Giles

Andrew J. Brown
The Days of Creation: A History of Christian Interpretation of Genesis 1:1–2:3
Reviewed by James F. McGrath

Alexandra Gruca-Macaulay
Lydia as a Rhetorical Construct in Acts
Reviewed by Marianne Blickenstaff

David Luckensmeyer and Pauline Allen, eds.
Studies of Religion and Politics in the Early Christian Centuries
Reviewed by Aaron Ricker

Dinh Anh Nhue Nguyen, ed.
The Bible and Asian Culture: Reading the Word of God in Its Cultural Background and in the Vietnamese Context
Reviewed by Jione Havea

Peter Oakes
Reviewed by Bart J. Koet and Jaap F. van der Meij

David Lee Phillips
The Samaritan Version of the Book of Numbers with Hebrew Variants: A Close Textual Study
Reviewed by Nathan R. Jastram

Daniel Y. Wu
Honor, Shame, and Guilt: Social-Scientific Approaches to the Book of Ezekiel
Reviewed by Tobias Häner