Nov 3, 2018

The Latest Issue of the 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.

Lesley R. DiFransico, Washing Away Sin: An Analysis of the Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible and Its Influence
Reviewed by Ryan P. Bonfiglio

Anne Elvey, Keith Dyer, and Deborah Guess, eds., Ecological Aspects of War: Engagements with Biblical Texts
Reviewed by Margaret Daly-Denton

Norman K. Gottwald, Social Justice and the Hebrew Bible, Volume 2
Reviewed by Walter J. Houston

Kelly R. Iverson, ed., From Text to Performance: Narrative and Performance Criticisms in Dialogue and Debate
Reviewed by Danny Yencich

Yii-Jan Lin, The Erotic Life of Manuscripts: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Biological Sciences
Reviewed by S. Matthew Solomon

Raymond F. Person Jr. and Robert Rezetko, eds., Empirical Models Challenging Biblical Criticism
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Morrow

Todd D. Still, ed., God and Israel: Providence and Purpose in Romans 9–11
Reviewed by Timothy Gombis

Oren Tal and Zeev Weiss, eds., Expressions of Cult in the Southern Levant in the Greco-Roman Period: Manifestations in Text and Material Culture
Reviewed by Collin Cornell

Nov 1, 2018

Free Logos Book for November: New Covenant Commentary: 2 Timothy and Titus

The free Logos Book for the Month for November is Aida Spencer's 2 Timothy and Titus commentary in the New Covenant Commentary series. Two other volumes in the same series are also on sale, Nijay Gupta's 12 Thessalonians for 99¢ and Michael Bird's Colossians and Philemon for $1.99. There is also a contest to win a 31 volume Church Dogmatics by Barth. For all these offers, go to the Logos' Free Book of Month page here.

Oct 31, 2018

Israelites in Biblical Dan Worshipped Idols – and Yahweh Too

This article is not really a new revelation for serious Bible students but it does a decent job laying out and illustrating the archaeological evidence supporting the idea. 

Oct 30, 2018

Acts 15 and Table Fellowship

I was recently listening a speaker talking about Acts 15 at an academic conference. He made the remark that the issue of table fellowship as a rationale for the Apostolic Decree (which many hold) seemed unlikely since there was not significant evidence that table fellowship was an issue for the early church. 

But such a view is questionable. We have the issue of food sacrificed to idols in 1 Corinthians 8:1–11:1 and Romans raises the issue of kashrut in Romans 14. One might even point to the parenthetical statement in Mark 7:19 as an indication of the issue. It could be argued that all these texts were solely about personal convictions but this seems unlikely given the strong corporate emphasis of the New Testament where personal convictions have corporate implications. You also have the practice of “love feasts,” meals practiced in conjunction with the Lord’s Supper (see 1 Cor 11:17-34; Jude 12).

More importantly, one could turn to something closer to home by looking at the book of Acts itself. We have the paradigmatic statement in Acts 2:42 that mentions the “breaking of bread” that could be a reference to communal meals (or the Lord’s Supper). The pivotal Cornelius episode begins with a vision which uses the imagery of food (Acts 10:9-15). Following Cornelius’ conversion, Peter is asked to stay for several days. The fact that Peter stayed is seeming confirmed in 11:3. More importantly, Peter is criticized by the “circumcision party” (probably Jewish believers) who confront the apostle with, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” So, it seems likely that Acts 10–11 set the table as it were for the Jerusalem Council and while there may have been other issues, maybe even more substantial issues, table fellowship seems to be a legitimate concern.

Oct 29, 2018

Bible Journaling Tools

This article has some suggestions here.

Oct 28, 2018

Pseudo-Ephraim and the Rapture

Roger Pearse does an excellent job examining pseudo-Ephraim and whether it teaches a pre-tribulational rapture here. Pearse's discussion involves points on languages, textual criticism, church history, and theology and is done in a thorough and balanced way. In many ways, this blog post is a model of how to have an academic discussion.