Nov 10, 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.

Cornelis Bennema, Mimesis in the Johannine Literature: A Study in Johannine Ethics
Reviewed by Michael R. Whitenton

Mordechai Z. Cohen and Adele Berlin, eds., Interpreting Scriptures in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Overlapping Inquiries
Reviewed by Abdulla Galadari

James D. G. Dunn, Neither Jew Nor Greek: A Contested Identity
Reviewed by Maria Karyakina

Matthias Ederer and Barbara Schmitz, eds., Exodus: Interpretation durch Rezeption
Reviewed by Joachim J. Krause

Rouven Genz, Jesaja 53 als theologische Mitte der Apostelgeschichte: Studien zu ihrer Christologie und Ekklesiologie im Anschluss an Apg 8,26–40
Reviewed by Loveday Alexander

Michael J. Gorman, Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and His Letters
Reviewed by Christopher T. Holmes

Robert C. Gregg, Shared Stories, Rival Tellings: Early Encounters of Jews, Christians, and Muslims
Reviewed by Gordon D. Newby

Peter John Parsons and N. Gonis, eds., The Oxyrhynchus Papyri, Volume LXXXIII
Reviewed by Larry W. Hurtado

Luc Pialoux, L’épître aux Philippiens: L’evangile du don et de l’amitié
Reviewed by Isaac Blois

Gary S. Selby, Not with Wisdom of Words: Nonrational Persuasion in the New Testament
Reviewed by Alexander E. Stewart

F. Scott Spencer, ed., Mixed Feelings and Vexed Passions: Exploring Emotions in Biblical Literature
Reviewed by Thomas H. Olbricht

Alexander Toepel, Das Protevangelium des Jakobus: Ein Beitrag zur neueren Diskussion um Herkunft, Auslegung und theologische Einordnung 

Reviewed by Jonathon Lookadoo

Nov 9, 2018

Paul's Missionary Journeys Map Resource

There is an outstanding new map resource for Paul's missionary journeys here. Two blog posts here and here describe the features of this free resource.

Nov 7, 2018

Nov 6, 2018

A Quadrans of Claudius and the Bible

Recently I was looking at a quadrans of Claudius (AD 41–54) and on this particular coin there is an image of a hand holding a pair of scales (see picture below). Since coins were one way for leaders to project a particular image, I was interested in the significance of the image. My initial two guesses were that it was an economical symbol or a judicial symbol. But, significant help is provided by paying attention to the Latin inscription containing three letters, PNR between the scale’s pans. The meaning of the letters is understood in at least two ways, Pondus Nummi Restitutum, meaning, “the weight of the coinage restored” or Ponderum Norma Restituta, meaning, “the standard of the weights restored.”[1] “This interesting obverse likely commemorates a weight improvement for certain denominations.”[2] So apparently the scales are about the assurance that the coins weigh as they should.

I see at least two illustrative uses of this coin in biblical teaching and preaching. It could be used to provide an image of what at least some handheld scales looked like in the first century for a passage like Revelation 6:5. Also, both the image and the inscription could be used illustrate biblical passages relating to dishonest scales (e.g., Ezek 45:10; Hos 12:7; Amos 8:5; Mic 6:11). 

(2) Ibid.

Nov 5, 2018

Preservation in Archaeology

One of the things I learned on my recent experiences on archeological digs in the Holy Land was that not everything that is uncovered stays uncovered. Because archaeology is necessarily destructive (removing layers of civilization from the ground), one way to preserve a site for future study is to cover it. Aren Maier has a good discussion of the process here. Instead of plastic bottles, some use modern coins on top of the “geotech” tarpaulins. 

By the way, for those who have opportunity to travel to the Holy Lands, you might want to consider taking a picture or two of ongoing digs at sites you visit (if they are there) because the next time around you might not be able to see it. I was just at Tell es-Safi/Gath this past summer and took a number of pictures. I haven't gone back through them but I probably took some of areas that are now covered over.

Nov 4, 2018

Grant Osborne (1942-2018)

Scot McKnight has reported here of the home going of Grant Osbourne. I did not know Dr. Osbourne personally but benefited much from attending his sessions at academic conferences and his many books and articles. His book The Hermeneutical Spiral is a rite of passage for many seminarians.