Jun 15, 2019

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.

Thomas R. Blanton IV, A Spiritual Economy: Gift Exchange in the Letters of Paul of Tarsus
Reviewed by David E. Briones

Jason Byassee, Psalms 101–150
Reviewed by J. Clinton McCann Jr.

Guy Darshan, After the Flood: Stories of Origins in the Hebrew Bible and Eastern Mediterranean Literature [Hebrew]
Reviewed by Aryeh Amihay

Josette Elayi, Sennacherib, King of Assyria
Reviewed by David Kertai

Jesper Høgenhaven, Jesper Tang Nielsen, and Heike Omerzu, eds., Rewriting and Reception in and of the Bible
Reviewed by Marc Groenbech-Dam

George A. Kiraz and Joseph Bali, eds.; Edward M. Cook, trans., The Syriac Peshitta Bible with English Translation: Numbers
Reviewed by Jerome A. Lund

Amy-Jill Levine and Ben Witherington III, The Gospel of Luke
Reviewed by Troy M. Troftgruben

Jon Morales, Christ, Shepherd of the Nations: The Nations as Narrative Character and Audience in John’s Apocalypse
Reviewed by Brian C. Small

Kathleen M. O’Connor, Genesis 1–25A
Reviewed by John Day

Susanne Scholz, ed., Feminist Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Retrospect I: Biblical Books
Reviewed by Rachel Adelman

Barry D. Smith, The Meaning of Jesus’ Death: Reviewing the New Testament’s Interpretations
Reviewed by Edmon L. Gallagher

Bryan A. Stewart and Michael A. Thomas, eds., John: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators
Reviewed by William M. Wright IV

Jun 14, 2019

Thoughts on Psalm 78

The study of history just doesn’t seem to capture the imagination these days as it may have done with past generations. Just a few years ago, an article in Forbes magazine asked the question, “Just How Clueless Are Millennials When It Comes to Popular History?” Even as this is being written, The New Yorker has posted an article by Eric Alterman entitled, “The Decline of Historical Thinking” (February 4, 2019). Perhaps this decline is because we are so focused on living in the moment, capturing it in a selfie, and posting it on the latest social media platform to give much thought about what happened last week, much less, hundreds if not thousands of years ago. 

For God’s people, this disinterest is not only unfortunate, but it is spiritually dangerous. It fails to understand that history is not merely about what happened to a “them” but it is about what might happen to “us.” This truth is at the core of the Scriptures (e.g., 1 Cor. 10:6) and Psalm 78 clearly demonstrates how rehearsing the past can reveal the dangers of disobedience and yet also remind us of the faithfulness of God.

Jun 13, 2019

Westminster John Knox

All Westminster John Knox books are on sale for 50%-off until July 31. Use the promo code SAVE50. You can also receive free shipping on orders of $50 or more.

Jun 12, 2019

Jun 11, 2019

Old Testament Ethics

In a recent monograph, M. Daniel Carroll R. surveys five scholars on their approach to Old Testament ethics: Brevard Childs, Charles Scobie, John Goldingay, Walter Brueggemann, and Pablo Andiñach. The entire chapter is worth reading but here is part of Carroll’s helpful concluding summary.
"The Old Testament theologies that are presented briefly (and most inadequately!) in this essay hold several things in common. Clearly, all assume that ethics is integral to Old Testament theology. All also agree that the best form of the biblical text for engaging ethics is the received canon. Finally, these theologies coincide on the conviction that the Old Testament needs to be allowed to offer its ethics on its own terms before articulating a relationship to the New Testament.
"At the same time, this survey reveals differences. First, each has a distinct governing paradigm that controls how the ethical material of the Old Testament is handled. Childs coordinates his canonical textual method with a specific theological ethics (“commanded ethics”). Scobie systematizes Old Testament ethics thematically under specific headings, both broad and definite. Goldingay’s work is thematic in a different kind of way, by providing detailed readings of passages, books, and sections of the Hebrew Bible. Brueggemann and Andiñach are reluctant to tie the Old Testament too tightly to the New."
M. Daniel Carroll R., “Ethics in Old Testament Theologies: Theological Significance and Modern Relevance,” in Interpreting the Old Testament Theologically: Essays in Honor of Willem A. VanGemeren, ed. Andrew C. Abernethy (Grand Rapids, 2018), 251.

Jun 10, 2019

Changes to the Lord's Prayer

See this NPR transcript of an interview with Meredith Warren concerning the Pope's recent changes to the "Lord's Prayer."