This semester we are working with students on the whole area of preaching. Earlier this week, we explored different models of the preacher (drawn from Tom Long's excellent The Witness of Preaching and modified by Nah Then's Glen Marshall). I located myself, reluctantly, in the Herald category, with aspirations to be more of a Poet, and a recognition that I may belong in Long's category of Witness. This quotation from a recent post by William Willimon helped to clarify my initial instinct however:
Sometimes in leaning over to speak to the modern world, I fear that we
may have fallen in! When, in our sermons, we sought to use our sermons
to build a bridge from the old world of the Bible to the new modern
world, the traffic was only moving in one direction on that
interpretive bridge. It was always the modern world rummaging about in
Scripture, saying things like "This relates to me," or, "I'm sorry,
this is really impractical," or, "I really can't make sense out of
that." It was always the modern world telling the Bible what's what.
don't believe that the Bible wants to "speak to the modern world."
Rather, I think the Bible wants to change, convert the modern world.
This isn't the whole truth, and it is no surprise that Willimon has recently published a book on Barth on preaching, but there is something there that many preachers could learn from.
...continues to be utterly depressing, judging from this post from Wade Burleson. Burleson is a Trustee of the International Missions Board of the SBC and a regular blogger. He is constantly appealing to others within the SBC to be true to their Baptist identity. Miraculously, he remains within the SBC. But now the IMB have chosen to censure him for saying what he thinks. To give you a flavour of life in the SBC here is a quotation from the IMB Trustees Standards of Conduct:
'Individual IMB trustees must refrain from public criticism of Board
approved actions. Experience has shown that it is not possible to draw
fine lines in this area. Freedom of expression must give way to the
imperative that the work of the Kingdom not be placed at risk by
publicly airing differences within the Board.'
Baptist? More like crypto-facist from where I am sitting.
The Story of Ernst Lohmeyer: this is a deeply poignant account of a wonderfully creative and able NT scholar. What the account fails to point out is the deep irony that Lohmeyer's best work (other than his commentary on Mark) was probably his work on Philippians (monograph and commentary) in which he identified the theme of martyrdom as central to the letter. His work is, unfortunately, largely untranslated. HT: Mike Bird. Jesse Jackson coming to Regent's Park College: news from Andy Goodliff. I shall be at Regent's on Saturday and look forward to hearing more about this exciting new venture. ASBO Jesus: continues to churn out cartoon after cartoon that hit the spot. These are the two that made me laugh:
Biblica continues to do its sterling work in providing quality articles online. The latest issue 88/3 can be accessed here. Articles and abstracts that caught my attention include:
S. Schreiber, «Eine neue Jenseitshoffnung in Thessaloniki und ihre Probleme (1 Thess 4,13-18)» , Vol. 88 (2007) 326-350.
Paul’s portrayal of the parousia of Christ in 1 Thess 4,13-18 is induced by a
concrete problem of the recently founded community in Thessalonica. So to
understand the text means to reconstruct the situation out of which it has been
written. A closer look at the argument of 4,13-18 reveals the fact that the event of
the parousia is the centre of the problem. After a brief sketch of the recent
scholarly discussion, the article gives an overview of ancient conceptions of the
hereafter (or their lack, respectively) as the cultural background of the potential
reception of the idea of the parousia in Thessalonica. Then the identity building
force of this idea as part of the missionary preaching becomes discernible: a
Christian identity constituted by a separate hope of life after death and a critical
distance to the socio-political reality. In this light the deaths of some community
members can be understood as an attack on the identity of the community, which
Paul’s eschatological rearrangement tries to strengthen again.
M. Lau, «Die Legio X Fretensis und der Besessene von Gerasa. Anmerkungen
zur Zahlenangabe “ungefähr Zweitausend” (Mk 5,13)» , Vol. 88 (2007) 351-364. The military background of Mk 5,1-20 points to the Legio X Fretensis, which has
been active in the Jewish War and whose ensign, a boar, matches the swines
mentioned in Mk 5,1-20. However, the figure 2000, which is mentioned to give
the size of the herd, does not correspond to this context. Roman legions consisted
of about 5000-6000 soldiers. This contradiction can only be resolved, when the
history of the Legio X is taken into consideration. In 66 AD a vexiliation of this
Legio X, consisting of 2000 soldiers, was involved in fights with Jewish
insurgents (Jos., Bell. 2,499-506). These details go well with the allusions in Mk
5,1-20 to the Legio X and can explain the figure 2000. From this perspective,
Mark’s Jesus is portrayed as a powerful warlord and liberator rather than an
D.J. Armitage, «An Exploration of Conditional Clause Exegesis with
Reference to Galatians 1,8-9» , Vol. 88 (2007) 365-392.
This paper explores various issues pertaining to the exegesis of Greek conditional
clauses, using as a case study the pair of conditional statements found in Galatians
1,8-9. These conditional curse formulations are broadly similar with reference to
content, whilst also showing significant differences, notably in terms of mood.
These conditional statements are firstly examined from syntactic and semantic
perspectives. Their function in the discourse is then analysed with reference to
Speech Act Theory. An integrative approach to exegesis of conditional clauses is
D.W. Kim, «What Shall We Do? The Community Rules of Thomas in the
‘Fifth Gospel’» , Vol. 88 (2007) 393-414.
This article argues for the diversity of early Christianity in terms of religiocultural
communities. Each early Christian group, based on a personal revelation
of leadership and the group’s socio-political milieu, maintained its own tradition
(oral, written, or both) of Jesus for the continuity and prosperity of the movement.
The leaders of early Christianity allowed outsiders to become insiders in the
condition where the new comers committed to give up their previous religious
attitude and custom and then follow the new community rules. The membership
of the Thomasine group is not exceptional in this case. The Logia tradition of P.
Oxy. 1, 654.655, and NHC II, 2. 32: 10-51: 28 in the context of community policy
will prove the pre-gnostic peculiarity of the creative and independent movement
within the Graeco-Roman world.
P. Frick, «Johannine Soteriology and Aristotelian Philosophy. A
Hermeneutical Suggestion on Reading John 3,16 and 1 John 4,9» , Vol. 88 (2007) 415-421.
The aim of this short study is to propose a hermeneutical reading of Johannine
soteriology based on John 3,16 and 1 John 4,9 in order to clarify in what sense
Jesus was ‘the cause’ salvation. I will employ the Aristotelian categorization of
the various causes as used by Philo in his explanation of the creation of the
cosmos and apply his scheme to the Johannine texts. The result is (1) a specific
definition of what constitutes the cause of salvation and (2) the important
distinction between the means (understood as the four conjoint Aristotelian
causes) and the mode (understood as faith) of salvation
SAGE Publishers have indicated that, once again, they are opening up their journal archives for free access for the next month. Information can be found here. You will need to register.
This is a really generous offer, so thanks to the people over at SAGE for making access available. I would wait a few days though, it looks like the site is currently crashing under the weight of traffic.
John Hobbins over at Ancient Hebrew Poetry has done a great job in rounding up recent posts from the biblioblogosphere. Go and check it out and spot the compliment for yours truly. He also has a taxonomy of biblioblogs here.