Recent posts

I have a lot of work to do on hermeneutics in the coming months. One of the books I am reading is Craig Bartholomew’s Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Framework for Hearing God in Scripture (2015), which seems to be both a general introduction to the field and a defence… (6 Feb 2023 | 0 comments)
This is an odd two-part post. I came across Cleanthes’ “Hymn to Zeus” in Mike Bird’s Jesus among the gods: Early Christology in the Greco-Roman World. It’s an outstanding early example (third century BC) of the pagan instinct to identify a supreme god who created and now manages the cosmos… (2 Feb 2023 | 6 comments)
A couple of days after my Transfigured interview, Sam Tideman recorded a conversation with Mike Bird about his book Jesus among the gods: Early Christology in the Greco-Roman World. Mike does a really good job of painting in the neglected pagan religious background to the evolution of… (24 Jan 2023 | 0 comments)
Seventeen hundred years after the conversion of the Roman Empire, with European Christendom and its offshoots rapidly becoming things of the past, the common opinion—not least among Christians—is no doubt that the whole thing was a massive mistake. I take the somewhat contrary (with the stress on… (15 Jan 2023 | 2 comments)
Paul Gabriner has posted a thoughtful comment on an old article about the mission to the Gentiles in the New Testament. This started out as a hurriedly written reply but has grown too big for the comments section. I’ll quote Paul Gabriner in places, but you should read what he has written, which I… (9 Jan 2023 | 0 comments)
This isn’t what I was planning to do today, but a blog post by Roger Olson suggesting that evangelicals are more tolerant towards the modalism of Oneness Pentecostals than they used to be got me thinking again that we are moving towards some sort of revision of classical Trinitarianism. So… (5 Jan 2023 | 9 comments)
It’s well worth listening to Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook discussing the historical Jesus in their The Rest is History podcast. I plan to write something about how they understand Jesus’ teaching about the “kingdom of God,” but here’s a short diversion before we get to that. It has to do with… (30 Dec 2022 | 4 comments)
Krishna is a practising Hindu whose “knowledge of the Bible/Gospels is basic at best,” but he asks a perceptive question—the sort of question that Christians don’t usually bother to ask, assuming that one size fits all—about the relevance of the death of Jesus for Gentiles: Gentiles… (28 Dec 2022 | 2 comments)
While we are on the subject of the pre-existence of the exalted Christ, and since Christmas is nearly upon us, I feel we have to ask the question: What do the Christmas stories tell us about the pre-existence of Jesus? We start with Matthew, then Luke, then John. Having in the womb from… (20 Dec 2022 | 0 comments)
I don’t deal with this in the book, but I’m wondering whether the retrospective argument about the pre-existence of the exalted Christ gains a polemically heightened character in the writings of Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107/108). Or to put it the other way round, is the marked concern to… (14 Dec 2022 | 5 comments)
This is a German translation of “In the form of a God: The Pre-existence of the Exalted Christ in Paul: what the book is about and why.” With many thanks to Helge Seekamp. Mein Buch In Gestalt eines Gottes: Die Vorexistenz des Erhöhten Christus bei Paulus ist seit einiger Zeit beim… (12 Dec 2022 | 0 comments)
My book In the Form of a God: The Pre-existence of the Exalted Christ in Paul has been available for a little while now, from the publisher and other major sources, both in print and as an ebook (Nook, Kindle). Here I want to give a bit more of a sense of what the book is about and… (30 Nov 2022 | 5 comments)
I am coming to think that the current mainstream view regarding “image of God” in Genesis 1:26-27 is mistaken. The consensus is that behind the expression is the idea that God is king, that he rules the cosmos, and that he has delegated some part of that benign and constructive rule to men and… (23 Nov 2022 | 0 comments)
Looking around for discussion of a theology of climate crisis, I came across a brief summary of the work of Gijsbert van den Brink, University Research Chair for Theology and Science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The piece is by Matthew Wiley and is entitled “Life in the Anthropocene:… (18 Nov 2022 | 2 comments)
“It is a conviction of the church,” Matthew Malcolm writes in From Hermeneutics to Exegesis, “that it shares the same redemptive-historical location as the first recipients of the New Testament documents” (61). That is an important observation, but I think that the conviction is misguided… (15 Nov 2022 | 0 comments)
I argued in the previous post that the injunction to subdue the earth and rule over all living creatures in Genesis 1:26-28 cannot be construed in helpful modern terms as environmental stewardship or creation care. The language consistently evokes contexts of enslavement, violent suppression of… (7 Nov 2022 | 5 comments)
There is an argument that the Bible is partly to blame for the current environmental crisis because humanity was instructed from the get-go to subdue the earth and have dominion over all living creatures (Gen. 1:26-28). The historian Lynn White famously argued in a 1967 article, “The Historical… (2 Nov 2022 | 2 comments)
I have a new book coming out with Wipf & Stock before the end of the year. It’s called In the Form of a God: The Pre-existence of the Exalted Christ in Paul. It looks like it will be the first in a new series of Studies in Early Christology, edited by Michael Bird, Scott Harrower, and… (31 Oct 2022 | 8 comments)
Christopher M. Hays and C. A. Strine have proposed a solution to the problem that Jesus seemingly promised to come back within a generation and didn’t. In a first post on Pete Enns’ The Bible for Normal People site they accept the fact that “Jesus told his disciples that he would come back soon… (25 Oct 2022 | 4 comments)
I follow the output of the Gospel Coalition site on the look out for material that I can use to illustrate the differences between, in this case, conservative theological readings of the New Testament and a narrative-historical reading. I do the same, naturally, for liberal-progressive thinkers,… (13 Oct 2022 | 1 comment)