How to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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In his new book The New Anabaptists: Practices for Emerging Communities (2024), Stuart Murray says that the Anabaptist vision is “profoundly and resolutely Christocentric” to a degree not found in other traditions. Evangelicals, for example… ( | 6 comments)
Jesus says in John 8:58: “Before Abraham was, I am.” Raymond Brown says that ‘No clearer implication of divinity is found in the Gospel tradition.’1 This has been much debated, and I’m not here especially interested in the immediate… ( )
In their “manifesto for theological interpretation,” Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas assert the priority of theological interpretation over historical-critical interpretation.1 History must be understood theologically as the arena in which… ( )
In the previous post on the parable of the good Samaritan, I noted that “robbers” (lēistai) is likely to have had political overtones and suggested that, particularly given the remarkable parallel with 2 Chronicles 28:8-15, the parable… ( )
I came across this intriguing perspective on Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan in an article by Amy-Jill Levine in the Biblical Archaeology Review (2012). She dismisses a number of what she regards as misinterpretations of the parable of the Good… ( )
I wrote most of this on a flight back from Doha on Christmas Eve. My wife has been at COP 28 in Dubai and at hydrogen conferences in Oman and Qatar—so plenty of opportunities to reflect on climate change from a very different angle. We also got to… ( )
I won’t have time to write anything else this week, so here I’ve written up what started as a response to some further comments made by Edward Babinski regarding Paul’s supposed belief in an imminent “final cosmic judgment.” Babinski argues… ( )
The latest issue of The Bulletin for Biblical Research (33.3, 2023) has my article on the subjection of the creature or created material to the futility of idolatry. It’s an argument that I made here in outline a few years ago. You need a… ( )
In his 2016 NIGTC commentary on Romans, Richard Longenecker provides a summary of what he regards as the key themes that Paul “considered distinctive to his own proclamation of the Christian gospel” (1045-46). They strike me, for the most part, as… ( | 4 comments)
The way I see it, Paul’s letter to the Romans is like a stage with three vast backdrop cloths hanging one in front of the other. The largest cloth depicts the creational presuppositions of the letter: God is the creator of all things and… ( | 1 comment)
Romans 14 is usually read as a new section dealing with disagreements within the community over such matters as diet and observance of holy days. There is, however, an immediate and decisive eschatological aspect to the discussion: Who are you… ( )
Following the exuberant exclamation and doxology of Romans 11:33-36, Paul gets to the practical consequences of his gospel for the saints in Rome. This is where he outlines the nature of the “obedience” required of those from among the nations who… ( )
What is going on here? Is this a tolerable way for Christians to behave? Should we all be doing it? And before you ask, no, it has nothing to do with helping them to keep the fire going. The larger concern in this section of Romans is how the… ( )
Paul’s letter to the Romans is held together by a prophetic narrative. God has made Jesus Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead, and he will one day rule the nations. This means that there will be “wrath” against the idolatrous… ( )
The argument about the status of the Law of Moses in this critical period of eschatological crisis continues. Paul speaks to “those who know the Law,” but now he seems to be addressing Jewish believers, who “have died to the Law through the… ( | 4 comments)
I recently did a long and enjoyable interview with Sean Finnegan, talking about my book In the Form of a God: The Pre-existence of the Exalted Christ in Paul. Sean is lead pastor of Living Hope Community Church near Albany, New York, and… ( | 2 comments)
Romans 5:1-6:23 Let’s remind ourselves, first, that in these chapters Paul has been recapitulating a dialogue with the Jews of the diaspora, for the most part about the Jews of the diaspora. They have failed to provide a… ( | 3 comments)
One obvious retort to the argument that Paul allows for the existence of unbelieving righteous Gentiles who will be justified on the basis of their good deeds on the day of God’s wrath is that he goes on to state emphatically, quoting the… ( | 1 comment)
I have finally got round to reading John Barclay’s highly esteemed Paul and the Gift, and he almost persuaded me to change my mind about the identity of the Gentiles who do not have the Law but do what the law requires (Rom. 2:14). I… ( )
Romans 3:1-4:25 As an apostle of the gospel of God concerning his Son, Paul has argued so far that the Greek-Roman world, as he has encountered it in the course of his missionary journeys from Antioch to Athens, faces a day of God’s wrath or… ( )