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

21 Jun 2019

If we think that the New Testament always presupposes the pre-existent, divine identity of Jesus as the eternal Son of God, we have to understand Paul’s statement in Romans 1:4 that Jesus “was declared (horisthentos) to be the Son of God in power” (ESV) to mean that, while Jesus was always the Son of God, the fact that he was Son of God in power was not announced until after the resurrection. There are two...

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12 Jun 2019

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Rev. 5:6)

Is this a good example of what might be described as latent or incipient Trinitarianism in the New Testament—a vivid heavenly tableau in which God the Father and the Son are worshipped in the presence of the Spirit which...

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7 Jun 2019

It appears that Catholics in Italy, France and Spain are getting revised translations of the Lord’s Prayer. The problem is the line “Lead us not into temptation”. The Pope complained in 2017 that this is a bad translation, not on exegetical grounds but on theological grounds:

It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation....

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6 Jun 2019

This monograph addresses the question, “How does Revelation interact with the Roman Empire?” As the subtitle suggests, it contributes especially to empire studies, which have typically offered the response that Revelation is anti-Rome or anti-imperial. However, Shane J. Wood argues that, although Revelation draws on the “sovereign narrative” of the Roman Empire, it does so to construct an “alter-empire.” By “alter-empire,” Wood seems to have in mind (although this is never stated...

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5 Jun 2019

This piece by Andrew Bunt on the Think Theology site caught my eye. He takes issue with the now rather commonplace view that the Bible is basically a story, running from creation to new creation, and asks whether perhaps “the Bible is better understood as poetry.” His brief analysis is based on a TheoEd talk by Brent Strawn, who is an...

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30 May 2019

There is an argument that when the Synoptic Gospels speak of Jesus coming to Israel, we must imagine him making a journey from heaven to earth to fulfil God’s purposes.

The demons ask Jesus, “Have you come here to destroy us?” (Mk. 1:24 par. Lk. 4:34; Matt. 8:29). Jesus says that he has come to preach the gospel (Mk. 1:38; cf. Lk. 4:43), not to call the righteous but sinners (Mk. 2:17 par. Matt. 9:13; Lk. 5:32), not to abolish the Law and the prophets but to fulfil...

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23 May 2019

The last post on (re-)defining the kingdom of God in nine words elicited a couple of fair and well articulated objections to the narrative-historical approach on Facebook. I was invited to respond. The basic complaint, I think, is that the method is reductionist, leaving the church with too little to work with today. My response in a nutshell is that 1) in certain respects, yes...

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