#SBLAAR14 Warning: Beware of @drjewest Crazy Antics

For all who are in San Diego for the SBL gathering, I want to give you fair warning. If you decide to invite Jim West to hang out at your hotel room after the days over you may find that your room was not the same as you first left it.

nariman_destroyedSo if you want to keep your room from being West-enized, just be sure you speak well of Bultmann and Zwingli.

Remembering Jerome Murphy-O’Connor

oconnor_2735670bOne year ago today we lost a great New Testament scholar in Jerome Murphy-O’Connor. From 1967 until his death he was Professor of New Testament at the École Biblique in Jerusalem. He authored a number of books on Paul, Corinthians, and a guide on the Holy Land.

Today, what I remember most about this fine scholar was his graciousness and helpfulness. When I kept hitting a wall with Gabalda regarding getting permission to translate Ceslas Spicq’s commentary on Hebrews, on a whim I filled out a contact form on the École Biblique website not thinking he would even see my request for help. But he did, and he was eager to get in touch with Gabalda and secure permission to translate the work. My only regret is that he did not live long enough for me to be able to personally give him an English translation of his former teacher’s seminal work on Hebrews.

Requiescat in pace, good sir!

#Interstellar Is Just That…STELLAR!

You owe it to yourselves to go and see Christopher Nolan’s new work Interstellar! If you were a fan of his Batman trilogy or even Inception, you will find that Interstellar is twice as good as anything he has done! It is a masterpiece in so many ways! Beautiful story; beautiful cinematography (sorry, but it blows Gravity out of the water); amazing acting from McConaughey, Hathaway, and Chastain!

There was a part at the end were McConaughey character was talking to his then older daughter, that I found to be quite touching as a new dad. When asked by her father (McConaughey) how she knew that he would return, she simply replied:

Because you’re my father and you promised me you would.

This dialogue between a father and his daughter had me choked up!

So, do please go and marvel at yet another masterpiece from Nolan! You can thank me later.

@Logos 6: A Brief Look at the Psalms Explorer #Logos6

I made a comment earlier this week to my wife that pretty much sums up my thoughts on the new Psalms Explorer (PE) in Logos 6: “I am no Psalms expert nor am I the son of one, but this Psalms Explorer is pretty rad!” It allows to see the Psalms in a way that I think is quote innovative and extremely useful, especially for a book(s) that has many parts to it.

To open the PE, simply navigate to “Tools” and select the PE. When the PE opens, you get a screen that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 9.08.55 AM

On the left hand side you see a number of different headings: genre, attribution (author), book, and theme. These are different filters that allow you to select any particular Psalm that you may be looking for. On the right hand side are the Psalms in canonical order. Each Psalm is represented by a different color. These colors represent the different genres that are contained in the Psalms. So far, this is pretty straight forward and rather simple.

But let’s say I wanted to see the Psalms displayed on the right side of the screen according to genre. What will this look like?

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 9.16.17 AM

The PE has now arranged the Psalms according to the different genres that make up the 150 Psalms. From here I want to show only the Psalms of David. I simply click on “David” in the left menu screen and now I have only the Psalms of David (with the addition of Ps 124, which mentions David in the inscription).

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.37.34 AMFinally, let’s look at the Psalms of David that are messianic. In the left menu under Themes, click on the “Themes: Prophecy: Jesus” and you will notice that the right side again rearranges the Psalms and lists Ps 8; 16; 22; 41; 68; 69; and 110.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.45.03 AM

The new Psalms Explorer in Logos 6 is a fantastic tool for seeing how the Psalms relate to each other canonically, thematically, and any other way you can imagine. It is a great teaching tool for the classroom and Sunday school, simply connect your computer to a monitor and you are ready to explore the Psalms together.

If the Psalms Explorer is something you are interested in, give Logos 6 a test drive. They offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so why not try it out. If you have any questions, shoot me an email at cliff.kvidahl@faithlife.com and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Some Thoughts on @Baylor_Press “Jesus of Nazareth: Jew from Galilee, Savior of the World”

image_previewA few weeks back I ordered Jens Schröter’s Jesus of Nazareth: Jew from Galilee, Savior of the World, translated by Wayne Coppins. Wayne has also translated another of Schröter’s works for Baylor, From Jesus to the New Testament: Early Christian Theology and the Origin of the New Testament Canon—which is a must read! Although this is not a formal review, I still wanted to give some initial impressions of what I think thus far.

Schröter organizes his work into two parts: Introduction and a Portrayal of Jesus. The introduction highlights matters of historical issues, topics like research on the historical Jesus, some key players, and methodology are discussed. Schröter is known to be a careful and influential historian, all of which are clearly on display in the first part of the book.

In part two, we move from methodology to application. It is here that Schröter begins to apply what he laid out in part one to Jesus of the Gospels. He begins by looking at the birthplace of Jesus, Nazareth, and move outward from there. He discusses the geography, political landscape, religious upbringing, and other matters that influenced the life and ministry of Jesus. His chapters are organized in a somewhat chronological way, starting with Nazareth and ending with the beginning of the Christian church.

I am currently about half way through the book and I find it to be a stimulating read. Schröter is a careful historian and interpreter. He is extremely knowledgeable of the primary documents of the era, which include the DSS, Philo, Josephus and other relevant sources. But what I enjoy most about this work is that he is able to take his wealth of understanding and write in such a way that anyone can understand. This is not to say that he simplifies or dumbs down the material. Schröter instead keeps things rather concise and to the point.

Because of this, I believe that Jesus of Nazareth: Jew from Galilee, Savior of the World would make the perfect text for an undergraduate course on Jesus. Well done Baylor for once again bringing important German works to English readers. Please keep pursuing and publishing these kinds of studies. I know the cost of such works is high, so I thank you for sacrificing for us readers,

Teaching the Didache (The Teaching of ‘the Twelve’)

Clifford Kvidahl:

Great post from Dr. David Capes.

Originally posted on A Word in Edgewise:

Not long ago I taught a brief series at Christ the King Lutheran Church on the Didache, an early Christian manual on ethics, practices, leadership and eschatology.  Most scholars date it to the end of the first or beginning of the second century AD. A Greek manuscript of it—dating to about 1073 AD—was  discovered by accident in a library in Constantinople by Philotheos Bryennios in 1873 (Have you noticed how some of the best stuff is discovered by accident?  The Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Nag Hammadi library.  Chocolate mixed with peanut butter.)  The Didache was published about a decade later.  Some early church leaders wanted to include it the New Testament but Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 3.25.1-7) reckons it among the spurious documents.Christ the King Lutheran Church

There are four essential questions which this early Christian document addresses:

  1. How are we/ Christians to live?
  2. What are our essential practices?
  3. Who is to lead us?

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#QOTD: Mike Bird (@mbird12) on Jesus and the Gospel

For Jesus, the deeds that he does —healings, exorcisms, preaching to the poor—are all signs that God is becoming king and that Israel’s hopes for restoration are really, visibly, and tangibly happening. In other words, victory is on the horizon. The constellation of hopes associated with Israel’s restoration, of which Isaiah contributed much much to, included items like the advent of a messianic king, a new exodus, the return of the dispersed tribes to Israel, the pilgrimage of the Gentiles to Jerusalem, the defeat of national enemies, the rebuilding of the temple, Yahweh’s visitation to Zion, and the return to covenant righteousness, and all of these can be coordinated with the program and preaching of Jesus of Nazareth. This was his gospel, his declaration.
The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus. 15