Much in the (Bultmann’s) Theology, therefore, that has passed as rigorous historical work should instead be redescribed by another genre, indeed, by one of Bultmann’s own favorites: “tales about the life of the early church.”
Beyond Bultmann: Reckoning a New Testament Theology, 35.
Faith is not an alternative human achievement nor a refined human spirituality, but a declaration of bankruptcy, a radical and shattering recognition that the only capital in God’s economy is the gift of Christ crucified and risen.
Paul and the Gift: 383-84.
Two requirements of Christian scholarship are patience and broad interests, as well as the more obvious ones of humility, self-involvement, and prayer.
Systematic Theology, 15
Stanley Porter has an interesting book coming out at the end of next month that looks to be an interesting read. In When Paul Met Jesus: How an Idea Got Lost in History, Porter explores the possibility that Paul had met Jesus before his famous incident on the road to Damascus. Here is the blurb for the book:
Did Paul ever meet Jesus and hear him teach? A century ago, a curious assortment of scholars – William Ramsay, Johannes Weiss, and James Hope Moulton – thought that he had. Since then, their idea has virtually disappeared from New Testament scholarship, to be revived in this monograph. When Paul Met Jesus is an exercise in both biblical exegesis and intellectual history. After examining the positive arguments raised, it considers the negative influence of Ferdinand Christian Baur, William Wrede, and Rudolf Bultmann on such an idea, as they drove a growing wedge between Jesus and Paul. In response, Stanley E. Porter analyzes three passages in the New Testament – Acts 9:1-9 and its parallels, 1 Corinthians 9:1, and 2 Corinthians 5:16 – to confirm that there is New Testament evidence that Paul encountered Jesus. The implications of this discovery are then explored in important Pauline passages that draw Jesus and Paul back together again.
This work comes from a series of lectures that Porter delivered as the H. Orton Wiley lecturer for 2014. These lectures (and a chapel service from the same period) can be found on iTunes U.
I hate writing. Perhaps it is because I write as badly as I do. The tool I use most frequently is the waste paper basket. But I still write; why I wonder? To be practical money has something to do with it I imagine. But for one so far from the best seller lists there must be many easier ways of staying alive. I think the basic answer is that a writer must write. To write is difficult. Not to write is agony. I don’t like agony so I write. And I write in the hope that what I write will be of interest and of help to those who read. I write on biblical topics for these seem to be far and away the most significant. I hope that writing on these topics will bring writer and readers a little nearer to God.
Taken from Neil Bach’s Leon Morris: One Man’s Fight for Love and Truth, 79.
I said that I had been working on this book most of my life. There was a hiatus: I did not think much about Paul between the ages of five and fifteen. But he was my point of entry. I have written elsewhere about my first experience of the Bible.19 It was 2 June 1953: my mother’s birthday, and the Coronation Day of Queen Elizabeth II. My parents gave my sister and me each a Coronation Bible (King James, of course). Mine was, like me at the time, small and chunky. My sister and I retreated to our bedroom, sat on the floor, and leafed through this extraordinary object. I had after all only just learned to read, and was not quite ready for Romans. But we came upon the letter to Philemon: a single page, with something like a real story. We read it together. That is where I began. And that is one of the reasons, though not the only one, for beginning this book where I do. The Queen is still on the throne; my mother is celebrating another significant birthday; and Philemon is still a good place to start.
From the Preface of N.T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God.
Don’t miss a 50% off summer sale from Baylor University Press this weekend (June 10th-12th). The sale is intended for graduate students, but anyone with the code may order! Use discount code BJUN at http://baylorpr.es/s50-off, which applies to books published before 2015. Happy shopping!
Excellent series for those engaged in research and writing.
I am starting a new series on Crux Sola called “How I Do Research.” Basically, I am asking prolific scholars how they have learned the art of doing research. Up first is my buddy Michael F. Bird, author of many excellent books including Evangelical Theology, The Saving Righteousness of God, and a new commentary on Romans coming out very soon!
Question #1: How do you approach research as a whole? Do you have a big-picture strategy? Do your research all at once, and then write? Do you do some sketching and reflecting on paper and then dig into research? Do you go back and forth?
The magic of research happens in a number of ways. My main modus operandi is to be like a sculptor working on three or four sculptures at once where I take time to chip away at each one. I tend to compartmentalize my…
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We are all deeply saddened to hear of the recent death of one of the great New Testament scholars of the post-World War II era, I. Howard Marshall.
Professor Marshall was born 12 January 1934 and died on 12 December 2015. He was primarily educated at the University of Aberdeen (MA, BD, and PhD), along with Cambridge University (BA), and spent virtually his entire academic career at Aberdeen, where he supervised numerous students who have gone on to make contributions to evangelical scholarship. After teaching for a short time at Didsbury Methodist College in Bristol, Professor Marshall began teaching at Aberdeen in 1964 and became Professor of New Testament Exegesis in 1979, a position he held until his retirement in 1999, at which time he became Honorary Research Professor of the University. After his first wife died in 1998, he later married Dr. Maureen Yeung, who had received her PhD…
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Happy birthday to a brilliant, brilliant man!
That profoundly gifted exegete and theologian Adolf Schlatter was born on the 16th of August in 1852. His productivity was second to none as he published commentaries on every book of the New Testament (some for general readers and some more advanced), dogmatics, ethics, devotional materials, philosophy, history, and even an introduction to the entire Bible.
Only a fragment of his work has been translated into English and consequently he is barely known (if at all). This is a real shame, as he has much to say that’s worth hearing.
Not that everyone cares for his work, or even him. Both Karl Barth and Rudolf Bultmann studied for a time under him and neither of them were very impressed. And in more recent times, Gerd Ludemann has found him wanting because of his apparent support of the Nazi party (which, I hasten to add, was not the case at all!).
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When the Society for New Testament Studies held its annual meeting in August 1976 at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, the secretary read out at the opening session the names of members who had died since the previous meeting. When this is done, the chairman usually invites those present to stand for a moment in respect for the memory of departed colleagues. On this occasion, when the names were read in alphabetical order, the first was that of Professor Dr. Rudolf Bultmann, and as soon as his name was read out, the audience rose to its feet as one man: such was the esteem in which this veteran scholar was held, by those who disagreed most profoundly with him as well by members of his school.
Rudolf Bultmann was appointed Lecturer in New Testament at Marburg in 1912. After four years there he moved to Breslau and then to Giessen, but…
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Could not have said it better myself.
Tim Cook hates Indiana’s new #RFRA. Lots of people do. But lots of people don’t run companies that rake in BILLIONS of dollars in profit whilst paying slave labor wages to the people who make those products. Tim doesn’t like discrimination, but his sliding corporate pay scale discriminates every single day.
Furthermore, Tim, and Apple, discriminate against the poor every day by pricing their products out of the reach of most citizens of the world and many Americans. We all know that Apple could easily distribute, for free, an iPad to every kid in the third world and still have money left over for their stockholders to grovel for.
So, Tim, go ahead, continue to complain about discrimination. The only people who don’t see the hypocrisy are those of like mind who are driven more by ideology than by compassion for those discriminated against.
No more superficial Christianity
No more weak preaching
No more selfish jokes from the pulpit
No more omission of the realities of hell, or heaven
No more self-centered ‘worship’ songs
No more self-help sermons
No more man-pleasing pastors
No more yes-man associate pastors
No more best life now
No more listless homilies
No more shallow expositions
No more lazy exegesis
No more giftless churches
No more arrogant pulpits
No more silent congregations
No more wasted Sundays
No more Lord-less Lord’s Days
No more Zion-less pleas
No more Blood-less fellowship
No more grave-less Christianity
Scripture, says Gregory the Great, “is like a river with pools and shallows, where in one place the lamb may wade, in another the elephant may swim.”
Thus Eerdmans commentaries (often themselves a little like elephants in their girth) can be thought of as elephant swimming manuals, mapping out the deep pools in Scripture and demonstrating the best ways to navigate them.
So for all you elephants out there (is Eerdliphants too much of a stretch?), we’re delighted to announce the Eerdmans Commentary Club, a new online community that will keep you informed about commentary news, upcoming releases, new author announcements, sales, and members-only discounts.
Want to join the club? It’s easy: just visit the site and click the big “Join the Club” button. As an added bonus, if you join before noon EST on Friday, March 13, you’ll automatically be entered in our March Commentary Giveaway. Three winners, chosen at random, will win their choice…
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Help Jim retire!
Some time back when I had finished my intro to Zwingli, Cliff K. and I were chatting and he asked me if I could recommend some resources that Logos would find useful for a new collection of Zwingli’s works they were putting together. It took me about 10 minutes to have a list of materials to him and as an aside I said that they could include my new Zwingli intro too.
To my surprise, they actually wanted to. Further, to my surprise, the folk there asked if I were working on anything else that they could add to their library. At the time, of course, the commentary series I’ve been working on for, what is it now, almost a decade, aimed at a very general readership of the bible and subtitled ‘For the Person in the Pew’, was over 2/3rds complete but I wasn’t quite ready to…
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This will be a fantastic resource for the Church.
Jim has produced an excellent work here. I would encourage you all to check it out and help send Jim to summer camp.
For the commentary to appear in electronic format. Logos wishes simply to have a few more interested souls pre-ordering before investing in the effort of electronicizing them. They’re good, and that’s not just me saying so-
Gareth Jones (Hong Kong) says
I think there are three main reasons why these commentaries are so successful. First, West is a first-class Biblical scholar, one who makes the intelligent critical study of the text central to his theological interpretation. That commitment is rarer than one might imagine and to have it realized across the entire Bible is an astonishing feat that gives us now a unique resource.
Mark Leuchter (Philadelphia) said
As a Jew with great regard for the role that religious scripture plays in defining various communities of faith and setting them in conversation with each other, West’s commentary proved to be a rewarding and stimulating read, and bodes well for…
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Well said Jim!
Around and about the biblical-studies world folk have here and there been lamenting the at times poor quality of reviews appearing in RBL. I have several observations about this:
1- I have never seen a Journal which did not at one time or another have utter crap for both reviews and essays. It’s just part of life. I’ve hardly bothered with JBL, for instance, for the last decade because the essays by and large are uninteresting sounding and when I do take the risk and read one I’m usually bored to tears. I enjoy SJOT much more (even were I not involved with it), CBQ (always a delight), and various online journals. That said, there, again, isn’t one of any which hasn’t published absolute rubbish.
2- It’s easy to point out the failings of reviews and reviewers. Let’s speak plainly- some reviewers are clearly inept and know nothing of the…
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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.