Request an Exam Copy

Extracurricular Activities 3.21.15 — Angels and Atonement, Romans 1, and Primary Sources

Categories Extracurricular Activities

Ben Witherington Asks, "Were Luke and Matthew on the Same Ancestry Page?"

One of the more controversial aspects of the Gospels is the two genealogies we have for Jesus, one in Mt. 1.1-17 the other in Lk. 3.23-38. While there are a few similarities between the two (e.g. they both mention that Jesus is the ‘so-called’ son of Joseph), they are mostly different, and they serve very different purposes. Some Bible students along the way have tried to suggest that we have Mary’s genealogy in Luke, and Joseph’s in Matthew, but this solution simply doesn’t work, since Joseph and his ancestry is referred to in both cases. Matthew clearly says that Jacob begat Joseph, but Luke has the more elliptical phrase ‘Joseph of Heli’, which could possibly mean ‘son of’ or ‘grandson of’ but it depends on what we think this same sort of Greek phrase means in the others case, probably ‘son of’. Could Heli and Jacob be the same person? Or could one genealogy be dealing with Joseph’s paternal grandparent and the other with his father? One cannot be sure. But here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating these two genealogies.

Adam Johnson on Angels and the Atonement

One of the better views of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is from the Ponte Sant’Angelo, a beautiful bridge lined with statues of angels, each bearing some token of the passion of Jesus—the cross, the nails, the crown of thorns, the spear upon which he was given vinegar to drink, the pedestal supporting him as he was whipped…. But what dothe angels have to do with the passion of Christ? Why do they cherish the tokens of Christ’s passion?

Michael Bird Shares Preston Sprinkle's Interaction on Homosexuality & Romans 1

My buddy and home-boy, Preston Sprinkle (Eternity Bible College, Idaho) has a cracking good article on homosexuality in Romans 1 in the latest issue of BBR.
Preston M. Sprinkle, “Romans 1 and Homosexuality: A Critical Review of James Brownson’s Bible, Gender, Sexuality,” BBR 24.4 (2014): 515-28.
James Brownson argued that none of Paul’s prohibitions about homoerotic practices pertain to consensual and monogamous gay and lesbian relations.
In contrast – and contra Brownson – Sprinkle points out several things:

Peter Enns Argues Why Young People Give Up On the Bible

In my experience, one big reason (not the only reason) behind this trend has to do with the Bible–maybe not the Bible itself, but how they are implicitly taught to read it:

*As a collection of go-to verses that tell them definitively and absolutely all they need to know about the world they live in and what God expects of them.

*That this kind of Bible is their sure anchor for maintaining their faith. Stray from it and their faith is shipwrecked and their eternal destiny is in jeopardy.

So here is a simple plea–from a biblical scholar with his feet firmly planted on the ground, who has raised now adult children, and who now teaches young adults and sees the stress they are sometimes under to shelve their questions and misgivings and “hold on” to their faith.

Justin Taylor Interviews Eric Foner About Historians & Primary Sources

Professor Eric Foner of Columbia University is one of the preeminent historians working today. Dr. Foner (age 72) has taught a three-class unit on the Civil War for over three decades. This is his last year teaching the class, and he has partnered with edX to make them available online for free. One helpful feature of these classes is that they provide undergraduate students—and the rest of us—a primary on how to question, interpret, and discuss the backbone of historical research: primary sources. I’ve taken the material and broken it up into a Q&A below. At the end, you’ll see an example of a primary source, some answers to some questions, and some links for you to try it yourself.

________________________

Extracurricular Activities is a weekly roundup of stories on biblical interpretation, theology, and issues where faith and culture meet. We found each story interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, or useful in some way – but we don't necessarily agree with or endorse every point in every story.

If you have any comments on these stories, we welcome you to share them here. We hope you enjoy!

–The Editors of Zondervan Academic Blog

3 Shifts Evangelicals Should Make with the Religious Other— An Excerpt from "There Rock Is Not Like Our Rock"
3 Shifts Evangelicals Should Make with the Religious Other— An Excerpt from "There Rock Is Not Like Our Rock" Daniel Strange's new book "Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock" fills a crucial gap in the evangelical evaluation of the rol...
Your form could not be submitted. Please check errors and resubmit.

Thank you!
Sign up complete.

Subscribe to the Blog Get expert commentary on biblical languages, fresh explorations in theology, hand-picked book excerpts, author videos, and info on limited-time sales.
By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any questions, please review our Privacy Policy or email us at yourprivacy@harpercollins.com.
Join the ConversationRequired