Extracurricular Activities 8.30.14 — Kinship-Terms, Rabbinic Judaism, & Academic Freedom
Through reading the recently-published thesis of one of our PhD students, I’ve learned of a body of important studies on terms used in the NT by Professor Eleanor Dickey. Such is the canalization of modern scholarship (and my own limits) that I hadn’t previously known of these studies, but I think they’re essential for exegetes and commentators on NT writings. A blog posting won’t allow space to do justice to all that her work offers, so I’ll confine myself to a few comments.
Let’s start with her book based on her DPhil thesis: Eleanor Dickey, Greek Forms of Address: From Herodotus to Lucian (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996). In this work she analyses the use of terms (other than proper names) used in ancient Greek letters to address recipients. This is of obvious relevance to NT studies given that a number of NT writings are letters. We’re better enabled to weigh the manners in which people are addressed in the NT letters in light of what Dickey provides.
Aside from knowing that we share some of the same religious texts, most Christians today are completely unfamiliar with the “modern” forms of Judaism (forms that go back almost 2,000 years). To close a small portion of the knowledge gap about our religious Jewish neighbors, here are nine things you should know Rabbinic Judaism.
...When I first came to America in 1996, I remember sitting in a service in a church where the preacher declared that the tragedy of the town in which he lived was that only one person in two would be in a place of worship that morning. What was a tragedy then would look like a third Great Awakening today. Christianity is moving to the margins of American life, and Christians are heading into cultural exile. The question is: How will we survive? The answer is: as Paul did in the first century. First and foremost, we need the simple proclamation of God’s Word in church week by week, reminding us of our identity in Christ. We need liturgies and worship saturated with that Word. We need engagement with the world consistent with the identity formed in us by a clear and confident faith in that Word. In short, we will survive—indeed, we will thrive—through a vibrant commitment to exactly what the historic Reformed faith has emphasized.
Today’s post is an interview with Brandon Withrow, who teaches religious studies at the University of Findlay... Withrow and Wecker examine seminaries affiliated with two faith traditions–Christian and Jewish–and explore the challenges, as well as prospective solutions, confronting those religious academies when they grapple with staying true to their traditions, as they interpret them, while providing an arena that incubates honest and serious scholarship.
As English-speaking Christians, we have a vast array of hymns available to us, and we each have our list of favorites. In my assessment, the best hymns are those that are universal and timeless, speaking to all Christians in all times, places, and situations. They are firmly grounded in Scripture and drawn out of, or toward, the gospel of Jesus Christ. And they are inevitably coupled to a great melody.
Here are my picks for the ten greatest hymns of all-time. Apart from the first, they are in no particular order.
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