Michael Bird on the “Gracism” of Romans 3:21–31
Aussie Michael Bird observes what many Americans often forget: “Blacks, whites, and Latinos are never more segregated than when it comes to attending worship services.” Sunday at 11:00 a.m. truly is the most segregated hour in America.
What we need is a healthy dose of “gracism.” Bird’s fresh look at Romans 3:21–31 will administer this vital antidote.
Gracism means that grace is both preached and practiced toward others. Gracism means that the most ruthless and efficient way to destroy our tribal enemies is by making them our brothers and sisters in Christ. (135)
What Bird reveals about Paul’s central passage on justification is a…
Is Paul’s apostolic call for God’s sake? (Rom 1:5) – Mondays with Mounce 283
One of the difficult tasks in translation is how to order phrases. In English, we use proximity to connect ideas. Consider the NIV on Rom 1:5.
“Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.”
In English, “for his name’s sake” must modify “the obedience that comes from faith.” But in Greek, this is probably not the case. As you know, Greek’s phrases do not have to be next to the word they are modifying. Sometimes there are grammatical “hooks” such as a relative pronoun agreeing with its antecedent in gender and number. But other times the hooks are more subtle.
In his commentary, Doug Moo makes a good case for seeing χάριν καὶ ἀποστολήν…
Rich in Grace [Awakening Faith]
They recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. (Acts 3:10)
Therefore, when the apostle Peter was on his way up to the temple and was asked for alms by the lame man, he replied, “Silver and gold I have not; but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk” (Acts 3:6). What is more sublime than this humility? And what could be richer than this poverty? Though Peter cannot assist with money, he can confer the gift of a restored nature. With a word Peter brought healing to the man who had been lame from birth; he could not give a coin with Caesar’s image, but he…
Extracurricular Activities 4.18.15 — Exodus Evidence, Jefferson’s Jesus, and Clinton’s Faith
Last week the Wall Street Journal published an article (by Joshua Berman) suggesting the biblical exodus might have its root in an historical event. This isn’t exactly new, but what interested me was the primary reason given— the biblical text seems to be appropriating some Ramesses II propaganda (discovered early in the 20th century) to make a theological point.
Berman writes, “Both written accounts, hieroglpyhic in the case of the Kadesh inscriptions, Hebrew in the case of Exous chapters 14-15, follow a similar plot, sometimes line for line, and feature a sequence of motifs seen nowhere else in battle accounts of the ancient Near East.”
He then gives the following examples:
I recently had opportunity to…