My Advice to Students — Lynn Cohick Says, “Take Paul’s Advice in Philippians”
By now most seminaries have received a fresh (and seasoned) crop of students eager to learn the Bible and theology and prepare for a life of Christian service. So it’s fitting we restart our regular advice to students with some wisdom about our pursuits and motivations. Lynn Cohick, author of the Philippians commentary in the Story of God Bible Commentary series, says students should take Paul’s advice when it comes to their academic career. The particular advice Cohick quotes in Philippians can be boiled down to two convicting commands: Don’t lose your first love; Don’t make it about yourself.
Philippians with Lynn Cohick 5 — The Most Challenging Idea in Philippians is a “Tall Order!”
That’s how professor Lynn Cohick describes Paul’s most challenging idea in her new Philippians commentary (Story of God Bible Commentary series) Now which idea might be that “tall order”? Paul’s admonition to “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel”? (Phil 1:27) What about “Do everything without grumbling or arguing”? (Phil 2:14) Perhaps his challenge to be “content whatever the circumstances”? (Phil 4:11) What do you think is the most challenging idea in Philippians? For Cohick, it’s the issue of unity.
Philippians with Lynn Cohick 4 — The Most Encouraging Ideas in Philippians: Support & Joy
What is the most encouraging idea you find in Philippians? Perhaps it’s that God will continue his good work in his people until Christ’s return. Maybe it’s that even someone like Paul hadn’t already arrived at the goal of Christ-likeness. (That’s my pick!) For Lynn Cohick, author of the Philippians commentary in the ground-breaking Story of God Bible Commentary series, she finds two ideas compelling.
Philippians with Lynn Cohick 3 — Misconceptions About “To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain”
Maybe you’ve experienced or witnessed this scenario: Someone dies. In response someone says, “No need to mourn, after all they’re in a better place!” Because after all, Paul himself said “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:21) Not so fast, says Lynn Cohick, author of the Philippians commentary in the ground-breaking Story of God Bible Commentary series. Over the past few weeks we’ve been exploring key questions and themes surrounding Paul’s Philippians letter with Cohick as our guide. And today she explains some misconceptions surrounding the meaning of this well-known verse.
A New Bible Commentary for the Global Church (Video with Michael Bird)
The Story of God Bible Commentary series may be the most diverse commentary series in evangelical history.
Listen to these comments from Michael Bird, one of the Associate Editors for the commentary's volumes on the New Testament.
The contributors to this series come from a diverse array of backgrounds. This is a broad evangelical project with an unprecedented number of women [as contributors]…
There's a real diversity. Gender…but also race, in terms of ethnic background and in terms of global experience. Because we're writing this for the global church. And I think diversity in unity is a good thing—and if you don’t believe me, go read 1 Corinthians.
It's good to get this cacophony of voices, this harmony…when you get different kinds of people together, reading Scripture, in the context of the…
Wednesday Giveaway — Lynn H. Cohick’s New “Philippians” Commentary (SGBC Series)
UPDATED 10/25/13: Congratulations to Kathy, Ron Boyer, Timothy G Harris, Wayne Moore, and Rhonaldo Ghenova for winning this weeks giveaway. Thanks to everyone else for participating and sharing your favorite section from this important letter!
If you've been following Koinonia the past few weeks you know that Zondervan Academics has launched a new exciting commentary series, The Story of God Bible Commentary, beginning with two inaugural titles: The Sermon on the Mount by Scot McKnight and Philippians by Lynn H. Cohick.
Lady Liberty, Patrick Henry & Herod the Great by Lynn H. Cohick
nothing captures the American imagination of freedom and liberty more than the
Statue of Liberty standing in New York Harbor and immortalized by Emma Lazarus
in her poem of 1883.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightening, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-side welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Lazarus, “The New Colossus” 1883
In this poem, Lazarus accurately describes the ancient focus on public fame and pomp. Lazarus also presents the United States’ highest ideals of freedom for everyone, regardless of their social status or ethnic background. Of course, the extent to which we achieve those goals is rightly a matter of debate. But the deeply
rooted myth that America stands for individual freedom – the opportunity to
participate in government and to develop one’s unique potential – this myth
still shapes our thoughts today.
In at least two ways, the ancient Roman world would not have understood our myth. First, the government’s job was not to protect the poor and help all people
self-actualize, but to keep the peace and keep themselves in power. Second, most Roman and Jewish historians were deeply suspicious of the “masses.” Instead, they believed that
the best form of government was either oligarchy, as represented in the Roman
Senate, or monarchy, as represented by imperial Rome and the Jewish monarchy of
the Hasmoneans that ruled from 164 to 63 B.C., and whose influence continued
into the first century A.D.
“Ephesians and Resurrection” by Lynn H. Cohick
The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the evangelical faith, and is fixed firmly in the Church’s creeds. But how does this reality live itself out within the daily lives of the faithful?
Recently, in one of my classes, I heard some horror stories regarding evangelical college students’ lack of understanding about the resurrection. One aspect of this problem, I think, is the relegation of its reality to the ‘next life’ as though Christ’s resurrection has no impact in the here and now. A close reading of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians suggests otherwise, although conclusions about Paul’s opinions on resurrection expressed in this letter have led some to assert a deutero-Pauline authorship. My goal is not to argue the relative merits of Pauline authorship of Ephesians or Colossians, although I hope to show that concerning the resurrection, Ephesians and Colossians line up well with Paul’s views expressed in Romans, for example. My focus is more modest: to describe briefly one aspect of resurrection as expressed in certain letters of the Pauline corpus. In Eph 2:6, Paul declares that God raised us (with Christ) and seated us (with Christ) in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. The phrase in parentheses is added both by implication from verse 5 and due to the force of the prefix
συν attached to the verbs. The use of the past (aorist) tense here invites comment, because in other passages Paul speaks about resurrection as something to which we look forward.
Pay to Play: Discussing Paul’s Roman Citizenship
by Lynn Cohick
"Pay to Play" has become a catch-phrase in the Chicago-land area where I live. Our governor has been impeached by the State House after charges were leveled that he offered to ‘sell’ the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama to the most lucrative bid. It reminded me of another story, this one in Acts 22:24-9, where a Roman commander reveals to Paul that he paid to play – in the high stakes world of Roman citizenship. Paul rejoins that he did not have to pay, for he was born a Roman citizen. Though a minority of scholars argue that Paul’s Roman citizenship is not historical, most conclude for solid reasons that Luke accurately reflects Paul’s situation. Conversations generally revolve around how Paul’s father might have come to be a Roman citizen, thus making his son a citizen as well.
But the situation is more complex. In the Roman Empire at this time, licit marriage was granted only to a couple in which each held Roman citizenship. All other combinations of marriage partners, where neither or only one held Roman citizenship, were deemed illicit. It must be stressed that this label bore no moral stigma, it merely reflected social status. In a licit marriage, the father’s status was given to his children. In all other marriages, such as between those who were foreigners or between those who were born free but not citizens, the child took the mother’s social status. This would include, then, all Jews and other ethnic minorities who lived around the Roman Empire. They married and had children, but those children, according to the legal system of the Romans, took their mother’s social status of either free or slave, and citizen or non-citizen. Obviously, if the mother was a slave, there could not have been a marriage in any legal sense; her children would be the property of her owner. Even if she was granted freedom, the children remained with the owner. Thus to accommodate Paul’s claims that he was born a Roman citizen, his mother, if she was enslaved, would have been granted freedom before Paul was born.