How Should Christians Relate to Governing Authorities? Michael Bird Clarifies
“Origen, who knew Roman brutality all to well, said: ‘I am disturbed by Paul’s saying that the authority of this age and the judgment of the world are ministers of God.’” (Michael Bird, The Story of God Bible Commentary: Romans, 442)
Michael Bird brings clarity in his new Romans commentary (The Story of God Bible Commentary series). He helps us hear and explore the text in it’s original Roman context, while also applying it to our current global one.
Below we explore four…
An Armchair Theologian’s Guide to Paul & Second Temple Judaism
Five years ago I witnessed one of the most significant shifts in Pauline studies coming to roost at the heart of evangelical theological engagement, the Evangelical Theological Society’s 2010 annual meeting on “The New Perspective on Paul.”
At the time I was finishing my MDiv. Though I appreciated the conference, I got a bit lost in the technical jargon surrounding Paul and Second Temple Judaism. I remember wishing for a nontechnical resource to assist in connecting Paul to his Jewish contemporaries. The new Reading Romans in Context is the book I was waiting for.
Ministry practitioners, students, and armchair theologians alike will find this illuminating, approachable guide useful in exploring Pauline theology’s relationship to Second Temple Judaism. Essays pair a Romans passage with its thematically related…
Paul Has 5 Things to Say to Rich Christians
Paul has a message for you.
This message comes to us through Keith Krell’s and the late Verlyn Verbrugge’s new book Paul and Money—a biblical and theological analysis of Paul’s teachings and practices on how financial matters intersect with our lives.
One of those matters addresses the question, “Did Paul have an independent message…for Christians who had wealth? The answer to this question is a resounding yes.” (242)
They reveal 5 important things about this message, which have great bearing on the financial lives of most Christians
1) Money-Love Roots Evil
We’ve all heard one of Paul’s more pointed instructions:…
The Latest Must-Have Guide to the Current State of Pauline Studies
(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)
What are the latest thoughts on Paul’s use of scripture and the Jesus tradition? What new considerations are being given to exegeting Paul? What’s the latest “perspective” on Paul—is the “new” old and “old” new again?
These questions that sit at the heart of the latest must-have resource in Pauline studies, Studies in the Pauline Epistles.
In honor of the illustrious career of Doug Moo, this Festshrift assembles the most relevant voices in Pauline scholarship to guide readers into the current state of Pauline studies, including: G. K. Beale, D. A. Carson, James D. G. Dunn, Stephen Westerholm, and N. T. Wright.
As co-editor Jay Smith explains, “Studies in the Pauline Epistles offers readers a very current window…
Jonathan Moo Reflects on His Father & Pauline Parent Metaphors — An Excerpt from “Studies in the Pauline Epistles”
Through a blend of sixteen former students, colleagues, and prominent Pauline scholars, Studies in the Pauline Epistles honors the contributions of a man by contributing to the ongoing scholarship in the two areas that most define Moo’s work: Bible translation and Pauline studies. Sections include: Exegeting Paul; Paul’s Use of Scripture and the Jesus Tradition; Pauline Scholarship and His Contemporary Significance.
Below we’ve excerpted a special essay by Moo’s son Jonathan. In it he reflects on Paul’s use of parent metaphors to describe his relationship with the churches he “fathered,” while reflecting on his own father’s relationship with his family.
Enjoy these reflections by…
Pauline Studies: A Festschrift in Honor of Doug Moo
What’s the first clear message of Studies in the Pauline Epistles, the new festschrift in honor of Doug Moo?
Moo isn’t just a scholar. He’s also a gentleman.
In introducing the book, editors Matthew S. Harmon and Jay E. Smith quote 1 Cor. 4:1-2, where Paul outlines two categories he wants believers to use when thinking about ministers of the gospel: servants and stewards. “Doug Moo has proved himself to be a faithful servant of Christ and steward of God’s mysteries.” (16)
Harmon and Smith go on to list the countless ways he has proved himself: he has “prepared countless men and women for gospel ministry;” he is a “terrific mentor;” he “always push[es] his students to base their conclusions on solid evidence;” and Moo’s teaching and writing is distinguished by “the effort to present opposing…
“Thinking Through Paul” Is Distinct Among Pauline Resources in 7 Ways
(Can’t see the video? Watch it here)
In September we were pleased to release the monumental new book by Bruce Longnecker and Todd Still, Thinking Through Paul. The book is designed to help students grasp Paul’s life, letters, and theology, and it’s distinctive among Pauline studies resources because its scope is just as deep as it is wide.
In today’s video Longenecker describes 7 ways the book is distinct:
Covers Paul’s life, letters, and theology; Probes representative passages from each letter to show what it is trying to do; Holds the historical and theological dimensions in tension; Paints a complex, nuanced, and intricate picture of Pauline theology; Encourages students to think through Paul to analyze their own situations; Offers questions for class discussion or essays; Quotes leading historical and…
Why Do We Need Paul’s Epistolary “Stepchild”? For Its 2 Stories — An Excerpt from John Byron’s “1 & 2 Thessalonians” (SGBC)
When you think of Paul you probably don’t immediately think of 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
That’s because they are what John Byron calls “the stepchild of the Pauline corpus.” (1)
In his new commentary on the letters, Byron explains that, while they are often overlooked and neglected, we need them because of their two stories. As Byron describes in the excerpt below:
The first story is about us as much as it is about the Thessalonians, because it’s about a group of believers “struggling to understand their identity in God and the way the church functions in a world that is often hostile toward them.” (1) The other story is about God: “it is not a story that starts with Thessalonica. The Story of God begins…
Thinking Through Paul: A Deep, Accessible, Visual Survey of the Apostle’s Life, Letters, & Theology
(Cant’s see the video? Watch it here)
On Tuesday we released a new survey of the Apostle Paul, Thinking Through Paul. As co-author Todd Still explains, his and Bruce Longenecker’s guide is a deep, visual, and accessible book.
A Deep Book
While the text is a survey, Still explains “It’s not superficial. We treat in some degree of detail the topics that we take up, be it Paul’s life, Paul’s letter, Paul’s theology.”
They look at Paul’s missionary strategy. They go deep into Paul’s letters. And they consider Paul’s theology in multi-faceted ways.
A Visual Book
Unique to this Pauline survey, Still shares “For those who are visual learners, Thinking Through Paul is their kind of text.”
The layout of the book is remarkable.…
3 Aspects of Paul’s Moral Ethos: Freedom, Responsibility, and Self-Giving — Excerpt from “Thinking Through Paul”
On Tuesday we examined the question, What kind of thinker was Paul? Today we extend that examination by exploring the end of Paul’s thinking. Because as Bruce Longenecker and Todd Still explain in their new book, Thinking Through Paul, that end isn’t thinking itself, but acting.
Paul’s theological discourse is intricately connected to his attempts to influence the character of Jesus groups and the Jesus-followers within those groups. For Paul, theologizing on the grand scale is never an end in itself, but it serves to inform the kind of people Christians should be and the kind of decisions that they should make in their individual and corporate lives. (pg. 350)
Paul’s theologizing was meant to inspire a moral ethos—an atmosphere which inspired the character of the church. The excerpt below explores three aspects of this…
What Kind of Thinker Was Paul? Less Theologian, More Theologizer
As a boy, he was fascinated “by Paul’s missionary achievements, particularly his extensive travels and his success in establishing Christianity in Europe.” (TAP, xv)
As a university student, Dunn’s fascination deepened as he began to appreciate Paul as a theologian. “The combination of profound theological reflection and sensitive grappling with all too real human problems, of out-spoken argument and pastoral insight, ‘found me’ at many points.” (TAP, xv)
As a lecturer, he has been “constantly drawn back to him” and has “probed more and more aspects of Paul’s theology.”
Dunn’s retrospective on his relationship with Paul mirrors the feelings…
Developments in My Field of Study — Douglas Campbell Offers 3: 1970’s Literature, Humanities Voices, Western Incarceration
Last week we here at Koinonia Blog launched an exciting new series called Developments in My Field of Study. Michael Bird headlined our all-star line-up with a look at what's trending in New Testament studies, providing a glimpse into its current scholarly state.
Today we offer another prophetic voice, Douglas Campbell's, professor at Duke Divinity and contributor to Four Views on the Apostle Paul. In the video below he offers a fascinating look at 3 developments within the field of Pauline studies:
- Unanswered questions from 1970's major Pauline studies
- Insights from contemporary humanities voices
- Engagement with Western and ancient incarceration issues.