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…
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…
Mounce Archive 10 — Prepositions, Deity, and Christology
Everyone needs a break once in a while, and Bill Mounce is taking one from his weekly column on biblical Greek until September. Meanwhile, we’ve hand-picked some classic, popular posts from the “Mondays with Mounce” archive for your summer reading and Greek-studying pleasure.
Today’s “classic” comes from one of Mounce’s very first columns almost seven years ago, a fascinating post that’s as relevant today as it was back then.
In it he reminds us of the nuances of grammatical constructions by drawing our attention to 1 Timothy 1:2. He explores how the preposition “apo” governs “God” and “Christ Jesus,” and how this construction impacts Paul’s christology.
Consider the excerpt below, then read the rest of the post.
In this verse, there is one preposition (“from,” apo) that governs two objects (“God” and “Christ Jesus”). Grammatically, this means that Paul is in…
Extracurricular Activities 4.24.15 — Joseph Typology, Pope Francis, & George Whitfield
“It sure seems that the story of Joseph is a typological foreshadowing of the life of Jesus,” mused Peter Leithart recently, and I have to agree. It sure seems so! Leithart went on, in his post, to describe the kind of mental abstraction required to read the Joseph story that way; a “Proppian structural move that captures a common morphology” [had to look up “Proppian!“]
There’s a reason Leithart needed to spend some time theorizing about how to make the case. The peculiar and stubborn fact is that the New Testament never invokes the Joseph story as something fulfilled or figured out in the life of Jesus. So preachers who want to make Christological hay with Joseph have to do it on their own, without explicit scriptural warrant.
[Common Places] New Voices for Theology: Jonathan Linebaugh’s God, Grace, and Righteousness in Wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s Letter to the Romans
Good theology has a shape, a structure: a way of connecting its various themes and motifs via one or more anchor points that fix the framework of the whole. Hence the most profound attempts at theological comparison dig deeper than the similarity or difference between theologians on this or that motif, and attempt to unearth their respective foundational structures (or discursive grammars). And sometimes, by digging this deep, the best and most illuminating conclusion is that two different theological structures are simply incommensurable, even if they share on the surface a number of points in common.
Jonathan Linebaugh’s God, Grace, and Righteousness in Wisdom of Solomon and Paul’s Letter to the Romans is a book that with rare acumen digs this deep. Paul’s theology has often, and…
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…
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…