How to study the books of James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude
You probably already know that the books of James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude are some of the most read—and mis-read—books of the New Testament. They include passages on dealing with temptation, the holiness of God, and the famous doxology at the end of Jude.
But they also include passages on slaves and masters, wives and husbands, and faith and works—passages that don’t line up with many modern norms, or even other parts of the canon.
What can we learn from these books?
A great deal, it turns out.
The challenge, however, is knowing where to start—or even…
What it means to read the General Epistles theologically
We recently sat down with Peter H. Davids to discuss what it a biblical theology of the General Epistles looks like. See his answer below.
His online course on the theology of James, Peter, and Jude is now open. Sign up today.
In James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude, we have a group of letters very heavily dependent on Jesus—especially First Peter and James. And they are showing how the teaching of Jesus was used by the first century church.
A theological study tends to draw the ideas together—what are the implications of this for the building of the whole of Christian theology?
I think a major issue in these works is that they’ve been so neglected. How does this Sermon on the Mount work in everyday life? How does the God that Jesus talked about function…
What Does God Call You? (Acts 2:39) – Mondays with Mounce 275
In Peter’s sermon on the eschatological outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he says this. “The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call (προσκαλέσηται)” (NIV).
There are two problems with this translation. (1) It does not particularly make sense. Call what? (2) Why is προσκαλέσηται middle?
The point, of course, is to point out the scope of God’s salvation. Joel has already said that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21); that is the human side of salvation. Now, in v 39, is the divine…
Do We Entrust God with Our Soul or with Everything? (1 Peter 4:19) — Mondays with Mounce 248
Peter concludes a discussion on suffering with these words. “Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust (παρατιθέσθωσαν) themselves (τὰς ψυχὰς αὐτῶν) to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good” (1 Pet 4:19, NRSV).
A friend asked me two questions. The first has to do with the translation of παρατίθημι. While most translations use “entrust,” the NIV uses “commit.” At first I didn’t hear the distinction, which makes a good point. We tend to hear words slightly differently; that’s what makes translation so difficult. But the more I looked at it, I started to hear the difference. “Commit” sounds like a single act of the will, something you do at a point in time. “Entrust” sounds more like an attitude of the will, an attitude of trusting in the midst of difficult circumstances.
How Have James, Peter, and Jude Contributed to the Canon?
Peter H. Davids believes the so-called “Catholic Epistles” deserve “a good hearing,” because their theological voices have often been neglected at the expense of Paul or John.
That’s what he aims for in his new book A Theology of James, Peter, and Jude (Biblical Theology of the New Testament).
Davids emphasizes that though these four voices are minor in size, “[they] were of great importance during the first century…and they must be allowed to balance and nuance the louder voices found in the present configuration.” (21)
To give you a small taste of this excellent resource, I want to highlight and engage the common section found in each of the books called “Canonical Contribution.” Doing so will not only provide you a goodly glimpse into how Davids engages his subject, it’s also informing and insightful!
New Releases Today — 2 Corinthians; Theology of James, Peter, & Jude; and Gospel-Centered Counseling
This fall sees the release of several informative, engaging, challenging titles that will enhance and equip your teaching and ministry.
Four of those titles release today. Here’s a quick overview:
1) 2 CORINTHIANS (WORD BIBLICAL COMMENTARY)
We are pleased to announce the 1986 commentary of veteran scholar Ralph P. Martin on 2 Corinthians in the venerated Word Biblical Commentary series has been thoroughly updated. New sections include Collection, Rhetoric, Composition, and Social Setting. As before, Martin covers such topics as the Spirit, the Opponents, Paul’s Theology, and the Resurrection in this epistle. He gives penetrating insight into the particular problems of Christianity as expressed in the hedonistic, cosmopolitan setting of Corinth, showing how Paul attempts to clearly distinguish the gospel from Hellenistic Judaism and Hellenistic Jewish Christian ideology. What was at stake at Corinth, says Dr. Martin, was “nothing less than the essence of…