Using a commentary like you use a lexicon — it’s not really a far-fetched idea. There are scads of context-sensitive discussions of Greek and Hebrew words locked away in commentaries. [Read more…]
We are honored to have Drs. Peter Williams and Dirk Jongkind of Tyndale House, Cambridge, join us on theLAB to discuss the Tyndale House Edition of the Greek New Testament (THGNT). [Read more…]
The fuller version of this article was just published in the Journal of Biblical Literature as “The Messiah Is ‘the Holy One’:ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ as a Messianic Title in Mark 1:24” JBL 136, no. 2 (2017): 417–433.
The Messiah is the Holy One of God
It has become almost obligatory to begin a discussion of ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ (“the Holy One of God”) by conceding that it “was not a messianic title in Judaism.”1 The title never occurs outside the New Testament and, outside of Mark 1:24, it only occurs in two other places (Luke 4:34; John 6:69).2 In light of such paltry attestation, some scholars reach the conclusion of Edwin Broadhead, that ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ is a “largely inconsequential description.”3 Such pessimism is perhaps further warranted by the fact that, despite the efforts of a number of scholars, no compelling explanation for the derivation of this title has been offered.4 Rather, it would appear that the best one can offer is a range of possible connotations that ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ might evoke. [Read more…]
It is inevitable that every student of ancient Greek will find a time when they feel out of their depth. Greek literature, as with literature in any language, ranges from relatively easy to read to frustratingly complex. And, since literary Greek syntax is anything but intuitive to native speakers of most modern languages, there will come a time when every student stares at a sentence in a text without even knowing where to start.
Why the Apostles Rarely Mention the Kingdom
You may have noticed that “kingdom” language is frequent in the Gospels and in Jesus’ teaching particularly, but that it almost disappears in the rest of the NT. After examining every instance of βασιλεία in the NT, I compiled the following data. [Read more…]
Ἀγωνίζομαι is a Greek word commonly abused by Bible interpreters; and I think it raises an interesting test case for what to do when major Bible translations differ. In this post, I want to try to discern what that word is used to mean in its various contexts. [Read more…]
I daily contemplate how I can improve my reading ability in Greek and Hebrew (as well as Latin, German and French). These languages are essential to my career as a biblical scholar. But like muscles without exercise, language abilities atrophy without use.
The problem is this: nobody ever taught me in seminary, in my MA program, nor in my doctoral studies how to properly go about studying the ancient languages on a daily basis. What are the best practices I should employ every day to master, not simply “maintain,” ancient Greek (or any other “dead” language)? [Read more…]
While many NT scholars may know a whole lot about Matthew–Revelation, many lack the ability to pick up and read Josephus and Clement in the original Greek, or Seneca and Cicero in Latin. This reveals not just a severe lack of language ability, but, more importantly, a lack of familiarity with the ideas and historical contexts of Early Jewish, Greco-Roman, and Early Christian authors and texts.
My belief (and I’m not alone in this) is that, as a NT and Early Christian scholar, I must do more than be mindful of the vast body of literature outside the NT; I actually have to read it. [Read more…]
A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, especially when it comes to biblical words in the original Hebrew and Greek. Quite often preachers of God’s Word put too heavy a load on biblical words, expecting them to carry a major point of their sermon all on their own. [Read more…]
We’ve had a few significant posts on the Dead Sea Scrolls here on theLAB the last few weeks, including Craig Evans’s breaking news of the discovery of Cave 12, and then a follow-up post that asked the question of the importance of studying the scrolls at all.
In this post, I have two objectives: first, I’m going to introduce you to two of the best ways to study the DSS; second, I’ll show you how to use these resources by looking at two brief examples. [Read more…]