Biblical performance criticism is a methodology based on the assumption that much of the literature collected in the Bible represents oral performances that were at one time either told from memory or presented as prepared readings before audiences.1 The performance critic studies the biblical writings as oral performances with the aim to uncover certain conventions of orally performed texts—features often neglected when employing other biblical critical methodologies.[Read more…]
Many readers of 1 Corinthians 15:44 have puzzled over the language with which Paul contrasts the Christian’s body as it presently exists, on the one hand, and as it will exist after being resurrected, on the other hand. In the preceding verses, Paul says the former is “perishable,” exhibits “dishonor,” and suffers from “weakness,” but the latter will be “imperishable,” display “glory,” and enjoy “power” (vv. 42–43). So far, so good. Paul goes on, however, to confuse readers for generations to come, calling the Christian’s present body “natural,” and her future resurrection body “spiritual.”[Read more…]
For those of us involved in translation work, it is not uncommon for the text to surprise us as we wrestle with its meaning. At times, careful study shows us where familiar translations have led us astray. We find ourselves caught off guard, yet marveling at the truth of what the text is really saying.
This is exactly what happened to me as I worked to produce my own translation of Philippians 2.[Read more…]
In this article, I argue that we have been too apt to accept ancient and popular interpretations of Jesus’ wilderness testing in Matthew 4:1-11. Three issues warrant a fresh interpretation: the translation of πειρασθῆναι, our understanding of Satan’s role in the narrative, and the relationship between the two “sons” of God, Jesus and Adam.[Read more…]
One of the most useful commentaries for my research during the long and strenuous days of writing up a PhD was Jimmy Dunn’s 2-volume commentary on Romans. There is such a depth of insight and intensity of focus in the Word series that each page encourages working harder to grasp every nuance of the text as it presents itself in Scripture.
I’ve used Word Commentaries in other contexts as well, including preaching. But there is another excellent resource from Word that you should consider investing in: the 15-volume Word Biblical Themes Collection.[Read more…]
In the last post, we’ve considered some basics of grammatical aspect and the lexical actional potential of verbs. This part of the series continues this exploration. In particular, we will look at some other dynamics that occur when these two factors interact. Again, I would recommend to you reading Thomson’s essay for a fuller account. We will also address some practical issues that arise when it comes to dealing with aspect and Aktionsart in our daily exegetical work. Note that the categories that were introduced in part 3 of this series will be presupposed here. So if you are new to this subject, I would strongly encourage you to read that post first.[Read more…]
by Matthew L. Halsted, PhD
In an article published last week on theLAB, COVID-19 and The Mark of the Beast, I claimed that the mark of the beast (666) is most likely not a physical or visible mark (Rev. 13:16). The biggest objection I received from readers had to do with this very point: how could the mark be non-physical and invisible if having the mark was what allowed people to “buy or sell” things (Rev. 13:17)? Wouldn’t the mark need to be visible in order to do that? Furthermore, isn’t there enough evidence that the vaccine is the “number” of the beast, including a bill currently before the House of Representatives (6666) and the very letters “C-O-R-O-N-A” themselves?1 These are good questions, and I think a response would be helpful. But first, we need to start from square one and do some background work.[Read more…]
From events to verbs
As announced in my last blog post, I want to explore now in more detail the lexical semantics and the lexicography of Greek verbs. Verbs express events or “situations” as we call them on the most general level. We probably all have an intuitive understanding of what events/situations are: something that happens in the real world at a given point in time. We perceive these events and interpret them and give them a specific shape on a conceptual level.[Read more…]
Part 2 of the series Observations from a Linguistic Spectator: An Annual Report.
For part 1, see here.
A Semiotic Framework
I’m going to cheat right away in this first post in this series that discusses an actual linguistic subject – quite a bit of what I discuss here isn’t that new to me. So it’s not really part of the honest annual report of new insights that I promised. Still, I feel like I have to include these considerations because in my experience this is perhaps the single issue where publications in biblical studies fail most often.[Read more…]
Part 1: Introduction
Why this blog post series?
Beginning this April, I will work as an assistant at the University of Basel at the chair of Prof. Moisés Mayordomo. Already on my second work day, I was going to give a presentation in the research seminar in Zurich – an event which now has of course been cancelled due to the Corona virus situation. Since I had already begun making some mental notes for this presentation, I thought it might be wise to instead make a series of blogposts about the subject that I was going to talk about. Here, I’ll make some introductory remarks and I hope I’ll be able to find the time over the coming weeks for the other instalments.[Read more…]