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…]
Leading up to Easter, my family was looking for something to watch. Our typical Easter plans were ruined by the quarantine, and we hoped to find a digital experience that would help to fill that void. My wife suggested The Chosen. I am not really a fan of media attempts to capture gospel stories. I was more interested in finding a lecture by a theologian. I was outvoted, however, and we settled on the chosen. I opened my laptop to absentmindedly peruse Facebook. There’s no way this show is any good.
I was wrong.[Read more…]
The latest Design Showcase instalment features an interview with the Rev Dr Joel Scandrett, the Executive Editor of “To Be A Christian,” in which we talk catechisms, Anglicanism, J. I. Packer, and the design elements of this exciting new resource for the church (and not just Anglicans).[Read more…]
A Priori is a newish series on the theLAB in which we put three simple questions to scholars undertaking important research in biblical studies, theology, ethics, and more. We love to hear from authors whose mission is the church, whose vocation is research. This week we hear from David Palmer and his work on rhetoric tables in the New Testament.[Read more…]
Part 1 of this series dealt with understanding various issues surrounding the testing of Christ in Matthew 4:1-11 in terms of translation, syntax, and historical context. This present survey will examine the same passage in literary context, particularly Jesus’ use of Deuteronomy, as an exercise in intertextuality. You can read Part 1 here.[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…]
The evidence we have for the New Testament in the form of manuscripts, copied from the second straight through to the nineteenth century, is an embarrassment of riches.
Scholars have long used the many thousands of manuscripts in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and other languages to reconstruct an “original” or other early form of the text, to trace the history of particular New Testament texts in particular historical contexts, to see the traces of human activity within the New Testament’s tradition, and to better understand the book technologies that have brought us the New Testament as we now experience, whether in print or digital forms. There continues to be much to do with the manuscripts along these more traditional lines.[Read more…]