What comes to mind when you think of Job?
Probably his innumerable sufferings, his insufferable friends, his desire to speak to God, and his dust-and-ashes when God speaks back.
But what probably does not come to mind is this:
Job said to his friends, “Be silent! Now I will show you my throne and the glory and the majesty that is among the holy ones. My throne is in the upper-cosmos, and its glory and majesty is from the right hand of the Father. The whole world will perish and its glory will be destroyed, and those who cling to it will partake in its overthrow. But my throne exists in the holy land, and its glory is in the era of the unchanging. … My kingdom is forever and ever, and its glory and majesty exists in the chariots of the Father.”
Continue reading So-called “Exalted Patriarchs” and Early Christology
A few months ago I saw an advertisement for the fourth edition of Bill Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek. I had learned Greek during seminary on the third edition of Mounce (with the “Professor” clippy thing and other foibles), and it is the edition from which I have taught for a few years at RTS-Orlando. With syllabi due for my summer courses, I knew I had to develop a perspective on the new edition as quickly as possible in order to decide whether to upgrade (and assign it to my incoming class).
Continue reading Review of Mounce’s Greek Grammar (4th Edition)
Over at our church website, I have written a reflection on the significance of Mother’s Day (coming up this weekend!) for the entire body of Christ.
As a “life-stage” holiday, Mother’s Day is often a difficult time for many women (and men) in the church. But wherever someone is in life (a bereaved mother, a single mom, a single woman, an adoptive mother, etc.), Scripture has a clear voice that bestows enormous dignity on wherever God has you right now. Mother’s Day, by the logic of the kingdom of God, is for all women: for all ultimately become spiritual mothers within the church body.
Continue reading Reflecting on Mother’s Day
Among scholars and laypersons alike, it is often though that Jesus was simply a human prophet or even failed apocalypticist. Maybe the Messiah of Israel, too. The idea that he is fully divine came into the picture later, as numerous Greek or other pagan influences infiltrated the church. Such is the thesis behind, say, Bart Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God. The culmination of this process, so the theory goes, is the Council of Nicaea (325AD), which produced the Nicene Creed affirming the full deity of Jesus.
But are there reasons to question this paradigm? I would argue quite strongly “YES!” The idea that the full divinity of Jesus didn’t just evolve at Nicaea but is found throughout the NT documents (and the OT as well) was central to my doctoral work and other research/teaching. In this short video that is part of RTS’s #WisdomWednesday series, I articulate a few of the reasons why.
Continue reading A Brief Video on the Divinity of Jesus
Over at the River Oaks Church website (where I serve as Associate Pastor), I have written up a fairly detailed examination of the historical reasons why it is rational to believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
It is well-known that only the NT and Christian sources indisputably record the claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. While many secular sources affirm his existence and his death, they are silent — apart from the disputed Testimonium Flavianum (attributed to Josephus) — on the empty tomb.
Continue reading The Case for the Resurrection
In late 2018 (in the UK), Christian Focus released my short book entitled How We Got the Bible. It is part of their “Christian Pocket Guides” series of books that target an educated layperson / pastor / student audience with accessible but still academically-rich content.
In this short volume (~107 pages), I try to distill down to the essentials the vast landscape of issues pertaining to how Scripture came together and made it to the present day church.
Continue reading New Book on OT/NT Canon and Text
Several days ago I attended the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), held this year in Denver. For those who are unfamiliar with these conferences, they (along with a few others that meet at the same time, such as AAR and IBR) are essentially the Comic-Con of the biblical studies world, only without the costumes. I don’t know the numbers for this year, but in years past the ETS meeting has had ~3,000 attendees and SBL ~10,000.
When I was a postgraduate student, these two conferences were primarily a means of networking, which brought with it the scholarly insecurity related to finding a job. But this year, now that I’m happily employed at RTS, the conferences were much more about catching up with old friends and learning a few things along the way (the same was true last year, but this year proved to be even more personally enriching).
Amid various events, lunches, dinners, and long conversations with old pals, I also made three presentations (2 at ETS, 1 at SBL), each of which—consistent with a theme of my research over the past several years—related to the Septuagint, or Greek Old Testament. The run-down of each is below, for those who are interested.
Continue reading Recent ETS and SBL Presentations
In the recent issue of New Testament Studies, I have an article that presents the results of a long project studying the textual variants in sixteen key manuscripts for Acts and the Catholic Epistles:
“Quantifying New Testament Textual Variants: Key Witnesses in Acts and the Catholic Letters,” NTS 64/4 (2018): 551–572.
Continue reading Looking at Textual Variation in the Main “Trunk” of the NT Manuscript Tradition