For the season of Advent, I am leading a Sunday School series at River Oaks Church entitled, “The Genesis of Jesus: Exploring the Fourfold Gospel ‘Beginnings.'”
In the newly-released October 2016 edition of Currents in Biblical Research, I have written a longish summary and analysis of the research done in the past century or so on the Parable of the Wicked Tenants.
This parable has fascinated me since my MDiv days, when I wrote a paper on it in my Gospels class dealing with the conclusion, where Jesus quotes from Psalm 118:22 (see here). The parable also forms the foundation of one of the chapters of my dissertation, so I have been hiking around in the vineyard for quite some time.
At River Oaks Church I am teaching a twelve-week Adult Sunday School series entitled, “Beyond the Headlines: Christian Engagement with Islam.” It will run from August 21 to November 6.
My wife and I had the joy of joining River Oaks Church (PCA)* today, and I have the double joy of teaching a 8-part series on OT and NT canon in adult Sunday school.
At long last, the dissertation is complete! It has morphed in seemingly innumerable ways since I began in 2013, such that it is completely unrecognizable with regard to the original research proposal I submitted to Cambridge aeons ago. But it is ready to mail in all its tree-killing glory.
A few months ago I posted some reflections on work I was doing on one of the earliest extant papyrus fragments of the NT (P.Oxy. 4404, or 𝕻104 in NT parlance). This endeavor eventually turned into an article dealing with whether this particular fragment supports the possibility that Matthew 21:44, which occurs at the end of the Parable of the Wicked Tenants, is original to Matthew or was “interpolated”by a scribe at some relatively early date from the same verse in Luke 20:18 (a process called scribal “assimilation”). The article also involves quantitative analysis I conducted in other “assimilations”/”interpolations” elsewhere in the Synoptic gospels as well as some discussion of the various arguments for or against the theory with respect to this verse.
Earlier this year, Dr. Wesley Hill (Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at the Trinity School for Ministry) published his Durham dissertation with Eerdmans, entitled Paul and the Trinity: Persons, Relations, and the Pauline Letters. It argues a straightforward thesis that, within Pauline studies, is fairly revolutionary (but which, within the Reformed circles in which Wes and I respectively run, is, of course, “no big deal”): namely, that trinitarian categories that are often seen by scholars to be late and post-Pauline—and, thus, should be excluded from the discussion—can and should be brought to the table in exegesis of Paul’s letters.
The most recent issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature (134/3) includes an article I wrote on a peculiar translation issue in the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek translation called the Septuagint (see my intro here). The passages in question contain a word (tsemach) that is usually translated in English Bibles (ESV, NIV, KJV, etc.) as “Righteous Branch” or just “Branch.” The Greek word used in the LXX translation of these passages (anatole) is rather peculiar and has generated a lot of debate. It also happens to play a major role in one of the chapters of my dissertation, so this article was a side-branch (pun intended) off the main line of my research as I explored the various issues related to this translation. I was pleased to have it accepted by JBL. Many thanks to Chris Fresch for providing comments on the draft of the article before submission.
The lineup of scholars for the Cambridge New Testament Seminar from October through December has just been posted. Quite a diverse mix of topics this term.
On July 10–11, a massive Greek nerdfest is being held in Cambridge (at Tyndale House) on Linguistics and the Greek Verb. The conference is being chaired by a friend of mine, Chris Fresch (who will soon be taking a teaching post in Australia after completing his PhD at Cambridge), and Steven Runge (from Logos).
The focus of the conference is, in effect, to shed some light on the latest things happening in the study of the Greek verbal system. It may look like arcane stuff, but much of it will be informing your Bible translations for years to come. So even if you don’t know or care what aspect-prominence or grounding mean, in years to come your handy thinline or study Bibles will be impacted by this kind of research.
I am attending (most of) the conference and will post a summary of the major points in the papers I attend below. Fortunately, the papers from the conference will be published soon enough in The Greek Verb Revisited.