Category Archives: Activities

15 Things Seminary Teaches Me that My Busy Pastor(ate) Can’t

Abridged version now available at TGC


Friends over at The Gospel Coalition have been promoting a new book, 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me, for several weeks. They have also featured videos of big-name pastors sharing about the things they could only learn in day-to-day ministry, not in seminary.

As a seminary professor and a churchman, I fully understand that seminaries don’t ‘make’ pastors, nor do they equip would-be pastors, missionaries, etc. with everything they need to thrive in ministry. Neither do medical schools, law schools, and so forth.

But I’m not sure seminaries have ever claimed that, nor have other professional schools.

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On the Strange Order(s) of the Murder-Adultery-Steal Commandments


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See discussion of this further over at Evangelical Textual Criticismhttp://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2018/04/greg-lanier-locating-inspired-original.html


During the Spring 2017 term at RTS-O, I taught an elective called “Septuagint Readings.” Each week ~14 students gathered to read various portions of the Greek OT. During one of the classes, I was struck with something I had seen before but not really internalized: the variations in the ordering of the 6th, 7th, and 8th commandments in Greek Exodus 20, Greek Deuteronomy 5, and the Hebrew behind the ESV/NIV/etc. None of them matched. I began to probe this…and one thing led to another, and this inquiry turned into an article that was recently published in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (61.1).

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Some missing trees and a new doorstop: the dissertation

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.

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On Papyrus 104, Scribal Assimilation, and Matthew 21:44

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.

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JETS Review of Wes Hill’s “Paul and the Trinity”

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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.

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New Article in JBL on a Septuagint Translation Conundrum

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.

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A Different Angle on OT-in-the-NT: How do the NT Authors ‘Access’ the OT?

Today in the Cambridge NT Graduate Seminar, I gave a presentation (or, rather, facilitated a discussion) on a topic that has become increasingly interesting to me as I have been working on my primary research.

The question of how NT authors use the OT when they cite it or allude to it is a fascinating area of study and should be part of every Christian’s toolbox when we read the OT. Why? Because the NT cites or alludes to the OT hundreds, if not thousands of times. You cannot understand the NT without knowing the OT well, because the OT dramatically shapes the NT.

Most Christians (myself included, at least before looking into it more deeply) probably think of the NT authors as in some sense carrying around a nice leatherbound OT with them, flipping through it as guided by the Holy Spirit, and selecting verses to use to prove their points in whatever they’re writing.

But is this really what is going on?

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New Testament Christology: Where We Are…And Where To Next?

On Tuesday, December 2, I presented a paper (well, more like led a discussion) on Christology in the New Testament at our Cambridge NT graduate seminar.

“Christology” is a term used to describe how the Bible (or later Christian writings) portray the person, character, and significance of Jesus Christ.

It basically amounts to this:

All you need to know about Christology on one page

All you need to know about NT Christology boiled down to one page! Pretty simple, huh?

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