Category Archives: New Testament

The Making of Corpus Christologicum

A few weeks ago I announced the release of Corpus Christologicum: Texts and Translations for the Study of Jewish Messianism and Early Christology (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2021).

The project was unlike anything else I’ve ever worked on in terms of complexity and workflow (the closest is Septuaginta: A Reader’s Edition). As a way of reflecting on the process on my own, and perhaps as a benefit to others who might be interested in things like this, I thought I’d jot down a summary of how the sausage was made, as they say. I won’t cover all the steps, but here is a basic summary of how it came together.

1. Developing the Idea

As I delved into the topic of early Christology for my doctoral thesis, one thing I kept noticing was how scholars like Dunn, Hurtado, Bauckham, and others paid (what I then thought was) an extraordinary amount of attention to non-biblical sources–many of which were unfamiliar to me (as a recent seminary graduate). Even though I was working in an amazingly well-stocked library (the Tyndale House), I struggled with figuring out how to track down all these cross-references, from 1 Enoch to Life of Adam and Eve to Philo to various Dead Sea scrolls. It was hard enough in English, but it was even harder to know where to look for the original languages.

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New Book on Jewish Messianism and Early Christology

Though technically released in April–and then delayed due to some printing/inventory issues–my newest project is finally out: Corpus Christologicum: Texts and Translations for the Study of Jewish Messianism and Early Christology. Weighing in at over 730 pages, it’s certainly the most technical project I’ve done. It has been in the works since roughly 2014.

What is it? In a nutshell, this volume attempts to bring together all the primary sources from the Jewish world (broadly defined) that are of relevance in the study of messianic ideas leading into and following shortly after the era of the apostolic church. It aims to be the go-to resource for anyone who wants to study the background of the development of early Christian ideas about Jesus Christ from the perspective of primary sources themselves, not just what so-and-so scholars say about them. As such, it includes ~300 passages that are regularly cited in the study of “Messiah” terminology, messianic metaphors, “wisdom” and “logos” speculation, and so on.

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So-called “Exalted Patriarchs” and Early Christology

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.”

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Review of Mounce’s Greek Grammar (4th Edition)

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).

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Reflecting on Mother’s Day

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.

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A Brief Video on the Divinity of Jesus

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.

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The Case for the Resurrection

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.

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New Book on OT/NT Canon and Text

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.

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Recent ETS and SBL Presentations

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.

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Looking at Textual Variation in the Main “Trunk” of the NT Manuscript Tradition

cover.jpgIn 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.

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