Tonight at River Oaks Church we celebrated Good Friday with a “reverse” tenebrae service (of sorts).
In prior years we have done tenebrae-like services, in particular focusing on what are often denoted the “Last Seven Words of Jesus from the Cross.” In such services, the lights get dimmer and dimmer until they are completely dark.
Continue reading Post Lucem, Tenebrae
When I stumbled on it last year in preparation for teaching Ephesians, I was stunned. Where did this “unto him” come from that I had never seen before in the English translations of my youth? And what does it mean?
In this post, I will explore a little phrase at the middle of the justly famous “adoption” verse of Ephesians 1:5, which does not even show up in some English translations.
Continue reading “Unto Him” in Eph 1:5—A Minority Report on the Christological Option for an Oft-Overlooked Pronoun
While we were in the UK, I had the privilege of sitting near Dr. Osvaldo Padilla at the Tyndale House when he was there on sabbatical. Osvaldo teaches NT at Beeson Divinity School (from which RTS-O just hosted Timothy George for our Spring lecture series). Our families go to know one another during their stay—their son was our daughters’ “boy-friend,” as they would say. We were sad to see them depart after their short stay.
Continue reading Review of a Great New Book on Acts
Tonight I got to spend part of the evening with a group of students at Reformation Bible College, as part of their biweekly Abide fellowship. Lots of familiar faces from my church were there.
I did a short talk on how to read (at least some of) the psalms in the way Jesus (and other NT writers) guide us to read them. Not merely as anticipating him, but as giving voice to his own words and in many ways shaping his identity.
Continue reading Reading the Psalms with Jesus
Starting Sunday, March 12, I will begin a 10-week series on Covenant Theology at our church. It is appropriate to do so this year, of course—as we celebrate the 500-yr anniversary of the start of the Reformation—given the centrality of covenant theology to the vast majority of Reformers.
Continue reading Covenant Theology 101 at River Oaks
(Spanish version available at Coalición por el Evangelio [Spanish TGC])
A ‘sticky’ misconception I keep coming across both in the church world and in the seminary world is the notion that God (or, specifically, Jesus) changed the name of a certain figure of importance that we now typically refer to as “St. Paul.”
In a recent sermon, I heard, “Just like Saul the persecutor can become Paul the apostle, God is gracious to us…”
On an exam by one of my brightest students, I found written, “It is Saul, who is re-named as Paul, who is the primary messenger of the gospel…”
From a church member who came from a Roman Catholic background, I was asked, “Wait…you mean Jesus didn’t change Saul’s name to Paul on the Damascus Road?”*
The problem is that such a view, however common it may seem (just search for ‘Saul-Paul name change’ to find loads of posts on the apparent significance of this event), is not accurate. I hate to ruin the fun. Continue reading No … “Saul the Persecutor” did not become “Paul the Apostle”
In honor of the fact that 2017 marks the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we will be beginning a series working our way through the Epistle to the Romans at ROC. This is fitting, given the importance of the letter as a catalyst of the Reformation itself.
Continue reading Series on Romans 1–5 at River Oaks Church
Update: See interaction with this article over at the Evangelical Textual Criticism Blog.
In the most recent issue of Reformed Faith & Practice (journal.rts.edu), I have contributed a somewhat lengthy (!) overview of several developments in Greek, as well as a detailed review of two new intermediate grammars that were published nearly simultaneously this summer.
The article is dedicated to two important pastors in my own life who have exemplified how one should continue “staying sharp” in their use of the biblical languages in ministry: Rev. Dr. Tom Hawkes (Uptown Church) and Rev. David Camera (River Oaks Church).
Continue reading Primer on Recent Developments in Koine Greek, Aimed at Pastors and Teachers
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.'”
Continue reading Series on the “Genesis of Jesus” at River Oaks Church
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.
Continue reading Summary of Research on the Parable of the Wicked Tenants