Category Archives: Old Testament

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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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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Podcast on the Importance of the OT

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I recently sat down with Clay Kraby, a pastor in North Dakota, to do a podcast for his very helpful blog, Reasonable Theology. We covered a range of topics related to the importance of the OT for Christians today. It’s one of my favorite things to discuss; in fact, I joke in my Gospels and Pauline Epistles classes that they’re basically OT classes, given how important the OT is to the thinking and theology of the NT writers.

You can find out more and listen to the podcast here: https://reasonabletheology.org/why-christians-still-need-the-old-testament/

Clay is an RTS student and an all-around sharp guy. Many thanks to him for the opportunity.

For Our Septuagint Project, How Did We Handle the So-Called “Double Texts”?

In this post, we elaborate on how we handled the few books of the Greek OT (and apocrypha) that apparently circulated in two somewhat distinct textual forms.

Septuaginta: A Reader's Edition

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As is well known in the field of Septuagint studies, certain books developed over time into distinct textual forms. That is, in some cases there are what look like two different Greek versions of the same book in the Septuagint corpus. In such cases, the manuscript evidence preserves two textual traditions that are substantially different enough that Rahlfs decided to differentiate them in his edition of the Septuagint.* Since we decided to use Rahlfs-Hanhart as a base text, when it came to producing the Reader’s Edition we had to ask ourselves how we would handle these “double texts,” as they are often called.

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OT Metaphors and Luke’s Christology: Published Thesis

In a couple weeks the published form of my PhD dissertation will be released by T&T Clark as part of the Library of New Testament Studies series.

Though I finished the dissertation version almost two years ago, it has taken a while (longer than I expected) to navigate the publication process. I’m excited to note that the release date is just a couple weeks away.

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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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A Redemptive-Historical Bible Reading Plan

(I was delighted to find out that this reading plan was translated into Spanish by Kenson Gonzalez. Download it here!)


Bible reading plans are plentiful. Some of the best can be found at Ligonier (see also here). And as a regular part of the Christian diet, reading through the entire Bible in a calendar year can be a helpful thing. I’m not at all opposed to it.

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