Covenant Theology 101 at River Oaks

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

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No … “Saul the Persecutor” did not become “Paul the Apostle”

(Abridged version posted at TGC)
(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”

Primer on Recent Developments in Koine Greek, Aimed at Pastors and Teachers

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.

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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

Summary of Research on the Parable of the Wicked Tenants

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

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.

Continue reading Some missing trees and a new doorstop: the dissertation

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.

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

Connecting Biblical Scholarship to the Church