The Apostle’s Creed

We believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

 And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

 We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Check Out the Arise Church Podcast

If you’re a fan of podcasting, check out the Arise Church Podcast, where we talk about church life, church planting, social media, COVID, sermons, and much more. It’s a fun time and host Roger Jackson does a great job of keeping things fun and informative.

Check us out on Apple Podcasts

 

Want to learn more about Arise Church? Check us out here.

Why I’ve Been Absent

Longtime friends and readers of this blog will have noticed a general decline in the frequency of posts over the past several years. There are numerous reasons for this: grad school, work, kids, life in general, etc. But the primary reason has been that much of my time has been devoted to pastoral work. After launching Pursuing Veritas as a grad student, I’m now attempting to maintain it as an associate pastor at Rooftop Church in St. Louis. But I’m not only serving as a pastor at Rooftop–I’m also serving as lead planting pastor for Arise Church.

Arise is a church plant coming to the greater Fenton area (a southwest suburb of St. Louis) this September. For much of the past 18 months and steadily increasing over that time, I’ve been working with Rooftop, an advisory team, the Church Multiplication Network, and a launch team to prepare to launch Arise. As we move closer and closer to launch, my hope is to use this platform to share a bit of what we’re doing and experiencing. Obviously, the COVID-crisis looms large for all of us right now, but as of right now, we’re moving ahead with planting.

So check us out, follow us on social media (Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube at least), and if your stimulus check has you feeling extremely generous, consider donating to support our work.

My Four Most Influential Theologians

A few weeks back, there was some social media traction with sharing one’s four most influential theologians. Being ever behind on my writing and blogging, I jotted the idea down, but am only getting to this now. Now, obviously, there are a number of theologians who have influenced me, to say nothing of the countless pastors, teachers, and little-t theologians who’ve shaped who I am, how I think, and how I live through their examples and teaching. (Also, and this should probably go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyways, this list does not include biblical authors, lest we all answer with some combination of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, and James.) So this cannot be any sort of a complete list. Continue reading

O God Our Refuge

Some more prayers for this morning:

“O God, who has been the refuge of my fathers through many generations, be my refuge today in every time and circumstance of need. Be my guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my guard against all that threatens my spirit’s welfare. Be my strength in time of testing. Gladden my heart with your peace, through Jesus Christ my Lord.”

–Originally by John Baillie

 

“Blessed Lord, who was tempted in all things as we are, have mercy upon our frailty. Out of weakness give us strength. Grant to us your fear, that we may only fear you. Support us in our time of temptation. Embolden us in the time of danger. Help us to do your work with good courage, and to continue as your faithful soldiers and servants until our life’s end. We ask all these things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

–Originally by Bishop Brooke Foss Westcott

“Give Us Grace to Hold You…”

Another prayer from The Oxford Book of Prayer, this time from Fr. Gilbert Shaw:

Lord, give us grace to hold you

when all is weariness and fear

and sin abounds within, without

when love itself is tested by the doubt…

that love is false, or dead within the soul,

when every act brings new confusion, new distress,

new opportunities, new misunderstandings,

and every thought new accusation.

Lord, give us grace that we may know

that in the darkness pressing round

it is the mist of sin that hides your face,

that you are there

and you do know we love you still

and our dependence and endurance in your will

is still our gift of love.

Bede Prays for Rescue

I’m reading through the “deliverance” section of The Oxford Book of Prayer this week and came across this prayer by the Venerable Bede. Join Bede and I in praying this for our world:

O God that art the only hope of the world,

The only refuge for unhappy men,

Abiding in the faithfulness of heaven.

Give me strong succor in this testing place.

O King, project thy man from utter ruin

Lest the weak faith surrender to the tyranny,

Facing innumerable blow alone.

Remember I am dust, and wind, and shadow,

And life as fleeting as the flower of grass.

But may the enteral mercy which hath shone

From time of old

Rescue they servant from the jaws of the lion.

Thou who didst come from on high in the cloak of flesh,

Strike down the dragon with that two-edged sword,

Whereby our mortal flesh can war with the winds

And beat down strongholds, with our Captain God.

~Venerable Bede

Six Quick Suggestions for Surviving Social Distancing

As more and more of our world is shutting down and embracing social distancing, some of us are wondering how we’re going to make it through the next several weeks with our sanity intact. I don’t have the answers, but I do have six suggestions that I hope are helpful.

1. Limit your time on social media. There’s only so much good that constantly scrolling your social media accounts is going to do you. More likely than not, what people are saying is going to make you depressed, anxious, angry, sad, or some combination of those emotions. Avoid that by limiting your time on social media. Relatedly… Continue reading

Job Opening: Pastor of Connections and Outreach

Our current church, Rooftop in St. Louis, is getting ready to hire a new pastor. Check out the job description below and learn more here!

Rooftop Church

Rooftop is an inter-denominational, energetic, growing, medium-sized, 20-year-old Christian church reaching a diversity of people in an inner suburb of St. Louis. More than your typical post-modern church, Rooftop maintains a commitment to big-tent Biblical orthodoxy while also embracing authenticity, humor and even a bit of irreverence for the sake of reaching all kinds of people with the love and truth of Jesus. After moving into a larger, renovated building in November 2016 and getting ready to successfully launch a daughter-church in the summer of 2020, we are ready to consider our next steps as a congregation. These next steps include hiring an associate-level pastor to lead our outreach efforts (which include building an online presence), oversee connections ministries, and also assist with the general teaching and pastoral responsibilities. (Check us out at http://www.rooftop.org.)

Odes and John: Bibliography

This post concludes the series examining the relationship between the Odes of Solomon and Gospel of John.

Bibliography

Adams, J.N., Mark Janse, and Simon Swain, Editors. Bilingualism in Ancient Society: Language Contact and the Written Word. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Attridge, Harold W. “Johannine Christianity.” Pages 125-143 in The Cambridge History of Christianity: Volume 1: Origins to Constantine. Edited by Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Bernhard, J. H. The Odes of Solomon: Edited with Introduction and Notes. Texts and Studies: Contributions to Biblical and Patristic Literature 8, 3. Edited by J. Armitage Robinson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912. Repr., Nendeln, Lischtenstein: Kraus Reprint Limited, 1967.

Brock, Sebastian. The Bible in the Syriac Tradition, Second Revised Edition. Piscataway, N.J.: Gorgias Press, 2006.

Brooke, George J. “Memory, Cultural Memory and Rewriting Scripture.” Pages 119-136 in Rewritten Bible After Fifty Years: Texts, Terms, or Techniques?: A Last Dialogue with Geza Vermes. Edited by Jozsef Zsengeller. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 166. Lieden: Brill, 2014.

Brownson, James. “The Odes of Solomon and the Johannine Tradition.” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 2 (1988): 49-69.

Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Edited by D. A. Carson. The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1991.

Charlesworth, James H. Critical Reflections on the Odes of Solomon: Volume One: Literary Setting, Textual Studies, Gnosticism, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gospel of John. Edited by James H. Charlesworth and Lester L. Grabbe. Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha Supplement Series 22. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998.

–. “Odes of Solomon.” Pages 721-771 in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Volume 2: Expansions of the “Old Testament” and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works. Edited by James H. Charlesworth. New York: Doubleday, 1985.

–. The Earliest Christian Hymnbook: The Odes of Solomon. Eugene, OR: Cascade Publishers, 2009.

–. The Odes of Solomon. Edited by Robert Kraft. Society of Biblical Literature: Texts and Translations 13 and Society of Biblical Literature Pseudapigrapha Series 7. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1977.

–. The Odes of Solomon: Edited with Translation and Notes. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973.

Charlesworth, James H., and R. Alan Culpepper. “The Odes of Solomon and the Gospel of John.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 35, 3 (1973): 298-322.

Corwin, Virginia. St. Ignatius and Christianity in Antioch. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960.

De Bruin, C. C., ed. Diatessaron Leodiense. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970.

De Jonge, Henk Jan. “The Use of the Old Testament in Scripture Readings in Early Christian Assemblies.” Pages 377-392 in The Scriptures of Israel in Jewish and Christian Tradition: Essay in Honour of Maarten J.J. Menken. Edited by Bart J. Koet, Steve Moyise, and Jospeh Verheyden. Supplements to Novum Testamentum 148. Boston: Brill, 2013.

Drijvers, Hans J. W. “Apocryphal Literature in the Cultural Milieu of Osrhoene.” Apocrypha 1 (1990): 231-247.

–. East of Antioch: Studies in Early Syriac Christianity. London: Variorum Reprints, 1984.

–. “The 19th Ode of Solomon: Its Interpretation and Place in Syrian Christianity.” Journal of Theological Studies 31, 2 (1980): 337-355.

–. “The Peshitta of Sapientia Salomonis.” Pages 15-30 in History and Religion in Late Antique Syria. Brookfield, V.T.: Variorum, 1994.

Ehrman, Bart D. The Apostolic Fathers, Volume I. Edited by Jeffrey Henderson. The Leob Classical Library 24. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003.

English Standard Version Bible. New York: Crossway, 2010.

Emerton, J. A. “Notes on Some Passages in the Odes of Solomon.” Journal of Theological Studies 28 (1977): 507-519.

Frankenberg, Wilhelm. Das Verstandis der Oden Salomos. Zeitshrfit fur die alteestamentliche Wissenschaft 21. Gießen: Topelman, 1911.

Glover, Richard. “Patristic Quotations and Gospel Sources.” New Testament Studies 31 (1985): 235-51.

Grant, Robert M. “The Odes of Solomon and the Church of Antioch.” Journal of Biblical Literature 63, 4 (1944): 363-377.

Gregory, Andrew F. and Christopher Tuckett. “Reflections on Method: What constitutes the Use of the Writings that later formed the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers?” Pages 61-82 in The Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers. Edited by Andrew F. Gregory and Christopher M. Tuckett. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Gonzalez, Justo L. The Changing Shape of Church History. Saint Louis: Chalice Press, 2002.

Harnack, Adolph and John Flemming. Ein Jüdisch-Christliches Psalmbuch aus dem ersten Jahrhundert. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1910.

Harris, J. Rendel. An Early Christian Psalter. London: James Nesbit, 2009.

Harvey, Susan Ashbrook. “Syria and Mesopotamia.” Pages 351-65 in The Cambridge History of Christianity: Volume 1: Origins to Constantine. Edited by Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Hengel, Martin. “Qumran and Early Christianity.” Pages 523-31 in Earliest Christian History: History, Literature, and Theology: Essay from the Tyndale Fellowship in Honor of Martin Hengel. Edited by Michael F. Bird and Jason Maston. Translated by Lars Kierspel. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012.

Hill, Charles E. “’In These Very Words’: Methods and Standards of Literary Borrowing in the Second Century.” Page 261-81 in The Early Text of the New Testament. Edited by Charles E. Hill and Michael J. Kruger. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Hill, J. Hamlyn. The Earliest Life of Christ Ever Compiled from the Four Gospels: Being the Diatessaron of Tatian: Literally Translated from the Arabic Version and containing the Four Gospels woven into One Story. Piscataway, N.J.: Gorgias Press, 2001.

Hughes, Julie. Scriptural Allusions and Exegesis in the Hodayot. Studies on the Texts of the Deserts of Judah, LIX. Edited by Florentino Garcia Martinez. Boston: Brill, 2006.

Kostenberger, Andreas J., and Michael J. Kruger. The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity. Wheaton: Crossway Publishers, 2010.

Kugel, James L. Traditions of the Bible: A Guide to the Bible As It Was at the Start of the Common Era. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998.

Lattke, Michael. “Die Oden Salomos: Einleitungsfragen und Forschungsgeschichte.” Zeitschrift fur die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der Alteren Kirche 98 (2007): 277-307.

–. Oden Salomos. New York: Herder, 1995.

–. Odes of Solomon: A Commentary. Edited by Harold W. Attridge. Translated by Marianne Ehrhardt. Hermenia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009.

–. “The Apocryphal Odes of Solomon and New Testament Writings.” Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft und die Kunde der Älteren Kirche 73, 3 (1982): 294-301.

Massaux, Eduard. The Influence of the Gospel of Matthew on Christian Literature before Irenaeus. Translated by Neirynck. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1990.

Marttila, Marko, Juha Pakkala, and Hanne von Weissenberg (Editors). Changes in Scripture: Rewriting and Interpreting Authoritative Traditions in the Second Temple Period. Berlin: DeGruyter, 2011.

McNeil, Brian. “The Odes of Solomon and the Scriptures.” Oriens Christianus 67, 1 (1983): 104-122.

Metzger, Bruce M. The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.

Murray, Robert. Symbols of Church and Kingdom: A Study in Early Syriac Tradition. Piscataway, N.J.: Gorgias Press, 2004

Newbold, William R. “Bardaisan and the Odes of Solomon.” Journal of Biblical Literature 30, 2 (1911): 161-204.

Novak, Michael Anthony. “The Odes of Solomon as Apocalyptic Literature.” Vigiliae Christianae 66, 5 (2012): 527-550.

Pierre, Marie-Joseph. Les Odes de Salomon: Traduction, Introduction et notes par. Belique: Brepols, 1994.

Prahlow, Jacob J. Discerning Witnesses: First and Second Century Textual Studies in Early Christian Authority. MA Thesis. Winston-Salem: Wake Forest University, 2014.

Robinson, J. A. The Odes of Solomon. Texts and Studies: Contributions to Biblical and Patristic Literature, Series 3. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912. Repr. Nendeln, Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint Limited, 1967.

Sanders, Jack T. “Nag Hammadi, Odes of Solomon, and NT Christological Hymns.” Pages 51-66 in Gnosticism and the Early Christian World: In Honor of James M. Robinson. Edited by James E. Goehring, et al. Sonoma, CA: Polebridge Press, 1990.

Schoedel, William R. Ignatius of Antioch: A Commentary on the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch. Edited by Helmut Koester. Hermenia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985

Stuhlhofer, Franz. “Der Ertrag von Bibelstellenregistern fur die Kanonsgeschichte.” Zeitschrift fur die alttestamentliche wissenschaft 100 (1988): 244-261.

Stroud, Robert C. “The Odes of Solomon: The Earliest in Collection of Christian Hymns.” The Hymn 31, 1 (1980): 269-275.

Trevett, Christine. “Approaching Matthew from the Second Century: The Under-Used Ignatius Correspondence.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 20 (1984): 59-67.

Wickes, Jeffrey. Hymns on Faith. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, forthcoming.

Williams, P.J. Early Syriac Translation Technique and the Textual Criticism of the Greek Gospels. Edited by D. C. Parker and D. G. K. Taylor. Texts and Studies: Contributions to Biblical and Patristic Literatures Third Series. Piscataway, N.J.: Gorgias Press, 2004.