Messianic Expectations of Second Temple Judaism

Since the earliest days of the Jesus Movement, Christianity has proclaimed Jesus of Nazareth as the long-awaited Messiah of the Jewish people. What exactly did this proclamation mean to those who heard it in the context of the Roman Empire and Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem? Much recent scholarship has attempted to assess the theologicalContinue reading “Messianic Expectations of Second Temple Judaism”

In the Mail: February 4

I am grateful to Baker Academic, InterVarsity Press, B&H Academic, and Zondervan for providing me with my “spring reading” selections, including The Didache (Baker), Why Church History Matters  (IVP), Lukan Authorship of Hebrews (B&H Academic), Encountering the New Testament (Baker), and Believe (Zondervan). Look for reviews of these books to being appearing in the next couple of weeks.

ECA: Second Clement

This post is part of our ongoing series examining Early Christian Authority. The Second Epistle of Clement represents the oldest extant non-canonical Christian homily, a sermon that urges followers of Christ to recognize their debts to God and repent of their sins while displacing themselves from the sinful world and committing themselves to self-control andContinue reading “ECA: Second Clement”

Book Review: Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The New Testament

There is no shortage of literature available on the Christian New Testament. Whether you peruse Amazon or wander through your local bookstore, there is no denying that scholars, pastors, and writers aplenty have published their thoughts on the history and meaning of the New Testament. How do we make sense of all this literature? OneContinue reading “Book Review: Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The New Testament”

Book Review: Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods (Ed. Fiensy and Strange)

A longstanding problem for those attempting to study early Christianity involves the obscurity of the first centuries of the Common Era. Though nearly constantly reflected upon and studied since those years faded into the past, there remain numerous gaps in our understanding of the world and context of Jesus and his earliest followers. Unfortunately, thisContinue reading “Book Review: Galilee in the Late Second Temple and Mishnaic Periods (Ed. Fiensy and Strange)”

Predestination and Freewill: Erasmus and Luther Revisited

This post is part of our ongoing series on Romans, Predestination, and Freewill. What then can be used in the soteriological constructions of Luther and Erasmus in light of such a critique? It seems that most scholars would especially prefer Luther, were he able, to rework his understanding of Romans in light of more recentContinue reading “Predestination and Freewill: Erasmus and Luther Revisited”

Predestination and Freewill: Scholarly Consensus

This post is part of our ongoing series examining Romans, Predestination, and Freewill. As one can easily see from our previous posts, there exists no common consensus interpretation of Romans 7-9 among scholars and commentators today. However we can note several important factors as well as some of the more widely accepted interpretations of RomansContinue reading “Predestination and Freewill: Scholarly Consensus”

Predestination and Freewill: N. T. Wright

This post is part of our ongoing series examining Romans, Predestination, and Freewill. In The New Interpreter’s Bible, N.T. Wright begins by writing that, “Romans is neither a systematic theology nor a summary of Paul’s lifework, but it is by common consent his masterpiece.”[1] Wright describes the main theme of the letter as “God’s gospelContinue reading “Predestination and Freewill: N. T. Wright”

Predestination and Freewill: James Dunn

This is part of our ongoing series on Romans, Predestination, and Freewill. In the Word Biblical Commentary, James D.G. Dunn employs the ‘New Perspective’ on Paul to interpret his letters. This perspective argues that “Protestant exegesis has for too long allowed a typically Lutheran emphasis on justification by faith to impose a hermeneutical grid onContinue reading “Predestination and Freewill: James Dunn”

Predestination and Freewill: Joseph Fitzmyer

This post is part of our ongoing series on Romans, Predestination, and Freewill. Having looked briefly at some of the overarching views of scholars on the purpose of Romans and the insights that can be gained from a contextual understanding of Paul’s message and the implications for scriptural interpretation, let us now consider some ofContinue reading “Predestination and Freewill: Joseph Fitzmyer”