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“The Obedience of Faith among the Nations”

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“The Obedience of Faith among the Nations”

The meaning of “justification” has recently become a debated topic in Pauline studies.  The central thrust of Romans has always been a debated topic.  Our Pauline Theology professor for this fall is Dr. Bill Barcley.  At a recent gathering of the Evangelical Theological Society, Dr. Barcley read his paper titled “Romans, Missions and Justification” that brings these two concerns together.  He avers, “Everything in the letter must be read in light of Paul’s missionary agenda,” and then puts forward “a reading of Romans that recognizes the centrality of Paul’s missionary goals, makes sense of the Jew/Gentile dimension in Romans, recognizes Paul’s wrestling with God’s faithfulness to his covenant with Israel, and upholds the traditional evangelical—and in my view biblical—understanding of justification” (1). 

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Kingdom of God in Mark's Gospel

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Kingdom of God in Mark's Gospel

I think the word “scholar” is commonly used to mean something like “erudite know-it-all.” And since they know it all, they teach others who are willing (or forced!) to listen. But in its most basic sense the word simply means someone with an aptitude to study. Therefore, a scholar is someone who learns first and foremost. Far from “knowing it all” true scholars are always seeking out what we do not know, and setting about the joyous task of discovery. And when they do, the rest of us are blessed by their hard work. Such is the case with Dr. Nicholas Perrin, who recently taught a course here at ITS, and on the first night gave a stimulating lecture on The Kingdom of God in Mark’s Gospel. I am thrilled to share that opening night’s lecture with you here.

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The Kingdom of God

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The Kingdom of God

“Kingdom is one of those concepts everyone talks about but no one is quite sure what difference it really makes.” So says Nicholas Perrin, author of the new book The Kingdom of God: A Biblical Theology.  The arrival of the Kingdom of God is the primary organizing concept of all of Jesus’ teaching.  So what is it?  What are its characteristics?  Is it political?  Is it “spiritual?”  Are those even the right questions to ask?  In these two brief interviews Dr. Perrin addresses such issues, as well as other reasons he’s written this book.

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"After the Deportation"

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"After the Deportation"

I commonly say that that most exciting sentence in the history of human literature is Matthew 1:1. Some are surprised to hear this considering that Matt 1:1 is the beginning of a genealogy: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” How can a genealogy be “exciting?” Well, considering the kinds of biblical and cultural anticipation that surrounded the ideas of “David” and “Abraham” in the first century, this sentence amounts to a promise wherein Matthew says to readers “You have waited long enough; I will now tell you how our covenant God has brought to fruition the great hopes of our people through David and Abraham’s seed!”

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Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile

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Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile

Two years ago I published my doctoral dissertation with Brill in their Novum Testamentum Supplements series. It’s called Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile: A Socio-Rhetorical Study of Scriptural Quotations. I explore the ideological effects of the way Matthew uses the Old Testament in his first-century context. The primary focus is on the first seven OT quotations and the way they shape the interpretation of the rest of Matthew. As you can tell from the title, I find the focus of these OT quotes to revolve around David and the end of the exile in the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.

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Seed of the Serpent in 1 Samuel

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Seed of the Serpent in 1 Samuel

Last year at the Simeon Trust Workshop here in Indianapolis we studied 1 Samuel.  I was reminded of how much Genesis imagery is shot through the Saul and David narrative.  Particularly, Saul is increasingly cast as Genesis 3:15’s “Seed of the Serpent.”  Consider his demise in 31:8.  The Philistines strip off his armor and cut off his head!  Well, that’s just what David did to Goliath in 17:51, 54.  This seems like more than just revenge on the part of the Philistines for what David did to their great champion.  Rather, the author tells us this to paint both Goliath and Saul in the same colors! ...

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The Songs of the Messiah

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The Songs of the Messiah

Dr. Dieudonné Tamfu (Jubilee Community Church and Bethlehem College & Seminary), who recently dissertated on the book of Psalms, was in town to speak earlier this month on the Psalms!  His explanation of the movement through the Psalms opened my eyes to details I had been overlooking.  “Illuminating” and “extremely edifying” are the words that come to mind as I look back on those lectures.

I’m thrilled to post the lectures here for our September blog.  Listen and savor Jesus in the Psalms!

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What is the Joseph Story Really About?

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What is the Joseph Story Really About?

We're excited that Dr. Samuel Emadi will be teaching our Pre-Exilic Prophets course this fall.  He recently finished his dissertation, and wrote a summary of it for The Gospel Coalition earlier this month.  Here is a repost of that blog. 

Moses gives Joseph more time in Genesis than he does any other character—a striking fact given the significance of Genesis’s other main characters: Adam, Noah, and the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This prominence is even more striking considering the apparent insignificance of Joseph in the rest of Scripture. ...

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"You Can Make Me Clean"

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"You Can Make Me Clean"

Dr. Schrock and I recently co-published an article in the Criswell Theological Review.  We had presented the thesis at the 2015 annual ETS gathering.  It addresses the way Matthew portrays Jesus as a priest, an oft-overlooked characteristic of the pre-ascended Messiah.  You can read it here.  Hope you’re edified!  We’d love to know your thoughts on it.

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