Two biographies of the apostle Paul came out last year with two highly influential and respected interpreters of Paul. One biography is by N. T. Wright, Paul: A Biography, and the other is by Douglas Campbell, Paul: An Apostle’s Journey. Campbell’s complete chronological picture is filled out in his 2014 Framing Paul: an Epistolary Biography.
This is a post for my fellow academics involved in book publication. Back in my days as a TA for Craig Evans, I had to do a scripture index for a number of his books. It is a beast of a job that I wouldn't wish on anyone. Seeing a friend working on a scripture index for his book reminded me of a tutorial I made a number of years ago. If you find yourself in the same position now, this tutorial may be of benefit to you.
With various helpful videos in the internet about helping us understand the modern world by asking "what if the world were 100 people" I have had in my mind to make something similar for my own discipline, namely what would the Roman Empire look like if it were 100 people during Jesus' day?
Over the last two years or so I noticed with appreciation some artwork done by students at Acadia Divinity College. But it was not simply paintings or drawings, but artwork done in their Bibles. I appreciated the images not only because I am a terrible artist, but because it displayed a wonderful integration of the arts with Christian devotion. So much of Church instruction on devotional time is simply "read and pray" or "use this new devotional book." But on display here was a practice that I think beautifully integrates using one's gifts as worship to God and using one's gifts to express devotion. As Creator and Designer of the universe — the one who stretched out the neck of the giraffe, made the rolly face of the Manatee, put a duck-bill on a Platypus, and put the brilliant colors in the skyline — I have no doubt that God delights in beautiful and artistic expression of His Word.
As a teacher and a scholar of the New Testament, I’m passionate about good resources for Bible study. The reality is that most of the best resources cost something, particularly the more in-depth resources. But, the good news is that there are still a number of great resources that don’t cost a dime.
Since the Christmas season is upon us, and I had the great pleasure of participating in my church's Live Nativity this past weekend, I thought I would blog some reflections on Luke 2.
I am teaching for the first time a class on the Gospel of John, and having a great time doing so. One of the first things I tackled in the class was authorship – namely, who is the Beloved Disciple, the author of the Gospel?
It has been two weeks since Faithlife launched Logos version 7, and I'm just now getting around to blogging about it! But given my love for the software, you can bet that you'll be hearing more in the days to come. The truth is that I don't get quite as excited as I used to, because I subscribe to Logos Now – so all of the shiny new features of Logos 7 have been released to me in six week cycles over the past 2 years. But it is still exciting, and I'm excited to talk to you about some of the new features in Logos 7. It is chalk full of awesomeness. Why do I say that?
During my time of study under Craig Evans, he flirted with the idea of a pre-70 CE dating of Matthew's gospel at various times in class or in conversation. During my undergrad, I had for the most part come to follow the standard post-70 CE dating for most of the Gospels, with Mark being the only serious consideration of a pre-70 CE Gospel.
In preparation for my first time teaching the Gospel of John at ADC this year in my new role as Professor of New Testament, I have been reading scholarship on the Gospel of John. In particular, I have been enjoying Paul Anderson's work on John. I may be wrong, but a preliminary looks suggests to me that he has published more on John than any living scholar…
There is no social media feed for scholars that apprise us of the latest research and scholarship. Unlike the 140-character world of Twitter and the YouTube hit sensations that are here today and gone tomorrow, scholarship and research is a slow and steady plod. And that is exactly how it should be. Publication and peer-review is where real advances are made in Biblical studies, not on Twitter, blogs, or YouTube.
I'll make a confession on behalf of all professors: we dislike poorly formatted papers. And while students may find it nitpicky, there are actually very good reasons for properly formatting an assignment. It allows the professor to focus on your content, rather than getting distracted by how presentation.
If you could sit down right now with a scholar you deeply respect, what would you ask? Now, before you start firing off theological, biblical, or exegetical questions that you can learn by simply reading their published works – what other questions would you ask?
Heads up – this is a completely unbiased post. Yes, I completed a PhD with a thesis on Matthew. Yes, my students often hear me say "Matthew is the best Gospel." But after hearing one of my former PhD advisors mention that Mark is his favorite (I'm talking about you Mike Bird!), I needed to set the record straight for everyone out there.
Josephus is an essential source for our understanding of the world of Jesus. There are a number of important events and figures that we would know little to nothing about apart from his writings.
I have taught introductory Greek for seven years now, and every year without fail I am asked via email at least once how a student can prepare beforehand. I thought it was about time I made the answer to that question a blog post so that I can point future students to my thoughts, and hopefully help many other students out there who may be asking the same question.
What continues to excite me is the advance in textual criticism of the New Testament. Not only do there continue to be classic books on this subject, but there are now fantastic websites and resources devoted to educating others about NT textual criticism.
I got to say, I like this: biblical and historical scholars who know the time and text the best putting their hand to some fiction. It is a great way to teach about these times, and could be great fodder for both classrooms and church small groups.
In case you couldn't tell, that is a picture of an "ivory tower." And today it is easier than ever for academics to get out of the ivory tower and harness the power of the internet to educate, inform, and connect with people worldwide.