In the field of New Testament studies E.P. Sanders’ Paul and Palestinian Judaism (1977) is arguably the most influential book of the last 50 years. While it is a heavy academic tome, it is very significant for the Church because he introduced an approach that helps us read Paul, and the rest of the New Testament, more faithfully. As such below is an accessible, thorough review of Sanders’ paradigm shifting work. Continue reading “A Review of E.P. Sanders’ Paul and Palestinian Judaism”
Any attentive reader of the New Testament will notice how it quotes the Old Testament is often pretty weird. Sometimes it seems pretty arbitrary and other times it looks like it is misquoted. If you have ever wondered about this and how the New uses the Old in general, the following interview of New Testament scholar Seth Ehorn certainly helps address these questions. The interview, which is for Deeper Waters Podcast, is centred on his two-volume series he co-edited with Sean Adams Composite Citations in Antiquity (Vol. 1 2015, Vol. 2 2018, T&T Clark.)
I have repeatedly emphasized paying attention to scripture as literature among other things. As such I have talked about various literary devices and techniques that are employed by the writers of holy scripture, how we can discern them and also apply those methods in our reading of scripture. The best example of this which has appeared extensively on this platform is “figural reading” (seeing the Old Testament containing types that are fulfilled in the New Testament) championed in the work of Richard B. Hays, a leading New Testament scholar. There are places where typological readings are not sufficient and we need to use another interpretive method. Rising New Testament scholar Matthew Bates, whose work has come up a lot in recent months on this platform, has identified a new but old interpretive technique called “prosopological exegesis.” The following series from Early Christian Archives breaks down this simple but dauntingly named reading method and why it is important that readers of the New Testament ought to know it.
What is it? And, more importantly, why should anyone care? Well, for one thing, it just might explain how and why Paul uses the OT in the way that he does.
Prosopological exegesis (PE) is a technique of interpreting Scripture common in the early church. As Matthew W. Bates describes it, PE “explains a text by suggesting that the author of the text identified various persons or characters (prosopa) as speakers or addressees in a pre-text, even though it is not clear from the pre-text itself that such persons are in view” (The Hermeneutics of the Apostolic Proclamation, 183). By “text,” Bates refers to “any specific instance in which a NT author, such as Paul, directly cites the scriptures” (53), while a “pre-text” means “a specific textual source that the NT author utilized” (54). Thus, when Paul cites Hab 2:4b LXX in Rom 1:17, Rom 1:17…
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(Or Theology after Paul Ricoeur)
The name of influential French 20th century philosopher Paul Ricoeur has repeatedly cropped up in my various readings. I therefore decided to look him up and his wide ranging insights have been very productive for me. In the following Homebrewed Christianity podcast episode, Ricoeur’s work is introduced as well as his contribution and influence on contemporary theology, my particular area of interest, are discussed. Continue reading “A Philosophy of Hermeneutics”
As I have mentioned several times, last year was my year of the Hebrew Bible. I gained a wonderful new passion for it. Beyond my personal enthusiasm for the text, in that period I came to have some very clear and serious convictions about the text that I think all Christians must have. I recognise that it is an ambitious thing to say all Christians must think this way about this thing. However, we are Christians because we hold certain dogmas just as any group has it defining qualities. While my love for the Hebrew Bible was nurtured by scholarship, the strength of the convictions I developed about it came from the different things I observed and experienced last year. It is not so much that I did not have those beliefs but I came to see their preeminence. Continue reading “The Orthodoxy of the Scriptures”