Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Three articles by T. Desmond Alexander on Genesis and Genealogies

The following related articles are now available in PDF:

T. Desmond Alexander, "From Adam to Judah: The Significance of the Family Tree in Genesis," Evangelical Quarterly 61:1 (1989): 5-19.

T. Desmond Alexander, "Genealogies, Seed and the Compositional Unity of Genesis," Tyndale Bulletin 44.2 (1993): 255-270.

Summary:
Most studies on Genesis tend to focus on the disparate nature of the material which has been used in its composition. It is argued here that the entire book has been carefully composed to focus on a unique family line. The members of this line of ‘seed’ enjoyed a special relationship with God which resulted in the establishment of two eternal covenants, the first with Noah and the second with Abraham. At the heart of this latter covenant was the promise that God’s blessing would be mediated to all the nations of the earth through the ‘seed’ of Abraham. While the book of Genesis draws attention to the initial stages of the fulfilment of this promise, its ultimate fulfilment is linked to a royal dynasty associated with the descendants of Judah.

T. Desmond Alexander, "Further Observations on the Term "Seed" in Genesis," Tyndale Bulletin 48.2 (1997): 363-367.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Alan R. Millard on the Knowledge of Writing in Iron Age Palestine

The following article is now available on-line in PDF:

Alan R. Millard, "The Knowledge of Writing in Iron Age Palestine," Tyndale Bulletin 46.2 (1995): 207-217.

The article is summarised as follows:

The Bible presents writing as a normal activity of daily life, but no Hebrew books survive from Iron Age Palestine to attest that. The written documents found there are few and brief in comparison with those from Egypt and Mesopotamia, yet they attest a varied use of writing which, this paper argues, reached beyond the scribal circles of palace and temple. Considered in the light of inscriptions from neighbouring lands, Hebrew epigraphy presents a richer source, lacking only royal monuments. On the basis of that evidence and analogies from other parts of the ancient Near East, a case is made for the possibility of written literature existing in the land from at least the tenth century B.C. onwards.

Five more Tyndale Bulletin articles to come...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Financing BiblicalStudies.org.uk

One of the highlights of my Sundays recently has been the arrival of the www.apollos.ws newsletter. I have a special interest in this site because it is in many ways similar in its aims and practice to my own and I see it as complimenting rather than competing with my sites. The webmasters of Apollos Bronson Taylor and John Sabatino have always been very honest about their aim to make their site self-supporting and their latest update is no exception to this. In it Bronson and John write that they are seeking support through advertising accredited US seminaries on Apollos.ws (which receives around 30,000 page views per month) at the rate of $1,000 per advert per month and are looking for at least three to take them up on their offer.

Much of what they shared struck a cord with me, as for several months now I have been thinking that the way forward for www.biblicalstudies.org.uk & co. will involve me investing more time in development. At present I am working full-time for a Christian charity and work on the sites is done when my two little boys are in bed. It is unlikely that as things stand with the amount of work awaiting digitisation (e.g. Vox Evangelica, Evangelical Quarterly, etc - see my previous entries) that I will be able to maintain the current rate of output, especially as my wife and I intend to homeschool.

Over the last 5 years I the material on my sites has been available free of charge (and will continue to be so) and I have noted that donations towards the cost of bandwidth and development are welcome. Over these five years I have received 18 donations and have one supporter who makes regular donations each month. Currently visitor numbers are now passing 315,000 per year and "page views" average around 40,000 per month. Advertising with Google and commission from Amazon for books sales pays for the bandwidth, but has not increased significantly with increased site usage. Despite the large number of visitors the current level of funding is low.

This leads me to think that the kind of sponsorship being sought by www.apollos.ws may also be a way forward for Theology on the Web (as I have named my group of sites). If sufficient funds were to be generated I would initally want to move towards working part-time and then towards full-time on the sites.

Well that's my vision for the sites. Time will tell whether it is going to be achievable. Any suggestions and/or feedback would be most welcome. Please pray with me that the Lord would raise up a group of supporters who will share my vision and becomes partners with me.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tyndale Bulletin to be put on-line this year

In November 2005 Mark Goodacre noted in his blog that he never consulted Tyndale Bulletin "because of its weak on-line presence". I have heard that this is about to change and that later this year the complete run of Tyndale Bulletin will be available on-line to subscribers (with new editions appearing after one year). When it appears I will of course be linking to this articles from my sites, but in the mean-time I have been given permission to host 10 articles from the journal. The first four are now available, 3 on www.biblicalstudies.org.uk and one on www.earlychurch.org.uk (see my other blog for details).

Edwin M. Yamauchi, "Magic in the biblical world," Tyndale Bulletin 34 (1983): 169-200.

John F. Maile, "The Ascension in Luke-Acts," Tyndale Bulletin 37 (1986): 29-59.

Thomas Renz, "Proclaiming the future: history and theology in prophecies against Tyre," Tyndale Bulletin 51.1 (2000): 17-58.

The remaining articles will appear as I receive permission from the authors.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Vox Evangelica Volume 3 (1964) now on-line

The following articles are now available in PDF:

L.C. Allen, "The Old Testament in Romans I-VIII," Vox Evangelica 3 (1964): 6-41.

An extremely detailed study - still being quoted in new studies on the subject.

A.E. Cundall, "Antecedents of the Monarchy in Ancient Israel," Vox Evangelica 3 (1964): 42-51.

Arthur Cundall wrote the Tyndale Commentary on Judges.

R.P. Martin, "A Footnote to Pliny's Account of Christian Worship," Vox Evangelica 3 (1964): 51-57.

Judging by my site logs Ralph P. Martin's study in Volume 2 has attracted a great deal of interest. Here he rounds off his study by looking at a piece of 2nd Century evidence.

H.D. McDonald, "The Changing Emphasis in the Doctrine of Providence," Vox Evangelica 3 (1964): 58-75.

H.H. Rowden, "Secession from the Established Church in the Early Nineteenth Century," Vox Evangelica 3 (1964): 76-88.

Journal of Evangelical Theological Society on-line

Volume 12 (1969) through 48 (1995) of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society are now available on-line at the Society's website. This is a tremendous resource and over the next few weeks I will be adding direct links to most of the articles from the relevant pages on biblicalstudies.org.uk as time permits.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Robert Gurney's response to Ernest Lucas

Ernest C. Lucas criticized Robert Gurney's interpretation of Daniel 11:40-45 in his commentary on Daniel (Apollos Old Testament Commentary 20, Inter-Varsity Press, Illinois), in 2002. Dr Gurney has responded to this criticism in his new edition of God in Control. His interpretation of Daniel 11:40-45, together with his response to the criticism, can be found in the latter part of Chapter 7, from page 8 onwards.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

BiblicalStudies.org.uk's ClustrMap


In November I added ClustrMaps to all 4 of my sites and to their related blogs and subscribed to the paid service for www.biblicalstudies.org.uk. As I have mentioned before, one of the purposes of the sites is to make available the results of Christian scholarship in countries where it would be impossible to obtain by any other means. Although the maps do not records every visitor to the site (only those who arrive via the homepage) they reassure me that this goal is being attained.

Here is a close up of Europe:
















of Africa






















and Asia:

D.A. Carson on Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel

The following article is now available in PDF:

D.A. Carson, "Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel: After Dodd, What?" R.T. France & David Wenham, eds., Gospel Perspectives, Vol. 2: Studies of History and Tradition in the Four Gospels. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981. pp.83-145.

My thanks to Professor Carson and Continuum Publishing for their kind permission.

Stephen H. Travis on Form Criticism

The following article is now on-line in PDF:

Stephen H. Travis, "Form Criticism," I. Howard Marshall, ed., New Testament Interpretation: Essays on Principles and Methods, 1977. Carlisle: The Paternoster Press, revised 1979. Pbk. ISBN: 0853644241. pp.153-164.

This is a very helpful introduction to the subject.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Exeter University Christian Union Takes Legal Action

Press Release
5 January 2007

CHRISTIAN STUDENTS FIRST IN UK TO TAKE THEIR STUDENT UNION AND UNIVERSITY TO COURT OVER HUMAN RIGHTS

CHRISTIAN students at Exeter University are the first in the UK to take legal action under the Human Rights Act against their Student Guild and University.

The Executive Committee of the Exeter University Evangelical Christian Union has today (5JAN) issued proceedings in the High Court seeking a Judicial Review of the decision to suspend the Christian Union from the Guild of Students; such acts by the Guild violating the rights of association of religious bodies. The Court will be asked to quash the decision to suspend. The committee has also instructed Paul Diamond, a leading Civil Rights Barrister to represent them.

The action was taken after the students advised both the Guild and the university authorities that it had failed to support their right as Christians to the freedoms of speech, belief and association.

The 50-year-old Christian Union (CU) at Exeter University is currently suspended from the official list of student societies on campus, has had its Student Union bank account frozen, and has been banned from free use of Student Guild premises, or advertising events within Guild facilities, because the Student Guild claims the CU constitution and activities do not conform to its Equal Opportunties Policies, which have only recently been introduced.

A Letter before Action to the Guild, and to the University's Registrar was served, on behalf of the whole Christian Union in December, advising that proceedings would commence unless the Exeter Christian Union was fully re-instated as a student society by the Guild with full rights and was allowed to call itself the Christian Union.

The Guild has refused to reinstate, and therefore the Evangelical CU has advised that their action will be taken under the Human Rights Act 1998, and the Education (No.2) Act 1986.

Ben Martin, a member of the CU committee in Exeter said: "Legal action was the very last thing we wanted to take.

"We are all students trying to concentrate on our studies, but the action by the Guild, in blatant infringement of our rights, and their reluctance to reinstate us, has left us with no alternative."
The Guild had suggested to the CU that mediation and negotiation might help, but the CU is adamant that when it comes to fundamental human rights, "there is nothing to mediate or negotiate about," added Mr Martin. He stressed, however, that if the Guild had reinstated the CU as a full society, then he and others would have been happy to meet with the Guild and look afresh at how its Equal Opportunities policies related to religious societies.

The CU expects a first hearing of the case in the High Court in London around March/April.
Ends.

Editor's Notes

1. The saga started in May this year when one student felt the CU was too exclusive for him. Student Guild officers allowed him to propose a name change to the 'Evangelical Christian Union' at an up-coming Extra-ordinary Annual General Meeting of the Guild. No official notice of the motion had been served on the CU, but his motion was passed by 54 to 50. The Guild subsequently ratified the vote and forced the CU to call themselves the 'Evangelical Christian Union' from that moment on. The CU believes that whilst the word 'evangelical' has a clear historic meaning, its contemporary usage is ill-defined and can be very misleading and was being forced upon them in order to make them appear extreme and exclusive.

2. The 'ECU' leaders appealed, and proposed a name reversal motion at the Guild's normal Annual General Meeting held in June 2006. That motion was successful, but the Guild Officers refused to ratify it, and instead, called for a vote of the entire 13,000-strong student population – despite the fact that just one student had made the initial complaint.

3. Hustings and voting took place 9-13 October with 55 per cent of voting students agreeing the CU should be called the Evangelical Christian Union. However, Guild rules state that 10 per cent of students must vote to make it valid, but only five per cent took part. So the Students' Guild had to ratify the motion which they duly did.

4. Whilst the referendum was underway, the Guild allowed a proposed motion to suspend the ECU with immediate effect, and for all the 'Guild privileges' to be denied. The Guild said the CU failed to comply with the Equal Opportunities Policy of the Guild.

5. It appears that unless the CU disassociate themselves from the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF), the national body of which they are a part, and stop the practice of asking committee members and speakers to sign their Doctrinal Basis, they could be permanently banned from the Guild. They will also continue to have their student union bank account frozen, and will be charged the going rate for rooms or facilities within the Guild's jurisdiction for events or advertising.

***

There is a related article in Christianity Today.