Monday, August 29, 2011

Colin Buchanan on Epaphroditus' Sickness and Philippians

The following article is now available on-line via link on the new additions page:

Colin O. Buchanan, "Epaphroditus' Sickness and Philippians," The Evangelical Quarterly 36.3 (July-Sept. 1964): 157-168.

Reproduced by kind permission of the author.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Eugene Nida 1914-2011

Eugene A. Nida (1914-2011)
Eugene Nida, one of the most influential Bible translators and developer of the Dynamic Equivilence translation system died in Brussels on 25th August at the grand old age of 96. His obituary can be found on the United Bible Societies website. His Wikipedia entry is also worth consulting.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Peter W. Ensor on The Authenticity of John 12.24

The following article is now on-line in PDF. Visit the latest additions page for the link:

Peter W. Ensor, "The Authenticity of John 12.24," The Evangelical Quarterly 74.2 (Apr.-June 2002): 99-107.

My thanks to Dr Ensor for his kind permission to reproduce his article.

Solomon's Return to Egypt in 1 Kings 1-12

My favourite biblical genre is Old Testament narrative, particularly that of Genesis and the books of Kings. Occasionally one comes across an article that demonstrates once again the exquisite literary art and subtlety of the these texts cause you to begin to frame sermons in your mind as you read them. Such an article is that  by Yong Ho Jeon, published in the latest edition of Tyndale Bulletin. Jeon summarises the fruits of the latest scholarship on 1 Kings 1-12 and brings together the best insights from this to demonstrate how the author incorporates the motifs of both "exodus" and "return to Egypt" into his description and critique of the reign of Solomon. The article will not be available online for 5 years, so here is a quote [from pp.31-32] to illustrate what I mean and hopefully, encourage you to obtain a copy of the full article:
The 'return to Egypt motif has been noticed only fragmentarily by some scholars who observe Solomon's becoming a 'Pharaoh', especially in chapter 9, where Solomon is described as imitating an Egyptian tyrant in implementing his enormous building project and [p.32] maintaining a standing army and forced labour system. In his building project, 'store cities', 'chariot cities', and 'cavalry cities' especially remind the reader of Egypt. Even though the Israelites do not go back to Egypt in a geographical sense, the Israelite kingdom itself is becoming an Egypt in a metaphorical sense. Additionally, the Israelites' complaint after Solomon's death (12:4), reveals, that Solomon loaded on them a heavy yoke and disciplined them with whips, that he exploited and oppressed them (12:4, 10-11, 14) just as Pharaoh had done to their ancestors (cf. 8:51); that is, the Israelites experienced a similar thing to their ancestors. In other words, they have been living in an 'Egypt' under Solomon's reign. However, in fact, the 'return to Egypt' motif is already observed in Solomon's becoming Pharaoh's son-in-law (3:1) at an early stage. The frequent mentions of 'Pharaoh's daughter' throughout the narrative (3:1; 7:8; 9:16, 24; 11:1), and, more directly, the mention of Solomon's making ships on the seashore of 'the Red Sea' (9:26) and sending his men to Egypt to buy Egyptian horses and chariots (10:28-29), betray the progressive development of the 'return to Egypt motif as the narrative unfolds. Furthermore, the fact that the leader of the northern ten tribes, Jeroboam, is portrayed as a new Moses who has escaped being killed by a tyrant (11:40), and at last succeeds in delivering his people from the heavy yoke of the tyrant (12:3-20), also shows that the previous condition of the Israelites was like the one to which the original Moses was sent by God to save his people.
Yong Ho Jeon, "The Retroactive Re-Evaluation Technique with Pharoah's Daughter and the Nature of Solomon's Corruption in 1 Kings 1-12," Tyndale Bulletin 62.1 (2011): 15-40.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Review: "Why God Won't Go Away" by Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath, Why God Won’t Go Away. Is the New Atheism Running on Empty? Thomas Nelson, 2010. Pbk. ISBN: 978-0-8499-4645-5. pp.191.

This book provides an overview and assessment of the “New Atheism” promoted by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens. After introducing its origins in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the movement's major proponents, McGrath moves on to examine its claims and attraction. Part 2 focuses attention on the New Atheism’s three core themes and demonstrates how the movement fails to deal adequately with historical, philosophical and scientific challenges to its assertions. Finally, the author sums up the present state of the New Atheism which, and concludes that while it still continues to have some popular support (particularly on the Web), its intellectual drive seems to have run out of steam.

I found this a very helpful introduction to a movement of which I was before only dimly aware. McGrath applies his broad knowledge of history, science, theology and philosophy to test the claims of the New Atheism. Again and again the movement is demonstrated to be nothing more than hot air; an elitist group increasingly unpopular even amongst atheists. The movement has some appeal at the Sixth form debate level and excels at ridiculing religion, but has little or nothing new of substance to offer.

The one minor grumble I had with the book was on pages 67-68 where McGrath approvingly quotes Professor Robert Pape’s findings in order to demonstrate that the 9/11 attacks (and all other suicide attacks) were political rather religious in motivation. This really does not pass muster as in Islam it is not possible to separate religion and politics into two separate sources of motivation. The 9/11 attacks were therefore motivated by both religion and politics. This undermines McGrath’s argument somewhat at this point.

Apart from this one point I found Why God Won’t Go Away a helpful and enjoyable read and recommend to anyone engaging with the New Atheism, or studying the influence on the Internet on religious thought.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

F.F. Bruce: A Life - A Book Review

There has long been a need for a full biography of the F.F. Bruce, a scholar whose work proved deeply influential on the development of the Evangelical church in the 20th Century. For that reason I was delighted when Paternoster sent me a review copy of Tim Grass’s F.F Bruce: A Life

Having spent a considerable time interviewing friends and colleagues of Bruce around the globe, Tim Grass offers a thorough and at times humourous account of FFB’s life. This is combined with a judicious analysis of both his writings and the development of his thought on a wide range of theological subjects. With such an influential figure it will, I am sure, prove tempting for some to tick-off those subjects on which one agreed or disagreed with Bruce. However, the author attempts to identify how Bruce’s background and upbringing influenced his theology in a number of ways and so will perhaps help readers to recognise their own presuppositions more clearly. The author discusses both Bruce’s strengths and weaknesses and so presents a well-balanced picture of Bruce as a deeply committed Christian and a professional scholar. It is difficult not to be impressed by someone who proofread the entire text of the English translation of Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament whilst travelling on the train to work each day!

The final chapter provides an evaluation of Bruce’s profound influence under three headings: His impact on the Brethren; on evangelicalism generally and, finally, on the world of academic biblical studies. An extensive bibliography of FFB’s works rounds off the volume.

FFB is an inspiration by his example as a biblical scholar seeking to be true to the message of Scripture and I highly commend this book to anyone who, like myself, has benefitted from his works.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Simon Kistemaker on Two Lukan Parables

The following articles are now available online in PDF. Please visit the latest additions page for the links:

Simon Kistemaker, “Shrewd Manager: An Exposition of Luke 16:1-9,” Evangel 2:2 (1984): 13-14.

Simon Kistemaker, “Children in the Market Place,” Evangel 4:2 (1986): 12.

My thanks to Professor Kistemaker for his kind permission.

Paul Williamson on Abraham, Israel and the Church

The following article is now available on-line. Please visit the latest additions page for the link:

Paul Williamson, "Abraham, Israel and the Church," The Evangelical Quarterly 72.2 (Apr.-June 2000): 99-118.

My thanks to Dr Williamson for his kind permission.

Andrew Perriman on Colossians 1:24

The following article is now available on-line. Please visit the latest additions page for the link:

Andrew Perriman, "'His body, which is the church...' Coming to Terms with Metaphor," The Evangelical Quarterly 62.2 (Apr.-June 1990): 123-142.

Andrew Perriman on The Rhetorical Strategy of Galatians 4:21-5:1

The following article is now available on-line. Please visit the latest additions page for the link:

Andrew Perriman, "The Rhetorical Strategy of Galatians 4:21-5:1," The Evangelical Quarterly 65.1 (Jan.-Mar. 1993): 27-42.

My thanks to the author for his kind permission.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Andreas J. Köstenberger on Women in the Church: A Response to Kevin Giles

The following article is now available on my latest additions page:

Andreas J. Köstenberger, "Women in the Church: A Response to Kevin Giles," The Evangelical Quarterly 73.3 (July-Sept. 2001): 205-224.

My thanks to Professor Köstenberger for his king permission to place this article online.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Theology on the Web featured in The Baptist Times

I am delighted to note that the 5th August edition of The Baptist Times in the UK carries an article on page 14 by Professor John Briggs about the work of Theology on the Web, which includes

Help Oxford University Transcribe Papyri from Oxyrhynchus - Greek not essential

Oxford University have requested help in transcribing around 200,000 papyri fragments from Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. Each fragment has been scanned and placed online and volunteers are requested to use the website to identify the letters in the fragment. Knowledge of Greek is not  essential as the site provides help in choosing the appropriate letter. Some are easier than others to do, as the quality of the writing varies considerably while some contain no discernable text at all. To read the full Daily Mail article click here, To visit the Ancient Lives project click here.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Three articles by Michael A.G. Haykin now on-line

The following articles are now available online in PDF. Please visit my Latest Additions page for the links.

Michael A.G. Haykin, "The Fading Vision? The Spirit and Freedom in the Pastoral Epistles," The Evangelical Quarterly 57.4 (Oct.-Dec. 1985): 291-305.

Michael .A.G. Haykin, "Praying Together: A Note on Philemon 22," The Evangelical Quarterly 66.4 (Oct.-Dec. 1994): 331-335.

Michael A.G. Haykin, "The Baptist Identity: A View from the Eighteenth Century," The Evangelical Quarterly 67.2 (Apr.-June 1995): 137-152. [John Sutcliff and the Particular Baptists]

My thanks to Dr Haykin for his kind permission to place his articles on-line. Look out for many more articles from The Evangelical Quarterly going online in the next few months.