Monday, July 31, 2006

Formation of the Gospels article on-line

Thanks to the good fellas at Apollos my article "The Formation of the Gospels in the Setting of Early Christianity: the Jesus Tradition as Corporate Memory," Westminster Theological Journal 67.1 (2005): 113-94 is now available on-line.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Churches of Asia - Revelation and Paul

In reading through Kee (Beginnings of Christianity, 331, n. 40) I thought it was interesting to note that the letters addressed to the seven churches of Revelation 1-3 are located in an area where Paul, according Acts 16.7, was forbidden from going to. Several short implications come to my mind:

(1) Was the prohibition due to the fact that Paul did not want to tread on someone elses (i.e. John's) territory (cf. Rom. 15.20)? Or did John and the Johannine circle fill in the gap left by Paul's failure to plant churches there himself? (I have to ask where does the church at Colossae and Laodicea fit into all this as well?)

(2) What does this tell us about Luke? Did Luke want to explain why no Pauline churches were established in the interior parts of Asia Minor? Or (and what I think more likely) is that Luke had genuine knowledge of Paul's itinerary.

SNTS 2006 Paper - Kloppenborg on James

One interesting paper given at SNTS was J.S. Kloppenborg: James, Diaspora, and Exemplarity. Here's the blurb.

James 1:1, 'to the twelve tribes in the Diaspora', has routinely been interpreted contrary to its literal sense as an address to Jewish-Christians or to Christians in general living 'metaphorically' in the Diaspora, away from their spiritual home. This paper argues that Jas 1:1 is to be taken in its ordinary sense, and that hte letter was (fictively) addressed to Judaeans of the Diaspora (who may have included members of the Jesus movement). The paper is then concerend with the problems of how an author, (ostensibly) writing to a general audience of Judaeans, establishes ethos , according to Aristled the key means of persuasion. The author does so by invoking and emulating exemplary figures of Israel's past, in particular Solomon, the hero par excellence of biblical wisdom, and for members of the Jesus movement, Jesus himself.
Summary of key points:

- In 1.1 "diaspora" is to be taken literally, to Jews in foreign lands.

- In 1.1 we have "the Lord Jesus Christ" not "our Lord Jesus Christ" implying that the addresees did not necessarily revere Jesus Christ in the same way as the author, although the author clearly identifies with the Jesus movement.

- In 2.1 "brothers" does not necessarily means Christians, but fellow Judaeans.

- In 2.1. Kloppenborg maks a conjectural emmandation whereby the phrase "Jesus Christ" is regarded as an interpolation in the text, so it originally read "our glorious Lord".

- The "royal law" (2.8), "implanted word" (1.21), and "word of truth" (1.18) refer to the Torah and not to Christian proclamation.

- There are echoes of the Jesus Tradition in the letter but it is subtle and only evident to those who know the tradition. James engages in an oblique rebuff of Paul, but without naming him, and in so doing addresses a standard Jewish debate about the nature of true "righteousness".

- Therefore, there is no single feature of the letter that proves that a Christian audience was in mind. This stands in some relation to other proposals like that of A.H. McNeil who supposed that James wrote to Jews in order to show the highest ideals of Judaism were to be found in Jesus and Dale C. Allison who thinks that the author wanted to promote an irenic relationship with Jews.

- According to Kloppenborg the form of the epistle is that of a "diaspora letter" similar to 2, 4 Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremiah. He makes a comparison with 4QMMT (nothing the differences too) where one religious leader tries to persuade another. Kloppenborg also places James in the context of Greco-Roman literature, so at the end of the day the letter of James is somewhat of a hybrid Christianized version of 4QMMT with Stoic influences.

- As such the concern of James is bi-focal: (1) A general Jewish audience with a strong emphasis on Torah-piety and the Wisdom of Solomon; and (2) A Christian audience, a subset of the first audience, who can recognize the Christian coding in the letter (e.g. Jesus Tradition).

My response:

(1) On "diaspora" in 1.1, the same concept emerges in 1 Pet. 1.1 where I think it is obviously "spiritualized" or at least applied to Christians. The only other use of the diaspora image in the NT is one that is fully Christian. I wouldn't argue that "diaspora" was a technical term designating Christians, but I think such language was frequently used to describe Christians. Of course, if we take "diapora" literally do we have to do the same with "twelve tribes" too? Did the author think that he was really addressing the 12 tribes, 10 of which hadn't been seen since the 7th century BC and some rabbinic authors had given up hope of ever seeing them again. Whereas, "diaspora" is somewhat ambiguous as to who it designates, I think alot of language surrounding the number "12" in the NT (e.g. Mark 3.13-13, all over Revelation) is explicitly symbolic of Christians who are the new Israel.

(2) On 2.1 with "Jesus Christ" as an interpolation, not likely in my mind. There are examples of the same phrase elsewhere in the NT. I don't see enough problems with the grammar or confusion with variants to warrant a conjectural emmandation.

(3) On implanted word, royal law, and word of truth, it could go either way. "Royal law" is quite probably Torah, but "word of truth" and "implanted word" certainly have Christian overtones. In fact, I'm certain that "word of truth" was very nearly a technical term for Christian paranesis in some places (e.g. Jn. 17.17; Eph. 1.13; Col. 1.5; 2 Tim. 2.15; Heb. 5.12). Additionally, the reference in 1.18 to "he chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created" sounds pretty Christian to me.

(4) Is "Lord" in James (with the exception of 1.1) only ever a reference to YHWH? In Christian usage the Hebrew Tetragrammaton (YHWH) is usually designated with an anarthrous Kurios while the titular ho Kurios most frequently denotes Jesus Christ (HT: Larry Hurtado's question to Kloppenborg in the Q-A).

(5) I think James supposes a rural agrarian setting rather than one set in the urban centres of the diaspora.

(6) I believe that 5.7 is a pretty clear reference to the parousia (I confess that I don't remember or didn't hear Kloppenborg's explanation of that one).

The problem is, and I think Kloppenborg and Allison are trying to address it in their own way, to account for the fact that we have a very Jewish letter here, obviously written by a Christian, but it has so little explicitly Christian content. Is that because the author simply drew on a synagogue sermon and made a few cosmetic Christian changes (Dibelius), because it was written largely to non-Christian Jews (McNeil, Kloppenborg, Allison), or because the author drew on the traditions most familar to him (Jewish Wisdom, Jesus Tradition, or perhaps even Stoicism [?]) in order to offer exhortation and spiritual discipline to a group of Jewish-Christians located somewhere in rural Syria? As the flurry of commentaries by Allison, Kloppenborg, Painter, and McKnight come out we can look forward to seeing how they answer such a question.

Meme on Books

Being the victim to fashion and peer pressure that I am, I have added my own two cents to the recent 'meme' of books that have influenced me. I have also resisted the temptation to name the Bible in any of the below:

1. One book that changed your life:

N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:

Mark A. Seifrid, Christ, our Righteousness.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:

The Complete Works of Shakespeare and NT Diglot

4. One book that made you laugh:

Brother Biddle (can't remember the author, it's a comic strip about a presbyterian pastor, absolutely hillarious).

5. One book that made you cry:

Cry? Me? Never? Well, accept with Bruce Longenecker, The Letter's of Pergamum. I love you Antipas!

6. One book that you wish had been written:

Q !!!

7. One book that you wish had never been written:

The Left Behind Series

8. One book you’re currently reading:

Todd Penner, In Praise of Christian Origins.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:

Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology (just finished it too)

10: One book you wish you had written:

Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code (With the money I made I could have gone on the mother-of-all sabbaticals, bought my college, relocated it to Brisbane Australia, and have the board make me "Chancellor-for-life" and spent the rest of my life writing massive tomes on Jesus, Paul, John and James).

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Back from SNTS

Just got back from Aberdeen and had a top time at SNTS, with both people and papers. I also caught up with some old friends like Michael Lattke and many of the Aberdeen Ph.D canidates like Preston, Roh, Ozzy and Joey who always warm my heart when I share their company. It was a job well done by Francis Watson and the divinity faculty in organizing the event and it all went well (even when the police had to get involved!).

Forgive the endemic 'name dropping' but I met some good people. At a dinner I had the pleasure of sitting between Jimmy Dunn and Marianne Thompson which was great - Christianity in the Making volume 2 is about 2 years away. It was good to learn that there is at least one biblical scholar in the world shorter than me, i.e. Richard Bauckham. Always good to have a chat with David Wenham, I. Howard Marshall, and Craig Blomberg too. I finally got acquainted with two great Aussie scholars in the line of Bill Loader and John Painter over breakfast. It was wonderful that Christoph Stenschke introduced himself to me and we chatted about German politics and the benefits of scholarship - a most likable fellow. Probably a big highlight for me was lunch with Mark Seifrid which I had been looking forward to for weeks. I helped Richard Hays find his room and the restaurant so I figure that he owes me a coke (I may call that one up one day). Ulrich Luz stood behind me one day and started adjusting my collar without being asked (or invited) but that was cool. Chris Stanley is an energetic and interesting fellow to talk too, a funny guy as well. I started chatting to the only other red head there only to learn that it was noneother than Beverly Gaventa. Also attended my first service in Deutsche and apart from 'unser vater' and a few verses in the Hymn it didn't make a lot of sense.

I picked up a coupel of cheap books including Luke 1 by F. Bovon and Colossians by M.M. Thompson.

The group seminars I went to weren't great, but the main papers were pretty good. I will post some thoughts and notes about some of the papers in the next few days.

Leon Morris passes away

Sadly, Leon Morris passed away on Monday at the age of 92. Leon is probably one of the greatest evangelical scholars ever to come out of Australia. His work on the atonement in the New Testament (esp. in combat with Dodd) in without peer, while his commentaries on Matthew, Luke, John, Romans, Revelation, 1-2 Thessalonians, studies on Johannine theology and also NT Theology made a visible contribution to NT scholarship and preaching of the Word through-out the world. May he enjoy eternity doing what he would probably want to do most of all: kneel before the throne of the Lamb of God.

See posts by Justin Taylor, Peter Head, and Scot McKnight

Monday, July 24, 2006

Off to SNTS

Tomorrow morning I'm heading off to attend the prestigious Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas being held at Aberdeen this year. I was lucky enough to get an invitation from my Doktorvater Rick Strelan. The seminar list looks quite interesting:

Catholic Epistles and Apostolic Traditions (Katholische Briefe und Aposteltraditionen) (Profs E. Baasland, K.W. Niebuhr and R. Wall).

Colossians (Profs P. Müller and W. Popkes).

The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament: Language, Culture, Ideas (Docent Dr. L. Rydbeck and Prof. S. E. Porter).

The Greek of the New Testament (Profs C. C. Caragounis and J. W. Voelz).
Inhalte und Probleme einer neutestamentlichen Theologie (Profs U. Schnelle and M. Seifrid).

The Johannine Writings (Prof. Dr R. Bieringer and Prof. C. R. Koester).

The LXX and the NT (Profs W. Kraus and W. R. G. Loader).

The Mission of the Church: Exegesis and Hermeneutics (Profs H. Kvalbein, T. Okure and D. Patte).

New Challenges for New Testament Hermeneutics in the 21st century (Profs. B. McLean & O. Wischmeyer).

The New Testament in History and Culture (Profs R. Fowler, W. Kelber and B. Olsson).

The New Testament, Oral Culture and Bible Translation (Drs P. H. Towner and G. L. Yorke; advisory co-chair Prof. J. D. G. Dunn).

Paul and Rhetoric (Profs P. Lampe and J. P. Sampley).

The Pseudepigrapha and Christian Origins (Profs J. H. Charlesworth and G. S. Oegema).

The Reception of Paul (Profs D. Marguerat and D. Moessner)

Shaping Traditions about Jesus (Profs I. Gruenwald and P. Pokorny).

Textual Criticism (Profs H-G. Bethge and J.K. Elliott).
I'm not a 100% on which seminars I'll be attending, but something like Colossians, the LXX and the NT, and Shaping Jesus Traditions sounds good to me.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The New Covenant People in the NT

I'm currently reading through Howard Clark Kee, The Beginnings of Christianity: An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: T&T Clark/Continuum, 2005) which is essentially a Christian Origins approach to a NT introduction. Kee makes some interesting points about the teaching of the new covenant people in the NT and the Apostolic Fathers:

Jesus’ teaching about the new covenant people of God in the Gospels:

1. How one becomes a member of new people of God.
2. How one is to live in relation to God, other members, and the wider world.
3. How one is to celebrate membership.
4. What one is to expect as God fulfils his purpose for and through his people.
[I wonder if this kind of stuff would make better subject matter for a church membership class than some of the Baptist booklets that I've seen, read, and had re-read to me again and again or every time I moved and changed church and applied for membership].

The teachings about the church in the apostolic fathers and Didache.

1. The prospect of martyrdom for those committed to Jesus and the new community.
2. The need for obedience to leaders in the church.
3. How Christianity is to be differentiated from Judaism
4. How Christians are to behave within their own community and the wider world
5. What is true of Christian doctrine and what Christians should expect in the future.
[Maybe this stuff was emphasized in the apostolic fathers and didache, but I'm fairly sure that I could find these themes in the Gospels, Acts, Paul and Catholic epistles in varying degrees. Sounds alot like Hebrews to be honest.]

In some, I like the first set of points, but I'm not so sure that the second set of points represents a distinct development in the post-apostolic period.

Howard Clark Kee, The Beginnings of Christianity: An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: T&T Clark/Continuum, 2005), 64-65.

McKnight on Seven Theological Convictions of Paul

Paul’s theology is not systematics; instead, he is grasped best when at least the following seven Pauline principles are kept on the table as we proceed through his letters. First, the gospel is the grace of God in revealing Jesus and Messiah and Lord for everyone who believes; second, everyone stands behind one fo the twin heads of humanity, Adam and Christ; third, Jesus Christ is the centre stage, and it is participation in him that transfers a person from the Adam line to the Christ line; fourth, the church is the body of Christ on earth; fifth, (salvation-)history does not begin with Moses but with Abraham and the promise God gave to him, and finds its crucial turning point in Jesus Christ – but will run its course until the consummation in the glorious Lordship of Christ over all; sixth, Christian behaviour is determined by the Holy Spirit, not the Torah; seventh, Paul is an apostle and not a philosopher or systematic theologian. These principles spring into action when Paul meets his various threats (circumcision, wisdom, gifts, works of Torah, ethnocentrism, flesh, rival leaders, and eschatological fights about the Parousia or the general resurrection).
Scot McKnight, Jesus and His Death: Historiography, The Historical Jesus, and Atonement Theory (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2005), 374.

J.A.T. Robinson on Historical Tradition and the Fourth Gospel

Yet when we come to the teaching of Jesus we see him [John] using a different technique to the same end, though the difference is one of degree rather than of kind, for the works and words of Jesus are not sharply distinguished. John is still concerned with what Jesus is really saying and meaning, and the words, like his actions, can be understood at different levels. Yet he does not simply set them down straight, and then comment upon them – allowing the sayings and their interpretation to stand side by side, with the raw material presented in its untreated state. Rather, it is worked up; the interpretation is thoroughly assimilated and integrated.
J.A.T. Robinson, The Priority of John (Oak Park, IL: Meyer Stone, 1987), 72.

I have two questions about this comment:

(1) Is it a fair assessment of how John simultaneously transmits and interprets the Jesus tradition so that memory, history, hermeneutics, and theology are all intertwined?

(2) Could this statement be applied to the canonical Gospels as a whole?

In an on-line interview with Alan Bandy, Craig Evans made some similar remarks about John and History (see the remarks here).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Harnack on the Significance of Paul

One might write a history of dogma as a history of the Pauline reactions in the church, and in doing so would touch on all the turning points of the history. Marcion after the Apostolic Fathers; Irenaeus, Clement and Origen after the Apologists; Augustine after the Fathers of the Greek Church; the great Reformers of the Middle Ages from Agobard to Wessel in the bosom of the medieval Church; Luther after the Scholastics; Jansenism after the Council of Trent; everywhere it has been Paul, in these men, who produced the Reformation. Paulinism has proved to be a ferment in the history of dogma, a basis it has never been.

Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma (trans. Neil Buchanan; Boston: Little, Brown, 1901), 1.136.

Position at Malyon College

My old seminary Malyon College (formerly Queensland Baptist College of Ministries) in Brisbane, Australia is seeking a new lecturer in the field of either: Old Testament, Missiology, or Pastoral Studies. For further information read the advertisement.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Reforming Reformed Theology

At the Tyndale Conference Andrew McGowan (principal of HTC) presented an excellent paper on the doctrine of Scripture. One thing caught my hears: Karl Barth noted that the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) spends between 70-80% of its sections dealing with individual salvation and personal assurance. That made me think of two things:

1. Surely the issue of how humanity gets right with good should not occupy such a large proportion of theology. The danger I feel is that theological discourse shifts the focus from God (i.e. theology proper), to what God does for humanity (soteriology and anthropology). The trend since the reformation, from Melanchthon to Tillich, has been to reduce Christology to soteriology and likewise reduces Christology to anthropology (i.e. Christology is how Christ saves sinners). I'm not trying to hack on the WCF (me genoito), but I think that Christian Theology should have as its backbone Theos and Christos and not an ordo salutis. To over emphasize soteriology (even for a good cause) can inevitably lead to too much anthropology and to a liberalism that has little place for God. So what is the goal of theology or what should a confession try to do? The goal of Christian Theology is to set forth the sheer God-ness of God and the magnificence of Jesus the Messiah for the Christian life.

2. The WCF was written to address the prevailing problems of its own day esp. debates over salvation; but the issues of today are different. Perhaps we need a new confession that deals not so much with personal soteriology, but grapples with other burning issues like sexuality, hermeneutics, bio-ethics, culture, globalisation, Islam, Israel, women in ministry, etc.

Highlights from Tyndale Conference

These include:

(1) Chris Wright's lecture on social transformation and mission.

Chris did a good job of describing the social concerns of the OT and its NT appropriation. He also said that the issue of balancing social justice and evangelism continues to plague evangelicalism. He didn't like the notion of the "priority" of evangelism since "priority" all to quickly becomes "only". Instead he preferred the "ultimacy" of evangelism.

(2) Drinkies with Steve Walton and Paul Woodbridge at a pub called "The Leopard".

(3) The realization that about 10% of the conference participants were Australian.

All of the Aussies were from NSW except me being from QLD. Oh, the joy in informing these NSWer's that QLD beat NSW in the deciding State of Origin match (i.e. rugby league version of the super bowl).

(4) Gary Burge's paper, "Land inheritance the ethics of the OT prophets for Christian views of justice".

Superb presentation on the mis-application of the OT passages to the situation in the middle east. There are even Christians out there who think that Israel should conquer the land in the same manner as Joshua did and simply drive out or exterminate the populance. I also learnt that the most popular text in Palestinian Christian circles is 1 Kings 21 on Naboth's Vineyard.

(5) K.A. Kitchen's paper on ANE archaeology and the OT.

I liked his point that we should be modest and not minimalist in our conclusions (I couldn't help but think of Jim West and Joe Cathy here).

(6) I. Howard Marshall taking notes.

Howard Marshall has probably forgotten more than many us will ever know about the NT; but at every session he attended this fella took notes. This taught me a few things: the learning never stops and always take a notebook and pen to a lecture no matter what topic, lecturer, or ocassion.

(7) Meeting 3 Italian guys at the conference who were rather thrilled (to say the least) by Italy's semi-final victory over Germany.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Augustine on the Purpose of Romans

After finishing a book on Paul and arguing at length that Romans is concerned both with ethnocentrism and a quasi-legalism (what I call "ethnocentric nomism") I discovered that Augustine himself said something similar long ago:

The Letter of Paul to the Romans, in so far as one can understand its literal content, poses a question like this: whether the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ came to Jews alone because of their merits through the works of the law, or whether the justification of faith that is in Christ Jesus came to all nations, without any preceding merits for works. In this last instance, people would believe not because they were just, but justified through belief; they would then begin to live justly. This then is what the apostle intended to teach: that the grace of the Gospel of Lord Jesus Christ came to all people. He thereby shows why one calls this “grace,” for it was given freely, and not as a repayment of a debt of righteousness.
Paula Fredriksen Landes, Unfinished Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans I.1, Text and Translations 23, Early Christian Literature, series 6, ed. Robert L. Wilken and William R. Schoedel (Chico, CA: Scholars, 1982), 53.

Why Reformed and NPP commentators have missed this passage remains oblivious to me. Of course, I count myself among the ignorant!

Romans Commentaries 1532-1542

I am grateful to Gerald Bray who not only alerted me to the existence of T.H.L. Parker's book Commentaries on Romans 1532-1542, but even sent me a copy he found on sale!

During this period no fewer than 35 commentaries were published! Parker surveys 11 of them including:


Cardinal Caietan
Gagney of Paris
Cardinal Marino Grimani
Guilliaud of Paris and Autun
Haresche of Paris
Cardinal Sadoleto


Martin Bucer
H. Bullinger
Pellican of Zurich
John Calvin
Philip Melanchthon

Parker looks at three key passages: Rom. 1.18-23; 2.13-16, and 3.20-28.

Riveting stuff, esp. what different guys have to say on 2.13-16!

I particularly found interesting the notes on Martin Bucer who has always intrigued me. Martin Bucer appears (I think) to have understood Rom. 2.13-16 to be refering to Christians since only those who are devoted to the Law can actually do the law. The works of the law which justify are Christ's works operating in us through faith [This reminds me of Seifrid in many ways]. Bucer also takes the "works of the law" in 3.20 to be "ceremonies", but it is used as a synecdoche and stands for the whole law. Many of the Reformers, esp. Calvin, repudiated the idea that the works of the law denotes the ceremonial law.

Karl Barth on Evangelical Theology

Over the summer I plan on reading Karl Barth's Evangelical Theology: An Introduction. Here is an interesting quote I found this morning.

[T]he theology to be introduced here is evangelical theology. The qualifying attribute “evangelical” recalls both the New Testament and at the same time the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Therefore, it may be taken as a dual affirmation: the theology to be considered here is the one which, nourished by the hidden sources of the documents of Israel’s history, first achieved unambiguous expression in the writings of the New Testament evangelists, apostles, and prophets; it is also, moreover, the theology newly discovered and accepted by the Reformation of the sixteenth century. The expression “evangelical,” however, cannot and should not be intended and understood in a confessional, that is, in a denominational and exclusive, sense. This is forbidden first of all by the elementary fact that “evangelical” refers primarily and decisively to the Bible, which is in some way respected by all confessions. Not all so-called “Protestant” theology is evangelical theology; moreover, there is also evangelical theology in the Roman Catholic and Eastern orthodox worlds, as well as in many later variations, including deteriorations, of the Reformation departure. What the word “evangelical” will objectively designate is that theology which treats of the God of the Gospel. “Evangelical” signifies the “catholic,” ecumenical (not to say “conciliar”) continuity and unity of this theology. Such theology intends to apprehend, to understand, and to speak of the God of the Gospel, in the midst of the variety of other theologies and (without any value-judgment being implied) in distinction from them. This is the God who reveals himself in the Gospel, who himself speaks to men and acts among and upon them. Wherever he becomes the object of human science, both its source and its norm, there is evangelical theology.
Karl Barth, Evangelical Theology: An Introduction (trans. Grover Foley; Great Britain: Collins, 1963), 11-12.

Anything that makes us ponder the meaning of "evangelical" in "evangelical theology" is worth reading!

Also in the introduction (p. 9) Barth says "But many things can be meant by the word 'God'." This reminded me of NT Wright and his book NTPG who is consistent, albeit eccentric, in his use of "god" in the lower case on the grounds that the word does not have any meaning until you define it. I'm assuming that the goal of COQG (Christians Origins and the Question of God) is take readers from "god" to "God revealed in Jesus Christ".

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Uniting Church of Australia

The UCA is the most liberal and most declining denomination in Australia. A group of orthodox believers in the UCA look like they have finally decided to depart from the denomination and set up their own affiliate organization (many already have when presbyteries were permitted to ordain gay clery). You can read an article about it in the Australian Newspaper. The national assembly website is located here where more news is available. For more info on evangelicals in the UCA see the Reforming Alliance who it seems has failed to reform the UCA!

I know some good folks in the UCA and it is such a pity that they feel that they can no longer stay, but it was inevitable. Please uphold the embattled orthodox believers in your prayers. It looks like the battle is lost and now begins the struggle to retain church property.

Evangelical Review of Theology 30.3 (2006)

The latest issue of ERT is out and includes the following:

David Hilborn and Don Horrocks
Universalism and Evangelical Theology

Brian Edgar
Biotheology: Theology, Ethics and the New Biotechnologies

Bonjour Bay
Glossolalia in Korean Christianity: An Historical Survey

Minho Song
Contextualization and Discipleship

John Lewis
Farewell Gerasenes: A Bible Study on Mark 5:1-20

Corinthians Commentaries

As I'm getting ready to run an honours level course on 1 Corinthians, I've had good fun checking out some commentaries on them. I am quite impressed with Richard B. Hay's volume in the Interpretation series. In particular, it has a good mix of exegetical comment and also practical application. Hay's notes on the Last Supper are worth the price of the book itself. I'd place this under Thiselton as the number two commentary on 1 Corinthians. If you're teaching or preaching through 1 Corinthians make sure you at least check out Hays on this NT epistle. Some of his comments could easily constitute points for your sermon!

I am currently reading through Craig Keener in the NCBC series also but will have to wait before I render a verdict on its utility for teaching and preaching. I've also used Wolfgang Schrage a little, but I need to improve my German and gain access to it again before really grappling with his approach to 1 Corinthians. I found Richard Horsley a bit disappointing, but I still go back to Gordon Fee (NICNT) for his excellent treatment of the letter. Sadly, I have not used Ben Witherington much and do not know how good his volume is or is not.

Any other commentaries on 1 Corinthians that you have found useful?