Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Logic of Gal. 3.10-14

When feeling well enough I'm continuing to read through Steve Moyise Evoking Scripture. The section on Gal. 3.10-14 was most interesting. The four texts quoted/alluded to here are: Lev. 18.5, Dt. 21.23, 27.26, and Hab. 2.4.

10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." [a] 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because "the righteous will live by faith." [b] 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, "Whoever does these things will live by them." [c] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole." [d] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (TNIV).

a. Galatians 3:10 Deut. 27:26
b. Galatians 3:11 Hab. 2:4
c. Galatians 3:12 Lev. 18:5
d. Galatians 3:13 Deut. 21:23

Moyise schematizes Andrew Das' argument as follows:

1. Dt. 27.26 rightly threatens a curse to all who do not keep the law.
2. It is evident that no one keeps the law perfectly.
3. Hence, everyone is under a curse.

4. Lev. 18.5 promises life to those who keep the law.
5. It is evident that no one keeps the law perfectly.
6. Hence, no one receives life through the law.

The underlying premise here is did the law and subsequent Jewish interpreters believe that the law required perfect obedience? The fact of an atonement system in Judaism and Sanders' critique of Judaism as merit orientated have usually assumed to count a view of perfect obedience as being required for "salvation". What can we say?

First, I think we need to keep in mind Paul's two major universal premises which are (a) universal judgment, and (b) God's desire to bring Gentiles into the family of Abraham. Towards that end, Paul is engaging in a redemptive-historical argument so as to show that the Sinaitic covenant brings curses not life. As the learned Joel Willitts states: "In other words, to be related to the Sinai covenant is to be related to the age (or historical period) of unfaithfulness and judgment (covenantal curse). On the other hand, being related to the new eschaton signified in the terms pistis (3:23) means being related to the age of faithfulness and blessing (covenantal promise) through Christ’s redemption."

Second, whereas Paul’s cites Hab. 2.4 and Lev. 18.5 as evidence of the human inability to do the law, in CD 3.12-17 and Pss. Sol. 14.1-2 we find that Lev. 18.5 is quoted to the effect that keeping the law is indeed possible for Israel.

Third, Jewish authors could maintain a tension between one's ability and inability to fulfil the law. Contrast the following:

1 Enoch 82.4: ‘Blessed are all the righteous ones; blessed are those who walk in the street of righteousness and have no sin like the sinners in the computation of the days in which the sun goes its course in the sky’.

1 Enoch 81.5: ‘Make everything known to your son, Methuselah, and show to all your children that no one of the flesh can be just before the Lord, for they are merely his own creation.’

Fourth, Moyise points out (with reference to Francis Watson) that the Petateuchal promises of life had a conditional quality (e.g. Dt. 4.1 and Ezek. 20.11, 13). As Watson says elsewhere, Torah is both gift and demand. I would add that the system of atonement is only efficacious in the context of covenantal obedience.

Thus, I think that the line of interpretation represented by Das is essentially correct. But see further:

M.F. Bird, SROG, chapter 6.

Joel Willitts, “Context Matters: Paul’s Use of Leviticus 18:5 in Galatians 3:12,” TynBul 54 (2003): 105-22.

Preston Sprinkle, Law and Life (WUNT 2.241; Tuebingen: Mohr/Siebeck, 2008).

Monday, September 29, 2008

Around the Traps

Stuff I've missed of late:

Bob Yarbrough is interviewed by CT about his 1-3 John commentary.

Catholic stuff: On RNS Vatican to reconsider role of Scripture in Catholic Life and Taro Aso is Japan's first Catholic Prime Minister.

Phil Harland is podcasting a series on diversity in early Christianity.

Michael Gorman writes on de-privatising Paul.

If the yanks want a new President, I suggest we give them a loan of Aussie PM Kevin Rudd. Here we have national leader who has actually written an intelligent essay on Dietrich Bonhoeffer and modern politics and religion. The same guy gave a lecture in Beijing in fluent Putonghua (so not only can be find China on a map, he speaks a foreign language!). If only American Presidential candidates were that talented. If, however, being born in the US is a key criterion, then I suggest we offer them Mel Gibson with Joe Lieberman as running mate (Gibson can win the Catholics and California while Lieberman will bring over the Jewish vote and independents). Make Mike Huckabee secretary of state and the whole thing is a slam dunk: the Gibson-Lieberman-Huckabee ticket is the way to go!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

OT Position in Belfast

Belfast Bible College invites applications for the full-time post of Lecturer in Old Testament (commencing Autumn 2009). PhD in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament required. Belfast Bible College, Ireland’s largest evangelical interdenominational college, offers a range of certificate and diploma courses, as well as undergraduate (BD, BTh) and postgraduate (MTh, MPhil, PhD) degrees as a theological college of Queen’s University Belfast. To learn more about the College, this position and how to apply, please visit: www.belfastbiblecollege.com. Applications close October 31, 2008.

OT in the NT

Jim Hamilton posts the audio of an excellent panel discussion at SBTS on the use of the OT in the NT. Includes good discussion on typology and allegory. Hamilton's discussion are worth listening to of themselves.

(Yes, I'm back and currently operating at 85% health wise. Thank you for all your prayers and concerns. My family and I appreciate it. I'm still taking things easy though and resting much).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mike Will Live to Write Another Day

Stop the Festschrifts. Cancel the Eulogies. The reports of Michael F. Bird's death were greatly exaggerated. 

I chatted with Mike today by phone and he was feeling better. What's more his Australian sense of humor was not encumbered by his illness. He is hoping that his better day today is a sign that he is moving to recovery. 

Mike we'll keep praying for you. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Please Pray

I've just been on the phone to Mike who is currently in Raigmore Hospital having over night being diagnosed with viral meningitis. Thankfully it is not bacterial as this is the bad one to get. He is experiencing bad headaches and fevers with a rash. If all goes well he will be discharged this afternoon, with bed rest for up to 2 weeks, he may be fine in a couple of days. Please pray for Mike in his recovery and for the rest of us.... it has been a really hard 24hrs.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in the UK

The Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in Britain project is pleased to announce the dates for our first conference. The conference, entitled 'Exploring Expressions of Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in Early Twentieth-Century Britain', will be held on the 8th and 9th of December 2008 at the University of Oxford. See the website for more info.

Contributors to the project are investigating the ways in which Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism have expressed themselves in the social and historical conditions of Britain and, in particular, the extent to which they have- and have been perceived to have - sanctioned prejudice rather than merely expressing strongly felt convictions.

The central question addressed explores the intersections of identity (who have been Evangelicals and Fundamentalists?), belief (what doctrines have they upheld?), values (what attitudes have they maintained?), emotion (have they displayed the anger often considered characteristic of Fundamentalists?) and practice (what behaviour in specific places have their views legitimated?).

Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek

There are two exciting young guys among the Sydney Anglicans, they are John P. Dickson from the Centre for Public Christianity and Constantine Campbell from Moore College. They are both accomplished musicians, gifted evangelists, and NT scholars! Campbell has a new book out called, Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek.

Synopsis: In this book, Constantine Campbell investigates the function of verbal aspect within the New Testament Greek narrative. The book includes exercises, an answer key, glossary of key concepts, an appendix covering space and time, and an index to Scripture cited.

Description: Verbal aspect in the Greek language has been a topic of significant debate in recent scholarship. The majority of scholars now believe that an understanding of verbal aspect is even more important than verb tense (past, present, etc.). Until now, however, there have been no accessible textbooks, both in terms of level and price (most titles on the topic retail for more than $100). In this book, Constantine Campbell investigates the function of verbal aspect within the New Testament Greek narrative. He has done a marvelous job in this book of simplifying the concept without getting caught up using terms of linguistics that no one except those schooled in that field can understand. The book includes exercises, an answer key, glossary of key concepts, an appendix covering space and time, and an index to Scripture cited. Professors and students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, will use this is as a supplemental text in both beginning and advanced Greek courses. Pastors that study the Greek text will also appreciate this resource as a supplement to their preaching and teaching.

Simon Gathercole on Gos. of Thomas and Paul

In an article by Simon Gathercole on "The Influence of Paul on the Gospel of Thomas (53, 3, & 17)" in Das Thomasevangelium: Entstehung, Rezeption, Theologie, Gathercole argues the possible influence of Paul's language on the Gos. Thom. in three logia:

- Rom. 2.25-3.2 on Gos. Thom. 53 (a high degree of probability).
- Rom. 10.7 and Gos. Thom. 3 (probably reasonable).
- 1 Cor. 2.9 and Gos. Thom. 17 (probably reasonable - Thomas uses a source that has been shaped by Paul's usage of Isaiah 64.65.

Gathercole concludes: "The above has two wider implications for the fields of study mentioned in the introduction: the issue of the Wirkungsgeschichte of Paul in earliest Chrsitianity, and the question of the origins of the Gospel of Thomas. On this latter question, we have further evidence of the Gospel of Thomas's dependence upon the New Testament. Dassmann's comment cited above ['Dass Thomasevangelium aus der Mitte des 2. Jahrhunderts laesst dagegen jeden paulinischen Einfluss vermissen'], to the effect that Paul shows no influence upon the Gospel of Thomas, is almost certainly wrong. Treatments of the origins of GThomas need to take account of the evidence for this Pauline influence. In terms of the issue of the early influence of Paul, recent scholarship has undoubtedly been right to criticise Harnack's extremely minimalistic assessment. To the literature subsequent to Paul which bears the marks of the apostle, we should now add the Gospel of Thomas."

Topics that bore me

In the land of theological, biblical, and religious studies, I find the following subjects boring unto death:

5. Greek accents.
4. Queer hermeneutics.
3. Divine aseity.
2. The ANE roots of Hebrew words.
1. Baptist Church History.

Letters to Bishop Duncan

The TEC House of Bishops has voted to depose Bishop Robert Duncan Anglican Bishop of Pittsuburgh for breaking communion. News of the event is easily found on the regular Anglican websites. I found particularly helpful the letters to Bob Duncan from Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt/North Africa and Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney. It seems that in TEC orthodoxy is the new heresy.

Book Notice: A Concise New Testament Theology

I. Howard Marshall
A Concise New Testament Theology
(Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2008).
Available at Amazon.com

This book is an abridgement and simplification of Howard Marshall's larger work New Testament Theology: Many Witnesses, One Gospel (2004) designed for a wider audience. The book is more accessible to lay persons especially by omitting references to scholarly debates and focusing on a description of the biblical texts themselves. It includes a short introduction to NT Theology, then offers a description of the theological contents of every NT document, and concludes with some thoughts on unity and diversity. Whereas Marshall's New Testament Theology is ideal for seminary courses, but this abridged version naturally lends itself to adult Sunday school classes or anyone in general who wants a good theological overview of the contents of each NT book without being lost in a quandry of scholarly argumentation. A particular highlight of this book is how it integrates the themes of "mission" and "salvation" together. Overall, a good little book to give someone about to head off to seminary or college.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Forthcoming BWIII Books

Two books from Ben Witherington that are coming out from Wipf & Stock in the future include:

1. The Lazarus Effect (with Ann Witherington).

Archaeologist Art West makes the discovery of a lifetime in Jerusalem finding the tombstone of Lazarus, which indicates that Jesus raised him from the dead. But before he can make public his amazing discovery, the stone is stolen, sold to the British Library, and West is implicated in an antiquities fraud that will lead to a trial. West's Jewish and Muslim friends in Jerusalem rally to support West's innocence and to help find the thief who stole the stone, but then West is shot and in critical condition in a Jerusalem hospital. Can the truth be discovered in time, and West's life be saved? And what was on that Aramaic scroll that was found in Lazarus's coffin? In this fast-paced thriller, Ben Witherington, himself a NT scholar with a degree in English literature, together with his wife, Ann, introduces us to the life of an archaeologist and NT scholar and his trials and tribulations when a big find comes to light. Set in the always volatile city of Jerusalem, the Witheringtons reveal the fascinating hidden dimensions of multi-religious life in that Holy Place, and show how even today Christians, Jews, and Muslims can work together so the truth may come to light, and all may experience "the Lazarus Effect"—new life from the dead.

2. New Testament Rhetoric: An Introductory Guide to the Art of Persuasion in and of the New Testament.

I've written an endorsement for this book: "Ben Witherington has produced a sterling volume on ancient rhetoric and its applicability to New Testament studies. Witherington carefully explains the various forms of the rhetorical craft and how the New Testament authors themselves set out to persuade, exhort, rebuke, and encourage their various audiences through use of ancient rhetorical techniques. Importantly, Witherington carefully describes how an understanding of rhetoric affects biblical interpretation and Christian preaching. Anyone who is interested in the contours of early Christian discourse or would like to be able to preach and teach as persuasively as the biblical authors will find this volume highly informative and immensely helpful. Another gem from the pen of Ben!".

For my own views on NT and Rhetoric (i.e. a light handed use of them) see this journal article here.

Witherington gives 10 reasons why rhetoric matters for NT Interpretation:

1. Failure to recognize a propositio (thesis statement) or peroration leads to misunderstanding of the character and themes of a document.

2. Failure to correctly identify the species of rhetoric in a discourse leads to false conclusions.

3. Failure to recognize "impersonation" as a rhetorical device.

4. Failure to recognize the way that a rhetorical comparison works.

5. Failure to see the difference between ancient and modern persuasion.

6. Failure to recognize enthymemes leads to misunderstanding NT arguments.

7. Overlooking the way personificiations work in a rhetorical discourse.

8. Mistaking amplification for either redundancy or for saying more than one thing.

9. Mistaking asiatic rhetoric for verbal excess.

10. The importance of recognizing micro-rhetoric - recognizing a gradatio.

Miroslav Volf on Pacifism and Divine Judgment

Miroslav Volf gives us pause for thought (again):

"[I]n a world of violence it would not be worthy of God not to wield the sword; if God were not angry at injustice and deception and did not make the final end to violence God would not be worthy of our worship .... My Thesis that the practice of nonviolence requires a belief in divine vengeance will be unpopular with many Christians, especially theologians in the West. To the person inclined to dimiss it, I suggest imagining that you are delivering a lecture in a war zone ... Among your listeners are people whose cities and villages have been first plundered, then burned and leveled to the ground, whose daughters and sisters have been raped, whose fathers and brothers have had their throats slit. The topic of the lecture: a Christian attitude toward violence. The thesis: we should not retaliate since God is perfect noncoercive love. Soon you would discover that it takes the quiet of a suburban home for the birth of the thesis that human nonviolence corresponds to God's refusal to judge. In a sorched land, soaked in the blood of the innocent, it will invariably die. And as one watches it die, one will do well to reflect about many other pleasant captivities of the liberal mind."

Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation (Nashville: Abingdon, 1996); 303-304.

HT: Jeff Bruce

Latest New Testament Studies

The latest issue of New Testament Studies 54.4 (2008) is now available and includes:

Hanukkah in the Narrative Chronology of the Fourth Gospel

The Portrayal of Aquila and Priscilla in Acts: The Question of Sources

Rhetorical Criticism and the Unity of 2 Corinthians: One ‘Epilogue’, or More?

Aρραβων as Pledge in Second Corinthians

Alius Paulus: Paul's Promise to Send Timothy at Philippians 2.19–24

The Dragon Spitting Frogs: On the Imagery of Revelation 16.13–14

The Testimonium Flavianum in Syriac and Arabic

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Philemon and Onesimus

Everyone knows that Onesimus was a fugitive slave who had ran away from his master Philemon and Paul seeks to return Onesimus, who sought refuge with him, to Philemon on amicable terms. Or is it? The main options according to Joseph Fitzmyer are:

(a) Onesimus was a run away slave. But Paul nowhere says this in the letter (there is no use of the terms phygas or drapetes) and it is only after Chrysostom that this view really gains popularity.

(b) Onesimus was sent by Philemon to Paul to bring food and aid and Paul pleads that Onesimus be released to his service. But this does not explain the apparent tension between Philemon and Onesimus in the letter.

(c) Onesimus did not run away from Philemon, but is only in some domestic trouble with his master, and seeks the intervention of an amicus domini (friend of the master) to mediate for him. This view is held by John Knox and Bruce Winter and would comport with an Ephesian provenance.

(d) Onesimus was not a slave at all, but only the estranged younger brother of Philemon. This view is associated with A.D. Callahan and is provocative, though I fear, unlikely (this was also the argument of the pro-slavery camp during the abolitionist controversy).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Palin causes a Gender Bender

Over at USA Today, David Gushe writes about the implicit tension in conservative evangelical endorsement of Palin. Many of these conservative evangelicals hold a complementarian position on prohibiting women from pastoral ministry, the deaconate, and from preaching and teaching in the preence of men, and yet these same evangelicals also resonate with Palin who largely represents their religious values on family and faith. How can they endorse a female President he asks? Now this raises issue about church-state relationships and do different rules hold out for different domains of authority, i.e. the secular state and the Christian Church. I do not presuppose the perspective of Gushe, but I do have to ask how do you endorse Palin if: (1) You believe that a women's primary responsibility is in the home and women should not work outside the home (as Dorothy Patterson stated in an interview here). (2) If you believe that it is wicked for a woman to be the leader of a nation? (Paige Patterson is reported to have said this during his examination as a witness in the Sheri Klouda case. A transcript is available here, see the last question where he answered, "The Bible does say in the Book of Isaiah, that it is something of an indication of a wicked society when women rule over them" - if this is incorrect someone please tell me and I'll remove the apparent quote). Can Mr. and Mrs. Patterson vote for Sarah Palin as a consistent expression of their views on the place of women (of course it could be worse, she could be a Calvinist)?

For a response to Gushe see Denny Burke's short post, David Kotter offers comments on this subject at CBWM, and let me say that my wife is essentially a stay at home mother who works in a craftshop on Saturdays!

Biblical Theology and Leviticus 23-25

My friend Leigh Trevaskis has a good pod-cast on "Leviticus 23-25: Where the Ritual Hits the Road". I think Biblical Theology just sounds "better" when expounded with an Aussie accent.

Mark Dever on "What is the Gospel?"

See this short-clip with Mark Dever over at Between Two Worlds. Pretty good exposition: narrative setting, emphasis on new creation, atonement, faith-repentance, and resurrection too.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Colossians and Gospel

In his NIB commentary, Andrew Lincoln write:

"Colossians is polemical, because, like the Paul of Galatians in a different set of circumstances, it will not allow God's gracious activity in Christ to be undermined. To add new practices and regulations to the gospel is to suggest not only that believers are disqualified unless they adhere to them but also, more fundamentally, that what God has already done in Christ is deficient. Colossians is essentially Pauline in having none of this. In its defense of the apostolic gospel, Colossians does not make grace a separate theme so much as an underlying presupposition that it reinforces through both the content and the mode of its theologizing. This presupposition is made explicit in the very first mention of the gospel, where to hear the gospel and to comprehend the grace of God are equated (1:5-6). From then on, the insistence on what God has already achieved in Christ for the cosmos and for the church and the 'realized eschatology,' with its stress on the present experience of the benefits of end-time salvation, are in the service of this gospel of grace ... For Colossians the gospel is grace, and no response to it can depart from the foundation by adding human achievements as a requirement. Instead, authentic Christian living is motivated by a response to and empowered by an appropriation of the undeserved favor of God in Christ".

Four Talks on the Bible

Today I start my preaching series at Dingwall Baptist Church entitled: "The Bible: It's a Big Book, But Still A Cracking Good Read". It has four sessions:

1. How Did We Get the Bible?
2. How is the Bible True?
3. How is the Bible Authoritative?
4. How Do We Interpret the Bible?

My opening illustration includes me impersonating an Independent Baptist KJV-only proponent and then impersonating an ultra-liberal Dan Brownesque conspiracy theorist. I doubt if I'll be invited to give the same sermons at either the TEC Cathedral in Washington or at Tenessee Temple University.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Earliest Christology was also the Highest

I remember reading a quote some time ago from George Caird (his NT Theology I think) that the earliest christology was among the highest in the NT. To back that up is this quote from Richard Bauckham:

"The early Christian movement, very consciously using this Jewish theological framework, created a kind of christological monotheism by understanding Jesus to be included in the unique identity of the one God of Israel. Probably the earliest expression of this to which we have access - and it was certainly in use very early in the first Christian community's history - was the understanding of Jesus' exaltation in terms of Psalm 110:1. Jesus, seated on the cosmic throne of God in heaven as the one who will achieve the eschatological lordship of God and in whom the unique sovereignty of the one God will be acknowledged by all, is included in the unique rule of God over all things, and is thus placed unambigously on the divine side of the absolute distinction that separates the only sovereign One from all creation. God's rule over all things defines who God is: it cannot be delegated as a mere function to a creature. Thus the earliest christology was already in nuce the highest christology. All that remained was to work through consistently what it could mean for Jesus to belong integrally to the unique identity of the one God. Early Christian interest was primarily in soteriology and eschatology, the concerns of the Gospel, and so in the New Testament it is primarily as sharing or implementing God's eschatological lordship that Jesus is understood to belong to the identity of God. But early Christian reflection could not consistently leave it at that. Jewish eschatological monotheism was founded in creational monotheism. If Jesus was integral to the identity of God, he must have been so eternally. To include Jesus also in the unique creative activity of God and in the uniquely divine eternity was a necessary corollary of his inclusion in the eschatological identity of God. This was the early Christians' Jewish way of preserving monotheism against the ditheism that any kind of adoptionist Christology was bound to involve. Not by adding Jesus to the unique identity of the God of Israel, but only by including Jesus in that unique identity, could monotheism be maintained. This applies also to the worship of Jesus, which certainly began in Palestinian Jewish Christianity. This expressed the inclusion of Jesus in the unique identity of the sole Creator of all things and sole Sovereign over all things."

Merkabah Mysticism in the First Century

Merkabah mysticism was a Jewish Hellentistic movement that got its name from its concern with visions of the heavenly chariot (מרכבה) that was with God during Ezekiel’s glorious vision (Ezek. 1.4-28). Visions of God’s throne and angelic worship were granted to those who understook rigorous adherence to the Mosaic law with periods of asceticism and purification as a form of preparation for such visions. Although much of this form of Jewish mysticism is known only from later rabbinic sources, I have wondered how much Merkabah mysticism is traceable to the first century. Visions of ascents to heaven were common enough in the first century as a cursory glance of 1 Enoch 14 and 2 Corinthians 12 indicates, but the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice (4Q405) from Qumran describe the praise of angels in the heavenly sanctuary where the angels are assembled in military formation and provide anthems of divine blessing to God. Reference to the throne-chariots is also made:

The [Cheru]bim fall before Him and bless Him; as they arise, the quiet voice of God [is heard], followed by a tumult of joyous praise. As they unfold their wings, God’s q[uiet] voice is heard again. The Cherubim bless the image of the chariot-throne that appears above the firmament, [then] they joyously acclaim the [splend]or of the luminous firmament that spreads beneath His glorious seat. As the wheel-beings advance, holy angels come and go. Between His chariot-throne’s glorious [w]heels appears something like an uttelry holy spiritual fire. All around are what appear to be streams of fire, resembling electrum, and [sh]ining handiwork comprising wondrous colors embroidered together, pure and glorious. The spirits of the living [go]dlike beings move to and fro perpetually, following the glory of the two [wo]ndrous chariots. A quiet voice of blessing accompanies the tumult of their movement, and they bless the Holy One each time they retrace their steps. When they rise up, they do so wondrously, and when they settle down, they [sta]nd still. the sound of joyous rejoicing falls silent, and the qui[et] blessing of God spreads through all the camps of the divine beigns. The sound of prais[es] ... coming out of each of their divisions on [both] sides, and each of the mustered troops rejoices, one by one in order of rank ... (4Q405 frags. xxi-xxii, 6-14 [trans. Wise, Abegg, & Cook])

For links between Merkabah mysticism and the NT see further, Timo Eskola. Messiah and the Throne: Jewish Merkabah Mysticism and Early Exaltation Discourse. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001.

Mark Discoll in Sydney

Mark Driscoll was in Sydney and gave a talk to Anglican clergy including an 18 point critique of what is hindering evangelistic ministry in that city. Particularly stinging was # 8: "Many of you are afraid of the Holy Spirit. You don’t know what to do with Him, so the trinity is Father, Son and Holy Bible. You are so reactionary to pentecostalism that you do not have a robust theology of the Holy Spirit." Ouch, but point taken! But on his # 2 ("Your culture struggles with a lack of entrepreneurialism, due to the influence of Socialism and Great Britain") my response is, "You stupid yank, some of us get our economic ethics from the Bible and not from Charles Darwin, so the 'pull yourself up by the bootstraps - every man for himself - survival of the fittest' model of economics is neither appealing nor biblical".

A Case for Historic Premillennialism

Another book on my hit list for the future is the Case for Historic Premillennialism edited by Craig Blomberg and Sung Wook Chung (due out in February, published by Baker). The blurb reads:

"Many evangelical readers who have learned the basics of eschatology from popular authors and more recently from novelists assume that dispensational premillennialism, with its distinctive teachings about the pretribulation rapture of the church, is the only reliable view of the end times and the return of Christ. This volume, however, offers a compelling case for an alternative perspective--one that was widely prevalent throughout church history. The contributors, all respected scholars in their respective fields, suggest that classic premillennialism offers believers a more coherent and viable approach to understanding eschatology. Their studies, which examine eschatology from biblical, theological, historical, and missiological approaches, provide a broadly accessible argument for returning to the perspectives of historic premillennial eschatology."

Although I wouldn't bet my house on it, I still think a historic premillenial position is the one that best accounts for 1 Cor. 15.20-28 and Rev. 20.1-10 (with some good support from Papias and Justin Martyr - see Andrew Chester's study of millennarianism in the early church in his book Messiah and Exaltation) Besides short volumes by Ladd and Gundry, there aren't too many decent books that give a good exposition of historic premillennialism which is, despite protestations of my presbbie friends, quite different from dispensational millennialism (see the charts here).

Friday is for Ad Fontes

I'm still reading Ovid's Metamorphoses and this is what I've seen this week:

1. After death, don't bring flowers, become flowers. After Narcissus died his body transformed into a flower with a circle of white petals round a yellow centre. I call this resurrection for the flower children!

2. Ovid sues Shakespeare for plagiarism. You know how in Romeo and Juliet that they were from warring families and the lovers die in the end when Juliet fakes her death, Romeo didn't know it was faked so he committs suicide, and then Juliet wakes up finds Romeo dead and then committs suicide herself? This is straight out of Metamorphoses book four about Pyramus and Thisbe. I am most disappointed in Shakespeare and I think that all teenagers taking English literature 101 should boycott the class as a protest against this kind of unbridled plagiarism.

3. How do you get to Hades? According to Ovid, "There is a road that slopes downhill, all gloomy with funeral yew. It leads to the underworld, through regions mute and silent. There the sluggish Styx breathes forth its mists, and by that path descend the ghosts of those newly dead, the shades of mortals duly laid to rest in their tombs. Far and wide the desolate spot is wrapped in gloomy chill. The ghosts, but lately come, do not know where the road lies, that leads to the Stygian city, nor where to go to find the grim palace of dusky Dis. His populous city has a thousand approaches, and gates on every side, all standing open. As the sea absorbs rivers from all over the earth, so does that place receive every soul: it is never too small, however great the throng. New crowds arriving make no difference. Lifeless shadows without body or bones wander about, some josting in the market-place, some round the palace of the underworld's king, while others busy themselves with the trades which they practised in the old days, when they were alive. others again, are subjected to punishment, each according to his crime."

4. Don't ever, ever let a nymph hug you! Why not, well a demi-God named Hermaphroditus, when he was only 15 years old, had the unfortunate luck of being the object of infatuation of a nymph named Salmacis. Salmacis tried to grope poor Hermie who strenuously resisted the designs of the amarous and love-lusting nymph. She then twined herself around him, they fell into a pool, and she said: "You may fight, you rogue, but you will not escape. May the gods grant me this, may no time to come ever separate him from me, or me from him!" So it goes: "Her prayers found favour with the gods: for, as they lay together, their bodies were united and from being two persons they became one. As when a gardener grafts a branch on to a tree, and sees the two unite as they grow, and come to maturity together, so when their limbs met in that clinging embrace the nymph and the boy were no longer two, but a single form, possessed of a dual nature, which could not be called male or female, but seemed to be at once both and neither." Hermie then prays that if any man goes into the same pool that he would rise out of it both male and female. Can't help but notice that going into the waters and rising out of it both male and female is a little reminiscient of Gal. 3.27-28 (with differences of course since Paul negates ethnicity, election, and gender)!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Devo's with David deSilva - Part 1, Baptism

Thanks to IVP-USA, I'm currently reading through David deSilva's Sacramental Life: Spiritual Formation Through the Book of Common Prayer (which I mentioned earlier here) and enjoying it immensely. Part 1 is about "Baptism: Walking in Newness of Life". There are ten sections covering various aspects of baptism including union with Christ, new birth and new life, a new exodus, the promise to live out our baptism in real life, and the sevenfold prayer for the baptismal life. Let me give three highlights:

First, in terms of baptism as a means of togetherness, he quotes Justin Martyr: "As many as are persuaded and believe that the things we teach and say are true, and undertake to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and ask God with fasting for the remission of their past sins, while we pray and fast them." Those who prepare for baptism are already surrounded by the encouragment and support of the Christian community who join with them in their preparation as a sign of the way in which they will continu to be involved in one another's spiritual journey toward maturity.

Second, on living out the baptismal life, deSilva notes on evangelism: "The Reverend Dr. D.T. Niles, Sri Lankan evangelist and one-time president of the World Council of Churches, penned the now-famous quotation 'Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread'. Evangelism need not be conceptualized as taking people down a prefabricated four-point path to salvation. It is, rather, our sharing with others what we have found in God, inviting others into our experience of God's grace so that they, in turn, might have an opportunity to encounter more of God's grace".

Third, deSilva invites reflection on the sevenfold prayer of the baptismal life found in the BCP:

Deliver them, Lord, from the way of sin and death.
Open their hearts to your grace and truth.
Fill them with your holy and life-giving Spirit.
Keep them in the faith and communion of your holy Church.
Teach them to love others in the power of the Spirit.
Send them into the world it witness to your love.
Bring them to the fullness of your peace and glory.

And deSilva suggests changing "they" to "me" and "their" to "my" as we pray the prayer ourselves.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Paul's Missionary Journeys?

In NT studies it is common to refer to Paul's three "missionary journeys", but I think this privileges the information we have in Acts and somewhat neglects the evidence of Paul's letters. I think it better to think in terms of:

1. Paul's Arabian mission centred around Damascus and Arabia.
2. Paul's Syrian mission located in Antioch.
3. Paul's Cypriot/Asian Mission.
4. Paul's Aegean Mission.
5. Paul's Journey to Rome.

The worship of Angels - Col. 2.18

Colossians 2.18 reads: "Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you." (TNIV).

What is the worship of angels? It could be the worship or veneration of the angels themselves and perhaps indicative of an angel cult in Phrygia. But some (following F.O. Francis) have argued that it is a subjective genitive denoting the angelic worship of heaven that persons attain a vision of through asceticism and fasting and this comports with the emphasis at Qumran on the angelic worship of heaven (e.g. 4Q405). But Clinton Arnold (Syncretism, 91-92) objects that we have no evidence of threskeia used as a subjective genitive in reference to divine beings. It is used with a subj. gen. when people doing the worshipping are named, e.g. the Jews in 4 Macc. 5.7 and Jos. Ant. 12.5.4. Yet the phrase is governed by a single preposition (en) and ‘angels’ is related to both 'worship' and 'humility' which requires a subjective genitive. It is the self-humbling and worship of the angels that is insisted upon. What is more, the perfect form of horao seems to indicate visionary experiences as the context for the discussion. At the same time, Loren Stuckenbruck (Angel Veneration) is probably correct that we do not have to choose absolutely between an objective and subjective meaning. The reason why someone wants to see the angels worship God is because someone believes that there is something very special about the angels themselves!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Finding Ilse Fredrichsdorff

Sometime ago I did a post called, Who the Heck is Ilse Fredrichsdorff? Robert Yarbrough included the reference to her in his book The Salvation-Historical Fallacy? Well, anyway, if you want to know more about Ilse's ministry in the confessing church of Germany, there is a thesis written called, Eine Frau ist immer im Dienst: Das Leben der Ilse Fredrichsdorff by Renate Schatz-Hurschmann which is only available, as far as I can tell, in Germany.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Provenance of Colossians

I initially regarded Colossians as being written by Paul from Rome, but have now changed my mind and gone with an Ephesian provenance. Here's the discussion that led me to that conclusion:

Given the qualified assumption of Pauline authorship of Philemon, Colossians, and (more loosely) Ephesians, when and where were the former two epistles written? What we can say is that Colossians and Philemon were probably written in relatively close temporal proximity to each other because five identical persons are mentioned in Paul’s greetings in both letters, namely, Luke, Mark, Demas, Aristarchus, and Epaphras (Col. 4.10-14/Philm. 24). Timothy is named as co-author in both letters (Col. 1.1/Philm. 1) and Onesimus is associated with both letters as well (Col. 4.9/Philm. 10). One peculiar fact is that Colossians makes no reference to any potential conflict between Onesimus and Philemon which one might expect on the return of a runaway slave to his owner which could adversely affect relations within the community (see Paul’s exhortation for unity and reconciliation among Euodia and Syntyche in Phil. 4.2). In Col. 4.9, Onesimus is also regarded as a faithful and experienced co-worker. It would seem that there was a gap between the composition of Philemon and Colossians. I surmise that Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon. Philemon was reconciled to Onesimus and subsequently returned Onesimus to Paul’s service as requested by Paul. Sometime later, the news of an encounter with a certain ‘philosophy’ in Colossae was relayed to Paul and his co-workers who responded by writing Colossians and sending Tychicus and Onesimus to deliver the letter to Colossae and a circular letter (Ephesians) to the other churches of Asia. I find this scenario plausible, though admittedly unprovable.

So where was Paul when this happened, obviously in captivity (Philm. 1, 10, 23; Col. 4.3, 10, 18), but which period of captivity, he refers to imprisonments in the plural in 2 Cor. 11.23. The main candidates are Ephesus (ca. 54-57) or Rome (ca. 61-66). This subject is one of the most perplexing ones facing students of Colossians. The problem is mirrored in text-critical observations since some manuscripts (A, B, P) regard Colossians as written from Rome, while the Marcionite prologue declares it written from Ephesus. Even if we take into account the movements of Paul’s co-workers according to the Pauline letters and the Book of Acts, the evidence still remains ambiguous. The internal evidence of Colossians and Philemon themselves does not help us, nor does taking into account the wider New Testament provide us with a clear cut answer. Instead, we have to weigh the arguments for and against an Ephesian or Roman setting.

Roman Setting. In favour of a Roman provenance is that we know that Paul did experience a prolonged period of imprisonment in Rome which is attested by Acts (Acts 28.16) and other early Christian literature. The Pastoral Epistles (if authentic) also testify to a Roman imprisonment (2 Tim. 1.17) and perhaps Philippians as well but as we will see the provenance of Philippians is contestable (Phil. 1.13-14). But there is no clear reference to a Roman imprisonment in the undisputed letters of Paul, which is no small fact, and must be taken into consideration. Second, in Philemon 9, Paul calls himself an ‘old man’ which suggests that it was written the end of his life. However, this might be a phrase used rhetorically to get Philemon to respect his elder and the apostle and life expectancy rates in the ancient world were much lower than the present so what constitutes ‘old’ might even encompass someone in their forties. Third, and perhaps the strongest argument for a Roman provenance, is that the theology of Colossians seems to represent a maturation and development of Pauline thought. This is attributable no doubt to Paul’s own theological reflection on christology and ecclesiology, but also to the interpretation of Paul’s thought that began with his co-workers like Timothy and has already begun to weave it’s way into the letter. Still, this does not necessitate a later date since Paul’s theology clearly developed somewhat during the short time span between Galatians (ca. 49 AD) and Romans (ca. 55-56 AD) and we do not know how much of the so-called developed theology of Colossians is attributable to the interpretive insights of Paul’s co-workers and their inferences about Paul’s theology which could have been made from any location or residence with time for writing and reflection. Fourth, the statements in Col. 1.6, 23 that the gospel is bearing fruit all over the world and has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven is more consistent with a Roman setting, since Rome was the centre of the political world, whereas Paul’s visits to Ephesus were still connected to his mission in and around the Aegean. When Paul wrote Romans from Corinth ca. 55-56 AD, he had finished his ministry in the east ‘from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum’ (Rom. 15.19), but did not describe it as a ministry that had touched ‘all over the world’ or ‘every creatures under heaven’. Then again, even in Rome, Paul had yet to fulfil his ambition to go to Spain (Rom. 15.24, 28) which meant that that part of the world was still left evangelized. So Col. 1.6, 23 may be no more than a generalizing statement or a piece of hyperbolic evangelicalism on the progress of the gospel in various quarters of the Roman Empire. Fifth, Rome would be a very good place for a runaway slave to hide in the massive population of the city, yet it was also a heck of a long way to travel (approximately 1200 miles by sea) when other cities in Asia Minor and Syria such as Ephesus and Antioch were nearer and large enough to afford a veil of protection. Sixth, a Roman setting was the preferred view of patristic authors, but it was not unamious, and constitutes tertiary evidence at best.

Ephesian setting. The case for an Ephesian setting is strengthed by accounts which place Paul there more than once (1 Cor. 16.8; Acts 18.19-21 and esp. 19.1-20.1) and for three years during his third missionary journey (Acts 19.8-10; 20.31). That Paul experienced imprisonment in Ephesus is arguably implied in 2 Cor. 1.8 where the apostle refers to the hardships experienced by he and his companions in Asia and 1 Cor. 15.32 where Paul speaks of fighting wild beasts in Ephesus. However, there is no clear evidence for an Ephesian imprisonment in Paul’s letters or in Acts. Second, it can be argued that Ephesus and Colossae, only 100 miles apart, make the flight of Onesimus, the delegation of Tychicus/Onesimus, any travels back and forth by Epaphras, the forthcoming visit of John Mark, and the possible visit of Paul to Philemon far more plausible. This flurry of comings and goings is more likely than a series of length sea journeys that were dangerous and took months at a time. Third, Paul’s request in Philm. 22 that a guest room be prepared for him is more realistic given an Ephesian imprisonment. If it was Paul’s plan to go further west after his release from confinement in Rome, then a journey to Colossae to visit Philemon would have meant significantly revizing (or reversing) that plan. Alternatively, the remark may simply be rhetorical and a polite wish to visit but with no intent to actually do so (my in-laws in Australia threaten to visit me in Scotland all the time but [thankfully] only rarely do so). Fourth, according to ancient sources there was an earthquake that destroyed parts of the Lycus valley especially Laodicea during ca. 60-61. Although Colossae was rebuilt without assistance we do not hear of any reference to Christians there again and only Laodicea is mentioned among the seven churches that John the Seer wrote to (Rev. 1.11; 3.14). Even so, we do not know for sure how the Christians in Colossae were affected by the earthquake and what impact it had upon their lives. True, Paul does not mention the earthquake when we might expect him to do so, but neither does he mention other ‘seismic’ events such as the expulsion of Jews from Rome under Claudius (49 AD) and their return under Nero (54 AD) when he wrote to the Romans.

The evidence is tightly balanced (and I confess to having changed my mind a number of times). The answer, I think, lies not with internal evidence from Colossians or Philemon, but with the letter to the Philippians and the movements of Timothy. Timothy is named as co-sender of Colossians and Philemon (Col. 1.1; Philm. 1). To that we can add the observations that Timothy is also named as co-sender of Philippians (Phil. 1.1), Philippians is also writen from captivity (Phil. 1.13-14), and that Philippians is similar to Philemon in at least two other respects: both look forward to Paul’s eventual release from prison (Philm. 22 and Phil. 1.19-26; 2.24) and several the stylistic similarities noted by Francis Watson. By way of deduction, my line of reasoning runs Timothy → Philippians → Philemon → Colossians → Location! Thus, the circumstances of Philippians and Timothy are crucial for the provenance and date of Colossians/Philemon. Philippians could have been written from either Rome or Ephesus too, this might sound like back to square one, but the internal and external evidence is better. There is a reference to the ‘praetorian guard’ in Phil. 1.13 which may denote the elite body guard unit of the Emperor in Rome who also functioned as a police force in the capital. There is also a reference to a greeting from those of ‘Caesar’s household’ in Phil. 4.22 which would naturally fit a Roman setting. However, ‘praetorian’ can mean more generally ‘palace guard’ or ‘military headquarters’ (Mt. 27.27; Mk. 15.16; Jn. 18.28, 33; 19.9; Acts 23.35). And ‘Caesar’s household’ might denote the imperial staff stationed at an imperial residence in Ephesus since Ephesus was also the Roman capital of western Asia. It is also unlikely that Roman prisoners would be incarcerated in the Emperor’s own residence. Furthermore, there is no reference to Timothy accompanying Paul to Rome in Acts 28, but he is placed in Ephesus during Paul’s extended ministry there (1 Cor. 16.8-10). We also know from Acts that Timothy engaged in one or more trips to Greece and Macedonia from Ephesus (Acts 19.22). Thus, Paul’s intent to send Timothy to Philippi (Phil. 2.19) is more likely to comport with his travellings to Greece and Macedonia during Paul’s stay in Ephesus than during Paul’s imprisonment in Rome. Moreover, 1-2 Timothy, though perhaps stemming from a second Roman imprisonment, places Timothy in Ephesus (1 Tim. 1.3). Timothy was asked to join Paul in Rome because Demas had deserted him and Tychicus had been sent to Ephesus, meaning that even if Timothy got to Rome, Demas and Tychichus would not be there to send their greetings during the composition of Philemon and Colossians, which rules out their composition during the later stages of Paul’s imprisonment (2 Tim. 4.9-13).As I see it, this is how it all stands:

For Rome:
1. There is a strong possibility that Philippians was written in Rome and, if so, Timothy’s presence with Paul in Rome can be verified and then linked with the letters to Philemon and to the Colossians.
2. The theology of Colossians appears to be ‘developed’ in some sense.
3. There is no clear reference to an Ephesian imprisonment and it is hard to place John Mark in Ephesus.

For Ephesus:
1. An Ephesian setting for Philippians remains plausible.
2. There is no clear reference to Timothy in Rome during Paul’s imprisonment there, but we can place him easily in Ephesus.
3. An imprisonment in Ephesus makes for a more plausible scenario regarding the movements of Onesimus and others to and from Colossae.
4. Colossae may have been destroyed in 61-62 AD.

The marginally less problematic of these options then is the Ephesian provenance. I surmize that the epistle to Philemon was written by Paul himself during an imprisonment in Ephesus ca. 54-55 AD and Philemon subsequently discharged Onesimus to Paul’s service where he became thereafter part of Paul’s entourage. Colossians was written co-operatively by Paul and his co-workers (Col. 1.1; 4.7-17) from Ephesus ca. 54-56 AD and was delivered by Tychichus and Onesimus (Onesimus a natural choice as coming from Colossae). Ephesians was written by a secretary of Paul at Paul’s behest and composed on the basis of Colossians in order to be given to the Pauline churches of Asia Minor, including Ephesus and Laodicea, as the letter carriers passed through those regions on their way to deliver the correspondence to Colossae. In editorial language, Paul is the author of Philemon, the managing editor and chief contributor to Colossians, and the commissioning editor of Ephesians.

James Crossley vs. William Lane Craig

My good friend and nemesis James Crossley comes up against Bill Craig in this debate on the bodily resurrection of Jesus.

British New Testament Conference

I am back from the BNTC held in Durham which was a great couple of days. I was glad to meet up with Tomas Bokedal at Newcastle train station on the way down and we had a great Italian lunch after arriving. There was also the pleasant surprise of catching former Aberdeen students Dr. Preston Sprinkle and Dr. Joey Dodson and it was a delight to finally meet in person Ben Byerly of NEGST. Of course, there was a number of Ph.D candidates from Durham and St. Andrews who provided good company and it is always a delight to see James Crossley.

John Barclay's paper on "Two Versions of Grace: Romans 9-11 and the Wisdom of Solomon" was brilliant. He juxtaposed these two documents and showed how Paul's understanding of grace is genuinely radical since grace does not depend on any quality or virtue of the recipient. Whereas Wisdom was dealing very much with the issue of theodicy (why do bad things happen to good people and vice-versa), Paul sets forth a fairly radical view of divine grace by removing any notion of conditionality. Barclay says in his conclusion: "Paul's discourse on grace and mercy operates fully within Jewish tradition, but also radicalises it to an extraordinary degree by refusing to allow any element of condition or worth as the accompaniment to divine gift. The alternatives Paul refutes, we must insist represent not some special Jewish tendency to emphasise 'works', but the sorts of rationale that any responsible theist would give to the operations of God in history. What makes Paul peculiar is that he makes the conditionality of the divine gift an issue. Elsewhere, in Romans 4, he will suggest an oppositional distinction between pay and gift that is unusual if not unique in antiquity, and in a developed form this will become the central theological anithesis in the different social and economic conditions of the Reformation era. The fact that this antithesis is not operative here in Romans 9 suggests that it still remains only on the margins of his thought. But what is clear here is that by pressing to an extreme the unconditionality of divine gift he defies the normal criteria surrounding the reasonable gifts." When I heard this I had to take off my glasses, rub my eyes, and check to see if it really was John Barclay and not Tom Schreiner speaking. Afterwards I went up to Barclay and asked if he had discovered Banner of Truth lately!

The next morning included good papers at the Hermeneutics Seminar by Ben Blackwell on the New Testament and Patristic Interpretation and Joey Dodson on "Personifications and Citations" in Paul. Halvor Moxnes gave a great paper on Galilean identity at the Jesus Seminar where I tried to convince Phil Esler that Ioudaios means "Jew" as opposed to "Judean" by asking if we have any evidence for a Gentile living in Judea being called a Ioudaios. He wasn't convinced. On the one hand, he was right that there is a definite reference in Against Apion that clearly relates the Ioudaioi to Ioudea, but I still think that Ioudaios is linked to religious identity in many respects.

Great people and books were at the book stalls. I was a good author and handed out flyers of the volume by James and I for SPCK (it was a more shameful act of self-promotion than even I'm used to). Publishers and sellers represented included T&T Clark/Continuum, Albans, STL, and Paternoster. I brought H.D. Betz's Galatians commentary for a bargain. I had a look around Durham Cathedral too (gorgeous and big, much like my sister-in-laws) and layed hands on the crypt of J.B. Lightfoot and asked the Lord for a double portion of whatever he had!! Sadly, the good bishop of Durham was unable to make an appearance. But I heard from a reliable source that he has a book coming out in January which is a response to John Piper's book The Future of Justification so watch out for that one. Speaking of Wright, the fiendish James Crossley got hold of Wright's name tag and was walking around the bar wearing it one evening. I guess the old saying is true, you really do become what you admire! Another highlight was seeing Loren Stuckenbruck, the host of BNTC as Durham department head, and we had a great discussion about the worship of angels in Colossians 2. On that note, I should not forget to mention that on the train I was able to read most of Ian Smith's volume Heavenly Perspective where Smith argues that the Colossian philosophy was a form of Jewish mysticism, which reinforced what I had already suspected.

Loveday Alexander's paper on classics and NT studies based upon Acts was well received and it highlighted for me the continued need to know classical sources for those doing NT studies. My paper on "Jesus the Messiah, A Role Declined? A Response to an Unmessianic Jesus" went fairly well. James Crossley argued against the triumphal entry in Mark as being messianic which I think only convinced him and the furniture. There was lots of good discussion about what passes as "messianic" and is there a conception of "the Messiah" in Judaism or is "the Messiah" an entirely Christian thing. I was cheered to hear that Maurice Casey agreed with alot of what I said and he argued for something similar but without the complications of the title "Messiah". Halvor Moxes, expectedly, made some fitting comments about my handling of N.A. Dahl. Eddie Adams gave a good presentation on Christian meeting places in the first centuries of the Christian era and noted that households (insula or domus - see here) were not the only option with shops, workshops, hired dining rooms, storehouses, baths, and out-of-doors all used as well.

On the way home I shared part of the journey with Dale Martin of Yale University (I missed his paper on Angels and Demons) and had a good chat with him. He was flying on to Copenhagan and probably missed his plane. I also shared the journey (which was delayed by 5 hours due to flooding in NE England) with Patrick Egan of St. Andrews which made a painful trip more comfortable.

Overall, a good time, some good wine, good papers, great company, and terrible trip on the way back.