Wednesday, March 31, 2010
When were the Gospel inscriptions (e.g., KATA MARKON ["According to Mark"]) added? Received wisdom was that they were added during the collection and ratification of the Fourfold Gospel collection in the mid-second century (A. von Harnack, T. Zahn). Some would even claim, like Rudolf Pesch, that "all the inscriptions and subscriptions in the Gospel manuscripts are late" [alle Inskriptionen und Subscriptionen in den Evangeliuenschriften sind spat]. However, this view was strongly contested by the late scholar Martin Hengel who argued that:
(1) There is no evidence that shorter readings like KATA MARKON found in codex Vaticanus were more primitive than the longer readings like EUANGELION KATA MARKON, since the earliest papyri all attest the longer reading.
(2) The title EUANGELION KATA MARKON etc. cannot be attributed to the fixing of the fourfold Gospel canon in middle to late second century in order to differentiate the books from each other because Aristides (Apol. 2; 16) and Justin (Apol. 66.3) both know of euangelia (‘Gospels’ in the plural) and in the case of Justin there is an awareness that the Gospels derive from the apostles and their followers (Dial. 103.8).
(3) Marcion’s preference for Luke (ca. 144 CE) was perhaps based on his agreement with its title and tradition that already attributed it to a disciple of Paul as opposed to the judaizing Gospels of Matthew and John.
(4) The statement attributed to Papias about the origins of the Gospels assumes a titular distinction between the Gospels. Furthermore, if Papias got his information from John the Elder around 90-100 CE, then the John Mark-Peter link found in Papias' statement cannot have been derived from 1 Pet 5.13 since 1 Peter was pseudepigraphically written during this same period at the time of Domitian in the 90s.
(5) The titles of the non-canonical Gospels, some of which can be dated to the mid-second century (e.g., Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of the Ebionites, etc.), are to be understood as a deliberate imitation of the titles of the canonical Gospels. Likewise, Basilides, the Alexandrian Gnostic in the early second century, wrote a twenty-four volume Gospel commentary that perhaps included a titular distinction between the Gospels as well.
(6) The longer ending of Mk. 16.9-20 and the Epistula Apostolorum, dated to the first half of the second century, presuppose the circulation of the Gospels and Acts.
(7) While the Gospels are strictly anonymous at the literary level, that was possible only because their authorship and origin would have been known in its immediate setting. Anonymous works were rare in antiquity and regarded with suspicion, hence the rise of pseudepigraphy. Tertullian (Adv. Marc. 4.2.3) went so far as to say that a Gospel not bearing the name of its author was not to be received because he knew of some Gospels that had titles (canonical Gospels and perhaps others) and those that did not (Marcion). Yet the titles were probably added to the Gospels very early on in order to identify the origin of the work when the Gospels were used in liturgical practice, disseminated further afield, or arranged in Christian libraries. If the Gospels were utterly anonymous (author and provenance) and circulated with no knowledge of their origins, then, this would have led to a multiplicity of titles that we do not find at all. Thus, the titles were not added at the final redaction of the Fourfold Gospel collection in the middle of the second century, but were probably given during the dissemination of the Gospels to other communities when Christian scribes added the names based on collective knowledge about their authorship and origins.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
There is a new blog around called Go at a Walking Place with three contributors including my former Ph.D student Jason Hood. Jason is a sharp guy living in Memphis and he is the chosen one to bring together the Methodists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans into formal and visible union. Do check out the blog.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Here is the introduction to my Palm Sunday Sermon for tomorrow:
Did you see the latest Ferrero Rocher chocolate add made especially for Easter? I’ve seen it and it made me laugh so hard at the stupidity of the advertising company that made the ad. But after laughing for a few moments it suddenly made me annoyed and then depressed. The ad for Ferrero Rocher chocolates features the gods of Olympus celebrating Easter by giving their succulent and heavenly Ferrero Rocher chocolates to us mortals on earth as gifts for us to enjoy. So if I understand this right, Ferrero Spa, who make the chocolates, want us to believe the pagan gods of Greek mythology are celebrating Easter by giving me chocolate. Now there are two possible problems going on here. Either: (1) Ferrero Spa doesn’t know much about Greek mythology because I’m pretty sure that Zeus wasn’t into Jesus or even the Easter Bunny; or (2) they don’t know what Easter is about because I’m pretty darn certain Jesus didn’t care a brass razoo about chocolate and the crown of thorns that Jesus was forced to wear was not his Easter bonnet. Now I can understand someone trying to take Christianity out of Easter because, let’s face it, crucifixion, sin, and redemption might not have a big market appeal these days. But to flat out paganize Easter by bringing in the gods of Olympus to sell chocolate is just … well … somewhere between loopy and beyond the pale. It is bad enough that the marketing industry has hijacked Christmas by turning it into a pagan holiday for hocking off tacky merchandise and over eating fatty foods, but now, they’re even trying quite literally to paganize Easter by bringing in pagan gods of antiquity. Instead of the God of Israel setting for his Son as a sacrifice of atonement to wipe away our sins (see Rom 3:24), Easter is being turned into a celebration of pagan gods giving us chocolate, cream, and nuts in a pretty gold foil. That’s what we’ve come to folks. But that’s not how the story goes, does it! The Easter that we’ve had for two thousand years is not about rich gourmet chocolate in shiny foil. It is the event that marks the climax of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, his final plea to Israel to accept his message of the kingdom, his final week in Jerusalem teaching the crowds and debating the Judean leaders, a final meal with his closest followers, then his arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection. Easter is about how triumph comes only through tribulation, its the victory of God over demonic powers, the conquest of God’s love over human wickedness, how God-given hope trumps human inspired hatred, its about God’s power revealed through the apex of human weakness, and its about how evil is routed by God’s forgiveness. That’s the Easter story. No Zeus, no chocolate, no gold packaging. It’s a story full of dirty roads, palm branches, religious fervor, curious people, politics, unleavened bread, power, bustling streets, scared people, sweaty people, roasted lamb, tense moments, violent people, and God who, despite all expectations, bring liberation to his people through the Messiah of Israel: Jesus of Nazareth.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sean McDonough (Christ as Creator, 155-56) gives a helpful paraphrase of 1 Cor 8 about knowledge of the realities behind idols.
"Love, then, dominates the argument from 8:7 to 9:27. 'Let us assume,' Paul is saying, 'that your (not necessarily my) definition of the "nothingness" of idols is correct. Still, not everyone can operate at that level of theological finesse. Some of your brothers and sisters in the faith really believe that there are powerful forces in those idol precincts, and when they see you eating in there, they are going to assume that there is some genuine religious transaction going on. This is going to lead those same people - these brothers and sisters for whom Christ died! - to go and eat in temples also. But when they do it, they will actually believe that they are eating in the presence of another god. Such an act of spiritual adultery, such a level of betrayal, is going to pierce their hearts, and who knows whether their faith in Christ will ever be made whole again? Do you really want to be the one who sets that process in motion? Is eating some meat really worth the spiritual death of your family members in Christ? I would rather never touch another piece of meat if it meant destroying my brother'."
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I am becoming increasingly convinced that Gnosticism had a Jewish origin. After the Jewish revolts against Rome in 66-70 and 132-35 AD, Judaism went in one of two directions. Rabbinic Judaism that tried to compensate for the absence of the temple and expulsion from the land through a very manufactured micro-piety built on Torah and Halakah, and those that effectively tried to make Judaism palatable to the middle platonic zeitgeist by turning Judaism effectively into a pagan religion, i.e., Gnosticism.
I think support for this view, at least partly, is found in Philo. In Opificio, Philo attributes the creation of the cosmos to God, but the creation of human beings is outsourced to other heavenly beings so as to make God one step removed from the sin of human subjects (the mediating entities are "gods" and "reason" in Opif. 25, 27). This is a move clearly towards the demiurgal creationism whereby, for the sake of theodicy, God is removed from the creation and evils of humanity. In addition, the Gospel of Thomas is not a Gnostic document per se since it lacks demiurgal creationism, but it is certainly conducive to Gnostic beliefs and very probably found a home in Gnostic circles (hence its inclusion in the Nag Hammadi Codices). But despite all its rhetoric against the followers of Jesus (e.g., Matthew, Peter, etc.), Gos. Thom. 12 still holds James in relatively high regard. So I wonder if Gnosticism filtered into Christianity via second century Jewish Christianity.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
As usual, Steve Colbert made me laugh:
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Glenn Beck Attacks Social Justice - James Martin|
Evidently Glenn Beck doesn't want Christians going to a church where they preach the same things that Jesus preached! I think it could be time for a soggy fish award!!
Friday, March 19, 2010
At CT is a good article on Practically Theological: How Churches are Teaching Doctrine and Finding Eager Participants. Good read!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The authorship of Hebrews is a funny question. The eastern church attributed it to Paul, Origen was ambivalent about it, suggestions have included Barnabas and Apollos, but a small cohort of scholars have suggested Luke's authorship of Hebrews or else Pauline authorship via Luke. There has been interesting proposals on this topic of late. One contribution is David Allen, Lukan Authorship of Hebrews (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, forthcoming 2010) - which I have not read yet. The other contribution to the subject is an essay by entitled
Monday, March 15, 2010
This morning we laid to rest Karla's 97 year old grandmother. I feel compelled to share her life with you because she lived a life of faith. Rachel was born on March 5, 1913 and went home to be the Lord on March 10, 2010. We celebrated her 97th birthday just last Friday. In a testimony that was printed in the program Rachel wrote:
The one thing that I desire above all others in my life is that all my children and all my grandchildren really know and serve the Lord, as that is our sole purpose for being here - to serve the Lord. This life is very short. When you get to my age you know tha it is all just like a breath and it is over. And it does matter that your life is concerned with what lasts forever - Jesus Christ and his love. Life in Christ is not stuffy or boring, it is totally satisfying and worth while.
It was a pleasure to have walked just a little while with her in this life. I look forward to seeing her again in heaven.
A the memorial service I offered this reflection about what I'll most miss about her.
There are many dimensions to the sense of loss we feel today as we reflect on our beloved Rachel’s homegoing and what she has meant to us individually. I want to reflect on what is for me one of the most profound senses of lose I feel today. With Rachel’s passing we have lost another significant link to our past.
Last summer out on Mary’s [my mother-in-law] porch swing I asked Rachel about her memories of the adults from her childhood; her memory of her parents and their friends, neighbors and acquaintances of her family. What I discovered was that she had a living memory that extended as far back as the middle of the 19th century. She knew personally people who lived through the Civil War, who voted when Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant became president, and knew a United States with only 30 states.
Rachel began her adolescent years, although there wasn’t such a thing in those days, in the progressive decade of the roaring twenties. This was the height of women’s suffrage when women were just given the right to vote with the 19th amendment; she was a teenager when Babe Ruth roamed right field for the Yankees.
Rachel and Charles [her husband who died nearly 15 yrs ago] were newly weds during the dark years of the Great Depression. That experience was something of which she never lived out of its shadow.
She was an adult during the New Deal, the Space Race and Great Society. She saw two world wars, wars in Korea and Vietnam, and two wars in Iraq. She was born while Woodrow Wilson was president and died with a black man, Barak Obama, as her president. In between she saw 16 presidential administrations.
With the homegoing of our beloved Rachel, we’ve lost the knowledge and experiences of our past, the history of the family and of our very society itself. Her life represented three centuries. The memories of her forbearers are now no longer living with her. While she was alive, her very presence reminded us of the rich history that we in subsequent generations have been bequeathed—a history that is, with her passing, in danger of being forgotten if it is not regularly revisited.
Rachel left each us with a gift of her living memory, and I will for my part, commit to pass it on.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I think it is safe to say that the standard view today among Matthean scholars is that "all nations" in Matthew 28:19 includes both the nations (non-Israel) and Israel. It is often read as a revision of the earlier exclusive mission to only the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Mt 10:6). The evidence in favor of either view is even, although the linguistic evidence seems to nudge in the direction of an exclusive reading (see the 1975 CBQ article [37: 359-69] by Hare and Harrington "Make Disciples of all the Gentiles" [MT 28:19]). By the way, the article is very dated in terms of its theological outlook, and their argument is not as strong as they would have you believe, but the evidence is solid. It seems to me that the determining which way to read the "all nations" in Matt 28:19 has everything to do with one's view Israel in God's purposes.
For my own view on this question you can see my discussions in Matthew's Messianic Shepherd-King.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I've been reading a very stimulating article by Anders Runesson that appeared in JBL not long ago entitled "Rethinking Early Jewish-Christian Relations: Matthean Community History as Pharisaic Intragroup Conflict" (JBL 127.1 : 95-132).
The essay is dense and well researched with a number of interesting and significant observations. Among the many points to ponder is Anders' argument that Pharisees should not be thought of as a sect as is so often the case. Instead he labels them with the sociological category "denomination", which is more "positive in terms of society tension" because of "their acceptance of the Jerusalem cult [the civic religion] and thus the religiously legitimate use of it by individuals other than their own members" (114-15). I'm giving only the briefest sketch of his argument. You'll need to consult the article for the full argument, but his argument is very convincing at least at first glance.
It is the near afterthought that most caught my attention however. In the second to last paragraph of the conclusion, Anders raises a the controversial point that what divided Jews in the first century of the church was not Christology. He notes the diversity within the Pharisaic movement of the first century stating:
The Pharisees themselves, in existence since the Hasmonean period, whom we have defined sociologically as a demonination, had among them diverse groups that at times exhibited schismatic tendencies . . . This diversity calls into question the (anachronistic) tendency among many scholars to understand christology to be the distinguishing factor behind intragroup tensions that resulted in the parting of ways between people who originally belonged within the same institutional context (132).
He appeals to two early Rabbis to advance the point. Rabbi Akiva was ridiculed by some, he notes, for acclaiming Bar Kokhba messiah, but he nonetheless became a celebrated authority in the rabbinic community. In contrast Rabbi Eliezer was excommunicated as a result of a dispute over a halakic issue (b. Bava Mesia 59a-59b). From this Anders concludes "it seems indeed that halakah was more central for Jewish identity than dogma" (132).
What do you think of this conclusion?
The Exiled Preacher has a good interview with Kevin Vanhoozer on his new book, Remythologizing Theology: Divine Action, Passion, and Authorship. The interview is well worth reading!
HT: Jason Hood for sending me the link.
I am pleased to announce that I have become a fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Ecclesial Theology. SAET is
"An organization dedicated to assisting pastor-theologians in producing biblical and theological scholarship for the renewal of orthodox theology, for the renewal of the church".
The Society is comprised of some of the sharpest and theologically reflective young evangelical pastors I know. I encourage you to check it out and consider joining if you have an affinity with its identity and purpose.
One of my favourite British NT scholars is Richard Bauckham (also one of the elite few NT scholars who are actually shorter than me). Any ways, Richard Bauckham has a new website that links to articles, books, sermons, and unpublished essays by him. Well worth checking out! I can't wait to read his unpublished essay on the NT and the episcopacy! I should also mention that Richard will be presenting the annual Tyndale Fellowship NT Lecture in Cambridge in July - so go ye to the Tyndale Fellowship NT group and hear him and stack of other great exegetes as well!
Monday, March 08, 2010
Christ as Creator: Origins of a New Testament Doctrine
Oxford: OUP, 2010.
Available at Amazon.com
In this book Sean McDonough examines the origins of the NT statements that the world was made "through" Jesus Christ (1 Cor 8.6; Col 1.15-20; John 1.1-3; Heb 1.2). For McDonough the answer lies not in the application of categories drawn from Hellenistic Judaism (who did not alone have the problem of finding mediators between heaven and earth), but was from the memory of Jesus and his redefinition of Messiahship. McDonough asks why Christ was attributed a role in creation. To which he answers: "The mighty works of Jesus, his proclamation of the kingdom of God, and the climatic events of the crucifixion and resurrection, clearly marked him as the definitive agent of God's redemptive purposes. But these mighty works could scarcely be divorced from God's creative acts. The memories of Jesus preserved in the gospels depict a man who brings order to the threatening chaotic waters, creates life out of death, and restores people to their proper place in God's world ... Reflections of these memories of Jesus, coupled with the experience of forgiveness and renewal on the part of the early Church, led to a startling but elegant (theo-)logical conclusion: If the one true God had sent Jesus the Messiah as the definitive agent of redemption, and if this redemption was at one level simply the outworking of the project of creation (a view with ample precedent in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East in general), it must be that the Messiah was the agent of creation as well" (pp. 2-3).
1. Sean, how did you come to this topic of Christ as Creator and the search for its origin?
2. Often it has been thought that attribution of a Wisdom theology to Christ accounts for postulations of his role in creation. However, this view has recently fallen on hard times with numerous critiques (e.g., S. Gathercole, G. Macaskill, A. Lee). What are your own thoughts on the matter?
3. In chapter four you refer to creation as the beginning of the dominion of the Messiah. Could unpack on how you reach that conclusion and what role it has in your thesis?
4. You point out that Stoic philosophers and Hellenistic Jews were not the first ones concerned with the mediation of the heavenly and earthly realms. How does a wider ancient near east background help you understand the distinctive creation concept of Christ'd Schopfungsmittlerschaft?
5. In chapter eleven you refer to your own perspective on Christ and primal creation as rather close to Karl Barth's. What was Barth's view and distinguishes your view from his?
I wanted to share the good news with you that I have accepted a part-time pastoral position at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL as their College Ministry Pastor. I'm very excited about the opportunity and believe that God has led me to this new ministry venture. Truth be told this is something I had always envisaged as a complement to my academic ministry in the university. Those of you that know me know that I came to academics through the church ministry and have felt that it would again have a place in my vocational life.
Christ Community Church is a place my wife and I know well. We were on staff here in the mid-to-late 1990's as a youth pastor. I left CCC in 1999 to pursue high education. This pursuit took me back to DTS and to Cambridge, England. In God's providence, however, we're back the far-western suburbs of Chicago and back at CCC. God is very cool.
CCC is a very different place than when we were here over a decade ago, although James Nicodem is still pastoring the church he began over 25 years ago. The church has over 5000 attenders with 2 extenstion campuses and a 3rd planned for this year. The college ministry called Crave has a great amount of potential with about 80 students currently attending a weekly meeting. But with not much more going on than that we're looking to take it to the next level. The major university in our sphere of mission is Northern Illinois University (NIU) in Decalb with a number of other community colleges dotted around.
I'm sure with this new component to my vocational life I'll be blogging a good deal about ministry in addition to the scholarly stuff.
Downers Grove: IVP, 2004.
Now I may be behind the times a bit, but I am just now getting around to interacting with I. Howard Marshall's New Testament Theology. Many of you I'm sure have already had occasion to consult this volume and know its strengths. In this short notice, I wish to highlight one of the key contributions this book makes and why it is a very good, albeit lengthy, theological introduction to the NT.
For me what puts this introduction to the front of what is becoming a crowded shelf of NT introductions is its missional and evangelistic focus. Marshall writes:
The situation of the early Christians was one in which they were communicating the good news about Jesus to people who were not believers. It is worth remembering that people were believers only if they had become believers. The good news was news, something fresh that had not been heard before. Therefore, any people who became believers did so only as a result of the gospel being communicated to them. Whether deliberately or other wise, whether consciously or otherwise, the early Christian church grew through sharing the message of Jesus with people who were not believers . . . Consequently, the writings that we have arose out of that mission (709).
He further concludes:
It can be affirmed that mission is the origin of the New Testament documents. At the same time, the documents are concerned in part with the forwarding of the actual evangelism and contribute to a theology of evangelism.
Marshall then cautions those of us who theologize:
Focusing on this activity can carry with it the temptation to ignore the task of mission as the sharing of the gospel with those who have not yet heard it or beleived it . . . Even today believers may find their attention diverted to teh study of theology and other aspects of Christian living to teh detriment of evangelism, and this presupposition may give them a skewed reading of the New Testament (710).
Marshall's caution here is so very important. Have we been tempted to forget or ignore the mission of the church while fixated on the study of its foundational documents? Has our understanding of those documents been "skewed"? These are significant questions indeed.
There are far to many details covered in the 765 pages of text to do it justice here. Still, although I had an ocassional quibble, the scholarship is solid as you would expect from Marshall and it is clearly the by product of a life time of work in the New Testament. What's more, with the above stated focus the this volume is sure to be an asset to any pastor whose looking for a introduction to the NT that is self-conscious about the mission of the church.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
This morning I was sadly informed by Jim Hamilton that Prof. E. Earle Ellis has passed away. Ellis was a wonderful Baptist scholar of the NT and a committed churchman. He was respected by colleagues in the UK and Germany for his various works in NT studies. His various articles and monographs on the NT use of the OT are still worth reading even decades after their initial publication. His book The Making of the New Testament Documents is a valuable resource about the formation of the New Testament and something that I turn to again and again for information. Ellis was also a key founder of the Institute for Biblical Research. The second festschift for Ellis edited by Sang-Won Son (History and Exegesis) includes a biographical sketch of Ellis written by Gerald F. Hawthorne which is available on Google Books. Sadly, I fear that we are now to be denied the publication of his 1 Corinthians commentary in the ICC series (though T&T Clark may yet be able to make something of what he had already done to date - we can only hope). May he enjoy his heavenly rest!
Update: SWBTS has a tribute to Ellis here.
Monday, March 01, 2010
I came across a great quote recently that should be an encouragement to anyone embarking on a doctoral thesis. The quote speaks to the perennial concern for originality. In a field like NT studies where every inch of the territory has been excavated numerous times one feels the great fear of whether it is even possible to say anything original. This is even communicated by some professors when they interview potential doctoral candidates. "Don't study the NT", I was once told, "nothing new has been said in over 500 years. Study something like the Shepherd of Hermes!" While I think that more people should study the Shepherd, this was very deflating. By the way, at the time I didn't really even know what the Shepherd was so the thought of spending years studying it was beyond incredible. I don't feel that way now of course. Well to the quote. George B. Stevens, a NT scholar of the late 19th century once said:
"Originality does not consist of thinking new things but of thinking for ourselves."
While it is clear that in the five decades since its publication the discussions in Pauline studies have eclipsed or superseded the language and concerns of this book at points (e.g. calling Paul a Christian), Paul and Rabbinic Judaism: Some Rabbinic Elements in Pauline Theology, which was first published in 1948, remains as fresh a perspective on Paul as it ever was. In fact using Zetterholm's recent taxonomy of perspectives of Paul and Judaism in his Approaches to Paul, Davies's book would is clearly a Radical New Perspective before the New Perspective.
For those of us who are sympathetic to the idea that Paul was a first-century Torah observant Jew, Davies's book must be seen as our great grandfather. As best I can tell, Davies's book does not get the credit today that it should as being a ground breaking work. In fact it is with the so-called Radical New Perspective that Davies's central thesis is now coming into its own. It is time to read it again or as in my case for the first time.
I quote Davies's conclusion at length:
Both in his life and through, therefore, Paul's close relations to Rabbinic Judaism has become clear, and we cannot too strongly insist again that for him the acceptance of the Gospel was not so much the rejection of the old Judaism and the discovery of a new religion wholly antithetical to it, as his polemics might sometimes pardonably lead us to assume, but the recognition of the advent of the true and final form of Judaism, in other words, the advent of the Messianic Age of Jewish expectation.
It is in this light that we are to understand the conversion of Paul. We have above referred cursorily to that interpretation of his conversion which depicts Paul in his pre-Christian days as suffering from agonies of discontent with the Torah, a discontent which was more particularly characteristic of Diaspora Judaism, as Montefiore has argued, and which Paul sought to suppress and hid by zeal in persecution. But, as we have previously written, there is little evidence that this was the case. Doubtless Paul, looking back on his pre-Christian days not only from the height of his Christian experience but also past many a bitter memory, could depict them as a period of dissatisfaction and frustration.
Nevertheless, things are seldom in fact what they appear to be in retrospect. It is far more probable . . . that Paul's persecution of the Church was due not to his dissatisfaction with Judaism but to his zeal on its behalf. It was not the inadequacy of Judaism, not the fact that Judaism which Paul knew was an inferior product of the Diaspora that accounts for Paul's conversion, but the impact of the new factor that entered into his ken when he encountered Christ. It was at this point that Paul parted company with Judaism, at the valuation of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah with all that this implied.
While, therefore, our study has led us to the recognition of Paul's debt to Rabbinic Judaism, it has also led us to that challenge which Pauline Christianity, and indeed all forms of essential Christianity, must issue to Judaism no less than other religions: What think ye of Christ? (324)