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Review: Ascent into Heaven in Luke-Acts edited by David Bryan and David Pao

Sadly, the ascension is regularly neglected or forgotten. The ascension is surely essential to NT theology, but what did it mean in the first century? And what role did it play in Luke’s writings, in which it is found? This is where Ascent into Heaven in Luke-Acts: New Explorations of Luke’s Narrative Hinge comes into play. The book has two goals. First, to consider ancient contexts that may have influenced Luke’s presentation of Jesus’ ascent. Second, to consider the importance of the ascension narratives within the larger work of Luke-Acts.

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Review: A Jew to the Jews by David Rudolph

Just how Jewish was Paul after his conversion? Didn’t he renounce his heritage? Didn’t he say that we are under grace, not the Law? To many, Paul effectively rejected his Jewishness and became a circumcised Gentile. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 is the smoking gun. Here, Paul’s Jewishness appears nonessential, optional. He simply adopted or discarded it for missionary purposes. But what if we’ve misread this passage? In A Jew to the Jews, David Rudolph confronts this reading of Paul. He specifically targets 1 Cor 9:19-23 and proposes that Paul remained a fully-observant Jew in Christ.

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Author’s Response to My Review of Jew and Gentile Reconciled

Bryan E. Lewis has begun responding to my review of his intriguing book Jew and Gentile Reconciled. Check out my review here, and Bryan’s first response.

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Review: The Epistles of John by Peter J. Leithart

The Epistles of John are commonly overlooked and that’s unfortunate but understandable. The logic is often obtuse. The structure appears cyclical. As I prepared to teach 1 John, I wanted a fresh take, and Peter Leithart’s Epistles of John: From Behind the Veil commentary did not disappoint.

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Review: The So-Called Jew in Paul’s Letter to the Romans

I recall my shock when a veteran teacher told me that Romans 2 was possibly the most difficult chapter in the letter for him to interpret. Upon my own study, I soon understood: though Paul’s rhetoric seems clear at first, there is a flow-chart-like abundance of exegetical options available to the interpreter. Change one small interpretation and the whole passage takes on a fresh meaning. As if there weren’t enough already, another branch in the flow chart is growing in popularity among scholarship today. This view questions the long-held tradition/assumption that Romans 2:17ff describes the Jew. The authors of this present volume have written on this question elsewhere, but The So-Called Jew in Paul’s Letter to the Romans presents a unified re-reading of Paul’s letter if this hypothesis were true.

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Psalmcast #4: Songs of the End Times

Is the Psalter merely a collection of ancient worship songs? If that is so, why have most Jews and Christians throughout history interpreted the Psalms as prophetic?

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