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The Geography of Hell in the Teaching of Jesus by Kim Papaioannou

It is a common (mis)understanding that “the Old Testament God” is one of wrath, while “the New Testament God” is one of grace and love. The usual response is that in fact Jesus spoke more about hell than anyone else in scripture. But what exactly did he say about hell? And what did he mean? There are several different words and concepts that he used, and “hell” is an unhelpful word to summarize them all. The Geography of Hell in the Teaching of Jesus is Kim Papaioannou’s published dissertation from Durham that tackles these questions and texts.

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Review: Jewish Messiahs in a Christian Empire

It’s tempting to begin this review by repeating my introduction to David Mitchell’s Messiah Ben Joseph review. The details of Middle Ages Jewish messianic hope are surprising and fascinating. One particularly influential text of the time is Sefer Zerubbabel (“the book of Zerubbabel”), and so Martha Himmelfarb has devoted an entire book—Jewish Messiahs in a Christian Empireto it.

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Maia of the Forest – My Wife’s Third Book!

My wife (Tasha) has just completed her third book: Maia of the Forest. This time it’s an adult coloring book that was inspired by her season of depression and anxiety. It’s a retelling of Thumbelina as an allegory of depression. This is by far her best project yet. The art and story are both amazing. I’m so proud of her.

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Review: Text and Canon edited by Robert Cole and Paul Kissling

John Sailhamer did not produce many books, but I’m gradually recognizing the impact that he has made. I’m regularly bumping up against ideas and emphases that were entrenched in his vocabulary; ideas such as composition, intertextuality, Text vs. Event, and Pentateuch 2.0. Considering Sailhamer’s impact and his passing this year, it’s fitting that editors Robert Cole and Paul Kissling would produce a festschrift in Sailhamer’s honor. Those familiar with Sailhamer will recognize the significance of its title: Text and Canon.

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Review: 1, 2 & 3 John by Constantine Campbell (Story of God)

As the latest entries for the Story of God series, the  1, 2 & John volumes face an ironic problem. Constantine Campbell recognizes that the Johannines “seem more detached from the biblical narrative than most other parts of the New Testament” (p1). There are many odd features about these letters, but trying to read them in light of the grand story is a challenge. Fortunately for the reader, Campbell has to face this challenge head on.

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Review: Salvation by Allegiance Alone by Matthew Bates

[Update: 14/03/18. After some reflection and a conversation with the author, I softened my critique a little to reflect my current perspective.] Western Christians exist in a sub-culture of “prepackaged…definitions of belief, faith, works, salvation, heaven, and the gospel that in various ways truncate and distort the full message of the good news about Jesus the Messiah that is proclaimed in the Bible” (p2-3). With this opening volley of Salvation by Allegiance Alone, Matthew Bates is on the offense, and Christianity-lite is in his crosshairs.

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