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Category: New Testament (page 2 of 15)

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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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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Review: Reversing Hermon by Michael Heiser

Though 1 Enoch is not in either Jewish or Christian canons, its ideas were highly influential in the first century. In fact, in Reversing Hermon, Michael Heiser argues that many of the details in the New Testament “can only be traced to 1 Enoch” (p2). Though Heiser is not alone in this claim, it will be a new idea to many and Reversing Hermon is an accessible presentation from an expert in the field of all things weird in the Bible.

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Review: Colossians by Christopher Seitz (Brazos Theological Commentary)

The Brazos Theological Commentary series enlists “leading theologians [to] read and interpret scripture for today’s church, providing guidance for reading the Bible under the rule of faith.” The emphasis is upon a theological and unashamedly “Christian” interpretation. This pushes back against attempts for “objective” historical readings stripped of tradition. The choice of commentator is unique, such as philosophers, theologians and historians of varying traditions. The Colossians volume is by Christopher Seitz. Seitz an OT scholar with expertise on canonical reading of Scripture. The result is a fresh reading of Paul’s letter.

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