This review first appeared in Kesher Journal, with small modifications. Paul persists as a polarizing and puzzling figure within and without the church and academy. Judging by the book of Acts, this was no less true in the first century! But are we stumbled by the same things as his contemporaries? Paula Frederiksen, author of Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle, insists that we misread Paul if we neglect his thorough Jewishness and imminent apocalyptic expectations; “racing on the edge of the End of time” (xii).
Category: Reviews (page 1 of 33)
Upon turning to Christ, Paul considered his past in Judaism and any other legalistic systems of salvation as “crap” (Phil 3:8). At least, that’s how we have heard this passage taught. But did Paul think this way? Are identity markers, such as Torah-observance and circumcision for Jews, really abolished when one follows Christ? Are Christians a “third race,” neither Jew nor Gentile? Christopher Zoccali’s Reading Philippians After Supersessionism reconsiders these assumptions found in Christian tradition and modern scholarship when it comes to Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
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 Empire—to it.
It’s sadly all too common to see the women of the Bible given a bad rap in sermons and popular Christian books. Often, the women of Jesus’ genealogy are portrayed as “bad girls” who are included as examples of God’s scandalous grace towards sinners. But are these assumptions correct? Do our modern Western assumptions lead us to misunderstand the Biblical texts? Do we owe these women an apology? VVindicating the Vixens attempts to reexamine the often misunderstood women of the Bible. To achieve this end, Sandra Glahn has gathered a diverse range of female and male scholars from different nationalities, ethnicities, traditions, and even perspectives on women in ministry, who all nonetheless agree we must “revisit what the Scriptures say about some Bible women we have sexualized, vilified, and/or marginalized” (p16).
Regular readers may remember my review of Matthew Bates’ Salvation by Allegiance Alone. After a conversation with the author and some reflection, I realized that some factors in my life affected my review of the book and a few of my critiques were unfounded. I think this book deserves a deeper re-reading but in the meantime I have made some small adjustments to make my review more accurate. The review can be found here.
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.